In my last post I touched based on self care with self awareness. It’s very imperative to take care of yourself even if you aren’t a new or expecting mom. Not only is it good for you, it’s great for your baby. You can check out that post here. Even if you’re not necessarily a new mom, it’s still a good read for insight on taking care of yourself.
As a group fitness instructor and mom, I realize how important exercise is and how it promotes wellness in our lives. This inspired me to share some quick tips on fitness and how you can implement it in your life now. I do not suggest going your whole pregnancy without working out. I did, and it contributed to the extra 70 lbs I was stuck with after I had my daughter. Which brings me to my first tip:
While laying on the couch is relaxing, my favorite pass time while pregnant, going out for a walk is a better choice. Exercise no matter how much you do benefits your body in many ways and in this case it will also help baby too. You may be pregnant but you don’t have to wait until your little one is born to be active. Consider joining a prenatal exercise or yoga class. Connecting with other expecting moms and making healthy choices makes it a great way for you to stay active during pregnancy. Here are 2 prenatal centers in/near Pittsburgh area:
If classes aren’t an option walking is a great alternative and it is free! Check out Google/YouTube for articles and videos on pre and post natal fitness. As always talk to your doctor before starting any exercise class. They will probably be happy you’re asking but it’s always better to be safe than sorry.
If you’ve recently had your baby it’s okay to take it easy with exercise. Once you feel up to it, think about taking your little bundle of joy on walks. It gets you out of the house, the fresh air is great for the baby and helps improve mood. I wish I exercised more during this period of time, I feel it would have helped ease the postpartum depression I suffered. For that reason alone, I highly suggest staying active. 1 in 4 moms suffer from postpartum depression, while exercise is not a cure all, exercising can lessen the blow of going through it. Make sure you get the okay from your doctor before you start any exercise programs.
Workout at Home
Working out at home is a hidden commodity a lot of moms aren’t taking advantage of. This is also more realistic since you’ll be home more with your new baby. Working out with a baby is not impossible, you can include them to make it an uplifting experience for both of you. I admit, exercising at home isn’t as mentally stimulating as going to a gym. However it helped me jump start my own fitness journey of losing 70 lbs. I didn’t have a car or money a for a facility, but I did have space and a little time to workout. If it’s hard for you to stay motivated about working at home join an online group or challenge. Here’s my page https://www.facebook.com/busybeefit/. It’s an online motivational fitness page all about balancing busy lives and fitness. There are a lot of groups/challenges that help you remain accountable helping you stay on track. I started with a meal prep challenge and have continued my journey since that day. Have there been ups and downs? Of course, some days I don’t workout but I know I will start again and that’s what matters. It’s okay to take days off, pick up where you left off when you can. Your body, mind, and baby will thank you.
Love Yourself at Every Stage of Life/Motherhood
Pressures from magazines and other forms of media give us harsh expectations on ourselves after baby. I’m sure you see the tabloids in the grocery store “So and so has lost all baby weight in 1 month!” Or the girl on Instagram with flat abs, 3 kids, perfect house, and healthy meals that leave you wondering how they do it. It may seem inspiring however it can do the opposite. We try to force ourselves to “snapback after baby”. That can be detrimental to self esteem, confidence, and overall self love.
I pray you see these things with a grain of salt. Appreciate you and the body you have at every stage you’re in. If you’re an expecting mom you may be the biggest size you’ve been and feel self conscious. Turn that thought around by realizing you are growing with love. You may also notice that your body doesn’t look the way it did pre-baby. Instead of that letting you down, look your stretchmarks as proof that magic happened inside of you. You just made and carried a little human, you rock! Loving yourself ties into fitness because if you don’t love you where you are now, how will you love yourself when you get there? It was 20x harder sticking with workout plans when I focused on my abs or trying to look a certain way. Once I let those expectations go the weight melted away. Take it easy on yourself, we are our own hardest critic. Become your biggest cheerleader and watch the positive feelings roll in.
Bloom is a great word to describe motherhood. We were once that little bulb, but with a little rain and sunshine we grow into the beautiful flower (mother) we’re meant to be. This post is longer than my other posts because I wanted to provide something doable and informative for the new and expecting mommies. I wish I could have read this during my time. As you gear up for your little one practice these tips as you bloom into motherhood.