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Step-By-Step Guide For Postpartum Fitness

By Shannon Cole on Feb 22, 2024 10:42:52 AM
6 Minutes Reading Time


Although new-mom life is a beautiful new chapter in a woman’s life, it can take quite a toll on her: mentally, physically, and emotionally. When they are cleared to do so, I always advocate for new moms to make time for physical fitness. Not only will it help them keep their health on track, but it is an excellent tool for reducing stress, while improving energy.

However, getting started with a new routine (with a body that doesn’t exactly feel like yours), can be a little disorienting. So, let’s go over how to get back into a fitness routine, step by step.  

1. You’re Already Kicking Ass

Being a new mom is hard. Taking the time for yourself and getting back into a fitness routine (while managing new mom duties) is even harder.

As you get started with creating a new schedule, completing workouts, and maintaining this new habit, you’re going to run into hurdles. Your little one may keep you up all night, appointments may get moved around, or your sitter doesn’t show up.

This will not be a flawless journey, and progress is not linear, so simply starting and bouncing back after rough days is a success in itself. You’ve got this.

2. Be Realistic

The next step is to be realistic about what you can accomplish. Unless you have nannies and child care nearly all day, 1-hour(+) workouts 5 days a week will not happen. You also need to come to terms with what times of the day will work in your favor.

For example, if your baby wakes up to feed between 4 and 5 a.m., working out after that feeding window may be ideal. Or, one of their nap times during the day may be better. Find what works for you, and try to stick with it as much as you can.

Again, things come up. So have a Plan B if you can!

Also, you need to keep in mind how much time you’ll have for your workouts. It’s great if you can have up to an hour for a workout, but you can still get in plenty of work in 30 minutes! 

3. Find a Program

You are more than welcome to program your own workouts, but with the amount of things you need to think about on a daily basis, I highly suggest following a structured program. That way, what you need to do is all ready for you with exercises, reps, and sets selected.

I’m a big fan of the MAPS starter because it’s programmed specifically to improve strength and core stability to get people back in the gym who’ve taken time off. It primarily utilizes dumbbells and a physioball. That way, if you’re not able to make it to the gym, you can try to squeeze in something at home.

4. Stock Up On Good Food

By good food, I mean nutritious options and lots of protein! Mama, you need all the vitamins and minerals you can get that come from whole-food options. Relying on quick, processed foods won’t cut it.

I know, fast and easy is sometimes the way to go—I get it! But it doesn’t mean you can’t have quick AND healthy options. Paleovalley beef sticks are my go-to when I want a snack that’s packed with protein, and those nights when you barely have time to cook dinner for yourself (because those nights will happen), Organifi has a protein powder you can use to make a nutritious, fully organic protein shake. 

5. Start Slow

Starting slow could mean a daily, 30-minute walk or doing strength training twice a week. Again, do what you are comfortable doing, which won’t stress you out. Getting fit shouldn’t add more stress to your life.

If you trained before you got pregnant, I wouldn’t jump right into where you left off. You will not be able to lift the same amount of weight as efficiently as you did pre-pregnancy, and you won’t have the same endurance for an hour of workouts 5 days a week.

Trust me when I say that starting slow and working your way up is the way to go to protect yourself from injuries and completing taxing your body.

As far as the type of exercise to get into first, walks should definitely be taken on a daily basis, along with weight training. You need your strength! And more lean muscle mass also means a leaner body.

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Shannon Cole

Shannon Cole is an ISSA certified personal trainer and lives in the Dallas area. She is a certified nutrition coach through NASM and NCI, and is currently pursuing her M.S. in Sports Science and Rehabilitation. After obtaining her B.A. in Journalism and Mass Communication she eventually gravitated to personal training, and hasn't turned back since. Her passion for athletics and fitness initially stemmed from her high school years playing golf, and her love for the sport still hasn't faded; her career goal is to obtain her Titleist Performance Institute (TPI) certification and develop strength and conditioning programs for golfers. You can usually find her working out in her garage gym, or training for the next Spartan Race with her husband.

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