One of the best things for a new mom is to settle into a routine. For many women, this routine can include exercise. Many women who have just had their baby are anxious to begin to take off that extra weight and get back to exercising. The most important thing to remember is that you should begin to get back into exercising slowly.
Most health care providers recommend that you wait until at least six weeks after delivery before you restart or start an exercise regimen. In general, this is good advice; your body has just been through a rather traumatic experience, and it needs time to recover. However, even during those first six weeks your health care provider may allow you to:
– Walk. Walking is one of the most healthy forms of exercise that you can engage in. Make sure that you listen to your body; if you get winded, stop and rest. If you feel any pain, do the same. You should walk for no more than about 10-15 minutes each day, and about 3 times a week.
– Stretch. You can do chest stretching and back-stretching exercises that will help limber you back up. Be certain not to stretch to far and, again, if you feel any pain, you should stop.
– Do pelvic tilts. These will help bring the blood flowing back into your pelvic region. These are especially useful if you had any vaginal tearing or an episiotomy during the birthing process.
– Do kegel exercises. These also will help the pelvic region, and may help with hemorrhoids and pain of the perineum.
– Do Yoga. Yoga is low-impact, and will help your body with flexibility and muscle tone.
While exercising during the first six weeks, you should:
– Be cautious of leg and back exercises that may be high impact.
– Wear a sports bra for additional comfort and support.
– Drink lots of water.
– Eat a nutritious diet, low on sugar and caffeine.
After the first six weeks your physician may release you to engage in a more rigorous exercise program. Once this happens, aerobic exercises will be best to help you lose the extra baby weight. Keep in mind that it took you 40 weeks to gain that weight, and it may take as long to lose it all as well. As always, check with your health care provider to be certain that you are ready for a more serious exercise program.