Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Health & Fitness Strategies for New Mums

When you’re a new mum with a baby to take care of, feeling sleep deprived, with no energy and no time to recharge, making time for you can seem overwhelming.

Whether you were fit and active before your baby, or just feeling like you need to move more and do something for yourself, there are safe, gentle ways you can take care of your health and fitness.

Regular exercise has many benefits for your mind as well as your body.

The two main factors affecting what kind and how much exercise you can fit in are time and energy, neither of which are necessarily under your control as a new mum.

Paying attention to your energy levels is important in determining what exercise you can do on a given day.

Depending on your child’s age, there are many different ways to include them in your health and fitness routine.

*  Incorporate exercise into your daily routine and take a regular walk with baby in the pram.

*     Most babies & toddlers love being lifted up and down and squats are a terrific strengthening exercise - do them while holding your baby for a play and exercise combination.

*     Toddlers are naturally active so a game of chasey or hide and seek at the park is an activity you’ll both enjoy, and especially good before nap time.

*     Look for a local fitness class specifically for new mums, where you can exercise in a safe, supportive environment. Meeting other mums in your area is a great way to meet other women who understand where you’re at.

*     Fitness classes that offer strength and conditioning rather than just a straight cardio workout give you the most value for your precious exercise time – look for local groups that welcome babies & toddlers.

*     Obviously, if you’ve been up all night with an unsettled baby, a heavy weight-lifting session is not recommended but a 30 minute walk around your neighbourhood WILL give you an energy boost.

*     Make sure you’re eating good, healthy food, especially if you’re breastfeeding; you deserve every opportunity to feel as good as you can when so much of your energy is devoted to caring for the needs of another human being.

*     Remind yourself regularly that you’re doing your best, listen to your body and know that sometimes rest is the best health gift you can give yourself.

*   Start slow, do what you CAN do and start to notice how good you feel.

Kim Watson is strength & conditioning coach, health consultant, busy mum and the owner of MET Fitness.

MET Fitness provides Exercise for New Mums and Group Fitness for Busy Mums, helping you feel good, look good and have MORE energy.

Contact kim@metfitness.com to find out how you can get moving safely.

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