How to Get Back to Exercising After Pregnancy
So, how do you get back to exercising after your new born arrives?
Giving birth is the most beautiful experience of one’s life. While your life transforms with the arrival of these two tiny feet, your body also goes through a transformation. Apart from the stubborn weight that you pile on, your body is weakened. Taking care of yourself is just as important as taking care of the baby at this stage. After all, a healthy mother itself is a great gift to a child.
I started my pregnancy at 52 kgs. and gained a healthy 14 kgs. over the 9 months. 6 months postpartum I am back to 53 kgs. In fact, weight loss was not even my main agenda when I started out. I just wanted to get back to my pre-partum fitness levels. I am not sharing this to gloat at new mothers who are struggling to lose all that weight. I am sharing this because it did not take a lot. It required no crash dieting (Please note I had everything- even the ghee laden panjiri continuously for 40 days post-delivery) and no extensive workout plan. In fact, I lost this weight by simply incorporating one hour of exercise daily into my routine. So, if you are an expecting mother or if you have delivered recently, read below and start out on your fitness journey:
Staying fit and healthy during pregnancy is key to early recovery:
A fast recovery of the body will help you both in taking better care of the baby and in initiating your exercise regimen early. While you would have heard enough on the benefits of eating right during pregnancy for your baby, there is not enough said on the benefits it has for the mother’s recovery as well. So eat well and eat healthy. Stay away from intense exercising during pregnancy however Yoga and walking are two exercises that you can never go wrong with.
I was a regular with workouts prior to pregnancy however Yoga, walking and ball exercises became my go to workout during pregnancy.
Check if your body is ready:
Do not be in a hurry. You should be getting back to exercise only if your body is fully recovered and if your doctor has given a go ahead. I waited for my doctor’s go ahead which was a full 40 days from the date of delivery.
Also do not be in a hurry to lose weight. Weight loss should be incidental and not the main objective of starting exercise.
Find your motivation: You must be sleep deprived, exhausted and still getting to terms with your new schedule. The initial few months can be taxing and exercise may be the last thing on your mind. However either fire that motivation within or partner up with friends or your husband who can work as motivators.
Block that hour: It is difficult to accommodate exercise in your schedule with your demanding newborn and with no one to support. Well I discovered some ways to take my baby along on my fitness journey.
Make your newborn the celebrity judge of your dance class: Online classes were just the thing for me when I decided to start my exercise regimen. And my little one became my energy meter! Oh boy, she would look at the TV or else where or worse cry if I did not have my ace game on. So much for pressure and for motivation!
Walk: A stroller is definitely the genie for all those days when your little one is needy and your shoulders just can’t take it anymore! But otherwise as well, stroller could be your solution to an hour of brisk walk! What’s more you end up burning more calories lugging the stroller! You can start using the stroller when your little one becomes 3 months old. Once your little one can hold his head, a carrier would be a better option.
The peek at a boo cat and camel: Everyone knows how this new phase of life can be especially taxing for the neck and the back. A cat and camel can be a saviour! I discovered I could do this with my little one below and convert it into a fun filled peek a boo.
Sway away: You may already be swaying your little one side to side to help her sleep! Use that to walk or do your hip rotations and rolls- the baby gets the desired sway and the necessary exercise!
Use their sleep time: Of course using their sleep time to exercise is another option. You can easily plug in 30 min of work out during this time. Surya Asana worked really well for me for stretching and exercising all those muscles and I found it to be most adaptable to disruption. I could just do it on a mat alongside and could quickly wrap up if she woke up.
Lastly do remember, losing weight does take time but a consistent effort at exercising gives you way more benefits than just weight loss. Hope this motivates you enough to start your fitness journey right away.
A typical engineer cum MBA working as a marketing professional in e-commerce and a mother to a 6 month old munchkin. Love doing everything under the sun- dancing, exercising, painting and reading but now fully occupied with momma duties. Picked up writing during my maternity break to share experiences with other new moms starting out on this adventure.
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Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this post are the personal views of the author. They do not necessarily reflect the views of The Mom Store.