If you’ve just had a baby, your first thought probably isn’t about how you’re going to get back your pre-baby body. However, after the initial whirlwind of sleepless nights and endless feeds is over you’ll probably start thinking about taking some exercise again.
But what kind of exercise is safe, and what should you avoid?
For the 1st 6 Weeks
The first 6 weeks following the birth you shouldn’t put too much strain on your body. Light stretching is the best place to start getting back in shape, with an emphasis on strengthening your abdominal and pelvic floor muscles.
The best low-impact workouts for this stage involve going for walks with your little one in their stroller. The fresh air will do both you and your baby good, and you can take the time to practice core activation and breathing techniques. This will allow you to improve your mindset and give structure to your day. It is hard to adjust to having a baby in your life, and going for a walk helps you to enjoy some peace and quiet amidst the stress of dealing with your newborn. When you’re planning your walking sessions it’s important to have the right shoes.
6 Weeks to 6 Months
After your first 6 week check-up, if your doctor says that it is ok to carry on exercising you can take things up a notch. Again, it isn’t a good idea to rush into doing abdominal crunches or anything too strenuous or you could cause damage. Instead, there are lots of low-impact exercises you can do which will do you a lot of good and help you to return to your previous shape without hurting yourself.
Postnatal Pilates classes and swimming are both good choices for new mums. Both cause minimal stress on the joints but help to tone up the muscles and help to return you to your normal, energized state. A couple of classes a week should make a big difference in getting your body in shape.
Low impact aerobic classes such as more gentle forms of Zumba or aqua aerobics are also great choices at this stage, and for women who are desperate to burn fat, power walking could be a great way to shed those excess pounds without putting too much strain on your body.
Body and Mind
Having a new baby can be exhausting and for many new mums, depression and a low mood often come along with the sleepless nights and extra stress of a crying baby. If you are struggling to get through the day, finding ways to exercise in those early weeks can really boost your spirits and help you to feel more normal again.
Post-partum yoga is a brilliant way to calm your mind while also toning up and enjoying the physical benefits of exercise. Gentle yoga stretching isn’t too demanding on your changed body but it will make a big difference to your core body strength – an area that suffers as a result of having a baby. Yoga will strengthen your back and stomach muscles which all felt the impact of pregnancy and birth while also helping you to strengthen your pelvic floor. When this is paired with your pelvic floor exercises, you’ll find that you can really feel the difference.
Since yoga also helps you to meditate and focus your mind, it’ll also help you to improve your mood in a natural way.
Mom and Baby Workout Classes
One of the best ways for new moms to exercise is to join a mom and baby fitness class. It’s a brilliant way to connect with other new parents in your area and to make new friends while also getting fit at the same time. Lots of mom and baby workout classes involve light jogging with your baby in a stroller and some interval training. You’ll have a lot of fun, forge life-long relationships with other moms in the same situation as you and you’ll also be able to tone up and get fit.
Try these low-impact workouts now your baby is here and get back to your pre-pregnancy fitness level in no time.
Born in Belarus, 1985, a pedagogue and family psychologist, mother. Taking part in procedures of social adaptation of the foster children in new families. Since 2015 is a chief editor of the motherhow.com project, selecting the best and up-to-date material for those, who are planning, expecting, and already having babies.