“In order to carry a positive action we must develop here a positive vision.” – Dalai Lama
Getting in shape isn’t easy for most people let alone after having a baby, but if you have a good plan and a positive attitude it can become less daunting and even, dare I say, FUN!
Get a Head Start — Eat Healthy and Exercise While Pregnant
Eating healthy is the first step. You will have all sorts of cravings during the pregnancy, but the less you give in to the junk food, the better off you and your baby will be after birth. Get your essential nutrients from good veggies, protein, carbs, etc. instead of wasting calories on fast food and sugary foods.
Enroll in Classes or Find Videos to Boost Your Workout
Stroller strides are a great way to begin moving again while sharing your experiences with other moms. Join a running group and do a 5k with your mom friends. Try cycling, swimming, water aerobics, or yoga. Dedicate 15-30 minutes of your day to working on your body; once you feel comfortable, add more time to your daily workout. Weight training is a great way to boost your metabolism, so lift weights and get strong — strength will come in handy to pick up your growing baby. Another idea to easily get into shape: you can play with your baby and hold her or him up from your chest and do repetitions to work out your arms. Hire a personal trainer if you need assistance, and consult your doctor if you experience any pain or abnormal symptoms.
Get More Sleep
This is the most difficult thing to do with an infant, but sleeping when your baby sleeps will help you. Your baby’s sleeping schedules will most likely be odd. However, if you can learn to relax yourself and do things to help you doze off such as reading or doing a breathing exercise, do it! You will feel the benefits of being on the same schedule as your baby.
Every month reward yourself with something cute to feel good about your improved body, like a new accessory or fun piece of workout attire. Celebrate getting into shape and toning up by planning something you enjoy doing. Schedule a romantic date night to feel sexy with your partner once it is OK to leave your baby with a sitter. Lastly, read positive affirmations on body and mental improvement blogs to help inspire you. When you love yourself and stay positive, you can achieve great things!
Don’t Compare Yourself
Don’t overexert yourself or get yourself down. Everyone’s body (and life) is different, so don’t compare yourself to the celebrities you see on TV that shed the weight instantly or to the other moms in your Pilates class. What worked for your friend may not be the best plan for you. Talk with your doctor, a nutritionist, and a physical therapist to come up with your own unique plan for getting back into shape. Make sure it is safe to start an exercise plan and consult with these professionals about the calories you need to take in to give you and your baby the proper energy for breastfeeding.
Disclaimer: This information is for educational purposes only. Please consult your healthcare provider directly for medical advice, diagnoses, and treatments. If you have specific questions or concerns about your health or the health of your baby, consult your physician.