One of the most drastic changes your body will undergo during pregnancy is that you’ll gain around 25 to 35 pounds! Eek! It sounds so scary, right? But man, our bodies are capable of an AMAZING miracle, right?
While you might think childbirth will get rid of that baby bump (at least that is what I thought!), but the truth is that it could take MONTHS to get your body back to it’s “normal” state. You might have been hesitant to engage in exercise while you were pregnant, so your only option was to wait out the pregnancy and exercise after giving birth to that sweet baby.
Today I wanted to share how to EASE back into exercise after childbirth, because it is super important to not overdo it and to take care of yourself.
Exercise will promote weight loss and bring you back that slim pre-pregnancy body you always had. It will also give you those toned abdominal muscles. Exercise will also improve your cardiovascular fitness and even boost your energy levels so you can keep up with your baby. Another benefit is that daily exercise can relieve stress and promote better sleep. For some, it can also help symptoms of postpartum depression. I know this doesn’t affect everyone, but it did affect me for a few months and exercise helped and now I no longer battle this.
So how do you get back into exercise after having a baby? Here are a couple of tips:
There’s no need to rush. Make sure to give your body the time it needs and consult your doctor to know when you can start exercising again. If you give birth via c-section, your body might need a little more time. Performing strenuous exercises might set you back instead of helping you recover. A good start to getting back into exercise would be to take short walks around the neighborhood.
Find all sorts of exercise
You don’t have to limit yourself to exercise you knew and did before the pregnancy. Try new exercises that will benefit your healing body. If your joints and pelvic floor still feel weak [mine STILL do, 9 months later], try swimming. If you suffer from diastasis recti, or the separation of abdominal muscles, then focus more on the plank pose or the different variations of it. Check with your doctor to know what kind of exercises you are prohibited from doing. Also, it may be wise to visit a physical therapist for targeted exercises if you have diastasis recti.
Get into gear
Make sure to wear a supportive bra during exercise. If you’re doing swimming for your exercise, get a well-fitting swimsuit. Nothing should hurt or feel uncomfortable during exercise! Aside from that, wearing the proper gear will make it easier for you to main correct form and posture, and this will prevent injuries that can come from incorrect exercise practices.
Keep yourself hydrated
If you’re still breastfeeding, make sure to keep yourself hydrated! You’ll be sweating a lot during exercise, and it’s not a good idea to let your body get dehydrated. Remember, by the time you FEEL thirsty, you’re already dehydrated. Always take a water bottle with you, and remind yourself to drink before and after the exercise and of course throughout the day.
Make sure to rest
Exercise isn’t just about the exercise itself, it’s also about how you take care of your body before exercising and after. Incorporate rest in your post-workout and make sure to just relax your body during this time. These quiet moments, few though they may be, will replenish you and get you raring to go even after a strenuous exercise.
I’d love to support you on this journey. Please contact me on the form below if you’d like to chat! <3