We are already aware of the vast benefits of staying active during pregnancy. Unless advised otherwise, regular workouts are the best way to get those endorphins flowing. Exercise is great for both you and your baby’s health. But what about exercising after childbirth? Can you resume workouts a few days after giving birth? Should you wait for a couple of weeks? If so, then what should be your ideal goal- weight loss or strength training?
There are so many factors around postpartum fitness that need to be addressed correctly. Let’s start by clearing out the most important one. There is no one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to working out after delivery. It is quite subjective. It depends on how active you were during your pregnancy, complications, normal delivery or C-section, etc.
How Soon Can You Start Exercising After Childbirth?
Ideally, doctors suggest that women start with light stretches and walk two weeks after giving birth. When it comes to gyming, brisk walking, or weight training, it is best to wait for six weeks. But there is no hard and fast rule to follow when exercising after childbirth. It is important to give your body the time to rest and recover. Getting back on the exercise bandwagon will depend on your fitness levels before giving birth.
If you were active both before and during your pregnancy, getting back on track will be easier. However, if you are a beginner, it will be best to start slow and listen to your body. It is also best to take your doctor’s advice before starting any exercise.
If you had a normal delivery without any complications, you could start exercising within a few days of giving birth. It is not to say that you certainly have to. But if you have the green signal from your doctor and think your body feels ready, go for it. If you had a vaginal birth with tearing, it is best to wait for at least three weeks before you begin exercising. Start with low-impact workouts and gradually move on to more advanced versions. It can be particularly great for recovery and help you heal better.
You might also be interested in: ‘How To Exercise With A Newborn At Home.’
The best variations to add to your post-pregnancy exercise routine are kegel exercises, pelvic tilts, brisk walking, and low-impact yoga. Stretching out and toning your hip flexors is most important. So, anything that helps you with that and strengthens your abdominal muscles will do wonders for you. If you start with 15 minutes of exercise a day, gradually take it to 30 minutes after a week and go from there.
If you had a C-section delivery, exercising is perhaps not the first thing you should do. Generally, doctors suggest that you wait for at least six weeks and complete your postnatal checkup before doing your first workout. Since it is major surgery, your body requires an ideal amount of rest and recovery time.
Taking short walks to avoid blood clots improves circulation. But as far as a workout after C-section delivery, your doctor is the best person to consult. Your postnatal exercises may look very different from your pre-pregnancy ones, alright. You should listen to your body and take it slow. Activities like walking, light stretching, and pelvic floor exercises can be great, particularly for the first six weeks. Focusb on workouts that can help improve your posture and strengthen your lower back.
Exercises To Avoid
When exercising after childbirth, there are also a few workouts that you should avoid. Anything that puts too much stress on the abdominal walls is a big no. Avoid Crunches, sit-ups, leg raises, and planks. Also, strenuous exercises like jumping, sprinting, or running can cause wear and tear in stitches, so steer clear of those.
Exercising post-delivery may feel different; However, it is best to leave comparison behind. Your postnatal journey is all about rebalancing and re-strengthening the body. So give it time and be consistent with your workout once you have the green signal to do so. Let your body find its natural way to bring your system back into balance.