This article aims to focus on one coping strategy, amongst many, that could help bring some balance back into your life as a new mother: fitness!
Health and Fitness: Tips for New Mothers
Becoming a mother for the first time brings a whole new dimension to a woman’s life- from caring for oneself to having a whole human being relying on you! For this reason, the first few days, weeks and months require a lot of adjustment. Add to that the lack of routine and sleep, and the whole process becomes a whole lot more challenging. This article aims to focus on one coping strategy, amongst many, that could help bring some balance back into your life as a new mother: fitness!
Young or old, slim or overweight, working or not working, having some form of exercise within your lifestyle has many benefits and therefore making time for this is crucial. Your body has been through a lot and is probably still going through a lot whether you are nursing your child or not.
Some of the health benefits of working out are listed below:
- Gives you more energy
- Promotes quality sleep
- Reduces pain
- Boosts your brain health
- Improves skin
- Helps weight loss or weight maintenance
- Helps restore muscle strength and firm up your body
You must have heard the phrase “you can’t pour from an empty cup.” In order to give to your child, you need to be in a good place yourself, as children pick up on positivity and negativity quicker than we think.
Exercise also has an enormous impact on your mental health, some mental health benefits are listed below:
- Makes you feel happier, improves your mood
- Relieves stress
- Helps prevent or fight postpartum depression
- Increases productivity – makes you less tired and raises your energy levels
Please note: working out does not have an impact on breastfeeding and it is important to maintain good levels of hydration.
So, we know that working out has many many benefits, but one of the big challenges as a new mom is finding the time to exercise. Some say it’s best to sleep when the baby sleeps while others say that when the baby sleeps, “it is my time to get things done!” Here are some tips that may help you create the time to work out. A good workout doesn’t require much time at all – they can range from 10 minutes to an hour.
Start off slow
Don’t expect to snap back to normal after baby arrives and don’t put pressure on yourself to do so either. Maybe start with a daily walk and be consistent with this. Over time, build it up slowly. Try listening to something relaxing or listen to a lecture or an audiobook. This way, you get to maximise on your time during the walk, this will stimulate your mind and it could help you go on for longer too!
Create a routine
I’m sure many moms are reading this and thinking “there is no routine with a new born!” – Yes, this is true but remember, eventually the baby will fall asleep so utilise that time once they do! A good workout doesn’t require much time at all – they can range from 10 minutes to an hour.
Find something that works for YOU
Find a video on YouTube or a local class that works for you with the lifestyle that suits you. I would personally recommend a class as this means you are going out and meeting people. Sometimes working out with a friend helps and works as motivation and also becomes a social outlet for you. However, if this doesn’t work, a video on YouTube can be just as impactful.
Use your support network and don’t be afraid to ask for help.
You may or may not have heard the quote “It takes a village to raise a child”. Every single interaction your child has, has an impact on them and therefore your positivity or negativity and that of your support network also has a ripple effect. Choose your support network carefully, be it your husband, family and friends and utilise them positively.
Remember Moms – you are doing a great job and you are bringing up a child that will work to better society. It can be lonely, isolating and testing at times, but remember your hard work is not going unnoticed and you really are the true heroes in bringing up children of the future!