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For New Mommies
Photo: Mahalie Pech
It takes nine (really 10) months to grow a baby. You, as a mother-to-be, are truly partnering with God in a miracle--that of creating and sustaining life. What could be more phenomenal? And then your baby is born. The experience really does blow your mind--in more ways than one. For all of a sudden (perhaps after a few weeks when you’ve attempted to sleep and have slightly adjusted to this new resident of your home) you take a good look at yourself and say: “who is this person and what has she done with the old me?” Take heart ladies: you can bring back the old you and make her stronger, tougher, leaner, and better than before!

Who has the time with a new baby? You do, that’s who--because no one is asking you to train for the Marine Corps Marathon. Fitness doesn’t have to take long hours and grueling effort and you can carve out small pockets of time to do something good for yourself. Quick, efficient, consistency is key; and a healthy, fit you (even with a small baby) is within your reach. Think “Simplicity”

Getting started

First things first: make sure you have been cleared by your doctor to embark on a fitness program. If you had a natural delivery, your recovery time will be less than that of a woman who had a c-section.

Seek your doctor’s advice on this and heed it well. No doubt you have received a stroller (or traveling system as they are better known these days) at your baby shower, so take baby along for a well-deserved walk.

If the weather is unfriendly and you have access to a treadmill, hop on it. If you don’t have a treadmill, put the baby in one of those carrier contraptions (which I am confident you did receive at your shower) and briskly march around your house.

Stretch first please! If you were reasonably active during your pregnancy, you know the drill. If you were not, take the time to warm up your entire body to reduce the risk of injury (because you frankly, have no time for injury now). And that’s it.

Take a nice, brisk walk for 20 minutes. Breathe deeply as you move and focus your mind on how each step is returning you to your former glory. Experts agree that walking is great for burning fat and increasing cardiovascular strength. An added bonus: a baby in a stroller or carrier while briskly walked, will nap!

Here’s something else to consider: workout DVDs and tapes. There are a variety of excellent options on the market these days, for all fitness levels--even for new moms. Do a little research on the Internet and invest in them. While baby naps or is otherwise occupied, you can get in a quick and efficient workout that will make a difference! Every little bit helps so strive for getting some exercise every day and consider it “me” time.

Muscles, Muscles, Muscles

Before you panic, no one is in training for Ms. Olympia 2006 here, but you can benefit from strengthening and toning your muscles. Basic old-fashioned crunches, squats, lunges, and dumbbell curls are still tried and true exercises and can be done anywhere. Check out your local library for fitness books that describe various workouts, or better yet, follow along with those nifty workout DVDs and tapes. Pay special attention to carefully and cautiously working abdominal and back muscles. These areas in particular take a beating during pregnancy.

Your Health and Well-being Matter

As you take care of this little person God has blessed you with, do not neglect yourself. Children demand everything of us and we cannot deliver if we are not up to the challenge--mentally, spiritually, and physically. Commit to improving your fitness and know that it doesn’t have to take a lot of time to do it. God worked a miracle in your body. Take care of it! 

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By Wilona Karimabadi. Copyright © 2007 by GraceNotes. All rights reserved. Use of this material is subject to usage guidelines.

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