We get it: No matter your birth experience, those first hours after delivery can seem a *loooong* way from the fitness goals you’d been dreaming about during pregnancy.
There you are, snuggling bub and feeling like a million bucks … and also like it’ll take a million bucks to get in shape.
Your pelvic floor is D-O-N-E. Your abs? Jelly. Hips? Let’s not go there. And let’s not even mention your joints, tender and loose from nine months of relaxin flowing through your system.
It’s a lot.
But your body, beautiful, is absolutely fan-freaking-tastic at healing, regenerating, and reinventing itself!
You will get your strength and fitness back. We have zero doubts, honey!
How? With the Japanese principle of “kaizen”.
In addition to Nintendo, ramen, and cat cafes, Japan has gifted us with kaizen, which is the principle of achieving big goals with small steps. Tiny ones.
So tiny, they seem simple. Even fun! But, added together, they result in something great.
Like your reclaimed fitness and your epic postpartum strength with exercise
When you think with the kaizen mindset, you suddenly jump at all the chances for fitness that are at your fingertips. You don’t sweat not finding an hour to focus on cardio and traditional weights. You know that three minutes is better than zero minutes, and one squat is better than sitting on the couch.
And you recognize that since every little bit counts, every move is a total butt-kickin’ victory!
Ready to think small to win big?
Here are our favorite mindset makeovers that deliver serious gains!
Start with you
A simple way to get yourself in the habit of making time for you? Say it out loud! Just taking five seconds to say, “I’m a busy mum, but I still make time for my health”, is a huge step toward fitness! Speak yourself into the kind of mum who knows mummy guilt has no place in a healthy lifestyle.
Dressing the part is half the battle. If you’re already in your exercise clothes, you’re much more likely to play hard with your kids, or jog around the backyard for five minutes, or bust out some pushups while you wait for the microwave.
Don’t make it hard
When you’re building habits, you’ve got to make it a blast! Find the exercises you adore and stick to them. If you hate burpees with the energy of a Bollywood dance scene, it’s totally okay to nix them in favor of something that you enjoy. The exercise you’ll actually do is the best exercise for you. You don’t get extra points for misery!
Pelvic floor pairing
A great way to sustain a new habit is to pair it with an existing one! Do you brush your teeth (please, please say yes)? Great! Remind yourself to always draw up your pelvic floor when you brush your teeth and – BAM – you’ve got a sparkly new healthy habit that’ll keep your pelvic floor happy.
Time for a workout meeting! Instead of a coffee date, push bub in the stroller with your bestie. Recruit some other mums for some mum-and-bub Pilates time. Turn a regular social hour into a fun workout!
Sometimes it’s great to get some me time while the kids play – you take that time when you need it, sister! But sometimes mums need to play around, too. So join in on trampoline time, running around the grass, and climbing on rocks and jumping off over and over again. Your body sees it all as exercise, and it all counts, even if it feels like play.
Sometimes, fitness is as simple as taking the stairs. Or walking while chatting on the phone. Commit now – today! – to choosing the slightly more physically challenging option when one is presented, and you’ll add a ton of movement to your day without having to think about it.
Just lay down! Yeah, we mean it! Once a day, just stop everything. Lay flat on your back with your feet elevated, and don’t get up for 10 minutes. It relieves the pressure on your pelvic floor (which is tired from all those squeezes you’ve been sneaking in), boosts circulation, and helps your muscles recover. If anyone asks, tell them, “I’m exercising”.
End with you
Yep. Self-care is on this list twice because YOU are the most important ingredient in any fitness plan. A rested, grounded, nourished woman can achieve anything she sets her mind to – including postpartum fitness!
Now that you’ve got the first steps down, you’re definitely ready for more! Check out our fitness programs to keep strutting on your postpartum journey.