Greetings and welcome! My name is Jen, the creator and voice of StyleInShape.com, and today I’m thrilled to be taking over Ladies, Lattes, and Lifting with a special guest post on a topic near and dear to my heart – staying fit and confident after pregnancy.
Faith and I first connected through our mutual love for fitness and hit it off immediately, so I was really excited when she asked me to share my views on how to get over that post-baby fitness hurdle and reach those goals! As a mama of two, I know the struggle is real and so I’m sharing a few tips on how to get moving again and bring back that confidence!
It goes without saying that nine months of pregnancy plus delivery is not for the weak! The miracle of growing a tiny human takes its toll on your body, and that darling little baby girl or boy is a total package — complete with really long days, sleepless nights, and way too many days without a shower. There may be days you don’t even recognize the woman you see in the mirror. Any one, or a combination of these factors is enough to zap the will to workout from anyone.
Tips to Regain Fitness Confidence Post Pregnancy
You’ve got, usually six weeks (and sometimes longer), until your doctor will clear you for exercise. Having the right mindset is key to success, and this is the time to get yourself mentally prepared. Don’t get down and out if you don’t like what you see in the mirror — instead be proud that your body was strong enough to make that tiny human who has stolen your heart. That time will fly, and before you know it, your doctor will clear you to exercise and then you can start building your smoking hot new Mom-bod! Here are five things that helped me navigate what has been so appropriately described as the “Fourth Trimester”:
1. Let your body recover:
First and foremost, be kind to your body by listening to your doctor and taking the recommend amount of time off for recovery seriously. Your doctor will likely encourage you to go on walks in the weeks following delivery, but there will be basically nothing beyond that for a minimum of 6 weeks. Build on those walks- start at 10 minutes, then up your game to 20, then 30, etc. Babies love fresh air so make good use of that stroller you registered for and take the little peanut on a stroll.
2. Treat Yourself:
Carrying a baby is no easy task. You did an amazingly difficult thing. So for the first few weeks, go ahead and wear those maternity yoga pants and leggings and don’t think twice about it. However, it is time to break up with your maternity wear when your baby is about 3 weeks old. No exceptions. Trust me on this. Pick up a few staples to get you through the next few months. High waist leggings will give your tummy the support it needs. Pick tops that are semi-fit to loose-fit so they won’t be too tight, but yet can still showcase the new toned arms you are sporting thanks to the thousands of baby bicep curls you are now doing daily. You can grab pretty solid active wear pieces at Old Navy at justifiable prices. I can usually mix and match a sports bra, tee and compression leggings for just under $50 during a sale. My other favorite sportswear sale is when Victoria’s Secret does their sports bra and legging combo for only $50-$55.
3. Start small:
Once you are cleared to work out again you should start off with an assortment of postnatal workouts (Check out my DVD recommendations) and post-natal-friendly-modified versions of your favorite moves. It’s been weeks since you were really active, and months since you have been able to do really strenuous activity, and so it will take time to retrain your muscles. Consistency is the most important thing to remember. Keep showing up. Every workout, every move gets you closer to your goals.
4. Find 10 minutes:
Gone (for now, at least) are the days of 90 minute trips to the gym or 60 minute yoga flows at home. No matter how you slice it, new responsibilities jammed into the same 24 hour day means you are going to be busier than ever. Enter the concept of 10 minutes for yourself. This is less than 1% of the total time available in a day, and while you deserve way more than that to work on you — sometimes it’s just not an option in those early days! It sounds like such a little amount of time, and it really is, but it can also be so powerful. Take that 10 minutes to do a quick workout. Or take your 10 minutes to run through a yoga sequence (I like Vinyasa). Maybe on Wednesday’s you take your 10 minutes to meditate. Again, be consistent. Do it every day. Take 10 minutes a day to focus on your health and your well-being. Because time flies now that you’re a mom, the results will arrive before you know it!
5. Keep your mind right:
I touched on this above for the month following delivery, but it’s also important to keep our mental game strong now that we’re working out. One strategy, and this may sound cheesy, but try to speak to yourself like you would to your bestie. How would you motivate her? In addition, realize that you are prepared for whatever comes your way. You’ve read all the books, have a Pinterest board for just about everything now, and have people around you who have lived through what you’re going through. Every day is new, challenging, exciting, hard, rewarding, exhausting and filled with so much love. You got this girl, no matter what!
See, it’s as simple as that! I hope you find these helpful — they really helped me set the foundation to be more healthy and in better shape than I was before pregnancy!
Once you are given the all clear to workout, give this full body postpartum workout a try!
Grab an exercise band and, depending on your fitness level, complete 8-12 repetitions of each move. Use the exercise band for all of the arm exercises listed (like the shoulder press and bicep curls). Run through the lineup once and if baby is still napping complete a second time!
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