Getting back into shape after pregnancy

Getting back into shape after pregnancy

The team at Bond Fitness kick start their fitness column with some tips on how to get back into shape after pregnancy.

 So, you've just discovered you're going to have a baby and you are blissfully unaware of how that will affect your life as you know it.

There will be scores of people giving you advice on what to eat, drink and how to keep yourself healthy. The only advice we ever listened to was 'don’t listen to all the advice you're given'

You know yourself, you know your body, your mind and your emotions... you have a great way of knowing what's right for you.

Magazines are full of perfect mums, their wonderful babies and how quickly they got back to their pre pregnancy shape. What the magazines didn't tell you was how some of these perfect mothers had teams of nutritionists, trainers and maybe even surgeons (yes, we said it) so that they looked 'totally fab' and 'amazing'.

This does inspire some of us… it also fills the rest of us with despair.

Please don't set yourself up against these ladies. There are those of us who gain a couple of stones, some much more and others less. Many may feel they take an eternity to lose the weight, some you would hardly think have ever been pregnant. Remember, we're all different shapes, sizes and heights to begin with.

We’re here to help and offer honest advice. Over the coming months, we aim to help guide you into getting fit again after the birth of your baby.

So, first things first... do not beat yourself up about having gained weight and inches... it sort of goes with the territory. It took nine months to get there and it will not disappear overnight.

  • Getting back 'into shape' post pregnancy begins during pregnancy. Keep yourself as active as possible. Pregnancy does not prevent you from working out but work within your limits. Non load bearing exercise can be great, such as swimming and cycling.
  • You don’t have to be a gym member to benefit from keeping active during pregnancy… we have feet and the great British outdoors…go explore. We do appreciate that it is not as easy for everyone; however, every health care professional will advocate keeping fit during pregnancy… however, do not begin a strenuous regime if it is not something you ordinarily do.

So, once baby has arrived… the last thing on some of your minds will be getting back on the exercise wagon, whilst others will be itching to get back in the saddle so to speak. The key is to break yourself in gently. Your body has just been through quite a lot of trauma so treat it kindly. Fuel your body with a healthy diet (coming up in the next few weeks) and then plan what you enjoy doing. As we said before, you are the best judge of your limits. Begin by getting out with the pushchair and going out for a walk… a brisk walk. Depending on your whereabouts in the country you live your walk could be flat… in which case you could alternate between a fast and a slower pace, or you could be fortunate enough to have some slight hills and countryside… walking uphill is always so much kinder to your joints. Funnily enough, the iCandy Peach All-Terrain would be perfect for this with its large air filled tyres for great suspension – and you’d look pretty cool too.

  • It is generally considered better to wait until after your 6 week post natal check before embarking on any high impact exercise, but if you exercised regularly prior to giving birth, then your GP or midwife might give you the go ahead earlier.

There are many things to consider when embarking on your post pregnancy exercise, and these are all points we will be addressing.

  • Did you have an easy delivery?
  • Did you have complications?
  • Relaxin will be in your system, taking up to 5 months before ligaments stabilise
  • Abdominal muscles will not be as strong as previously
  • Lower back will be weaker

In the weeks going forward, we will be guiding you through ways to get back on the fitness wagon. We most definitely will be avoiding dull, repetitive exercises by introducing challenges that will push you towards your health and fitness goals.

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