Exercise and the New Mom.

Regular exercise has numerous health benefits, all of which apply equally to the new mother as at any other stage of life. These benefits include assistance with weight loss, increased aerobic fitness, social interaction and psychological wellbeing. Exercise after giving birth can also hasten recovery, and assist with muscle strength and toning.

Always consult with your doctor or midwife before starting any postnatal exercise program. Whether or not you are ready to exercise depends on individual factors. For instance, you may be advised to wait until your six-week postnatal check-up. In other cases, especially if you were exercising regularly throughout your pregnancy, you may be able to return to exercise sooner than that – perhaps within the first week or two.
Exercising after you have your baby can improve your physical and mental wellbeing. It can:

–       Help restore muscle strength and firm up your body

–       Make you less tired because it raises your energy level and improves your sense of wellbeing

–       Promote weight loss

–       Improve your cardiovascular fitness and restore muscle strength

–       Condition your abdominal muscles

–       Improve your mood, relieve stress and help prevent postpartum depression.

 

Recommended postnatal exercise includes:

–       Brisk walking

–       Swimming

–       Aqua aerobics

–       Yoga

–       Pilates

–       Low impact aerobic workouts

–       Light weight training

–       Cycling

 

Always consult with your doctor or midwife before starting any postnatal exercise program. Don’t be too hard on yourself if your exercise plans go awry – you’ll get more time to yourself as your baby settles into a predictable routine.

–Shannon Patterson