Why It’s essential to find time to take care of yourself.

Creating another human being and giving birth to them is one of the most radical processes your body will ever experience. Not only do you need to give yourself time to recover from this but a secret that all mums will pass down to a new mother is that once you become a mum, life isn’t just about you anymore.

Suddenly your schedule is packed with play dates, school meetings, shopping, doctor’s visits, pick up and drop off….and the ever unattainable yet bright and shiny unicorn (yes, we all want more of it)….sleep! All your needs quickly become a second priority and its easy to keep pushing the needs that require the most time and effort aside. So, it’s no surprise to find your health and fitness at the bottom of the ‘To-Do’ list.

A lot of you are not going to like me saying this… BUT…. There has never been a more important time for you to be at your healthiest. Making the time to include fitness in your weekly routine doesn’t just benefit your life but your family’s lives as well!

So, what does improving or maintaining fitness levels do for new mums and what should you be doing you ask?

Benefits of Postnatal Exercise

As your body tries to return to its normal state, there are multiple benefits that can be gained from postnatal exercise. It can:

  • Promote weight loss, especially when combined with a healthy diet
  • Raise your energy levels making you less tired
  • Condition your abdominal and pelvic floor muscles allowing them to bounce back after the stresses of child birth
  • Increase the release of good chemicals, improving your sense of well-being, elevating your mood and may help to avoid post-partum depression
  • Help to firm and tone your body and improve your cardiovascular fitness
  • Help to get rid of all those aches and pains

Types of Postnatal Exercises

Walking – Even a short walk around the block with your stroller can help to clear your head, increase your energy and sometimes can help to settle your little one.

  • Swimming
  • Yoga
  • Pilates
  • Light weight training – Mums and bubs classes are great for this!
  • Aqua aerobics or other low impact aerobic workouts

Finding Time for Your Workout

Finding the time for exercise can be a real challenge when you are caring for a newborn; especially if its your first time! To start with, try to find little ways to include exercise into your routine. Some suggestions:

  • When possible, exercise with a friend. This will keep you motivated and get you some of that much needed ‘Adult’ time.
  • Try to include your little one where you can. Try going for a walk to the shops or find a Mums & Bubs class.
  • Even 10 minutes is better than nothing. While it would be great to do a full 40-minute workout, spreading your workout out over the day is fine too.
  • Abdominal and pelvic floor exercises can be done while you are doing other things breastfeeding or watching tv.

Things to Remember

  • Immediately after giving birth your body is in a fragile state, so it’s important to take things slow and make sure you listen to your body. Before starting any exercise routine make sure to talk to your doctor.
  • Don’t be too hard on yourself if it takes a few tries to get things going. As your baby grows and settles into a more predictable routine your time to do things like exercise and look after yourself will increase.
  • But most importantly don’t feel pressure to ‘bounce back’. Like all other training, postnatal training is an individual process, do it for yourself.