Post Natal Exercise Do's and Dont's
Knowing what you can and can't do physically after giving birth is so important to keeping your body healthy. We spoke to pre and postnatal exercise experts CARiFiT, who go through the do's and don'ts of postnatal exercise.
Having a baby is a wonderful life-changing experience and during the course of pregnancy and childbirth, the body goes through a number of changes to accommodate the growing baby and help its arrival into the world. These changes can often leave new mums feeling very uneasy about getting back into exercise, as they are unsure of what they can and can’t do. Exercise has so many proven benefits both physically and mentally, making it important for any new mum to try to find their way back into exercise as soon as they are ready.
The good news is that expert help is on hand from our good friends at CARiFiT who have put together a fantastic summary of safety tips and pointers to help you get back on track quickly and safely as soon as you want to get moving again. Their fabulous babywearing workouts are offering new mums everywhere the chance to get back into shape quickly, safely and in their own time as the CARiFiT experts understand all too well the constrictions of juggling parenting with finding the time to workout.
- Start gentle exercise and activity as soon as you feel up to it
- Start your pelvic floor exercises as soon as you can - this will help to strengthen the core and improve any bladder weakness
- Wait until you have had your six-week postnatal check before you start more high-impact exercise
- Wait for longer if you have had a caesarean, and check with your GP and health visitor before you start exercising again
- Stay active as it will help both your recovery and your mood
- Listen to your body and pace yourself
- Take time to rest both your body and your mind
- Try and schedule your workouts after feeding times if breastfeeding
- Find an exercise that works for you. Even a brisk walk is a great way to increase your heart rate, particularly if you are pushing the buggy or walking uphill
- Remember that the relaxin hormone is still in your system and it will mean that your joints are still not back to their pre-pregnancy stability so do not put undue pressure on them by using heavy weights
- Get a friend involved; working out together is a great way to stay motivated and offer each other encouragement.
- Start exercising until you have had your 6 or 12-week check or had clearance from your GP or health visitor
- Put pressure on yourself to return to pre-pregnancy fitness, simply enjoy getting moving again
- Try and start off where you left off; your body has changed and you will need to participate in different exercises to cater for the post-natal body
- Put yourself under unnecessary pressure to get back to the size you were before you got pregnant, instead choose a balanced approach which focuses on safe and effective exercises and nutrition
- Rely on your pre-pregnancy sports bra - your size may have changed since giving birth
- Focus on abdominal curls or crunches, your tummy will take time to recover so pelvic floor exercises and deep stomach exercises are preferred initially
- Bend from the hips when lifting the baby or heavy things, try and bend the knees so that you are not putting undue stress on the lower back
CARiFiT are offering a fantastic free 7-day trial so that you can experience their brilliant workouts for yourself. Simply visit http://carifit.co.uk/7daykickstart/