Developing a Plan for Your New Body
Your postpartum plan is probably something you started thinking about before your pregnancy was through. While it is always great to have some vision of where you are going and where you want to be, you may find that the reality of being a new mom is more than you bargained for. Remember always to be flexible and keep everything in mind when trying to find your way.
Once you have the physical permission and the lifestyle adjustments necessary to exercise, it is time to figure out the practicality of it all — the how, what, where, when, and whys are what really matter. It is also important to realize that the answers to these questions may change as you adapt to your new life and new roles. You should also expect to adapt nearly everything you are doing, which is where that flexibility comes in handy.
How to Exercise?
You need to assess body problems that may be issues while exercising postpartum. This can include testing for diastasis recti, or separated abdominal muscles.
It is highly recommended that you check your recti muscles along the central seam, directly down the center of your abdominal muscle, for a separation, known as diastasis recti. This condition can occur for many reasons, pregnancy being one of them. However, you can work on this diastasis recti during pregnancy to help lessen its effects and decrease the width.
What you did prior to giving birth may be fine. You might start there with a reduced workout and slowly build it back up to where you were prior to giving birth. Then you can go forward and expand upon that base. Maybe you sense it is time for change. There are many programs designed for new mothers; in fact, there are probably more for new mothers than there are for expectant mothers.
Where to Exercise?
Where you exercise will depend on what exercises you choose. You might exercise at home in the living room while watching a taped class. Maybe you will walk around the neighborhood with some friends. Consider joining a walking club at a local mall or even a team that is taking people on to train for short runs like a 5K. You also have the option of going to a gym or other organized sporting arena.
Learning to deal with change is never easy. Knowing what to expect from your body can help make this adjustment a bit easier. Realizing that you must have realistic expectations will be helpful in the road to recovery.
When to Exercise?
When to exercise is always a huge question. Try not to let your new little one add to that problem. Many new moms take classes with their babies, like the stroller aerobics or other classes. You might find that your husband is more than willing to watch junior for an hour when he comes home while you walk or do an aerobics class. If you've gone back to work, consider using your lunchtime for a quick trot around the block. Or even better maybe you could bike, jog, or walk to work. Always make time to exercise.
Why Exercise at All?
That question is one that only you have the answer for. You know the physical and emotional benefits. You can be told what they are all day long. In the end, it will come down to what really motivates you to exercise. That answer will be different for everyone.