Exercise after pregnancy is something that should not be rushed into, depending on the type of pregnancy the mother had will determine whether she is ready to exercise.
A caesarian pregnancy will require much more recovery time, 6 to 8 weeks in most cases, and for a vaginal birth, some women can start exercising as soon as two weeks after pregnancy.
The best time to start exercise after pregnancy is with light activity when your body tells you it’s time, and you feel comfortable doing it.
Exercise After Pregnancy
The first thing to do is to check with your physician to get the ok before starting any type of exercise.
Be careful of exercise after pregnancy because the joints and ligaments are still stretched out and injury is very easy to occur.
Stay away from too much bouncing, jumping, stepping or running at the beginning of the exercise regimen. Take everything very slow; start light and for short periods of time. Drink lots of water, stay hydrated, especially those mothers that are breastfeeding.
Stop exercising anytime you feel light-headed, dizzy, or if you feel any abdominal pain.
Also if there is any noticeable discharge that has a strange color to it, stop and notify your physician. Also if you start to feel sudden fatigue or shortness of breath consult your physician.
Never try to medicate yourself or get advice from someone that is not a physician. Exercise after pregnancy should be safe, take care of your body.
Feeling a little strange and awkward at first is normal, your body has to adjust and your muscles are trying to remember what they used to do before the pregnancy.
Eat a well-balanced meal along with any type of exercise after pregnancy; take a multivitamin, high in calcium and iron.
Eat mono and polyunsaturated fats like nuts, olive oil, avocado, and fatty fish. Stay away from red meats, whole milk, butter and processed foods.
Eat fresh fruits and vegetables, as well as grains like pasta, rice, whole wheat bread, and cereals.
Great things to eat after pregnancy are light soups with fresh vegetables and chicken broth or just the plain broth, it is easy on the stomach, and fish or chicken can be added as the stomach is able to withstand the heavier foods.
6 Postnatal exercises
The main exercise after pregnancy that most women want to get started on is abdominal exercise because they want to get rid of the baby’s stomach and flab, but you need to start light.
- This exercise after pregnancy should start with a warm-up with a slight stretch of head and arms and legs 3-5 minutes, then 15 minutes or less, walk the baby around the block in the stroller, get some fresh air and increase time to 20-30 minutes over the first few weeks if you feel up to it. Then follow up with a 3-5 minute cool down.
- lie on the floor on your back, lift knees up with feet on the floor, lift the hips up to the same height as your knees. Do this and hold for 15 seconds, do a few times if you can. Always inhale on lift and release when lowering back down.
- This exercise after pregnancy technique is the tightening of the urinary and pelvic muscles. The way to do it is to tighten your urinary muscles as if you are trying to stop yourself from urinating, hold it for 3 seconds and release. Do this several times until you get fatigued and relax.
- lean to one side and stretch the other leg and change sides. This should be done very slowly and for those who are not ready do not over stretch, just slightly bring the leg being stretched only out at a 45 degree angle if that’s all you can do, then increase the stretch as time goes on.
- stand straight legs shoulder length apart and lift the head back, then front. Do this at least 8 -10 times if you can. Head rolls are also acceptable to do.
- This is only recommended if the physician says it is allowed and the weights should only be between 3 and 5 pounds to start with. Gentle lifting and curling should be done at first and build it up over time.
Where to Find Postnatal Exercise Classes
Exercise after pregnancy classes are given at fitness centers, local gyms and health clubs, hospitals, local community centers, and YMCA’s as well as YWCA’s.
Many of the local gyms and health clubs have daycare as well as aerobic or yoga classes that are great for new moms. Look for discounts, coupons, and specials or new moms at some of these places.
Benefits of Postnatal exercises
Exercise after pregnancy is beneficial because it helps the mother to lose the baby weight. It helps to strengthen muscles, tone the body, boost the mood, tighten abdominal muscles, and it helps the body to burn calories much faster.
Exercise after pregnancy makes the body feel better, it tightens the skin and it increases the energy levels. A healthier mom is a happier mom, and a happy mom keeps the baby happy and healthy.
Exercise After Pregnancy – The Conclusion
Giving birth to a baby is no easy task and moms need to be encouraged and supported when they try to get back to their pre-baby weight.
The main thing to remember is that it will all fall in place over time, don’t rush it, because rushing can cause injuries to your body.
Exercise after pregnancy should start slow with walking the baby around the corner, then increase the walk time and the distance and soon you will start to feel like your old self again.
The weight training and aerobics classes can wait until your body is truly up to it.
Every mom is different so listen to your body it will let you know if it is ready for more strenuous activity. It is a great idea to exercise after pregnancy but the key is to do it slowly and one step at a time.