What are the Best Tips for Postpartum Fitness? (with pictures)

B. Miller
B. Miller
Yoga can strengthen the pelvic floor and abdominal muscles.
Yoga can strengthen the pelvic floor and abdominal muscles.

Postpartum fitness can be very helpful in getting back to pre-pregnancy weight, as well as boosting energy levels, overall fitness, and improving mood. One of the best tips for postpartum fitness is to start slowly and have realistic expectations. Doctors typically recommend waiting approximately six weeks after giving birth to begin a new fitness routine, but each person's situation is different, so it is important to follow the doctor's advice. Simple walking is one of the best ways to start exercising again after pregnancy; one can walk alone, push the baby in a stroller, or join friends or a group of new moms for a walk around the neighborhood.

Exercise and hydration are important components of a postpartum fitness plan.
Exercise and hydration are important components of a postpartum fitness plan.

It is important to maintain a healthy diet and not try to lose weight too quickly, particularly if one is breastfeeding. Postpartum fitness is a way to slowly get back into shape, not drop a lot of weight in a short amount of time. In general, it is recommended that one should try to lose about 1 pound (.45kg) per week; this means it can take months to lose all the extra baby weight, but that is fine. This is one of the reasons that it is often recommended that pregnant women maintain a fitness and healthy eating routine throughout pregnancy, so reclaiming the pre-pregnancy body is not as difficult.

Jogging strollers allow parents to take the children along on a run or brisk walk.
Jogging strollers allow parents to take the children along on a run or brisk walk.

Simply going for a 20-minute walk every day can be a great way to get back in shape after pregnancy. Walking with a stroller is one of the most common postpartum fitness exercises; as the mother gradually gets to be in better shape, a jogging stroller may be used for more challenging exercise. Postpartum classes are often offered at gyms; these may include postpartum aerobics, or even Mommy and Me classes where new moms engage in gentle exercises with their babies. Remember to always stay hydrated while exercising, and to stop and take a rest if pain or dizziness occurs.

Another one of the most important aspects of postpartum fitness is to strengthen the abdominal and pelvic floor muscles again. Exercises that focus on core strength, such as yoga or Pilates, can be a great choice. Simple abdominal workouts can also be very effective. Some women find that they enjoy swimming as part of a postpartum fitness routine, because it is a gentle and low impact exercise that is also very challenging for the muscles. It helps to build muscular strength as well as promote weight loss.

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    • Yoga can strengthen the pelvic floor and abdominal muscles.
      Yoga can strengthen the pelvic floor and abdominal muscles.
    • Exercise and hydration are important components of a postpartum fitness plan.
      Exercise and hydration are important components of a postpartum fitness plan.
    • Jogging strollers allow parents to take the children along on a run or brisk walk.
      Jogging strollers allow parents to take the children along on a run or brisk walk.