Postpartum exercise: five tips to stay motivated October 17 2015, 1 Comment
Just before I gave birth, I was so very excited to get back to riding fast on my bike, being able to do yoga while laying on my back AND my belly, and being able to practice Bikram without worrying about whether it was too hot.
Fast forward a couple months and many sleepless nights, add boobs heavy with milk and a new sense of responsibility for my sweet little one, and I was losing motivation. I knew that my husband would be fine with our little one and that our little one would be fine without nursing for a couple of hours, yet I still had a hard time leaving.
However, I learned very quickly that you have to take care of yourself first, in order to take care of others. With that in mind, now is the perfect time to show yourself some love. Once you’re feeling good and your doctor has cleared you, here are five postpartum exercise tips to help you get (and stay) motivated:
1. Grab a buddy
Have you ever noticed that time flies when you’re working out with a buddy versus working out on your own? Studies have shown that exercising with a friend motivates you in more ways than one. Think accountability- group ride at 9am on Saturday? You’re there. Plans to ride on your own sometime that week? Well, that may or may not happen. Plus, once friends start getting into shape and losing weight, others are motivated to do the same. Can’t find a friend? Groups like Hike it Baby are great for meeting other fitness-minded moms.
2. Set a goal
Whether you decide to run a 5K, join a mommy-baby workout class like mamalates, go to the gym, or even just walk with baby, be sure to set a goal, write it down, and tell your friends. In addition to giving you a reason to get moving, it’ll also give you an accomplishment to be proud of.
3. Schedule it
Coming from someone who pretty much despised schedules before baby came, schedules became my key to sanity with a newborn. Commit to the days and times that you’ll exercise and stick to them. If you signup for mamalates on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 9am, it’s much easier to show up, even if you’ve had a sleepless night.
4. Track your progress
Proud that you ran 50 miles this month? Right on! But how would you know unless you’re tracking it? Apps like Nike+ Running track distance, pace, and time, while also sharing workouts with friends. If running’s not your thing, MyFitnessPal tracks meals and exercise, while connecting you with friends on the same path. (They say those who connect with friends lose twice the weight.) When you write it down and succeed, you can celebrate your success.
5. Reward yourself
Have you been dreaming of a spa day, a massage, or a new pair of yoga pants? Or maybe just a movie night at home- sans kiddos. At the same time you’re goal setting, decide what your reward will be. Pick something that you wouldn’t normally do for yourself. It has to be special so when you meet your goal you can really celebrate!
And just a quick PS- I'm putting together a few ideas for upcoming blogs like: safe core exercises postpartum, c-section recovery exercises, postpartum exercises with baby, how do I know if I have a diastasis recti, and more. What would you like to see on the blog? Post on Facebook to let us know!
Wendy Foster is the creator of mamalates and the master trainer for all mamalates licensing programs. An internationally certified Pilates instructor, pre/post fitness specialist, and birth recovery expert, Wendy has been teaching Pilates since 1999 and practicing yoga for nearly two decades. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit mamalates.com.
Healthy stocking stuffers for moms November 25 2014, 0 Comments
If you’ve welcomed a baby into the world in the past year, congratulations! Baby’s first holiday season is such a fun milestone. Or maybe you have older kids: soccer players, ballerinas, or aspiring astronauts. Kids are the light of our lives and make the holidays that much brighter.
Although kiddos often take center stage during the holidays, it’s important to remember the moms who have worked so hard to bring these little humans up in the world. We’ve pulled together some healthy stocking stuffer ideas, from in and around Portland, to honor our favorite mamas.
Share 52 reasons
Let the kids help create 52 Reasons Why I Love You cards, to remind mom just how special she is. This is a great DIY keepsake for mom, with love from the whole family. We think it would be fun to stack the deck with a few family photos too.
Grow with love
For moms with a green thumb, a delightful salsa kit from Victory Seeds in Molalla, OR is sure to please. With seeds, recipes, and instructions, everything she needs to grow and make her very own salsa can be found in this gift bag. Choose between mild and hot varieties. ($9.95)
Mamalates for mom + baby
As the days grow shorter and the weather gets colder, it’s more important than ever for moms to stay active. Pick up a mom + baby workout DVD from Portland-based Mamalates. The 40-minute workout challenges moms to “reclaim their cores” safely, while connecting with their babies. ($19) (Use promo code DVD10 to save $10 through Nov. 30, 2014.)
Soaps to rejuvenate
Artesian soaps are a great gift to help moms rejuvenate. Check out Portland’s Camamu, who offer Green Goddess Soap with sweet fennel and lavender to help detoxify and boost the spirits. ($6) Other local soap companies include Sellwood Soap Co. and Oregon Soap Company.
Massage to relax
When the holidays get hectic, what could be better than a relaxing massage? Benefits of massage include stress relief, strengthened immune system, and lower blood pressure. Not to mention a chance for mom to enjoy a little “me time.” We love the healing hands of Savannah Mayfield, Licensed Massage Therapist at Nurture Life Coaching in Portland.
Give back through ICAN
Sometimes the best way to give… is to give back. Consider donating to ICAN, whose mission is to improve maternal and child health by preventing unnecessary cesareans through education, providing support for cesarean recovery, and promoting VBAC (vaginal birth after cesarean). The gift can be made in honor of that special momma in your life. Plus, there’s even an ICAN Portland chapter.