The term ‘exercise’ and ‘workout’ is such a broad term that it’s no wonder so many moms are confused about returning to their fitness routine after having a baby. So how do you know if you’re ready to exercise after having a baby? Here’s a quick checklist to help you decide when the time is right.
⬜ You have approval from your doctor to begin a specific exercise routine. Even if you had the general okay from your doctor at your 6-week appointment, it’s still good practice to discuss what you plan to do.
⬜ You aren’t experiencing any pain, discomfort, leaking, bulging, or pressure. If you have any of these symptoms, this doesn’t mean you can’t return to exercise, but you may want to work with a pelvic health physical therapist to address any issues.
⬜ You have a block of time to start short workouts. Your exercise routine may not look like it did pre-kids (or before multiple kids), but you can get an effective workout in a short time.
⬜ You’re sleeping enough to adequately recover from your workouts. What is ‘enough’ may vary from person to person, but I recommend 7+ hours. Now, with a new baby in the house that may be close to impossible to get 7 hours straight, but see if you can get in a nap to add more sleep to your day. Of course, maybe you feel that 6-6.5 hours of sleep is going to be ‘enough’ for now. Less than 6 hours of sleep on top of a fitness routine may work against your health goals.
⬜ You have the energy to complete your workouts. And you feel more energized after a workout instead of drained. If workouts are too hard, you may feel exhausted later in the day or the next day.
⬜ You’ve asked those around you for support so you can return to a regular exercise routine. This may be a spouse, family member, neighbor, hired help, and more. Don’t be afraid to ask for time for yourself. If you need help with how to ask for help, let’s chat.
⬜ You feel ready. Trust yourself. You know how you feel more than anyone else. If returning to exercise doesn’t feel right at this time, know that there is no rush. I have moms that come to me for fitness training 6 weeks after they have a baby and those who wait a few years. I’m excited for every one of these amazing moms to begin their fitness journey on their terms.
Other items I want to consider when returning to exercise: