JUST MOVE – As featured in June/July issue of KIDZ ON THE COAST MAGAZINE
From the moment you find out that you are expecting, every single thing you do becomes about nourishing your body to make sure baby is growing safely and happily. Once baby arrives your entire world is focused on giving them the best possible start in life, to keep them safe, healthy and happy. Being responsible for a teeny tiny human is wonderful and oh so all encompassing. It is easyto get totally caught up in being a new mum, nurse, cleaner, food source, chef, baby whisperer, swaddling expert, pram wrangler – I could fill this article with your new job description alone! It is no suprise then, that when it comes to looking after yourself you just don’t have the time or energy. Butyou need to make time. You need to look after your own health and wellbeing just as much as your new baby’s.
How many times have you heard someone say – “I wish babies came with a manual”? We would all learn it off by heart! What if there was a manual on how to look after yourself after having a baby – would you take the time to read that? It seems putting your own needs last is a very common trait found in new mums (all mums actually!) Whilst you can move mountains to ensure your family has everything it needs and you can miraculously make every baby related appointment on time, no matter how many hours of preparation it takes for a 10 minute journey, mums struggle to commit to anything that is purely for their own benefit. Why? Taking time out to look after you is not selfish, it’s a necessity. It does not mean you don’t love your family, it just means you love yourself too! Your family will benefit 100% from you taking care of yourself because there will be more of you to give. Self care is an essential component of being a mum. So where do you start?
Regular exercise will help you sleep better, give you more energy, more focus, reduce stress and improve your mood. It will help restore balance, flexibility, co-ordination, and strength and muscle tone all significantly reduced during pregnancy. It allows you to get out of your head for a while so you can stop planning, stop thinking – what’s for dinner, what side did they last feed off, did I steralise that dummy when it fell on the floor, my goodness that floor needs a vacuum! That can allwait. It won’t go anywhere – but your sanity might. You need to get moving, you need to be active. Your body and your mind will thank you for it.
So where do you start? The health and fitness industry is bursting with Mums and Bubs classes, Bootcamp, Crossfit, Yoga, Pilates, 24 hour gyms, online programs, walking groups and personal trainers. It can be rather confusing and intimidating. However there is a secret that I need to share with you all – this is all about you and what makes you tick. What works for your friends, the other ladies in Mothers group, what your own mum did many moons ago, does not matter. This is not a one size fits all scenario and you need to spend your time and money doing what YOU enjoy. Time for yourself when you have a new baby is a rare luxury so use it wisely! Find something that makes you feel good and stick with it. If a group fitness class motivates you to get out of the house and you enjoy the social aspect of training with other mums, do it. If you have a personal trainer that just gets you and knows how to get the best out of you, do it. If you are self driven and love the gym, do it. If you prefer to exercise alone put your headphones on, tune out to the world and go for a walk, jog, bike ride, swim – anything ,just do it. If sitting on a beach and meditating gives you the rest and relaxation you need to carry on, do it. There is no right or wrong way to exercise, you just need to get moving and do something you enjoy. It really is that simple.
- 1. Just move. It does not matter what you do, where or with whom, just that you do something and it makes you feel good.
- 2. Try and exercise at least 3 -4 times a week.
- 3. Be kind to yourself, we all have days where we want to stay in our pyjamas and eat chocolate, just roll with those days and try again tomorrow.
Your kids won’t remember if their clothes were dirty, if the kitchen sink was full or empty or how many times they had chicken nuggets for dinner. But they will remember you. They will remember playing with you, how your hugs feel, what your smile looks like, how your laughter sounds, the positive energy and happy words that flow around the home. In order to give your family the very best of you, you also need to give yourself the very best.
Kate Landete xxx