Wednesday, November 19, 2014

5 Things Nobody Tells you about Postpartum Exercise

After labor, delivery, adjusting to a sleep schedule and you know...your whole new LIFE a lot of Moms want to get to working out. Nothing extreme, but I don't know anyone who doesn't want their "pre-baby body" back. But guess what? Just like pregnancy, labor, and delivery...there are things nobody tells you.


Don't worry though. I've got your back! I'm about to spill the beans on FIVE common things nobody tells you about postpartum workouts.

#1:  It isn't just your core that is effected. 
       This was surprising to me, since all I ever heard was "you are ALL belly". But, shockingly enough -- having a human inside you effects your ENTIRE body. They way you breath, your leg strength (likely STRONGER than before!) and, of course, the extra jiggle. After having my oldest I remember going for a jog and feeling... jiggle. THAT WAS NOT THERE BEFORE. It was the strangest sensation. Don't worry - you'll get your regular strength/jiggle ratio back. That's why we're working out!

#2:  You don't have to wait 6 weeks. 
       Doctors recommend a 6-week period of rest for your body. Of course, that is a standard answer. Are you standard? No. Listen to your body. Do you feel good? Are you walking, sitting, standing OK? Then maybe try some light yoga or cardio! Was your pregnancy/labor/delivery experience pretty standard? Then don't feel like you have to sit around an extra few weeks just to "get the OK"! Listen to your body, but don't let yourself make excuses! ALSO -- it may take longer to recover than 6 weeks. Again, you are not standard. Maybe you had some extra tearing, bruising, or other complication that just isn't right yet. Don't feel pressure to jump back in if you aren't ready! The message here is this: Listen to your body. 

#3:  You'll have to change your routine. 
       Oh. Shocking. The baby will change everything about your life and this is certainly no different. You may have to interrupt your workout to feed your baby. You may have to do a few shorter workouts than one long one. You may have to switch from long runs to short at-home cardio sessions. You're probably going to have to workout with a baby at your feet some days. I don't know what you did before, but my almost-certain guarantee is that you'll have to adjust in more than one way.

#4:  Diastasis Recti.
    Wait. What? That's the separation of your center ab muscles. Some women get it with pregnancy, and some women don't. But if you do have it, you'll have to do a few different things to take care of your core! Don't worry -- it is totally fixable, but worth knowing about! Click here for a quick test to see if you have it!

#5:  Just do it.
     You may not be focused on how you look. Chances are you aren't, because you're covered in spit up and haven't showered in three days. Did you even brush your teeth today? Probably not. (Hey. No judgement!) But exercise needs to be a priority. Not for your physical appearance. Toned arms and a six pack take a backseat to healthy habits being modeled to your new family. Taking time for exercise will clear your head, bring you endorphins (help ward off depression!), help you remember you are still a woman (not just a mom!) and create a platform for you to model and discuss body image and self-respect for your babies. Seriously -- you can't start that too early.

I know you're tired. I know you'd like a nap, a hot meal, and a shower. But I also know that exercise post-partum is important! It doesn't have to be an hour at the gym! It can be 10 minutes at HOME, but it will energize you. It will bring you confidence. It will help your attitude, and strengthen not only you but your entire family!