NOTE: Consult with your primary care provider before beginning any fitness regimen. The advice given here is NOT a substitute for sound medical advice/opinion.
Pregnancy- a life giving birth to another life. It’s a beautiful thing. One downside of this is the excess weight that the mother packed on carrying the child to term. This article is about ways to shed these excess pounds and possibly regain the body you once had.
In today’s society, it is all about looks. For new moms, that is magnified to the Nth degree. While I’m quite sure many of you ladies who have carried a child to term are itching to get back to the gym to shed the baby weight … do not neglect your six-week window of healing. The six-week checkup is very important. Do not neglect this- it could very well mean the difference between life and death.
Here are a few tips to get going in the direction you feel you need to go.
1) Don’t diet too soon: You are going to need all the energy you can muster to tackle the new and awesome responsibility of being a mom. As stated earlier, please wait until your six-week postnatal checkup to start dieting. Even then, seek the advice of your care provider..
2) Be realistic about your weight loss goals. We are all eager to “get in gear “when it comes to fitness. We all have to be realistic about our goals, our intents and our bodies. This is even more the case for new moms. All of us have to accept reality at some point of our limitations- that’s perfectly fine, natural and good that you do so. With motherhood, as in life things permanently change. New moms may experience having wider hips, softer bellies, maybe even a larger waistline. Accepting limitations for most is a somber reality to take, but it must be done. Please adjust your goals accordingly.
3) Embrace exercise. The reality of fitness for postnatal women is almost exactly the same as with all people- you have to put the work in, make it fun and be patient. There is no magic pill, elixir that will ever get you where you want to go fitness-wise. Exercise, then diet. Being more active is crucial. Even if it’s just walking you new bundle of joy around the block a few times a week, it’s much better than nothing.
4) Network with others. Networking is not just for businesspeople. The camaraderie, socialization and cohesiveness that come with support groups and activity groups are absolutely necessary. It will do wonders for your psyche, your attitude and who can’t use some new friends? Don’t forget your family, friends and your spouse. Their support is crucial, especially your spouse.
HOW TO STAY MOTIVATED
Again, I must state, though the prospect of being a new mom is challenging (and perhaps intimidating), the same problems and challenges weave their way into all situations. Motivation is definitely one of those. In my opinion, the issue of motivation is one that will haunt you if you don’t answer it. For new moms… and anyone else… my opinion on staying motivated is clear. Look at what you want out of life. Now, picture your fitness regimen in it. Now imagine your life without it. Does it fit your lifestyle? Can you put all of yourself in it? Is it fun? Will you be able to see progress? It’s things like this that can spur you to action or stop you dead in your tracks. Visualization of your achieved goal is paramount. Without a clear visual concept of your desired goals… what are you doing it for?
In closing, these pointers for those of you who are new moms (and anyone else interested in reading) should be a good starting point for new moms and their friends and families to start with. No one wins without executing a well thought out gameplan. This will hopefully help new moms get fit in a more practical, healthful manner.
Here is a sample workout for those interested.