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Why All New Moms Should be Strength Training

Why All New Moms Should be Strength Training

Why All New Moms Should be Strength Training

The First 6 Weeks


Strength Training is important for so many reasons, but before we get into that, there are a few prerequisites for new moms to consider before starting a structured exercise program.


The first 6 weeks post birth are all about rest and recovery. Sleep when you can, drink a ton of water, eat nutritious foods, and do some gentle movement like walking.


After 6 weeks, your care provider will give you clearance to resume regular activity. But before you do, it's important to book a pelvic floor physiotherapy appointment. At this appointment, you will be thoroughly screened for any postpartum conditions like diastasis recti and prolapse. You will also learn about how to access your pelvic floor muscles which is so important, especially when it comes to exercise. Knowing how to engage your deep core muscles properly will ensure that any exercise you do will not do any or additional harm to your recovering body.


After that, you are likely ready to start doing some strength training! 


So why strength training over any other type of exercise?


Don't get me wrong, any type of exercise or movement that you like to do and is safe for the postpartum body, do it! Anything is better than nothing. But if you can also fit at least 1 strength training session in your week, you are creating major benefits for your body and mind! 


Let's go ahead and discuss 3 ways strength training will benefit you after having a baby.


Metabolism Boosting


Strength training helps you to build lean muscle mass, which makes your body more metabolically active, meaning your body will be working to burn calories even when you're not moving.  


There is a general misconception that building muscle means "bulking up". This is generally not the case for women. We don't have the high levels of testosterone it takes to build muscle like a man does. Building muscle helps us to burn excess fat in the body, and once that excess fat is not present, we will appear lean and toned.  


Tip: No exercise program will be successful without a nutrient dense diet based on whole foods. You can't out-exercise a bad diet.


Injury Prevention


Having lean muscle mass also does some pretty practical things like protect your bones and joints so that as you get older, you are less likely to fall and fracture something. As we age, we lose muscle mass and bone density, so strength training helps to slow that process. 


On top of just strength training, you'll want to make sure that your training is functional in nature, which will teach your body how to move properly so that you don't injure yourself when lifting baby out of a crib or carrying a car seat around. 


Here are some functional, mom specific exercises you can do to train for #momlife. 


Mood Improvements


We've all heard the saying "you're one workout away from a good mood". It's true, as cliche as is sounds. Exercise releases endorphins in the brain which turn off pain signals and turn on feelings of euphoria. This is so important for any new mom dealing with any postpartum depression, or mood swings of any sort.  


Also, getting out in a group setting with other new moms can help you get some social time in and talk to other women going through the same things as you are. Knowing you're not alone in the struggles you face as a new mom is enough to pick your mood up! 


Where To Start

If you are new to strength training, I would recommend getting into some private or group training to learn form basics and ensure that what you are doing is safe and effective. Check out the Fuel Moms Program, a small group class for new moms that focuses on strength and conditioning. Classes are 50 minutes long and babies are welcome to hang out while you workout!

Stephanie S Follow

Stephanie is a holistic health coach, working with fitness and nutrition to help new and expecting moms thrive in health, prepare for, and recover from childbirth. Stephanie’s approach is functional and holistic in nature. Her services include private and group personal training in Toronto, nutritional counselling, as well as online courses. To learn more, visit www.stephaniesibbio.com.

You can also find Stephanie's Mom & Baby Fitness Program at fueltrainingclub.ca/fuel-moms. This strength and conditioning program is a safe and effective way to improve your fitness while addressing postpartum conditions.

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