Are you a new mum or mom who is struggling to find motivation for fitness or exercise since having your baby?
In this post, Vicky Warr, pregnancy and postnatal fitness expert and creator of Bump and Beyond by Vicky Warr reveals the top 5 reasons why new mums or moms lose motivation to exercise and her 5 tips for exercise motivation post-pregnancy.
Perhaps you started a postnatal fitness programme and gave up, didn’t get results or found it impossible to exercise regularly when you have the new role of caring baby and perhaps other children to care for too.
From my 20 years’ experience of helping postnatal women to develop a consistent exercise program post-pregnancy, I’ve found there are five common reasons why new mums and moms struggle to stick with an exercise programme. However, at this stage in a women’s life, a specific postnatal exercise program of the appropriate level with the right kind of exercises is beneficial both physically and mentally.
How do you, as a new mother, overcome these challenges when it comes to exercise, so you can stick with your exercise program for results and post-pregnancy fitness success?
Watch this video where I uncover my 5 solutions to overcome fitness motivation challenges post-baby.
You’ve had your baby or had your baby some time ago and you’re struggling to fit in any exercise into your day. You’d really like to get fit again and lose the pregnancy pounds but your days are now filled with washing, feeding, or working out how to puree foods! But when you look in the mirror you may not feel too good about your body and just want to get back into your pre-pregnancy jeans. But you’re not really sure where to start or more importantly what exercises are safe for you to do.
So I’m going to give you 5 solutions to the 5 top reasons why you’re struggling to start or stick with an exercise programme now you’ve had your baby or have small children in tow!
1. Not having enough time. This is a biggie! Having a baby is 24-hour job. Now you have your baby or small children travelling to a gym is not so feasible with all the baby’s paraphernalia that may be involved or the time it takes to get there. Plus most gym classes are 60 minutes long and usually at tricky times like 6 o’clock or lunchtimes, which may not fit in with your baby’s routine. Plus there’s the time required to get changed into your fitness gear, take a shower and getting back home time.
So it’s really important to be realistic with how much free time you have and what you know you can fit into your schedule. And being flexible.
Your solution: Think of exercising in bite sized chunks.
Exercises you can do in ten or fifteen minutes while your baby naps or is happy to sit next to you in their bouncy chair is feasible. Exercising at home allows you do to do this and saves on any travelling time.
If your baby is in an element of a routine, try to fit it in when your baby is sleeping.
It’s important for your well-being to have some time for yourself and fit in exercise so try to prioritize this over any chores which you can leave until later or delegate to someone else.
Or course it’s also really important to be active – walking is best and although it won’t tone you up as specific exercises will, it helps increase your fitness and being outside with help you mentally by lifting your spirits.
2. You’re worried about not exercising safely. You may have been told or feel that you have Diastasis Recti, an abdominal separation, so you’re concerned about what exercises you can do and what you shouldn’t be doing. Going to a generic gym class may not be suitable for your body right now and not take into consideration the fact you’ve had a baby. Stomach crunches, bicycle crossovers, the plank and some Pilates exercises such as the 100’s are not suitable and will make any abdominal separation you have worse.
Your solution: Seek out a specific Post Natal Fitness Trainer with plenty of experience who will check your tummy and who will show you the appropriate exercises you can do. Alternatively, look for a specific postnatal DVD you can follow at home.
3. Childcare. You may not be in a situation where you have family locally, a partner who works more flexible hours or childcare options such as an au pair or dare I say it the luxury of a nanny. So the lack of childcare can be a big factor in preventing you from doing any exercise.
Your solution: One way around this is to ask a friend to come over who also has a baby and see if they would look after your baby for 10-15 minutes while you nip into another room and do your exercises. You could do a swap and then offer to look after theirs. Alternatively have you a neighbour or someone you trust who can come over and take your baby for a walk whilst you exercise at home. Another way is what I mentioned before – take advantage of the time you baby may nap and plan to do your exercise then.
4. Not having accountability. If you’re not someone who has exercised in the past or enjoyed exercising, not having accountability or a person to keep you on track will make getting started or sticking with exercise tricky!
Your solution: Find someone who supports your goal of getting fit again and back into shape. Someone you call on for support and keep you on track with actually doing the exercises. That person may be a trainer who has your best interests at heart and even better some trainers have their own studios where you can take your baby with you. That way you have accountability and childcare covered. Or find a fitness buddy you can connect with and who will hold you accountable by checking in with you to see if you’re doing your exercises. It may be someone who’s in the same situation as you and you can motivate and spur each other on.
5. You’ve started some exercise but you’re not seeing results. The key reason new mums don’t see a result with their exercise is that they are not making the best food choices. When you’re tired or you are up in the middle of the night feeding you feel like you need comfort food. Meeting up with your friends that have also just had babies often leads to trips for coffee and cake.
Solution: Look for a nutritionist who will show you what good food choices to make and take into account you may be breastfeeding. They’ll also keep you track and keep you accountable. Creating a healthy meal plan for the week, with the focus on healthy foods, rather than a calorie-controlled diet is the first small step you can take to nourish your body and improve your overall health, like the easy to follow one I have in my Transform Your Tummy After Baby Program. Choose easy recipes to follow which are packed with vegetables and lean quality protein to improve your muscle tone, combined with the exercise you’ll get far better results.
Fix your Mummy Tummy! Do you need help with your tummy muscles post-pregnancy? Would you like accountability and a specific plan so you can flatten your tummy postpartum, strengthen your core and pelvic floor plus improve your body confidence?
Transform Your Tummy After Baby, tighten and tone your tummy in 8 weeks with the online postnatal exercise method Bump and Beyond by Vicky Warr, is a post-birth program for new mothers in their first-year post-pregnancy. It is proven to heal a diastasis recti (abdominal separation), strengthen your core and pelvic floor post-pregnancy, tone and flatten your tummy muscles and is for those mums or moms who had a c section too. Transform Your Tummy gives you a specific plan, daily bite-sized postnatal exercise videos, a workout schedule and personal access to Vicky Warr, a postnatal fitness expert who will keep you on track with your goals and progress.
Find out more here.
Fix your Mummy Tummy, check out these before and after photos.