The postpartum period can be physically and emotionally demanding – your body is recovering from pregnancy and labor, while trying to keep up with the demands of parenting. Once you’ve been cleared to exercise by your primary care provider, it is essential to approach exercise with caution and care to avoid injury or delaying your recovery. With the right strategies in place, returning to exercise after having a baby can improve your physical and mental health and wellness. In this blog post, we will explore key strategies to support you with a successful postpartum fitness journey.
1. Start slowly
When returning to exercise postpartum, make sure to start slowly and gradually increase the intensity of your workouts over time. Start with lower-impact exercises, such as walking and gentle strengthening. Overtime, gradually increase the duration and intensity of your workouts to build your strength and endurance.
2. Practice core connection work
One key area to focus on when returning to exercise postpartum is your core. Specifically, a core connection breath is a foundational starting exercise that can help you effectively reconnect with your core muscles. This exercise can support you in building a strong foundation that minimizes the risk of injury and optimizes overall function. Once you’ve mastered the core connection work, you can gradually incorporate more challenging exercises to continue building strength and stability in your core.
3. If it doesn’t feel good, don’t do it
Listen to your body and pay attention to how movement feels for you. Make sure to pay attention to any red flag symptoms – these could be a sign you need assessment and/or treatment from a pelvic health therapist or other healthcare provider. Ultimately, if something doesn’t feel good for you, it likely isn’t great for your body right now, and you should modify accordingly.
4. Incorporate strength training for key muscle groups
Strength training is essential for building muscle and improving overall fitness. It is also crucial to support you and prevent injury when performing everyday tasks of parenting, such as lifting and carrying your child(ren). Aim to incorporate exercises that target your core, glutes, legs, arms, and back. While it’s recommended to incorporate strengthening exercises at least two days a week, it’s important to note that even committing to one day a week can still make a significant difference in improving your overall health.
5. Work with a Qualified Exercise Professional
Working with a Qualified Exercise Professional will help to ensure your postpartum workout plan is both safe and effective. A qualified professional can also ensure your workouts meets your individual needs, including strengths, limitations, and injuries.
Returning to exercise postpartum can be an incredible experience that improves your mental and physical health and builds stamina so you can keep up with the demands of parenting. By starting slowly, practicing core connection work, listening to your body, incorporating strength training, and working with a qualified exercise professional, you can safely and effectively return to exercise and enjoy the many benefits it offers.