3 Ways to Train for the Sport of Motherhood
As you try to escape Target with your screaming toddler (who didn’t get the candy bar he so badly needed) clinging to your leg, you wish the referee would throw the flag and call Holding and issue a 10 yard penalty.
Instead the penalty escalates to Unnecessary Roughness as your Toddler lies down at the entrance of Target and proceeds to scream and roll around. No loss of 15 yards here. You proceed to pick up your screaming 25 pound child and carry him kicking and screaming into the parking lot and into your car.
Likely, by the time you reach the car, your heart rate is zooming. Your biceps are burning and if you weren’t properly engaging your core, your back is aching.
Get in shape for motherhood? Absolutely! Without a doubt.
The tasks I have found myself engaged in during Motherhood have been quite different from any previous physical training I have done. Some of them, might even be listed as unsafe.
For instance, take a look at the mechanics of lifting a car seat out of a car. You are bent over and often not from a neutral spine position. You lift the car seat up out of the base, and then you twist (still in a stooped positions) to exit the vehicle. Let’s see . . . lift and twist. I’m sure my physical therapist told me NOT to perform that movement but here I go anyways.
During the postpartum period, a woman is STILL experiencing joint laxity and her core muscles take time to rebound. So we are taking a vulnerable system and applying force. Sounds like a recipe for injury.
And that is one reason so many women end up injured or feeling back discomfort not only during pregnancy but long after. What can you do?
1. See a Personal Trainer trained in Postpartum Fitness
In 2003, when I had my first child, I was left to my own devices to figure out how to safely get back into shape. It wasn't until 2017 that I discovered a Postpartum Corrective Exercise Certification and I became certified and began the process of healing my own body.
A personal trainer with specialty in postpartum fitness should first check for a diastasis recti, a separation of the rectus muscles or center line of the 6 pack. Deep core engagement is something that any skilled fitness professional can teach. A qualified Personal Trainer can also determine when it is necessary to refer to a physical therapist or chiropractor. Specialty certifications in Postpartum fitness are becoming more common. Ask your personal trainer if they are qualified to teach postpartum fitness.
Lucky for you, mom, I am a Postpartum Corrective Exercise Specialist. To schedule a time to talk with me, click here.
2. Schedule a Physical Therapy Appointment
I envision a day when physical therapy becomes a standard in postpartum care in this country. The core muscles have sustained unyielding tension and stress for many months: yet we expect women to step gracefully into the physical demands of motherhood.
No wonder so many women suffer from low back pain and leaky bladders after having babies. A good physical therapist will also show you proper body mechanics for activities of daily life like lifting that heavy car seat. They can also assess the muscles of the abdomen and pelvic floor to determine weakness and tightness in a way that a personal trainer cannot.
It is a good idea for any woman who has had children to go for at least one evaluation session with a pelvic floor specialist.
It may seem awkward or uncomfortable to discuss this private part of your body. That is understandable. Share your reservations up front with your therapist. And use your evaluation session to educate yourself and ask lots of questions.
To find a Pelvic Health PT, you can use this locator https://aptapelvichealth.org/ptlocator/
3. Join a Moms Health Club
Does such a thing exist? I created an online fitness community for time-strapped moms called the Supermom Club.
We help high-achieving moms learn how to . . .
- Fit movement and exercise EASILY into your day.
- Stay CALM when your external circumstances are not.
- Kick perfectionism to the curb and love and ACCEPT all of you.
- LET GO of limiting beliefs that keep you stuck in routine.
- Develop daily RITUALS that inspire clear action.
- Turn your body and mind into a magnet for SUCCESS and JOY in your life.
- Feel CONFIDENT in your body and become HEALTHIER than you have ever been.
We meet every weekday morning for a 10 minute movement break. 2 times a month we gather for a group movement session and each month we listen to a guest expert who shares nuggets of wisdom about our theme for the month.
Together we rise and we are stronger together.
Being a mom can be tough and when we stay connected in our feminine, we can navigate difficulties more easily.
To explore the Supermom Club more, click HERE. We would love to have you join our community of moms who prioritize health and wellbeing.
Next time you are engaged in the diaper changing Olympics or the 50 yard dash down the grocery aisle chasing your toddler, honor the rigors of motherhood by honoring your body first.
What are some of the events in your motherhood arena?
I would love to hear from you.
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