I get many questions about getting in shape post-baby. Most women are itching to lose the extra baby weight, tighten up their body, and get back into their pre-baby clothes! Here's the advice I give to new mamas, and the advice I followed, myself, after having 2 kids.
1.) Don't underestimate the power of a walk.
I think many times we are ready to jump into super intense exercise, similar to what we were doing before we got pregnant. Sometimes the best thing for us to do is to just go for a walk. Aim to do this nearly every day. It doesn't have to be a power walk and it doesn't have to last 30 minutes each time. Wrap your baby (I wore mine a lot!), put your toddler in the stroller, grab your husband's hand (or call a friend!) and walk! This will do a lot for you physically and mentally.
2.) Understand that it's going to take time.
This is perhaps my biggest piece of advice I stress to all mamas. I know you've heard it before, but it took 9 months to get to this place, it will take some time to get it off!
3.) Choose a nap over exercise.
....on some days! I know for myself, that I benefited much more mentally and physically by taking a 20 minute catnap instead of doing a 20 minute DVD. You don't want to abuse this fact, but I think you know when you need sleep!
4.) Set short, attainable goals.
I don't think you see this piece of advice too often. I usually see that we need to accomplish the big goals and shoot big. HOWEVER, I've found that when the big goal isn't attainable, people don't dial down...they quit. I'd rather you have some feelings of accomplishment and then build upon that. Some great examples would be: Exercise 3 days a week, 30 minutes each time. Only drink one can of soda today. Stop eating after 8pm.
5.) When you can't win the battle with exercise, win it with diet.
This is actually a great rule of thumb for everyone, post-baby or not! I understand that it's hard to get exercise in when you also need to nap, clean, and spend time with your other children during baby's naptime. I've totally been there. So exercise may be sparse, however, eating is ALL DAY. Every time you hit the kitchen, be mindful of what you are putting in your mouth, and you might be surprised at how quickly that affects your body!
6.) Shift your goal from reaching your pre-pregnancy body, to being the BEST you can be RIGHT NOW.
I know you don't want to hear this. But the truth is, you are asking for something that just may not be possible now. Your life IS NOT the same as it was pre-baby which means you have a ton of variables making it that much harder to hit that goal. Focus on being the best for what's going on in your life today. You will be out of this phase before you know it.
Be sure to check out my blog, www.peak313.com, for constant motivation, encouragement, tips and healthy recipes to get you through your journey!