11 Sep Postpartum Fitness: How Do I Start to Move Again?!?
By: Jessica Sennet
Congratulations Mama – you just had a baby!! Yay, me too!! What a ride, am I right? Between the painful recovery process, sore nipples, hallucinations due to lack of sleep, and everything in between that comes with having a newborn, you probably have not had any time to even think about moving your own body. I get it.
Adding exercise into your daily routine is important for everyone but especially for new mamas. Exercise, including resistance or cardiovascular training can help build up strength and endurance which may have been lost during pregnancy. Regular movement can also alleviate aches and pains left over from labor and delivery and also improve your mood and energy level.
The 4th trimester is tough and knowing what exercises you can do and when you can start doing them can be confusing. So when you are ready, here are my tips for navigating the world of postpartum fitness.
Yep. That’s the first step. A woman’s body goes through more changes during pregnancy, labor and delivery than a man’s body goes through during his ENTIRE LIFE! Giving birth is a huge deal and you need to let your body rest and recover properly before returning to any type of exercise. Starting too soon may cause more harm than good, so cherish this down time with your little one. Make sure to wait to be cleared by your doctor AND pelvic floor physiotherapist before any high intensity exercise.
This is something that you can absolutely start before your 6 week postpartum check up – learning how to breathe with your diaphragm and engage the inner core muscles is crucial to optimal healing and proper function when you move. There are many resources to learn how to do that! Work with a professional such as a pelvic physiotherapist or a trainer that specializes in postpartum exercise who can assess and teach you how to incorporate these techniques in your daily routine.
Walking is cheap and is a great way to start including movement into your day, AND you can do it with your little one! It’s low impact and feels great! Make sure you have correct posture while walking with the stroller or carrier. Keep your shoulders back and ribs over your hips.
4. START SLOW
When you are finally ready to start to exercise, whether it be strength training, pilates, running, yoga, or any other type of activity, YOU MUST TAKE IT EASY! Even if you were active during your pregnancy, you will not be able to start at the intensity level where you left off. As frustrating as it is, the postpartum body has to be treated as a beginner in any activity that you do. Start with light weight, lower intensity or a shorter amount of time when you start until you feel comfortable. With consistency, you can build up your strength and endurance over time. It will happen, I promise.
ABOUT THE BLOGGER
Jessica Sennet is an independent personal trainer that specializes in women’s fitness, including prenatal and postpartum health. She works primarily with women in midtown Toronto and teaches the Fit Mom classes at Vital. Fit Mom is a series of postpartum fitness classes with a focus on building strength while respecting the postpartum recovery process. You can learn more about Jess through her website workoutwithjess.com and can directly message her through her Instagram @workout.with.jess!
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