3 Postpartum Exercises to Help you Heal
Having a baby is an amazing time in a woman’s life. But it can also take its toll on your body. From pregnancy to delivery to those first few weeks and months post-birth, your body goes through some major changes. That’s why it’s so important to focus on taking care of yourself during this time – both mentally and physically. And one of the best ways to do that is through exercise. Postpartum exercise can help you heal, recover and feel your best. Here are three exercises to get you started.
Kegels are one of the best things you can do for your postpartum body. They help improve pelvic floor muscle function and can prevent incontinence, two common issues after pregnancy and birth. Kegels are easy to do anywhere, anytime – no equipment necessary. Simply squeeze the muscles you would use to stop the flow of urine and hold for 10 seconds before releasing. Repeat 10 times, 3 times per day.
Another great exercise for postpartum women are squats. Performing squats build strength in the quads and glutes. They also can help improve overall stability and provide much-needed support for carrying around a baby (and all of their gear). To do a proper squat, stand with feet hip-width apart and turn your toes out slightly. Sit back like you’re going to sit in a chair, keeping your knees behind your toes, and pause when your thighs are parallel to the ground before standing back up. Start with 10 reps and work up to 3 sets of 20 reps as you get stronger.
Walking is the perfect low-impact cardio exercise for postpartum women who may not be ready to jump into higher-impact activities like running or aerobics just yet. Start by walking around your neighborhood or park, gradually increasing the speed and distance as you feel more comfortable. You can also incorporate hills or other changes in terrain to mix things up and to challenge yourself further. Aim for 30 minutes of walking 5 days per week.
If you’re a new mom, congratulations! This is an amazing time in your life. While it comes with some challenges, exercise can help you heal, recover and feel your best during this transition period. Kegels, squats and walks are all great exercises to start with post-pregnancy – focus on incorporating these into your routine 3-5 times per week for best results!