Default thumbnail mobile | 5 Exercises for New Mums that’ll Benefit their Mental Health
A woman’s body goes through significant changes during and after pregnancy. For months, the focus of both the parents is the well-being of their little one. However, it is equally important to take care of the mum’s mental and physical health. She is more likely to suffer anxiety, postpartum depression and other mental health issues due to the drastic changes she goes through in a short period of time. Those who gradually return to exercise four to six weeks after the birth show lower depression and anxiety than those who do not. According to WHO, pregnant and postpartum women without contraindication engage in at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic physical activity throughout the week. This Mental Health Awareness Week (May 13-19), the theme is “moving more for our mental health”. In this blog, we’ll focus on easy-to-do exercises and how to make regular movement a part of a mother’s life. Exercises will also help combat the specific challenges she faces in the postpartum period.
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The Multi-faceted Benefits of Exercise for New Mums

  1. Feel better about your body: Exercise helps regain strength and tone muscles, which can improve body image after childbirth.
  2. Boost your self-esteem: Accomplishing physical goals, even small ones, can give a confidence boost.
  3. Reduce stress and anxiety: Exercise is a natural stress reliever, and spending time outdoors can further enhance its calming effects.
  4. Sleep better: Physical activity can improve sleep quality, which is often disrupted in the newborn stage.
  5. Strengthen and tone abdominal muscles: Exercises like planks and squats target core, which is essential for postpartum recovery.
  6. Boost your energy: Even moderate exercise can increase your energy levels, helping you keep up with your little one.
  7. Help you lose any extra weight you gained: Exercise, combined with a healthy diet, can help you reach your weight loss goals safely and effectively.
Conquering common challenges | 5 Exercises for New Mums that’ll Benefit their Mental Health

Conquering Common Challenges New Mums Face when Starting their Fitness Journey

Finding Time for You

Let's be honest, fitting in "me time" can feel like a luxury with a newborn. Between feedings, diaper changes, and the constant demands of a tiny human, carving out dedicated time for exercise can seem impossible. This lack of childcare can be a major barrier for new mums who want to prioritize their physical and mental health through exercise.

Recovering Body

Childbirth is a marathon, not a sprint. After giving birth, a mum’s body is still recovering. She might experience fatigue, soreness, or even limitations due to childbirth. This can make the idea of starting an exercise routine feel daunting.

Feeling Supported

Exercise can be more enjoyable and motivating with a partner or a supportive community. However, many new mums might feel isolated or lack a built-in exercise buddy. This can make it difficult to start or stick with a routine, especially if she is feeling overwhelmed with the new demands of parenthood.

Here are some tips to overcome these hurdles:

  1. The Power of Group Exercise: Consider joining a stroller fitness class or a mummy and me yoga group. Studies show that exercising with others can increase motivation, enjoyment, and adherence to a routine. Plus, the network of supportive peers who share similar problems will create an understanding and kind environment.
  2. Make Every Minute Count: Look for opportunities to move throughout the day. Do some squats while waiting in line, stretches while the baby naps, or chair exercises during feeding time. These small bursts of activity add up!
Simple Exercises | 5 Exercises for New Mums that’ll Benefit their Mental Health

5 Simple Exercises to Get Started

  1. Sunshine Strolls: A walk around the neighborhood or a stroll through a park with a baby in a stroller allows new mums to soak up the mood-boosting power of sunshine. Fresh air and scenery can work wonders for mental well-being.
  2. Outdoor Yoga: Finding a quiet spot in the park and spreading out a picnic blanket allows new mums to enjoy yoga under the open sky. Yoga combines gentle movement, breathing exercises, and mindfulness, making it a perfect stress reliever. Many online resources offer beginner-friendly postpartum yoga routines specifically designed for outdoor use.
  3. Kegels: These simple pelvic floor exercises can be done discreetly anywhere, anytime, making them ideal for busy new mums. They are crucial for postpartum recovery and can be done while feeding the baby or watching TV.
  4. Cats and Cows: This gentle yoga pose helps improve spinal mobility and is a great way for new mums to ease back into exercise after childbirth. It can be done on a comfortable mat at home or even on the living room floor.
  5. Planks: As core strength improves, planks become a fantastic way to target abdominal muscles. New mums can start with modified planks on their knees and gradually progress to full planks as they get stronger.
By incorporating these simple movements into their routine, especially those that take advantage of the outdoors, new mums can move more, feel better, and ultimately be happier and more energized for their little ones. Taking care of yourself isn't selfish, it's essential! Remember that it's crucial for new mums to listen to their bodies. If any pain is experienced during exercise, they should stop immediately and consult their doctor. Remember, gradual progress is key. Start slow and gradually increase intensity and duration as strength improves.