When I first had my baby, it was striking how difficult it was to get in a workout. Not only has your whole life flipped upside down, but your body has just gone through nine-ish months of metamorphosis and your are so.darn.tired.
If you want to go to a fitness class, you need to have childcare, and even if you do, your baby might not be interested in spending time with anyone but their mama.
Here are a few ways to make sure you don’t get out of your fitness groove once you become a new mama. If you do find time to get out of the house sans baby, make sure to hit up one of these top Miami gyms.
In the beginning (once you have your doctor’s green light to exercise) *make sure to check in with your doctor before starting any exercise program*
TA squeezes – a common complaint amongst new (and not new) mamas is that their abs are loose. When you have a baby, a lot of things get moved around, including your abdominal muscles. In the beginning, it is super important to forgo the usual crunches and focus in on working a lesser known muscle, the transverse abdominus. The transverse abdominus runs horizontally and works much like a corset to tighten your abdomen on a deeper level.
How to do the TA squeeze:
Lay down on your back with your knees bent or get on your hands and knees.
- Take a deep breath in.
- Exhale deeply envisioning your inner abdominal muscles squeezing in like a corset.
- Hold your breath for 8-10 seconds
- Hold everything in and take another regular inhale and exhale.
- Inhale, release and repeat.
Other gentle exercises you can do at home: marches (on your back), heel slides, bridges, kegels.
1). Go for a walk – we’re lucky to have good weather almost all year here in Miami, so take advantage of it! If you can, head to the waterfront or park. Heading into nature for a walk will not only get your blood flowing, but is also good for your mental health. One study conducted by researchers at Stanford showed that spending time in nature may decrease negative thoughts and depression.
2). Do a gentle yoga flow – if you are able to get out of the house, head to Tropical Vinyasa or Dharma Yoga for a wonderful, gentle mommy & me flow class. If not, check out YogaGlo – they have great gentle and restorative options and everything is online.
As you get stronger (check with your doctor before starting any new program)
3). HIIT – Much of the research on HIIT has concluded that High Intensity Interval Training is at least equal to (some say better than) longer form training. The major benefit of HIIT for moms is that you don’t need a lot of time for it to be effective and you can do it anywhere and while watching your babe.
Here is my favorite HIIT workout du jour:
4). Strength training – buy a pair of weights (start with 5lbs and work your way up) and do an at home strength circuit
20 minute workout for arms
Plank – 60 seconds
20 Push ups
5 push ups with elbows in
10 pushup rows
10 pilates arm circles
10 bicep curls
20 tricep dips
(repeat this circuit 3-5 times)
6). Keep doing those TA squeezes – it is really common for moms to feel insecure about their midsection for years after having a baby. Make sure to keep working your transverse abdominus for years to come.