Baby & Me
Beginning an exercise program following the birth of your child is extremely difficult and can be challenging between the feedings, the lack of sleep, the food, the lack of sleep …well you get the picture!
The most important thing to remember is that starting an exercise program is the most difficult thing you’ll ever do…so just remember “baby steps.” Typically the appropriate time to begin an exercise program following a vaginal birth is two to four weeks and four to six weeks following a c-section (if there are no complications with the recovery or during delivery).
Here are some general guidelines to consider:
- Start slow and go even slower. Remember that just because you were in tip top shape before you delivered doesn’t mean that you can go back to an intense exercise program right away.
- Start with a walking program, three times per week for about 10-15 minutes at a time, with one day break in between. Even though the weather is getting colder doesn’t mean that you can’t start a walking program. Malls are great for window shopping and then adding in a concentrated walking regimen. After a couple of weeks, move to 20 minutes of walking, then move to 25 and up to 30 over the course of a month. Remember “baby steps!”
- Start some weight training using your baby as the weight. Here are two exercises that can be done with your little bundle:
- a)Baby press ups: Start with your baby by your chest and then press your baby up to the ceiling while exhaling. Repeat 10 times and take a break as needed or as your baby gets bigger!
- b)Baby squats: Hold and snuggle your baby close to you with your legs slightly further than shoulder width apart. Squat as if you’re sitting in a chair always holding the baby close to you. Exhale on the push up to a standing position. Repeat 10 times. Progressions for strength training should also be slow and controlled and make sure you alternate your days between cardio (walking) and weight training (baby training!), therefore you could potentially be training six days a week in no time!
Remember to consult your doctor first before you begin any exercise program and happy exercising!
Claire Moscone-Biafore has her Honours BSC in Kinesiology and Health Sciences, is a Certified Athletic Therapist, and Osteopath DO(MP), and a Fourth Degree Black Belt Instructor. She also works at Women’s College Hospital, Pivot Sportsmedicine and Orthopedics and in her own practice.