As a new mum would you say that your physical activity levels have dropped off? Remember, there are 4 domains of physical activity to consider (leisure, transport, occupational and housework). Do you feel as though any reduction of physical inactivity across any of these domains has caused you to lead a more sedentary lifestyle? Staying active or even becoming active for the first time for mums can have so many physical and psychological health benefits for not only you, but your baby as well!
These benefits include:
Improved blood glucose regulation
Improved sleep quality
Reduced depressive symptoms
Reduced fat adiposity
AND so many more!
One of the most common perceived barriers to physical activity amongst new mums is the lack of childcare. HOWEVER, there are many different strategies to undergo in order to lead an active lifestyle which also include your child and so there’s no need for childcare! The most common strategy amongst new mums is going for a nice walk with their baby in the pushchair (which is a very good workout intensity indeed!). There are also workouts called baby yoga and squats and tots whereby you and your baby perform exercise together! Have a look on youtube to have a look at these techniques as they are becoming very popular! Furthermore, by undertaking these activities within greenspace or with friends/family for social support these provide an even more mental health benefits!
Finally, research has identified that the mother of a child has the largest influence on their child’s level of physical activity. So for example if you drive your kids to school or encourage screen time over play time then this is believed to have the largest impact of your child’s uptake and sustainability of physical activity throughout their life. Promoting childhood physical activity has also been shown to improve cognitive development, concentration and many many more! Therefore, encouraging an active lifestyle for both yourself and your child can lead to greater health for you both!