5 Rules to keep in mind when exercising after baby

For the past 6 years I have had the pleasure of working with hundreds of amazing women as they navigate the ins and outs of exercising after baby. Here are some things to keep in mind as you integrate regular exercise into your life, whether you had your baby 6 weeks ago or 4 years ago.

Be patient!  Your body has gone through tremendous changes.  It took about 40 weeks to grow your baby, give yourself the time to heal and recover properly. Expecting to train the same way you did before you became pregnant is crazy! Your body is different, and it always will be.  Training the same way you did before you gave birth can set you up for possible injury and often won’t result in the same results.  Instead, train for strength and function and don’t eat yourself up because you don’t fit in your pre-baby jeans.

Start back slowly.  There is nothing wrong with taking your time and making small adjustments to becoming more active in your life.  Slow and steady wins the race.  Avoid rapid weight loss and fad diets.  If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is!

Watch for warming signs.  If you leak urine (even just a little bit, that’s not normal!), experience chronic pelvic or low back pain, or straining/bulging of the abdomen it is often an indication of a weak core. Don’t ignore these symptoms, instead talk with me or connect with one of our local pelvic floor therapists and work towards improving core strength.

Work on your alignment.  This means you need to sit less (chairs are bad for your health), walk everyday, stop wearing heeled shoes and transition to minimalist footwear, focus on your posture and stop any of the the following behaviours:

  • tucking your bum under
  • thrusting your ribs
  • sucking in your tummy
  • breathing without relaxing your diaphragm

Avoid high-impact activities, like running or plyometrics, until you have retrained your core.  At FITMOM we recommend that you are at least 4-6 months postpartum and have had at least 4-6 weeks of strength training under your belt before you progress. If you feel heaviness, pain or pelvic floor weakness it is a sign that you are not ready for higher impact exercises.  There are lots of great ways to get your heart rate up without your feet ever leaving the floor!

So there you have it, my top 5 tips for keeping exercise safe and healthy after baby.  I hope you find it helpful!  Have questions? Feel free to contact me anytime.

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