As a new mum you quickly exchange your handbag for a larger, more practical nappy changing bag, and the inventory of essentials, once a lippy and mascara, turn into nappies, wetwipes, tissues, muslins, bottom cream, blanket, toys, spare clothes, hat, snacks, bottles….etc etc.
You carry this slung over one shoulder, and your precious bundle of joy tucked under the other. You then attempt to get both into the car, often contorting your body into ridiculous positions to avoid waking the little one. Finally you heave your buggy into the boot, trying your best not to upset your husband by scratching the car paintwork, and set off on your journey, completely exhausted having had precious little sleep the night before.
It’s not surprising that most mums feel they have absolutely no time or energy for exercise. You also can’t just pop out for a quick run or sweat off a few calories in the gym whenever you feel like it. You have to consider childcare, sleep routines, nappy changes and feed times, not to mention trying to fit in a spot of manic housework before the day ends.
However this is an essential time in a mother’s life to start caring for her body. Although losing the pregnancy weight is important, training to avoid injury is also essential.
You need to develop strong shoulders and arms to not only lift, but also contain your growing and increasingly mobile offspring. You need to strengthen your back, core and pelvic floor to not only return it to its pre-pregnancy state, but also enable your body to cope with the contortionistic and weight-lifting challenges of motherhood.
Exercise is also an immense energy booster and a great way to fight the baby blues, especially if you can do it outside in the fresh air and with friends. Although not always easy, it's really important to prioritise some time each week when you can focus on yourself and looking after your body.
It doesn't matter whether your aim is to comfortably fit into your pre-pregnancy jeans again, get your body ready for your next pregnancy, avoid injury or to get that exercise feel-good factor. Enlist the support of your partner, friends and family, and make time for at least 2 to 3 workouts a week. By taking a little time out to do something for yourself, everyone around you, including your baby, will benefit from you being happier and healthier!
For postnatal exercise classes that you can do with your baby in Wimbledon (Buggyfit), see our Buggyfit page