If you want to exercise after childbirth, but are having difficulty staying committed to your weekly postpartum fitness plan, then this post will hopefully help you stay on track.
When you have a habit of exercising then you do it without a real lot of thought. It is a part of your daily routine just as going to work, having lunch and picking up the kids after school.
You don’t have to go all out at first, in fact it is best to start easy and progressively increase your volume until you are at a point so that your exercise session is where you are consistently improving your fitness levels in the given time available.
Here are some tips to help you get to that point where exercise is a habit and a part of your daily schedule.
If you enjoy exercising then it is more likely that you will go back for more. Some people like running and some don’t. Some like swimming and others don’t. So it is not for me to tell you which mode of exercise to choose (as long as it is safe) but for you to find that out for yourself so that you will enjoy it.
Remember that not all modes of exercise bring about the same results so choose one that meets your requirements in terms of calories burned, level of difficulty, muscle groups worked and duration required to bring about desired results.
Now that you have selected your favourite exercise you need to pick a second and third one that you can incorporate into your training program in order to prevent monotony and boredom. As humans, we get tired of anything we have to do over and over again. So to keep your motivation levels high add variety to your exercise regime.
The best time to exercise is in the morning. If you get your exercise session completed in the morning then you will be more motivated, alert and energised for the rest of the day as when we exercise endorphins are released that make us feel happy.
You will also start the day off positively and will know that you have achieved one of your daily goals before you get into work. If you don’t exercise early then you will be more likely to put it off all together as the day progresses and the demands of work and home life take over your thoughts.
With all the health benefits associated with exercise you should have it at the top of your list. This way you will put it above the less important tasks. If you have a long day ahead of you then you can plan little bouts of exercise throughout the day.
For example; take the stairs instead of the elevator, or go out for a walk at lunch or take a ten minute break from working to use an elastic exercise band. There are many options when it comes to exercising during the day so ask your personal trainer at your gym for some other exercises you can do at work.
By keeping a journal of your daily and weekly exercise then you will be able to see just how much exercise you are getting and when you are slacking off. There may be habits forming with regards to the excuses that cause you not to exercise. Therefore, it is on these days that you can plan exercise throughout your day.
There are many reasons why you should reward yourself. The first being that it gives you something to work towards. For example, for every 100 km you walk or run you can spoil yourself with a nice dinner or an extra night out at the movies.
Secondly, we often need some form of external motivation to exercise so rewarding yourself with a new gadget, shopping spree (just don't tell your partner!) or massage will help you justify this reward.
Make exercise a lifestyle choice and not just one for the holidays or the few weeks before summer to try and tone up. The benefits of exercise include; reduced stress levels, boost your immune system, prevents obesity, gives you more energy, helps you sleep better, assist in preventing high blood pressure and best of all it improves your self-image. So why wouldn't you want to exercise!
You have to have a high level of motivation to keep doing it all on your own. So, I would recommend you join an approved postpartum exercise class, book a session with a qualified postpartum instructor or join my Core Rehab for Mamas or Strong Mama Challenge and be supported and guided every day!