If you have recently given birth and you are anxious to return to exercise, you should do so at your own pace, writes Exercise, Health and Fitness Instructor Stephanie Sinnott.
The term ‘post-baby bodies’ has been used quite a lot in media as of late, with a lot of scrutiny on celebrities who are papped running errands weeks after giving birth. There appears to be immense pressure on new mums to get their pre-baby bodies back as soon as possible after giving birth.
It’s your own choice
While there does seem to be some pressure for new mums to get back into fitness with post-birth exercise, I personally feel it’s your own choice. If you want to get back into your non-maternity jeans or if you don’t even want to think about it for months (or years) after, what’s the problem?
Quite soon after my son was born, I felt I wanted to feel like myself again. I was sick of massive maternity jeans, enormous bras and swollen feet. I had little control over my body during those 40 weeks, so I wanted to regain control and feel like myself again.
It takes time
When my son Alex was two days old, I (very slowly) walked my daughter Aoibhe to school, and then (very, very slowly) I walked to the local breastfeeding support group.
Everyone appeared to be shocked that I was even dressed, let alone out, but I wanted to be wearing clothes and out and about in the fresh air. It definitely made me feel better, to be out of pyjamas and out in the real world.
Those first few outings, encouraged me to pick up pace. Gradually it became easier for me to get back to brisk(ish) walks. It didn’t take long before I braved jogging, which I did for 30 seconds at two to three minute intervals during my walks.
My public health nurse advised me to perform light core exercises, which really helped to get my core strength back.
Do it at your own pace
If you are thinking about returning to exercise, and would like to lose any unwanted baby weight, you should do it at your own pace. It is advisable that you wait until you are at least six weeks after a normal birth, or ten weeks after a section to return to more intense exercise.
Start off with gentle walks, gradually building it up. To get some strength into your arms and legs, do two to three sets of eight to ten repeats of squats, press ups, lunges (with each leg), tricep-dips off a bench. And don’t forget those pelvic floor exercises – you’ll thank me when you want to do a burst of sprinting or squat jumps!
For further information visit: www.babybodyfit.ie
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