Working out after giving birth is a good way to get back in shape and boost your energy. Toning the entire body, an exercise bike is a great way to train after a pregnancy. But don’t resume your training regimen too quickly.
Let your body recover
During pregnancy and childbirth, your body goes through a physically stressful and painful transformation. Before putting it through further stress associated with athletic activity, let it recover. Make sure you’re ready by going through each of these steps:
- Give yourself a few weeks to recover physically – you’ll be busy with other things anyway!
- During the post-natal visit, about 6 weeks after delivery, your doctor will determine if you are ready to begin perineal reeducation, also known as pelvic floor rehabilitation.
- Make sure to stick to your rehabilitation plan and complete it thoroughly: this is a prerequisite to resuming athletic activity.
- In parallel, you can start moderate physical activity: walking, stretching, yoga, etc.
- When the doctor gives you the green light, you’re free to begin conducting regular workouts!
The exercise bike: your fitness ally
Now you’re ready to choose an activity that best suits you. A home fitness routine is ideal: you don’t need to get a babysitter or wait until your spouse can take over so you can get away to the gym. As soon as your baby is sleeping or playing calmly, you can hop on your fitness machine and let off some steam.
But which machine to choose among the big three: treadmill, elliptical or exercise bike? If you prefer an exercise bike, good choice! It has the advantage of working your legs, glutes, abs and back – all areas of the body that will be in need of some muscle re-building!
Another advantage: unlike jogging or tennis, biking avoids harsh impact on your joints. You can get on your bike relatively quickly after delivery, working to regain your figure as well as strengthen your back. And you’ll need a healthy back to carry your infant in the months to come.
Finally, you’ll find that an exercise bike can boost your energy and relieve stress.
Go at your own pace
If you used an exercise bike before your pregnancy, don’t immediately try to match your past performance levels. Don’t set unachievable goals. More important than fitness objectives, just try to get back in touch with your body, make working out fun, and relax!
Also, don’t try and redo the “classic” workout you were doing before your pregnancy. For example, instead of one long workout, try several small sessions a day at different speeds. This way, you can progressively and naturally increase the duration and difficulty of your sessions, according to what your body is telling you that you can accomplish. You’ll discover that this will gradually help you to get back to your pre-pregnancy level. Your exercise bike’s console display will show your progress and motivate you each and every day!
One more thing: don’t forget to hydrate regularly and stretch after your workout. You can even mix in a little yoga afterwards to combine stretching with a moment of relaxation.
With all this in mind, choose the exercise bike most in line with your needs. Don’t skimp on quality or comfort – if you’re not happy with your bike, it’ll be easy to get discouraged. So make a good choice – you can’t go wrong with a bike from NordicTrack’s range of offers!
Waiting to start athletic activity again after giving birth: how long is too long?
After giving birth, your body needs four to six weeks to recover. This is also roughly the amount of time it takes your body to no longer be under the effect of relaxin, a hormone produced during pregnancy that relaxes the ligaments of the body, increasing the flexibility of the pelvis, thus enabling the baby to pass through the birth canal. This extra pelvic mobility causes pain in the stomach and back. It can also give your joints greater flexibility, resulting in increased likelihood of sprains (especially of the ankles) and pain (especially in the knees).
In addition, during the first weeks after childbirth, you are more likely to feel the effects of lack of sleep. So start with breathing exercises and core strength training.
Don’t rush things, but be prepared to resume athletic activity as soon as your body is ready. You need to do so to stay healthy: physical activity redevelops your muscle tone, improves your mood, and increases your energy.