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Keeping Fit After The Birth

By: Beth Morrisey MLIS - Updated: 13 Sep 2010 | comments*Discuss
 
Keeping Fit After The Birth	 keeping

It may seem that the weeks and months after giving birth are the most tiring of you life and it may be all you can do to find a clean shirt much less get out for a jog, but keeping fit after the birth is necessary not just for your physical health but for your mental health as well. Not only will you feel better and look better if you commit to keeping fit after the birth, but you’ll be setting in motion a pattern of healthy living that will benefit your whole family.

Get Active

It may seem like a joke when you’ve been running up and down stairs all day, but getting active with organised exercise brings with it a host of physical benefits. Not only will you have a chance to tone and strengthen your muscles but you’ll rev up your metabolism to get rid of that extra baby weight as well. Ask your GP or midwife when you will be able to start exercising (usually within a week after a vaginal birth, but up to six months after a caesarean section) and get yourself ready to begin at this date. If you can’t quite stretch to a gym membership with childcare, incorporate your new baby into your routines! Try:

  • “Mummy and Me” (or “Daddy and Me”) classes or videos that allow you to move with your child.
  • Blasting some music and dancing about for a half an hour or so.
  • Cleaning up! A high-energy weekly clean will leave you feeling lighter in more ways than one.
  • Incorporating a daily walk into your routine.
  • Engaging in mother/father and child swim classes.
  • A post-partum yoga class.
  • Investing in a few free weights that you can use whenever you find a few pockets of spare time.
  • Asking a friend or relative to babysit a few times a week while you can get to the gym or pool.

Eat Healthfully

Eating healthfully is the perfect accompaniment to any busy lifestyle, and a post-partum lifestyle is no different. In order to have the strength and energy to care for your child and fit in some exercise you are going to need the right kind of fuel. Be sure to:

  • Eat at least five fruits and vegetables per day.
  • Focus on whole grains rather than refined/white bread, pasta and rice products.
  • Throw away the pre-packaged snacks. Remember, eating an apple is just as quick and easy.
  • Eat when you are hungry, and if you are breastfeeding this might be often. Don’t deny yourself or you’ll risk a calorie/sugar/salt-laden binge later.
  • Prepare whole meals. It may be tempting to rely on takeaways and sandwiches, but getting your family into the routine of home-cooked meals, and family mealtime, will bring rewards for years to come.

Stay Positive

When your body feels good, your mind usually does too. Stay positive about keeping fit after birth – even if it’s just a change to a “Yes I Can!” philosophy from a “No I Can’t!” philosophy. Remember, keeping fit is not solely about losing your baby weight. No new mother should feel pressured into losing weight or fitting into old clothes, so if you are feeling this way then actively change your mindset to revelling in the power of your body.

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