If your child was recently born by Caesarean, you are among 33% of Australian women who have also done so. When you are feeling strong enough, and you have received the go ahead from your doctor, it is time to return to the gym. Here are two safe ways that you can ease back into regaining your strength, and your waistline, using the fitness equipment available to you there.
The treadmill is one way to get your heart rate up again. Cardiovascular exercises like walking help the body to release endorphins, and these are the chemicals that make you feel happy. You will need endorphins as you battle the lack of sleep caused by a new baby in the house. Additionally, the treadmill offers:
- Weight loss. While you may not not feel like running just yet, a brisk walk at 4 km per hour for a period of 30 minutes will burn 125 calories. Increase the incline of the treadmill, and you will increase the amount of calories you burn. If your treadmill does not show the calorie burning information, an online calculator can keep track for you. When you exercise, you are encouraged to eat back half of those calories burned. By not eating back the rest, you will lose weight.
- Your musculoskeletal system covers the joints, bones, muscles, and ligaments in your body. This system benefits from treadmill exercise because you are using all of these parts in your legs as you walk. The stronger these are, the stronger you will feel.
- Approximately 10% of pregnant women suffer from pre-eclampsia during their pregnancy. Although your pregnancy is now over, your blood pressure will take some time to come back to normal. Walking on a treadmill helps to reduce your blood pressure. As you walk, your blood flow increases, and this moves more oxygen around the blood. This leads to a lower blood pressure.
After you have gotten your cardiovascular exercise completed, it is time to look at the weight machines.
Before you throw yourself into contortionist positions on the different weight machines, do remember that your body has suffered quite a trauma during your c-section surgery.
For the first few months, it is better to target your arms only using the fitness equipment, and allow your abdominal section to experience softer exercises such as crunches, and planks.
You may think that doing squats using a weight machine is a safe exercise, but squats do exert a bit of pressure on the abdominal wall. Be gentle with this area to avoid ruptures, or muscle complications.
Bicep curls, however, have a two-fold benefit when you do them on the gym equipment. Not only does it improve the appearance of your arms, but it also gives you the extra arm strength you are going to need to carry around your baby for the next year or two.
While it is important that you talk to your doctor before you head back to the gym, there is no need to avoid exercising forever after your baby is born. Apart from the basic fact that it will give you some "you" time, it will help your body to heal, and strengthen. This benefits both you and baby. So pull out your sweatpants, tie back your hair, and get back into the gym sooner rather than later.
If you have any questions about what equipment is safest for you at this time, your doctor or an equipment specialist such as Power Plus can help.