23 Sep Postpartum Exercise
Integrating exercise into the weeks and months after a birth is important. A regular active schedule can boost your energy and immune system, helps your mood, and creates space for self-care. Regular exercise also helps your body recuperate from pregnancy, and along with eating healthy foods, is the best way to get into shape.
When should I begin?
Begin when you feel ready. Start slow and easy, and increase as you feel ready. If your flow returns or increases, or your body hurts, back up! Your body is trying to tell you to slow down.
Some ideas to begin with:
- Kegels! These are exercises where you flex and release the muscle sin your pelvic floor, and help to regain muscle tone, treat or prevent incontinence… the list goes on. Just do five at a time, anytime throughout the day – At stoplights. In the line at the store or library. Nursing your baby. (Do not do routinely Kegels when urinating, as this could cause UTIs).
- Abdominal exercises to start with: lie on your back and bend your knees with your arms on your stomach. Lift only your head and shoulders enough to clear the floor. Do three sets of ten to begin with. Work into more strenuous core exercises as your muscles strengthen and repair.
- Short walks. Great to start at around one or two weeks postpartum. Start with leisurely walks in loops around your neighborhood. Take your baby along in a sling. J
- This is a great way to ease your body back to its pre-pregnant state. Some mom’s even manage mama-baby yoga! Check for classes in your area or videos you can buy to use at home.
- Choose an activity you enjoy.
- Exercise about a half hour after breastfeeding. This is the time that you will be less likely to be interrupted by a hungry baby!
- Drink lots of water while exercising. Hydration is very important in the postpartum period.