6 Reasons to NOT just jump back into your old Fitness Routine Post Pregnancy.
Some would think this goes without saying..... BUT a lot of women don't realize just how much internally their bodies have gone through. From hormones to weight gain to hips and shoulders being thrown out of alignment, MANY things change over those 9 months. AND they don't just bounce right back to normal levels after birth.
- You don't breathe right.
- Diaphragmatic breathing is going to be one of the most important things you learn post pregnancy if you haven't been doing it already. This is what gets your inner unit (core) back together, what strengthens those inner core muscles and helps your body relax.
- Your pelvis isn't lined up anymore.
- Not sure what this is? Basically it means either your pelvis leans forward too much putting pressure on your back leading to issues with running squatting, moving in general (think about it you had a baby in your stomach of course it pulls forward), or you could be stuck in the opposing direction. Either way this indicates weakness and tightness in hips and glutes and those things need to be focused on before doing things like squatting or running long distances, just to name a few.
- Your core strength
- Two words..... Diastasis Recti..... Not sure what that means either? Its ok, I didn't either but its more common than a lot of us know. Basically it means the outer part of your core (rectus abdominis ) splits due to lack of inner core strength and expansion of your stomach. You can know if you have this by laying on your stomach and placing two fingers between your core muscles if you feel a dip... you do. If you do have it, you DO NOT want to do typical core exercises until it gets corrected. (Which it can WITHOUT surgery, you just need to talk to someone who can help, like me ;) ).
- Hormonal shifts
- Relaxin is a hormone that allows our hips to get a baby through them. It loosens our joints and ligaments which can cause injury if you do too much too soon. Progesterone, estrogen, etc also take time to get leveled out. These things can affect sleep, mood, metabolism etc. So patience is really the key here!
- Lack of sleep
- Pregnancy or not, working out when you are exhausted is never a good idea. You're just adding stress to your body which elevates cortisol (stress hormone) which can put your metabolism out of whack and cause other issues too.
- Muscle imbalances
- Piggy backing off the pelvis statement muscles can easily become imbalanced with extra weight of a baby so going back to workouts that are hard core post pregnancy can just make these imbalances worse in the long run. You need to work on getting everything activated first and tight muscles loose before starting anything strenuous. Your upper body may now have rounded shoulders which is typical along with anterior pelvis tilts. I know if you're like me you tend to carry stuff on one arm, baby carriers and bags are never light, putting all that weight on one side can cause tightness in one arm or shoulder and overly stretched muscles in another. Therefore adding in upper body exercises can cause these things to get even more out of whack if not corrected first!
Bottom line you should take from this is, be patient, go slow, your body just went through a TON of changes it takes time to reverse those. Celebrate having your baby, take care of your body and go about things the right way for long term success. Find a corrective exercise specialist who focuses on Pre and Post Natal training to get you going in the right direction. And become the BEST YOU for YOU and YOUR BABY :).