Good evening!! Late night post for you 🙂 I got little miss to sleep, Nick is in bed, and I brewed a cup of coffee for a late night of school work. Yep, school work. So here I sit, blogging and avoiding my school work 😉 I have recently started to workout again since giving birth and thought I would do a little post on that. Currently I am doing the Kayla Itsines 12 week BBG challenge (when I have time to do it) and I’m also getting back into my lifting program. It feels great, but I have learned some things along the way as well. Be nice to your body!! As much as I LOVE my workouts and the feeling I get after a good workout, right now my favorite workouts include morning stretch time with Jo, and planking over her cute little body and watching her smile at the ridiculous silly faces mommy makes at her.
Pregnancy changes your body in many ways, ways that I never even imagined. But I do not just mean changes to our outside appearance. Do you notice how we tend to only focus on the aesthetic side. It’s a bizarre focus really because in many ways, the biggest change is what happens internally. The feeling is indescribable and something I will not try to explain. You just change.
It has long been suggested that pregnancy alters your internal chemistry in such a way that fitness is harder to achieve. Sure, there’s some biological basis to it as well. There’s also the fact that when you have a new baby – and despite what celebrity magazines proclaim – you’re not focused on “getting your body back”. I LOVE health and fitness and I received many questions asking if I was just going crazy not being able to workout, but honestly, no. It just hasn’t been my focus, but now that I have gotten the go ahead from my Doctor, I have started to workout again and I am learning to love my post-pregnancy body, one step at a time 🙂 It’s actually all pretty freaking beautiful! Your body just carried this little human, pushed the baby out of you, and now your body is healing so that you can live your life chasing that little human around for the next 18 years 😉
So you’ve got your postpartum body and it is different; it’s inevitable. So is this the end? Are you doomed with a “mom body” as people call it, for the end of time?
Of course not. Take, for example, athletes. Tennis star Kim Clijsters gave birth to daughter Jada and then came back to win the US Open. British athlete Jessica Ennis-Hill became World Champion after having her son. And these are the elites! So of course you can return to your previous fitness form – and surpass it if you so choose to. Sure, there are some things that regardless how many burpees you do or weights you lift, some things will always be different. But is that so bad? What’s important is to get to a point where you love your body and are proud of it and feel beautiful if your own mommy skin 🙂
#1 – Reintroduce Yourself Slowly
So slowly. So very, very slowly. This is a marathon and it’s also a marathon you’re not prepared for – so be careful with it. I will be honest with you all and say I made this mistake. I was SO excited to get my first lift in after the Doctor gave me to go that I jumped right in and tried the weight I was lifting during pregnancy. Well…. I just took 6 weeks off and you lose muscle fast! I had some pretty sore core muscles (and not the good sore) and I felt pretty silly with myself. It’s not worth it!! Take it slow!
The best way to begin is with something simple, like walking. Walking is good! This is made even easier in that you can team it with a stroller, so you get a little baby time as well. The key step is to support your body. If you have any previous injuries, tape them. Use support wherever you need to: thighs, bra, any areas you are concerned about. Make sure you have the right shoes for the job, I’m huge into reviews before I buy things, here are some reviews of the best walking shoes for women.
A walk around the block a few times a week is a good way to begin. Or mall walking with your babes in the stroller during the winter months!
#2 – Forget What You Knew Before
Ding ding ding! I need to take my own advice! If you used to be able to do X number of reps or run for X number of miles, then forget them. You can use them as goals if you really want to, but generally, it’s best to forget those numbers and create all new numbers for yourself!
If you push to try and regain your previous stats, then you’re facing an uphill battle that you don’t need. Instead, set new records and teach yourself to find assurance in them as they improve. It doesn’t matter what you could do a year ago; look at how you compare to what you could do a week ago.
#3 – Swim
Swimming is great for your body in a variety of ways, but it’s particularly good for the new Mom. It’s also something you can share with your child as they get older. Nick and I were just chatting how we can’t wait to take JoMarie swimming for the first time! Not only is swimming a decent cardio workout, but it will also help toned and strong – all in the supportive environment of good old H20.
Just remember to take it easy on yourself and love your body! The changes can be so hard, but they are so beautiful as well. Loving your baby is your main focus right now, everything else will come when it’s supposed to 🙂