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Returning to exercise postpartum - It isn't about bouncing back

Returning to exercise postpartum isn’t about bouncing back.

It’s about progressing forward. We can’t possibly go backward – we’ve grown, changed and created a whole new person in more ways than one!

Top Tips to consider as you return to the activities and exercise that you love!

1. The small foundational bricks matter most: hydration, nutrition, rest, movement.

2. Day 1- 12 months is considered ‘early’ postpartum. Our muscles and tissues have been stretched to their max and need time to recover.

3. A care provider clearance at your 6-8 week check in does not = green light to return to exercise at 100% intensity. A thumbs up means you’re cleared to reconnect, reengage, rehabilitate, and rebuild. We are not 100% healed at 6 weeks postpartum. We continue to heal from the inside, out.

4. Slow is fast postpartum. Having patience in progress can reduce setbacks in recovery. None of us are exempt from physiological and routine changes in pregnancy, postpartum and parenting.

5. Start from where you’re at right now. Not from where you left off pre-pregnancy, or in

pregnancy. Start with breathing, learning to listen to and consider your body as it is right now.

6. Pelvic pain, diastasis recti, leakage, prolapse and hernias are common, but we do not have to accept them as normal. There are incredible resources to help you manage symptoms at any point in pregnancy/postpartum- AND- you can still continue or begin exercising if you are experiencing symptoms. A coach trained in Pregnancy & Postpartum Athleticism can help find individual strategies to suit you best.

7. Have a sustainable plan. Random workouts do not serve anyone best, much less a postpartum body that has been through an incredible event.

8. Plan for adaptability in movement. A lifetime of movement means considering the factors that parenthood brings and recognizing that this is a season. Set goals that include short- and long-term considerations and adapt to achieve consistency.

9. Be realistic in your goals and plans. What does your current support network look like? What will workouts look like? (Duration available, kiddos present or with care provider) Are you energy seeking in a workout or are you better off to take a rest day because you’re lacking sleep?

10. Finally, it’s never too early – or too late to begin.

Day 1 postpartum? Breathe.

30 years postpartum? Still not too late. Start with breathing, reconnecting core and pelvic floor and add full body movements, volume, load and intensity from there. Postpartum is forever and we can always progress forward.

“Six weeks is far too long to do nothing. And six weeks is far too short to be cleared for everything.”

(Jacquelyn Brennan on the Expecting and Empowered Podcast)

Activity and Exercise Within The First 6 Weeks

A big heartfelt thank you to Katie with Long Game Fitness for this article! Give her a follow @longgamefitness and check out her website!

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