Exercise After Pregnancy Ė How Soon Should You Start?
Learn How to Determine the Right Time for You
When it comes to exercise after pregnancy, most health care professional tend to err on the side of caution. Most will tell you not to do anything for 4 to 6 weeks postpartum. However, when used properly, you can use exercise to really help to speed up the recovery process.
Plus, it can really help make your life easier during those initial weeks because even if youíre not ďexercisingĒ the demands of everyday life are still very real. And I donít know of any doctor or midwife that sends someone to your home to do your laundry, clean house, and pick up after everyone. And while most people donít consider these activities as exercise, they are typically the first forms of real exercise after pregnancy that you encounter.
Letís Define Exercise After Pregnancy
Exercise is a very vague term that doesnít necessarily have to mean running a mile, lifting heavy weights, or doing something strenuous.
According to WikipediaÖ Physical Exercise is any bodily activity that enhances or maintains physical fitness and overall health or wellness.
The point Iím trying to make is that your doctor or midwife is telling you not to go do anything strenuous but they are not telling you that you canít begin to do non-strenuous exercise such as properly retraining your abdominals which is one of the most important steps of the process.
In fact, you can always regress any exercise in order to make it suitable no matter what your physical limitations are at the time. So instead of doing strenuous exercises on your feet, you can easily retrain your abdominals in a seated position or even lying down.
With that being said, you can actually get quite a lot of benefit from doing non-strenuous abdominal exercises as early as a week or 2 after giving birth. Granted this should be assessed on a case by case basis because there are plenty of special considerations that should be taken into account.
Special Consideration for Exercise After Pregnancy
Unfortunately, itís not always so easy for everyone to exercise after pregnancy because there is often a lot of physical pain after giving birth for various reasons. And this needs special attention because itís never a good idea to exercise with pain. It will only cause your body to compensate for the pain and create even more problems in other areas of your body.
"The trauma, pain, and scar tissue from the surgery will actually shut down the neural pathways which is enough to put them out of commission for a very long time."
For example, if you experienced any tearing or had an episiotomy then you should be very careful and allow your body to heal and not do any sort of exercise that might compromise the healing process.
Another very common example is if youíve had a c-section. This operation has become very common these days but this is major trauma to your body. And just like any other surgery you might have, you need to allow your body time to heal.
But with c-sections it becomes even more important to properly retrain your abdominals. The trauma, pain, and scar tissue from the surgery will actually shut down the neural pathways which is enough to put them out of commission for a very long time. But doctors never tell you this and you wonder why you end up having severe back pain 5 years later.
I cannot stress enough how important it is to massage scar tissue to help it heal properly and to retrain your abdominals properly after any sort of abdominal surgery.
Exercise After Pregnancy When You Are Ready
I know there are some high expectations these days when it comes to having a baby. Youíre expected to give birth, take a week or two off and be back up and running like normal. But for most itís just not that easy.
There are too many variables to consider including how stressful your pregnancy was, how much you exercised before and during pregnancy, and how well your body is able to recover. We are all different and our bodyís all respond differently. And thereís nothing wrong with that.
But when feel that you are ready to begin doing some exercise after pregnancy then start slow with very simple abdominal exercises which you can do as early as a few weeks postpartum. Then you can gradually progress these exercises as your abilities and confidence improve. And you can gradually move to more intense weight bearing exercises when ready.
And one last thingÖ
You should be very careful when it comes to stretching after pregnancy. Your tendons and ligaments will already be loose from your production of the hormone Relaxin which typically lasts anywhere from 3 to 5 months postpartum. You donít want to overstretch which can easily lead to all kinds of injuries both now and in the future.
And if you want to learn how to speed up your recovery process by using proper exercise after pregnancy then take a look at my Drop the Pregnancy Weight Program. I show you the most important steps of properly retraining your abdominals and progressing your exercise the right way without over or under doing it. Itís one of the most important parts of the program.
I take you through it from the very beginning to the end and how to transform your body back to what it was before you ever got pregnant. And it doesnít matter if you had a baby 2 weeks ago or 2 years ago, these exercises are crucial.
So if you want to learn how to exercise after pregnancy the right way for fastest results then be sure to check out my program.
You can find out all about it right here: Drop the Pregnancy Weight Program