On occasion, Schromen Law, LLC features guest bloggers to write on outside topics. In my practice, I am fortunate to represent many parents, including many expecting and new Moms. Norah Hibbits, owner of Baby Boot Camp, works with new and expecting Moms get out and get active post-baby. Much like Schromen Law, LLC, Norah supports families in building a strong and healthy foundation to build and grow upon. Enjoy her article!
6 Fitness Tips for New Moms
You survived nine physically and emotionally draining months of pregnancy, persisted through labor and delivery, and now you’re learning to navigate the unique roller coaster that is parenthood.
Between sleepless nights and ever changing feeding schedules, working out is likely far down on your list of priorities.
Then again, exercise is an excellent form of stress relief. Sometimes just getting yourself and baby out in the stroller is enough to transform a dismal day into a manageable one.
Or perhaps you were an avid runner prior to pregnancy and you cannot wait for your shoes to hit the pavement again. Maybe, like me, you experienced a caesarean birth that revoked your physical strength and left you feeling disconnected from your body.
Whatever the reason, you’re at least interested in commencing new fitness routine post baby. Here are 6 tips to ensure that new fitness routine is successful.
- Find an activity you love.
Exercise should be fun! There are so many different ways to be active; archery, canoeing, yoga, dance, basketball, martial arts, kickboxing, tennis, skiing, ice skating… the list is endless. Try new activities until you find the one – the one that you enjoy and makes you want to continue.
For me, that activity is Baby Boot Camp. The fast-paced transitions between exercises ensures variety throughout the 60 minute workout session. Plus, no two classes are ever exactly the same. Additionally, you model healthy activity, setting your child up for lifelong healthy habits.
- Choose a workout buddy.
As much as you love your activity and want to continue with it, parenting is exhausting; utterly unpredictable and completely exhausting.
It is easy to let yourself miss your workout “just this once”, which quickly deteriorates into 3 months of inactivity. Find a friend to keep you accountable. Checking in with each other has numerous benefits:
–The shared workout experience fosters camaraderie, developing healthy emotional support. Furthermore, working out is more fun with a friend.
–Working out becomes much more appealing when you know people are counting on you to attend and will miss your presence when you bail out.
–You and your buddy likely have different favorite activities. Commit to alternating those activities.
This challenges you to go outside your comfort zone when it is time for your friend’s activity. You also demonstrate to your friend what makes your favorite activity so enjoyable.
Make sure to choose a specific person as your workout buddy. Attending a group workout class is a terrific way to stay active and meet friends. However, it is much easier to tell yourself “my dance class won’t miss me tonight” than it is to realize that “Sarah Jane will be disappointed if I don’t show up to dance class this evening.”
The reverse point is also relevant, find a community to support workout accountability. Solo sports, like running and tennis are excellent options for staying active. You might even be best friends with your workout buddy because you share this same interest. Still, what happens when your friend gets sick or busy? Finding a community, such as a running club, or a tennis meetup supports continued activity.
- Make a plan.
Schedule your workout as an appointment. Put the time, activity and location in your calendar to avoid conflicts. Have a clear idea of quantity and duration for your workout session.
This point has been especially pertinent to me in the recent transition to two kids. “Pregnancy brain” tends to stick around, becoming “mommy brain”, where nothing gets done unless it’s written on a list.
If you haven’t been keeping lists already, I highly recommend Google Keep. It is super easy to share, making day to day errands, like grocery shopping for dinner much easier to delegate.
In addition to lists and calendars, establish contingencies. It sounds like a great plan to enlist grandma to watch the baby while you check out that new kickball game that is scheduled at the park down the street.
Yet, what happens when grandma gets sick? Or rain is predicted in the forecast? Having a contingency plan, such as dedicating an evening or two to attend an indoor class, while dad watches baby ensures maintenance of your desired physical activity level.
One aspect I love about Baby Boot Camp is that you bring your child along to your workout. You therefore enjoy quality time with baby, while modeling healthy behavior to set the stage for lifelong physical health.
Plus, the supportive mom community at Baby Boot Camp understands. If you need to arrive late since it’s one of “those mornings”, or need to take a break during the workout set to get baby a snack or toy, it’s completely fine.
- Prepare prior to working out.
This point is particularly important when planning to workout with baby. Take time the night before to pick out appropriate clothing for both you and baby, pack the diaper bag, and make sure you have enough healthy snacks and water for both you and your child.
Anyone who is, or knows, a new mom understands how a simple errand, like going to the grocery store, can take a full four hours.
Being prepared in advance, even to the point of packing the car the night before will facilitate timely arrival for your scheduled workout session.
It is also good practice to execute a dry run of transporting baby to the workout location. If you have any anxiety about the new group or workout location, this is a good time to introduce yourself and observe the group dynamic without the added pressure of participation.
- Stay positive.
Parenthood is grueling. Pregnancy, followed by labor and delivery, coupled with the stress of caring for a newborn…it’s amazing you’re even getting to a workout session!
Focus on the activities you can do rather than your expectations for what you should be able to do. Every pregnancy is different, every birth is different, and every mom is different.
Celebrate small victories, like getting to a workout. With the next celebration being getting to a workout on time. Eventually you’ll be where you want, give yourself time to get there.
- Food is fuel. Fuel your activity.
Be conscious of the quality and quantity of the food that goes into your body. Just as higher quality fuels at the gas pump deliver better performance, higher quality foods deliver better physical performance for your workout and in daily life.
Additionally, just as it is impossible to run an engine without fuel in the tank, it is impossible for us to accomplish physical activity without food in our system. Moreover, nursing mothers on average require a higher caloric intake even than pregnant women. It takes a lot of fuel to feed two whole humans!
In closing, embrace motherhood and stay active. Kids love to move, it aids in their development. Implement these 6 tips to ensure your own success as you learn to love to move as well.
The material contained herein is for informational purposes only, and is not intended to create or constitute an attorney-client relationship between Schromen Law, LLC and the reader. The information contained herein is not offered as legal advice and should not be construed as legal advice.