Exercise is good. It makes your body feel better, it makes your mind feel better and we know it makes people happier.
But what should you be doing after having a baby?
Lots of people want to run, because finally they feel like they can. Or join a group fitness class with crunches, planks and burpees to try and lose weight and tone their stomach. Will this make you feel good? Sure, maybe for a little while…..but it will also leave you very prone to injuries, injuries that can last a lifetime.
See, our body is like a machine. If all the parts are perfectly aligned then it will work well, it will function optimally. Take a car for instance. A new car should function well. Its wheels are in perfect alignment, its axels are straight. If you had a crash however, would you still expect it to drive as well, or as fast? Of course not! Now I don’t want to liken a post natal body to a car crash (although many people feel that way! J ), but your body won’t be the same as it was before you were pregnant. Your abdominal wall will be lengthened and weaker, your pelvic floor likely lengthened and weaker, your butt and leg strength reduced and likely your upper body a whole lot stiffer. Not to mention all the ill effects of sleep deprivation!
However it’s not all doom and gloom. There are things you can do! There are things you must do before you get back to your planks and your running. What are these things? Exercises that get your deep muscle system working again.
Let me explain – your body is made up of bones that connect together to form joints. These joints are controlled by muscles. There are deeper muscles (stability
muscles) that you can’t see and that should be working nearly all the time to hold your joints in perfect alignment. And there are big, long muscles on top which should turn on to make you move. These deeper ones are the ones that often stop working and they do so for a million different reasons.
Examples of the deeper muscles are the pelvic floor, the diaphragm, transversus abdominus and multifidus. Why are they so important? Because if they aren’t working properly then your joints won’t be held in proper alignment and you will likely get an injury.
Will everyone need to do a lot of these exercises? No. Nevertheless it’s best to get checked out by a physiotherapist before you start any intense workouts. Get your body screened to see if it’s up to the exercise before you do it. If it’s not, then they will tell you what you need to do to make sure you get there, injury free. How boring….some people will say! And to some extent this is true.
However you only have one body and it’s got to last you a whole lifetime so make sure you look after it the best you can…. your kids are counting on you!
For further info and assistance contact www.physiotherapyclinic.com.au in Bondi Junction