Being Active Once Again
Getting back into an active lifestyle can be difficult and intimidating after you’ve had your baby. Your body has certainly changed over the last year and so it’s important to understand the best ways to return to activity while being safe and not rushing yourself. Here are some important tips for stepping back into an active lifestyle after having your baby.
Give yourself grace.
Even if you worked out and were able to be active late into your pregnancy, it’s been a couple weeks at least of newborn cuddle time, feeding, little sleep, and new routines. Give yourself grace and plenty of space to work back into your activity and rhythms. It is okay to walk! Don’t set your goals out of sight, which can cause disappointment and discouragement. Enjoy the time you’ll have to walk, jog, or run as you are being kind to your body, spirit, and mind by taking the time to exercise.
Get your physician’s permission.
Though you may feel well enough to run and get back into your active routine it’s super important that you consult your physician to ensure that they too feel like you’re ready. Since your body did endure so much during birth it is key to allow proper time to heal and recover.
The body has changed!
You have already been experiencing the 9-month change of your body and now that your little one is outside of the womb there are things that haven’t returned to how they use to be. It is normal for looser joints and ligaments in the pelvic area and hips/lower back. Be aware of these areas as too much stress or lack of strengthening can cause injury. Simple exercises to strengthen your lower back and pelvic floor muscles can help not only rebuild a strong foundation and help you return more quickly. It is common for new moms to experience urinary incontinence due to the weakened pelvic floor muscles. Strengthening exercise are therefore a great place to start wherever you are in your journey getting back to activity!
Jogging with your baby!
The very popular running buddy, your baby!! We see the jogging strollers and moms out regularly, especially now that Spring in Chicago is peaking early. However, it is important to know when is the right time to jog with your baby. Typically around 4-6 weeks you can jog with your little one, talk with your pediatrician. Your baby needs to be able to support his/her own head in the jogging stroll. His/her head control is essential. Be sure to start out on smoother paths as well when you first begin!
Have FUN and enjoy the process!
Don’t wear a watch if it will keep you from relaxing; do wear a watch if tracking your time brings you joy and energy. Lace up your shoes, wear funky socks if they give you the pep in your step you want, and step out with expectancy. Expect yourself to enjoy the time outside (or on the treadmill, winter is around the corner). Expect yourself to do well. Yes, it probably won’t be the best you’ve ever run, or felt; but for that day, it can be your best. Expect your body to be the miraculous body that it is; after all it just carried your little one and held them safe. Your body may need time and attention, but you can, and should start your journey back to your active life and enjoy the process.