Forget everything you thought you knew about fitness. Your go-to workouts and favorite exercises might not work anymore or worse- they may actually cause damage! Err on the side of caution before beginning any workout routine AT ALL. I assumed yoga was a safe bet because it is low impact. Unfortunately, some yoga moves I previously had zero trouble with now cause me quite a bit of pain…. And not the gratifying post workout soreness pain, REAL pain.
Get to walkin’. With few exceptions, walking is the greatest postpartum exercise. There is little risk of injury, tons of emotional and physical benefits, and it’s accessible [aka free + can be done nearly anywhere at anytime].
Seek out specialized professional help. A background in physical therapy is super helpful! A personal trainer may have tons of happy clients and success stories but if they do not have experience with postpartum clients, stay away! Frankly, I would also stay away from male trainers all together. There are online resources as well- I’m currently using the Mutu System and I love it so far.
Think of your pregnancy essentially as an injury. You need to heal and recover, regardless of what shape you are in. When I first returned to the gym, I was anxious to target my problem areas. My first workouts were running and weight lifting because I wanted to slim down my stomach and arms ASAP. This was not a good approach. My back pain worsened which only set me further back. I now approach my workouts as a time to repair my core and pelvic muscles.
Make adjustments to your everyday motions. I definitely understand that sitting all day is a reality for many people- I personally spend a ton of time sitting whether at my desk or in my car. Think outside the box to work around this, even if it feels goofy sometimes! I go on daily walks and stand as much as possible. I even do laps up and down the hallways in my building or use restrooms on other floors to get some extra steps in. Take the stairs. Get a lumbar pillow. These small adjustments throughout the day do add up!
Be as active as possible during your pregnancy. Many women do not think core work is possible during this time, but it actually is and will make postpartum bounce back much easier.
Redefine your idea of bounce back. The reality is your body has changed and those changes are permanent on some level. We have all seen the #momgoals bodies online, but even those moms will tell you their bodies changed. In my opinion, bounce back is more about physical comfort than physical appearance. Naturally, I look forward to fitting into my pre-pregnancy clothes, but I REALLY look forward to less back pain.
Drink lots of water and make your water multitask! I know drinking enough water is challenging for a lot of people. I find it helps if your water can go an extra mile whether in flavor or benefits. Some of my favorite water hacks are electrolytes, collagen, and matcha. Electrolytes are essentially the good stuff [potassium + magnesium] in sports drinks but without the sugar. I add magnesium to my water daily in the form of Natural Calm. Magnesium helps me with my migraines and digestion. I also love Vital Proteins’ collagen powders. My favorite is their match powder! This supplement gives me energy, better skin and hair, and a few extra grams of low calorie protein. Both supplements can be stirred into water of any temperature- super user friendly!
Treat yourself to fun gym stuff. I splurged on a delicious Lush body wash and a few workout outfits. Now I really look forward to my post gym shower.
Two part tip: remember there IS such thing as too many kegels and always be kind to yourself.
“Booty vicious, mind yo business! I been working, working on my fitness.” Lizzo.