7 Summer Fitness Tips For New Moms

@doutorfotografo via Twenty20


@doutorfotografo via Twenty20

By Shayne Rodriguez Thompson

My first child was born on Memorial Day weekend which basically meant that I spent the entire summer in the “fourth trimester.” As a first-time mom, I wasn’t yet terribly concerned with losing the baby weight or with any kind of summer fitness. I was just trying to figure out how to take care of a newborn!  But after the first month or so, I realized that as an active person who really enjoys cooking, my body was craving movement and healthy summer meals. Prioritizing fitness came kind of naturally to me as a new mom, and I was able to get back in shape without trying too hard or taking any time away from caring for and bonding with my new baby. Keep reading to find out some of my top summer fitness tips for new moms.


  • Get outside. 

    @gigibunny via Twenty20

    Whether you’re a week post-partum or six months post-partum, walking is healthy for you and your baby. Try to get outside for a daily stroller walk as soon as you feel up to it. Early morning or just after dinner walks are a great activity for the whole family. Once you’re up to it, and your baby meets the minimum weight requirement, switch to carrying the baby in a soft-sided carrier for your walk. You’ll burn even more calories on your daily outing, which will give you a jump start on losing the baby weight. If you live in a city or town small enough to traverse on foot, try walking to the post office, grocery store, and library instead of taking the car. Every little bit of activity adds up, especially in the beginning.    

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  • Follow your doctor’s orders. 

    Be sure not to attempt exercising or any kind of dieting until you get the all-clear from your obstetrician. You want to make sure you’re physically fit and not at risk for any post-partum ailments before you exert yourself too much or cut back on calories (especially if you’re breastfeeding). It’s better to be safe than sorry — holding off a couple more weeks isn’t going to make or break your fitness goals.    

  • Start small. 

    iStock

    Most women, even those who exercise throughout their pregnancies, tend to lose a lot of muscle while they’re gestating. Your body will probably be a lot less physically strong and capable than you think when you first start working out post-partum. Start slow and with short bursts of exercise instead of attempting to jump into intense, hour-long workouts. Even just 10 minutes a few days a week is enough to start building your strength and fitness level back up, especially if you’re consistent. Before you know it, you’ll be able to handle more. Just listen to your body.    

  • Work out with your baby. 

    @hiswillis via Twenty20

    Baby needs exercise too so why not work out together?! Get on the floor with your baby and take advantage of tummy time by getting in a few sets of your favorite strength exercises or a quick yoga practice. You can even try using baby as added weight when you’re doing squats, lunges or core exercises. Your little one will love the activity and being so close to mommy!    

  • Take advantage of summer produce. 

    Instead of dieting when your body is still healing and recovering from pregnancy and childbirth (yes, it takes longer than six weeks to feel like yourself again) and possibly still nourishing another human being, focus on eating healthfully. Summer is the perfect time to take advantage of delicious whole foods like the fruits and vegetables available at most local farmers’ markets. Load your plate up with summer’s bounty instead of cutting out food groups or going on a restrictive diet, so you your body can benefit from all of the vitamins and minerals and be satiated on naturally lower calorie and densely nutritious foods.


  • Get some help. 

    iStock

    No, we don’t mean a babysitter. We are big fans of fitness and nutrition programs like Noom, which can help you come up with a custom plan for getting fit after childbirth through tracking your daily food intake and recommending exercise plans to best suit your goals and your body’s specific needs. A program like Noom offers 24/7, on-demand resources like personalized at-home workouts and virtual nutrition coaches who can recommend appropriate food portions for your weight loss goals. And the best part is, it’s literally all in the palm of your hand.    

  • Get plenty of rest. 

    iStock

    Trust us when we tell you that new motherhood is exhausting, likely more exhausting than anything you’ve ever experienced. If you don’t get enough rest, your body will not be able to perform yours and your baby’s most basic needs, let along anything fitness related. If you’re fatigued, your body might even demand more calories in the form of excessive hunger or cravings in order to get more energy, completely obliviating your attempts to regain your pre-baby fitness level. Rest when you can and remember that in the early months postpartum, sleep and self-care are always more important than a workout.