First comes love, then comes marriage, then comes the baby in the baby carriage. Oh yeah, and an extra 30 to 80 pounds of pregnancy weight. Now you are in the post pregnancy workout phase. A phase that is more challenging than any other pregnancy weight-loss phase. Post pregnancy exercise can be challenging for even the most motivated and determined mother. There are three main barriers thatmake post pregnancy workouts are so challenging: newfound fitness limitations, time, and equipment. In order to have a good post pregnancy exercise routine, you need to overcome these and possibly others limitations in your life. You have probably spent much of your post pregnancy time oooooing and ahhhhhing over your little bundle. However, your little bundle will continue to grow, become more active and mobile, and you have to be able to keep up with them. Having a post pregnancy workout regimen that is high intensity and incorporates functional movements that will help in your every day life when your lifting and carrying your baby is essential.
Your post pregnancy workout probably feels very different than what you were able to do before baby. You will be amazed though at how fast your body will bounce back after your baby. I thought I would never have normal looking feet, ankles, or legs again. But, after a while, there they were! Don’t think the transition will take place over night, or not take effort on your part. Post pregnancy workouts are tough; your body has changed and your problem areas before baby (that were actually kind of cute during pregnancy) are now a bigger problem. The level of intensity in your post pregnancy workout is most likely not at your same pre-pregnancy level, which can leave you feeling defeated even before beginning an exercise session. You may also have other limitations set out by your doctor if you had a challenging birth or cesarean. It’s important to start slow. Most likely you won’t be thrusting a kettle bell over your head immediately if you had a c-section. However, you will be lifting your baby and his baby carrier. That’s kind of like a kettle bell, right?
Start by walking 20-30 minutes most mornings. Pushing your baby in the stroller will add resistance too. After a few weeks, you can even work up to a light jog or run. Eventually, you will get to the point where you will feel more confident in your exercise routine, but don’t stop here. This is the time to really get into shape, and that takes high-intensity workouts based around functional movements. A good example of a high intensity workout is following CrossFit.com. CrossFit uses a mixture of gymnastics, powerlifting, Olympic weight lifting, and endurance movements. Functional movements, unlike isolated movements (curls, flies, leg extensions, etc.), mean that improving your competency with the movements will have real world applications and will improve how you move around every day and in sports. Through CrossFit, you will become extraordinary at everyday things. Equipping you for anything that may come your way. This capacity has a ton of benefits, especially when you have a kid, or kids, running all over the place. Typical CrossFitters don’t even think twice about doing things other people may dread.
“What? You need someone to help out at soccer practice? I can do it!”
“You want to ride bikes around the neighborhood? Let’s go!”
“Ya, let’s take the stairs.”
“Let’s play wiffle ball in the backyard!”
You now have time limits that you didn’t have before. No time is “your” time. Your day revolves around feeding your baby and sleep. There are also added chores of baby’s laundry, washing pump accessories or bottles, and getting your baby’s diapers, bottles, and snacks ready for the next day. Oh, and not to mention having time to take a shower. You have to either wake up before baby wakes up to work out, try to exercise during baby’s nap, or wait for Dad to come home so he can watch the baby, which cuts into your all-new-important family time. Unless you have an expensive treadmill, going for a run around the neighborhood alone is a post pregnancy workout of the past. I have come to rely on post pregnancy workouts that have a well-planed, efficient workout schedule that require minimal time, inexpensive equipment, and that you can complete with a baby monitor in earshot. I have found great success in being able to achieve that high intensity post pregnancy workout at home, while my baby naps. I then have the energy I need to get me through the day.
Unlike a run, elliptical, or even an exercise class at a typical gym, post pregnancy women need a workout that is going to keep your body guessing and condition you to keep up with your little one. Before my baby, I subscribed to the CrossFit mentality. It was awesome. Unfortunately, my gym, like most CrossFit gyms, don’t offer babysitting. My workout had to be adapted to an at-home post pregnancy workout. I knew it was possible because even CrossFit defines themselves as a, “program that delivers a fitness that is, by design, broad, general, and inclusive. The needs of Olympic athletes and our grandparents differ by degree not kind. Our terrorist hunters, skiers, mountain bike riders and housewives have found their best fitness from the same regimen.” Following a version of CrossFit work-outs, modified for my equipment, was the solution.
So, that means we, post pregnancy women, can use these methods to get us back to that prepregnancy weight, and most likely, looking even better than before baby. Even better, the real winner will be your baby. They will have a fit post pregnancy mom that can tackle any task or activity that life presents and someone who is setting an amazing example of the importance of fitness and health. Amazing results from a high-intensity work-out program can be enjoyed from the comfort and convenience of your home!