New Mommy Fitness Myths Debunked

My job as a certified fitness professional is to help people get into, or back into, a healthy shape and weight. All the time, we come across mothers looking to regain their pre-pregnancy bodies, while building enough energy and strength in order to care for their growing families.

I know it’s hard to fit exercise in between all of your other, more important responsibilities, and it’s easy to convince yourself that it isn’t worth the effort, especially in the first few months with a new addition to your family. However, it is truly one of the best things you can do for yourself to diligently follow an exercise program. It doesn’t need to be strenuous (and in most cases, it shouldn’t be strenuous at all) – but it does need to be focused and goal-oriented.

There are plenty of myths about why new mothers should avoid exercise. Today, let’s debunk a few of them for you!

Myth: Nursing moms should avoid exercise. Verdict: Completely false!

All moms should work out unless there is a legitimate (medical) concern. Moderate physical activity is recommended for everyone, whether or not they are nursing.

Now, nursing moms do need to make sure they are eating enough calories and drinking enough fluid to support milk production. Make it a point to drink slightly more water than you even normally would during exercise if you are breastfeeding, to guarantee good healthy and milk production.

It also behooves the nursing mother to pay close attention to mechanics and form during your exercise program; seek out a professional’s help to make sure you are helping, and not hurting, yourself with form and repetitions. Make sure you’re stretching the pectoral muscles and strengthening your upper back. This will help to regain posture and protect your lower back against potential injuries.

The pregnancy belly will diminish quickly. Verdict: Not for everybody!

For some women it does disappear quickly, but those are the lucky ones whose genetics played a significant role in their pregnancy and postpartum months. Over time, swelling of your abdomen will decrease as your body returns to a non-pregnancy state. Once the uterus is back to its normal size, the rest of your stomach is simply added weight gain, droopy skin and sagging muscles.

For some, that means weeks, for others, months – and for still others, years. It is dependent on genetics, nutrition, exercise routine, sleep schedule, age, and many more factors.

It is possible to tighten your abdominal muscles again. It takes work and consistency, but once you follow through the muscles will respond and can, with effort, get back to their pre-pregnancy state.

I will have time tomorrow, or next week, to fit in my exercise. Verdict: You know that’s wrong!

There’s no time like the present! Whether you squeeze in 15 minutes now, 15 minutes later, or a free hour here or there, it all eventually adds up to success. You don’t need to slave away in the gym for three hours a day – but you do need to make a concerted effort, every single day, to get a little bit healthier, a little bit more active, and a little bit more focused towards your weight loss goals.

Chasing after kids and housework are workout enough. Verdict: Not always!

If only it were true in all instances, and for all mothers. Housework and keeping up with the little ones will not protect your bone mass or make your heart and lungs stronger, although you can often trick yourself into thinking otherwise, as you are likely running around all day.

It may help burn some extra calories, but the truth is you must exercise regularly to earn a healthy, strong and toned body. Consistent workouts – including both strength training and cardiovascular exercise – will help you improve every day while becoming a stronger mother, wife, and person!

About the Author: Bobby DeMuro is the Founder of FusionSouth, a personal training/sports conditioning firm in Charlotte, NC. He is also the Executive Director of NoFizz Charlotte, a non-profit dedicated to bringing awareness on the importance of proper hydration. He resides on Lake Norman with his 2-year old boxer, Dakota.

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