Understand the changes your body has experienced from pregnancy to learn how to boost your fitness after baby.
The basics to fitness after baby
Whether you were “in shape” before baby or not, the principles are the same. Eat clean, follow a fitness routine, minimize stress, and choose a goal that keeps you motivated. I know that doing all of those at once may seem like taking on a lot, especially with a new baby. Choosing one focus at a time will break down this big goal of “regaining your fitness after baby” into a bunch of little ones! Check out my quick tips here!
Have you ever heard someone say that any goal is possible, you just have to break it down into tiny smaller goals? The idea behind it is that you will feel accomplished along the way as you can track your success. Then you won’t feel overwhelmed and tempted to quit because it’s just too much.
Depending where you are in your health voyage, certain baby steps are easier than others. For example, if you are newly postpartum, you are probably not even cleared to workout yet. Plus, getting a lot of sleep is not really possible. You CAN focus on your diet and establishing a good foundation. Especially if you are nursing, your diet will already be a concern.
Maybe you are 6 months in, baby has a schedule, you feel good, and everyone is sleeping for the most part. Building a fitness routine may be the place to focus. After 2 kids, working night shift, all while being a “stay at home mom,” I can help you establish an effective workout routine as a busy mom. If you are concerned about starting a workout schedule that won’t affect your supply I have a whole post about it here!
Sit down and write out your baby steps, then organize them in the most efficient way you can according to your life right now. You can always go back and adjust! Aaaand if you want a visual aide, I have a very exclusive Accountability Chart that can help you stay on track!
Will your body ever be the same after having a baby?
Woo! That’s a loaded question? LOL. I get it, I thought that too with every pregnancy. I feel like you only ever hear the negative side, that your body will never be the same. That makes you feel good, doesn’t it? Take it with a grain of salt. Yes, there are major changes that happen to our bodies that we can’t undo. I am NOT a doctor, so I can’t give you a biological breakdown, this is all from my experience as a mom. But don’t let that kind of statement make you feel defeated.
The way I see it, it boosts my confidence and appreciation for what my body can do! Heck, I laugh at my pre-baby self. I thought I was in such good shape because I worked so hard for it. That was true of course, but it is a lot easier to stay in shape when you are a young woman that has never had children. That has never gained 30+ pounds, lost it, then regained her same fitness level as before! I am much more impressed with myself now than I ever was. Plus, it reminds me that if I could do that, then I can achieve any fitness goal.
So don’t let the excuses and scary threats make you feel as if your pre-pregnancy body will never be attainable. It may take time, but you can and will feel great again. You just have to fight for it!
How does your body change after baby?
The “mom bod.” That is what you are thinking of, right? An ill defined, yet widely understood term. For me, it looked a lot like this.
Including, a lot of extra weight then I had before my pregnancy. For starters, pregnancy itself causes most of the change. Weakened abdominals, muscular imbalances, possibly joint and muscle pain? All of these affect more than just your fitness and workouts. They can even encourage bad habits that we develop postpartum. The common theme with these changes are adjustments to the musculoskeletal system.
I am talking about posture. The instant fix for mom bod. I don’t know for a fact, but I would be sure that every woman has to address this issue after her baby. The easiest way to address posture is by identifying and breaking bad posture habits we develop while caring for a newborn. I go into depth about those bad habits here.
Fixing your posture will not only eliminate mom bod, but it will make you feel more comfortable and confident after having your baby. And feeling good in your body does wonders for your mood and motivation. Better posture will also help to relieve ongoing postpartum back pain, sore hips, reduce headaches, and improve sleep quality.
The most important part of improving posture and regaining your fitness after baby is core strength. Hot topic, I know. If you aren’t exactly sure what core strength is or where to start, I have a very in depth post about it here.
How long does it take to regain fitness after baby and pregnancy?
A lot of factors are to be considered when answering this question. Like how active were you before baby and pregnancy? What was your labor, delivery, and recovery like? What is your fitness goal? Being realistic I am going to assume we are considering these questions and that you are rational and realistic.
To regain a general fitness level, like making through 20-30 minutes of light to moderate exercise, I am going to say about a month after you start regular workouts. That doesn’t mean burpees and 100-pound deadlifts, or whatever exercise you were doing before pregnancy. I’m thinking along the lines of you are cleared to exercise, back to your daily routine, and can (at minimum) go for a 15-minute walk.
Don’t try to start off strong (wow, is this Coach Zoe talking?). Take it one day at a time and listen to your body. Longevity is all about gradual progression. You don’t want to be 3 weeks in then have a major injury due to doing too much too soon. That wasn’t a real answer, I know. A lot of “it depends” and “what if’s” are in that statement. Good news is, when you are ready to start a regular exercise routine I designed a postpartum program specifically for this phase of fitness! My Postpartum Early Recovery Program is made for new moms that are ready for a workout routine and want to safely progress their fitness.
This program helped me establish a routine and focus on my specific fitness needs as a postpartum mom.
How to start working out after baby?
Obviously, get cleared by your doctor first! Once you discuss with them any of their concerns or limitations they have for you, you want to start super easy and simple. If you have it, you should start by correcting your Diastasis Recti. Whether or not you have DR, seated workouts are a fantastic postpartum exercise that you can start with. Join me for a Seated Postpartum Workout!
Finding a safe way to exercise that you enjoy is the most important thing when it comes to regaining your fitness after baby.