Expert / 2 January, 2019 / CARiFiT ViRTUAL
It is a proven fact that exercise has multiple benefits for new mothers such as increasing energy levels, uplifting the spirits, improving strength and helping those postnatal muscle groups to return to their pre-baby state. The wonderful experience of being a new parent has its challenges and it is important to look after yourself as best you can whilst battling lack of sleep and adapting to a new routine.
Getting back into exercise can seem like a challenge when you no longer have the freedom and flexibility that you had pre-baby but a simple brisk walk can still raise those endorphin levels and your heart rate. It is important to take into consideration a few key things before you start your postnatal fitness journey and the experts at CARiFiT have put together a few pointers and areas to consider to get you back on track safely and effectively.
Remember there is no rush to get back to exercise after giving birth, allow your body time to recover! If you had a straightforward natural birth, you can start gentle exercise as soon as you feel up to it. This could include walking, pelvic floor exercises and some deeper core exercises.
It is essential that you wait until you have had your six week check before moving on to high impact or high intensity exercise as your body is still adapting post-birth.
If you had a C-section, your recovery time will be a little longer, so listen to your body and talk to your midwife, health visitor or GP before starting anything too strenuous.
Regardless of delivery method exercise post birth should always be safe, sensible and relevant to the needs of the post-natal body.
Diastasis Recti is the result of excessive intra-abdominal pressure or loading. It is the widening of the gap between the 2 sections of the Rectus Abdominis (or 6 pack) abdominal muscle.
How to check your tummy gap (Diastasis Recti)
A tummy gap or diastasis Recti is a gap of roughly 2.7cm or more between the 2 sides of the muscle that covers the front surface of the tummy area (Rectus Abdominis Muscle). If you have one, it is important to recover and reduce this gap which an expert can help you with. Remember any crunches, abdominal curls should not be completed if you have or are in any doubt about your tummy gap.
For more information on restoring the core and other key tips, CARiFiT has put together a comprehensive introduction to exercise and re-engaging the core at CARiFiT/7daykickstart , here you will find a step by step guide to reconnecting with and restoring your core muscle function.
Once you have learned how to reconnect with your deep core muscles and can engage these effectively during every-day movements and exercises then you can move onto more strength-based exercises to help build the strength of these muscles.
Finding a balance in your energy will take a little time as your body adapts to the changes of being a new mum. Food is something that you can use to fuel yourself efficiently and help with the tiredness that you will no doubt be experiencing.
Below are some helpful tips to get you bursting with energy:
At the end of the day, it is about finding your feet and developing a routine that works for you and your baby. This is different for everyone, there are no hard and fast rules so go easy on yourself.
Exercise should be fun and although we all know that we need to be active, it should be enjoyable as well as beneficial. It is a proven fact that working out with friends helps with motivation and choosing the right music can really change your workouts so pick your favourite songs and get moving.
Find the exercise that works for you and get yourself back on track your way.
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