Runner Mama is not qualified to give medical advice. Please always follow the instructions of your healthcare professional. Especially if they have cookies.
Should you exercise after having a baby? Eh. . . There are some really big reasons you might not feel like getting out there and moving your body for awhile. Like, a LONG while. I love these reasons. They are big, squishy and comfortable, and they keep me company on the couch:
- Ugh. (What? That’s a reason! Some days it’s about all the explanation I can muster!)
- I’m so tired! Haven’t you heard, babies keep you awake at night?
- My baby is so tiny! Don’t I have to protect my little one from the great outdoors?
- I’m pretty sure my parts might fall off.
But once your doctor has cleared you for physical activity, and you feel able, you might find yourself actually wanting to get out there! You might be swayed by some of the crazy things you read these days. Modern ideas about how exercise can help a mama out, such as:
- Exercise gives you a break from stress. It eases symptoms of depression and anxiety, and there’s evidence now that exercise can even help prevent postpartum depression.
- Exercise makes you feel less tired.
- Helps you gain confidence. Working toward, and achieving, small incremental fitness goals is a great way to make you feel good about what you can do. The key here is to keep it achievable.
- Going outdoors improves Baby’s mood by relieving boredom, allowing them the chance to experience new sights, sounds and smells.
- My favorite: That one-two punch of happy hormones from nursing (oxytocin) and from exercising (endorphins). And if you are lucky enough to exercise outside in sunshine (serotonin), you can make it the coveted Happy Hormone Trifecta!
But definitely, you should resist any exercise after having a baby. Stay inside. Eat some cookies. Surf Pinterest, see cute things, pin them on a board, and never look at them again. I’m sure there’s nothing interesting outside anyway.
What’s your favorite excuse when you don’t feel like getting out there? Tell us in the comments!