Happy Wednesday friends! If you are just joining the Losing The Baby Weight series welcome!
Here are the topics that have previously been covered:
Wednesday, June 12: Pregnancy & Exercise
Wednesday, June 19: What To Expect After You Deliver
Wednesday, June 26: The First Six Weeks
Wednesday, July 3: Nutrition
I am proof that it is possible to be in even better shape after you have a baby. Carrying around my 20 pound little man is the best exercise there is. Handwork, good nutrition, and lots of motivation do make a difference. It just takes time and effort. Being a mom is a full time job and I have learned to make the most of the time I have to workout. I train at a higher intensity to make sure I am getting every minute I can out of my workouts. It is really neat to look back over the last few months and see my progress.
If you would like to read more about my monthly progress check out my 8 MONTH, 9 MONTH, and 10 MONTH after baby stats. I am sharing a photo of me 9 months after Caden was born and a comparison photo of my tummy before pregnancy and 8 Months after baby.
Hopefully these photo’s give you encouragement that it is totally possible to reclaim your body after having a baby. Every mama’s return to her post baby body is going to look different depending on how she took care of herself before, during, and after pregnancy. Be sure to read about The First Six Weeks HERE if you haven’t already. The first step before you start those heavy sweat sessions is to make sure you have been cleared by your doctor. Today I am going to share a few general tips and what worked for me in my recovery.
Intensity, Duration, and Frequency of Exercise
For the majority of people that hardest part of exercising is getting started. There are so many excuses that all of us can use in our daily lives for reason why we didn’t exercise during the day. I am going to break down a simple way for you to plan your next workout.
Intensity: How hard are you working during your workout? Can you hold a conversation? This would indicate that it is a lower intensity and should be done for a longer duration. Walking would be an example of a lower intensity exercise. High intensity workouts include HITT and CrossFit.
Duration: How long do you want your session to last? This will depend on how much intensity you are training at for the day and what type of workout you are performing. If you are short on time a workout at a higher intensity would be most beneficial because you can more calories in a shorter time span. These workouts can last between 15-30 minutes. But they are hard. If you can get up off the floor and hold a conversation after this type of workout you are not working hard enough.
Frequency: How often are you exercising? How many days a week are you going to workout? If you are only going to workout 3 days a week these workouts will need to be at a higher intensity level and for a longer duration to see the results you are hoping for.
I feel like I would be doing new mama’s a disservice by not including information on abdominal separation in this post. This is what happens when the Rectus Abdominis becomes overly stretched and separates into right and left halves. This muscle is usually joined in the middle but if it becomes separated during pregnancy the core is weakened and results in a pooched tummy that doesn’t seem to go away even with a proper diet and exercise. If you would like more information on Diastasis Recti and how to determine if you have it and what you can do to treat it click HERE to read a great article by Bikini Body Mommy.
As soon as you can move, do it. Two days after Caden was born we went on our first family walk. I didn’t move very fast or walk very far but each day I gradually increased my speed and distance. By the time he was 2 weeks old we were averaging 2 miles a day walking around our neighborhood.
Build Your At Home Gym
Weights, DVD’s, a mat, jump rope, and water bottle are awesome items that can be added to your baby registry. The key to success is to plan ahead. Even if you have a gym membership somedays it is just easier to stay at home. I really had great results with Jillian Michels 30 Day Shred.
This is so important! The accountability of a friend is huge. Staying committed to exercising for the day becomes a lot easier when you know another person is meeting you. I have several friends who I can swim, run, cycle, yoga, or lift weights with. Lots of workout buddies are awesome!
Don’t be afraid of strength training. Resistance training speeds up your metabolism. If you want to loose weight lift weights. Use dumbbells or hold on to your baby while you do a few rounds of squats and lunges. Target big muscles groups because they will burn more calories. Or better yet do compound exercises like squats with an overhead press and lunges with biceps curls for an even greater calorie burn.
Schedule Yourself On The Calendar
Mommy’s, we need to make ourselves a priority. Grab your calendars and plan out your workouts for the week ahead of time. You will be more likely to stick to your workouts and also make sure that you are getting in the right amount of strength, cardio, and flexibility training each week. If you like to workout early in the morning layout the clothes you are going to wear and have your gym bag packed the night before. Many times I would have not made it out of bed when my alarm would go off at 4:30am (before Caden was born) if I had not had everything ready to go for my morning workouts. Find a time that works best for you and your family and stick with it or better yet bring them along for a family walk/jog/run/yoga class/workout.
Once Caden was born I worked out while he napped or kept him next to me on his blanket while I exercised. Now that he is moving more he enjoys going for runs with me in the stroller or I use him as a weight for squats, lunges, deadlifts, and curls. It is like playtime for him and I am getting a great workout!
Dress For Success When You Exercise
Throw away your sweat pants and oversized t-shirts. They will get in the way of your workout and also make you look bigger. Dress modest and cute while getting your sweat on without causing others to be distracted by skimpy outfits.
Write Down Your Goals
Make sure you know what you are working towards. Don’t limit yourself to only health and wellness goals. What other area’s of your life are you wanting to grow in? Setting goals for each area of your life will create balance and create a happier you. You can read my goals HERE.
Be The Example
We all want our children to grow up to be happy and healthy individuals. The best place they can learn this is at home. Include your kids in your workouts. Love yourself and love your body. We are all works in progress and each day is an opportunity to move forward towards your goals and dreams.
Remember exercise is just one part of the equation. I hope this series was helpful for you. Be on the lookout for workouts on this blog to keep you motivated in your healthy lifestyle journey.
Thanks for reading and for leaving comments! They really do make my day!