Today, we are pleased to feature Amanda Perry, a 31 year old nutrition and fitness fanatic and mom to a beautiful baby boy born on June 4, 2011. On her blog, Sistas of Strength, she provides nutrition and fitness advice, including recommended workouts and recipes.
Additionally, she shares tips for staying fit during pregnancy and getting fit after having a baby (banishing the baby bulge). She is currently training for the Russian Kettlebell Certification (RKC) in April 2012 and co-owns Skill of Strength, a company that provides personal training, group training and kettlebell training, with her husband. Read on for her take on ways new moms can get back into fitness…
5 Ways for New Moms to Get Fit
I’m going to be 100% honest. The best way to get back into fitness as a new mom is to never do away with it in the first place! Now, let’s assume the reason you’re reading this is because it’s too late and you’ve already given your training regimen the ‘ole boot in the butt, whether by choice or because of something completely out of your control (difficult pregnancy, complications recovering, etc.).
What’s the best thing you can do? Move your body right now. Or next time your baby naps. Or after your baby goes to bed. Or tomorrow morning before your baby gets up. Get my point? You’re a new mom now and if you wait for the perfect time to exercise, it’s never going to happen.
Here’s a few tips to help you get started on your journey back to fitness!
1.Find a time that is going to work for you.
Put your workouts in your calendar and stick to them. If possible, schedule your workouts at a time when someone else can care for your baby, for example before your husband goes to work or after he gets home. Fitting in workouts when you have a baby is tricky, but possible. If you have to take care of your baby while you workout, I bet you can find a way to make that happen. I usually workout at home before my baby wakes up, but sometimes I train at home while he plays with his favorite toy(s). The activity mat used to be awesome for this when he was younger!
2.Set mini goals and reward yourself.
Aim for a certain number of workouts each week and set some postnatal nutrition goals for yourself. If you achieve these goals (and you will!), reward yourself every few months with a new pair of shoes, a shirt or a massage. Even better, make that reward a session with a personal trainer to learn new exercises and perfect your form!
3.Do workouts that are effective.
Walking is good and it’s something you can do with your baby. However, let’s count walking as a bonus in addition to your workouts. And please, pretty please, stop spending your entire workout on a cardio machine and try some strength training. You will not bulk up and in fact if you follow a decent strength training program and keep your nutrition in check I promise that the opposite will happen. Strength training and kettlebells are awesome for new moms because you can train effectively and efficiently. No more spending hours at the gym!
Something else I’ve learned about being a mom is that you’re going to be shorter on time than ever before. You may have a great baby and have things under control, but sometimes he/she is going to need more attention than others. If you have to stink a little because you made time to get that workout in, but didn’t have enough time for a shower, so be it. You’ll get around to it eventually!
5.Like your workout clothes.
Put your workout clothes on when you get up in the morning. (Obviously if you are going to work and plan to train later in the day this isn’t an appropriate option.) If you wake up and get dressed for your workout, you’ll be more likely to get it done. You can still go about your daily routine at home or run some errands if you’re not planning to exercise until later, but why not be prepared ahead of time? Bonus: if you have to keep these clothes on for a bit after your workout because you don’t have time to shower (see above) you’ll look cute even though you may smell bad.
It certainly doesn’t get easier to find time to exercise when you’re a new mom. In fact, there isn’t much about life that gets easier when you’re a mom, but I truly believe you can squeeze a lot more into your day than you ever thought possible.
Fortunately, I was able to work out during my entire pregnancy and I was also able to dive right back into working out after having my son. I am currently training for the RKC which has been an awesome way for me to stick to my training goals. It’s also been helpful to have a goal outside of simply losing the baby weight to focus on. Instead of worrying about my weight, I’m focusing on getting stronger and the losing the baby weight is a nice side effect.
Any other new moms have a favorite tip on how to best get back into fitness?
Do you ever worry that you’re not getting enough nutrients from real food during pregnancy? Are you familiar with the Alphas and Omegas of pregnancy? Read the “nutrition during pregnancy” basics as it relates to alphas and omegas from fit mom and wellness expert, Kasey Shuler.
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