Whether you have recently given birth or have been working hard as a full-time mum for some time, it is important to ease yourself gently back into exercising and take things at your own pace. Getting back in shape can boost confidence, help you lose weight and can be vital to your overall mental health and well-being. Just as important, is to start off your child’s love of movement early on, so what better way to develop and reinforce these positive habits than by combining goals and include your kids in your workout?
Benefits of Exercise Post-Pregnancy
Moderate exercise if often advised in the first few weeks and months after pregnancy if you have had a normal delivery but can be realistically attempted as soon as you feel fit and ready for it. If you have taken a break from exercise you six months or more then it is advisable to go back to basics and start off gently. Building muscle strength, increasing your cardiovascular fitness and conditioning your abdominal muscles are all great ways to tone up and can be achieved very easily even if working out from home. For example, The Bowflex Max Trainer is a low impact elliptical trainer, great for as a gentle way to get back into training. It engages many muscles including your calves, core, shoulders and back and is a fantastic piece of equipment for any fitness goal. Once you have adjusted to the pace you can then go on to try more intense workouts building both stamina and endurance, essential for when you are chasing around after the kids!
Perhaps even more important, are the amazing mental health impacts that getting back into exercise can have on new mums. Even gentle exercise has been shown to reduce the risk of developing post-natal depression and other great benefits include increased energy levels and a better ability to cope with stress.
Leading by Example
Kick-starting your child’s love of exercise and movement cannot be underestimated. It aids not only their physical development but their social and cognitive development as well. By prioritising your own fitness, you are demonstrating a healthy approach to your body and mind and you will be giving your child a role-model to aspire to.
If your child is still very young, simply having them in the room with you when you work-out gives them the chance to observe you and as they grow they will begin to copy your actions. Once they are old enough why not try some basic stretching exercises together and have dedicated playtime that involves time outdoors the park or in the garden, giving them the space they need to run around and burn off some of their energy. Helping your child to adopt healthy habits early on is vital for their development and if combined with a healthy eating approach can help them avoid preventable diseases such as obesity and diabetes in the future.