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Postnatal Fitness, where do I start?

Sounds corny, but the only way to start is, as Nike says, Just do it! Get up, get out, get energised! I guarantee you, by just moving your body, getting the blood flowing, filling the lungs with fresh air and oxygen, and moving your joints... you're halfway there!

If you want to regain your pre-pregnancy body, then start with small steps. Once you feel ready and able physically to get moving, then do so. As I have already said, it is recommended to start exercising six weeks post natural birth and ten weeks post C Section. But, every woman's body is different, so do what feels right for you. But a word of caution, please don't start out too hard or too early. Your body has gone through so much by giving birth. It needs time to heal, for all your organs to regain shape, and get back into place.

A caesarian section is major abdominal surgery, remember to let it heal. It may look healed on the outside, but remember the surgeon cuts many layers of muscle to get your little one out, and those layers must be given time to heal. Once they heal and knit together, then start working on them.

Please don't have it in your head that if you do thousands of abdominal crunches that will give you a flat tummy. Try to remember that all exercising should come from your core. Try to think of your core as your "powerhouse" when pushing the buggy, think about how your posture is: Is the handle of the buggy the correct height for your back? Stand tall, shoulders back and engage your tummy muscles while walking and while doing my exercises - this way your tummy is working. Think about your tummy muscles when your doing everything / anything, like in the kitchen washing dishes - stand tall, chest out, stand proud! If you can train your posture to be tall and correct, you are in turn training your tummy to work and support your back.

OK, so now you are ready to roll! Get those runners on and off you go... get walking! Once the body is warmed up and the blood is flowing, then try some of these exercises I have put together for you.

They are easy exercises which incorporate your buggy while little one sleeps. Try at home, in the park or on the beach, anywhere actually! Stick to these three basic exercises at the beginning, but just increase your reps (the number you do) ie. day one - go out and walk for 10-20 minutes, then do 10 reps of each exercises, and repeat the sets 3 times without stopping, then walk on again. You will feel this in your legs, and hip flexors. Then as the days / weeks progress increase your reps, or if you prefer, increase the amount of time you dedicate to each exercises. This will give you a guide on how well you are progressing.

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Walking leg lunges
Place two hands on your buggy, stand with your back straight, shoulders back, chest out, and pull in your core. Step out with your right leg and bend your knees, bring two feet together and repeat on the other side, take 10 long steps. Turn around and go back the way you came.

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Squats
Stand with your feet wider than hip distance, two hands on your buggy, back straight, shoulders back, chest out. Bend your knees and drop the backside towards the floor, (imagine sitting on a chair). Bring the backside as low as the knees, and return to beginning. Repeat 10 reps.

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K
Knee raises
Stand sideways to the buggy, one hand on the buggy, one hand on your hips. Lift your knees higher than hip height. Alternate knees, repeat this 30-40 times. Focus on lifting through your core, back straight, shoulders back.

Please note: if any of these exercises are sore or uncomfortable, cease immediately.

askALANNAH @ FitMummy asks you a question:
What is it that is stopping you from getting out there? Is it that you feel overwhelmed by the idea of packing up the little one and heading off incase they cry and you feel you don't know what do do? Do you feel unsure of how or where to start? Remember there are no silly questions!

Email me, tell me what is it that is stopping you from getting back you pre natal body? You can do it, perhaps you just need a little support, guidance, whatever it is, I may be able to show you the way?

Remember there are no silly questions, simply ask! Either post your question below in the comments area or email me on alannah@fitbod.ie

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