When to start doing exercise is a big concern many women have after having a baby. HEALTH meets with Mary Cris G.Rivera, Fitness Supervisor at Body & Soul Fitness Club in Ajman who details the facts about fitness after pregnancy.
Basically when to begin exercise, says Rivera, really depends on the events of labor and the six weeks “ALL CLEAR” by the client’s GP.
“However, it is fine to embark upon transversus abdominis (TA) and pelvic floor (PD) exercises immediately post labor,” she says. But if you had a normal vaginal delivery and exercised during your pregnancy, you can safely do light exercises such as stretching, walking, and modified push-ups within days of giving birth. Begin gradually with a low-impact aerobic activity and as you regain strength, you can boost the number of walks or duration of walks. “Still, those women who delivered by Caesarean section should not exercise for 12 weeks after delivery to allow proper healing time,” she explains and stresses that it is important after birth that the mother is cleared by a doctor before embarking on an exercise program. If a woman correctly follows a regular diet and workout plan, Rivera points out that it can take approximately between three
months to a year.
Post Pregnancy Exercises
Wide stance deadlifts
Target muscle: Lower back, buttocks, and legs
Method: Stand with feet hip width apart, knees slightly bent, holding a 5 pound dumbbell in each hand with palms facing the body. Slowly bend forward, push your buttocks back while lowering the dumbbells to shin level. Tighten the glutes and return to start.
*Do1 to 3 sets of 8 to 10 reps
Target muscle: Pelvic muscle
Method: Sit on a bench with feet shoulder-width apart, hands on hips. Next contract your pelvic muscle, as if you’re trying to stop from urinating and stand. Hold this Kegel and return to bench, then release.
*Do 1 to 3 sets of 10 to 20 reps
Target Muscle: Hamstring and Buttocks
Method: Lie on your back with knees bent, feet flat on the floor, arms by your sides. Engage core and squeeze buttocks to lift off the floor, pressing heels into the ground. Do Kegel at the top of the bridge, hold for three seconds and slowly return to floor, release Kegel at bottom of bridge.
*Do 1 to 3 sets of 10 to 20 reps.
(Credit: Mary Cris G.Rivera, Fitness Supervisor at Body & Soul in Ajman)