When can I exercise again - post baby?

When can I exercise again - post baby?

Say hello to Elevate Live Virtual Training – a supportive community of women who are working to make exercise a consistent part of their lives. Everything we do at Elevate is about living a healthy lifestyle LONG TERM and accepting and loving the body we are in – no quick fixes.

When can I return to exercise?

This can differ from person to person. Some of the factors that determine your return date include pre-existing fitness, pregnancy, the type of labour and delivery, stress and energy levels of a new mum, if your breastfeeding, general postnatal physical and mental wellbeing of mum and baby.

We encourage women to take their time, listen to their bodies and seek professional support if needed. Am I ready, how do you know!

Listen to your body

This can be confusing at times! Here are some general guidelines on how to tune in:

  • If you feel any of the following its best not to participate in anything just yet we recommend seeking professional services from people who are trained and specialised in dealing with women's health. Incontinence

  • Any doming/coning/peaking up in the midline of the tummy in certain movements (diastasis recti or poor core control).

  • Prolapse - Any feeling of heaviness/bulging/dragging down/pushing down/like a tampon falling out in either the vaginal or anal area.

  • Have pain new or consistent pain anywhere in the body, but particularly the pelvic and back region.

  • Notice an area around your belly button that protrudes and may/may not have pain associated with it (hernia).

It is very important that your core and pelvic floor is looked after post baby. In fact, every woman, regardless of how old their child is, benefits from core and pelvic floor work! That is why Elevate offers three postpartum workout sessions that are new each week - Fundamentals, Back 2 Basics (Low Impact Workouts) and our new Pilates sessions.

General Timeline for Post Baby

As mentioned, many factors come into play when returning to exercise. A general guideline is provided below provided by Fitness Australia pre/postnatal guidelines. Most doctors will say 6 - 10 weeks till your clear but everyone is different. As always listen to your body and you will know when you have done too much or gone to low, your body will tell you.

Start with Fundamentals, then Back 2 Basics and Pilates. (avoid HiiT and Tabata Max until your over the 6mth mark and your joints and pelvic floor can handle it).

  • 0-3 Weeks - Gentle walks. (If you feel. heaviness during or afterwards in your vagina or c-scar, reduce your distance and have a day off in between walks to recover. Alternate with core abdominal training / breathwork / alignment and pelvic floor exercises.

  • 3 - 8 Weeks - Increased length & intensity with walking can occur if you no longer experience heaviness in your vaginal area. Core abdominal training/breathwork/alignment and pelvic exercises. Elevates Fundamentals can assist with building up the body strength here and Pilates and Back 2 Basics can follow.

  • 8 - 12 Weeks - Similar to 3-8 weeks but increasing weights/intensity (this might mean increase reps/sets/pauses).

  • 12 - 16 Weeks - Similar to 8-12 weeks but increasing weights/intensity (this might mean increase reps/less rest time/sets/pauses) Back2Basics, Pilates and Yoga. Your core strength should be back (or close) to normal if appropriate post-natal exercises have been performed regularly. From here, you can test your abilities in the higher intensity movements in Back2Basics. However if your body doesn't feel right doing it, regress back to using an incline.

  • After 16 Weeks - Remember: This is a general guideline! You can perhaps return to previous activity providing the pelvic floor muscles and core control levels are back to normal. You should not be experiencing ongoing pre or postnatal issues with diastasis recti, pelvic pain, back pain, pelvic or vaginal heaviness or incontinence during or after exercise. If so, we advise slowing down, reducing the intensity/impact or load and seeking professional services as mentioned.

Where Should I Begin?

We have 5 NEW workouts each week that are suitable for Postnatal and beginner clients wanting to ease themselves back into it and slowly strengthen their bodies.

  • Fundamentals is our over 60s and postnatal chair workout. Utilising canned food for resistance if required.

  • Our Back 2 Basics is the next step in getting your full body stronger. A chair can be used to alleviate floor time and taken away when your capable to push a little harder.

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Article supplied by Elevate Live Virtual Training