Ready to get back to your pre-baby/pre-pregnancy fitness levels? Here are some tips and ideas for the road ahead from fit mom and For Two Fitness ambassador, Rosi. Remember, it took nine months for this human being to be made and for your body to accommodate that process. Don’t be in an unhealthy rush to get back, listen to your body, make fitness decisions that are best for you, pay attention to your diet, and you WILL get there. This will be a fabulous journey you will be so proud of yourself for taking.
My name is Rosi, I’m a new mom to my beautiful three month old daughter Emma. Other titles I hold are NSCA-CSCS, certified PE teacher, Turbo Kick instructor, blogger and wife. Currently I am taking this year off of teaching to stay home with my baby girl while pursuing a fitness career with the hope of maintaining flexibility in my schedule to stay home and raise our children. You can visit my blog at perfectlyfitt.com, and follow me on Twitter @PerfectlyFitt, Instagram @Perfectlyfitt1, and Facebook at facebook.com/perfectlyfitt. I would love to get to know you.
The first and most important tip I can share with you to successfully starting your journey of postpartum fitness is to stay fit while pregnant! Talk to your doctor about your fitness habits prior to pregnancy so the two of you are on the same page when it comes to your fitness during pregnancy. Typically you can do whatever you were doing before pregnancy during pregnancy with modifications here and there but ALWAYS speak with your doctor about your fitness wishes first.
By keeping up your fitness during pregnancy it will make your return postpartum much more pleasant. That being said there are a few factors to consider when returning to a fitness plan postpartum. My personal experience of childbirth had me sidelined for about four weeks. Each woman’s delivery experience is different and that will affect how quickly you feel ready to exercise again. Make sure you speak with your doctor prior to resuming your activities likely if you were active before and during pregnancy they will be ok with you starting when you are ready but always best to discuss it with them first.
Once you are ready to get going again, and have the green light, there are a lot of great ways to get yourself back in the swing of things.
1. Walking, swimming, and the elliptical. These are great ways to get your cardio back in the books. Walking is a wonderful form of exercise that a lot of people brush off thinking it’s not intense enough to have an effect. False. Walking is an excellent way to get the heart rate up and spike the metabolism. Going for a swim and hopping on the elliptical are great forms of cardio that eliminate impact on the body as you workout.
3. Strength Training. I suggest starting up your strength training again with body weight exercises and light weights, no more than five pounds. When I began I started with upper body exercises. Using my three and five pound dumbbells I did basic bicep curls, hammer curls, shoulder press, tricep overhead extensions, chest press and chest fly lying on the floor with my hips raised, and bent over and upright rows. Because I was using light weights I would do a high number of reps. Remember to always stay with what feels most comfortable for you. Once I was ready I began doing body weight squats and modified push-ups. With squats go only as low as you are comfortable and as time goes one gradually drop your squat lower when you are ready. Modified push-ups are a good start as your abdominals have been stretched greatly in your pregnancy and push-ups require a lot of core strength so as your muscles make their way back the modified position won’t put too much strain on them.
You’ve gotten the ok from the doctor to resume normal activities? Remember that throughout your pregnancy the intensity of your workouts likely declined and during your recovery postpartum when you were not active you likely dropped a few rungs on your fitness ladder. DO NOT let this discourage you. Think of it as an opportunity to apply all your fitness knowledge to get back to where you were before or better! Resume your regular fitness activities as you are ready and listen carefully to your body. It just did an amazing thing and even though we are cleared six to eight weeks postpartum our bodies are still working to put everything back in its place. Add as you are ready and if something doesn’t feel right it’s probably not. Back off and let yourself get there in time.
Congratulations on your pregnancy and enjoy the journey!
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Please welcome Alyssa, our latest For Two Fitness Ambassador! Alyssa is the mom of two young girls, and is excited to have number 3 on the way. She keeps fit during pregnancy and postnatal times by walking, practicing yoga, and doing low impact strength training. Alyssa has run a number of half marathons, and is looking forward to participating in one in 2019. Please follow Alyssa on her website.