If you've recently welcomed a new addition to your family, getting back into an exercise routine might not be the first thing on your mind. We completely understand the whirlwind of feedings, naps, and those sleepless nights that seem to stretch on forever. It can feel overwhelming to add any extra chores to your todo list even if it's just simple movements.
But here's the thing: as a new mom, it's natural to want to reclaim your body and find a routine that brings you back to yourself. Pregnancy and childbirth are incredible accomplishments, but they can sometimes leave you feeling like you've lost some of your identity or that your body no longer belongs to you. That's where mindful movement and exercise come in, empowering you and helping to alleviate any postpartum depression or anxiety you may be experiencing.
Exercise goes way beyond just the physical benefits—it has a profound impact on your mental well-being too. So, it's crucial to consider what your goals are as you embark on this journey. And guess what? We're here to support you every step of the way!
When it comes to choosing exercises to reclaim your body post-pregnancy, remember that they not only improve your physical health but also contribute to your mental well-being. Our friends at FIT by Katy have curated a program designed by experts in the fitness industry to help guide you through your postpartum journey. The FIT by Katy Strong as a Mother program is a great option for easing yourself back into physical activity after giving birth.
Trying to get your fitness plans back on track post-pregnancy can be challenging for any new mom, but FIT by Katy's Strong as a Mother program is easy to follow and can help you achieve your goals.
It's important to be gentle with yourself during this time and avoid diving headfirst into high-intensity training. Instead, gradually work your way up to the fitness level you had before your pregnancy. That is exactly why we recommend Strong as a Mother, the FIT by Katy program does exactly that!
Before you kickstart any exercise routine post-pregnancy, it's vital to consult with your doctor. They can provide expert guidance on what activities are safe and beneficial for you specifically. We have included 5 movement based tips to help you start your journey below! Remember, you're embarking on an incredible journey of self-care and rediscovery. We want to help guide you to feeling like your best self --- because we all know feeling good about our bodies helps us be the best mama you can be.
FIT by Katy's Strong as a Mother program can help all new mom's reclaim their shape post-pregnancy.
When you are just getting back into exercise, walking is one of the greatest physical activities there is. It is low-impact and scalable, which means it’s really easy to ensure that you won’t overdo it. Start with slower, short walks and overtime begin to increase both the length of your walks and the speed.
Walking, even for only 30 minutes a day, will increase your cardiovascular fitness. Increased cardiovascular fitness prepares your body for higher intensity workouts in the future, while also building strength and improving bone density.
An added bonus of walking? It’s an excellent excuse to head to your local park and meet up with some friends, which is especially important in this stage of your life. Think about your movement time as your self-care time. Additionally, Baby can join you for your walks, too!
Pelvic Floor Exercises and Kegels
It’s likely you know what Kegel exercises are because many doctors recommend Kegel exercises both during and post pregnancy. Strengthening your pelvic floor has many benefits and can also help prevent incontinence that is often associated with pregnancy.
While you can definitely do Kegel exercises at home (and many women do), if you are really struggling you may choose to seek out a pelvic floor therapist. These therapists specialize in working with women on the issues that women struggle with and can provide embarrassment-free guidance.
Taking a dip in the pool is both refreshing and an excellent place for your post-pregnancy workout. Water exercises can build strength and cardiovascular health without high impact or stress of workouts that take place on dry land. When you are post-pregnancy, water exercises can help you scale your fitness and build the strength and endurance you need to get back to non-aquatic exercises.
There are many different types of water exercises, so you just need to choose what you are most interested in and what fits best with your lifestyle.
Lap swimming is a great option, especially if you have swimming experience. Swimming is one of the highest calorie burning activities there is — even if it doesn’t feel like the most strenuous. Since you use your entire body while swimming, you’ll start to feel that connection to your physical self once again.
Many community gyms with aquatic centers also offer group classes like water aerobics and Aqua Zumba. Some fitness centers even offer special postpartum classes for new mothers.
Since this exercise is incredibly gentle, diaphragmatic breathing is the perfect exercise to start with post-pregnancy. It’s best to do this lying on your back. A yoga mat and basic props can help you get into a comfortable position, but if you do not have any equipment, you can also use blankets and pillows you have around the house.
Place one of your hands on your stomach and your other on your heart. Take a deep breath in so that your belly rises and fills with the breath. Your chest should not move very much, if at all. Let go of the breath slowly, contracting your stomach muscles to “push out” the air through your lips. Repeat this 4-5 times.
While it seems simple, many of us aren’t used to breathing with our diaphragm or full belly, and instead breathe in and out of our chest, which results in shallower breaths.
Remember that you can do this anywhere — and don’t have to be lying down, although that is the most relaxing way to engage in this exercise. Whether you want to strengthen and tone your abdominal muscles or need a moment of reprieve, diaphragmatic breathing should be a go-to choice.
Yoga can improve both strength and flexibility, so it is an option many new moms turn to. While jumping right into hot yoga or power yoga might not be the safe choice, there are many different types of yoga that a new mom can participate in. Gentle yoga, Yin yoga, or classes focused on stretching are all good options.
Some yoga studios even have special postpartum classes. If you are able to find one of these classes in your area or online, you can rest easy knowing that the class is tailored with you in mind. If you choose to seek out an in-person class, get there early and spend some time talking with the yoga instructor ahead of time. A knowledgeable yoga instructor will help you adjust and modify the day’s routine in a way that supports you.
Now that you've read through all five of our tips, just remember that you should embrace this opportunity to prioritize yourself, both physically and mentally. We're here to cheer you on, celebrate your progress, and remind you that you're doing an amazing job. Let's reclaim your body together and create a newfound sense of strength and confidence. You've got this!