5 Simple Habits For New Mums to Get Back to Fitness and Health
Your body has just encountered one of the most remarkable things it will probably ever go through: growing another human being inside of it. Throughout your pregnancy, you most likely had to adjust your eating and lifestyle to facilitate the growth and development of your baby.
Whether or not you had a healthy routine of habits before your pregnancy, these common lifestyle changes mums have to make during their pregnancy can throw a lot of them off-track. If you’re like most new mums looking to get back on track for a fit and healthy life, read on as personal trainer and mother of two, Flavia, shares some simple lifestyle habits to help steer you back on track as a fit and healthy new mum!
1. Get the sleep you need
After having a baby, your body will need more sleep than ever before. But of course, if your baby is awake, so are you. This means that essentially, new parents are constantly on call to comfort and feed the baby throughout the night resulting in a very fragmented sleep schedule. It’s typical for new parents to find themselves sleep-deprived, but there are some helpful sleep tips to help you reach your sleep quota.
Make up for lost sleep by allowing yourself to sleep a little bit more on the weekends. Two or three extra hours can be beneficial, but just don’t overdose on sleep either as this can start to interfere with bedtime, ultimately causing an entirely new cycle of deprivation.
Especially on days when you’re running on a mere few hours of sleep, make sure you prioritise taking some downtime to rest. Whenever the baby is asleep, put aside your phone, forget about responding to messages or doing chores, and take the opportunity to catch a well-deserved nap too.
During the third trimester of pregnancy, breathing may get more difficult and shallow depending on the position of the developing baby’s head. There’s a connection between breathing and pelvic floor activation, and this is where meditation can help women re-train her breathing pattern to bring it back to normal.
Many women feel like they should be meditating, but never really know how. There are several meditation phone apps that can help guide you through your meditations, so have a browse through a few and see which ones work best for you!
Besides being one of the ways to retrain your breathing patterns, meditation and mindfulness exercises can also help new mums take control of their day and remain calm as they adjust to a new life. It’s a great way to help women cope with the demands of being a new mom.
3. Get your nutrition right
Your diet after childbirth helps your body recover, lose any unwanted baby weight, and gives you the energy you need to take care of your baby. For breastfeeding mums, good nutrition also matters for increasing your milk supply, and ensuring that your baby gets everything all the nutrients it needs from your breast milk for proper growth and development.
When you’re lactating, you have greater nutrient needs to fulfill both the baby’s needs and your own. Because of this, it’s important to eat a variety of nutritious, whole foods to ensure you’re getting all those nutrients for you and the baby. Some nutrient-dense foods that you can and should enjoy while breastfeeding includes meats, seafood, eggs, grains and legumes.
When you’re tired or are in need of a pick-me-up, avoid reaching out for sugary snacks. Instead, try snacks like fruits or nuts and seeds!
4. Train smart
You shouldn’t feel the need to rush back into your workouts soon after giving birth.
Flavia suggests getting back on track with your training routine by slowly rebuilding your core strength. Developing your core will help you keep up with the little ones, reduce lower back pain and improve postpartum recovery and general health.
We understand that it can be difficult to find the time to workout with a new baby on board. Some mums might even find themselves feeling guilty taking time out of the day to spend on something like working out. Remember that it’s okay to take the time to do things for yourself, even when there’s a new baby around. If you’d like to minimize your time spent exercising, it can help to train smarter so you don’t have to train longer. Try working out with a trainer so he or she can guide you through quick, yet effective workouts!
5. Be realistic and be kind to yourself
New mums often have the goal of getting back to their pre-baby weight. While having this goal is fine to strive for, know that there’s no pressure in rushing back to achieving that pre-baby body so soon. Focusing on this too much can create a lot of unhealthy mental stress, negative emotions and frustrations.
The postpartum period should be a time for you to allow your body and mind to heal while enjoying the wonderful bond between yourself and the baby. Don’t fall for any unnecessary pressure, and make sure you enjoy the beauty of motherhood, because there’s nothing else in the world that you’ll be able to experience quite like being a mom.
Need help getting back on track with your fitness?
Flavia designs a bespoke workout plan to strengthen and tone your body with additional expertise in massage therapy which enables her to combine her knowledge of Anatomy and Physiology, human mind and sports and fitness to provide a holistic wellness approach.
She has a Personal Training diploma from the American Council on Exercise, and ITEC level 3 Certificates for Anatomy & Physiology and Holistic Massage Therapist with CPR and AED certifications as well. Flavia is continuously developing her skills and is currently studying to become an Integrative Nutrition Health Coach.
With a holistic approach to life and engaging with women that want to integrate an exercise and nutritional programme to build a better body and state of mind is her goal.
Click here for Flavia’s full bio.