Getting back into exercise after having a baby….
Firstly there is no rush! Rest and recovery are oooooo so important.
Focus on exercise that energizes you rather than exhausts you. You want your workout to be a pick me up that you look forward to and feel great for afterwards, rather than something that leaves you feeling smashed and needing a midday nap.
Prioritize your bits. They have been through a lot. Whether you had a vaginal birth or a c-section delivery your pelvic floor and deep core muscles need some love and attention. Focus on getting strong from the inside out - think breath work, pelvic floor and deep core activation and then build from there.
Strength before impact. Mum life is like one very long resistance workout! Carrying, cuddling, rocking, picking up, putting down, reaching, feeding the list goes on. The stronger you are, the easier life is. Focus on building functional strength slowly and relative to YOU. Every bodies postpartum journey is different. Meet your body where it is at, it has been through an amazing journey!
Invest in a pelvic floor physio. They are worth their weight in gold! I strongly believe every woman should go and see a pelvic floor physio at least once in their lifetime especially if they have had a baby. It is the best way to know where your pelvic floor and deep core muscles are at, kind of like a wof for your bits. They can also help you with all the not so fun stuff nobody chats about after having a baby, leaking, prolapse, painful sex, pelvic pain, anything to do with your pelvic region.
Be aware of how your core manages load…. Do you have abdominal separation? Does your tummy bulge out when you do certain movements? Do you hold your breath? Do you bear down to brace? Awareness of how your body loads is the first step to bad ass strong foundations you can build from.
Take your time building impact back into your workouts. Please do not rush. Think functional strength before impact. As with strength it is relative to YOU and your body. Your pelvic floor has done a lot of work over the last nine months (a beautiful hammock supporting the weight of your growing baby, with a labor finisher). You want to ensure your body is strong enough to absorb the impact, especially your pelvic floor.
Balance the work with recovery! Make sure your body is adapting and feeling stronger rather than slaughtered. Spend some time doing release work through all those tight spots early mum life creates - neck, chest, shoulders, lower back, wrists etc.
Adjust your workout to your day. Have been up a million times the night before and seriously low on energy? Adjust your workout to match! Go hard or go home went out in the 80’s. Movement is all about adding to your health and happiness. Some days that means a gentle stroll to the park and that is allll good!
Be aware that not all trainer’s have knowledge or experience training pre and postnatal women. Ask lots of questions, their experience, qualifications etc. I was seriously shocked when I studied to be a Personal Trainer and realised that pre and postnatal women are classed as “a special population” and therefore not included in our generic base qualification. Trainers need to choose to do study over and above their base qualification if they wish to learn about training pre and postnatal women.
Last but not least - have FUN! Movement and exercise should add to your life .
If you need any help with the above flick me a message, I would love to work with you!
In health and happiness. Lou