I had a really good reason to get straight back into exercise after I had my baby – she arrived suddenly just before we opened LaFit Studio. I was juggling a new fitness business and a newborn, but it was important to keep working out because it was literally, work!
I’d had an emergency caesarean, so I was forced to take it very easy for six weeks afterwards. It is really important to take adequate time for your body to heal or you risk long term damage to your abdominals and internal organs. Once I was cleared by my doctor I eased back into things with walking.
The first decent walk we took around Lake Monger, it felt so great to move my body without that extra weight and instability through my hips! I started walking at every opportunity – to the shops, down the street to get a coffee, over to my in-laws, anywhere. I’d recommend walking to every new mum as your first step to getting back into exercise. It gets you both out of the house, you can do it any time, and it avoids the need to get baby in and out of the car! You’ll be pleasantly surprised how many kilometres you can clock up just by choosing to walk instead of driving.
Getting out and about is not only important to your physical health, but it is essential to your mental and emotional wellbeing. This is hardly news, but being a new parent is hard! As you grow progressively more tired things can start to feel overwhelming when you’re stuck in the house. A stroll down around the block at the witching hour is a welcome distraction and the fresh air works wonders for both of you.
After eight weeks I got back into LaFit's Megaformer class, with modifications. Our regular classes are high intensity and contain a lot of core and flexibility work so we reduce the abdominal and split stance exercises for post-natal. I worked at half intensity for a good month and made sure to stop if I felt any discomfort. It’s so tempting to push yourself hard immediately in the quest to get back into your skinny jeans, but you just have to listen to your body. Whether you’ve endured the equivalent of a marathon with a traditional delivery, or had major abdominal surgery with a caesarean, your body has just taken a beating. Give yourself a break – you’re also about to undergo months of sleep deprivation torture!
Between feeding, sleeping and managing the business, finding time to work out was tough. My mum is very supportive, and would often push me out the door just in time to make a session. On Saturdays my husband and I would head down to the studio together and take turns watching bub and working out, which turned out to be a great strategy. We’ve had lots of clients do the same!
In the months since I’ve averaged two hard workouts a week, supplemented with walking and the (very) occasional jog. Like every new mum I don’t have hours to spend in the gym so I have to make the most of every session. (Our philosophy at the studio is that you don’t need more time, you need more intensity).
My body has bounced back pretty well, which I put down to exercising during my pregnancy. Staying fit not only made me feel great and kept my energy up, but I had a base level of strength when I returned to the fitness studio. Unless you have a medical reason to avoid exercise during your pregnancy you should definitely keep it up! Keep in mind that your body is working hard to engineer a human so you should take it easy, but staying fit during your pregnancy will certainly assist you during your birth and recovery.
It’s really easy to feel overcome with all the things you ‘should’ be doing as a new mum, so just remember so long as you are moving your body you are getting it right. I love my 45 minute sweat session at the studio just as much as I enjoy getting some fresh air pushing the pram and chatting to a friend. Working out not only strengthens, tones and helps you lose the baby weight it also makes you feel good and more yourself, which is the most important thing. Getting back into exercise after my baby was important for my work, but even more so for my lifestyle.
If you would like to find out more about Lagree Fitness at LaFit Studio visit lafitstudio.com.au.