You’re a new mother—one of the most exciting ventures of a woman’s life. Congrats! Of course, new motherhood is also synonymous with being busy and sleep-deprived. When push comes to shove, gaining any exercise motivation can quickly fall to the bottom of your long list of to-dos.
Exercise strengthens your immune system, relieves stress, energizes you, assists in weight loss, and improves sleep (which we know is hard to come by these days). But even if you can accept that working out is an important part of self-care, how are you supposed to stay motivated to exercise during this major life adjustment?
Don’t worry, Mom. We’ve got you covered.
5 Ideas to Help Boost Exercise Motivation Throughout Postpartum
1. Sign up for a workout class.
Working out in a group is one of the best ways to boost exercise motivation. You’ll be less likely to dip on your session if you know you’ve signed up and are expected to be there. Plus, the interactive environment can be a massive boost to your physical AND mental health, since many new moms struggle with feelings of social isolation.
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2. Master the AMRAP Nap.
AMRAP stands for as many rounds as possible. It’s a style of circuit training that allows you to get a great workout in as little as 10-20 minutes, which you can easily sneak in during nap time.
So grab your baby monitor, head to a quiet area of your home, and hit a great workout as your child catches some Zzz’s! Some great at-home moves include: mountain climbers, burpees, sit ups, push ups, chair dips, and jumping squats.
3. Consult with a postnatal expert.
Core weakness, pelvic floor dysfunction, back pain, and other issues are common post-baby. If you’re not entirely sure if and when certain exercises are appropriate, consult with a postnatal physical therapist or similar women’s health expert. This way, you’ll be less likely to be derailed (and discouraged) by an injury.
4. BYOB (bring your own baby).
Strap your child in a stroller or carrier and head out for a brisk walk, jog, or hike for some quality time as well as a great workout. Perfect for the whole family to do together!
5. Set some realistic goals.
Push yourself, but be patient with yourself. Your body and mind are recovering and adjusting right now. The right goals can help you stay motivated to exercise, but they need to be challenging yet doable (otherwise, giving up altogether can seem too tempting). Workout every day? Maybe start with 2 to 3 times per week. Pre-baby weight in 3 months? How about 1-2 pounds down per week?
You deserve to have the body you want, and exercise will help you get there—just practice self-kindness in the process.