Diet and exercise will not only strengthen your body and mind, it will increase your energy levels and make you happier. Additionally exercise can decrease ‘stress hormones’, and increase endorphins, your body’s ‘feel-good’ chemicals, giving your mood a natural boost. Try these three easy suggestions to get a bit of feel good energy back into your life and enjoy your new addition to the family!
1. Grab your pram or sling and take bubs for a walk. If you have a regular catch up time with friends or mother’s group, see if you can alternate an indoors session with an outdoor walk. While you’re walking, concentrate on keeping your abdominals strong and your posture tall. The more you can focus on these elements, the more your body will be automatically able to put them into practice during your daily life.
2. For something a little more physical, see if you can find time for a quick exercise break. Hopefully, you’ll have thirty minutes somewhere in your day, either when baby is sleeping or when someone else can babysit. Use the time to strengthen your body with some low impact cardio activity and weights or head out for a swim.
3. Eating plays a big part in getting back to a pre-baby weight. If you can try and stick to a sensible eating plan for even eighty per cent of the time, you’ll feel better and probably find you’ll lose weight. One of the big problems is being at home all the time, it’s easy to eat more than you realise. So see if you can make life easier for yourself by:
- Trying to eat only when you’re hungry. If boredom or habit are a factor in your eating have a glass of water or a herbal tea before you eat – especially if you’re reaching for something highly sugary to give you energy.
- Try and split snacks into slightly more sustaining mini-meals – a sandwich packed with salad and grilled chicken, ham or tuna will keep you feeling full for longer rather than a couple of biscuits.
- If you have very little will power (and I’m speaking from personal experience here!), minimise the temptations you keep in the house. If it’s not there, you won’t be able to eat it.
- If you have a sweet tooth (like me) keep some low fat yoghurt with no added sugar in the fridge and add a handful of nuts, fruit or both to it. It’s important to remember you need extra energy when dealing with a small baby, especially if you’re breastfeeding, so make sure you’re not limiting the foods you eat. Just choose healthy foods where possible.