Health Tips » 6 Exercises to get back in shape after pregnancy
Author: Pankaj Aggarwal | February 20th, 2018
Pregnancy is the start of an incredible journey. It aids in the transition of a woman into motherhood.
From conception to birth the body changes in many different ways to accommodate the baby. The waistline increases as the baby grows in size. The muscles become weak due to a sedentary lifestyle. Pregnancy changes a woman physically as well as emotionally. Being physically sound keeps the body strong. Healthy body strengthens the immune system and keeps the diseases away. Emotional Health keeps the mind balanced. It is vital for the mother to regain her fitness.
After the delivery getting your body back is not as hard as you might think.
Just after pregnancy, it can be difficult to indulge in intensive workouts. Therefore walking is the best cardiovascular exercise to keep the heart pumping. Japanese Researchers from Wakayama Medical College conducted an experiment on 83 participants with mild hypertension. They were made to walk 10,000 steps per day for 12 weeks. At the end of 12 weeks, they showed a significant drop in blood pressure and increased stamina. Walking can help in post pregnancy to tone the body and flex the muscles.
Walking must be done before any intensive workout. This practice reduces the probability of workout related accidents since it makes the body more agile and flexible. Walking also boosts blood circulation and strengthens the bones.
Water Aerobics is an improvised version of aerobics. It is practiced in a shallow water body like a swimming pool. Water aerobics is the best form of resistance training for women in postnatal phase. Although it is a lot harder on muscles it is completely safe and prevents wear and tear of muscles. The buoyancy of the water keeps the abdominal muscles engaged because they are working to keep you balanced. The cool and soothing aquatic environment allows more repetitions without increasing the stress levels. An additional benefit of this aquatic exercise is the pressure of the water relieves swelling from the extremities.
Yoga is best when recovering from exhaustion and marathon of labor. It amplifies the process of loosening of tight muscles, calm nerves and rebuilds and calibrates the abdominal muscles and the pelvic floor that have stood the test of 40 weeks. Yoga helps in attaining emotional stability which is very important for a balanced and healthy mind. It also helps in regaining the endurance that is lost in recovery from labor and fatigue from caring for the new-born.
Breastfeeding can cause the shoulders and spine to become rounded and sore. Yoga plays a vital role in dealing with such situations. Specific asana can effectively reduce the belly fat. The major benefit of yoga is that specific parts of the body can be targeted which is not possible in other weight loss programs.
Swimming is a low impact and non-weight bearing way to lose weight and restore muscle tone post pregnancy. It builds cardiovascular fitness, endurance, and muscle strength. Swimming is an all-over body workout as nearly all muscles are utilized when swimming. 30 minutes of swimming thrice a week along with a balanced diet efficiently improve fitness and maintain a positive mental lookout. A postnatal woman must start as gently as possible, swimming at a low pace. This will help her get used to the changes in her body and avoid straining herself.
Kegel exercises are important during and after pregnancy. During pregnancy, the pelvic muscles have to support more weight because of the baby putting extra pounds on the uterus. At the time of labor, these muscles are stretched even more to make room for the baby to pass through. Therefore kegels are absolutely necessary to have an easier birth. After pregnancy kegel exercises play a vital role in healing the strained or damaged pelvic muscles due to labor. Whether the baby is conceived through c-section or normally, there will be urinary leakage issues. This is because the expanding uterus can place a lot of pressure on the pelvic floor muscles. Kegel exercises promote perennial healing, regain bladder control and strengthens the pelvic muscles.
Pilates is one of the best ways to prepare your body to handle pregnancy as well as to get back in shape after pregnancy. Pilates exercise efficiently improves core strength, stability and muscle balance. Keeping the muscles stable and strong makes it easier to return to more intensive workouts after the baby is born. Breast feeding and holding babies affects the body’s posture. It is best to incorporate pilates in the workout regime as it strengthens the core and upper back.
Pilates help the body to recover from post-partum maternal fatigue.
Once these exercises are done regularly, they will improve your overall fitness and strength. When you give birth, you don't have to rush into a full workout routine. Start off with a low intensity training regime without straining your body.
In addition to exercise, right diet is must before, during and after pregnancy to achieve the best fitness standards. It plays an important role in maintaining the fitness and overall health of the body.
Having a baby is an amazing experience and the first priority should be the health and well-being of the baby. In order to take care of the baby you need to take care of yourself - mind, emotions and physical health.
Pankaj Aggarwal is Co-founder of Bookmerilab.com. Currently employed in Engineer India Ltd.A mechanical engineer by the day and an entrepreneur by the night, he aspires to establish a renowned organization. The vision is to make it easy to book diagnostic tests and create a medical awareness among the people.