babyMaternity Magazine
Creative Child

Why Pilates is Like Therapy for New Moms

by Michelle Dempsey M.S., CPRW

I used to love a good hardcore, treadmill pounding, heart pumping, sweat session. Then I had a baby.

And then it became hard enough just to care for the both of us, my home, and my husband at the most basic minimal levels. I wanted to jump back into my sneakers as soon as my doctor gave me clearance to exercise, I just couldn’t find the motivation. All of a sudden, the idea of my once-beloved, body-breaking, calorie-melting workouts seemed like a torturous undertaking compared to snuggling up with my little princess or simply catching up on sleep.

Once I started to get into a more consistent baby routine and out of just getting by in survival mode, my husband threw out the most painfully obvious statement I had heard in a while.

“You need to get out of the house, and get a hobby, before you lose your mind.”

What he was really saying, was that I needed to start focusing on number one again, so I could be my best for all of the beings that relied on me, day in and day out.

I needed to take care of me.

My back hurt, I felt off balance, and slightly uncoordinated. Then it dawned on me. I had fallen in love with Pilates years back when recovering from a car accident, and sort of missed the empowering feeling of being strapped into the reformer, and the intricate way in which my body responded to each movement.

It took one class, one amazing instructor, one powerful stretch, one hour of disconnecting on the outside world and focusing on nothing but my own body and one day of surprisingly pleasing soreness to realize why THIS is what had been missing from my new mommy life.

Here’s why…

3. You have no choice but to tune out the world and tune in to your body.

Cardio is great, sure, but if you’re anything like me, you’re spending a lot of that cardio time thinking about your endless to do lists at home. Agonizing over whether or not to drag the baby to your in-laws this weekend. Checking your phone relentlessly to pass the time. Checking in on the home front to make sure no one is bleeding or in a crisis.

None of this gives you the necessary escape or mental clarity that quality exercise should provide you with. None of this forces you to take care of number one.

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