Post-Pregnancy Workouts

Why, when, and how to get moving after giving birth.

You just made it through all 40 weeks of pregnancy. During the past nine months, you’ve felt nauseated at times, emotional at others, and dog tired at yet others. Sometimes, you felt all three at once. But when you welcomed your new bundle of joy into the world, all of the sacrifice and suffering was worth it.

Now, it’s time to get back to life as lady who is not pregnant. That means it’s time to return to your exercise routine! If you have questions about your triumphant return to the gym, read on for answers.

Why

The reasons to exercise after being pregnant are deep and wide. First and foremost on many new mothers’ minds is getting back in pre-pregnancy shape. In order to do this, you’ll have to begin exercising in some shape or fashion. But the perks of post-pregnancy exercising don’t stop with regaining your previous svelte physique.

It’ll also help bring your mind and body to a better place. Being a new parent can be exceptionally stressful. With a little exercise, you can work out your stress and be better able to handle your newfound responsibilities. You’ll also get a big boost of energy and be better able to sleep. Since your new routine involves being awake any time baby is awake, making the most of your sleep time and having the energy you need to care for your baby are essential.

When

Unless your physician says otherwise, you can begin your exercise routine as soon as you feel ready. In the event you go through an uncomplicated pregnancy with no issues during vaginal birth, this may mean you’re able to exercise again a few days after your child is born. On the other hand, if you had complications anywhere along the way or had your child via Caesarean section, you’ll need to wait until your doctor gives you the okay.

When you start, be careful not to overwork your body. Even with the smoothest pregnancies and deliveries, you ought to remember that your body has just been through a bit of trauma. If you feel yourself getting worn down, take a break. You ought to also be particularly careful to avoid dehydration and to seek immediate medical attention if you experience any strange effects after exercising.

How

After pregnancy, you’re free to do just about any exercise you so desire—as long as it’s not too strenuous. However, some exercises are better tolerated than others. One of the easiest ways to ease back into the exercise after birthing a child is walking. Place your baby in the stroller and head off down the street. The first time you go out, plan on going a short distance and turn around. Otherwise, you may find yourself far from home without the energy necessary to make it back.

Other good exercises to try out after having a child include the following:

Kegels: Tighten the muscles needed to stop the flow of your urine. Hold for 5 to 10 seconds and release. Repeat 10 times a few times a day. This may not seem too strenuous, but it helps maintain the integrity of your bladder and vagina, which is particularly important after childbirth.

Bridges: Lie on your back with your knees bent and your back in a neutral, relaxed position. As you tighten your abdominal muscles, raise your hips from the floor until your hips are in a straight line with your knees and shoulders. Hold for 5 to 10 seconds, return to the starting position, and repeat.

Lying Slides: Start flat on your back with your knees bent slightly. Slowly inhale, allowing your right leg to slide flat on the floor in the process. As you exhale, bring your leg back to the starting position, and repeat with your left leg.

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