San Diego, CA (PRWEB) March 26, 2014
A recent 7,000-person study conducted by BabyCenter.com found that 61% of new mothers expect to return to their pre-pregnancy weight before their child’s first birthday. For many parents, finding the time and energy to maintain a healthy lifestyle after the birth of a baby can be a daunting challenge. San Diego health and fitness retreat VeraVia has released a list of tips for new parents to promote their overall health.
“Babies take up lots of time and mental and emotional energy,” explains VeraVia Vice President and Co-founder Melissa Chapman. “However, it’s critical to take the time to care for yourself because feeling good enables you to be a better parent.”
Here are VeraVia’s suggestions to help new parents balance their health and the demands that come with a new baby.
New parents more easily fall out of the habit of eating at regular mealtimes. Many people are prone to grabbing the closest snack or simply order the fastest takeout, given their new baby-centric schedule, but this can wreak havoc on one’s health and fitness goals.
Parents who are strapped for time can prepare weekly lunches and dinners in a Crock Pot. After a little chopping and the press of a button, the slow cooker does all the work; plus, stews are also quick and easy to reheat on the stove later.
Fresh salads are a surefire way for new parents to make sure that they are maintaining their healthy eating habits. “Set aside some time to pre-wash all the veggies in your fridge so when you’re throwing together a hearty salad for lunch or dinner, it doesn’t become a time drain,” suggests Chapman. Additionally, fresh juices are another great way to get one’s daily fruit and veggie intake.
Above all, VeraVia recommends that parents opt for quality foods. Making the effort to eat fresh and green will keep one’s energy up and will be worth it in the long run.
When caring for an infant, new parents might feel like the simple act of parenting is so exhausting that there is no time for additional exercise. But keeping one’s body fit will also help keep the mind sharp.
“Remember to take it easy and not push yourself too hard, physically,” says Chapman. “Your journey back to your pre-baby body is not going to happen overnight. Instead, love and respect yourself while steadily working to improve your health. Don’t over-extend yourself, especially if you’ve had a cesarean section.” VeraVia suggests that new parents ramp up to a full workout slowly, doing only what feels right for each person. It is important to avoid injuries, since a new parent is in no position to be confined to bed rest. Those who are unsure of their best workout plan should consult with a personal trainer who can help set reasonable expectations and an actionable plan to achieve fitness goals.
A new parent’s windows for sleep are few and far between, so parents should try to get as much sleep as possible. “If you’re exercising regularly and avoiding over-caffeinating, you should be able to sleep soundly when you are able to catch some shuteye,” says Chapman.
This is the most critical to a new parent’s overall health. While a new baby is a joy, it can also be emotionally overwhelming for many parents. Parents should not be afraid to indulge in a little “Me-time.” Some examples include: a hot bath, watching a favorite TV show uninterrupted, taking a quiet walk, journaling, or reading a book in an undisturbed part of the house.
“Be sure to take advantage of quality adult time when the opportunity arises. Many new parents lock themselves away with their baby and don’t realize that they truly miss adult conversation and mental stimulation,” continues Chapman.
New parents can easily become consumed by their role as a father or mother. But nurturing oneself, mentally, physically, and spiritually will help to become the best parent possible and set an early positive example for one’s growing family.