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home>>family>>pregnancy>>exercising after birth

Exercising After Birth


Your doctor or midwife may advice you to wait until after your 6th week check up before exercising. However if you fell up to it there is no reason why you can't start exercising straight away (but only if you are up to it). If you have had a cesarean birth you should wait until you are completely healed. You may not feel like exercising at all. Don't push yourself let your body get used to the changes. Below is some gentle exercises you can try.

Push-ups:

Push-ups are a good way to strengthen the upper-body muscles.

Start on all fours with your knees directly below your hips, and hands slightly more than shoulder-width apart.

Keeping your back flat and your stomach in, gently bend your elbows and then straighten again. Keep your elbow soft over your wrist.

Repeat 10 to 12 times. Work up to 3 sets.

Sit ups:

Lie on your back with your knees bent and your hands behind your head.

Take a breath and, as you exhale, tighten your abdominal muscles, flatten the small of your back against the floor, and raise your head and shoulders off the ground. Slowly lower and repeat the entire sequence 8 to 10 times.

Pelvic Tilt:

Lie on your back with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor.

Inhale and allow your abdomen to expand.

Exhale and lift your bottom toward your navel, keeping your hips on the floor.

At the top of the tilt, tighten your buttocks, then release. Repeat 8 to 10 times.

Leg Slide:

Lie with your back on the floor and your knees bent.

Tighten your abdominal muscles and press the small of your back against the floor as you breathe out.

Slide both legs away from your body slowly, using your abdominal muscles to keep your back flat on the floor.

When your back starts to arch, bring your legs back to the start position and keep your stomach tight. Repeat 8 to 10 times.

Pay attention to your breathing throughout this exercise. Remember to tighten your abdominal muscles and flatten your back before you start sliding your legs away from you. As your stomach muscles strengthen, you'll find you can push out your legs farther.

Leg raises:

Lie on the floor stomach down. Lift legs into the air as high as you can get them and hold for the count of ten.

If you can't hold for the count of ten try holding for five then gradually work them up.

Continue this ten times on each leg.

Swimming:

Try swimming for a few hours a week.

This will not only make you feel more relaxed but will strengthen your whole body.

Eager as you are to regain your pre-pregnancy shape, remember to take it easy at first and get an okay from your Midwife. In addition to these exercises, you'll also want to do some type of cardiovascular workout, such as brisk walking. Start out with 5 minutes, 2 or 3 days per week, and work up to 20 minutes.

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