Exercise After Pregnancy: How to Get Started
After overcoming the small task of giving life, we often find ourselves wanting of the body we had before and looking for options to slide back into our previous selves; so, where do we start? When looking into exercise and getting back into that entire world, we need to be aware that we are walking a thin line. Giving birth is nothing short of a miracle and, as such, takes a huge toll on the body. This is why it is imperative that we are all aware that we are not left with the same body we had nine months ago and that getting it back is going to be a process.
Slow and steady
The trick here is to ease into it. Your body has had almost an entire year of the good life, not having to strain about virtually anything…well, at least until the very end of the pregnancy. Labor humor aside, there needs to be no doubts about the fact that we are starting out from zero. Not one, zero. The easiest way to gauge this is with a couple of easy exercises that put little to no strain on the body and realizing how difficult they have become. Properly understanding where we’re at and where we want to be will make the difference between making progress and hurting ourselves. Wait a solid six weeks before considering anything.
Take hints from your body
After gauging our bodies and setting up an exercise plan, keeping a watchful eye on early signs of wear and tear is crucial. A clear sign that something is off is an increase in bleeding even though it tapered down. This means that the body still needs some time to repair itself and get you up and running at a 100%. Shortness of breath, however, is encouraged. As mentioned above, even the most basic of exercises will become momentous achievements and will push you like you’ve never been pushed before. A general rule of thumb is to take the abdominals as slowly as you can, as most women need time for the muscles to repair themselves.
If your pelvic floor is of the weaker variety, exercise could actually cause a lot more harm than good. Ab workouts can put extra abdominal pressure where it’s needed the least and prevent any healing or worse – organ prolapse. This occurs when a pelvic organ drops and presses against the vagina, the feelings vary from feeling your organs are falling out to a small bump. This is one of the reasons kegels should and will become your new best friend in the coming months. Your family isn’t the only thing that needs support.
Exercises to try out
One of the best exercises to start out at home is the pelvic tilt. Let’s face it, you won’t be getting a lot of time to yourself, so any exercise that involves extra equipment or a step outside will pretty much be off the table for some time. Remember the points made about abdominals? Well this exercise literally has you lying on your back and bending your pelvis upwards. This provides enough support for your back and everything else while using nothing but your own weight to wake your muscles up. Apart from these, kegels are a great option and can literally be done anywhere. After these, you’re ready to move on to other options.
Once the little dickens is up and running (not literally, no need to worry), we can start looking into exercises for the entire body. A good way to glide into the whole thing is to look into the wonderful world of bicycles. With the feeling of fresh air finally within our grasp, there is nothing like heading out for a nice bike ride in the morning. The cold air, the lack of traffic, the general calm before the city wakes up – priceless. As for the exercise, it activates almost all of the body’s muscles and gets them used to keeping us in motion – win-win, and if your not sure about what type of bicycle is right for you, you can always browse the internet and buy bicycles online.
If cycling is not your style, fear not, walking can accomplish virtually the same effects. If feeling adventurous and have sufficient stamina, consider having longer runs in the mornings when you know you can sneak out of the house. Running will target all the muscle areas we are keen on getting back into shape and will slim us down to a fraction of what we were. Keep in mind that this is a process, nothing will happen overnight and it’s unreasonable to expect a six-pack after jogging for half an hour. It took nine months to get here, be realistic on how much time it will take to get back.
Don’t overdo it
At the end of the day, it all comes down to us. Everyone is different and their bodies follow suit, it is important to keep this in mind when starting getting back into shape. The experience will be strenuous enough without gauging our progress by looking at other women. Take a deep breath, follow your own tempo, and take it slow. We’re working on ourselves for ourselves, not anyone else. The changes will come, progress will be noticeable. Just like with our little bundles of joy – we got to give it time.