Postpartum moms of newborns and young children face many challenges to achieve recommended exercise levels. Researchers in Australia conducted a qualitative study to identify what is needed to engage and maintain exercise among women with children up to age 5. Interviews revealed the following important factors to attract these women into exercise programs.
- a welcoming supportive environment for both mother and child
- affordable training
- convenient times and location
- a focus on building strength and functional fitness
- a nonjudgmental attitude
Women expressed satisfaction with their bodies and confidence in what their bodies can do after experiencing childbirth. Mothers viewed group exercise as also important for mental health and for building and maintaining friendships. In particular, they sought body appreciation and body-positive environments.
Study authors encourage professionals to create programs that include these factors. The research is reported in the International Journal of Behavioral Medicine (2022; doi:10.1007/s12529-022-10062-0).
See also: Improving Support for Postpartum Running
Question of the Month
What, if any, programs are you offering for specific demographic groups? For example, are you offering postpartum exercise for new moms? Are you offering after-school programs for teens? Are you offering functional training for older adults? If yes, do your programs target specific objectives for program participants? Tell us about your experiences.
We want to hear from you! Email executive editor Joy Keller, [email protected].