How to Feel Vibrant and Strong: A New Approach to Postnatal Fitness by Kimmy Smith
image taken by Julia Wheeler Photography
The quality of strength lined with tenderness is an unbeatable combination.
What do you think of when you think of post natal exercise?
Hours and hours of Kegel exercises? Squeezing your recovering body into tights that used to fit, but of course no longer do.
I used to think that postnatal exercise was a bit boring. I would skip straight to the hard stuff. Give me a good sweat over a few Kegels any day.
That was then. Now I have a very different view on post natal exercise. I have two little girls of my own. Moving your body is one of the most empowering and liberating things you can do as a Mother.
Before I fell pregnant, I was an elite athlete and I used to exercise in a very masculine way. I trained hard even when exhausted. I exercised out of fear rather than love. I expected my body to deliver day in and day out.
And then something incredible happened the moment I fell pregnant. I began to connect to my feminine nature. Did you experience this too? I have noticed it in so many women. We begin to listen to our bodies. We become more attuned to our intuition and we begin to move and work in a more cyclic way. When energised, we go out and achieve. We use this energy to create and expand. When tired, we retreat. We nest and we allow ourselves to rest.
This beautiful way of being is sometimes the most in tune with our feminine nature that we have ever been.
So how does this all factor into postpartum exercise?
Imagine if you could move your body in a way that made you feel energised and free. What if you could continue to live and move in sync with your feminine energies. Moving your bodies in a feminine way doesn’t mean that you take it easy all the time. The strongest people I know are women. It means moving your body in a cyclic way.
The most simple way to move your body in a more feminine way is to tune into your energy levels. Generally, the pre-ovulation phase is when we are feeling our most energised. The pre-menstrual and menstrual phase is when our energy starts to wane. We crave a little solitude and rest.
Tune into your energy and begin to move your body in a way that is in alignment with your natural cycle. Move in a strong, dynamic and flowing way when you are feeling energised. Move in a slower more restorative way as your energy starts to wane.
Weights, cardio, hot yoga and pilates are all incredible dynamic ways to move your body. As your energy levels start to decrease, include more restorative forms of exercise. Things like restorative yoga, walking, swimming and meditation.
We only need 10-15 minutes a day to make a huge impact on our physical and emotional well-being. It is consistency that counts. So chose movement that makes you feel good.
Enjoying the feeling of moving your body. Listen to what types of movement that your body is craving.
It may be different from the type of exercise you used to enjoy. And that is OK.
Kimmy is the founder of the Fit Mummy Project App and the post natal fitness and well-being hub www.kimmysmithfit.com. She is also a Mummy to two beautiful girls, a former professional athlete, personal trainer and yoga teacher specialising in post natal health.