When Can You Train Again?
There’s no doubt about it - exercise is important in so many ways. But how do you know you’re ready to get back into the workout game post-baby? What changed and can you even go back to the way you used to work out?
Whether you’ve always been active or if you’re looking to start your fitness journey after having a baby, easing yourself into exercising can be hard - especially if you’ve put exercise on hold during pregnancy. Working out can help you build your strength, lift your mood and generally has a positive impact on your overall recovery. Checking in with your physician should be the first step before hitting the gym again as your doctor will be able to assess you individually.
Your body is going through so many changes during and after pregnancy and this will influence the way you ease your way back into an exercise routine.
Make sure you take your time and don’t overdo it. You may feel energized and ready to hit the treadmill but your body needs time to recover from birth. Some of you may notice issues with lower back pain, not to mention a leaky bladder. Who’s been trying to get back into running only to find themselves peeing their pants in the middle of their run? We’re not kidding - this is very normal but you might want to be aware of the type of workout that is right for you.
Take care of those abs
It is very common for your abdominals, specifically your rectus abdominis aka six-pack abs, to separate as your belly grows throughout pregnancy. In most cases, things will go back to normal after you give birth but some need a little extra care. Your physician will be able to point you in the direction of a physical therapist should you need to work on getting those abdominal muscles back to where they were before. Most importantly though, be gentle and take it easy on those abs.
Get reacquainted with your pelvic floor muscles
We’re all being told that exercising the pelvic floor muscles is important but what exactly does our pelvic floor do and how do we work those muscles? Your pelvic floor basically keeps your internal organs in place, meaning your bladder, bowel, and uterus. So, strengthening those pelvic muscles is beneficial for many reasons. Having a baby has a significant effect on the strength of your pelvic floor depending on different factors such as the size of your baby or for how long you were in active labor.
Listen to your body, go slowly and most importantly, stop if you feel any pain at all. Walking is an excellent way to get exercise done while being outside and slowing increasing your speed. It is commonly recommended to stay away from more challenging workouts for at least 12 weeks after having given birth.
You can see where this is going: Moving slowly will get you where you want to be - even if it feels like nothing is getting you anywhere. We promise you that you are not alone in this and encourage you to chat with other mums about their experiences. Attending postnatal classes will also be a great way for you to work with others towards your goal, so make sure to stay away from those HIIT classes (at least for now) or the newest fitness trends.
MumShape is offering a new summer program for London mums who would like to work out while being outside. Classes are starting in Highbury & Islington, Wapping, and Limehouse. Stay tuned for more areas to follow!
How did you feel about getting back to your fitness routine after having your baby? Tell us in the comments below.