Postpartum Fitness, A Challenge For Any Athlete

It was inspiring to see the Olympic athlete moms go for the gold. Even the exhausting training schedule and intense mental focus required to compete in competition doesn’t quite prepare a woman for the lifestyle changes and responsibilities of motherhood.

Caring for a helpless newborn is challenging enough, then toss in major hormonal changes, sleep deprivation, loss of energy, a slow-moving metabolism and unbecoming changes in body composition. The result can be one frustrated female - especially for someone used to getting her workouts in.

Adjusting to motherhood and trying to get your body back in shape is incredibly frustrating for any mom.

Most new moms feel that they don’t have the time or the energy to take care of themselves. Ironically, it’s what a mom needs most. Very soon after childbirth, most doctors say new moms can start out with a program of gentle stretching, slow walking, abdominal contractions and Kegel exercises.

Usually about six weeks postpartum, it’s considered safe by most experts to take walks with your baby safely tucked in a sturdy stroller. Getting outside and staying active with your baby is so important – for your state of mind as well as your health. A program like Stroller Strides will help you fit fitness in to motherhood.

Go slow at first and build up in time and intensity. As your baby gets bigger so will your effort (and your results). Be sure to receive clearance from your obstetrician and pediatrician before beginning any type of vigorous exercise program). Start out by alternating walking and power walking, eventually leading up to an outing that is mostly fast-paced, power walking. Gradually build up to jogging after a few months, and then finally, running. Exercise should be stress reducing, not stress promoting.

What advice do you have for new moms who want to find time for fitness?

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