Timo Topp from Mums Fitness Academy has dedicate his personal training business to help mums improve their strength and stamina during and after pregnancy. Exercise after birth is a big issue and is connected to all sorts of other things such as self esteem and health. In this issue of Healthy Mama Magazine Timo shares some wise words and a gentle exercise regime to get mums of any age, shape and stage back into shape.
Congratulations you are a Mum and the most wonderful thing in the world is now in your life! Yes it is a wonderful new experience but life as you knew it has completely changed, as you come to terms with sleepless nights, breastfeeding and barely a minute to yourself. The reality of being a Mum is a world away to from that of the celebrities who look fabulous and love every minute of motherhood. Well why wouldn’t they. They are blessed with chefs, nannies, drivers, cleaners and personal trainers, very different to the life of your everyday – extraordinary real mum.
Exercise is probably the last thing on your mind. However after the rigours of childbirth it is something you need to get around to doing eventually. However it is not about weight loss or rising to the ridiculous ideals bestowed upon society by the Hollywood Mum. Your body needs to be rejuvenated to restore its normal physiology and function – particularly the core and pelvic floor.
Postnatal exercise is important to help prevent post pregnancy problems such as hip and back pain and leaky bladder. Plus it will help give the strength to lift baby without aches and pains and it is important to help improve energy levels and emotional wellbeing.
The importance of postnatal exercises:
- Restores normal health of your body
- Improves energy levels
- Improves psychological well being
- Helps to feel good about your body
- Minimises post birth complaints
- Optimises future birthing experiences
When can you start exercising?
As long as you have had a normal birth you can actually start to exercise when you feel confident and comfortable. If you had a cesarean or any complications it is important to get clearance from your doctor, normally after six weeks. The best way to get started is walking. Walking is a safe, low intensity and low impact so is ideal for the postnatal mum. After a few months inside caring for baby, you may be feeling a little isolated! Fresh air and sunshine is wonderful tonic to invigorate yourself and your baby will love the stimulation of the great outdoors.
Some things to avoid
There are some exercises that you should avoid as they are inappropriate for the delicate new mum’s body. You shouldn’t do sit ups or planks to strengthen the abs and tone the tummy. The plank puts too much load on the core after birth. You will over use the more dominate larger muscles of the midsection and not utilise the deeper stabilisers that are the muscles you need to focus on. Also be careful not to jump back into pre-baby exercise routines too soon. Your focus should be walking and core strengthening for at least 6 weeks.
Seek professional advice
If you feel unsure of what to do and how to go about it safely it is certainly a good idea to get some professional guidance such as a physio or an appropriately qualified personal trainer. Not all trainers have sufficient knowledge to train the postnatal mum, so check experience and qualifications before getting started.
- Return to exercise as soon as you comfortably can
- Get medical clearance if you are unsure when to start or if you have had a caesarean
- Start with fast walking for safe and moderate cardio exercise
- Swimming, yoga and pilates are other good low impact exercises
- Perform pelvic floor and core specific exercises to re-strengthen your abdomen
- Listen to your body, take plenty of rest breaks and keep the intensity down
Be careful and avoid
- Returning to pre-baby exercise routines
- Doing too much too soon
- Sit ups and planks to strengthen your abs
- Avoid intense exercise and jumping movements such as skipping
Check out more info about exercise after birth from Timo Topp and Mums Fitness Academy in the latest edition of Healthy Mama Magazine. Enjoy your FREE subscription below…x
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