Top tips for starting exercise after birth
As a new mum you might want to start exercising for many different reasons and for many different goals. Please remember to give yourself time to heal and recover first. Especially in the fourth trimester.
When you are ready to get started I promise you will enjoy it much more if you come from a place of love and kindness. Exercise should be enjoyable and not a punishment.
Here are my top tips on how to be kind to yourself:
Give yourself time, change is a gradual process
It took 9 months to grow your baby & then you have a fourth trimester where your body is adapting and healing. Take time and start slowly, its not a race & you can avoid injuries.
Remember it's ok to want your old body back
How it feels, how you think about it and how it looks to you & that’s ok! Try not to worry about bouncing back or dropping your ‘baby weight’, this takes time. If your breastfeeding your body will want reserves to nourish your baby. Make sure the voice in your head isn’t beating you up for not being a certain way yet. Or getting annoyed because you’re having these thoughts in the first place. They are NORMAL & change is always possible!
Start with small goals that work towards the bigger picture
I promise one of your very first exercise milestones will be to go for a short walk. Being able to go for a 10-minute stroll without feeling any dragging & heaviness in your pelvic floor & without overdoing it. This is a huge milestone & shows you where you are starting from. Everything down to being able to reconnect with your core & sit up in bed without using your arms (as you’ve probably been getting up from your side, pushing up with your arms). It all takes time, so don’t forget that when you’re planning your goals. Give your self a kind & realistic timeframe.
It's not all about aesthetics
Exercise can do so much for you then just aesthetical looks. It plays a huge role in your mental health and combating postnatal depression. It helps your body heal and recover after having your baby. It boosts your health & wellness. It can help you build strength for motherhood (there is a lot you have to carry around & your super cute baby soon put on the kg’s!). So when you set yourself goals 100% include aesthetics if you want to, but don’t forget about all the other benefits it can have for you.
Don't compare yourself to others
This is so important! You are not in competition with anyone else and you don’t need to keep up with anyone else. When you scroll through social media it’s very easy to see highlight reels and photo’s posed at the best angle. If it helps you, take photos of yourself as you go through your journey to look back on but remember not to be a critic!
Listen to you body
The most important one here is to listen to your body. If you connect with it, it will tell you when something isn’t feeling right. When you need to take a little regression, spend some time stretching or even rest completely! Your body really does know best so if its something other than a slight burn when you’re working out, listen to it.
You got this mama!
Lucy is a pre & postnatal corrective exercise specialist and mum. She is on a mission to empower, educate and inspire women during pregnancy and motherhood to feel fit, healthy and body confident.
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