Getting back out there and doing any form of exercise after having a baby can be pretty daunting; your body has just been through something pretty major, you have a tiny human completely reliant on you to stay alive and you might not have done too much cardio in the past few months. However, as an active person I think it’s really important on so many levels to make sure you get back out there as soon as you’re ready.
Cycling was the first sport (besides walking – and there was lots of walking) that I got back into and I loved it.
Firstly, it’s one of the sports a physio will give you the all clear to do early on because it’s low impact and your pelvis is nicely supported and stable. This is particularly true if you’re riding on the road or bike paths – I jumped the gun a little and went mountain biking pretty early on too but I needed the adventure!
Secondly, that amazing feeling of freedom you get when riding a bike, you know the one where you feel like a little kid again!? That feeling can give you the perfect mini break from your new role as a mother. The first few months of motherhood are a massive change in lifestyle – it’s beautiful, challenging, emotional (cue crazy hormones) and amazing all at the same time. I think getting out on your bike, even if just for half an hour is great for you not only physically but mentally as well.
Having a supportive partner is of course key to all of this. It’s not only great for you to get out and do something that makes you feel good, but it’s also great for them to have some quality bonding time with bub. Luckily riding has always been a big part of our relationship so Al knows how important it is to me and even pushes me to get out there when he knows I need a ride, even if I don’t!
That first ride back can be a little daunting, so how do you do it? Here’s a few little tricks I learnt along the way to help make your return to riding awesomely fun:
· Timing is key, especially in the early days when you’re getting to know your bub and what they need. My first ride back was straight after a feed so I knew I had a couple of hours up my sleeve before he’d need me again.
· If you’re meeting a friend, make sure they can be a little flexible with the time – you don’t want to be stressing about running late if things have been a little chaotic in the morning – which they probably will be.
· Choose a friend that will happily cruise along at your pace – the last thing you need is someone half wheeling you when you’re supposed to be having fun!
Mountain biking had become our go-to riding adventure for weekends so we didn’t wait long before heading back out to the trails as well. While we aren’t able to ride together all the time anymore we have been able to get plenty of riding in by tag teaming. Here’s some tips to help you through an afternoon at the trails:
· Go and ride somewhere that has a nice central location to hang out at because someone will always be spending time there with bub – as we are located in Victoria, Australia – some our faves are Bright and Red Hill because they have nice grassy areas and also Falls Creek – because there is a Day Care Centre you can use.
· Pack a picnic rug and lunch to make a day of it.
· Make sure you have something/somewhere the baby can sleep because they’ll need to nap at some point – we either use the pram or the carrier.
· Ask some awesome friends to come along, you’ll not only have people to ride with, you might even get to do a lap together if they’re comfortable hanging out with the baby for a little while.
I hope this inspires any new mums or mums to be to keep riding and that there’s some useful advice as well.
I read something not too long ago that really resonated with me, “your children aren’t going to care what you did prior to them, they will only see what you do now and be inspired that”. It makes so much sense to me – I could sit there and tell my little boy about all the awesome things I used to do but it won’t mean anything to him, he will only care about what he sees me doing. So while he won’t remember the adventures we are going on right now, I feel like we are creating great family habits, I am maintaining my fitness and we are keeping our adventurous spirit alive so that when he is old enough to start making memories and learning from us this will be the norm. I can’t wait to get him his first bike!
For more tips on tricks on keeping adventurous with your little one/s check out @adventuremums on Instagram.