BY EMMET RUSHE: I have been contacted by a few parents who are keen to train again now that the kiddies are back in school/crèche/playschool, I will be running a 10am version of my Better Bodies Challenge from the 22nd of September, as well as the usual 7pm class.
Many “new mammies” want to know when it is safe to begin training again. Every lady is different but here are some guidelines.
If you have been cleared for exercise by your G.P, or if you want further advice, please contact me through the link below.
Firstly, if you have recently given birth, congratulations! As a parent, I can happily say that being a parent is the most demanding, exhausting and yet wonderful job in the world. Nothing is more awe-inspiring than a baby.
The type of birth you had will determine when you are able to safely return/begin an exercise program.
If you have had an uncomplicated natural delivery, the general guideline is that it is safe to begin 6 weeks after delivery.
If it is not your first child and you have been active throughout the pregnancy it is generally safe to return when you feel ready.
If you had a C-section or a complicated birth you will have to be checked and cleared by a medical professional before you can begin an exercise programme.
Please ensure that if you are using a gym or trainer, it is essential that you inform them of your situation.
There are numerous benefits to exercising after pregnancy.
Here are some benefits taken from the ‘Mayo Clinic’
“Promote weight loss, particularly when combined with reduced calorie intake
Improve your cardiovascular fitness
Restore muscle strength and tone
Condition your abdominal muscles
Boost your energy levels
Improve your mood
Help prevent and promote recovery from postpartum depression”
Better yet, including physical activity in your daily routine helps you set a positive example for your child now and in the years to come.
When returning to exercise after childbirth the best way is to start slow and slowly build up the duration and intensity of the routine.
Walking with the buggy is a great way to start; Getting out of the house, clearing your head and using the resistance that the buggy provides to work your legs, arms and core.
Why not get a few friends or new mothers involved and create a social circle to support and encourage each other?
After GP approval, also consider these specific exercises for the core.
The Pelvic tilt
The Kegel exercise
The contraction of the abdominal muscles is an effective way to begin strengthening your core after pregnancy.
While some mothers might start moving around within just days of giving birth, don’t expect to resume your old level of exercise right away.
In most cases, your joints and ligaments will be looser than usual following birth, which could lead to diminished coordination and potential falls.
Consider these guidelines from the ‘Mayo Clinic’ when undertaking an exercise routine;
“Take time to warm up and cool down.
Begin slowly and increase your pace gradually.
Drink plenty of fluids.
Wear a supportive bra.
Avoid excessive fatigue.
Stop exercising if you feel pain.”
Being the parent to a new baby is pretty exhausting.
Lack of sleep, hormonal changes, tiredness and bad eating patterns can make the thought of exercise seem like a distant memory.
Try and have some support in place that you can tap into whenever you want to engage in physical activity.
Seek the support of your partner, family and friends
Some days you might simply feel too tired for a full workout.
That doesn’t mean that you should put physical activity on the back burner, however.
Instead, do what you can.
Try to schedule time for physical activity.
Exercise with a friend to stay motivated.
Include your baby, either in a buggy while you walk or lying next to you on the floor while you do abdominal exercises.
Remember, exercise after pregnancy might not be easy — but it can do wonders for your well-being, as well as give you the energy you need to care for yourself and your baby.