Bouncing Back After Baby: Fitness Tips for New Moms

Don’t get excited.

I’m not pregnant.

Recently, Katie Moore, blogging at Moore from Katie, asked if I accepted guest posts. No one had offered so I had never thought about it.

For future reference: skinnyshae accepts guest posts. Email me.

Even guest posts about babies.

But, really, who doesn’t love babies?

kids and dogs

Having a baby can be an overwhelming experience. Pregnancy, labor and early motherhood can take a toll on both physical and mental health, which can make it difficult for new moms to make fitness a priority. However, the pros of getting back into shape after giving birth far outweigh the cons. A healthy lifestyle that includes exercise and a balanced diet will boost energy, improve appearance and lend to better overall health and wellness. With the following tips, new moms can look and feel their best, without spending hours at the gym.

First of all, it’s important to make sure your post-pregnancy body is ready for exercise. Most doctors recommend at least six weeks of rest after giving birth, as exercising too soon after delivery can cause injury and exhaustion. Talk with your OB/GYN before beginning any exercise regimen. I had a great relationship with my doctor, who helped prepare me for delivery so well by explaining all of my available options when it came to pain management, cord blood banking, immunization, and breastfeeding, so I was very comfortable going back to him to learn more about my postpartum health.

If your doctor has given you the green light to get back into shape, a good first step is to set a realistic goal concerning health and wellness. Focus on the big picture, but take small steps as to not get overwhelmed. If weight loss is your ultimate goal, try losing 5 pounds at a time instead of 20 or 30.

Most new moms don’t have hours a day to dedicate to exercise. Luckily, getting into shape can be done in less than an hour a day, and without a trip to the gym or any costly exercise equipment. One great fitness tip for new moms is to make every minute of exercise count. Breaking up workouts into smaller sections is just as beneficial as doing it all at once. For example, the following fitness moves can be done while performing daily chores and activities:

Squats and Lunges– To tone legs and butt, perform a few of these exercises while cooking, preparing baby bottles or folding laundry. After I started feeling more energized, I began squatting with my baby

Crunches– Pregnancy can do a number on ab muscles. To get back a pre-baby belly, crunches and sit-ups are essential. Do a few while baby naps, or while watching television during downtime. Be sure to check your ab muscles for separation, you can do more harm than good if you begin doing ab workouts too soon.

Cardio– Cardiovascular exercise is a must for weight loss. It gets the heart pumping and the blood flowing, which increases metabolism and burns calories and fat. The great thing about cardio workouts is their versatility: any exercise that increases heart rate is considered cardiovascular exercise. A few fun cardio options include dancing, tennis, swimming, walking and elliptical.

Weight Training– Lifting weights isn’t just for bodybuilders. To get toned, lean arm muscles, try lifting three or five pound free weights. Just a few minutes a day can yield enormous results, which is a great benefit for busy new moms. You will naturally be doing lifts everyday when you pick up your baby, so turn an arm workout into a bonding experience; I loved to lay down on the ground and do lifts with my daughter & bring her back down for a kiss.

While regular exercise is essential for toning up after childbirth, diet is just as important for health and weight loss. All women, and new moms especially, should make healthy eating a top priority. A balanced diet will provide the vitamins and minerals necessary to maintain a healthy weight and high energy levels, as well as decrease the risks of diabetes, heart disease and even certain types of cancer. By taking care of your body to the best of your ability, you will soon be feeling more energized and healthier for taking on the challenges of motherhood.

This article was written by Katie Moore. Katie is an active writer within the blogging community who discusses maternity, motherhood, prenatal health, childbirth and other topics within this niche.  If you have any questions or would like to connect with Katie please contact by visiting her blog, Moore From Katie or her twitter @moorekm26.