Can’t Wait To Get Back In Shape? Here Are Some Awesome Postpartum Exercises
For fitness freaks, there is no stopping whether its pregnancy or postpartum. But many women are concerned about their body after giving birth to their child. Some others stay away from gym due to fear of any complications. But if exercises are done with caution, there is absolutely no harm in trying them.
Seeing your belly getting bigger and bigger during pregnancy and then finally giving birth to your bundle of joy is truly an amazing experiencing. But appearing like pregnant even after giving birth could be discouraging. Here we mention some of the awesome exercises which if performed regularly, will keep you on the top of your health and fitness. But before that, it’s important to describe the benefits of postpartum exercises.
What are the benefits of postpartum exercises?
There are immense benefits in exercising after childbirth, even though it seems easier said than done. It’s not just about the exhaustion of the childbirth, but also having a baby demands a lot out of your schedule. You will lose sleep, you will learn how to handle that small baby appropriately and breastfeeding, all would require a lot of time.
But steadily as you get into your routine, exercise can be one of the most preferred things you would feel like doing. This is because it helps in raising metabolism, provides required energy, reduces stress, improve mood and shed extra weight gained during pregnancy.
Your doctor advice and your efforts have helped you gain about 13-15 kgs of weight during the pregnancy phase, which was though, required. But on an average about 8kgs of weight is lost within the first month postpartum. It’s those extra 5-8 kgs of weight you need to get rid of which you can easily achieve with consistent exercises and little patience.
It will take a little time to bounce back to the original weight. After taking green signal from the doctor, you can start with simple exercises at least after a couple of weeks. So without further ado, here some of the exercises you should be doing after childbirth.
This exercise has a range of benefits and can also be performed during pregnancy. Kegel strengthens pelvic muscles which support organs such as uterus, bladder and bowels. The exercise helps in managing urinary incontinence, a common issue among women and helps them recover faster after delivery.
It can also help women who experience pain during sex. One should wait at least 4 weeks after postpartum to start this exercise.
How to do – First you need to identify your pelvic floor muscles, for that, you have to stop urination in the middle. It will squeeze the muscle and let you know the right pelvic floor muscles. Once you have identified your pelvic floor muscles, you can perform this exercise in any position, lying down on back is preferred by most women.
You have to simply tighten your pelvic muscles and count 10 and then relax for 10 counts. Do 2-3 sets and repeat 3 times a day. Keep breathing normally while doing this exercise.
Taking brisk walks and doing kegel exercise can make up for a good combination. Walking gives you a healthy dose of fresh air and is a great way of regaining muscle strength in the pelvis. Slow walks will also prepare you for vigorous exercise at a later period. You might need about 6 weeks after postpartum to perform this exercise.
Tip – Start your walk with a casual stroll in the park. Focus on your movement initially and then progress to a power walk. You can also bring your baby along with you and keep her in a front pouch. This will add more weight to the exercise.
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Kneeling Pelvic Tilt
In order to strengthen stomach and abs, this exercise can be very helpful. It also eases back pain, especially which occurs in the lower back.
How to do – Come in four point kneeling position or sit on all your four limbs touching the floor. Now slowly tighten the abdominals or the pelvis towards you. Breathe evenly and just make sure you begin the movement from the hips.
If you want to strengthen your muscles without any movement, then this is the exercise that you need. During this exercise, the muscle does not noticeably change length while the affected joint does not move.
How to do – You can also do this exercise holding your baby. Just lie down with your knees bent while your feet flat on the surface. Place your baby on your belly, if have. While inhaling, squeeze the ab and pull them in a way like a sponge and lift your baby up. With exhale, lower the baby and come into the default position. Do this for 10-15 times.
Belly breathing with abdominal contraction
This exercise focuses on relaxing muscles and toning the abdominal and belly area. Belly breathing also retrain the core muscles for working together during daily activities. This exercise is also helpful for women who underwent cesarean delivery.
How to do – Start breathing deeply while sitting in a straight and upright position. Now tightly hold your abs while contracting them and inhaling simultaneously. Relax your abs while exhaling.
Cesarean delivery scar massage
As the scar from the c-section delivery heals, the different layers of skin can become adhered to each other. This can limit the range of motion. These adhesions may lead to problems in future such as urinary incontinence, back or hip pain. This scar tissue massage targets the fascia and the connective tissue to help break up adhesions and aid in healing.
How to do – Lie on your back with the fingers above the scar. Now draw the skin with the tip of your finger and observe the movement by sliding up and down. Start this exercise gently and steadily move up for a more aggressive massage but small movements are better. Do this in one direction at a time. If the scar is painful, stop it immediately and try again later. Once or twice a day is enough.
You can progress to more rigorous exercises once your body heals and become stronger. Remember, if you have had c-section, it’s better to give more and more time for recovery. And since every pregnancy is different, before doing any kind of exercise, irrespective of vaginal delivery or cesarean, you should talk to your doctor in advance.
The most important thing is to treat yourself gently and follow what your doctor advises you. Along with exercise, make sure you are taking healthy diet, especially if you are breastfeeding. Last but not the least, stay well hydrated.