Gentle exercise has an array of benefits for new mums. It can help the body recover from childbirth, boost your energy levels, help you sleep and positively impact your mental wellbeing.
Like most things, your exercise regime will change once you become a parent. There are many reasons for this. For example, your body will have changed, and you won’t have as much free time on your hands.
If you have recently welcomed your little bundle of joy into the world, you may be apprehensive about exercising. In this blog, we’re going to share our favorite exercise tips for new mums.
When Can I Start Exercising After Having A Baby?
According to the NHS website, you can start gently exercising as soon as you feel up to it. If you have had a straightforward birth that is. It is advised that you avoid high-impact exercise, such as running, for at least 6 weeks – after your post-natal check-up.
If you have had a complicated birth or a C-section, your body will take a little longer to recover. In this case, you should speak to a health professional, such as your midwife before trying anything too energetic.
Our Exercise Tips For New Mums
It’s essential to remember that pregnancy and childbirth change your body. Your muscles, including your lower back and core abdominal muscles, are likely to be weaker. Plus, your ligaments and joints may be more supple.
So, to avoid the risk of injuring yourself, stick to gentle exercises and try not to push yourself too hard. Here are our top exercise tips for new mums:
Ease Yourself In
Exercise is essential to our mental and physical health. But it’s important to always listen to your body.
Trying to do too much too quickly can make things worse and slow down your post-natal recovery. Instead, try to ease yourself back into exercise slowly. You’ll get back to your old self eventually, but it’s going to take time.
Build Exercise Into Your Day
When you have a newborn, your life revolves around feeding, burping, cuddling and nappy changing. As amazing as motherhood is, you’ll likely find that you don’t have the time to do the things you used to do – including exercise.
Our advice is to build exercise into your day. Even if you get 20 minutes of gentle exercise each day, you’ll feel so much better. Once you’d fed the baby and put them down for a nap, give yourself 20 minutes to workout. Perhaps find an online postnatal workout – they’re usually between 20 and 30 minutes long.
Walk, Walk, Walk
Walking has lots of health benefits and is the perfect exercise for new mums. Your doctor or midwife will likely recommend that you go for a walk when you feel up to it. Plus, it gives you the opportunity to spend time outdoors.
Being outside is good for our physical and mental health. It can improve your blood pressure, improve your mood, maintain vitamin D levels and regulate your body clock, helping you sleep better.
So, put your little one in the stroller and head outside for a lovely brisk walk.
Join A Post-Natal Exercise Class
Many gyms or community spaces now offer post-natal exercise classes. They’re often referred to as “mummy and me” classes as most of them allow you to take your baby along with you.
These classes are usually gentle to moderate intensity and are often designed to strengthen your core muscles and tone your body.
Swimming is a great all-round activity. It helps you maintain a healthy weight, builds muscle strength and can help you sleep better at night. Plus, you can do it at your own pace.
However, we recommend that you don’t swim until after your 6 week check-up. You may have to wait longer depending on the type of birth you had. It’s always best to check with your doctor or midwife.
Once you’re OK to swim, you can take your little one with you. Most babies love being in the water! And most public swimming pools offer Parents and Baby sessions.
Don’t Forget To Stretch
Whatever form of exercise you decide to do, always remember to stretch beforehand. Your body, particularly your back, can be prone to injury after you’ve had a baby.
Perhaps take up a gentle Yoga class. Yoga is great for strengthening the whole body, including the core. Plus, it’s often recommended to those with back problems.