3 Tips for Healthy Moms with Fitness Goals for the New Year
The New Year is one of my favorite times of the year. It’s a time when so many of us come up with new resolutions, set goals for ourselves, and get super motivated to crush them! The energy is almost electric as we sit down with our notepads, full of all the ideas we have about how we’d like to change our lives for the better this year. Many of these goals include weight loss, increasing muscle tone, or simply feeling stronger. I understand that drive and determination and I want to help you succeed! As a Postpartum Pilates specialist I have helped so many women “get their body back” post pregnancy, and these are a few New Year’s tips you can implement to help get you started.
When scrolling through instagram or looking through the facebook highlight reel, it’s easy to get discouraged, so my first tip is to resist the urge to compare yourself to others. Theodore Roosevelt famously said that “comparison is the thief of joy”. I’ve seen it stand in the way of so many of my clients’ fitness goals. Whether you’re focused on losing the baby weight, toning up, or increasing your energy levels so you can chase after your growing little one, comparing yourself to other mom’s won’t help you reach those goals. Recognizing your own progress is such a powerful motivator! Focus on your own victories, even the small ones, and you’ll be more encouraged to stick to your plan.
If you really want to get in shape, you have to learn to listen to your body and go at your own pace. Plan out your goals appropriately and break them down into smaller steps. Health and fitness is a lifestyle and that means it has to be a priority for more than just January. That leads me to my next tip. If you want to see real progress, set your goals while listening to your body and challenging yourself appropriately. Most of my postpartum clients can’t wait to tone up and lose the baby weight. The hardest part of postpartum fitness can be learning to accept your starting point and stop comparing your post-baby body to your pre-baby body. This postpartum body grew a tiny human, and continues to care for that human, and likely needs a little extra TLC for all that hard work. Pregnancy, labor, and delivery bring major physical challenges. Throughout these processes many women suffer from Diastasis Recti, a separation in the abdominal wall, as well as weakening or tearing of the pelvic floor muscles. If you rush through the building blocks of your fitness routine you might run into plateaus down the road. Appreciate where you are now, what you have accomplished already, and look forward to what you’re going to be doing in the future.
This leads me to my last tip, which is to focus on technique and engage in smart rehab strategies. The little exercises that hone in on small muscle groups aren’t the sexy, showy moves we want to do, but they’ll be the ones that start you on the right path and set you up for success. If you’re one of the thousands of women that have Diastasis Recti after pregnancy you’ll want to address that first, so you can build strength safely and see that hard work in the mirror. A lot of women I’ve worked with who have had trouble getting their waistline back after pregnancy don’t necessarily need to lose body fat, they just need to rebuild their core strength. A well educated fitness professional should be able to help you do just that!
If you’re not sure where to start or just want some extra guidance, I have a free mini-workout that Postpartum women can implement to help them get back on track, just scroll to the bottom of the page! Whether you’re a new mom looking for a way to start getting back in shape, or you’ve been postpartum for a while and aren’t sure if you’ve appropriately rehabbed your core, I hope it helps you reach your goals! If you want even more help please check out my Postpartum Pilates RehAB program, a 100% online based, interactive 4 week plan designed for busy moms like you who are looking for a way to fit fitness back into their lives and effectively rehab their bodies.
Ashley is a Pilates instructor and entrepreneur in NYC who specializes in biomechanics and working with postpartum women. She teaches privately and offers online courses that empower her clients to stay active and injury free. She runs AshleyBrownPilates.com and offers fitness advice @AshleyBrownPilates on instagram.