As a new mom, your body has changed in so many ways. You have just performed a miracle. Over the last year your body has created a new life! It’s important that you give your body time and resources to heal, including optimal nutrition, lots of rest, and slowly starting to add movement back into your daily routine over the first 6 weeks postpartum.
After 6 weeks, when your doctor has given you clearance to resume regular activity, you can start to prioritize your needs as a woman who cares about her health and well-being.
As a fitness professional, I always recommend starting this journey with a visit to your local pelvic floor physiotherapist. They can assess the current state of your body post-birth, and give you instructions on how properly use your deep core muscles to rehabilitate your core and prevent injury in order to proceed with your fitness journey in a safe and effective way. Once you have that taken care of, it’s time to get that metabolism working for you.
So how exactly do you do boost your metabolism? Great question. Here are 3 types of workouts that can help you rev your metabolism (among other amazing benefits).
1. Interval Training
This type of exercise is very popular these days and for good reason. An interval is really any exercise, done for time, with a specific work:rest ratio. The best exercises to use here are full body exercises that challenge your muscles and your cardiovascular system.
One great interval drill to use is called a Tabata. This is 8 rounds of 20:10 (seconds) work to rest, so it will take you 4 minutes to complete. There is scientific proof that this ratio of (high intensity) work to rest will help your body be more efficient at burning fat for up to 24 hours afterwards. The best exercise to use for this would be sprints on a stationary bike with a good amount of resistance on it. Push as hard as you can for 20 seconds and then rest for 10, and repeat that 8 times.
Other exercises you can use: mountain climbers, burpees, stair sprints, uphill running, and rowing.
Note: if there is any incontinence or pelvic floor dysfunction, you’ll want to avoid jumping and impact for now (i.e. burpees & running).
2. Strength Training
Strength training encompasses any exercise that challenges your strength, so anything you can lift for 12 or less reps. Anything over 12 reps would work more on your muscular endurance. Strength training helps you to create more muscle tissue in the body. Muscle tissue is metabolically active at all times, therefore the more you have, the more efficient your body is at burning fat, even while you’re sleeping.
Some of the best strength exercises are ones that use many muscles, including the largest muscles in the legs. These are called compound exercises (i.e. thrusters, deadlifts, squat variations, lunge to step up).
3. Fasted Cardio
Fasted cardio is simply the act of doing a steady state cardio workout before eating in the morning. Research shows that when your body doesn’t have sugars to feed on from the foods that you eat, it will start to use fat for fuel. On top of that, if you do a little workout before breakfast, the food you eat after your workout will feed your muscles instead of being stored as fat.
Try to do 20-30 minutes of fasted cardio once or twice weekly to supplement your strength training and interval training.
Examples of low impact cardio for new mamas include rowing, cycling, and swimming.
Examples of cardio for fully recovered mamas include jump rope and running.
Using these 3 types of workouts in conjunction with a healthy diet based on whole, nutrient dense foods, lots of water, and working to normalize sleep and stress levels, will help you boost your metabolism and feel amazing in your postpartum body.
(Note: If you’re a brand new mama with a vulnerable core, your goal is recovery first, metabolism boosting second. If you’re in need of a safe exercise and nutrition program to help with initial recovery, you’ll want to check out Glowing Mama 101: Health & Fitness Fundamentals for New Moms)
Healthy Moms cardholders receive $50 off the Glowing Mama 101 course. See Stephanie Sibbio's business listing to find out more: https://gohealthymoms.com/stephanie-sibbio-fitness-nutrition-coach