Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Resuming Exercise Postpartum

When I chose an OB, I specifically looked for a practice that would support lots of exercise during pregnancy. One of the doctors in the practice ran a marathon while pregnant and my OB is a triathlete. The guidance from my doctors all along was simply to listen to my body and stop when something did not feel right or hurt.

I actually stopped most exercise when I was about 7.5 months pregnant because I was having a lot of groin pain, even just walking.

After the birth, my doctors cleared me for walking the day I left the hospital. 2-3 mile walks with the stroller I asked? The answer was yes and I was excited. Since then though, there has not been a single day conducive to a walk outside. It's either been snowing or extremely cold. So, last week we decided to buy a treadmill and it is coming today!

I went to Sports Authority because I wanted to try them out. I immediately liked the nicest model there - the FreeMotion T6.0 - because it has a wider belt and quiet motor.

Turns out it was my lucky day. They offered me the floor model for 30% off - a savings of over $600. We were fine with it being the floor model, but the next day they called and said they had a new one, but would honor the floor model price.

Little things like this give me confidence that 2014 will be a much better year than 2013!

Anyway, everything I have read about resuming exercise postpartum stresses the importance of taking it slow. This is something I am not good at! I'm writing out a plan for the first week of walking, to make sure that I don't over-do it.

Here is my plan:

  • Tuesday - 20 minutes at a pace that feels comfortable/enjoyable, just see where I'm at and enjoy my new playlist
  • Wednesday - 5 minute warm up, 20 minutes at 65% of maximum heart rate (~130), 5 minute cool down, pelvic tilts and light stretching
  • Thursday - walk outside with stroller at comfortable pace! Weather.com says is supposed to be sunny and 44 degrees. We'll see if that actually comes true.
  • Friday - rest and see how my body is responding to the increased activity
  • Saturday - walk outside again since the weather looks good

Now, the challenge for me is not going to be doing these workouts. It's going to be not doing more than I have outlined here. Too much too fast will just be harmful in the long run, but it's going to be tempting since I haven't really worked out for so long and I'm craving some great workouts.

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