Motherhood, particularly for first timers, often feels like trying to solve a Rubik’s cube with a blindfold on! On top of everything this new role brings you, you may also be wondering how and when to safely return to exercising.
Wendy Powell, the founder of the leading medically recommended postpartum support program, MUTU System, which works with over 68,000 women in more than 150 countries, has some simple and approachable tips to get you back to the exercise routine that you so sorely miss....
Though you may want to immediately jump into working out, you may want to first see where you are at in terms of post-pregnancy recovery. Though every pregnancy is unique, Wendy suggests:
C section or complicated vaginal delivery - At the very least 10 weeks before embarking on any form of exercise. It starts with just slow, low impact core and pelvic floor work.
Normal vaginal birth. No complications - Medical advice is 6 weeks, but start with very low impact core and pelvic floor work before anything else.
Avoid high impact exercise until you’ve focused on core and pelvic floor strength - Your body will thank you in the long run.
See a women’s health PT or physiotherapist - This isn’t accessible to all women, but a women’s health PT will be able to assess you in-person, and determine when you can return to the exercise and do the sport you love again.
Always seek approval from your doctor, but listen to your body as well - You may have gotten the all clear, but listen to your body.
And once you are ready physically, mentally, and emotionally get back into exercising, follow these simple yet effective tips:
Spending time with your newborn is precious. However, it is all too easy to forget that you need time for yourself as well. When it comes to getting back into an exercise routine, it is ok to make time for yourself and let someone else hold your baby for just a little while!
It is easy to forget that we are still human despite having a little person to look after. It is important to remember that you still matter and having that time for yourself still gives you that time to enjoy having your baby — especially before you have a crawler and then a walker that gets into everything!
Always remember that you are not in this alone. There will always be someone to provide you with support and none are better than your partner. Talk to them and explain that it is important for you to take this time for yourself and exercise and let your partner bond with the baby. It will be the best of both worlds!
Make things easier for yourself by changing things up a bit! Start by setting your alarm just 20 minutes earlier to get up and get your body moving. Doing a workout from home will cut down travel time to the gym and allow you to spend as much quality time with your baby as possible. You could also find a quiet space in the office during lunch to do some core work.
Another good thing to do is to log off social media for a week. It’s amazing how long we spend aimlessly scrolling when minutes are so precious in our lives. You will be surprised how much more time you will find for yourself when you turn off any and all social media.
In the evening or on weekends you could even cut down on TV time to work on "Project You" – you will be surprised how small changes to your routine can make a big difference.
Being a mommy is tough. Your life has changed forever, and on this journey you will realize that not every day and every moment will go as planned.One day you may get that chance to do a killer workout and others you may be met with chaos, baby poop and forgetting to feed yourself.
Just remember that it is ok to give yourself grace and a fresh start for tomorrow. Missing one day is not the end of the world; just pick yourself back up and start over fresh!
Don’t use your little ones as an excuse to stop you from working out, but instead have them join you. The MUTU System is perfect for all the family to get involved and can prove to be a great time to bond with one another. Whether you have toddlers or a tiny baby, you can incorporate them in many ways!