Exercising After Baby: What You Can Do—And When

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I don’t know about you, but when I hear stories about celebs back at the gym shortly after giving birth, I wonder which crazy doctor gave that stamp of approval! And if they didn’t consult a doctor first, that’s big mistake number one.

A vaginal birth is one thing: you can barely sit down comfortably for weeks (hemorrhoids anyone?), much less think about slipping on your workout clothes for a calorie-blasting session at the gym. Then, there’s a C-section, which I had with my daughter: going up and down the stairs is about all the painful movement I could muster for weeks! (So no, I was definitely not one of those people eager to get back to my routine!)

While the “normal” (aka doctor-approved) time frame to start working out is 6 weeks for a vaginal delivery and 8 weeks for a C-section, I didn’t start working out (after each of my three kids) until about 12 weeks after delivery. That was just the time when I finally started to feel somewhat human again. It was also when I started actually wanting to work out again. (I’ve found that the more you actually want to work out, the more committed you’ll be to exercising.)

But know this: I definitely didn’t get back into exercising 5 days a week right away. I started working out a day here and a day there, then added a day, and gradually got back to my pre-pregnancy routine.

There’s no need to rush into anything. The body needs time to heal; even if you feel better, your body might not actually be better.  And remember: it took you nine months to create a baby, now give your body at least that long to get back into shape. Slow and steady is definitely the name of the post-pregnancy shape-up game!

 

© Valerie Latona LLC 2012