How should you exercise?
Try our fun quiz to determine the workout that’s right for you
We’re guessing that if you’re a natural-born gym bunny, then you’re probably finding it pretty easy to make the time and find the motivation to get back there and strengthen your body after having a baby. But for the rest of us, exercising can fall pretty far down the priority list when you’re a mum. Yes, it’s all very well knowing that raising your heart rate with a little activity will re-energise you mentally, but actually doing it week in, week out can be tricky. But figure out exactly what motivates you, and discover what activity gives you that benefit in spades, and you’ll be coming back for more, no more nagging required. Take the M&B quiz to find out what’s going to work for you…
Start when YOU’RE READY
There’s no right time to start exercising after you’ve had a baby. The general rule is to wait until after your postnatal check at six weeks, or 10 weeks if you’ve had a C-section. But only you know when you feel strong enough to start exercising: that might be at six weeks, or it might be at six months or later.
Stay in tune WITH YOUR BODY
Don’t do too much too soon. You may not achieve the same on different days, depending on how much sleep you get, and you should feel better after exercise, not worse.
What’s your idea of a good night out now you’re a mum?
An evening stroll with my partner to the pub. I prefer a night in with a takeaway and a movie. Going out for a nice meal with my other half. Going around to a friend’s house with the rest of the girls.
What’s your goal?
To help my body get strong again after pregnancy and birth. To gently guide my body back to its pre-pregnancy state. To get back to feeling like ‘me’. All of the above.
Before you were pregnant, where did you exercise?
No gym for me – I preferred to keep active outdoors. In my living room with a fitness DVD. In a class at the gym, swimming pool or local hall. Is this the right moment to say I didn’t do much exercise?!
Did you exercise during pregnancy?
I kept on the move for as long as possible before I had to slow down. I did some pregnancy yoga in the privacy of my home. I joined an ante-natal class. Not really, my body was working hard enough growing a baby!
Have you bought a sports bra since you gave birth?
No, but I have lots of them from my pre-mummy days. No, but it’s on my to-do list. I have actually – and I can’t wait to wear it a bit more! Are you serious? I’ve only bought stuff for my baby!
How are you finding being a new mum?
It’s taking a little while to get used to my new life, but I’m nearly there. I’m loving it, but who knew there was this much to do?! It’s great fun. I’ve met so many new mums, too! I wouldn’t change it for the world, but it’s knocked my confidence.
How much ‘me time’ would you say that you get?
I’m torn: I hate being away from my baby, but I definitely need more ‘me time’. I’m pretty good at finding 15 minutes here and there to devote to myself, it really helps. I’m a better mum if I’m happy in myself, so it’s a regular part of my week. It’s a nice idea in theory, but when would I have the time?!
Shut your eyes and imagine that you are exercising. How do you feel?
Happy. Motivated. Better. Exhausted!
In a year’s time, you’ll be most happy if...
I feel fit and healthy. I feel more confident about my body. I’m back in my favourite jeans. I’m still exercising.