Before I get into my post about fitness this week, I want to wish everyone a Happy International Babywearing Week (October 4th – 10th)! I love this babywearing selfie I took of Hannah and me when she was just a couple weeks old. She just loved to be carried around when she was tiny. It was when she took her best naps!
Anyway, I must apologize for missing a week of blogging; we were in Boston on a family trip and then had some technical difficulties and well, Baby Hannah and I are back now!
So, this week I am writing about:
Post Pregnancy Fitness I wish I had done to prepare for being a Mom….
Throughout my pregnancy, I maintained what I thought would be a very healthy fitness routine to prepare to give birth for the first time. I read all about what you can and can’t do in the first, second, and third trimester. For the most part, this included a lot of swimming, walking, and yoga. These three activities were wonderful leading up to my labor. Swimming in the pool and ocean felt great as I felt so lightweight in the water. Walking was excellent for my circulation and a little bit of cardio while going uphill. Yoga was also fantastic with all those hip opening poses. However, I didn’t think once about how I could prepare my body for after the birth.
I truly had no idea how physically exhausting being a mom is. My daughter is now five and a half months old and by the end of each day I practically feel like I’ve done a Cross Fit workout. My back and shoulders are sore from lifting not only my little Hannah, but also lifting the stroller or carseat in and out of the car a couple times a day. My knees are tender from crawling around on the floor all day while we play. My legs are beat from carrying her up and down the stairs or picking up toys, bottles, laundry, and pacifiers while having her on my hip. It all adds up to become one major Mom workout by the time bedtime rolls around and I place Hannah in her crib for the final time.
I find myself thinking all the time now, why didn’t I prepare more for this before I had a baby? I was so concentrated on preparing for the birth that I didn’t look past the birth to what it would be like on my body afterwards. So, I have vowed that with my next baby, I will be more prepared by adding a few extra steps to my exercise routine. I have outlined three simple moves I wish I had done more of below.
- SQUATS – When I have my baby girl in my arms and I have to pick up anything off the floor, I can’t simply bend over and grab whatever it is, especially if I’m wearing her in a sling or a Moby wrap. Squatting has become something I do all the time that I wish I had done more throughout my pregnancy.
- STAIRS – If I had known how many times I would be running up and down the stairs to fetch things I left up in the nursery and bringing them down to the playroom, I would have done a lot more stairs. Stairs and step workouts also strengthen the muscles around the knees which would help a lot since I am always crawling around on my knees after Hannah now!
- ARM CIRCLES – These are great for building shoulder strength. Small 3-inch arm circles with your arms stretched outwards at shoulder height with lightweights in your hands get your muscles warmed up nicely. Your blood starts flowing and prepares your joints for lifting those heavy baby car seats, strollers, jumpers, and other fun stuff you buy!
Even though I didn’t do any of these exercises while I was pregnant, I am doing them now and it is helping me get stronger and to feel more mobile. The importance of Mobility is something I will write more about in the future.
I try to include Hannah as much as possible while I work out, too– she makes a great 15 pound weight! So, whether you’re doing these with or without your baby belly, I hope they help you prepare for “mom life”, which as we all know is the hardest, most fun job of all!
We would love to hear from you… What post pregnancy fitness routine did you wish you could have done to prepare you for life as a new momma?
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