You just went through one of the most intense events in your life. Giving birth to a child is no small task, and it’s one of the most joyous occasions you could ever experience. However, as happy as this event is, it does mean your body just went through a huge change. From weight gain to swollen ankles, you may be wondering when you will feel more like your body is your own again postpartum. Not to mention when and how to get into a postpartum workout routine.
Of course, focusing on your baby and your wellbeing is your primary task right now, but it’s entirely understandable you want to get back to your old self. If you’re eager to regain your strength and tone your body, we have some great tips to make that happen.
Here are the best ways to ease into your postpartum workout routine.
Take It Easy
Getting back into shape is a great goal to have, but it really shouldn’t be your main goal at the moment. If you’re experiencing postpartum depression and feel bad about how your body looks right now, don’t worry—that’s normal. Society has taught us that our bodies have to look a certain way, but you just had a baby! Of course it’s not going to look the same. And that is okay! You can respect your body and slowly get back into fitness at the same time, so there’s no rush.
And you shouldn’t risk your own health and your baby’s health by going on extreme diets or worrying about a few extra pounds. Instead of dieting or trying to ramp up exercise right away, simply start small so you can get into a good workout regimen that will help you recover. And rest may be your priority right now. Listen to your body, and get all the rest you need so you can have the energy to get back into a postpartum workout routine when you’re ready.
Go for a Walk
Start with simple walks. Recovering from birth can take a fairly long time, and you won’t be able to engage in any serious kind of exercise for a while. However, slow, long walks can be your first step towards regaining strength and building some leg and hip muscles. Just walk around your neighborhood at first, and then go on longer walks.
You could even start smaller if you need to. Walking around your house for five minutes or doing chores is a great way to ease back into movement. Or even putting on your favorite song when you can muster the energy and dancing around your house, by yourself or with your partner, is enough. Remember that you need to take it slow, stay in tune with your body, and give yourself enough time to get back to your old self.
Now is not the time to starve yourself. In fact, there is never a time you should starve yourself! However, this doesn’t mean you can’t safely return to a healthier-for-you diet so you can feel more like yourself in your postpartum body. And when you’re feeling better, you can move better. Eating well boosts your energy and helps you stay motivated to get in some regular movement and back into a postpartum workout routine.
To make sure you do it the right way, you can start by eating more vegetables and reduce your sugar and sodium intake. Concentrate on adding in more healthy foods rather than taking foods away. The fastest way to overeat is to tell yourself a food is forbidden. Be sure to consult with your doctor or nutritionist.
If you plan to engage in any kind of more serious and professional workout, hold off and leave it for a year later when you are out of postpartum. At that time, you could buy pre workout drink that will give you the necessary boost and help you push through intense exercises. As long as you are no longer breastfeeding, these types of products should be perfectly safe to consume, and they’ll be particularly effective when combined with a good workout routine.
Safely Work Your Core
Your core can get weak from pregnancy, and focusing your postpartum workout efforts on core muscles is going to be very important. However, you need to be extremely careful and take it very slow, especially if you’ve been diagnosed with diastasis recti. This is a common postpartum condition where your abs separate because they’ve been stretched out by the pregnancy and create a pooch.
To begin rebuilding your abdominal strength, you can start with leg extensions, pelvic tilts, side planks, and toe taps. Do each exercise for 20 to 30 seconds, and do two or three sets for starters. Once you recover and become stronger, you can incorporate exercises such as sit-ups and do more sets. We have a great list of postpartum workouts for your mommy tummy as well. Of course, be sure to check with your doctor before starting any exercise program.
Try Jogging Strollers
If you’re tired and constantly strapped for time, then a jogging stroller might be the perfect way to exercise. It gives you some quality time with your baby and lets you take them for a walk and exercise at the same time. There are plenty of jogging strollers on the market that function just as well as regular strollers, they just give you more leg room so you could run and hold the stroller at the same time.
Exercise with Other Moms
For a lot of moms, this is a highly emotional time and you may need support. If you’re feeling overwhelmed with everything, then why not reach out to other moms in your area or try yoga and pilates classes specifically aimed at pregnant moms and postpartum moms? With a big group of supportive moms who are dealing with the same kind of issues you are, you’re more likely to find the energy and drive to stick to your workouts.
In the end, it’s important for you to be realistic. Getting back to your previous fitness level and toning your body could take some time, but the trick here is to be consistent. Don’t push yourself to do difficult, exhausting exercises. Just make sure you do a little something every day to get back into a postpartum workout routine. Even if this little something ends up being a 15-minute walk or dancing to your favorite song and doing a single set of simple exercises.
What are your favorite tips for easing back into a workout routine? Let us know in the comments below!
Want more great tips for new mamas? Be sure to check out our article on adapting a routine in your general life as a new mom!
About the Author
Mia Taylor is a 33-year-old blogger who writes about beauty, fashion, and travel. She had always been passionate about fashion and over time she has developed a style of her own. Mia loves to mix and match and inspire girls with her advice about outfit and accessories. She loves telling a story about her travels and providing beauty tips with readers.