How To Set Fitness Goals For New Mums

Resident fitness specialist and author Jen Dugard runs us through how to change the conversation when goal setting for new mums.

We all know its helpful to set goals with our clients, but when working with new mums is there more to consider? I think so, YES.

As Fitness Professionals it is relatively common to talk in terms of aesthetic and weight loss goals, training and fitness goals. We talk to clients about how they want to look in a certain item of clothing (that perhaps doesn’t fit them anymore) how much weight they want to lose, how fast they want to run a certain distance and how heavy they want to lift.

Each of these goals has its place but I feel when talking with new-mums it would be incredibly helpful to change the conversation a little.

What many people don’t know (unless you are a new-mum yourself) is the huge amount of pressure many women are already putting on themselves. We also need to consider what they don’t know.

Resident fitness specialist and author Jen Dugard runs
us through how to change
the conversation when
setting goal setting for new

When a new mum comes to work with me my first goal is to ensure she understands that to begin with our focus is on working from the inside-out. On the parts she cannot see and is sometimes not aware of (through seeing a women’s health physio). And setting expectations that are achievable and realistic right now; the rest can follow.

So where do we start?

I choose to start with a number of thoughts to frame the process rather than specific goals. And they look like this:

[dropcap]1.[/dropcap] Encourage your client to look at her body. Aim to look at your body in terms of what it has ‘done’ and what it can now ‘do’ – start to make steps to rebuild her body in terms of functionality and strength. Nurture it through great food and the ‘looks’ will follow.

[dropcap]2.[/dropcap] Encourage your client to reduce self criticism and lead by example – her children are influenced by her view of her body.

[dropcap]3.[/dropcap] Encourage your client to really understand what she wants – if she wants to become stronger and fitter than she has ever been before, encourage her to believe she can do it BUT know it will take hard work, dedication and a little more time than initially thought but remind her she can get there and you will guide her safely and effectively.

[dropcap]4.[/dropcap] Encourage your client to use this time to re-set her attitude. Many women experience restricted eating or excess exercise in their younger years. A lot of the time this can play with her metabolism.

Encourage her to alter her mindset and use healthy and sustainable habits to lose weight to ensure she doesn’t fall into the restrictive dieting patterns she may have done.

So in considering the above your new mums fitness goals may look more like this:

  • Make an appointment to see a Women’s Health Physio (and do what they guide you to do)
  • Move daily, whether it’s a walk with your baby, a home or gym session, basic postural exercises or stretching
  • Talk to yourself kindly, even when things feel tough
  • Aim to eat healthy and nutritious food daily
  • Rest when you can
  • Ask for help

I truly believe the more we can encourage our mum-clients to move away from putting extensive pressure on themselves to look a certain way the better. By doing so, we can start to help them understand that regular, effective movement is more beneficial that signing up to the ‘hard and fast’ weight loss challenges.

The end result… they feel more healthy and happy they are in a long term solution and are setting a more positive example for our children.

If you would like to expand your knowledge in working with ‘mums’ contact for more information.

The Safe Return to Exercise course is NOT your average pre and post natal course; Safe Return to Exercise is designed to be THE fundamental learning for every Personal Trainer and Fitness Professional who wants to continue to train, keep safe and rebuild their female clients as they become mothers. The course is now also available to complete online.

Our final Safe Return to Exercise courses for 2018:
Sydney – 13th & 14th October
Perth – 27th & 28th October
Melbourne – 1st & 2nd December

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Article written by Jen Dugard for the What’s New in Fitness Magazine – Spring 2018 Edition.

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