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Getting Back to Healthy Exercise After Baby

By Sara Butler

Bouncing back after having a baby is a marathon, not a sprint. While it may seem as if you’re inundated with images of celebrities having a baby and looking just as fabulous as ever right after, that’s not realistic. The goal of postpartum fitness shouldn’t be fitting back into your leather party pants but instead improving your long-term health and wellness for yourself and your growing family. Postpartum fitness has a variety of benefits, but make sure to temper the benefits with realistic expectations. Here’s what you need to know!

The Benefits

After you have a baby, your world shifts. It’s really not about you anymore, but about this tiny little person that depends on you for survival. No pressure!

Now more than ever your health and wellness matter. Starting a new fitness routine after baby can help you to:

  • Have some “me” time
  • Practice self-care
  • Socialize with other adults
  • Improve body image
  • Improve your sleep (no matter how little you get)
  • Boost your energy
  • Increase release of feel-good hormones

When returning to fitness after baby, try to choose a path that will keep you safe, is sustainable, and will help you get fit.

Manage Expectations

There’s a timeline for returning to fitness after a baby. As long as you keep this timeline in mind, then you’re well on your way to meeting your goals.

The first six weeks you will:

  • Likely be restricted from too much exercise by your doctor
  • Be restricted to light walking
  • May be able to do light weights as long as they don’t strain your core

From six weeks to three months you may:

  • Be released by your doctor to return to exercise
  • Have increased dietary needs, especially if breastfeeding
  • Start slow since you’ve been sedentary for a while

From three to six months, you should:

  • Expect to see some results and improvements in fitness
  • See increased energy levels
  • Have a firm base to begin pushing your fitness goals further

Great Exercises to Try

To get back into shape after baby, try:

  • Walking – After a few weeks, your baby will likely be able to ride in a stroller or you can use an approved device to wear with them as you walk to begin rebuilding fitness. Get out in the sunshine for that Vitamin D boost!
  • Strength training – Carrying your baby is great for the arms, just make sure to remember to switch sides in order to stay balanced.
  • Include baby – There are many exercises you can do with your baby, so discuss them with your doctor!

 You can get back into shape after baby, just make sure you give yourself a break -- you just created a whole other human being! Give yourself and your body time.

To learn more about your health and wellness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Katy, Tex.

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