Hey, lovely mums and mums-to-be!
As a fitness specialist and a mum of two cheeky monkeys myself, I know all too well the struggles of keeping fit while juggling nappies, sleepless nights, and the endless rounds of 'Peppa Pig'!
But let me tell you ladies, suitable home workouts are the secret to not only getting your body and strength back but also staying sane! So, grab a cuppa (or a protein snack, if you're feeling healthy!), and let's dive into the world of pre and postnatal fitness.
Why Pre and Postnatal Workouts?
You might be thinking, "I've got a baby on the way or a newborn at home, isn't that workout enough?" Trust me, I've been there.
Regular exercise during and after pregnancy doesn’t have to be anything overwhelming! Short home workouts can easily slot into your busy routine and easily become a healthy habit. The right kind of exercise can be life changing and it’s easy to underestimate the difference it makes to ourselves and our unborn baby.
It reduces morning sickness, improves your mood (and let’s be honest those hormones are all over the place), prevents and helps pelvic girdle pain and sciatica (believe me i’ve been there too!) and so many other symptoms we endure as our body changes.
It is also a game changer for helping with swelling, back and neck ache, headaches, the dreaded bloating and constipation and helps us to move around with ease (especially if we have older ones to look after!) All these delightful things we experience not just during but after pregnancy too.
For me, the biggest benefits were the increase in energy and mood (bye-bye, baby blues!), and, of course, help you regain your pre-pregnancy body shape and strength much faster and so much EASIER!
Pre and Postnatal Workouts: The Do's and Don'ts
Before you start doing burpees and kettlebell swings, remember that not all exercises are safe, especially when you're pregnant or after birth.
It is important to focus on exercises that strengthen the core, and remember this is connected to your pelvic floor too. Think of the core muscles as your body's very own 'Spanx' - deep layers of muscle wrap around your middle like a corset, they hold everything in. Strengthening the core will help heal any abdominal separation and recover faster post-birth.
You must develop your strength before starting any high-impact exercises and anything that puts pressure on your joints. So marathon runners, you might have to take it down a notch, just for a little while! If you don’t then you are storing up problems for later down the line and often develop all kinds of aches, pains and conditions (which can be really debilitating).
Postnatal Workouts: Getting that body moving again
Once you've got the all-clear from a medical professional, it's time to slowly ease back into your workout routine. Start with gentle exercises like walking or some LBB home workouts!
Remember, the goal here is not to fit into your pre-pregnancy jeans ASAP (although I know that would be a nice bonus), but to help your body recover and get stronger. You will develop your fitness, strength, mental well-being and as a consequence your quality of life and your body shape will improve!
The Bottom Line
Pre and postnatal workouts are a fantastic way to keep fit, feel happier and more confident again. It can also be an isolating time, with some mums struggling to get out of the house - and so making new mum friends through an online fitness community can also be a bonus (and a lifeline) .
But remember, every mum's journey is different, so don't compare yourself to others. Listen to your body, go at your own pace, and most importantly, enjoy this special time with your little one.
So, there you have it ladies! Now, if you'll excuse me, I have a date in my workout studio with some resistance bands and a very demanding two-year-old. Happy exercising!!!
Remember, you're not just a mum, you are a SUPERMUM!
Thanks for reading
Kate Healey - Stapleton
P.S. Always consult with a medical professional before starting any new workout regime during or after pregnancy. Safety first, ladies!