Getting back into shape after having a baby can be a daunting task! It can be hard to feel good about your post baby body, and even if you’re motivated to exercise, lack of time and sleep can make it seem impossible. I’ve been itching to start trying to lose my baby weight and get a body back I can feel good about, but my body has just been saying no!
There are a few things to consider before jumping back into exercise (i.e. making sure you have recovered properly after the birth, pelvic floor weakness, your abdominals and whether you have muscle separation (diastasis recti), whether you are breastfeeding etc.) When you are ready to up the ante, its important to make sure you’ve taken the time to address these issues, and strengthen your core muscles and pelvic floor so you don’t do more damage to them. If you’re not sure, consult with a professional. Finding an exercise program especially for mums is a great way to ensure you are doing it right as well.
One of the the biggest issues I’ve found with getting active again is finding the time. When you’re breastfeeding on demand it’s quite difficult to find a block of time where you can go and exercise without the baby. But luckily there are a few exercise programs out there that you can take your baby to, which are of course designed for mums. The following are some of the exercise programs I have come across that are targeted towards mums, some of which you can take your baby (and sometimes toddler) to. Unless otherwise stated they are Christchurch based.
- Active Mums (nationwide locations)
- Yummy Mummy Fitness – options nationwide, and they even do skype classes which sounds awesome!
- Wheelie Fit Mums
- Mums n Tums
- Mums and bubs yoga, for example Adapted Yoga and Pilates and Sanctuary Health
- Fit Studio (Auckland)
- Fit Mum (Auckland)
- Puff Fitness (Wellington)
- City Fitness Wellington have a BuggyFit class, which is a class that new mums and dads can bring baby and buggy to
- WOF Crossfit have a mums and bubs option (Wellington)
- Wellington peeps can check out this page for other exercise options
- Find a Personal Trainer near you who specialises in mums and post natal care. This can be a good option if you need an extra kick of motivation!
If you know of any others let me know and I will add them to the list!
At home exercise options
If you don’t want to / find it too hard to get out to exercise, here are a few ideas you can do from home:
- A post natal exercise program you can join online, and then do from home, such as www.pregnancyexercise.co.nz.
- Join a Yummy Mummy’s skype class and do it without leaving your living room!
- Buy or borrow an exercycle or treadmill. This can be a great way to squeeze a little cardio into your day without sacrificing too much time. And you can even catch up on your favourite TV programs while you do it! Even doing 10-15 mins a day is a good start to get you back into it.
- Track down an exercise game for your Wii, Playstation, Xbox etc. Something like Zumba is a good one as you feel like you’re dancing and not working out! And bubs would probably love sitting and watching too which is a bonus. Another added bonus is turning it into a game and competing makes it more fun!
- Get a Fitbit or other step tracking band, join up with your friends, and get motivated to compete on steps. This can be a good way to motivate you to just keep moving.
- Download an exercise app on your smartphone/tablet. There are some out there which generate daily, short exercise routines that are easy to fit into your day, and don’t require any equipment. Just make sure you’re not doing exercises which aren’t suitable for your post-natal stage.
- And of course walking baby in the buggy is the easiest and cheapest thing you can do! Pushing the buggy adds extra resistance as well which is an added bonus. If you have an ante-natal, plunket or other coffee group you are part of, you could also start a walking group to help you stick with it.