As a new mom, or mom of a few, it can be hard to shed that baby weight. If you don't know where to start, how to approach fitness after having a little one, or if you're preparing to have a baby then keep reading for some great tips from moms and personal trainers.
When to start
It is best to wait 6 weeks. This gives your body time to heal, your hormones to balance out and time to focus on you, the baby and your new family. Once your body is ready, start small, take your little one for walks in the fresh air will be good for you and the baby. After six weeks, you should be ready to start walking again. Take your baby out for two 15 minute walks every day. Increase the amount of time you spend on each walk gradually. Keep in mind that after pregnancy your strength and cardio levels will be down. Be patient with yourself and allow time to build it back up. When your baby is at least 6 months old, you can put him/her in a jogging stroller and pick up the pace. For exercise, focus on a total body routine with lighter weights and higher reps. Compliment the resistance training with lower intensity cardio for 20-30 minutes. If you are nursing continue to consume at least 1800 calories per day, 1600 if you are not breastfeeding. Instead of reducing calories focus on eating clean whole foods on a well balanced diet including protein, carbs and healthy fats.
Mentally this is the hardest part of your journey but the most important. Leaving that little one even for a minute can be hard. A happy healthy mom is one of the best gifts you can give your child. That 30-60 minutes break that you take for you will help your return to your desired fitness level but also provide a necessary mental break from having an infant. Can’t get to the gym? Workout with your baby! Follow along for a workout you can do anywhere with your little one. If you aren't ready to separate just yet there are many mommy & me classes and OnDemand workouts you can do during nap time. Start by adding 3-4 workouts per week which includes taking walks, classes or strength and cardio training. Schedule your workouts a week at a time, but babies are unpredictable if you miss a workout don't stress just reschedule it or do something different that day.
Weight Loss after Baby
When doing a weight loss training program make sure to eat the recommended calories with clean whole foods like fresh veggies, protein, and high fiber carbs. The nutrient dense foods will help you lose weight and maintain an energy level needed with a baby. Rebuilding and reconnecting your core muscles is important but also a long road. Take it slow, you have just spent 9 months stretching them to their max. Here is a core workout you can do to get started. We tend to hold/carry our little ones in our non-dominant arm to keep our preferred hand available this can cause imbalances. Get in the habit early to switch sides when holding or nursing the baby and carseat. Finally, complete Jen's stretches for the shoulder, chest and arms to prevent forward rounding of the shoulders that can result from the breasts being enlarged, rocking, and breastfeeding your baby.
Getting fit as a new mom can be difficult but it is also very possible. Start when your body feels strong enough and start slow. Remember to keep a healthy diet so that yourself and baby are strong and healthy. You’ll see progress slowly, but surely! Want someone to guide you through post-baby weight loss? Try our 4-week personal training starter program!