21 May Rookie Mom: How I got back into exercise
I recently got cleared two weeks early (4 weeks postpartum) by my doctor so that I could get back into doing what I love – exercising. If you have been following my pregnancy journey you would know that I have been working out throughout my pregnancy up until the day I gave birth.
So stopping ‘cold turkey’ and not seeing the inside of a gym for four weeks was odd to me to say the least. At two weeks postpartum, I was already feeling a lot better and ready to hit the gym but sadly, the earliest my doctor would clear me was at four weeks postpartum.
The very next day after my clearance, I was in the gym – gradually easing back into training. That’s the key words I would say with training after birth would be “gradually easing”. You don’t want to be going balls to wall from day one.
If like me, you gave birth naturally, your pevic floor and abs are still sensitive. In my first workout I didn’t even use a single weight – yet, my legs felt like jelly afterwards. In my second workout, I was unable to do a simple push-up without dropping to my knees. If this happens to you – trust that it is normal and totally part of the process back to recovery.
Week two of working out and I slowly got stronger, started doing regular push-ups (just a few then dropping to my knees again). It’s not easy to regain your fitness and strength after a long and strenuous journey like pregnancy and birth – but it’s one you have to be committed to and stay the course no matter how hard in order to start seeing results. I have to give myself this pep talk during every workout just as it gets hard.
Aside from the benefits to my physical appearance, getting that hour to myself, for myself does wonders for my mental state and my mood – it gives me a chance to just miss my son, so I am refreshed and once again ready to tackle motherhood with renewed vigour.
Benefits of exercise after pregnancy
Regular exercise after pregnancy can:
- Promote weight loss, particularly when combined with reduced calorie intake
- Improve your cardiovascular fitness
- Strengthen and tone abdominal muscles
- Boost your energy level
- Relieve stress
- Promote better sleep
- Physical activity in your daily routine helps you set a positive example for your child now and in the years to come.
Remember these 5 tips before postpartum exercise
- Take time to warm up and cool down.
- Begin slowly and increase your pace gradually.
- Drink plenty of water (as always!).
- Wear a supportive bra and if you’re breast-feeding, nursing pads in case your breasts leak.
- Stop exercising if you feel abnormal pain.
Keep going mama bear – you got this!
Happy Healthy Fabulous