Heal your Mind and Body with These 5 Postpartum Fitness Tips
Posted on 30 November 2016
As a new mother, you might be concerned with getting back in shape. After nine long and hard months, mustering the courage even to return to a workout routine is an achievement in itself. There’s no doubt, your responsibility doubles after giving birth to new life. Taking care of both the baby and yourself seems hard, but it doesn’t mean you should ignore your health and fitness. There are many women who struggle with getting back in a consistent gym or workout routine after delivery, so know that you’re not alone and that it can be done.
Pregnancy puts a huge load on the mind and body of a woman. And after pregnancy, it’s important to heal the mind and body while taking care of yourself. Here we’ll give you five postpartum fitness tips that will help ease your journey to healing your mind and body:
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1. Exercise when your baby is sleeping
Try getting in some exercise when your little one sleeps. And, remember that what’s more important than quantity is the quality of your exercise. Regardless of whether you get 10 minutes or an hour, use it to do some easy and effective exercises.
Do wall push-ups, squats, jog or walk on the treadmill or use a spin bike at home. You can also do yoga or some stretching, planks or air squats. Doing this doesn’t mean you have to lift heavy weights, your body weight will do just fine.
As your baby grows a little, you can even add him/her to your workout routine. A growing baby is a great weight. You can hold your baby while doing squats, lunges or even overhead lifts and sit ups to build some additional strength . There’s no doubt that interruptions will occur, but pick up the exercise where you left off as often as you can.
2. Try a new physical activity each week.
There are many types of physical activities out there that you can employ to make your workouts fun. You could take your baby out for long walks in a stroller, or you could dance or even skip in front of your baby. Babies love to observe and examine; that’s their thing. So, by mixing things up, not only will you keep things interesting and fun for yourself but you’ll also be exposing your newborn to a healthy and active lifestyle.
3. Take baby steps
Do not rush into any workout activity quickly. After pregnancy, your body will begin to transform so that you can take care of your unborn baby. The body takes time recovering and getting back to its pre-pregnancy state. Even doctors and many fitness experts recommend that woman who have recently given birth should wait to resume their fitness routine. You should only start working out again when bleeding stops and your doctor gives you the all clear.
Taking on serious, rigorous exercise may put a negative impact on your health and body. If a mother has C-section, then she should wait at least six weeks  and then start her fitness routine after consulting a doctor. In the few weeks after a vaginal delivery of the child, walking, light housework, and swimming is highly recommended and the best physical activity to get back in shape.
4. Eat healthy and nourishing foods
Regardless of whether you had a C-section or not, you need proper nutrients in your daily diet. Having "baby weight" does not mean that you should go on a diet. After child birth, your body experiences several hormonal changes that are involved with the production of milk.
Breast-feeding increases your caloric needs by almost 300 calories according to the Ohio State University Extension (6). Which is roughly around the same number as pregnancy. As a nursing mom, your body needs proper nutrients and slightly more protein compared to non-nursing women.
You should eat plenty of whole grains, fresh fruits and vegetables, and good fat. Look to eat fish at least two times a week, if possible, which will give you omega-3s, and cook your food in olive oil or vegetable oil. Avoid cooking in saturated fats such as butter and coconut oil.
5. Drink water and rest when you can
Becoming a new mother gives you joy, but it can be stressful, too. Exercise and looking after a child can make you feel tired and restless. Therefore, you need to listen to your body and rest it regularly so that it recovers and heals well. Don't be afraid to ask for help caring for your little one if it's available. Be kind to your body and drink plenty of water, do yoga and cuddle with your baby when you’re tired.
Author Bio: Andrew is the founder and CEO at Aim Workout. As a passionate fitness professional and triathlete, there is no adventure he won’t embark on. From mountain biking, deep sea diving, rock climbing and cycling to boxing and mixed martial arts, Andrew has a penchant for the wild and extreme.