Returning to Training After Pregnancy
Taking a long break from the gym can be difficult to handle physically and mentally. Active people enjoy working out, love how each workout makes them feel, and train consistently to feel better.
Unfortunately, certain situations call for taking time off training. One such example is pregnancy.
If you’re in this situation, you might wonder how long you should wait before returning to training after giving birth. Let’s talk about it.
When to Start Exercising After Pregnancy
Women who’ve had a healthy pregnancy and normal delivery can return to exercise within a few days. Of course, you should listen to your body and start exercising when you feel ready. There is no point in rushing the process.
Having a baby through C-section, dealing with a complicated pregnancy, or experiencing significant issues during the delivery call for a different approach. In such a case, giving your body at least a few weeks to recover before doing any form of intense exercise is best. It’s also crucial to discuss the issue with your doctor.
How to Return to Training After Giving Birth
Returning to the gym after giving birth is not much different from taking an extended break. You become de-trained, lose some of your adaptations (muscle mass, strength, endurance, etc.), and need some time to gain momentum.
Having a newborn baby will likely result in some sleep loss, so it’s best to take it one workout at a time. Focus on being consistent, move your body, and exercise to the point of moderate discomfort. You shouldn’t experience too much muscle soreness after each session.
Gradually increase the difficulty over several weeks and listen to your body. Push yourself if you feel good, but take it slow if it gets overwhelming. Being consistent will help you develop your capacity and eventually achieve your previous form.
Even if it isn’t at the same level as before, doing some form of training can be great on several fronts. It can help you manage stress, sleep better, feel calmer, and carry out daily tasks more easily.
Overcoming The Roadblocks
Having a baby can be one of the most fulfilling things in life, but it can also make other things difficult to manage. Most notably, it can be challenging to find the time for exercise.
One option is to get some essential equipment and exercise at home, at least for a while. Good choices include adjustable dumbbells, resistance bands, and an exercise mat.
Alternatively, have shorter workouts at the gym. Instead of spending the usual 45 to 60 minutes at the gym, do 20 to 25 minutes. Take shorter rest periods and consider intensity tactics like supersets, dropsets, and circuits to do more work in less time.
Setting an exercise schedule can also be beneficial and help you follow through. Many new parents feel overwhelmed and give up on positive behaviors due to the lack of time and sleep. But, given some structure, you can find the time for exercise and get back into a routine.
You shouldn’t see exercise after giving birth as a luxury. Physical movement is one of the most beneficial things you can do to recover, elevate your well-being, improve your sleep, and deal with stress.