So you’ve just become a new Mum. Congratulations!!! Whether this is your first baby or your last, remember, you are still a new Mum to this baby. You have not parented this baby before and you both have so much to learn from each other. It is such an exciting, yet tiring, but rewarding time of your life!

You may now have medical clearance and be feeling ready to get back into exercising and letting those feel good endorphins run free again! Yet you’re thinking, how on earth am I meant to fit exercise in to my day amongst all the feeding, burping and nappy explosions… we get it, mum life is a tough gig but it’s even tougher when we don’t look after ourselves! So we have come up with five tips to help you incorporate exercise as a new Mum.

Make it a priority

It is so easy to forget about making time for yourself when you have a new baby.  Life really is all about them now, but for your own mental and physical wellbeing, exercise is so beneficial for both you and baby!  Therefore, making exercise a priority and planning when you will do it is the first step.

Set realistic goals

We all know the importance of goals. Sometimes you might think they are a drag, but they are a good way to set yourself up for success. When we say realistic, we mean goals that are achievable and specific. It is good to start with an end goal and then set smaller goals that will help you achieve your end goal.  For example, your end goal might be that you want to be able to run 5km in 45 minutes by the time your baby is one. But smaller goals might be something like, I am going to commit to three 2.5km walks this week. Followed by a goal of jogging for 200 metres and walking for 50 metres for 3km.

Hit the pavement

Fresh air can do amazing things for the mind and body! Especially when you have been cooped up inside your house for a few days with a cluster feeding baby.  Get the pram out and go for a stroll. Even if you are feeling super tired, we guarantee you will be feeling more refreshed and energised afterwards!

Use baby as a weight

Your baby will be the cutest piece of weight equipment you will ever get to use! Once you are feeling strong enough to incorporate some weighted exercise you can wrap baby to your chest and use them for added resistance.  They will benefit from being close to your body, and your muscles will benefit from the extra weight! Our RHNZ exercise library has workouts which demonstrate exercises that can be done with your baby.

Short bursts add up

You don’t have to be going to a gym and spending hours working out to get results.  If you only have 5 minutes spare here and there, utilise that time! If you do four rounds of 5 minute bursts, you have completed a 20 minute workout! Or even if you only have time to fit in a 10 minute workout, something is always better than nothing!

And remember, you can’t out train a bad diet.  Fuelling your body with nutrient dense foods is a vital aspect of your postpartum journey.  Do not try and cut your calories dramatically in order to lose the baby weight. Especially if you are breastfeeding. Your body needs more energy now than ever before so do your best to choose real food such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, seeds and quality meats.

And lastly, your body has just gone through an amazing journey growing and giving life to this precious baby.  Do not put too much pressure on yourself to bounce back. You will get there!

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