Post Natal Exercise
So you’ve already met our fantastic personal trainer columnist, Emma Bord (if you haven’t check her out here) and we’re thrilled to share her latest column, on…The do’s and don’ts of getting back into exercise after having a baby.
While most of the team at North London Calling have already experienced having a baby we look forward to Emma’s tips on how to get back into shape.
Over to Emma
I often get asked by new mums about getting back into shape after having a baby. Some wish to start the second they have left the hospital bed, keen to get moving immediately, others battle with the issue of tiredness and not being able to find the motivation to exercise. Below are my top do’s and dont’s plus favourite exercises when it comes to getting back to action after you have had your little one.
Wait until you have had your six week check up before getting back to exercise. This doesn’t mean you can’t get walking and moving, but in terms of physical exertion, it is important you wait until any bleeding has subsided and the doctor has given you the all clear.
Assume you can immediately start back where you left before you fell pregnant. The body has changed, joints are weaker, the core has been hugely challenged, so make sure you take small steps to begin with and allow yourself time to build up strength.
Get going with pelvic floor exercises as soon as you can. If you’re not sure what this is, imagine yourself drawing up your muscles downstairs as if you are stopping yourself going to the toilet (!) it is the pelvic floor muscle you are using to do this! Pelvic tilts and bridges as demonstrated on my ista video are ideal for building up this area.
Do sit ups or crunches for at least 6 weeks. People are often too quick to try and do these before your stomach has fully healed and this can truly have a detrimental effect. Ensure you have your stomach muscles checked before starting any stomach exercises to ensure you don’t have diastasis recti, and if you do you speak to specialist in the area who can help you repair this.
Hydrate and ensure you have a suitable sports bra – especially if you are breastfeeding! You can also do workouts with your baby (great as a weight).
Best moves to get you started:
This can be done as soon as you have the energy to move, and fresh air is fantastic for your baby! Start off for just 10 minutes, then gradually build up, incorporating some nice hills when you feel strong enough. This will get your heart working, muscles engaged and make you feel energised. Whether you wear your babe in a carrier, or push the buggy you are increasing the walking effort which will consequently work you harder than your average pre baby walk!
Wherever you may be, sitting, standing or lying you can get the core engaged. Breathe out and draw your belly button in towards your back. Breathe gently whilst holding this position for 10 seconds. Release and repeat. This can be done several times through the day.
After having a baby your joints are often weaker. Swimming won’t put any additional pressure on these areas so is really safe. It will work your heart and many muscles of your body, whilst also giving you a little peace and quiet for a little time!
(and obviously pelvic floor exercises as mentioned above!)
Check out my insta posts and videos where I have demonstrated some of my favourite post natal core and pelvic floor exercises that are easy to do at home with your little one. Remember nine months in, nine months out so get moving but listen to your body and consult a doctor if you feel any discomfort or are worried about anything.
Emma Bord @emmabordpt
Emma also runs post natal bring your baby exercise classes: email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.