One of the most common postpartum concerns is – how can I get my pre-pregnancy body back? But any new mom will agree that with fun things such as sleep deprivation, busy schedule revolving around the baby, a messy house and an ever growing to-do list – going to the gym is the last thing on your mind. I have been getting so many messages on Instagram that I have bounced back well, but to be honest – while it might seem all good in those singled out pictures on social media, the back story is quite different. I am not even close to what I was pre-pregnancy. And I am not talking body size/weight wise – it just the overall fitness that counts. My knees and ankles are still sore and my stamina is the lowest ever.
Today, I am sharing some tips and also what I have been doing to slowly ease back into my fitness routine.
- Eat Healthy & Hydrate
It can get so crazy with the demands of a baby, running the house, going back to work and so on… that it is tempting to pop in a slice of pizza or munch on chips when hungry. But having healthy snacks at hands, nothing fancy – carrots, nuts, granola, and yogurt can be hugely helpful and help stay away from empty calories.
And most importantly – Hydrate. Hydrate. Hydrate. You and your baby – both need the fluids so drink up!
- Workout with a plan
This is probably my biggest motivating factor to bring my tired/bored/busy self to the gym. Knowing upfront what you will be doing once you reach the gym will give you a guideline to follow and avoid random exercises. I started with the basic workout plan on the Body Building website and I am doing it at my pace. And I am simply skipping those exercises that I my body doesn’t feel ready for yet.
- Include your baby in your fitness plan
If you don’t feel ready to hit the gym or go for any group classes, you can always take walks outside. And take your baby with you. Fresh air is good for both of you! Amit and I love going on hikes and including Zoe in our outdoor adventures is very exciting.
Last weekend, we went to the Minuteman trail in Lexington. I’ll be honest – I was walking like an old lady and my joints felt wobbly – but it felt g.o.o.d!
These Athleta leggings are stretchy and super flattering. ( anything that holds everything in the right places is win-win) I also love the lattice detail which give it a nice pop. I know I’ll be wearing them to work with a sweater and boots!
- Invest in workout clothes that make you excited to get dressed
An outfit that doesn’t make you feel good can be a big demotivating factor in walking out of the door. I really get excited about working out if my outfits are cute. Ha! And given the cold weather coming in, I want pieces that are cozy and comfortable.
This pullover is soft with a super-cozy inner lining. Fits right into the category of the simply throw on and go outfit. It is seriously so warm that I have been wearing iit over a tank top lately and it feels sufficient in the current lower 40s Boston weather.
Also this vest is a new favorite. I absolutely love the striking silver color. Size up so there is room for layering.
- Don’t put pressure on yourself
This is probably the #1 advice that I received. Our bodies go through so many beautiful changes during pregnancy that it might take some time to “bounce” back. Pressurizing yourself to look a certain way can put undue emotional stress– so let’s just take it one day at a time. There is no need to fulfill any society expectations of when you need to lose the post-pregnancy weight . It took me two months to go back to the gym after my delivery and in the first week, I went for a total of 15 minutes! Amit keeps reminding me to be happy with whatever little workout I am able to do. Every little it is a step forward!
I think the most important thing is to accept our body and give it the love it deserves. It is capable of doing so many wonderful things – let us celebrate that. xo Neha
This post is sponsored by Athleta and is part of their beautiful and inspiring #PowerOfShe campaign. All opinions are my own.
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