When it comes to the fitness industry it all seems to be lead by how we all want to look. Which is fine to a certain degree, we all want to be happy with how our bodies. But when it comes to postpartum fitness is that really the best driver towards working out?
When a mama gets to the 6 week mark and wants to get back into exercising what do you think her motives are? Well I can tell you the number one complaint I hear is that they want to lose the baby weight. OK great, but after digging a little deeper I find out they leak urine when they cough, their backs ache when they carry the car seat from A to B and they are drinking copious amounts of coffee to get them through the day. At what point should beauty and weight loss trump pain reduction, embarrassment and energy?
Scrolling through Instagram I see these women flashing their abs in skimpy outfits and challenging others to exercises that are beyond the ability of the majority of women. It saddens me that mamas scroll through these pages aspiring to be like these women when realistically it probably won’t happen. Lets see more women showing a happy healthy lifestyle with the littles!
Now I’m not saying that weight loss shouldn't be a goal, that can definitely be part of the program. Maybe the the fist goal should be LOVING your body regardless of what it looks like. Love the stretch marks because they wouldn't be there if you didn't have a baby. Love the flattened breasts because those boobs fed your baby. Then, what should come next is re-training the core and functional training.
But what does this mean?
- Pelvic Floor Re-training. This doesn't only mean kegals, It includes releasing tight muscles, strengthening weak muscles and incorporating the ‘core four’ muscles in breathing. The foundation of a great training program MUST include these fundamentals. In order to understand your needs it is very helpful to visit a pelvic floor physiotherapist, who will be able to determine the health of your floor.
- Postural Adjustments. Now I don’t mean going to the chiropractor, however this is always helpful. The way a personal trainer will tackle this is balancing the correct exercises vs stretches to re-align your posture.
- Functional Movements - How should your body move is top of the list with my clients. What do you struggle with during the day? Do you struggle getting up and down from the floor? Do you get back pain when lifting your baby’s car seat? These kind of questions will help determine the movements I include in a program. Some of my favourite functional movements are kneeling to squat, single leg deadlift with a row or lunge with a toe tap. All these movements can translate to real life actions.
Try changing your perspective and see how that effects your results. Focus on the issues in hand instead of comparing yourself to others. Love yourself and your journey!!