...and it's probably not what you think! We're not here to recommend any crazy diet or workout regimen - we're here with Dr. Aliya Visram to let you know NOT to stress, LISTEN to your body, and take your TIME!
Many moms are eager to get back their post-baby bodies immediately after baby’s arrival. While your focus certainly doesn’t need to be on losing pregnancy weight, it’s always important to keep active for your health – and your kids’! So forget about losing weight or “getting your body back” and focus on staying healthy and active, and teaching your children to value those things as well!
We partnered with Dr. Aliya Visram, a Doctor of Chiropractic, Registered Acupuncturist, certified Yoga Instructor, and more importantly, a mom to share with you some valuable tips on how to get back to being active after baby.
Dr. Aliya focuses on women’s health, pediatric care, and post-natal health in her practice in Toronto, so when it comes to finding new, healthy, and easy ways to stay active, she’s got the scoop.
I got to talk with Dr. Aliya about what it means to get back into an exercise routine post-baby. Here’s my Q&A with Dr. Aliya, that includes some great tips on how to exercise at home, how to get back to your active lifestyle, and the importance of exercising for moms.
It seems like moms are always on the run. Unfortunately, playing taxi-driver to your children and hustling between work, baby, and home life don’t technically count as exercise. But by the end of the day, you probably feel like you’ve just run a marathon. So why is it important to add exercise to the top of your ever-growing to do list?
A: Besides the obvious reasons of having a healthy body and decreasing the risk of developing chronic illness, staying physically active improves quality of life and keeps your mind happy!
And if you’re thinking you need to start on some type of CrossFit level workout regimen to lose that baby weight, keep in mind Dr. Aliya’s advice: “I’m a huge believer in creating healthy habits that fit realistically within your lifestyle. It’s not about doing a crazy workout routine or following a fad diet. It comes down to incorporating small and easy things into your everyday life.”
Regardless of whether or not you were active before your pregnancy, getting back into the swing of things can be tough! Not only is your life different with a new baby, your body is too. So before you start obsessing over how to lose baby weight, there are some important things to keep in mind – for example, your body has just created an actual human – a tiny miracle – so give it some love, time, and rest before jumping into a workout routine.
A: It’s important for women to understand that their bodies have changed after carrying and delivering a baby. Many women are in a hurry to get back to their post-baby bodies and this often results in injury. My advice is to take it slow and seek the proper advice before starting any exercise routine after baby. Seeing a practitioner specialized in postnatal health is really important. This will help determine the level of function of your key core muscles and assess the alignment of your body particularly the spine and pelvis.
It’s hard enough to find the time to sit for 10 minutes – so carving out time to get all the way to the gym to get your sweat on can be seemingly impossible. So, we asked Dr. Aliya how she finds the time, and how she makes her exercise routine work at home.
A: With two little ones and a busy career, making time for exercise has been a bit of a challenge! I’m just like everyone else, sometimes I’d rather just sit on the couch and watch Netflix lol! I have to remind myself of the post-exercise “high” and the rush of energy I get after (to keep up with those little humans) is really what motivates me. Because of my busy schedule, I’ve started doing my workouts at home, either before the kids wake up or after they are in bed. A few light weights, a couple of resistance bands and an exercise ball – is really all I need to get in a good sweat sesh.
Here's Dr. Aliya’s top tips to get those workouts higher on your to do list.
Get a buddy! Find a workout buddy or a group of buddies and start holding each other accountable for workouts. A buddy can help motivate you to get your workout done!
Schedule it! Put it in your calendar or planner and don’t even think of moving it or rescheduling it. It’s non-negotiable.
Include your kids. Yup sometimes they just won’t take a nap or wake up super early…don’t let that throw a wrench in your workout. Get them moving too! Put them in a stroller and walk up that steep hill a few times. Roll with it!
Make it worth it! Sometimes I can do a 30-minute workout and sometimes I only have 10 minutes. Try to make the most of the time you have and really push yourself! You’d be surprised with what you can do in 10 minutes to get a good sweat on!
Dr. Aliya and friend, fellow mom, and fitness expert, Lara Marq, got together to create this video with 5 easy exercises for busy moms – exercises you can do right at home!
So you might have just watched that video and thought, “yeah, no…that’s not happening.” Getting back into (or just starting!) exercise can feel intimidating, and although the exercises Dr. Aliya and Lara shared all have modifications for getting back into working out after baby, you might not think you’re ready for that level yet. But that’s okay- Dr. Aliya has some great exercise tips for working out in less traditional ways.
A: Working out and staying active doesn’t have to be about lunges, squats or planks. It can be as easy as going for walk with baby in the stroller or carrier. Swimming is a great way to start back into exercise. As well as postnatal yoga and Pilates and often these classes involve baby as well!
Do you think you can start making staying active a priority? Hopefully with these exercise tips, you might be able to start! But Dr. Aliya’s last piece of advice is one you should really take to heart.
A: Let’s face it…life happens! Sick days, tantrums and gigantic explosions that won’t clean themselves.
My biggest challenge after having my first baby was to be easy and patient with myself. Giving myself some space to have good days of working out and being on my game and then accepting that other days I had a kid glued to my body every waking second.
I try to get in some form activity every day even if it means running up and down the stairs a few times. But I try not to beat myself up if it doesn’t happen. If I miss a day, I try not to stress and make up for it the next day!
Cut yourself some slack and be patient. Don’t compare yourself to other mamas – do you!
And remember, when mama’s happy, everyone’s happy!
So true - right?! If you're looking for ways, other than exercising, to find time to relax and stay happy, check out our 5 Ways for Moms to Find Their Zen!
Do you have any exercise tips for moms? What did you do to lose pregnancy weight? Better yet, how did you stop stressing about losing baby weight? What’s your favorite way to stay active? Let us know in the comments below!
*You should always consult your primary care doctor before beginning any new exercise routine, especially post-baby!*
Photos and video courtesy of The Bennett Studio