Working-Out After Having a Baby
After I had my first daughter, my doctor told me that I should start working out to get rid of those flabby tummy. I said yes but in reality, it was so hard for me to find a time to do any exercise. After a full day at work, all I want is to go home to my daughter. So when I was pregnant with my second child, I made a promise that no matter what, I need to incorporate a workout routine, even when I’m still on my maternity leave. I even thought of engaging a Personal Trainer, so I can have a concentrated and more efficient workout to get rid of my excess weight.
But as soon as the baby is born.. I was just too lazy to get up and go to the gym. Not to mention that the cost of a PT would be very high, after all the expenses of a delivery.
So, what do I do? Succumb to my laziness? Of course not!
There are plenty of ways that a mom can do their working out routine even after their baby has born. You can choose to do it at home, take you baby with you throughout the routine. Or you can take a 30-45 minutes to do your workout.
Let me share with you what I did.
- Most women are advised to wait six weeks after birth to resume exercise because many of the internal and anatomical changes to your body from the pregnancy still persist. Your ligaments may remain overly flexible and your joints may be loose and less stable because of the hormone relaxin.
- I had a normal delivery and I waited 40 days (6 weeks) before I started my workout by doing a low impact exercise. If you are delivering through C-section, you can still wait around 6-8 weeks before you start your workout routine. Both ways, you must remember to always ease back to a regular workout.
- It started from home. I searched through You Tube to find a post-natal steps that I can do at home, around 30-45 minutes. I usually do this while the baby is asleep. If she is awake, then I use this as our play time too. The steps are usually very easy but this will help in the long run. So start easy but consistent in doing it.
- After 2-3 weeks, I incorporate to have power walk, around 1-2km per session. Again, this can also be incorporated as a play time. Like walking in the park with the baby, or while carrying her in baby carrier. This is done for about 3-4 weeks.
- As soon as I feel comfortable with my power walk, I tried to do some jogging. This means I run in a very slow pace. A combination of running and walking will also okay, especially if your tummy does not feel so comfortable when you’re running. All and all, I take only 30 minutes at the most to do this. I usually do this in the morning or afternoon when my baby is taking a nap.
- Once I feel really comfortable to start running with slow pace, I try to run nonstop for 30 minutes. Run within my pace. I do this every other day. After I’m comfortable with my routine, I incorporate a long run just to see if I can make it with a longer distance. If running is not your forte, then you can try doing pilates, yoga, or any other workout you’re most comfortable with. But, if you are aiming to cut the excess weight, you should choose for an aerobic or high-impact exercise.
After my maternity leave has ended, I decided that with 2 kids, running would be my best option to workout. Why running?
First, because I live right across the running track, so I don’t have to take a long time just to do a workout. A 30 minutes run, means I only take 40 minutes at the most. 2 minutes to walk to the track, 5 minutes to stretch after run and 2 minutes to go back. If you live in an area that would be hard for you to run by yourself, why not do aerobic at home? Or you can invest on a treadmill.
Second, I don’t have to join any gym and I don’t need to take a long time to workout .. so I don’t have to fork my savings to pay a PT. Instead I invest on buying a proper running gears.
Now the problem is, where do I fit in my workout after working full time?
Well, this is where I really need to work on my time management skills. I figured if I run after work, I would not have any energy to do it. Plus it’s too late already. So, I decided to wake up an hour earlier than usual (only twice a week) and have my 30 minutes run. This is usually done with my kids are still asleep so I don’t feel guilty about leaving them home while I exercise.
Another benefit is that after a morning run, I feel energized and ready to tackle my day. I can feel the difference that I can have more stamina to do a lot of things during the day. And even after a run, I still can spend quality time with my daughters after work.
The only different is when I have my long run, where I can run more than 1 hour per session. I do this only on weekend (Saturday OR Sunday), of course in the morning when everyone is still asleep. Obviously, they would wake up before I finished my run but since it’s on a weekend, so I will compensate that with spending the whole day with them.
Honestly, I was never a morning person. But keeping my routine of having my exercise done early in the morning, really boost my stamina and energy. I can feel that I have more energy to stay awake and keep up with my daughters. So I don’t mind waking up a bit earlier, as long as I can reap the benefits from it.
Going back to that first visit to my OB/GYN after my first daughter was born, I’m glad that he kept reminding me to exercise. Because the only way you want to loose baby fat is through exercise, and he is absolutely correct!
Here’s a few tips for you to keep an exercise routine in your daily life, even after having kid(s):
1. Start your day early. Exercise first, 30 minutes every day or every other day is enough.
2. Try to do high impact exercise every other day. Choose an exercise that you like to do. But be careful, do things moderately! Listen to your body. You don’t want to injure yourself.
3. Join a community like The Urban Fit or a group of people who enjoys the same exercise. This will definitely help when you feel lazy. They are your support group.
4. For me, I sign up on a different running race. This is to motivate me to keep on my training so I can perform on this race. It does not mean I have to run faster. I run my own pace, this is just to motivate me to keep my training intact. You can do other things that help you motivate. Like taking your kids in your exercise routine, perhaps?
5. Keep a regular schedule for your exercise. Be determined and consistent to follow it. For me is to run 2 short runs on weekdays and one long run on weekend. Rest day in between.
6. Eat well and hydrate well. Combine your healthy routine with healthy diet. Diet here means combination of healthy food, not skipping a meal.
Good luck, Urban Mama!
Let’s join The Urban Fit in the forum or follow @theurbanfit for a virtual support group. I’ve managed to keep my routine intact for the past 6 months and lost 10kg since I gave birth to my 2nd daughter. I can only say that it’s all because of running, because I don’t cut off on my eating habits since I’m still breastfeeding.
Just to motivate urban Mama, that you too can go back to your pre-maternity weight, here is an illustration of how my body has changed:
Left – This is after my first daughter is about 3 years old, before my second pregnancy. I was engaged with a PT to lose weight and train for a long-distance run (which I never did yet, cuz I got pregnant second time around).
Middle – This is when I was at my heaviest, a week after I gave birth to my second child.
Right – This is almost 4 monhts after I gave birth to my second child, only 2 months after I’m back to routine exercise. Neishia is about 3.5 months old.
And here is me and my 8 months old daughter.
I’m not a skinny person. I realize that no matter how much weight I can lose, I will never look skinny. But because I exercise, I feel more healthy. And that’s more important. Because I want to be healthy and fit, so I can spend quality time with my daughters. Have the energy to see them grow up and even one day.. still have the energy to play with my children’s children.
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