What are the best exercises to get your back in shape following a baby? I'm always surprised when new mums are targeted by sessions that are high intensity. If you've had a baby recently (or even not so recently), high intensity can be detrimental to getting back in shape. I'm not saying never, but give yourself a chance to heal first. What you need now is to start easing yourself into exercise that targets your core and pelvic floor. Working from 'the inside out' if you like. So, what is the best way to get back in shape and lose fat?
Walking with your buggy and baby is the most natural way of exercising. Especially after a sleepless night. You can also start working your pelvic floor muscles pretty much as soon as you've given birth. There are now notices all over maternity units telling you to do your Kegels! Once you've had the all clear from your GP or midwife, choose a specific post natal session that will encourage the right kind of exercise. Get your stomach checked for any possible separation (diastasis recti). Here is where you will start to reconnect with your core and pelvic floor muscles; the ones that have stretched the most! Concentrate on low intensity exercise but you can still break a sweat. Just keep away from running and jumping at this point. Avoid crunches, planks and any similar exercises that cause 'doming' or any rounding of the abdominals. Just by putting your hands on your stomach (around the belly button area) and breathing out, you will feel a tightening in that area. Keep drawing the abdominals in towards the back. Exercises such as Glute Bridge, Modified Press Ups, Squats, Lunges, these are all great. Just make sure you are tightening your core muscles on exertion. Use your breath and breathe out on exertion.
A few months on, you might feel ready to try something a bit harder. As long as you feel strong enough and your pelvic floor is fully functional, try lifting some light weights or maybe a spinning class. You might still be experiencing sleepless nights so don't go too hard! Again, balance is key for exercise and relaxation. Now is the time to try some harder abdominal exercises, but the same applies here. Always think about the best functional exercises you can do. How will these exercises benefit you in your daily life? Squats and lunges are also core work; incorporate these into most of your sessions.
Simply put, this is a massive deal. You cannot function well without healing, anti inflammatory food that will feed your body and your mind. The difference you feel when eating properly is huge. This will help you to support the exercise you are doing and also help you to lose fat and tighten up. Stay away from sugar and processed foods. Cook from scratch. If you can't cook, start learning, it's a great way to introduce children to food and how to cook too.
I'll talk about sleep and stress in my next blog! Good luck with your journey, connect with me via fb or twitter or visit www.samwilsonfitness.co.uk for more information