I totally understand that being a mom takes exhaustion to a whole new level. Then there are just a few things that you may need to overcome…lack of sleep, blowouts, random feedings, hot flashes, hormonal changes, a house that never seems to stay clean and a continuous worry that somewhere along the way you are doing it all wrong. However, getting back into your jeans and feeling fit, strong and confident again doesn’t just happen. In my opinion, the sooner you start the better. Getting into a routine was the only thing that saved me and my little one seemed to thoroughly enjoy the schedule as well.
Here are my top reasons to exercise after having your baby.
1. You don’t need a gym!
A long time ago I thought that in order to get in the best shape of my life I needed a gym with fancy cardio machines (especially a stair climber) with lots of dumbbells, squats racks and more. To be 100% honest, I haven’t worked out in a gym for over 4 years and you know what, my body has been the leanest and strongest it’s ever been. I focus on functional fitness meaning that I train my muscles to work together using both my upper and lower body at the same time. I keep my heart rate up by doing some plyometrics or HIIT (high intensity interval training) in between exercises and just like that I am sweaty, sore and done my workout.
My favorite at home fitness accessories are medium to heavy dumbbells, resistance bands, a pilates ring, mini resistance bands, a yoga mat and some music.
2. You don’t need a ton of time!
Consistency is the key! If I consistently get in 30-45 minutes of functional training 3-4 days a week with being active the other day’s it is amazing the shape you can get into. Even if you did 3-10 minute sessions consistently throughout the day you will see your fitness improve dramatically. So many moms think they have to do all or nothing, get to the gym and do at least 45 minutes of just cardio. Wrong! Stay consistent with a mixture of strength and HIIT and you will see your body change.
3. It helps with postpartum!
When you exercise it not only helps you get in better shape but it helps to release endorphins which trigger a positive feeling in the body and relieve stress. With positive, feel-good endorphins this can help to boost your self-esteem and ward off feelings of anxiety and depression. The hardest part of the workout is starting. Schedule it in just like you would a feeding for your little one and get it done! I know I personally was never excited for a workout postpartum but the feeling I got after, a sense of pride and accomplishment gave me an extra step throughout the day.
4. It increases your energy!
I had no idea what the definition of “tired” was until I became a mom. It truly takes exhaustion to a whole new level. I know many may think that if they feel that tired exercise will only make them feel worse. False! A short bout of exercise has been known to fight fatigue and increase your energy. Simply getting out for a walk, working out for 10-30 minutes can boost your daily energy, strengthen your muscles and improve self-esteem. If I get up and moving I am personally happier throughout the day. Again, it may seem impossible or daunting to get started but the key is to just do something consistently each day to help improve your mind, body and soul.
5. It helps to give back to you!
I have talked with so many moms that feel guilty and selfish for taking time for themselves when it comes to workout. As moms we have to be on 24/7 and often our health and especially fitness take a backseat. When you workout not only does it boost energy, help combat depression, it gives you a more positive mindset, a better body and more confidence. Even if it’s just twenty minutes a day, as long as it is consistent it will make you happier, more fit and healthier.
I must admit, finding a mommy & me workout group was key in my postnatal recovery and fitness. It was great to chat with other moms about the struggles that only moms know about and laugh over split milk. It’s a great way to get your fitness in with other moms and your baby.
6. Boosts your confidence!
I’m not sure about you but after a workout I feel sexier and more confident. I feel “accomplished”. My motivation to exercise is not about the scale or my pant size but to feel confident in the clothes I wear. It is to feel comfortable in my own skin to be intimate with my husband. When I workout everything is better— my mood, my food choices and even dealing with the daily struggles is easier.
So many moms struggle to pull in their lower belly after having a baby, naturally or a c-section. I have created a online home program that helps moms flatten their core, improve their posture and help eliminate some of the frustrations that come after having a baby! If you are interested in flattening your belly, click here.
7. You’re setting a good example!
So many moms stop exercising, meal prepping and taking care of themselves after having a baby. Yes, we are exhausted! Yes, we may have a little feeling of guilt if we exercise but you need to remember that you are setting a good example for your little ones. My little one started back exercising with me at 3 weeks after birth. You know what happened, she adjusted and got used to it. She’s now a year old and loves to dance to the music, do squats and play with my weights. I know that I am teaching her that fitness and health are a priority and even more important than that… fun!
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Exercise and Depression -WebMD: http://www.webmd.com/depression/guide/exercise-depression