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Great, you've finally got the green light from your gynaecologist and your midwife to start exercising again! But after the massive physical upheavals of pregnancy and birth, you need to take things slowly.
ALTHOUGH YOUR BODY IS YOUR OWN AGAIN, YOU NEED TO KNOW A FEW THINGS BEFORE THROWING YOURSELF AT TENNIS LESSONS, A RUNNING TRACK OR A RED SKI PISTE.
After the recovery period and rehabilitation comes the return to physical activity. The key to starting again successfully is to re-establish contact with muscles that have been on standby for several months. "Hypopressive ab exercises work the deep abdominal zone through breathing," explains Caroline Sajous, adapted physical activity specialist. "This so-called passive exercise can be done in several positions, for example lying down with the knees bent. The new mother breathes in, breathes out, then contracts her abdominals for around five seconds. She repeats this sequence around ten times per session. This allows her to re-establish contact with muscles that she sometimes couldn't feel any more."
Caroline Sajous cites two essential aspects for returning to exercise successfully : work on conditioning, breath and endurance, and muscle toning work. To combine the two, you can choose to practise several disciplines. "To awaken your muscles and work them again, gentle gymnastics, as well as yoga and Pilates, use poses to reactivate muscle groups. The new mother should also work on her balance, coordination and movements, proprioception and basic musculature."
On top of this, swimming, aquafitness, walking, cycling and scooter-riding are a good start, because they do not cause impacts or jolts, allowing the young mother to get back her breathing and conditioning. "On average, women who want to go back to running do so progressively, from the 4th month after giving birth. To begin with, this can be two minutes of walking alternating with one minute of running. The more progressive the return to exercise, the more successful it will be," advises Caroline Sajous.
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