Exercise after childbirth

Instructions and planning for postpartum physical exercise

postpartum physical activity

You've given birth and are eager to start exercising again to get back into shape and, why not, lose some of the weight gained during pregnancy. Here's some useful information and advice about how to work out properly, with practical information sheets for postpartum exercise and for week by week training that's based on your level of fitness.

How soon should you begin exercising after childbirth?

Your first question will of course be when to take up physical exercise after having given birth. Your return to training should be preceded by a medical consult designed to evaluate your level of fitness and familiarity with the given exercise, giving special consideration to how you gave birth and to the physiological changes that occurred over the course of the pregnancy. In general terms, women are advised to always return to exercise gradually.

Advice for physical activity after pregnancy

Many of the guidelines concerning exercise during pregnancy remain valid over the postpartum period. These include not working out to the point of breathlessness or exhaustion and consulting a medical specialist or athletic trainer to help you return to training in a manner consistent with your level of fitness and familiarity with the given exercises. However, another key issue during this period is accounting for the psychological stress created by the new demands a mother has to deal with, which can also impact overall well-being. Several important issues need to be evaluated, including the upending of a habitual lifestyle, hormonal changes and changing sleep patterns.

Let's see some practical advice for an optimal approach to sport after childbirth, in general terms:

  • Use comfortable footwear that provides support for the ankle and plantar arch 

  • Take frequent breaks and drink lots of liquids

  • Avoid exercising in extremely hot weather

  • Avoid rocky soil or unstable terrain when running or cycling; your joints are less stable during pregnancy

  • Include relaxing and stretching before and after your workout routine 

  • Maintain a healthy diet with lots of fruit, vegetables and complex carbohydrates

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