Whether it’s your first baby or your fifth, every pregnancy and every recovery is different and what is right for one woman won’t necessarily be right for you. This is why it’s so important that you go at your own pace.
Whether this means you get back into exercise as soon as you get the tick of approval at your six-week check-up or you do absolutely nothing for five months, it’s all about what works for you.Try not to put pressure on yourself to ‘bounce back’ and remember, the decision to return to exercise should be entirely driven by you, when you are ready and of course when supported by your doctor.
If you feel like your body and mind are ready to slowly get things moving again, here are my top tips for doing so safely.
Even if you were at your peak fitness before you had a baby, your body simply cannot jump straight back into the types of training you did before. This absolutely doesn’t mean you’ll never get back there, in fact I know may incredible mums who are fitter than they were before kids, it just means that you need to take it slow. Gentle walks are a great way to ease back into exercise, get some fresh air and get out of the house.
Use the Pram
When Snez was getting active again after having Willow she would take her on plenty of walks. They both absolutely loved it! Walking gets you outdoors, you can incorporate hills, catch-up with friends and even throw in some walking lunges to make it a little more challenging.
Light Resistance Home Workouts
Anyone with kids knows that they don’t stick to a schedule. This can make getting to a gym or class incredibly tricky which is one of the reasons why home workouts are so popular. Resistance training is the perfect way to help your body regain strength so whilst you might feel like you’ve lost it all, muscle memory is a very real thing and you will love feeling yourself get stronger. Body weight exercises are a really great place to start and you can then incorporate slow and controlled dumbbell exercises. If you’re not sure whether you’re training safely for your recovery or with correct form, always check in with a GP or specialist.
Post-natal pilates is really fantastic when you’re trying to regain strength in parts of your body that need some extra attention post-pregnancy. Learning some safe pilates exercises you can do at home that will strengthen your pelvic floor, lower back and your core can be really helpful. Abdominal separation is incredibly common so it’s a good idea to work with a GP or women’s physio before introducing any core or high impact moves into your routine.
Post-natal yoga has many physical benefits but it is also great for your mental wellbeing. Not only can post-natal yoga help relieve some muscular tension, like postural pain that comes with carrying a baby, but it can also be incredibly calming and help women focus on their breathing and connect with their bodies. Again, working with a professional is recommended to ensure all moves you are doing are safe and right for you.
So remember, it’s not a race. It’s about spending beautiful, quality time with your new baby and keeping your body healthy and strong in a way that feels right for you.