Looking after a little one is rewarding yet exhausting, so it’s important to take it easy when it comes to Vancouver fitness. Although it’s tempting to revert back to your pre-baby workout straight after giving birth, it’s important you give your body adequate time to recover from labor – this is usually around six weeks after giving birth.
The recovery process is vital, to ensure that the uterus has retracted back into the pelvis, bleeding has ceased and stitches have healed. It is important to listen to your body during this time and ease back into exercise gently. Remember that the body has been through many complex and amazing changes over the past nine months – so take it easy on yourself!
When you feel up to it, start with some very gentle exercise, including some pelvic floor exercises and short walks with your new baby. After your six-week check-up, if your doctor agrees, move on to an agreed training plan.
Your diet is an important part of your post-pregnancy program. But don’t be tempted to embark on a diet while breastfeeding. It’s important to follow a sensible balanced diet which supplies your body with the nutrients it needs post-baby.
Walking is a great post-pregnancy exercise as it can be done at any time, alone or with your baby, and it’s a good excuse to get outside. Walking helps to stimulate bone density, which helps keep your bones strong, and for women, this is especially important at all stages of life.
Start walking for 15 minutes twice a day on most days of the week, and gradually increase this as your body can tolerate it. Aim to build this to 45 minutes at a moderate pace. When you feel ready, try adding in some tricep dips and push-ups when passing a park bench, or try some walking lunges along the footpath to break up your walking routine.
Pelvic Floor Exercises
Pelvic floor exercises are important as a daily exercise after giving birth and may be done as soon after the birth as your healthcare provider deems safe.
Take a deep breath, then exhale and imagine you’re pulling your vaginal muscles up towards your belly button, and hold for a few seconds, then relax. Do this 20 times, twice a day.
Go for Low-Impact Exercises
Keep exercises low-impact for the first six months. While you’re still in your rehab process, it’s a good idea to keep your exercise low-impact. This doesn’t need to mean low intensity: You can still get a sweat on and gets your heart-rate pumping; it’s more about reducing pressure on the pelvic floor before you’ve found your connection post-birth.
You should also keep your workout regimen low-impact because the hormone relaxin (which helps the ligaments relax during pregnancy and birth) is still present in the body for six months post-birth, or until you finish breast-feeding.
Proper breathing is a core exercise that is very beneficial as a postnatal exercise. Work on deep diaphragmatic breaths that can be performed lying, sitting, or standing: Begin in a neutral spine. As you breathe in, feel the pelvic floor or Kegels, rib cage, and abs descend or open.
As you exhale, this lifts the pelvic floor, pulls the abdomen in, and closes the rib cage and holds for 5 seconds. Work up to 5 to 10 breaths with abdominal contractions several times per day.
Crunches or working your abs are not yet recommended at this point. Overexerting yourself especially in the first six months after delivery isn’t safe for you. You can always exercise or rehabilitate your core with your little movements all throughout the day.
Starting it slow and steady or keeping up with low-impact workout routines daily with Vancouver fitness will help you get in shape without risking your overall health.