With new motherhood on the horizon, you’re ready to get back into shape and return to your old body. However, when you can start working out, how hard you can push yourself and more are all critical components of getting back into action. Consider all these things before your first trip back to the gym for a safe and successful journey back to your pre-pregnancy self.
In the first few weeks and months after childbirth, most health professionals agree you need to take baby steps. If you push yourself hard before you’re ready you can actually set yourself back, keeping you from the gym or your usual running routine longer than you’d like.
Though you should consult with your doctor before doing any exercising, most health professionals agree that after 6 to 8 weeks it’s safe to start with gentle stretching, yoga and walking.
At this time you should also watch for bleeding. If it stopped before you starting working out, and starts up again, this is a sign your body is being pushed too hard. See your doc before continuing with any workouts.
Take the Baby With You
While there will be times when you want to get away and workout alone, taking the baby with you is a great way to bond while you do something that’s important to you. Some baby-friendly workouts include:
- Yoga: The baby can lay with you while you get in a zen frame of mind. There are also mommy-baby yoga classes you can attend to mingle with other new moms and newborns.
- Walking: With a carrier you can take your baby wherever you go. Not to mention walking with a stroller burns more calories than walking alone. Seek out stroller workout groups or friends also at home with a new baby to make your workout times more social.
- Videos: Workout videos are perfect for the times when the baby is awake but you want to workout. Put the video, DVD or online, on in your living room so you can watch the baby and get your sweat on.
Pay Attention to Pain
If you feel awkwardness or pain in areas like your abdomen while doing crunches, there’s a reason for it—your pelvic floor is weak, and these sorts of exercises can put too much pressure on this part of your body. Same for your joints, which are likely softer than before you were pregnant thanks to the hormone relaxin. Pay attention to any discomfort while jogging or running and slow to a walk if it becomes painful or you feel .