Just left your 6 week postpartum check up and got the green light to go ahead with normal exercise? Exciting, I know - BUT getting back slow is the way to go.
Don‘t jump back into your old fitness routine without considering these things:
1. Do I have diastasis recti that needs healing?
2. Do I feel ready to increase my exercise?
3. Do I have a workout plan that will allow me to build strength back up progressively to feel confident in my lifts (squats, deadlifts, bench press, etc.)?
4. Are my goals and my timeline realistic?
5. Am I leaking urine? (hint hint - you should not be running or lifting heavy until you rehab your pelvic floor
Once you feel comfortable increasing your exercise load and intensity consider these next things:
1. drink plenty of water before, during and after exercise
2. take a break / go slow
3. focus on engaging your core/pelvic floor during ALL exercises
4. contact a coach/trainer to help you safely and confidently get back to where you want to be (they will create a personalized program for you and where you currently are in your fitness journey!)
5. be ok with skipping a workout if you are tired or scaling back the workout
6. stop if you feel any pain
7. ALWAYS DO YOUR PELVIC FLOOR EXERCISES
After my first pregnancy I did not take it slow. I went right back into my "normal" routine BUT with just slightly lower weight. This was not a good choice because it took my core and pelvic floor much longer to heal. I wanted to get back to my normal and feel strong - but in the end it didn't really matter how fast or strong I was if I was still leaking urine! That was a true sign of dysfunction that I ignored. This time around, I will be patient and listen to my body and continue to work on my PT even when I feel that I don't need to anymore.
Take away: begin slowly, always listen to your body and only increase the amount of exercise/intensity when you are ready. You don't win any awards for PRing your first workout after baby!
Meg DeSalvo Fit