To safely take care of your precious baby, you need to be sure to take care of yourself. Your body has been through a very challenging transition, and after having a baby, you need time and care to recover. We know you all are anxious to get back in your favorite pair of jeans; however, you have to give yourself time. Remember, it took 9 months to get through your pregnancy and it could very well take another 9 months to get your pre-pregnancy body back. You have to give your body a chance to transition. It is important to take that into consideration and to be realistic and patient when it comes to your fitness routine. The following are some helpful tips to get you started.
When to start
Mayo Clinic states as long as you had an uncomplicated vaginal delivery, it’s generally safe to begin exercising a few days after giving birth or as soon as you feel ready. Others like Fit Pregnancy recommend that you do not return to any exercise until your bleeding has stopped. And if you had a cesarean section, you need to wait 6 weeks before returning to any physical activity. It is crucial that you listen to your body and not try to push yourself too hard. That will only lead to a longer road to recovery. Most importantly, you should consult your health care provider on when it is the safest to start.
Exercises to Try
Walking is the best place to start. People believe it to be “too easy” and more of a leisurely activity than a serious cardio workout; however, a daily walk is the foundation of any fitness routine and it helps program your mind into believing exercise is a normal part of life instead of a chore….which is true! You can even bring your bundle of joy with you in stroller or harness. So get outside explore your neighborhood or just walk around your house. Just get moving mama!
LiveStrong suggests swimming because it helps you lose weight and restore your muscle tone. It also aids in building your core muscles while still being gentle enough on your pelvic floor and joints. With summer sun and heat coming, this might be more preferable than walking in the blazing sun.
Kegals are muscles that control your urine flow and keep your pelvic organs in place. According to Web MD, Kegal exercises will strengthen your pelvic floor which was stretched and weakened from childbirth. These internal squeezes will help improve bladder control, tightening your vagina, healing the perineum, and prevent any pelvic organ sagging. Here is a guide on how to do kegal exercises.
Another option would be to join a postpartum exercise class. It is a good community of women who are right where you are and truly understand what you experienced and are now experiencing. There are online exercises and classes or you can check your area for any local classes.
Common everyday tasks like cleaning, cooking, and even working can also help you burn calories and get in shape. These things may not not seem like exercise to you but you will be surprised by their benefits to your health. Health Ambition lists the 7 most common activities with surprising health benefits that you most likely do everyday!
Exercise after pregnancy might not be easy and for some of you the last thing on your mind; however it can do wonders for your well-being, as well as give you the energy you need to care for your newborn. Finding the time for exercise can also be challenging and hormonal changes can make you emotional and feel too tired for a full workout. Seek the support of your partner, family and friends. Schedule time for working out and take it slow and steady. Gradually increase your pace over time and drink plenty of water especially if you are breastfeeding. Stop exercising if you feel any intense pain and, most importantly, contact your health care provider. But don’t give up. Stay motivated and remember you just accomplished childbirth! Will a brisk walk or kegal exercise even come close to the pain of childbirth? Don’t think so…You are strong, you are capable and we know you can do it!
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