When you’re pregnant your body goes through a million different changes. Once you’ve had your baby getting back to where you were 9 months ago can feel like an uphill battle. Here’s our advice on how to get back in shape without struggling every step of the way.
Make workouts mum and bub time
One of the difficulties of making time for exercise when you’re a new mum is that gyms aren’t always baby friendly. Daniel Kane from Wesley LifeShape Clinic has some bub-friendly exercises so you can ace motherhood and your fitness goals all at once.
1. The Pram Lunge: Place bub in the pram. Hold the pram at arms length standing in a split position (one foot in front of the other – hip width apart). Lunge down by dropping your back knee towards the ground, keeping your chest up and pushing the pram out in front of you. Pause before lifting yourself back up, and pulling the pram back in towards you. Repeat 3 lots of 10 each leg.
2. Baby Squat with Chest Press: Hold baby in close to your body. Feet should be slightly wider than hip width apart. Squat down towards the ground ensuring you keep your knees behind your toes. Pause before lifting yourself up. As you lift push baby out in front of you at chest height.
3. Plank: Lay baby on the floor on a mat or towel. Lie over the top of your baby face down so that your forearms are next to the baby. Lift yourself up onto your toes (keeping your forearms on the ground), so that your hips are in line with your shoulders. Hold for 30-60 seconds.
Quick exercises can get you results
A common trap for all of us is the idea we don’t have time to exercise. Lizzy Williamson from Two Minute Moves know this struggle well.
“Setting up inflexible rules around exercise – a certain amount of time, a certain activity, burning a certain number of calories – can hold us back from taking any action at all. When I started taking little moments in my day to move, I realised that my body didn’t care about all the ‘rules’ I had set up around what exercise had to be, or what it was meant to achieve. All my body wanted was to move, however and whenever it could. It didn’t care if that meant doing nothing more than an invigorating sweep of my house or two minutes of push-ups at my kitchen bench.”
Even a few minutes a day is better than not bothering at all. Here’s one of Lizzy’s favourite moves:
The next time you find yourself sitting down and checking one of your social media channels, take two minutes for these moves.
The move : Sitting down, gently pull in your tummy like you’re trying to fit into a pair of jeans you wore 15 years ago. Pulling in your tummy should almost feel like pressing the ‘go’ button that makes your knees lift. This will ensure that your core muscles engage so you get the most out of this move. 1. Raise both knees towards your chest. 2. Extend both legs either straight in front of you or to the floor.
Look out for fitness events
Having a goal to work toward can make finding fitness motivation ten times easier. Keep an eye out for fitness events coming up in your area and get your friends and family involved so you feel motivated to get moving. From 3rd-29th October, Sydney will host more than 30 events celebrating bikes, family fun and the outdoors as part of the Sydney Rides Festival. It’s the perfect opportunity to train up your cycling legs for events such as family-friendly The Big Adventure, Spring Cycle across the harbour bridge and Light The City for a lit up nighttime ride.
Other events like fun runs, sports tryout days or free fitness classes are happening all around Australia and can help bring fun back into your fitness journey.
Allow yourself to heal
Your body has been through quite the journey so recognising this and allowing yourself to heal will do wonders. As Kylee Todd from Postnatal and Beyond explains women are under intense pressure to lose weight.
“I am a personal trainer that specialises in postnatal recovery. I feel that women feel a lot of pressure internally and externally to lose the baby weight. I am an advocate of movement but the mindset should be on healing as opposed to fat loss in the early postnatal period. I educate women also on nutrition for healing, hormones and self care strategies. I feel that women are not given the tools from health professionals on how to physically and emotionally heal. My role is to empower women to confidently take control of their own well-being.”
Find more from Kylee on Facebook.
They key to getting back in shape is recognising that you won’t be able to do it instantly. But if you take it one step at a time you’ll be chasing toddlers around the playground in no time. Finding ways to combine family and fitness are your secret weapons on the road to a post-baby you.