Birth and pregnancy change your body, such as extra weight, loose skin, stretch marks, etc. In addition, they weaken your pelvic floor and abdominal muscles. Thankfully, doing treadmill workouts postpartum is a great way to get your body back in shape and stay healthy.

However, you should follow some specific guidelines to ensure your body is ready for the exercise, especially if it’s your first postpartum experience. So, read on and share with you some valuable tips you should consider as you prepare to hop back onto the treadmill or start a new workout routine postpartum!

Benefits of Treadmill Workout Postpartum

Apart from helping you restore your pre-baby body, a postpartum workout offers a lot of benefits. Specifically, getting back into shape provides short-term benefits such as improving muscle tone and promoting baby-weight loss.

At the same time, a treadmill workout is suitable for your emotional and mental health. This is because it improves your mood and helps fight symptoms of postpartum anxiety and depression.

Another notable benefit of postpartum exercises is that they allow pelvic floor and abdominal muscle groups to regain strength. These muscles are important since they provide balance and stability while performing daily activities and exercising. Better yet, postpartum treadmill workouts can prevent pelvic organ prolapse and incontinence in the future.

Moreover, the American College of Obstetricians & Gynecologists claims that postpartum exercise helps with recovery by improving sleep and boosting energy, which is a good thing for a new parent. On the same note, you can use a manual treadmill workout to lose weight, manage stress more effectively, and regain strength in the abdominal muscles.

To sum up, a postpartum treadmill workout will benefit you in various ways. But, more importantly, it’s a great way to take care of yourself after childbirth and encourages you to take better care of your newborn! 

How Long Should You Wait to Start Training On a Treadmill After Giving Birth?

Treadmill training is an excellent way for women to build muscular, healthy bodies and clear their minds after having a baby. For that, you may be tempted to hop into your treadmill after your obstetrician/ gynecologist clears you at the 6-week postpartum checkup. However, your body will need about 6 more weeks to heal if you had a typical vaginal birth. In short, you’ll need 12 weeks before you can get back into more intense exercises like treadmill running.

According to the 2019 Postpartum exercise guidelines, waiting for at least 12 weeks after birth for postpartum exercise helps to reduce the risk of severe health conditions like pelvic organ prolapse, hernias, and urinary incontinence.

Note that the 12-week period is for new moms with a normal pregnancy and uncomplicated vaginal delivery. Therefore, your physical therapist or gynecologist may suggest waiting longer in case of a C-section delivery. The same applies to those with postpartum depression, perineal tearing, obesity before pregnancy, and excess scar tissue in their pelvic area.

However, just because you need to wait 12 weeks or more to get on the treadmill does not mean you can’t perform any exercise. Besides, being inactive may further delay your interest in returning to intense workouts. To avoid this, start an active training and recovery process 6 weeks postpartum by doing low-intensity exercises like yoga. Also, you can start walking at a slow to moderate pace for about 30 minutes a few weeks after delivery.

Now that you know how long you need to wait after delivery to start exercising let’s look at the tips you should consider when using a treadmill postpartum!

8 Postpartum Treadmill Workout Tips

1. Give your body adequate time to recover from giving birth

As you know, your body goes a lot during delivery. Also, the breasts are more significant, putting more stress on your back. But, more notably, you have probably put on more weight compared to how you were before getting pregnant.

Before you get into any workout routine, wait for about 6 – 12 weeks to allow your hormones to stabilize and your body to heal. Moreover, allowing your body to recover before getting into any exercise after birth helps prevent unnecessary injury.

2. Talk to your obstetrician/gynecologist or physical therapist first.

Although you may feel ready to start exercising, it’s important to talk to your doctor first. The doctor may suggest you wait a few weeks before you begin exercising or even give you the green light right away. In some instances, your doctor may even suggest waiting until after the 6-week postpartum checkup. Whichever the case, always pay close attention to your doctor’s advice, especially regarding postpartum exercise.

3. Start Slow

Start slow after getting the go-ahead from your doctor to start treadmill workouts. For instance, you can start with activities like a 15-minute treadmill walk at a slow pace. Also, you can put together a light yoga workout routine and do some body-weight squats.

Once you’re comfortable doing short, light exercise without experiencing any pain, slowly increase the intensity and duration of your treadmill workouts. Avoid pushing your body too hard since you may end up injuring yourself, forcing you to wait for another 6-12 months before you can start exercising.

4. Incorporate pelvic floor exercises into your treadmill workout routine

Cardio workouts like treadmill running or walking don’t involve kegel (pelvic floor) exercise, yet they’re essential for your post-baby body. Therefore, it’s vital to incorporate them into your postpartum treadmill exercise routine.

Pelvic floor exercises will gradually strengthen your pelvic floor muscles, helping you avoid pelvic organ prolapse and urine leakage. Plus, a strong pelvic floor will make your sex more enjoyable after pregnancy.

Other exercises you can include in your postpartum workout routine include; belly breathing, pelvic tilt exercise, and happy baby pose. Belly breathing helps to re-coordinate your breathing throughout the core, while the comfortable baby pose loosens tight pelvic floor muscles. On the contrary, pelvic tilt exercises help to strengthen abdominal muscles.

5. Wear the right nursing bra & running shoes

The bra you wear when training on a treadmill postpartum can be the difference between a painful workout experience and an enjoyable one. So, find a supportive bra that works well for you and offers more support than a regular running bra.

Wearing a comfortable bra when performing postpartum exercise is particularly important if you have cracked nipples. In that case, you should look for a bra that is not too rough or tight to help you treat the nipples as gently as possible. More importantly, try exercising after nursing your little one so the breasts will not feel overly full.

As for the running shoes, make sure they fit your postpartum feet before you start exercising; in addition, ensure they provide plenty of support or buy new ones if their soles are worn on the treads and around the sides.

6. Stay hydrated

Drinking water is one of the essential things when you’re exercising, especially considering you’re breastfeeding. This is because the bord starts dehydrating while performing treadmill workouts and other exercises. As a result, you may feel dizzy if you don’t drink water consistently during the workout. So, ensure you start hydrating as you walk, jog or run on the treadmill since it’s key to staying healthy after and during the exercise.

7. Eat a healthy diet

Although this tip isn’t directly related to treadmill workouts, nutrition plays a significant role in helping you lose postpartum weight. Besides, as a breastfeeding mom, it’s essential to follow a healthy diet for your little one. The diet should include healthy fats, lean protein, whole grains, vegetables, and lots of fruits.

Also, increase your iron by eating iron-rich foods such as fish, meats, chocolate, and leafy greens. Similarly, increase your calcium intake by drinking milk. According to the National Academy of Sciences, breastfeeding moms should consume about 1000 milligrams of calcium daily.

8. Don’t push your body too hard.

As you do treadmill workouts to get your pre-baby body back, ensure you set manageable, realistic goals. Most importantly, listen to your body to avoid beating yourself up.

If you’re pushing yourself too hard, you’ll experience symptoms like; shaky muscles, prolonged soreness in the muscles, fatigue, and so on. Also, your morning heart rate will be much higher than the regular heart rate; if you’re experiencing any of those symptoms, rest and take a break from exercising for a few days.

Conclusion

As you take care of your little one, it’s good to take care of yourself by performing postpartum treadmill workouts once your body recovers. This will boost your physical and mental health while strengthening your supporting muscles to get your post-baby body back. The tips I’ve listed above for postpartum treadmill workouts will help you get back in shape sooner than you expect! 

FAQs

1. Is it safe to use a treadmill after giving birth?

You can start walking on the treadmill slowly to moderate a few days after giving birth if you’re ready for it. However, you must seek clearance from your health provider first.

2. How do I get a flat stomach after delivery?

There are various ways to get a flat stomach after delivery, such as breastfeeding, eating clean, wearing a postpartum girdle, and getting a postpartum massage. In addition, you should focus on core strength, go for walks, and engage in low-impact activities like post-pregnancy yoga.

3. Does a postpartum belt help to reduce the tummy?

A postpartum belly belt supports your abdominal muscles the 1st few weeks after delivery. Also, the belly provides light compressions, helping your uterus shrink back. Therefore, wearing a postpartum belt for about 2 – 12 weeks after giving birth is a great way to reduce your tummy.

4. What physical exercises should I avoid postpartum?

There are some physical exercises you should avoid after delivery. They include; bicycle crunches, sit-ups, pilates and reverse crutches.

 

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