Return to exercise after having a baby
For the average woman, losing the fifteen or so kilos gained during pregnancy is strongly on her mind after giving birth. However, it takes a lot of skillful planning and willpower to sum up the motivation and fit in the time to exercise. If you exercised before and during pregnancy, it is much easier to do so afterward, but having a physical therapist is vital in helping you make a safe and effective return to exercise.
When to start exercise
Depending on your physical condition and the type of delivery you had, it may take between 4 to 8 weeks before you can return to exercise. If you had a C-section it may take a while longer, but in every instance you should consult your doctor first.
What to expect
- Your body has been subjected to a lot of changes during your pregnancy. Your muscles, particularly your core muscles, have been stretched and weakened, therefore they will not respond as readily as they did before you were pregnant.
- Your hormones have also gone awry, and may now hamper your best intentions to get back in shape. Be prepared for mood swings.
- The demands of your new baby may leave you exhausted and lacking in time and energy for exercise.
How can physical therapy help
We are trained to help you ease into a routine that is right for your condition without being stressful and will provide the following:
- Training in safe and gentle movements to strengthen your back, abs and pelvis.
- Advice on low-impact activities that you can do in your own time, such as walking, swimming and cycling.
- Graded cardio exercise workouts to help you lose weight and increase energy.
- Weight training exercises to help you build muscle mass and increase metabolism.
- Careful monitoring of your activities so you don't hurt yourself.
After having a baby, it is easy for a woman to despair of ever regaining her former figure. Nature will do its part to help you shed some of the kilos, however physical therapy can help you go that extra mile. Attending sessions regularly, eating right and following your physical therapist's advice will help you achieve your goal.
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