There are many things that new mothers have to do, from feeding their baby and changing their diapers to understanding what to do when their child starts crying. In the midst of this, thinking about losing the weight you naturally gained during pregnancy is far less important. It can become especially confusing when you are sleep-deprived and have so many things other things on your plate. Plus, there’s a lot of conflicting information online, with supposed tips and tricks for losing weight fast.
So, where do you start? First, don’t feel overwhelmed. To help new moms, our women personal trainers in Toronto have put together some advice to effectively get you more active. Follow them to get started safely on your fitness journey.
Here are some tips to help you feel and look your best after giving birth
Advantages of Exercising After Pregnancy
Regular exercise after giving birth will:
By staying physically active, you will enjoy:
Plus, you will set a great example for your child to lead an active lifestyle.
Any doctor and/or personal fitness trainer will tell you that it isn’t a good idea to get back into your old workout regime after giving birth. For new moms, it’s best not to overexert themselves after giving birth. And if you underwent a C-section, it’s best to wait until your first post-operative check-up to even attempt exercise. Even a walking routine must be cleared by your doctor.
Pushing yourself too hard will only set you back. However, you don’t have to be completely inactive. You could start out small by taking a 5-minute walk and then see how you feel. If you feel fine and nothing aches or pulls, you can gradually increase the timing of these walks by a minute and keep adding to it. Once you notice you can walk without discomfort for at least a couple of weeks, you may ask your personal trainer to suggest some stretching exercises too. If you don’t have a personal trainer, consider hiring one who specializes in working with new mothers.
Do you feel absolutely fine and ready to get back into the swing of things by starting your old exercise regime after giving birth? Don’t. It’s best to refrain from doing so for at least the first six weeks. And even after that, focus only on low-impact exercises, as doing high-intensity workouts can do more harm than good. Instead, do light activities such as stretching and walking paired with resistance training. Use TheraBands to add light resistance in a controlled manner without putting too much strain on yourself.
While pelvic floor exercises like Kegels won’t take the place of different cardio workouts like running or walking, it’s necessary to do them for your post-baby health. Although they may seem like minor movements, over time it will help strengthen your pelvic muscles which will also aid in preventing bladder prolapse and urine leakage. Talk to a physical therapist or your doctor to understand how to do these exercises properly for maximum benefit.
Once you start exercising regularly or engaging in other physical activities too, pay close attention to signs from your body. For instance, many women notice that their bleeding which had reduced in the days after giving birth starts to become heavy again. In such instances, it’s best to give your body more time to rest and heal before starting exercise again.
Sure, your baby will be sleeping around 20 hours in the beginning – but not in a row! This means that new mothers have trouble getting proper sleep. And, this will lead to them not having enough energy to work out.
While exercising regularly can increase energy levels, sleep deprivation can exhaust new mothers, and exercise should never lead to exhaustion. So, it’s best to listen to your body and do less strenuous workouts.
Here are some more tips to get back into shape after giving birth.
Looking after your little ones makes it difficult to find time to exercise. On top of everything, hormonal changes may make you feel more tired in general. But physical activity is important. It’s also a great idea to ask your partner, family, and friends for emotional and physical support. Remember, it won’t do you any good to try to get through it all by yourself. By scheduling some time to dedicate to physical activity, you can stay motivated to balance motherhood and home fitness.