All About Postnatal/Postpartum Exercise & Why You Should Try It
For those who have had a C-section, most doctors recommend a minimum wait of 12 weeks before undertaking any high impact exercises. For all others, you can get back to exercising gradually but only after consulting with your gynecologist. Now before we dive into what exercises you can try, let’s talk about your goals first.
Set Your Goals Before You Begin Your Workout
The first step is to ask yourself, ‘Why am I doing this?’ You could be trying to get back to your pre-pregnancy shape. You may want to fit into your pre-pregnancy clothes. Or you simply want to lose weight to feel good about your body. Your reasons are valid, and yours alone. So, don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. Whatever you pick as your end goal, write it down and let it drive you to keep going.
Along with long-term goals, we also recommend having short-term, achievable goals. For example, you can tell yourself that you will work out for 10 minutes for a whole week. Meeting these short-term goals will boost your confidence. They will keep you on track toward reaching your larger goal.
What are the Benefits of Postpartum Exercise?
Helps you remain fit and energetic
Fitness is not about losing weight or appearing slim; it is about how healthy and strong you feel from within. The delivery experience will leave you exhausted, which is why exercising a little every day can help you remain fit. Working out gives you a burst of energy to counter the exhaustion of caring for a newborn round the clock.
Helps you destress
As a new mother, you are likely to experience high stress after your pregnancy. Working out can help you regulate your stress levels. When you work out, your brain releases endorphins which are feel-good neurotransmitters. These endorphins uplift your mood and can help you feel less stressed.
Helps you battle postpartum depression
For new mothers, slipping into postpartum depression is a very real possibility. A lot of experts, therefore, recommend exercising since it is optimal for your emotional well-being. It helps raise your spirits and makes you feel positive and energised. We also highly recommend seeking professional help if you feel postpartum depression is interfering with your ability to function.
Best Postpartum Exercises That You Can Try Out
Are you feeling motivated to sweat it out? Here are a few combinations of postpartum exercises and physical activities that you can try out. Before you begin, make sure to consult with your doctor. Get a green signal of health before undertaking any strenuous activity.
So let’s look at the list.
Cycling is a good exercise. But it will be difficult for you to leave your baby and go out cycling. In such a scenario, you can always invest in a stationary cycling machine and cycle at home. Just an hour of stationary cycling can help you burn more than 600 calories. Additionally, it’ll help strengthen your calf muscles and your lower body muscles in general.
Do not attempt to cycle for an hour on your first go. Start with 5-10 minutes and let your body get used to the exercise. Then gradually keep increasing the duration with every successful week
Upper body exercises
Bring home a pair of dumbbells that are a suitable weight for you. Then begin some upper body exercises. You could do Single-Arm Rows, Wall Push-Ups, Chest Press, and other exercises that focus on toning your upper body.
Make up a routine for yourself which features exercises for your arms, back, chest, and neck. Once again, start slow with maybe one set of five workouts a day. Allow your body to get used to them before trying out a high-intensity routine
Aerobic workouts (low-impact)
Aerobic exercises will work out your whole body and strengthen your cardiovascular system. You could start with Jumping Jacks and Wall Sit-Ups. Then, move on to Knee Push-Ups and Planks for an entire aerobic routine. Breathe generously and engage your core for the maximum benefit of these exercises.
Want a fun dance routine to lift your spirits and keep you in shape? Zumba is one of the most popular exercise routines for women post-pregnancy, owing to its low difficulty and high rewards.
You could put on a Zumba routine on your TV and try to keep pace with it. Or make it a fun bonding exercise with your child. Your little one gets to watch you dance around and enjoy. And you keep an eye on and engage with them during the routine.
If your complex or neighborhood has a swimming pool, we encourage you to make full use of that. Swimming works out your whole body and helps you build up a healthy appetite. It can also help you sleep by allowing you to destress. You will have just the right level of exhaustion to take a power nap during the day.
Those were just some ideas to get you started, but you do you! There are several other exercises like walking, jogging, yoga, etc., which you should explore. Remember to listen to your body and not push it too hard. Strive for a healthy and happy post-pregnancy life and achieve your fitness goals. You got this, mama!