So it has begun! My long time dream is finally a reality! We kicked off our Mums and Bubs sessions on Tuesday and although there could've been more people, it was an enjoyable session all-in-all. So on that note I thought I would write an article on the benefits of postnatal exercise.
As mums, we are so busy taking care of everyone, we forget to take care of ourselves. When you have a new baby, everything changes. You are sleeping a whole lot less (unless you are one of the lucky few who have sleepy babies - I'm still waiting for a complete night sleep 16 months later!!) and you have this little person demanding a whole lot of your time and energy. After looking after this little person, there is still housework and cooking and a husband to see to. We tend to put ourselves on the back burner. We absolutely shouldn't! Exercise has so many benefits and they are so worth the effort!
Some benefits of postnatal exercise are:
So where do we find time in our busy days? Shouldn't we be resting when our baby is resting? The answer is yes - you probably should, but any exercise is better than no exercise at all. If bub is getting a bit fussy - load her up in a pram and go for a stroll. You will feel better being outdoors and she will probably drift off to sleep in no time! A great motivator and fitness idea is to find a postnatal mums and bubs fitness group in your area. The social aspect of the session can also go a long way to make new mums feel "normal". Also important is to remember that core stabilisation and pelvic floor exercises can be done any time. While you wait for the kettle to boil - contract your deep core muscles and pull in that pelvic floor. Hold it until the jug is boiled! Repeat that whenever you remember - e.g. waiting at a traffic light, changing baby's nappy - whenever you think of it. Contract the muscles and hold for at least 10 seconds, and don't forget to breathe. In fact - do it right now while you read the rest of the article!
Very important to remember is to not beat yourself up when you can't make it to a workout. Sometimes life happens and we can't always do it all! Eventually life will calm down and you can get back into a workout routine.
Make sure that when you exercise you are wearing a good supportive bra and, if you are breastfeeding, that your exercise sessions are after you feed bub. Also - only do exercises that are comfortable for you. As soon as you experience any pain or discomfort stop the exercise immediately. Also - don't expect to run a marathon 6 weeks after giving birth. Start slow - with low impact exercises and work your way up. Yoga, pilates, aqua aerobics, low impact aerobics and light weight training are all good starting points.
Also - ALWAYS speak to your doctor or midwife before starting any postnatal exercise program. You may need to wait a bit and recover first. Don't feel despondent when this is the case. Eventually once your body has recovered properly - it will be stronger to do the exercise.
I hope that this article was informative! If you have any more questions - drop me a line. I'm always happy to have a chat. (You can release your core and pelvic floor now!)