The Best Fitness Secrets for New Mothers

In addition to missing out on sleep and recovering from the physical trauma of childbirth, new moms are sometimes unrealistically expected to bounce back within weeks of delivering. For some, this can mean bouncing back to work, bouncing back to energy, and bouncing back with a pre-baby body, all as soon as possible. It’s no wonder motherhood is the ultimate test and demonstration of strength.

While you are hopefully able to take your time adjusting to life as a parent, sooner or later, you might find yourself eager to shed pounds from pregnancy and get fit to boost your physical, mental, and emotional health. Take a deep breath, and try not to let the task of firming up and getting healthy overwhelm you. You can do this! The first key is to ease back into the fitness game and maintain proper nutrition to fuel your whole body. Here are some pointers to help you get motivated.

1. Interval Training Speeds up Weight Loss. Sometimes called high-intensity interval training (HIIT), interval training involves performing short bursts of exercises at close to your maximum exertion level. This helps build muscle and burn fat quickly while forgoing a long and repetitive routine. 5focus is proud to offer interval training at our Seattle facility, and to further support your journey, we offer hourly childcare during select classes.

2. Breastfeeding Burns Calories. For those who are capable, there are oh so many benefits to nursing. For baby, breastfeeding can improve health and nourish their developing body and brain. For you, beyond the bonding experience, you’ll enjoy the reward of burning up to 500 calories a day. This also applies to mothers who opt to pump!

3. Portion Control Can Do Wonders. After 40 weeks of indulging pregnancy cravings, getting back into the groove of a healthy diet can be especially challenging. If you're really feeling the pull to enjoy your favorite junk foods, allow yourself some leeway. Just be careful to stick to a single portion when possible (for instance, half of a standard-sized candy bar).

4. Be Kind to Yourself. It's all too easy to compare your post-pregnancy progress to others -- even celebrities who seem to almost instantly get their pre-baby body back. Keep in mind, each woman’s postnatal journey is her own. Unlike Hollywood stars, you may not have the luxury of employing a full-time trainer, makeup artist, wardrobe consultant, or private chef working around the clock to help you return to public scrutiny as if natural weight gain were never a concern. Resist the urge to hold yourself to a 6-week post-baby weight loss schedule. You gave birth to a melon-sized human... Allow your body time to recover! It may take some work, but remember to be graceful and forgiving toward yourself, and take baby steps toward achieving your peak health! Your increasingly active little one will be glad you did, and so will you.

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