MS, RD, LDN
Janel holds a Master’s in Nutrition Communication from Tufts University. As the recipient of the 2010 Massachusetts Young Dietitian of the Year award, she believes in making healthy eating simple, sustainable, and delicious.
you’ve been cleared by your doctor to exercise six (or more) weeks postpartum,
you may be itching to lace up your sneakers and sweat, with only one thing
standing in your way: time. Or rather, lack of time. It’s amazing how the day
escapes you when caring for a newborn baby. That, coupled with the fact that
you likely haven’t had a good night’s sleep in weeks (or months) and your baby
eats around the clock makes it hard to find time to yourself to shower and eat
breakfast let alone exercise. But fitting movement and activity into your day
has so many benefits including strengthening back up your core, boosting
energy, promoting better sleep, postpartum weight loss, relieving stress,
improving mood and potentially preventing postpartum depression. If you are someone who exercised consistently
before baby, go easy on yourself. Your life has new challenges and commitments
now that you have a baby, and getting right back into the swing of things isn’t
easy. You may be able to get back into your old routine after a few months of
settling into motherhood, but that doesn’t mean you can’t exercise at all when
you’re short on time.
early months of motherhood, many women find themselves wearing comfortable
clothes around the house, perfect for snuggling a new baby…and getting a
quick workout in. Your baby doesn’t care if you’ve been wearing yoga pants all
day! This way, there’s no need to change your clothes and get motivated to
exercise. As soon as your baby is down for a nap or playing happily on a nearby
mat, you can clear some floor space to do core work, light weight training, or
even a quick yoga video. The internet has a wealth of free exercise videos that
range in exercise type and time;this can be a great way to find safe postpartum
workouts to do at home.
bands are inexpensive, portable and useful strength training tools to keep in
your living room to do some muscle strengthening workouts without needing much
equipment. Hand weights or kettlebells also don’t take up much space and can
easily be brought out for a quick living room workout. Involve your baby in
workouts by holding a plank (safely!) while she coos up at you from the floor,
or dance and lunge around the room while holding her in a baby carrier.
walks or jogs are a great way to involve your baby – and possibly a friend – so
you can both get some outdoor time together. There may be stroller fitness
classes or baby and me exercise classes in your area that you can join to
combine exercise, time with your baby, and socializing with other new moms.
Many gyms offer child care (though babies typically have to be at least 6-12
weeks old) which means you can get a solo workout in while your baby is being
cared for nearby.
you do, be sure to ease back into exercise postpartum safely and slowly, and be
kind to your body as you adapt to all of the new changes.
“Healthy Pregnant or Postpartum Women” Center for Disease Control. <https://www.cdc.gov/physicalactivity/basics/pregnancy/index.htm > Date accessed 31 July 2018