Exercise can be beneficial in many different ways. It can improve your health and overall fitness and also positively impact your emotional well-being. Michelle Long, an exercise physiologist at Piedmont Fayette Hospital’s Fitness Center, knows fitness is important for people of all ages, but postnatal exercises are key to a healthy and happy new mom!
“Exercise is really helpful, both physically and mentally,” says Long. “Exercise can help you restore strength and also give a new mom some much needed time for herself.”
Long, who recently gave birth to her second child, has some tips for new moms who are looking to start exercising.
Talk to Your Doctor: It is important to get your doctor’s consent before beginning any exercise program, post-pregnancy, but you can still do things that are non-vigorous, such as going for a walk with the baby in a stroller or carrier.
Start Slow: A good way to start is 30 minutes a day, twice a week, even if it is broken up into 15-minute increments.
Abs First: Focus on your abdominal muscles first. This area is likely stretched from pregnancy, so working on your core with Pilates-style exercises is the best way to start.
Yoga: Yoga is another great start for new moms. It is good for the mind and body and can be done from the comfort of your living room with videos on YouTube.
Your Bra: When you’re ready to get more active, be sure to wear a supportive bra for high-impact exercise and keep your calories up while breastfeeding.
“Perhaps the best thing you can do is incorporate your baby into your exercise,” said Long. “When your baby is having tummy time, there are plenty of exercises you can do as well.”
Some exercises that Long recommends include planks and side planks, push-ups, sit-ups and tricep dips.
“While exercise is important for your health and fitness, it is also important for new moms to carve out some time for themselves,” said Long. “It can be hard to do, but it is necessary. When you exercise, your body releases endorphins and they can help reduce stress, boost self-esteem and improve sleep.”
Improved sleep is something all new moms, and dads, should be interested in.
To find out more about the Piedmont Fayette Fitness Center and the classes they offer, visit piedmont.org.