Exercise Tips After Pregnancy

Following the birth of your baby, it’s natural to want to get rid of your baby weight. In addition to breastfeeding, exercise may be another option for burning off this weight. However, it’s important to make sure you clear your health with your doctor prior to beginning any exercise plan. New moms who exercised up until birth and had a vaginal delivery can often begin exercising as soon as one week after giving birth, according to babycenter.com. If you had a cesarean section, you may need to wait longer–anywhere from six to eight weeks post-delivery.

Begin in Moderation

While you may have run five miles every day before the advanced stages of your pregnancy, you likely will not have the energy or exercise capacity to complete this following giving birth. For this reason, it’s important to start small, such as a 30-minute walk three times per week, according to babycenter.com. Walking is ideal for post-pregnancy exercise because of its low impact on the joints and cardiovascular benefits.

In addition to walking, you can perform weight-bearing exercises to increase muscle tone. This includes push-ups and triceps dips, neither of which require other equipment.

Watch Your Step

According to babycenter.com, your joints and ligaments are more loose anywhere from three to five months after giving birth. This can make you considerably more accident-prone in the meantime. Exercises that require balance or careful stepping, such as step aerobics or running may not be indicated for activity at this time. Simply being conscious of the likelihood this can occur can help to reduce the risk of falling.

Find a Postpartum Exercise Class

Many hospitals or fitness centers offer postpartum exercise classes specifically geared toward helping new moms burn calories and tone areas that may be affected post-pregnancy. Your physician may recommend a program. These programs offer the added benefit of getting to meet other new moms going through similar joys and challenges as you.

Drink Plenty of Water

This tip is particularly pertinent if you are breastfeeding, as dehydration can slow milk production, according to the San Diego News Network. Drink water before, during and after exercise as a means to replace lost water due to sweating. Carrying a water bottle with you can help to make sure you have easy access to hydrating fluids.

About this Author

Rachel Nelson is currently a managing editor for custom health publications, including physician journals. A writer for more than six years, she has written for the Associated Press and “Charleston,” “Chatter” and “Reach” magazines. She is currently pursuing a Master of Arts in public administration from the University of Tennessee.