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Getting back in shape after childbirth: sports and exercises to do at home

Getting back into shape after childbirth takes time and patience. Weight gain during pregnancy is a fact but, underlines Luca Piretta, nutritionist at Manzanaroja, “although there is no precise rule, the advice is not exceed 9 kilos during the entire gestation period. However, it could be much less if it is part of a condition of overweight or obesity«.

Childbirth is a momentous event in a woman’s life.

Fatigue, loss of muscle tone, stress and postpartum blues can alter the state of health. Go home with extra kilos It is often synonymous with depression for young mothers. If the desire to immediately get back in shape is great, it is a mistake to adopt a drastic diet and immediately start exercising again.

It’s useless trying to get back in shape in four weeks, hoping to lose the kilos accumulated in nine months in such a short time. As a rule, a woman who has gained between 12 and 16 kilos You will recover your figure in about 9 months. Obviously, the average applies to a woman who had a normal weight before pregnancy.

Regarding the desire to return to sports after giving birth, times vary from one woman to another. In any case, whether weeks or months, the advice is gradually resume physical activity. In addition, it is always important to listen to your physical sensations and the signs of fatigue that your body sends you.

It is good to set clear and simple goals to gradually recover the weight you had before pregnancy.

When to return to sports and what physical activity to do after giving birth?

Discover the advice of Manzanaroja and its experts.

Sport after childbirth: when to start again and what physical activity to do

First of all, it is necessary to distinguish the pelvic floor rehabilitation of sporting activity. In general, the re-education of the pelvic floor should be carried out in the days after delivery, although it depends on the type of delivery, natural or by caesarean section. Your gynecologist or midwife will be able to advise you.

Regarding physical activity, during pregnancy and childbirth Your body undergoes many changes, both physical and hormonal. Before you start exercising again, ask your gynecologist for advice.especially if you are breastfeeding.

In any case, moving is beneficial for both body and mindbut it is not necessary to exhaust yourself with an intense sporting activity. You must give your body time to recover from the stress of childbirth and plan a gradual resumption of physical activity, which should be light and calibrated according to your possibilities.

Physical activity after a cesarean section

“You have to start doing physical activity with the consent of your doctor. Generally prescribes at least 30-40 days of postpartum rest“, explains Alessandro Binelli, doctor of motor sciences specializing in sports and training sciences and techniques, “because in the case of a woman who has given birth by caesarean section, You have to give the scar time to heal.«. In fact, in this first month it is necessary to undergo scar softening treatments and prevent adhesions from forming.

It is also important consult an osteopath to regain balance of the organism.

progressive training

Lack of sleep, abdominal and back pain – it is not easy to resume physical activity after pregnancy.

The resumption of the sport must be progressive, without going to extremes or putting pressure on the body. For new mothers, the ideal is to do sports two or three times a week.

For example, you could spend one day walking/running or biking in the park, and the other two days doing toning exercises in the gym, completing the last 10-20 minutes with essential stretching exercises for the extremities. lower and upper, lumbar, back and cervical.

Do not forget that during the day you carry your baby in your arms, overloading the back and upper body.

Avoid all extreme or high-impact sports (tennis, running, jumping rope, step classes, etc.).

Delicate activities such as:

Walking to combat sedentary lifestyle

It is the ideal activity to recover shape after childbirth: of moderate intensity, it also allows you to exercise with the child in the stroller. Pushing the stroller increases the resistance to walking. To improve trainingyou can perform sessions with intervals, changing the pace of the march.

Interval Training Example: For 2 minutes, walk at a normal pace. For 1 minute, speed up without running until you feel your heart rate pick up. Repetitions: 10, until completing 30 minutes.

swim to tone up

If you used to go to the pool during pregnancy, the advice is to return to swimming after delivery to get back in shape. Not only do you tone your body, but you burn calories and get rid of the stress of the day.

you have to avoidr: jump or dive.

Exercises at home or in the park

After pregnancy and childbirth, all the muscles that support the spine relax: the perineum (at the base of the column), the ABS and the spinal muscle. But mothers, as we know, unfortunately can’t always find an hour to go to the gym: here’s a “remise en forme” program postpartum developed by Dr. Alessandro Binelli.

These are simple basic exercises to do at home or in the park 2/3 times a week.

All you need is a rubber band with handles and a chair or bench.

But beware: if you have had a caesarean sectionremember that it is important to start at the right time, especially with regard to the abdominal muscle exercisesso always consult your gynecologist to find out the best time.

Each exercise should be done in 4 sets of 10 repetitions., which can be gradually increased up to 20-25. Between sets, take a 2-minute recovery time.

Always warm up (walk) for 10 minutes before the training session and stretch at the end of the session.

1 – Pelvic floor

A simple exercise It can consist of contracting the muscles of the pelvic floor (as if you had to hold your urine) 15 or 20 times during three series, all two or three times a day.

Each contraction should last about five seconds.. Several studies confirm that adequate rehabilitation of the pelvic floor in the postnatal period decreases the incidence of pelvic prolapse and urinary incontinence.

2 – Squats for legs and buttocks

The exercise consists of getting up and sitting down from the chair, keeping your legs slightly apart (feet should be approximately the same width as your shoulders), keeping your back straight, contracting your abdominal and lower back muscles, and looking up.

Extremely useful for working all the muscles of the legs and buttocks.

3 – Legs and buttocks: side lunges

Lie on your side with your bottom leg bent and your top leg extended to work your abductor muscles, those on the outside of your thigh.

Raise your top leg, which remains straight, keeping your hammer foot parallel to the ground.

Or flex your top leg, resting your foot on the ground, and keep your bottom leg extended. In this case you will work with the adductor muscles (inner thigh) of the lower leg, which you will have to lift up to adduct.

4 – Lower back and buttocks: bridge

To tone the buttocks, lower back, and back of the thigh, lie on the floor with your legs bent and slightly apart and your arms stretched along your body.

Raise your pelvis, keeping your back straight and contracting your gluteal muscles and the back of your thighs. Breathing is important and you must maintain a natural rhythm.

A variation could be to place a 15-20 cm diameter ball or a thick cushion between the knees to also work the adductor muscles.

5 – Abdominals: crunch

Lie on the floor next to a chair or sofa where you will rest your legs so that the angle of the hip and knee are at 90°. This unloads the lower back.

Raise your shoulders, leaving your lower back on the floor. Perform 3/4 sets of ten repetitions, increasing to 20/25 depending on your ability.

6 – Arms, shoulders and pectorals: row

To tone arms, shoulders, pectorals and lats, you need an elastic band with two handles at each end, which you can attach to a balcony railing or a closed door handle.

For the back muscles, hold both grips, keeping your arms straight, with your forearms always parallel to the ground and your hands in a neutral position (thumbs up).

Pull your hands in toward your chest, sliding your arms down (always making sure your forearm stays parallel to the ground).

7 – Pectorals: crosses with elastic band

Pass the elastic band behind your back while holding it with both hands, keeping your arms open, elbows slightly bent, at a 90° angle to your torso. She closes and opens her arms.

In collaboration with Dr. Flavia Costanzi, surgeon

in specialized training in Gynecology and Obstetrics.

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