Just like every woman’s pregnancy journey is different, postpartum experiences may from one person to the other. For some women, the thought of exercising after having a baby is too overwhelming and for others, they cannot wait to get back to the gym.
The weeks and months after having a baby are very difficult as moms will feel tired, emotional, and out of energy.
With this in mind, it is important to always take your postpartum fitness at your own pace instead of worrying about where others think that you should be.
No matter when you start to feel motivated to exercise again you should adhere to your physician or midwife’s guidelines and take things easy for the first 6 weeks.
During the first six weeks, you can take gentle walks and only move on to more strenuous exercise once you have been checked over by your medical team. If you have had a cesarean birth or a complicated birth you should take the advice of your physician so that you do not damage your body.
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Why postpartum fitness is important
We all know that exercise is good for us, both for our physical and mental health. When women are postpartum they often experience a lack of sleep, fatigue, and low energy levels as well as experiencing a roller-coaster of emotions as hormones fluctuate.
Add to this the physical strain the body comes under when pregnant and the loss of muscle tone, it is easy to see why fitness is so important after having a baby.
For those who do not suffer from mental health conditions but suffer from low mood or are concerned about the state of their mental health, getting fit may keep depression at bay.
Sitting at home and not getting a lot of fresh air can lead to poor motivation and low mood. By getting out and about and leading an active lifestyle can prevent your suffering from mental health problems.
Sleep and exercise are vital to maintaining good mental health, with many doctors ‘prescribing’ exercise as part of the road to recovery for those suffering from stress and anxiety.
Taking a bath and enjoying a massage may work for some people, while a simple hint of lavender will help others, one thing that everyone can rely on in the battle against stress is exercise.
Exercising for Energy
You do not have to take up extreme sports or visit the gym every day, you simply need to find a level of exercise that works best for you and your body. You may be reading this and thinking “how can I exercise when I feel so tired” and it is something that I have a thousand times.
The thing is, the more that you exercise the more energy you will experience and the more you will want to get up and get out.
You may need to put in a little extra effort in the short term but you will feel the long-term benefits once you start sleeping like a baby again.
There are lots of fitness apps and streaming services that are great for new moms who do not have time to go to the gym every day. Some apps are great to use at any time in your life and others are particularly good for postpartum moms.
Once again, you must check in with your medical team to ensure that your body is ready to get back to exercising and that the fitness app that you have in mind will be suitable.
By choosing an app that specifically targets postpartum moms you can be reassured that the exercises will be suitable for your needs.
If you ever feel that an app is putting your body under too much strain then you should stop and seek advice.
We take a look at 8 of the best fitness apps for postpartum moms.
You may know Peleton as a cycling app but the brand has now branched out into other areas of fitness including running and yoga. For new moms, the strength and toning classes are great for getting back into shape and rebuilding muscle mass that may be lost during pregnancy.
There are also mediation sessions which are great for finding moments of calm amidst your busy life as a new mom.
With over 10,000 workouts, many of which do not require a bike or a running machine, you can fit a workout into any part of your day.
You can train on your own or join live groups with friends or other moms who are on the same journey as you.
Tone it Up
Tone it Up is an inspiring fitness regime with 1000s of recipes, workout routines, and hints and tips on how to get fit. There is a catalog of workouts and diet suggestions especially for postpartum women looking to gently ease back into fitness.
You can buy a subscription every month or, for extra accountability, a full year. The great thing about this app is that it has a strong community of women coming together to share stories, tips, and stories to help one another stay motivated.
This app also has the option to get advice on improving your diet and the best foods to eat to fuel your body.
During pregnancy it is common for the two muscles that run down the stomach to become separated, this is known as diastasis recti. The degree of separation varies from woman to woman and it usually rectifies itself around 8 weeks postpartum.
If you can still feel a gap after 8 weeks then there are exercises you can do to repair it. The Tupler Technique is a specialized training program that helps reposition and strengthen the stomach muscles.
The techniques will also help you achieve a flatter stomach.
Pelvic floor exercises are vital for women during postpartum and the Perifit app is an easy way for you to complete your daily workout. The app works alongside a kegel exerciser and is designed by doctors for the most efficient results.
If you are worried about a leaking bladder or incontinence then this app will be a game-changer.
The app involves playing fun and easy games that make doing pelvic floor exercises relaxing.
Kayla Itsines is a big name in the fitness and body positivity field. The SWEAT app is a favorite among women of all ages and body types and there are now pregnancy and post-pregnancy workout regimes for moms.
Her postpartum workouts are designed specifically for new moms to target areas of the body that would be impacted during pregnancy.
The 12-week plan draws upon her own experience as a new mom and is one of the most motivational fitness apps that new moms can relate to.
An app that allows you to get fitness and dietary support at every step of your postpartum journey.
Whether you use the app on outdoor runs, stroller walks, or indoor workouts you will be motivated to stick to your plan by having someone in your ear encouraging you along the way.
With hundreds of workouts on offer to suit your needs each day, there is no need to worry about thinking up your exercises.
A great educational app that teaches you about the changes happening in your body.
With a choice of different trainers and workouts, there are lots of options to keep you motivated to exercise. This app is so much fun, especially as it allows you to contact up your music.
It will also allow you to be given personal recommendations for workouts, depending on your needs.
Whether you want to lose weight, strengthen your pelvic floor or do a spot of yoga to de-stress, this app has something for all women.
With everything from barre to dancing this app will keep you motivated.
Crunch Live is another fun workout for moms who want to take the boredom out of exercising. The express 15-minute workouts are perfect for busy moms who are finding time to exercise in between looking after their baby.
You can get 24-hour access so whether you are a night owl or an early bird you can always find a workout for you. You can jump on to individual workouts that you can pick and choose or your can sign up for a fully customizable plan that will have specific goals attached.
All of these apps allow you to fit a workout in during busy days or when someone else is home to look after your baby.
Some of the apps even allow babies to join in with postpartum yoga or daily stroller walks.
Even if you want to get back to the gym eventually, these apps will allow you to ease gently back into exercise and build up your strength ahead of more intense training programs.