physical fitness

Staying superb: How moms can keep fit through all stages

Beatrice Go
Staying superb: How moms can keep fit through all stages
No matter what stage of motherhood you're in, here's how you can take better care of your body

As a mom juggles many things everyday, she still aims to live a quality life. 

No matter what stage of motherhood a mom is in, staying fit will not only make her stronger but also help her live the best life for her family. 

“Our goal as human beings  is really to age better, right?” says Cam Lagmay, who is an instructor for REBEL, a local fitness app that provides free workouts, health education and recipes that uses ingredients that are readily accessible in the Philippines.

“It’s to increase our health span, experience a great quality of life, it’s about enhancing your experience to the fullest living to your full potential.” 

Lagmay, who specializes in low-impact training and mindfulness, gives tips on how each mom in different stages can better take care of their bodies to live better for their children. 

New moms

New mothers experience the most changes in their body as they have to deal with postpartum while caring for a newborn. 

This includes picking up the child, carrying the child, cradling the child, who gets heavier, making it more demanding on the body. 

The solution?

Lagmay: Some common pains may be in the wrist and the thumbs in the elbows for tendinitis because the muscle power in the wrist, and in those areas are so small, and they aren’t used to picking up 8 to 20 pounds on a regular basis.

Engaging the wrist, engaging the core and keeping it stiff can definitely help assist moms whenever they’re carrying their child or moving their children around. 

Wrist mobility is so important as well, so there are so many wrist mobility exercises to keep your wrist flexible, so you don’t get injured whenever you’re manipulating your wrist. Finger mobility can help when you open, close your hands. 

Another one is in your hip, and the lower back, because of the constant load, so a solution to this can be alternating sides or even using a sling in front or behind you to really distribute the weight, and of course using the legs to assist you as well. 

The legs are such a strong part of your body, so bending at the knee and using the legs as you push down into the ground when you’re carrying your children or picking them up, can be really helpful since you’re not like just using your upper body, but you’re using your whole body to lift the child up as well. 

Another one could be in the shoulder and neck because sometimes like moms are always like hunched over, or like they’re always leaning forward, or when they’re breastfeeding, they’re like punching down right, so it’s important to really keep your spine straight, your core engaged as much as possible and instead of leaning forward, like whenever they’re breastfeeding. 

It would be nice for them to prop a pillow underneath their baby and bring them up rather than them moving down, right, so to help elevate the baby by arranging pillows underneath, and choosing a chair or back support that really helps support your upper body.

Working moms

Working moms, like every other busy woman, are usually seated on a chair for long periods of time. 

Aside from desk work, getting swamped with house work can lead to back pain. (READ: How supermoms can find ‘me time’ in fitness)

The solution?

Lagmay: For older moms, the ones who are like swamped with work, and this applies to everyone really who works, everyone who sits down for so long and sleeps in an uncomfortable position, they can definitely be a reason for back pain. 

A solution for that and even for new moms and even for older moms is really strength training and postural exercises that help open up the collarbone and the shoulders, strengthen the core, the erector muscles and lats ones here behind you, and that will help you support your spine and help you just become stronger overall. 

Using recovery tools such as heating pads, that’s super nice as well. Massages from your husband? That’s nice, too!

I encourage stretching, yoga, [using] foam rollers are really good. 

Warm showers are really important as well, just having that ‘me’ time and having the warm water hitting your body is such a rejuvenating experience. 

Of course it’s really important to just take the proper time to rest and recover and try to get as much sleep as possible and not shallow sleep, but deep sleep as much as possible.

Older moms

Older women need to be more careful with their physical activities in order to prevent injuries, but this doesn’t mean that they should stop working out.

The solution?

Lagmay: I would recommend stretching, chair yoga, which older women can do as well. 

There’s also yin yoga, which is a type of yoga, where you can really relax into the pose and stay there for about 10 breaths, so it’s really slow-controlled, and you don’t have to do much. Even simple things like those go a long way.

It’s really about incorporating fitness and movement into your daily activities, so that could be things as simple as picking up luggage or using  luggage as extra equipment or walking around. 

My lola (grandmother) actually goes to the garden, she gets her steps in by watering the plants, and she goes up and down the stairs. –

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Beatrice Go

More commonly known as Bee, Beatrice Go is a multimedia sports reporter for Rappler, who covers Philippine sports governance, national teams, football, and the UAAP. Stay tuned for her news and features on Philippine sports and videos like the Rappler Athlete’s Corner and Rappler Sports Timeout.