How to Ease Back into a Fitness Routine After Giving Birth
A lot of new moms are not satisfied with their looks after giving birth and often want to start exercising as soon as possible. However, you need to be careful with the timing, because your body might not be ready for intense physical activities. After some time has passed and you got the approval from your doctor, you can slowly start exercising.
The general rule says that you shouldn’t engage in any physical activity until you stop bleeding. If you had a C-section, you should probably wait at least six weeks before you return to the gym or yoga classes. If you start earlier than that and push yourself in the beginning, you’ll actually postpone your recovery. However, that doesn’t mean you cannot do anything during this period; you can go for short strolls around the block which are a great intro for more intense workouts.
Activities and goals
New mommies should have at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity per week. However, there are some guidelines you should follow. These include enough time to warm up and cool down, drinking plenty of water, starting slowly and gradually increasing your workout intensity, and wearing a supportive and comfortable bra. Also, you should stop working out if you feel any pain or discomfort. You can easily start with slow walks several times a week and up the intensity gradually. After some time, you can try pelvic tilt a few times a day in order to strengthen your abdominal muscles. Another great exercise includes Kegels. Kegel exercises will tone your pelvic floor muscles and provide better support for your uterus, small intestine, rectum and bladder.
Breathing exercises are essential because they will help you strengthen your belly muscles. They are pretty easy, and you can start doing them as soon as one hour after giving birth. Sit upright and breathe deeply from your diaphragm. As you draw the air from the diaphragm upwards, contract and hold your abs and relax them when exhaling. Gradually, you can increase the amount of time and air you are holding with contracted abs and, over time, your abs will become strong enough for some more intense exercises.
Work out with your baby
As your body gets stronger, you will probably want to exercise more. However, it could be tough to find enough time for that when you have a cute little baby to take care of. Luckily, there are some exercises you can do together, such as the baby glider, baby bouncer and rock-a-baby squats and curls. Baby glider consists of holding your baby close to your chest while doing forward lunges. However, don’t let your toes go past the knee. Do this exercise by lunging with one leg at a time and you will manage to strengthen your legs, back and core. Baby bouncer is similar to the glider, but you are stepping to the side and doing a squat. Lastly, rock-a-baby squats and curls include holding your baby close to your chest, squatting down and doing a curl with your baby in your hands while rising up. These are pretty simple and will help you slowly get back in shape. To make things more fun, you can even treat yourself with some new gym wear and find a cute little matching headband for your baby.
Swimming is great for your entire body. It can help you relax while you are slowly strengthening your muscles. You can even start swimming a week after the postpartum lochia has stopped. You can even take your baby with you and spend some fun time in the water or even do some water aerobics together and relax while exercising.
It is important to remember not to rush into anything. Give your body some time to recover and as soon as you feel ready, you can start slowly getting back into shape.