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Exercises Made Easy For Women After Having A Baby

Exercising after a having a baby is exhausting and seems difficult at first – for many different reasons. But, it’s good for you! This what to know!

Four Reasons Exercising Is Difficult

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Regaining fitness after childbirth is difficult and daunting for many new mothers. More specifically, four factors contribute to the difficulty women face in getting back to their exercise routine.

i. Physicality

Childbirth, whether vaginal or cesarean, takes a huge toll on the body! Typically, it can take 6-8 weeks for the uterus to return to its pre-pregnancy size and for the body’s ligaments and muscles to heal.

Also, after reverting to a normal diet after pregnancy, the body may not be physically ready for demanding exercise either!

In all, engaging in strenuous exercise too soon can increase the risk of injuries and impede the recovery process.

ii. Sleep

As we can all imagine, sleep deprivation is a persistent foe for new mothers. Newborns have erratic sleep patterns, and the constant demands of feeding and caring for an infant leave many women feeling exhausted.

Data from the journal Sleep found that new mothers average only 5-6 hours of sleep per night during the first year postpartum. On average, adults need at least 7 hours.

Clearly, this lack of sleep makes it challenging to muster the energy required for exercise.

iii. Emotion

Now, emotional factors also play a much larger role than one might expect. Postpartum depression and anxiety are real concerns, affecting up to 20% of new mothers.

These emotional challenges can make it difficult to find the motivation or emotional bandwidth to prioritize exercise. I mean, there is so much going on that it has to be difficult to think about working out everyday.

Also, body image concerns are common after childbirth. The hormonal changes and physical alterations commonly lead to feelings of insecurity, which further impact the desire to engage in physical activity.

iv. Time

Finally, logistical hurdles are roadblocks in the way of exercise. As a newborn is high maintenance, finding childcare is challenging when finding time to exercise. So, the time and energy required to coordinate childcare simply to carve out space for exercise can be overwhelming. Additionally, the cost of gym memberships or childcare can be prohibitive for some new mothers.

Despite the challenges, exercise after childbirth offers numerous benefits for both mothers and babies. Did you know that postpartum exercise can improve mood, reduce stress, and even enhance sleep quality? Ultimately, finding realistic ways to incorporate movement into daily life can be a game-changer for new mothers.

Exercises To Get Back On Track

Walking

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Something as simple as walking really is a fantastic starting point. Even a brisk 30-minute walk most days of the week improves cardiovascular health, mood, and energy levels.

This low-impact activity is gentle on your joints and allows you to bond with your baby while enjoying the outdoors. As your fitness improves, you can gradually increase the duration and intensity of your walks.

If you want to spice up your steady-state cardio a little, you can also try swimming or biking (slowly).

Pelvic Floor

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Kegel exercises are a strong component of postpartum exercise. These simple yet powerful contractions strengthen the pelvic floor muscles, which can weaken during childbirth.

A good way to think about it is imagining that you’re trying to stop yourself from passing urine midstream – that’s the general feeling of a Kegel contraction. You can do them discreetly in any position, squeezing the muscles for a few seconds, then releasing and repeating.

Did you know that regular Kegel exercises can help improve bladder control and prevent urinary incontinence, a common postpartum concern? The best part is that you can perform Kegels discreetly throughout the day, making them a convenient option for busy moms.

Engage The Core


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Your core muscles support your back and pelvis. So, incorporate gentle core exercises like modified crunches or planks can be incorporated into your routine once you’ve received clearance from your doctor.

Data suggests that core strengthening exercises can help reduce lower back pain, a frequent complaint among new mothers. In all, remember to start slowly and listen to your body, gradually increasing the difficulty as your core strength improves.

Strength Training 


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As your body heals and strengthens, consider incorporating light weightlifting or bodyweight exercises. Building muscle mass not only improves your strength and posture but also boosts your metabolism, aiding in postpartum weight loss.

More so, bodyweight tabata is an excellent choice for women to exercise once they are feeling up for it.

You can gradually increase the weight and difficulty as you get stronger.

Listen To Your Body!

Remember, every approach is different for different women when it comes to postpartum exercise. Always prioritize listening to your body and its needs first. Start slowly and gradually increase the intensity and duration of your workouts. Don’t be afraid to modify exercises or take rest days when needed. If you experience any pain, stop the activity and consult your doctor immediately.

Questions, Comments, Concerns?

Postpartum exercise is not just about getting back into your pre-baby shape; it’s about reclaiming your strength, improving your mood, and boosting your overall well-being.

By incorporating these gentle exercises into your routine, you can safely and gradually rebuild your fitness while enjoying the precious moments with your newborn.

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