I knew after my baby was born I would have to change the way I exercised but I never expected having a baby to completely change the way I thought about exercise.
I tried to stay active throughout my pregnancy and walked regularily, while also trying to fit in one or two pregnancy exercise classes a week that incorporated cardio and strength training.
Once all 3.74kgs of healthy baby arrived healing my body became a priority. I had always approached exercise with the goal of weight loss, but suddenly I wasn’t thinking about losing my baby weight; everything was about resting, relaxing when I could and treating my body with kindness.
After experiencing how amazing my body really is during my pregnancy and the delivery, I discovered a new respect for just what I am capable of. My mindset definitely shifted and I found myself wanting to get back into exercise to help strengthen my arms to carry my baby; to get outside in the fresh air and walk for my mental health; and to try new classes and meet other mums.
Once my stitches started to heal I put my baby in his pram and began walking around my neighbourhood. Sometimes those walks would just be a few blocks to grab a coffee and other times I wandered around my suburb for hours. Walking was a really easy way to get moving again and to also get out of the house with my new baby and start to feel more like myself. As I recovered, my walks grew more frequent and I started using a carrier as well.
I had taken Preggi Bellies classes right up until I was 38 weeks pregnant and was excited to get back to them once I was cleared by my doctor. Preggi Bellies involve aerobic exercises and some weights on medi balls. The classes were always packed full of pregnant ladies and it was a really fun way to keep active. Returning to the classes postpartum was easy because you’re encouraged to exercise at your own pace and be mindful of your body’s condition. I never felt pressure to push myself beyond what my body could handle. Plus, I am able to bring my son along in his pram to some of the classes which makes life a lot easier.
Some of my friends also recommended I check out MEGA, which stands for Mums Exercise Group Australia. It is a fantastic initiative providing mums with lots of free or low cost exercising options. A lot of the events are also child-friendly which is incredibly helpful.
Mums volunteer their time to run events like boxing, bootcamp, walks and aqua-aerobics for other mums in their area. So far I have tried a yoga class (while the boy fed, slept and farted), a bootcamp (while the boy cried, fed and pooped) and a walk around Lake Burley Griffin (while the boy slept, cried, fed and then cried some more!).
It has been a lovely way to meet other mums and also dip my toe back into exercising. Next, I want to try their trampoline events and aqua-aerobics.
I’d love to know how you like to stay fit and what exercises you love!