When you have a baby, you receive the most beautiful gift of all, but post-birth, your body can be left in a shape that doesn’t reflect how you looked pre-baby at all. For this reason, a growing number of women are joining post-natal classes and are trying to get back into shape after giving birth to their little ones. With a newborn baby in tow, it can be hard to go back to the gym — but where there’s a will, there’s a way.
Despite enthusiastic mothers, it is not recommended to jump back into exercise straight after birth. Typically, the NHS recommends that new mums wait around six weeks after birth until they start an intense workout regime. Your six-week postnatal check will determine how well you have recovered. However, women who exercised regularly before pregnancy, may feel fit and well to begin working out sooner than the six-week check — each new mum is different. You’ll know within yourself if you feel fit enough to get back into your regime, so don’t push yourself too soon.
Social media has become a significant platform in the recent success of the fitness industry. It has become the heart of fitness inspiration, and postnatal fitness is no exception. The internet has inspired a lot of us to reach our fitness goals, and it’s the same for postnatal targets. In fact, postnatal posts are becoming increasingly popular across the web, with #postnatalfitness associated with 53,003 Instagram posts.
A few years ago, postnatal fitness was low key and many industry professionals noticed a gap in the market for classes which appealed to new mums and the idea of postnatal fitness, and have set up their own postnatal class to provide a solution for new mums who were struggling to get back into shape after having their newborn. There are now specialised post-natal exercise classes that help women get back into shape with their babies — an opportunity for new mums to get their pre-baby body back. Classes usually allow mums to bring their little ones along with them.
Postnatal fitness can also be seen to help with more than just your post-baby weight. Many women have revealed that exercising after having their baby has helped prevent, or ease, postnatal depression, as exercise has made them ‘happier’. Research would suggest this to be true, as exercise is shown to release endorphins in the body — hormones which can have positive psychological effects, such as a ‘euphoric high’.
As a mum herself, Randi Lynn Greene, founder of RGL fitness, knows a thing or two about postnatal fitness. Her Instagram account, with over 39.9k followers, showcases workout and yoga routines that can be done by new mums who have a baby in tow. She has proven that workouts can be done by mums at home with a little one crawling around. Of course, nutrition is just as important as your workout regime. Greene, has also appeared on Lorraine on ITV to show mums that you can exercise at your own convenience.
The term ‘dad bod’ is a one that has been popping up all over social media recently. It’s a term which has recently been used to describe men with bodies that are neither toned or defined — normally those which don’t go to the gym and workout.
Whilst many mock and poke fun at the term, a study by Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine suggests that there is some truth behind the idea of a ‘dad bod’. In a study of 10,000 men over ten years, the university examined men through different stages of their life — from adolescents and young adults, to new fathers. The study found that men who become fathers experienced weight gain and an increase in body mass index, whilst those who didn’t become dads generally lost weight over the same time period.
An effective clean diet and consistent workout regime are key to preventing weight gain when you become a new dad. Your diet should consist of the three main macronutrients: carbohydrates, protein and essential fats. Avoid sugary and fatty treats — whilst they might give you an initial sugar rush, the energy boost won’t last long. You want to supply your body with foods that release energy slowly — being a dad can be tiring. For an extra boost before your workout, protein bars and shakes will help you push yourself harder to hit your performance goals. If you don’t have time to make it to the gym with all your new daddy duties, there are exercises you can do at home to keep yourself in shape:
- Plank – 45-60 seconds
- Jack-knifes – 25 reps
- Crunches – 25 reps
- Squats – 25 reps
- Jumping lunges – 25 reps each leg
- Sprint – 30 second, repeat 3 rounds
- Mountain climber – 25 each leg
- Press ups – 25 reps