Fitness Advice For Post-Natal Women

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These days there seems to be a whole lot of pressure on women who have recently given birth to snap back into shape immediately.
It seems that every time I open a newspaper or magazine, there are photos of 'celebrity' mothers who have apparently 'lost all their baby fat' in record time.
Don't let these over-hyped stories persuade you to go on any sort of diet or exercise regime until you have fully recovered.
Giving birth and coping with a newborn are exhausting activities and your priority should be to rest and recuperate.
Many of the changes which pregnancy produces in your body continue for a period of about six weeks after giving birth.
Don't be tempted to resume an exercise regime that you followed before you became pregnant, until you're body is quite well enough to cope.
This article contains some sensible advice about the types of gentle exercise that would be beneficial to post-natal women.
Above all, please remember always to seek professional medical advice before starting a new exercise program.
oIf you have not exercised for a long time, start off with low intensity exercise and aim to progress gradually.
oExercise periods should incorporate a thorough warm up and cool down time.
oStretching should be kept gentle and always be careful not push to the point of maximum resistance.
oDo not strain yourself and keep all exercise to a mild - moderate intensity.
oVigorous activity is not recommended and especially not in hot, humid conditions.
oLearn how to monitor your heart rate.
oMove from a lying down position to a standing position slowly as changes in blood pressure can cause dizziness.
oTry to exercise to a regular schedule of three - five times per week.
oIf you enjoy competitive sports, give your body time to recover from childbirth before you start playing again.
oAll movements should be controlled and any exercise that requires force over a full range of movement should be approached gently.
oIf you start to feel tired, stop exercising.
oAvoid exercises that produce stress on the abdominal area.
oExercise can produce lactic acid in your breast milk which can taste unpleasant to your baby, so don't exercise in the half hour before you feed your child.
oWear loose fitting clothes and take frequent sips of water or an isotonic drink throughout the exercise period.
oIf you experience any unusual symptoms during or after exercising, be sure to consult your doctor.
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