Best Postpartum Exercises
Written by: Lucy Crenshaw
Postpartum Exercise Tips for New Moms
If you're a new mom, postpartum physical activity can help to improve your mood, maintain cardiorespiratory fitness, lose weight, and reduce anxiety and depression, according to a 2014 study published in the National Library of Medicine. After delivery, new moms are encouraged to gradually increase their physical activity not only to improve their overall health but also to help them regain their pre-pregnancy body shape. However, before you start exercising, you should consult your doctor to ensure that your body is ready for the types of exercise you plan to do. When you have the thumbs up to start, here are some ideal exercises you can try.
Take a dip at the swimming pool
Swimming is one of the best exercises for new moms since it's non-weight bearing and low impact. It is a great way for you to get the exercise you need without putting a strain on the joints and ligaments, which can be soft even six months after giving birth. Swimming engages your legs, arms, glutes, and tummy, which is more muscle groups than any other exercise can work on simultaneously. As for calories, even a half-hour swim can burn up to 300 calories, helping you lose some of the baby pounds. However, before you go jumping into a swimming pool, check with your doctor to ensure that your wounds have healed and you no longer have post-natal bleeding.
Try some light cardio
Light aerobic exercise is another effective postnatal exercise. Walking is the best option for new moms as it's gentle and keeps you fit without jarring your knees or ankles, and you can bring your baby along in a stroller. If possible, aim to take a brisk 30-minute walk five times a week. Once your body gets used to it, you can try more intense cardio exercises like jogging or using cardio machines like a stationary exercise bike. You can even install an exercise bike at home so that you can exercise and watch your baby at the same time. However, be careful not to overdo it as it can cause soreness, especially if your body is still adjusting to the new activity.
Get into yoga
Many new moms find yoga beneficial both for their physical and mental health. Yoga encourages relaxation in the postnatal whirlwind while preventing back pain and strengthening core muscles. The best thing about yoga is that you can do it anywhere and at any time. You can practice a few poses as your baby is crawling on the floor or playing with toys. However, for new moms, it's best to work with a professional yoga instructor who can provide guidance on the best poses. You can sign up for a yoga class where you are allowed to bring your baby along or book a private yoga instructor to bring the services to your home.
Postpartum exercise is vital for your physical and mental health after childbirth. However, even if you were a fitness instructor before pregnancy, don't assume that you can jump straight back into your normal fitness routine. Make sure you get the sign-off from your doctor at least six weeks before starting your fitness regime.