In many ways, having a baby puts your life on hold. Your career needs a reboot (if you’re a working mom), many of your friendships will need to be nurtured a little more, and you might have found your fitness level has plateaued.
Starting an exercise regime is easier when you have a plan informed by tried-and-trusted tips from professionals. If you’re a breastfeeding mama, remember not to over-strain yourself as it can impact your milk supply. What else should you keep in mind if you want to stay motivated? Here are four tips to help you safely regain your fitness after giving birth:
1. Get The Right Gear
Where does your mind go when you think about exercise? Do you feel chaotic and uncertain? You can program your brain into fitness mode by wearing fitness gear. You don’t need the top brands, but if you’re breastfeeding and still tender, the best maternity sports bra will go a long way toward keeping you comfortable while you exercise.
Choose items that stretch so you have a full range of movement. If you’re comfortable, you’re likely to train longer and put more effort into it. Give yourself the best start with the right gear.
2. Get The Mindset
Can you train your brain to love exercise? Absolutely. Create an exercise routine if you want to get into a regular schedule. Some mothers find it easier to remain flexible, not knowing when or for how long they will exercise. However, you’ll find the successful ones still have a set of habits they do before you exercise.
If you perform the same habits in the same order, your brain learns that it is time to exercise. This might involve washing your face, putting your hair up, putting on your gear, and doing some stretches. It might involve filling up your water bottle or playing a particular playlist. It doesn’t matter what your order of events looks like, just make sure it’s always the same.
3. Take It Slow But Be Consistent
The number one mistake new mothers make is to take it too fast. You’re motivated and eager to see results, so it is understandable. However, it’s important to start at a level you can commit to long-term. You can always increase the time and/or intensity later.
A good starting point is to commit to a 30-minute session three days per week. Once this is part of your lifestyle, add another day and gradually increase it to 45 minutes per session. Keep your heart rate between 90 and 110 beats per minute, so long as your doctor says you’re ready.
4. Join A Group For Motivation
There are many mommy exercise groups you can join. A simple search on social media can connect you to an online community that provides support and motivation. You can also ask a friend to join you on your journey, even if you’re exercising away from each other in your own homes. Report back on your workouts and exchange tips as you go. Any journey is easier when there’s a friend helping you along the way.
Small Steps Make The Journey Easier
Overwhelm is the biggest factor in a lack of motivation. However, you’ll find it easier if you feel that the next step is realistic. Some days, the best you can do is a few sit-ups while the baby sleeps. Other days, you might make a full run around the block. Take it easy, get your doctor’s approval before you start, and be kind to yourself every step of the way.