A guide to postnatal fitness
23 January 2018
If you have only recently become a mother, you could understandably feel rather stressed. After all, there's a baby who needs frequent attention, and it's only through crying that the baby can even vaguely communicate with you. A fitness regime could be the last thing on your mind. However, getting fit can bring physical and mental benefits that can help you keep healthy and, therefore, become more capable of looking after your little one. Here's how you can get started.
Why should you seriously consider postnatal fitness?
Right now, you might think that you simply wouldn't have the time to juggle the responsibilities of both a fitness routine and taking care of your baby. However, expecting to effectively provide that care without treating yourself well is like trying to pour a drink from an empty bottle.
You might not have realised how much healthier you could feel mentally after simply leaving the house and enjoying the fresh air as you embark on a morning run. Exercise can also have an energising effect, Real Parent notes. That could certainly help keep exhaustion at bay!
Bring yourself gently into an exercise regime
Nonetheless, it's crucial that you don't rush into exercising earlier than your body is really ready for. There are a few warning signs to watch out for as you start exercising. Those include pelvic or lower back pain while - or after - you exercise. You should also be concerned if your body often shakes or trembles whenever you attempt a move or hold.
The good news is that, if you have a good trainer, they can help you to adopt precisely the right level of exercise for your body's current capabilities. You could find such a trainer by joining one of our London-based boot camp days run by our team here at Prestige Boot Camp. By doing this, you would not have to make an overly large commitment to exercise that could put your body in jeopardy.
What if you are ready to take things to the next level?
Your pregnancy will have weakened your core muscles, but you can build their strength back up through carrying out pelvic floor exercises, as Positive Health Wellness advocates. Still, avoid undertaking any exercises that your doctor or physiotherapist has not cleared you to do.
As the recovery takes hold, your doctor can indicate which alternative exercises you can safely start doing. Expect your doctor to recommend exercise unless you have a medical issue that would make exercise inadvisable. Exercising can help release serotonin in your body and so boost your happiness levels, not to mention ward off adverse effects of changing hormones.
Resist comparing yourself with other mothers
It bears emphasis that new mothers greatly vary in how quickly they can scale up their exercise efforts. Some women manage to give birth without tearing anything; other mothers may have needed a c-section, from which their recovery could take six to eight weeks. Therefore, closely consider your specific needs and avoid over-extending yourself with your goals.