This post is sponsored by Johnson & Johnson 7 Minute Wellness for Expecting and New Moms™ and The Motherhood but post-pregnancy workout and exercise opinions are my own. Consult your doctor before starting any new exercise routine.
You are a new mom, or rather a mom with a new baby (and perhaps a few older kids besides). This means you aren’t getting a whole lot of sleep. You are also recovering from growing, carrying, and delivering a baby. If breastfeeding, you are continuing to grow said baby.
The lack of sleep tends to zap any energy you thought you had, and the demands of a new baby (and other kids if you have them) is slightly overwhelming at times, especially in the first few months as you get to know each other. Often you realize at the end of the day that you forgot to eat lunch yourself, or shower, or do most of the things you zealously put on your t0-do list that morning.
Or is this just all me?
One of the last things many new moms think about is exercise. I mean, we think about it, in that it would be nice to get in a post-pregnancy workout so we can lose our postpartum baby bumps, but more in that idyllic dream sort of thinking about it way.
No matter how old your baby is, moms cannot neglect themselves or the whole family suffers, because neglected moms makes for moms that stress out, get overwhelmed, yell, and start to break and crack. Moms who neglect themselves get depressed and can put on more weight by making poor eating and drinking choices.
Exercise is one of those things that makes mom feel better whether indoors or out. Even a simple walk pushing baby in the stroller around the block, or at Target, can be great to your outlook on life.
I personally am a fan of going to gyms with childcare where I workout guilt-free, child-free, and distraction-free. I have tried working out at home and it isn’t so great for me.
Lately, my post-pregnancy workout at the gym involves running/walking on the treadmill for about 30 minutes or about 2.5-3 miles, whatever I feel like doing that day (usually whichever comes first). Then I hit the weights and do some stretching and other exercises, the part I enjoy the most.
I really don’t like running, but I do it anyway (see my tips on how to start running even when you hate it). I still have 10-15 lbs of baby weight to lose in order to achieve pre-pregnancy weight, but I am getting stronger and feeling better every time I go to the gym.
Three weeks ago I started Breaking Muscle’s 12 Week Program to rebuild my abs and core as I have some diastis recti from my twin and subsequent pregnancies so it’s perfect for a post pregnancy workout routine. It is helping lessen my gap and strengthen my weak stomach muscles.
One of my frustrations with their program though is that I don’t always know exactly how to do the exercises they list each day, and that it’s just a PDF that I have to keep looking at on my phone to know what to do next.
The Post Pregnancy Workout App I’ve Been Waiting For
This is why I am thrilled to find a post pregnancy workout app for new moms (and pregnant women) that solves this problem. It is the Johnson & Johnson 7 Minute Wellness for Expecting and New Moms™ App available on both Apple and Android devices.This app is a simple, science-based wellness resource designed to help pregnant and new moms achieve and maintain fitness and balance – in both mind and body. It was created by the trusted baby experts at Johnson & Johnson, specifically for expecting and new moms.
The workout part of the app is not diastasis recti specific, but I have found the exercises very friendly to my core so far (but I modify them if I don’t feel they are good for my abs, or substitute an exercise from the Breaking Muscle program I mentioned above).
The exercises I have done with the app are things like:
- chair-assisted squats
- modified push-ups
- V sit-ups
- chair dips
- boxing squats
- marching in place
- side hustles
- bicycle kicks
- side lunges
It does a good job of working my legs, core, and arms very well.
Each post-pregnancy workout is customized and tailored to you, based on your week of pregnancy or prenatal stage, your energy levels that day, your starting fitness level (gauged by how frequently you are exercising already), and on how you rate the workout and your energy afterward.
What I love about this app, besides the fact that it is FREE, is that you can see, in real-time, the exercise you are supposed to be doing done on the app, performed by coach Jenn Lea, with verbal tips on how to do it (“keep your knees behind your toes” “you should feel a pull in your upper back”, etc).
For someone like me who is not extremely well-versed in the realm of exercise moves, this is why I love this app! No having to go to some random Youtube video which may or may not explain everything very well, or trying to guess how to do it without hurting myself.
The app also paces your workout with 10-second breaks between moves so you can grab a quick swig of water, or sit or stand to prep for the next movement; plus, it beeps to let you know when you are nearing the last few seconds of an exercise. It allows you to listen to the app (once you’ve learned the actions), and continually push yourself through the workout. It’s like a mini coach in your ear! Love it! Keeps your heart racing for the entire 7+ minute duration.
Oh, yeah, did I mention that these workouts and wellness exercises are as short as 7 minutes? Seven minutes is all it takes to help you re-energize, re-focus, stay positive, and give yourself a little attention amid your busy new life focused on your baby.The app helps you develop proven skills to manage and expand energy during every important pre- and postnatal phases of your life. Before you start your workout or wellness exercise it reminds you of the benefits of what you are about to do.
The Wellness part of the app is usually a series of stretches, many of which can be done while sitting. Taking even a few minutes to stretch will help your body feel much better, especially if you suffer from stiffness or soreness because of falling asleep in uncomfortable positions while feeding a baby.
If you are drained new momma, like me, who doesn’t always get enough sleep (ha ha ha, that’s funny), and is often tired during the day, lacking in motivation and energy, then may I suggest you take seven minute for yourself each day. It doesn’t have to be a full post-pregnancy workout: it can be a wellness stretch and mental exercise. You deserve it momma! You are doing a great work.
But, really, make sure you actually ate lunch today. You at least deserve that.
*Be sure to check out my list of best maternity workout clothes in case you need them!