Exercise after pregnancy and delivery proves to be one of the most beneficial health decisions. Exercise not only helps the body return to its pre-pregnancy state faster, but also keeps you active and in good health.
The physical stress, pain and exhaustion involved in the child birthing process compel many new moms to put exercise on the back burner. We understand. Hence, we have rounded up 5 activities for new moms. They exercise the body without being too strenuous or demanding.
This is the best activity to start with post delivery. Walking is even recommended for women who have had a caesarean delivery. It could be a leisurely walk or a brisk walk. You can walk and push your baby around in the pram simultaneously. However, ensure that the handles are adjusted to an optimum height so that you don’t have to bend when walking. You can also walk zigzag or backwards. Walking exercises the leg muscles, improves blood circulation and prevents blood clots.
If you look up best pregnancy tips on exercise, you will realize the Kegel exercises are recommended during the nine months of gestation and after childbirth too. Kegels strengthen the pelvic muscles and allows an injured perineum to heal faster. They help tighten your vagina and give you better control on your balder muscles. Thus, they can be effective in treating post-partum incontinence issues.
How to do it? The first time try when urinating. Contract the muscles to stop and hold the stream of urine. Hold in this position for 10 seconds and release. Thereafter, do when you’re not urinating.
The Pelvic Tilt
The Pelvic Tilt exercise strengthens the muscles in the abdomen and the lower back. It also helps to relieve lingering lower back pain. Lie flat on your back. Your back should be straight and relaxed. The knees are bent and feet flat on the ground. Tighten the abdominal muscles and gently raise the pelvis. Your body in the raised position should be in a straight line – the knees, hips and shoulders should be aligned. Hold for a 10 seconds and then lower the hips gently. Repeat 10 to 20 times before you can stop.
Kneeling Abdominal Curl
Another exercise carried forward from pregnancy is the abdominal curl. Get down on your foes. The arms should be straight and the toes should touch the ground. Also ensure that the back is straight and not arched or curved. Inhale and pull your buttocks and stomach in titling your pelvis. Hold for a count of 5 and release. You can also use a chair to support your arms.
Not many know the power of breathing. Deep breathing exercises will help to tone abdominal muscles and also relax them. The other benefit you can start the exercise a few hours after birth itself. Sit up straight. Take a deep breath. Contract the muscles while you inhale and release as you exhale. Each subsequent time try holding your breath for longer.
The five exercises we mentioned are the commonly recommended ones for new mothers. Others you could do are head and shoulder lifts, cycling, light jogging, leg slides and the curl up.
If you are unaware of how the exercises are done, seek help from a professional in the initial stages. Once you learn them, you can perform them on your own.
Don’t push yourself. Start exercising whenever you feel up to it.