How To Get Fit Again After Having A Baby

Having kids is extremely tough on your body. It starts from when you fall pregnant growing this little being to carrying your child for 9 months and finally ending off with breastfeeding and serious lack of sleep. All these factors contribute to firstly not having enough time to do anything else. And when you do have time, the last thing you feel like doing is exercise. We have all been there at some point.

In this article you’ll get 5 tips to help you get back into shape and starting to feel good about yourself again.

Please always consult your doctor if you have any medical conditions. Please also get the go ahead from your GP before doing any exercise after having a baby. Don’t be a hero, let your body recover from child birth first.

Do Something You Actually Enjoy

It’s simple if you don’t enjoy running, then don’t run. If you do not enjoy doing yoga or Pilates, nor have the time it then don’t even consider it. Do something that you actually enjoy. If it’s riding, then look at how you can incorporate this into your schedule. If you enjoy hiking or walking, look at ideas like a park run or hiking trips that you can take your baby along with you.

The point being if you don’t enjoy it, you won’t want to do it. And then you land up never doing it.

Get a GPS Sports Watch with Heart Rate Monitoring

This may seem like an expensive purchase just to get fit again. But if there is one investment you should make, it is buying a GPS Sports Watch with a heart rate monitor. And for a very simple reason – if you want to get fit again you need to monitor your heart rate and track your activities.




Here is a list of GPS Sports Watches with heart rate monitoring:

TomTom Touch Cardio  Fitness Tracker

Price: R1399, FitGear.co.za

Get up to 5 days battery life of tracking steps, sleep and heart rate.  Customisable straps with 24/7 tracking. Capture steps, active time, calories burned, distance walked and sleep time.

Picture of TomTom Touch Cardio Fitness Tracker Black

TomTom Touch Cardio + Body Composition Fitness Tracker

Price: R1999, FitGear.co.za

Get up to 5 days battery life of tracking steps, sleep and heart rate. Also track your body composition. Measure your body fat and muscle mass percentage with the touch of a button. Customisable straps with 24/7 tracking. Capture steps, active time, calories burned, distance walked and sleep time

TomTom Fitness Tracker Black

TomTom Spark Small Strap

Price: R2199, FitGear.co.za

TomTom Spark 3 GPS Watch – Train to the beat of your heart on your wrist. See your heart rate on your wrist with the built-in heart rate monitor. No chest strap needed.

Picture of TomTom Spark 3 GPS Watch Small

Samsung Gear Fit 2 -Pink (small strap)

Price: R3199, FitGear.co.za

The Samsung Gear Fit 2 comes with built-in GPS to track your running route, distance and speed in real time with precision and dedication so you can go farther, better. Get the most out of every workout with Gear Fit2’s highly accurate heart rate monitor.

Picture of Samsung Gear Fit 2 GPS Sports Band (Pink) - Small

TomTom Runner 3 GPS Cardio

Price: R2999, FitGear.co.za

TomTom Spark 3 GPS Watch – Train to the beat of your heart on your wrist. See your heart rate on your wrist with the built-in heart rate monitor. No chest strap needed.

Picture of TomTom Runner 3 GPS Sports Watch Cardio Small



Set Aside 30 Minutes

You do not need to spend hours running, swimming, cycling, doing yoga or Pilates classes. Spending just 30 minutes every other day is all you need to get started. Gradually add either more time to each session, or do more 30 minute sessions per week. You should do a minimum of three 30 minutes sessions per week, always ensuring you spend another 10-15 minutes stretching. Stretching is incredibly important.

Activities you can do at home (whilst baby is sleeping):

  • If you like to cycle. The best investment here is a spinning bike. Hop on the bike, get music going and do a 30 min ride.
  • Those who enjoy walking or running, go for a brisk walk or run for 30 min.
  • Get yourself a mat and YouTube ‘yoga class’ or ‘Pilates class’ etc.

Activities you can do at the gym:

  • Get on the treadmill for a 30min run or brisk walk.
  • Find a spinning bike (not a normal gym bike) as a spinning bike adds additional tension. Do a spin for 30 minutes.
  • If you have more than 30min do a kettle bell class, great core strengthening class.

If you’re spending 30 minutes of exercise, you need to ensure you heart rate is on average above 60%. Do not push yourself to hard in the beginning, first get familiar with your maximum heart rate. As you get fitter you will be able to push yourself more. This is why having a GPS sports watch is beneficial, as it will calculate your heart rate.

How to calculate your maximum heart rate?

To get your maximum heart rate you need to subtract your age from 220. So for example, if you’re 38 years old, subtract 38 from 220 to get a maximum heart rate of 182. This is the maximum number of times your heart should beat per minute during exercise.

Set Yourself A Goal

Most women are goal orientated. If you’re on Discovery Health join their Vitality program. There is nothing like watching your goal on a daily basis and reaching them at the end of the week. Then to be awarded with a free coffee or smoothie. By using the Discovery App it will help to further motivate you to continue to exercise. You will be surprised at how easily you will find 30 minutes in your day, and when you’ve completed the 30 minutes you will feel great.

If you do not have Discovery Vitality. Print yourself a sheet and place it somewhere prominent like your fridge or mirror. Set yourself a mini training program. There are many online by just Googling ‘Training plan to run your first 5km’ or 10km or full marathon. Whatever your goal is, seeing this everyday will help you to achieve it. Print it out and place it somewhere you look everyday.

Planking

If you have not heard of it, this is what it looks like:

Image result for planking

This is a little secret we want to share with you. If you look at the picture above you will see why. See the highlighted orange muscle this exercise targets. Perfect for getting rid of that tummy tire bulge. And it works. After each 30 minutes session spend another 5 minutes doing 5-10 planks to start off.

Hold yourself in the plank position and count to 15-20 seconds (your body will shake!). Then release and relax for a few seconds. Repeat 10 times. Start off slow by doing 2 or 3 planks and gradually increase the number as you get stronger. This little exercise works wonders after you have had a baby. And it only takes you a couple more minutes to incorporate into your exercise regime.

It’s really as simple as these 5 steps.

Start off slow and gradually build up your strength. Continue on a weekly basis and you will find yourself being able to do longer sessions. Another tip here that you will probably not like to hear. Lay off the wine. Drinking wine and/or smoking is going to really hinder the progress of getting fit again. When you feel like opening that bottle of wine, rather get your trainers on and do a session.

Good luck Mommies, you’ve got this! Please SHARE!

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