5 Practical Health and Fitness Tips for New Moms
Whether you’re a seasoned mama, a brand new parent, or expecting a bundle of joy, you know (or will soon find out!) that motherhood, while a labor of love, is a full-time job. Especially on the first go-around, new moms are bound to encounter several challenges — from running on very little sleep to finding time for self-care. But with plenty of mindfulness and a little support, you’ll also discover that the strength to overcome the hurdles is right there within you!
You likely spent a good deal of effort optimizing your health throughout your pregnancy. When your baby’s health depends on it, there’s an extra boost of motivation. However, after your baby arrives, it’s just as important to follow a personal health and fitness regimen for your own sake. The flight attendant’s script before every plane take-off also happens to offer wise life advice: Put on your own oxygen mask before assisting others. Here’s how you can achieve it.
1. Don’t overcommit. Set goals within your reach and take baby steps toward each milestone. If you know you can’t swing a 1-hour gym session every day, start small by committing to three 45-minute workouts each week, such as a group boot camp class to keep you accountable. Ultimately, you simply want to get your feet moving, even if it’s a quick stroll on your favorite trail with baby and stroller in tow. If your little one is napping and you can’t get out of the house, bring the exercise to you! Try some yoga at home or a fun workout DVD in your living room.
2. Ask for help! Sometimes we all need a helping hand, and there is no shame in asking for it. This is especially true when you are a new mother adapting to a more demanding schedule. Ask a trusted family member, friend, or neighbor for help with childcare on a day when you could really use a brisk nature walk to clear your mind and get your blood pumping. You may also consider arranging a babysitting swap with your other parent friends. You’ll be happier and healthier when you tap into your support system.
3. Make a plan. While we all know life doesn’t always go according to plan (especially when young children are in the mix), it helps to make a weekly checklist you can reference for guidance when things get hectic. Leave space for some workout time and pat yourself on the back as you tick off each completed exercise session. Track your progress and make a game of improving your results each week.
4. Exercise early. Some of us aren’t morning people. However, when schedules are busting at the seams, early morning is often the best time to squeeze in some exercise or “me time” before other obligations stand in the way. If possible, do this before your spouse or partner leaves the house, or arrange for childcare.
5. Go easy on yourself. There will be days when the unexpected happens. Remember to go easy on yourself if you miss a scheduled workout. If you miss a day, just keep on truckin’.