I’d like to introduce you to Caitlin. She reached out to me about guest posting here as she prepares to start her own blog! My blog started as a weight loss journey blog after I had my son, and has changed into a healthy living/positive body image, faith, mommy blog. So to stay true to my roots and because I have a passion for being a healthy mom, Caitlin is sharing with us work out tips for new moms!! Take it away, Caitlin!
Hi all, I’m Caitlin Hudson, a full-time mommy, nature lover, writer and health nut! I am in the process of starting my own blog, but in the meantime, Stephanie has been gracious enough to have me blog on Crayon Marks and Tiger Stripes (thanks, Stephanie!). Today, I’d like to share with you some of my workout tips for new moms. If you have any questions feel free to email me and you can also follow me on twitter.
I will be honest; before I had my daughter, I was not a fitness guru by any means. However, I did lead a relatively active lifestyle, and was more or less happy with my body. I knew post-baby weight was bemoaned by virtually every friend I had, but the idea of it and the reality of it are two separate things. I secretly thought I would be one of those people who would just magically lose the weight. I was breastfeeding after all, right?!? By the time A was three months old, I knew my old routine – or lack thereof – wasn’t going to cut it. It was time for me to figure out the activities I could do, and afford, while staying at home with my daughter.
With a little creativity, and a whole lot of diligence, I was almost back to my old self within a year after her birth. Here are some of the things that worked for me.
The exercise ball. I purchased an exercise ball from Beachbody before she was born because I had heard they’re good to labor on. Suffice it to say that I didn’t labor on mine at all. However, I did use it prolifically after she was born. Can you believe the lack of abdominal tone after labor? Whew! Me, neither. I used my exercise ball three different ways:
- Online: I used it as a chair whenever I was on the computer or tablet paying bills, emailing, trying to blog, checking Facebook, etc. You don’t feel like you’re getting a workout when, in fact, your core muscles are working hard to hold you up. It’s like unconscious exercise.
- Intentionally: There are tons of exercises that can be done on an exercise ball with baby. Hit YouTube or Google to find examples.
- Feeding the baby. Whether you nurse or bottle feed, you are usually sitting down, especially for those first several months. At least a few times a day I would get on the ball and the same core muscles I talked about above would get an extended workout since the added (literal) baby weight made them work a little harder. This one works best after those first six weeks when you’re tone is slightly improved.
Water exercise. I lived in a warm place, so you could swim practically year-round. I’ll keep this one short in case you don’t have a year-round pool option nearby. We bought a floating canopy at a garage sale. Hers looked like a frog and had holes for chubby legs. I was able to float her in it while I tread water in the deep end, or kicked back and forth across the pool. No need to find childcare for inconvenient lap-swim hours. Strap on water-proof ankle/wrist weights for added resistance.
Walking with weights. I used to see people walking with weights and think, “Come on! Does that really work?” Yes, it turns out it does! Babies love to be outside, and we stay-at-home moms can go stir crazy. With the right human and stroller gear, you can walk outside in nearly any weather. I purchased these ankle weights, but if you’d rather not use those, there are other options too like weighted gloves, wrist weights, etc. – all of which will enhance your calorie-burning heart rate and muscle tone.
Remember to be compassionate with yourself. Your body has been through an amazing process to grow and birth your beloved human. Work as hard on being patient with yourself as you do on being patient with your baby. Slowly, but surely, that weight will begin to come off. My advice, weigh yourself once a month, rather than obsessively, and you’ll be empowered by the results.
Thank you so much Caitlin for the awesome tips!!!
What are some tips you have found useful as a new mom? Tell us in the comments!