Tips to Get More Active After Pregnancy
Any increase in activity is an achievement
- Start with small lifestyle changes that are sustainable. For example, take a 20 minute walk with a friend at lunch time every Wednesday.
- Once you have achieved one small change make more goals to continue challenging yourself (e.g. walk 3 times mid-week for 20 minutes and one long walk with a friend on the weekend.
- Then increase the duration (and/or frequency) of each walk as you master each goal, even throwing in some different exercise types such as bike riding or swimming).
Rope in a friend
- Make activity a social occasion with health benefits for both of you.
- It is much harder to reschedule when you have someone else depending on you.
Widen your activity horizons
- Exercise classes are one way to get fit but not the only way – they really motivate some people but put others off.
- Try other ways to get in your daily activity like joining a pram walking group (if you have young children), swimming at the local pool, riding your bike to the shops, walking to visit friends or to post your mail.
Plan activity into your day
- Set-aside some ‘me-time’ or an ‘active-hour’ (or part thereof) that is non-negotiable
- Choose the most convenient time for you so your activity plans are least likely to be disrupted. Is early morning, midday or evening the best time for you?
Set goals to keep you on target
There’s something satisfying about planning your week, just writing down what you’d like to get done can make you feel more ‘on-top’ of things. The key is to plan how to achieve your goals. Your activity goals may be:
- Take the stairs everyday
- Walk an extra block each week
- Swim 2 more lengths of the pool
- Jog another lap of the park
- Do a longer walk each weekend
See the helpful Find Thirty® weekly planner (external link)
Squash the excuses
- It may be tough to get back into exercising when your fitness levels are low and modern life provides many easy excuses to avoid getting active. Think about what stops you. Too busy? Too tired? No-one to babysit? No-one to go with?
- Taking the first step is often the biggest barrier. If you are truly tired or busier than you planned, still do some kind of activity but just a gentler or shorter session.
- Being too tired is a common excuse to not exercise, but tiredness is more the outcome of not exercising enough. Exercise and fitness can unleash energy that you may forgotten existed, it also improves mood, relieves stress (which both help you to make healthier food choices) and is conducive to good quality sleep.
Exercise when it is not too cold or dark if this reduces motivation
- Cold dark mornings and evenings can reduce motivation to exercise and may not be safe outside. If this is a problem, try shifting your activity sessions to the middle of the day.
- Otherwise an indoor exercise session can be done rain, hail or shine.
Keep an activity diary
- Keeping an activity diary can increase awareness of your activity levels as well as motivate you to do more. See the Find Thirty® activity diary (external) for a template.
- It is also helpful to look back over your diary to see what you have achieved.
Ngala Books & DVDs
For families of babies and
young children who reside or work in W.A.,
if you need further assistance contact the Ngala Helpline
Telephone 9368 9368 or Country Access 1800 111 546
8am to 8pm 7 days a week or
or get support online via the My Ngala Forums
When: 28 Feb, 9:30am
Where: Swan View
6 - 12 months. Is your baby having difficulty around sleep? Ngala provides a one-off workshop to help parents understand more about their baby's sleep. Information will be provided on sleep and settling strategies.