Being a new mother means you’re going to experience a whole new way of doing things. Sleeping through the night? Forget about it. Hanging out with friends and coworkers every day after work? Probably not the best idea. And what about exercising? This could be just as difficult to pencil in on your new schedule.
As with all major life changes, we adapt, but it’ll take some time. However, lacing up your shoes and getting some physical activity isn’t as difficult for new moms as some may think.
Each new mom has a different recovery period after giving birth. But, there are a few exercises that can get you back in the swing of things such as yoga and walking. If you’re ready to get your new body up and running, start with these exercise ideas for new mothers.
Excersises for New Mothers
Over the past 40 weeks, your body has gone through rapid changes. Now that your precious baby is in this world, your body is trying to return back to normal. You should spend your first 6 weeks post-natal recovering, bonding with your baby, and doing simple exercises such as Kegels. Your pelvic floor consists of muscles such as the bladder, uterus, and rectum. During pregnancy and after birth, these muscles stretch and loosen. This can then lead to incontinence, which is the lack of control over urination and defecation. If you suffer from this, you can purchase HDIS incontinence supplies or strengthen your pelvic floor muscles with Kegel exercises.
Strengthening your pelvic floor isn’t difficult and can be rebuilt with Kegel exercises. If you find yourself leaking after coughing, sneezing, or lifting something, refer to this information on Kegel exercises:
- Identifying Pelvic Floor Muscles: When you go to the bathroom, stop urinating midstream—the muscles you use to stop urinating are your pelvic floor muscles.
- Starting Out: On an empty bladder, gently tighten your pelvic floor muscles and hold these contractions for two seconds, and release for two seconds. Repeat ten times. Do these three to four times a day.
- Gaining Strength: As you grow stronger, increase your contractions to five or ten seconds, release for five to ten seconds, and do three to four times a day.
- Maintaining Control: Now that you’ve strengthened your pelvic floor muscles, try holding a contraction for as long as possible, up to sixty seconds.
You may not look at walking as a workout, but it’s one of the easiest ways for new moms to get back into their workout routine. Going outside and getting fresh air will increase energy levels and overall mood. Walking can also be done with your newborn and serve as a new way to bond while still getting active. Additionally, bringing your baby along will add extra weight, serving as a way to strengthen your muscles. After pregnancy, you may have weak or swollen ankles, so investing in comfortable shoes, such as Under Armour running shoes, will provide enough cushion and support to get you out the door.
When walking, start at a leisurely pace. As you begin to feel stronger, experiment with faster paces and different motions, such as walking in zigzags or backward to keep your muscles on their toes. However, keep your little one home when you try these new movements out until you feel comfortable with your balance and mobility.
From breastfeeding to rocking your baby to sleep, finding time for yourself may seem near to impossible. Remember, taking a moment to breathe and have a moment to be alone isn’t selfish—it’s necessary. Yoga is a great way for new moms to relax, clear their mind, and strengthen their body. Yoga allows new moms to increase their flexibility, improve posture, get better sleep, and alleviate anxiety and post-partum depression.
- Forearm Plank Pose: Bring yourself into a plank pose with your forearms on the floor with your back, hips, legs, chest, and shoulders aligned.
- Bridge Pose: Lie on your back, place your feet firmly on the floor, put your arms by your side, and lift your hips up.
- Child’s Pose: On the floor, bring your knees wide apart while touching your toes together and bring your forehead to the floor. Focus on your pelvic floor muscles and try lifting them up and in.
After birth, your joints and ligaments will be looser and weaker due to a hormone called Relaxin that prepares these joints and ligaments to expand during labor. Swimming is a great exercise that helps you build strength while reducing pressure on your joints. So, grab your Speedo swimming cap and goggles and make a splash! Swimming will strengthen both your core and back muscles. Pregnancy, breastfeeding and carrying a baby all weaken the posture of new moms. Swimming will help build muscles that strengthen posture and boost energy levels due to endorphins being released.
Being a new mom is tough work! From feeding to changing diapers, finding time to return to your normal routine can take some time. With these exercise ideas for new mothers, you’ll boost your mood and your muscles in no time.