Having taught yoga classes for nearly a decade, exercised all throughout my pregnancy, I assumed I would jump right back into working out after giving birth (once I received the official go-ahead from my Midwife). But truth be told, I was cleared long before I actually started truly working out. The months following my daughter's arrival were in a constant state of flux, trying to fit in all the priorities: motherhood, work, and of course - taking care of me.
As a new mom I found myself more than ever in search of balance in body and mind, in order to move throughout my days more mindfully. Lets just say, sleep deprivation coupled with all those new duties of motherhood, finding the time for to take a yoga or fitness class was a challenge… not to mention the fact that I wasn’t exactly keen on the idea of being apart from my newborn (especially in the early days). Oh, and then there was the issue of figuring out childcare in order for me to partake in a group or private class.
There was only one logical solution for me: incorporate my daughter into my workouts.
Enter FIT4MOM, the nation’s leading prenatal and postnatal fitness program, which offers fitness classes and a network of moms to support every stage of motherhood. From pregnancy, through postpartum and beyond, their fitness and wellness programs help make moms strong in body, mind, and spirit.
As you may already be aware, there is no shortage of benefits in doing postnatal exercises, as your once pregnant body copes with getting back to normalcy. Ideally postnatal exercises help in the following ways:
- Enhance your mood by increasing the release of good chemicals. Pregnancy is a roller coaster ride of hormonal shifts. Postnatal exercises help you regain your actual self and relieve stress.
- Improve stamina levels helping you take charge during motherhood, by replenishing a tired body with the vigor and vitality needed to raise your baby.
- Strengthen and tone your body by making it flexible, not to mention heal your former pregnant body of the aches and pains it has endured.
- Reduce the heavy postnatal depression with a healthy mind, with moderate-to-high intensity aerobic exercise reducing anxiety sensitivity. And you thought intervals were just a good way to burn calories!
- May also help in weight loss management, if incorporated along with a balanced diet (for this benefit, Fit4Mom offers a Body Back® 8-week high intensity workout program with a dietary component).
FIT4MOM helps you to make strides in fitness, motherhood, and life®
MAKING TIME FOR MOMMA
Finding the dedicated hour a day for a class or gym workout can be a struggle, and yet every new mom spends at least an hour a day interacting with her baby. What if you could use at least some of your time with baby as workout time (with baby in tow), so that you do not have to take any time away from baby? Stroller Strides® accomplishes just that, as a stroller-based fitness program designed for moms with little ones. Each 60-minute, total body workout consists of a variety of: power walking, strength, toning, songs and activities.
BONDING WITH BABY
Spending even 45-60 minutes with your baby, while you work out, is beneficial to both parties as it helps solidify your bond. Baby is either in the stroller or on a mat staring back into your eyes while you endure the struggles of holding plank pose, or perhaps cooing when you kiss him/her as you perform a modified push-up. Either way, baby receives all the good vibes of you doing something positive for yourself, while you focus on your little at the same time.
BABY CAN WORK OUT TOO
Mom and Baby exercise time can also be used to develop muscular strength and motor skills for the little ones. Tummy time is an activity must for new babies in order to improve head and neck control. Baby can work on their tummy time on a blanket beside or in froth of you while you complete a series of core exercises and/or post workout stretches. And once baby’s head control is strong enough, you can even incorporate them into the abdominal exercises, helping him/her practice trunk control to help develop sitting balance.
HEALTHY HABITS FORMED FOR THE WHOLE FAMILY
Its not surprising that when you focus on fitness, you become healthier and in better physical condition. So when your children see you prioritizing fitness and are a part of your daily fitness routine, they also learn the importance of incorporating exercise into daily life. Exercise rarely happens in a vacuum, and that’s good news for all of us, so that we may inspire each other to push harder during a sweat session. So find your mini workout buddy and get moving!
SUPPORTING MOMS THROUGH COMMUNITY
All FIT4MOM locations offer free playgroups (a.k.a. Our Village... because all Mommas know, it takes a village to raise a child). Forming lasting friendships is a joint effort: through Our Village, my daughter participates in play-dates and special Our Village arts+music classes, while I have enjoyed monthly mommas' night out. Additionally, the Our Village Mom's Club holds quarterly Moms on a Mission events throughout the country. On a personal level, each club educates, empowers and supports mothers on important issues facing our children and our families.
For me, Stroller Strides® was just the vehicle I needed to: find lasting energy in a more sustainable way, rather than watching it go high and low. help me to stay grounded, so that I may better adapt to the ebbs and flows of motherhood. build the strength required for Motherhood while also honoring the need to rest and practice self-care. But perhaps the greatest benefit in exercising alongside my daughter was the reminder that you simply cannot pour from an empty cup. By incorporating your little one(s) allows you to model what it is to take care of yourself (for your children). __________________________________________________