Get Back In Shape: Exercising after pregnancy

20 March, 2017 • Tags: , , , , , ,

Exercising after pregnancy can be challenging. After all, your body has worked harder than normal for the last 9 months, so you might not look and feel exactly the way you want to. However, it is possible to feel body confident again. All you need to do is find the motivation!

exercise with baby

When to start exercising

The right time to start exercising after pregnancy is up to you, whether it’s after 6 days or 6 weeks. Research shows gentle exercise after pregnancy reduces the risk of postpartum depression. So start moving again and feel the benefits!  Although it can take up to 4 to 6 months to get your fitness levels back up, it can be done.

How to exercise

Firstly, you don’t want to push yourself too hard, your body has been through a lot and needs to recover. Focus on regaining your energy by looking after yourself. Your baby has taken a lot from you so eat well – this means no crazy diets! It’s not a good idea to cut your calorie intake especially if you are breast feeding, so focus on gentle exercise for the first 6 weeks and make sure you get the nutrition you need for you and your new-born. Start by walking, and build this up. After 6 weeks you can aim to take 30 minute walks 2-5 times a week. Stroller walking is the new mummy fitness craze, so take your baby and get some fresh air!

Train with your baby

Additionally, you can work on building up your strength. Instead of using normal weights, use your baby! One of the most important areas to work on is your core. This area has been stretched and weakened dramatically during pregnancy, so make a fun workout and tighten up those abdominals. Lie on your back, knees bent and put your baby on top of your legs and hold his hands. Now move your legs slowly in and out, this will really get your core muscles working again. To strengthen your legs; stand with your legs apart, hold your baby in front of you and squat slowly. Watch that baby smile!

What to avoid

There are some types of exercises you should avoid straight after pregnancy. Experts say avoid jogging, running or jumping –  or anything that puts a lot of pressure on your joints. This is because of the hormone ‘relaxin’ that is produced during pregnancy. ‘Relaxin’ loosens up your joints which means they can be easily injured during exercise. This hormone will still be in your blood so be careful not to jump into intense training straight away.

How OneFit can help

There are many suitable classes for recovering mums including a variety of Pilates and Yoga lessons. Both are a great way to build up your flexibility and strength while relaxing and restoring your energy. Remember, if you start slowly and build up your fitness levels, you’ll be a healthier and happier mum for your newborn!

In AmsterdamFlow + Restore (Prenatal and Postnatal)  at Studio 191

In Den HaagYin & Restorative Yoga (Beginners) at Saktiisha The Hague City Centre

In UtrechtYoga Alignment at Yoga Moves

In RotterdamHot Yoga Pilates Sculpt Fusion at Hot Yoga Place

 

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Get Back In Shape: How exercise can keep your heart healthy

8 March, 2017 • Tags: , , , , , ,

Exercising is great for our physical and mental health, but how exactly can make sure we have a healthy heart? Firstly, our heart is our most important muscle, so knowing how to take care of it is vital for optimal well-being. That’s why we should be completing moderate to high-intensity training multiple times a week. This is proven to be beneficial to our health as it reduces bad cholesterol and breaks down unwanted fat in our system. Hence, there are certain types of exercise we should be doing that are especially effective at keeping your heart healthy and happy.

rowing machine

Interval training

First and foremost, high intensity training is a great way to get that blood pumping and increase our heart rate while simultaneously decreasing our risk of heart disease. You can implement interval training into your workout or training session easily. Do this by performing at a high intensity rate for a set time and alternating with rest intervals. Furthermore, a great way to get motivated to do high intensity training is through a class or training in a small group. So try a circuit training or a hit class to start keeping your heart healthy! On the other hand, if you are more of a runner try mixing your routine with sprints and rest intervals. The most important thing is to push yourself hard enough so that your heart rate is up and you’re sweating.

Swimming

Swimming is a great, whole body workout which doesn’t strain your joints. Although, leisure swimming is not as intensive as lane swimming, so hit the fast lane. Try to complete 8-12 lengths, switching between strokes. To make it even more challenging, make a fist with your hand instead of an open palm. This technique makes you work that little bit harder to reach the wall each time and helps build muscle. Just don’t forget to come up for more air!

Strength training

Strength training is also a type of interval training but specifically focuses on using weights. This type of training tires out muscles, building strength, stability which keeps your heart healthy! You can hit the machinery in the gym or join a class such as Bodypump or slow it down with Pilates, which is really good for strengthening your core and correcting your alignment.

Lastly, combining these elements into your workout routine will help you on your way to a healthy heart. Make sure to choose activities that you enjoy, so when you push yourself that little bit further you don’t quit! If you don’t like the vibe of a certain location or class just try another one until you find the right workout for you. After all, a healthy heart is key for a happy you, inside and out.

Try out some of these locations where you can swim, or take part in high intensity and strength training:

Amsterdam: Sportfondsenbad Oost, Shape All In

Den Haag: Njoy Fitness Den Haag, BodyFlex 100% Catharina

Utrecht: StabilityForYou, All Inn Fitness and Health

Rotterdam: CrossFit HofpleinRecreatiecentrum Oostervant

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