Your pre-pregnancy exercise routine will surely affect how easy it is for you to get moving for two and a half hours a week when you're housing a baby. Be honest with your healthcare provider about your current fitness routine, and discuss with her safe ways to continue or start working out.
Getting mom-to-be moving:
- Gear up with these pregnancy fitness essentials.
- Learn how walking, swimming, and other simple moves can be more beneficial than you could imagine.
- Here's why working out just might better prepare you for labor!
- Check out our full Pregnancy Fitness Guide.
"The rate at which a woman reincorporates exercise is relative to her fitness level prior to giving birth," says Kelli Calabrese, MS, CSCS, a clinical exercise physiologist and mom of two. But even a steady pre-baby workout regime can't combat the fatigue new parents feel in their first days with a baby. When Mom is exhausted, she's not as easily able to detoxify her body so she's not able to muster the energy she had prior to pregnancy, according to Calabrese.
"It's important that a woman listen to her body and exercise common sense," she says. "Her body is still readjusting hormonally to the pregnancy as well as dealing with exhaustion." And that can make getting those recommended two and a half hours of moderate exercise difficult for quite some time.
So when should Mom start moving? "In the first few weeks, it's healthy for a new mother to get out into the fresh air and go for a moderate walk for mental freedom and clarity as well as the physiological benefits," says Calabrese. "After four weeks and as she gets more sleep, a woman can begin a more regular moderate exercise routine incorporating walking, some yoga or Pilates poses, light strength training, and light stretching."
Of course, check with your healthcare provider before beginning any new or rigorous routines, especially if you're recovering from a C-section or episiotomy. But once you're given the go-ahead to start working out again, exercising may very literally feel transformative. "It's a great way for a woman to ensure she is doing something for herself at a time when an infant is completely dependent upon her and she is entering a new and unknown phase of her life," Calabrese says. Finding a new-mom workout group—especially one that's overseen by a qualified fitness professional—can meet your social and physical needs.
How to incite exercise excitement in new moms?
- Choose a post-baby workout plan that matches your personality best.
- Use these tips to get started running.
- Take our quiz: Are you ready to get back into shape, Mom?
- Here's why chores CAN count toward your daily exercise goals.
- Reclaim your post-baby downward dog here!
- Are you a working mom? Here's workout help just for you.