Essential Exercises For Postpartum Recovery

Posted by Susan Brown on May 24, 2019 0 Comments

Essential Exercises For Postpartum Recovery

 

The female body is amazing and during pregnancy undergoes extreme physical changes, with the uterus increasing more than 1,000 times its regular size. These changes are necessary to create a safe and thriving environment for your growing baby, but once your little one has made their debut, your body must begin its road to recovery. In the first few weeks and months after delivery it’s important to rest and recuperate, but once you have the all clear from your practitioner, you can slowly ease your way into becoming more active and working to get your body feeling energized, and a little more like your former self.

 

 

Light Cardio For Weight Loss  

 

 

Most women during pregnancy will gain an average of 25-35 pounds, but this really is just an average and many women will experience weight gain in excess of this. This is totally normal as our bodies are all different, but the good news is that there are light cardio exercises you can begin doing the first few months after pregnancy to start shedding those pounds. To get back into the habit of exercise, begin with going for short walks with your stroller for example, or try to swap a regular car journey for some walking, if the destination is within reasonable walking distance. From here, you can slowly ease into some running or jogging. Yoga and Pilates also offer great gentle alternative cardio exercises, ideal for a healing mother’s body. Cardiovascular activity not only supports in weight loss, but also in building stamina and getting the heart healthy, essential for maintaining a healthy lifestyle postpartum.  

 

 

Squats to Strengthen the Pelvic Floor

 

 

During pregnancy, additional pressure from the growing fetus is put on the pelvis, weakening the pelvic floor muscles. These muscles are further strained with the intense pushing involved in vaginal delivery. As a result, it’s not uncommon for women to experience incontinence or “little leaks” during pregnancy and the postpartum period. To reduce some of these side effects, working pelvic floor exercises into your regular fitness routine is essential. Squats are a great exercise for strengthening the pelvis and are ideal as they lengthen the pelvic floor and help to align the pelvis into its natural position. Incorporating light weights during this exercise can also aid in building and maintaining muscle mass, which naturally declines as we age.

 

 

Kegel Exercises

 

 

Kegel exercises are another great way to restore strength in the pelvis, and involve the tightening and release of the pelvic muscles. Contract the muscles for 8-10 seconds before slowly releasing, and repeat this back-to-back 12 times, several times a day. Kegel exercises are great because you can do them anywhere, and they’re usually safe to start even during the first few weeks after delivery (with the all clear from your practitioner, of course).

 

 

These are just a few gentle yet effective exercises to target some of the most common “problem-areas” women will experience during the postpartum period. Be sure to get approval from your practitioner before beginning exercise and don’t forget to be proud of your body for all it has achieved in creating new life; it’s pretty incredible.

 

 

 

 

 

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