Post Pregnancy Exercise
Getting Back in Shape After Baby
Post pregnancy exercise can be challenging, so let's look at the benefits and challenges.
You've just given birth to a beautiful new baby and whether it was baby number one or baby number six, your body and your life have been through a huge adjustment. Nothing like postpartum fitness to enhance your experience.
Here are some of the biggest questions that come up regarding post pregnancy exercise.
Why post pregnancy exercise?
Do you have the postpartum blues? Lack of sleep, screaming baby, exploding stinky diapers and all the other changes in life no doubt have you feeling a little exhausted and overwhelmed.
Getting in a little post pregnancy exercise can help you gain a little control at least for those few minutes a day. And it's important to take care of yourself, especially at this time. In fact taking care of yourself will only enable you to be a better mother.
Post pregnancy exercise has short and long term affects. Short term, getting in a good workout, even if just for 20 minutes will make you feel amazing and give you more energy to get through the day no matter how exhausted you were to begin with. It will even help you sleep better in those few hours of sleep your baby allows you.
In the long term, it will help you loose that pregnancy weight and get you feeling good about yourself. So let's get started!
How do I fit post pregnancy exercise into my topsy-turvy new life?
Accept help from others. It's in our nature as woman to want to be superwoman and get everything done ourselves. But trust me, accepting help so you can get in a little you time will only make you stronger and enhance your super powers.
A few minutes a day of post pregnancy exercise is better than nothing. If all you can get in is ten minutes, make the most of those ten minutes. It will make a difference.
If your baby likes to be held, include your baby in your exercise. Put on some music and let your baby watch your exercise, or try some exercise you can do while you are holding your baby.
When can I start my post pregnancy exercise?
I have running friends who were out there running again two-four weeks after they had their babies. I understand, running can be addicting and they all seemed fine. They were also runners already.
I don't recommend any form of exercise other than going for a nice, daily walk until you get your six-week checkup and your doctor or midwife gives you the ok. It's just not worth overdoing it until you are fully recovered, if you go out too soon and end up overdoing it, you will only prolong the recovery period.
Listen to your body. Your body has probably been through way more than you even realize, so listen to your body. You super-powers will come back, just give them time.
Once you have had your six-week checkup and you are feeling ok, not having cramps or feeling light headed and dizzy, you are ready to start an exercise plan.
What are some good post pregnancy exercises to start with?
Running or Walking with a Jogging Stroller
My top post pregnancy exercise recommendation would be getting a jogging stroller and pushing your baby in it. You can run orwalk in your neighborhood, in the park, at the mall...the possibilities are endless.
It's a great way to spend time with your baby, get some exercise for you and some much needed fresh air and sunshine for both of you. And babies usually love being pushed in the stroller.
Don't worry if your baby cries the first couple months. Somewhere between month two and month four, they will start to love it.
For tips on pushing your baby in the jogging stroller and jogging stroller, recommendations, click here.
Do you have one of those babies that isn't happy unless he or she is moving all the time? How about turning on some really good music and dancing around with your baby. You can even get a dance workout DVD and workout with your baby.
Rebounding on a Mini Trampoline
Having a rebounder is like having the perfect home workout center and a moon bounce to entertain your child all rolled into one.
I love my rebounder! I workout on it 3-4 days a week anywhere from 20-60 minutes. I turn on some music and jog in place, kick box, do jumping jacks, just bounce up and down or whatever else I feel like doing.
It is so easy on my joints and somehow the way the springs absorb my body, it doesn't feel like I'm working out as hard as when I'm doing the same thing on the ground, yet when I get off, I know I have had a great workout. I think it's similar to what I would feel if I was exercising on the moon.
My son also loves the rebounder. He stands there (he is eleven months old now) with his hands on the rebounder, feeling the vibrations as I jump up and down. Eventually he ends up climbing up on the rebounder and sits there holding on, or I'll pick him up and bounce with him in my hand. He loves that!
I was very into Pilates before I had my baby when I was able to go to the gym and attend classes. It is a great full body workout which focuses on your core...great for getting rid of that belly.
You want to have a nice space to be able to lie down on the floor in front of your TV or computer so you can watch the DVD and do the exercises. You also want to have a good, thick Pilates or yoga mat.
Do you have stairs in your house or apartment building? Try walking or running up and down the stairs.
How do I get started with my postpartum fitness?
The important thing is not to overdo it too soon. Start slow. Start with ten minutes a day of moderate exercise. Add five minutes a week of moderate exercise until you are able to do 30 minutes at a time of moderate exercise.
Your body will tell you if you are overdoing it, so pay attention. If at any point, it feels like too much, take it back a notch. Go back to doing 10 minutes a day until you are ready to add more time, or exercise with less exertion. All in good time!
My recommendation for a basic exercise plan would be three days a week of cardio, two or three days a week of strength training and one or two days off. Running, dancing, rebounding or swimming would be good examples of cardio.
Pilates is a great full body workout to do on the strength training days and will help make you stronger, and whip that booty back into shape.
Another option for strength training is to get a resistance toning band. You can find the resistance band or a pilates home workout DVD here.
The most important thing to remember is that you are not alone. There are lots of support groups to help you get back into shape and feeling great. I will continue to update this site to share these with you. For now, I welcome you to visit the mommy time lounge.
Are You A New Running Mom With A Question or Comment?
Being a new running mom can be quite intense! So much transition. Never what you expect. Some days better, some days not. But you're not alone. If you have a question or a comment, just type it in and chances are, another mom is going through the exact same thing and we can help each other.
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