Both your physical well-being and your doctor’s recommendation dictates when you can resume a workout routine. Furthermore, it is important to take into consideration whether this is your first baby or a consecutive baby, as well as the rate in which you heal. Some women are ready to work out a month after giving birth, others need more time to recover. Ultimately, Mommas, you should be able to determine when you are ready.
Personally, I recommend taking it slow the first couple of weeks when getting back into a fitness routine. After having my son, I was told by the doctor that after 6 weeks, I can resume with my regular gym schedule. I was so excited and just knew for sure I was ready to jump back into things with a full swing. Boy, was I wrong!
My first day back in the gym just so happened to be one of the most difficult experiences I’ve had. I realized I wasn’t able to do the things I once did. I got tired very quickly, and my muscles down there weren’t as strong as I remembered. All the emotions I had felt at that moment just came tumbling down on me, and I had a break down in front of everyone at the gym. I just started to cry, feeling overwhelmed with defeat.
After a couple of minutes, I got myself together and took one good look at my screen saver, which was my son, and, at that moment, I felt like a warrior. I had just given birth to the greatest blessing ever, so why should I feel defeated? All of this mental and emotional turmoil resulted from my realization that my body isn’t where it once was. I was so used to acting as a motivator and an example for others. However, I needed to learn to be that for myself.
I went home that day and thought long and hard about some goals I wanted to achieve. I set a goal for myself for each month. Along the way, I stumbled a bit, but I knew that working out wasn’t just something I did to help me get back into shape, it was a feeling of accomplishment that I sought. I loved the way I felt as I started to appreciate my body for what it went through and how much of a transformation I was making each month.
If anyone were to ask me when it is a good time to start working out postpartum, my best recommendation would be to allow your body to fully recover first. Additionally, I would advise you to be patient and to enjoy your time with your newborn baby. Within a couple of weeks, you may notice the things you used to do like walking around the store, going up and down the stairs, or other leisurely activities have become easier. That can be a good indicator that you are ready to start picking up the activity pace.
Morning walks are always a great way to get back into working out, and soon the walks can turn into jogs. At home, you can even workout with your baby! It’s fun and a good way to interact with your little one. Carrying the baby in a safe wrap while you lunge and squat is a good way to start! Or, while the baby is sleeping, you can always do some push-ups, jumping jacks, or sit ups, with rest in-between.
Breastfeeding is also beneficial in your attempt to return to your pre-pregnancy shape. Since a woman burns so many calories from breastfeeding alone, they are able to lose weight at a good pace. Fitness is a lifestyle, and I always remind my clients- you don’t just have to be at the gym to workout.