Postnatal Fitness: On the road back to Fitness

Blast from the past… I wrote this article back in early 2016 my little one will be starting school soon!

I had my little one back in 2015.

As a personal trainer and fitness instructor I was obviously keen to get fit again so I thought I’d share with you some of my tips and experience of fitting in exercise, and recovering postnatally. 

One of the first things to remember is to be realistic. My advice would be that your goal shouldn’t be about reaching an ideal weight, being able to run as quick as you could pre pregnancy  or drop a dress size. It should be exercising to feel good, to aid your body’s recovery and to help it manage the demands of your new baby.

I found getting out and walking the buggy was the best exercise to start with gradually  building up the distance and difficulty of walks. You probably don’t want to push your buggy up too many big hills straight away but can add them to challenge yourself as you feel ready. Don’t forget to maintain good posture.

I felt able to do this after about 4/5 weeks but everybody is different and if you weren’t exercising much before or during your pregnancy you may want to leave it until your 6 week postnatal check up or longer depending on the doctors advice and what sort of delivery you had. Carrying my little one in a sling and then later in an ergo carrier has also been excellent exercise. There is nothing like carrying or pushing several kg of extra weight around for the ultimate full body workout! And of course as your baby grows it gets tougher. 

I found however little sleep I had the fresh air and exercise helped me feel more energised and gave me a dose of feel good endorphins which helped lift my mood. In addition to this a daily practise of focusing on good posture and remembering to do pelvic floor exercises is a good habit to get into. 

Over time I added to my daily walks and did some postnatal exercise classes with my baby and eventually started building in the odd run. I waited for my six week postnatal check and the doctor said it was fine to run if I took it steady.I ran before and during pregnancy and am pre and postnatal trained and still made the mistake of doing too much too soon and injuring my foot/ankle! So take it steady, build up slowly and if you feel tired stick with a walk or rest instead of pushing yourself to run.

The NHS couch to 5k is an excellent starting point. I found my fitness seemed to come back quickly and I haven’t had any pelvic floor issues. But if you do have any problems with this it is advisable to consult a Physio who specialises in this area.

I have found eating right helps my energy levels and it helps me feel positive as I know that making good choices is good for me and my baby. That isn’t to say I never indulged in cakes and biscuits but I try to make this occasional rather than a regular habit- remember it’s about being realistic! I love nut butter spread on ryvita, nuts and seeds, fruit on its own or with natural yoghurt as healthy options.

I am ante and postnatal trained so if you would like support getting back to fitness or are currently pregnant and want to continue safe exercise through your pregnancy drop me an email. www.trainwithcarla@gmail.com

 

 

 

For support with postnatal exercise check out Keep Mums Fit https://www.katecampbellfitness.com/keep-mums-fit

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