I know I talk a lot about how much difference exercise has made to my life, not just in weight loss, health and developing a positive body image but even I credit it to getting me through post natal depression.
When we become a mum there is never a more important time in our lives to make our health and our fitness an important focus.
I think exercise is a really great reason to take note of our health and where it is at or where we would like it to be. It is also a great opportunity to get mums out of the house, socialising and doing something that is just for them but with enormous health benefits.
So whether you want to try a fun run, take up a sport or look good in your pre-baby clothes again these top tips are for you!!
For me this year I am challenging myself now that my youngest is 3 to be more adventurous with exercise, not just work outs and walking, this year I am stepping out of my comfort zone and going to try lots of new things and challenges.
Right now I am challenging myself to fit fitness in wherever I can too, you have to as a busy mum right??
I have taken to swimming laps at the local pool while my daughter does her swimming lessons (its free and it is 45 minutes of swimming) and don't laugh... I have been entertaining my 3 year old, very much by trialing belly dancing at home dvd's thanks to my lovely local library! Hahaha Why not hey!
I also have the goal of next year going in my first ever fun run, a lot to do before that!
I am really excited today to bring you some expert tips and advice especially for us mums from leading Australian fitness expert from Fitness First so us mums can get started safely and make the most out of the training time we have!
Top Training Tips For Busy Mums
Penny Walsh Personal Training at Fitness First
Dee Why and Mona Vale
When you’re a mum wanting to get your body back after having a baby (or several babies) what is the first step you should take in regards to exercise?
First step you take is to make sure you have had your six week check-up from your doctor to give you the go ahead to exercise again, then I would strongly suggest getting a personal trainer or a fitness professional to advise you in the right direction.
How important is it to get the right instruction from a professional when you’re starting a fitness routine in regards to doing exercises correctly, posture and avoiding injury?
Getting the right instruction is very important when starting back into fitness as a woman's body after a baby has still got a fair amount of relaxin, which means the joints are still soft and can be easily injured if going into exercise too extreme or too fast. Posture needs to be monitored as I have found my past pregnant clients tend to have some lower back issues due to stomach separation and muscular strength being low. It is important to straighten up with your chest and shoulders back, as mothers tend to slouch forward when feeding and changing their babies.
What would you say is a good amount of exercise or classes to start with per week for a mum who may not have exercised for a while to start seeing changes or building stamina or for a fit mum?
A good amount of exercise does depend on the individual, but I would suggest after your check up, start off with say 4-5 walks a week for two weeks, complimented with some basic abdominal core work to help regain strength, then, building up to some cycle or pump classes where you can build strength and stamina for the next couple of weeks. By week four or five, you’re back into exercise and can bring in your tailored resistance program. Compliment this with some high interval cardiovascular training (this is generally for a fit mum!).
How important is strength training as well as cardio work to get your body and confidence back
after having a baby?
Strength training and cardio work is very important. With the cardio component, you need to get the heart rate up and fitness levels up so you feel fitter – and bring in strength training to get that tone back into the muscles to feel stronger, leaner and firmer which is a huge confidence builder.
What is a great little toning exercise mums can do at home to complement their weekly workouts, say at night after the kids are in bed for around 5 - 10 minutes?
This is a great little toning workout at home and only takes 5-10 minutes:
i.Push ups- on floor
ii. Triceps dips- on chair
iii.Body weight squats
iv. Stationary lunges
These exercises are easy to do and can be done in a sequence of sets and repetitions.
For mums wanting to challenge themselves, how long should they train before entering a fun run type event?
Mums wanting to challenge themselves in entering a fun run type of event should be training 6 months-1 year, depending on their fitness levels, injuries and prenatal exercise that has been undertaken. Don’t put too much pressure on yourself, slowly build correctly, properly and safely!
What are the other benefits to exercising after having kids other than weight loss?
Benefits to exercising after having children are:
i. Build confidence to make you feel better with your body
ii. Your body gets back into shape quicker
iii. Good endorphin's rise within
iv. Your body strengthens up quicker which allows joints to hold it better after all the relaxing softens it
v. You have an energy increase to be able to deal with the daily routine of a child
Here's to fit Mums!!!!!!!
Thank you so much Penny for your time and sharing your expert advice with us and a huge thank you to sponsors Fitness First
Fitness First is a leading Australian gym chain that is striving ahead with innovative ideas - they even have their own inspirational magazine and free bootcamp sessions in some locations! If your a busy mum wanting to get fit they would be the ideal, flexible choice.
Find them on Facebook, twitter and check out their website and gym locations.