The warm days ahead evoke a certain vibe that in this writer’s opinion cannot be matched by any other season. It is one that brings back memories of adolescence anticipating being out of school and running around with friends around the neighborhood and then going to the pool to cool off and relax.
However, if you’ve given birth recently, as I have.. you may not feel entirely “carefree” for many reasons. By the way, if you are an experienced mom sharing the same sentiments, don’t fret... this easily applies to you too. If one of the reasons for which you are not feeling carefree this season has to do with you wanting to feel like “yourself” again, know that your feelings are normal and valid. Do your best to be kind to yourself and acknowledge the remarkable feat that you’ve accomplished in providing life to another human being for nine months in your womb.
The feeling of wanting to fit back into your pre-pregnancy jeans/clothes could be the incentive you need to start a walking routine or going to the gym. However, some women are so hard on themselves in getting started. It is super important to recognize where you are currently and to respect it above all. Why is it important to do so? The truth is that it feels like a gargantuan feat to start from scratch. Primarily because subconsciously we don’t like to be uncomfortable, and the idea that something will be tough to do or conquer often times makes us feel that way.
Some Things To Consider To Get Started and Make Life Easier:
- Be Comfortable with Being Uncomfortable: Don’t be hard on yourself, respect and appreciate whatever state/stage you are currently in.
- Step out of your comfort zone knowing that you deserve to reach your goal.
- Ask yourself what it is you want to accomplish through a fitness routine: Do you want to have more energy, lose weight, gain strength, tone up?
- Set a goal and Timeline: When do you want to achieve that goal by (be realistic.. and beware of the tempting quick fixes such as pills, etc.)
- Ease into It: Start walking leisurely 20-30 minutes per day for 30 days then turn that into a power walking routine (in which you increase the speed of your steps and movement of arms to a more controlled swinging motion).
Some generally safe activities that are great to do in easing into shape along with walking are:
- Aqua jogging
- Vinyasa yoga
- Hatha yoga
Don't Compare yourself to another mom: You are unique. Your body is just as unique and so is your journey. Who knows how much the person you compare yourself to is struggling in her own way. It's not worth it so don't even entertain the thoughts when they creep up!
I recommend not starting a strength training program during the postpartum stage for a variety of reasons. Primarily because your body is still recovering from the trauma of birth. So again, be kind to yourself and resist the impulse to do everything at once.
NOTE: *If you are a new mom or experienced mother who is nursing, be mindful of taking in enough quality fluids to keep your milk production up.
Every baby learns to crawl before taking his/her first steps to walk... you must think of your journey just the same... as Baby Steps. Now lace up and get your body moving... starting with that first walk. :)
Getting into a healthy routine that will greatly benefit you as you give your all to your baby and children is obviously a wonderful goal to aim for. Understanding and appreciating where you are on YOUR JOURNEY is very important too. Be kind to yourself and do what you can to be consistent with exercise. To learn more individualized ways you can achieve your health and fitness goals, contact me. I'd be more than happy to help!
Have you been on hiatus from physical activity and haven't been able to get back to a routine that's comfortable and sustainable? Let me know.. chances are you may need to do something different in order for your body to accept the changes you've endured.
Disclaimer: This article has been written for educational purposes only with a personalized tone from the author. It is not meant to cure or treat any illness or disease you may suffer from. Please consult your doctor and/or specialist for specific medical concerns.