Exercising after pregnancy has shown to have many benefits; it strengthens the abdominal muscles, boosts energy, promotes better sleep, relieves stress, and may be useful in preventing postpartum depression. Of course, always check with your doctor to see if it is safe for you to exercise during or after your pregnancy.
If you had a normal vaginal delivery, you should be able to start exercising a few days or a few weeks after the baby has been born. If your pregnancy had complications, check with your doctor to know the how much time you should give yourself to begin exercising.
Amount of exercise and what kind of exercises:
It is recommended to get roughly 150 minutes of exercise a week once you being exercising after having a child. 150 minutes can be split whichever way works best with your life, and remember that any amount of exercise is great for the body! Low-impact aerobics, such as walking, swimming, indoor stationary cycling, step or elliptical machines, are recommended during pregnancy.
Recommendations if a gym is out of reach:
Not everyone has the luxury of a gym membership, and it may be discouraging to exercise when you feel like you don’t have the proper equipment. Luckily, all you need is your body to exercise.
Walking – Walking is a great form of exercise for those who have just recently given birth and is easy to include your baby if you have a stroller. You can take walks down the street, at the local park, or nature trails close by. Running is a great form of exercise as well, if you’ve just recently given birth be sure to check with your doctor to see whether running will be harmful to your health.
Yoga – Yoga is versatile. It is great for people who new to trying to fit exercise into their lives as well as for people who have been active for quite some time. Yoga mats can be purchased for as little as $10, but if you’re unable to purchase a yoga mat, be sure to practice on a surface that has a good grip. If you can’t make a yoga class, you can check out yoga videos from your local library or find them online. The practice of yoga is meant to be done at your own pace, so do not feel obliged to do poses that are not comfortable or hold poses longer than what feels comfortable for you.
Fitness stations at parks – The fitness station at parks are really handy if you’re unable to pay for a gym membership. Most fitness stations at public parks have a guide on how to use the different equipment available. Going to the park to exercise is a great way to get a free work out in.
Community Center fitness classes — Some community centers hold free or very low cost fitness classes. It is worth calling your checking your local community center to see if there are any classes available in your location.