Top Fitness Tips for New Mums
When can you start exercising after giving birth? What type of exercise is safe and will give you the best results? Our Pilates expert & trainer, Agi Makarewicz, shares her top fitness tips for postnatal mums.
It's all about reconnecting with your body after having a baby. Pilates is fantastic from a physical viewpoint and it also helps with mental positivity and overall well-being, so it really ticks all the boxes when it comes to postnatal exercise.
Pre-baby shape (or better!) is the commonest goal of the new mums I work with. Losing pregnancy weight gained around the abdomen and toning these muscles is most important, not forgetting the pelvic floor muscles, which can be weakened during birth. Postnatal Pilates works from the inside out, activating and rebuilding core and pelvic floor to restore function and strength so it's ideal for the new mums I help.
So when is it safe to exercise after giving birth?
It will vary from one woman to another, depending on your fitness level prior and during the pregnancy. Postnatal Pilates is an ideal program to follow due to its gentle approach and focus on the abdominal muscles. Generally, you can start postnatal Pilates upon a satisfactory postnatal check at 6 weeks following natural birth or 8-10 weeks after a caesarean section.
Proper reconditioning of the abdominal muscles, as well as back and leg muscles after pregnancy and labor is very important as it helps women regain strength, establish ideal postural alignment and good body mechanics, all extremely helpful when caring for a new born child.
Creative, safe and effective postnatal abdominal Pilates exercises will also allow your body to rehabilitate from conditions such as Diastasis Recti (separation and widening of the abdominal muscles) and is a safe approach to the hormone Relaxin, that is released during the pregnancy in order for the hips to expand to make room for the baby, causing an increased level of flexibility during pregnancy. Loose joints and ligaments mean great risk of injury.
Here are a few gentle Pilates exercises that I will guide you through, to keep strong abdominal muscles, upper body and legs:
1. Short Box Series: Round Back
2. Back Extension
3. Rowing Tall back (Pregnancy modification)
4. Short Box Series: Side Over (Pregnancy Modification)
Agile Pilates' studio at Belsize Helath Clinic provides the perfect setting for new mums to enjoy fitness and get their physical confidence back. To book a one-to-one session or join a small postnatal class call Agi on 07706 800 730 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.