5 Types of Exercise For New Mums
Written by: Parent.Guide
After giving birth, starting regular exercise might not be high on your list of priorities. However, there’s evidence to suggest that staying active may speed up your recovery – both physically and psychologically. Here are five types of exercise that are ideal for new mums:
Medical professionals encourage you to start light exercises and stretching as soon as you feel ready after childbirth, which makes yoga an excellent choice for new mums. If you participated in yoga classes before your pregnancy, it’s important to remember your body has changed significantly over the past nine months, so it usually won’t be possible to carry on where you left off. For example, your ligaments and joints can remain loose for up to five months following the birth of your baby, so you must take care when stretching to ensure you don’t cause any unnecessary injuries.
There are plenty of postnatal yoga classes across the country, so it’s a good idea to join a local class. As well as ensuring you exercise at the level appropriate for your body, this also provides you with a fantastic opportunity to exercise with other new mums – some classes even let you take your baby with you!
During your pregnancy, you’ll lose some core strength when your abdominal muscles stretch as your baby grows. For this reason, postnatal pilates can be an excellent choice, as they allow you to rebuild your strength.
It’s important to note you won’t be able to make a start straight away. If you have a natural birth, your abdominal muscles will play a key role – and will consequently need a couple of months to recover. If you had a caesarean section, they’ll need considerably longer, and you might not be able to start until up to six months following the birth. As always, you should seek advice from a healthcare professional if you’re unsure.
When you are ready, you should consider joining and specialist postnatal pilates class. Just like the yoga classes, these have been designed with the post-birth body in mind, and use specialist equipment to help you get your body back to full strength.
Running is a great way to lose any extra weight you gained during your pregnancy, and can also help relieve any stress you’re feeling after the birth. As with any exercise, you should start slowly, and always listen to your body.
To start with, it’s a good idea to head out for short walks, taking note of how you feel afterwards. As time goes by, you can increase the distance of your walks, until you’re ready to increase the intensity, and add some running.
The best thing about running is that you can decide your own workout schedule, and aren’t constrained by the availability of local classes. You can even take your baby with you, once they’re able to support the weight of their own head. To do this, you’ll need to purchase a special jogging stroller, which has been designed to provide a safe environment for your baby as you run. Make sure you read this guide to find out everything you need to know about jogging strollers.
Swimming is generally considered the best type of exercise during pregnancy, because the water supports the weight of your bump to provide an beneficial, low impact workout. It remains one of the safest and most effective forms of exercise following the birth of your new baby.
As with any form of exercise, remember to pace yourself as you return to an active lifestyle, and listen to your body. If you start to experience pain at any point, stop and consult your healthcare professional.
Postnatal Exercise Classes
If you’re not sure what you want to do, but understand the importance of staying active, you should consider attending a specialist postnatal exercise class. These offer plenty of variety, and have been designed with the new mum in mind. You’ll get to work out in a supportive environment, and won’t be expected to do anything unsafe or too physically demanding for the postnatal body. There are plenty of postnatal classes available, and many allow you to take your baby with you, growing your social circle as well as giving you a healthy start to parenthood!