E tūtaki ana ngā kapua o te rangi, kei runga, kei runga te Mangoroa e kōpae pū ana | The clouds in the sky close over, but above them spreads the milky way

Guest post from She Moves Fitness Collective


5 Top Tips for starting to exercise after baby



Postpartum women are at increased risk of developing depression, which can contribute to the ill health of the mother and her family. Research indicates that mothers who are physically active experience lower levels of depression or anxiety symptoms than inactive mothers. Many mothers can also avoid commencing any exercise as they are concerned about doing it safely.


As we head into the Choose to Move event, we, Ren & Jen from She Moves! are going to be sharing some tips to get you motivated to move! This week we are starting at the basics sharing 5 tips to help you get started on your exercise journey! 


1. Find a way to move your body in a way that feels good for you!
Whether it is walking, running, yoga, swimming, group fitness or dancing in your lounge to your favourite music – whatever! There is no right or wrong way to move and if you love it, it’s far more likely to become a habit! 


2. Figuring out your ‘why’ when it comes to exercise this is so important!
When we have a ‘why’ and a reason to keep coming back to it’s so much easier to stay committed to making exercise an everyday habit. It’s almost impossible to stay committed and determined to do anything unless you know your ‘why’. Your ‘why’ is the driving reason that you want to exercise and becomes your core driver and motivator. E.g. To have the energy to keep up with my kids or to improve my mental health. Write your why down and remind yourself why exercise is important and adds value to your life. 


3. Focus on one thing at a time!
It’s so easy to become overwhelmed when you first start exercising! For some it can be hard to know where to start, for others it can be tempting to want to do all the things at once. If you can pick one or two things to focus on at a time, for example, exercising three times a week and drinking an extra glass of water a day, you will start to create those healthy long term habits. 


4. Make exercise a priority in your day.
Schedule it in, write it in your diary or set a reminder in your phone, it’s so easy for exercise to get bumped down the priority list but remember to come back to your ‘why’ remember how exercise makes you feel, and remind yourself exercise is not just for our physical health but our mental health too. If things get too busy or you have an unsettled baby don’t be afraid to break your sessions up across the day for example x3 blocks of 5-10 minutes across the day is better than nothing. It doesn’t need to be perfect, movement is movement and it all counts!


5. Be consistent!
Motivation towards exercise will naturally ebb and flow, there will be days, weeks, or even months where exercise may be the last thing on your mind. We can’t rely on motivation to keep us going as life sometimes just gets in the way… you may have had bad night’s sleep or have a really busy week. The key is to set a realistic consistent routine that you can stick to as best you can, keep it the same each week e.g. Monday, Wednesday, Friday 10-11am. If you are consistent exercise becomes a habit, just like brushing your teeth it becomes a part of our daily routine without even thinking about it. 

Don’t forget to register for the choose to move event here or see the Facebook Event here. All those who register* will get to train online with She Moves! for 1 month free so we’ll be able to help you get fit and ready to move!
*not available to current She Moves! members.

Read more from She Moves about how to return to exercise postpartum. They will be doing two Facebook Live chats on our page in the coming months – subscribe to our newsletter to get details of these to your inbox.

Return to exercise

See here for information on doing physical activity during pregnancy.

Note: The language used here refers to women, but this information is relevant for all people who have given birth.