Giving your body time to heal after pregnancy and delivery is a key part of achieving your postpartum fitness goals. By starting out slowly and listening to your body, you can effectively progress into an exercise routine that gets you the results you want– starting right after delivery!
1. Start your kegels ASAP– no really, I mean as soon as baby is out! Working on your pelvic floor muscles is pretty easy, and its imperative to your total-body fitness!
2. Begin light walking if the doctor gives permission.
3. Wait for your postpartum visit (usually 6 weeks) before starting any challenging routine. Your body needs time to heal safely!
4. Avoid crunches until at least 8 to 10 weeks (longer if you had a C-section) & be sure to check for abdominal separation (Diastasis Recti) before progressing to more challenging ad exercises but wait until at least 6 to 10 weeks postpartum before you check.
5. Avoid over stretching! Just like during pregnancy, in the weeks following delivery the relaxin hormone may stay present for around 8 weeks postpartum, this makes you more susceptible to injury and can actually further postpone your ability to intensify your exercise routine!
6. Avoid inner thigh stretches if you had a vaginal delivery until you feel everything has healed properly ‘down there’. Choosing to wait until your postpartum exam if you experienced a severe tear or had an episiotomy might be ideal, to be sure scar tissue has minimized.
7. Work your way backwards. Start back into strength and cardio training with the level of intensity you were comfortable with towards the end of your pregnancy. After each workout you can guage how much more (or less) your body is ready for at this time. Slowly increase the intensity and duration by listening to your body.
General Postpartum Guidelines:
* Aim to workout 30 minutes most days of the week
* A short workout , even just 10 minutes is better then no workout
* Strength train 2 to 4 times per week. Yes–that includes pilates, yoga and weight training!
* Keep up those healthy habits and learn my top tips for improving your posture here.