Engaging in exercise after giving birth can be of great benefit to new mums. Not only are the physical benefits nothing short of remarkable, but physical activity can also help ward off postpartum depression. Although exercise is of vital importance, it is just as important that you do not do too much physical activity, too soon. Thankfully, there are plenty of simple guidelines to follow that will ensure that you regain your pre-pregnancy fitness levels without risking getting injured. Apart from easing into your exercise routine, it is also important to invest in some nice exercise gear to keep you excited and to ensure that you not only remain well hydrated but well rested as well.
Start Slow and Build Up Gradually
One of the most common mistakes new mums make is to rush getting back into an exercise routine when, in fact, they should be taking it very slowly. While some OB-GYNs recommend that no exercise should be done in the first two weeks after natural birth, others believe it is best to wait as long as six weeks. If you had a C-section, you will definitely have to wait until your doctor gives you the green light. It is essential to start by engaging in very gentle exercise and slowly working your way up to an intense full-body workout. Start with gentle cardio exercises such as walking or swimming (once any wounds have healed sufficiently) before incorporating basic strength training. If anything starts to bleed, pull, or ache, stop immediately and seek medical advice before resuming any exercise.
Invest in Some Gear to Help You Get Excited
While many mums can’t wait to get back into an exercise routine, others are not quite as eager. If your confidence has taken a dip and you just aren’t motivated enough to begin being active again, consider investing in a few exercise-related items to reignite your excitement.Comfortable, figure-flattering workout clothes can provide you with just the confidence boost needed to get you on your feet and active again. Exercise may be good for the rest of your body but it can leave your hair looking greasy or flat which can deter you even further from getting active. Boost your post-workout hair care regime by investing in a sweat-absorbing headband, dry shampoo, and a quality hairdryer to ensure your tresses are full of body and shine even after a strenuous workout.
Remember to Stay Well Hydrated and Rested
Once you do start easing back into a postpartum exercise regime, it is imperative that you stay well hydrated and get enough rest. Hydration is particularly important if you are breastfeeding. Adequate hydration not only helps regulate your body temperature and electrolyte balance but also reduces the risk of post-partum constipation and even injury. In addition to drinking enough water, you also need to make sure you rest enough. While getting eight consecutive hours of sleep a night with a new baby may not always be possible, sufficient rest is essential. If you can’t sleep at night, try having a few short naps during the day to replenish your energy and help your body heal.
Postpartum exercise is of great benefit to a new mum. As long as you don’t rush into anything and take care of yourself, you are bound to enjoy multiply physical and mental health benefits.
ABOUT OUR CONTRIBUTOR:
Sara is now a freelance writer who pens pieces on parenting, and lifestyle but prior to this she worked as an holistic therapist and took a keen interest in diet and fitness. She lives with her partner and their daughter and a menagerie of pets