As a mother of 3, I know how firsthand hard it can be to get your "pre-baby" body back. I also know how important it is to give yourself some grace and time to achieve that goal. In reality, women's bodies are not the same post-baby. And that's okay! It's just a new normal. The miracle of childbirth causes many changes...we can establish a new and better level of fitness and health after our sweet baby arrives, if we do it right.
I was the poster child for starting a fitness routine too soon after having a baby - so I'm sharing the following tips - which I recently shared on FOX 59 as a mom and fitness professional.
TIP #1: Keep it low impact.
Some moms really want to get the baby weight off right away, however, your body has been through a marathon, literally, and you need to give it time to heal. Follow your doctor’s guidelines and wait the 6 weeks to start any sort of program. Once you have your doctor’s approval at about 6 weeks postpartum, I recommend sticking with low-impact exercises, walking, yoga and a personal favorite, PiYo.
TIP #2: Include HIIT workouts
Once you’re about 3 months postpartum you can start adding in short, HIIT - High Intensity Interval Training- workouts to your routine. These short bursts of intensity are great for revving up your system and burning some major calories and fat. Suggested exercises: lunges, burpees, skaters, pushups. Choose 4 total body exercises, do as many as you can for a minute each, rest a minute, then go again. Do 4 or 5 rounds to start and add more as you increase your fitness level.
TIP #3: Get good nutrition & sleep.
This may seems like a ‘duh’ tip, however, good nutrition and adequate sleep is so important. Eat lots of leafy greens, whole foods, fruits and drink plenty of water. “Sleep when the baby sleeps’ is great advice and while it may be tempting to use that time to "do something", I'm here to tell you....don't! Don't use it to do anything but sleep yourself! Your body repairs itself during sleep. Making sure you’re getting enough sleep will help you heal physically and keep you healthy emotionally and mentally. In addition, when we are sleep deprived, our defenses our down, our immunity is down. We are far more prone to making less-than-stellar nutritional choices, which sets us back in our road to recovery. Sleep is the great healer and will do more for your recovery than almost any other single action. Take that advice, it's been around for generations for a reason, and catch a nap when your baby sleeps. It's truly the best habit your can establish to help you recover more quickly.