Safely start reintroducing cardio back in to your workouts after having your baby!
The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists states ‘Women need to return to pre-pregnancy exercise levels gradually not resuming high impact activity too soon.’
But chances are, sooner or later you’re going to want to lose the baby weight, tighten up your pregnancy tummy and get back into some sort of post pregnancy exercise routine – especially if you’ve been exercising during your pregnancy and can’t wait to get back into your trainers!
It’s a good idea to start exercising your pelvic floor muscles as soon as possible after the birth – check out our section on pelvic floor exercises during pregnancy and pelvic floor exercises after birth…..but what about post pregnancy cardio?
Cardio exercise first three weeks post natal:
At this stage it’s best to stick to walking but start with 15-20 minutes and aim for around 30 minutes, three times a week. Baby can come too – wear your baby in a sling or tuck her up in a buggy that will allow you to walk at whatever pace suits you best and give her some fresh air too …it’s a great way to get her off to sleep! The intensity and pace of your walking will depend on your pre-pregnancy fitness levels and how you feel after the birth – take it easy to begin with but aim to gently build up speed and frequency as your strength improves.
Post-pregnancy exercise weeks 3-6:
How are you feeling?
Pelvic floor exercises, stretching (check out our post pregnancy exercises) and walking are all fine if you feel up to it during the first six weeks but most experts recommend moderation with regard to high impact exercise.
If your pelvic area and girlie bits have recovered cycling is a good low impact post pregnancy cardio activity – but we’d recommend a stationery bike in a gym at this stage. Take it easy, don’t launch yourself straight back into your spinning class!
Once your lochia discharge has fully ceased you can start swimming again but if you have any pain or discomfort in your pelvic girdle you should avoid the breaststroke leg motion.
Exercises post pregnancy after weeks 6-8
If you’ve had your post partum check up and the all clear from your health professional start re-introducing cardio to your life, building gradually back up to your pre-pregnancy levels of fitness.
Build up the pace and intensity of your exercise as your strength improves.
Joining a buggy fit class is a great way to involve your baby, meet other new mums and set a pace for your exercise routine.
Remember, listen to your body! If you had a C-section, stitches or a complicated birth talk to your health professional about when to start exercising. If you are breast feeding wear a supportive bra and consider feeding your baby before you workout. You’ll find it helps to wear supportive clothing for your mummy tummy too – FittaMamma maternity leggings will hold you comfortably, especially after a C-section.