Posts Tagged ‘gym’

The Benefits of Daycare

Friday, February 26th, 2016

The Benefits of DaycareAfter the birth of my first born, I had to go back to work at 8 weeks postpartum. It was my first experience with leaving my precious bundle and I was scared. Would he be okay without me? The first few months were tough, but we managed; eventually managing for two more years. Juggling a lot of responsibilities was tough, but looking back, there were many blessings that came with our daycare experience.

As mothers, we often have a gut reaction to leaving our children with anyone but family; Fear, guilt, stress.  I’ve learned, however, that whether you are a stay at home mom using the gym daycare, someone who uses a licensed provider daily, or even if you occasionally use it for mom or dads night out, leaving your child with another trusted adult can reap many benefits for both you and your child.

The first time you leave your child, it is just plain HARD

The first time I left my youngest at our gym daycare; I hemmed and hawed, despite the fact that I felt comfortable with the employees and the facility.  Baby R seemed so little. I had convinced myself He really loved being with just me. He wanted his blanket and his baba just so. And of course, I worried what if he got SICK?! I managed to do really well at talking myself out of it.

If you are planning to use daycare for the first time, do a dry run with no expectations. If you are returning to work, try to start mid-week so that it doesn’t seem so daunting. The first time will be difficult but you are most likely more concerned and upset than your children. The first time is hard but it gets so much easier.

Relying on other adults instills confidence in your child.

R started going for an hour to the gym kidstime when he was just 4 months. As the weeks went by, he became familiar with the ladies, he knew the environment, and he became more comfortable. He knew that there were other adults that would take great care of him besides me. As he grew, there were times when it stung a little that he wasn’t clinging to me but it simultaneously gave me so much pride. He did not rely on me for his happiness. He knew he was okay. He was confident.

That confidence has grown as he has grown. R now has no problems trying new activities without clinging to me. He feels confident enough to introduce himself to new people. I fully believe that this is because daycare taught him security even when I am not around.

Socialization is good for both mommy and kiddos.

As humans, we are social creatures. We need our group and our tribe even as little people. In a safe and structured daycare setting, young children have the opportunity to practice problem solving, communication, and develop empathy for others through play. They can learn about their world. They also develop cognitively from being around their peers. Daycare can be an enriching part of your child’s life. It can also be enriching for you. It is healthy to have the opportunity to socialize with co-workers, friends, and other adults.

Reconnecting with yourself makes you a better momma

Whether you are a working momma or just using the gym daycare like I was, reconnecting with other parts of yourself is important.  For me, using my gym daycare made me realize that it took just one hour a day of exercise for me to be a sweeter, kinder, more loving momma. It helped me focus and reconnect.

Whatever your motivation is, if you find yourself needing to use a daycare provider, know that if you have found one that is safe and loving, your child’s experience can be an positive one that has lasting effects.

Tessa Wesnitzer is a health and wellness coach who lives in a suburb of Salt Lake City, Utah. She loves her husband, two boys, green tea, long runs, and snowy winters.

 

Ten Tips for Postpartum Fitness: Part One

Thursday, April 16th, 2015

Ten tips for postpartum fitnessMany women are eager to start exercising and losing weight after they have a baby. Here are 10 simple, super helpful and practical tips to get you started:

1. Be sure your body is ready!

This is SO important! Pregnancy and childbirth have a significant impact on your body, including ligaments and joints. Increased hormone levels effect both joints and ligaments; they are “looser” and more prone to injury during the recovery phase.  Therefore first and foremost allow your body to heal before starting any high-impact activities. Generally it is recommended waiting at least 6 weeks before starting any exercise program. Check in with your healthcare provider and listen closely to your body to make sure you are ready to start a fitness program.

2. Check for Diastasis Recti

While this is part of “be sure your body is ready”, it is worthy of separate mention. What is Diastasis Recti? “Diastasis recti is defined as a separation of the rectus abdominis muscle into right and left halves (Wikipedia, 2015).  This muscle separation is quite common, especially for women who have had multiple pregnancies. It’s important to know if you have diastasis recti because it will impact what type of exercises you should do. Most US healthcare providers will check for diastasis recti during a postpartum visit. It is also very simple to check yourself.  If you have Diastasis Recti, don’t panic! Instead educate yourself on ways to strengthen and repair your transverse abdominal muscles.  There are even fitness programs developed specifically for correcting Diastasis Recti. MUTUSystem is one example of an evidence based, comprehensive program.

3. Create a Goal

Once you are “ready” to start a fitness program the first step is to develop a goal for yourself!  Having a clearly defined goal will help you stay motivated and focused. So take a minute or two to think of your goal. Perhaps even write it down so you can revisit it often. Your goal can be something qualitative (ie – lose 10lbs, fit into my pre pregnancy clothes, run a 5k, etc) or quantitative (feel happy about my post partum body, develop an increase in energy level, etc).  Your goal will be unique to you and reflected in the choices you make for a fitness program.

4. Communicate with your significant other (if applicable)

Having the support of your significant other definitely helps in reaching a goal; therefore communicating your intentions with him/her is important. After all they may be the person who cares for your little one(s) while you exercise. Or perhaps you need to plan a gym membership or exercise equipment into your family’s budget.  While being dedicated to a fitness program is ultimately beneficial to your overall wellbeing, there is likely to be an impact on your family. Communicating with your significant other can help keep this impact positive and let them know how to best encourage/support you.

4. Pick activities you enjoy

If going to the gym and using a treadmill is boring to you, then DON’T DO IT! If going to the gym, putting on your favorite tunes, and pounding out a half hour on the treadmill is fun for you, then DO IT! Find activities YOU enjoy (everybody is different!) and stick with those. Your motivation to exercise is directly related to how enjoyable it is for you. Explore available options and be creative; you might even develop a fun, new hobby out of your desire to be more active.

5. Get organized

As a mom of a newborn (and perhaps several other little ones) time is precious! Developing an organized approach to fitness will help you to maximize your time to be optimally efficient and effective. Organization will vary per individual.  It might mean dedicating a small space in your home for exercising. Or perhaps it entails carving out a schedule that allows you to fit exercise into your day/week. It could include purchasing some comfortable workout clothes (And make sure they are cute too! It’s helpful if you like your workout attire). Whatever you need to do to help yourself feel organized, go for it! If your approach to fitness is disorganized, you are likely to feel stressed by it. You might value fitness but will be unsure how to fit it into your day/life thus creating tension. Being organized can help ensure an exercise regimen is an enjoyable part of your life.

Be sure stay tuned for the next 5 Tips in Part Two of Ten Tips for Postpartum Fitness! In the meantime happy, healthy vibes to all!

Sarah Johnson is a crunchy mama to four boys. Her family feels blessed to currently live abroad in the Netherlands and enjoy exploring all it has to offer.