BY TRISHA ENRIQUEZ
Every other week there is another weight-loss trend promising to get your mom butt in shape, so naturally it’s tough to know what actually works when it comes to becoming a healthier mama.
This post is dedicated to debunking some common myths when it comes to a mother’s fitness journey. It’s time to put these misconceptions aside and start with a new perspective as you work at becoming more comfortable and confident with your post partum body.
Myth #1: Cardio or Running is the only way to get back to your pre-baby weight. After having a baby a lot of mothers turn to only cardio or running to shed the pounds. However, resistance training can actually burn more calories. Studies have demonstrated that after a strength training session, your metabolism can be boosted for up to 36 hours post workout. Plus, building lean muscle can help you burn more calories over a longer period of time. Bottom line, don’t be scared to lift a little weight, mamas!
Myth #2: You can tighten and tone your mommy tummy with a ton of abdominal exercises. This is false and in fact, there are several abdominal exercises that mothers should definitely be avoiding. For example, we should not be doing any type of “crunch” move post partum. In order to achieve “toned” abs, you need to consider a lot of things – from your workout regime, stress levels and sleep patterns. However, the most crucial part to flattening your tummy is your eating habits. It’s true – abs are actually made in the kitchen!
Myth #3: You need to spend hours working out or doing yoga to get results. Good news, mamas – research says that 10 minutes of exercise at a time, three to five times a day, has major health benefits. As mothers, our schedule is crazy and we are exhausted half the time, so this makes life a little easier by being able to spread out our activity throughout the day where it makes sense for us (and our family). For example, squeeze in 10 minutes during your baby’s naptime or another 10 minutes going for a moderate-paced walk with your child at the park.
Myth #4: Every mother can start exercising 6 weeks postpartum. Often we get the green light from our doctor at this time, but the truth is we should be making an extra trip to see our pelvic floor physiotherapist before we start any type of activity. Pelvic floor health is important and having a detailed internal assessment is the first step in your postpartum fitness journey. Don’t skip this step!
Myth #5: Working out a lot makes up for all those glasses of wine and cheese boards. Sure, we’re all guilty of eating our children’s snacks and sipping on a glass of vino after the babe has gone down for the night … but just because you’ve put in a workout that day it doesn’t mean you can dive head first into a sea of blue cheese and brie with your vino every night. Your body needs lean protein, complex carbs, fruits, veggies and healthy fats to support your activity level and help you achieve your fitness goals. This doesn’t mean you completely deprive yourself, but do make healthier choices and over time your body will actually feel the difference when it’s not feed the wholesome nutrients it needs.
Achieving the body of your dreams after having a child takes time. Results and progress happen over time and not overnight. Be mindful of these common myths you hear at mommy groups; always listen to your body and seek expert advice from a certified personal trainer, nutritionist or dietician to get all your questions answered!