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Getting back on a bike..

(13 Posts)
ohthegoats Thu 28-Aug-14 09:39:31

.. in fact, getting back to exercise in general after pregnancy.

When did you start being able to ride a bike again? To go to spinning classes?
When did you start running again?

I was under the impression that it was after your 6 week check up - you could sort of get on with things as long as you felt like it. But I read a website link the other day about how long it takes for your body to get back to 'normal' after pregnancy, and they were suggesting not really doing heavy exercise for 6 months.

I know that lots of people don't feel up to it due to being knackered, and that if you've had a section it might take longer to feel fit, but in general if you've had a normal relatively unscathed vaginal delivery in September/October, will I be up to starting to get fit for skiing by December?

weebairn Thu 28-Aug-14 09:49:06

I did running from 6 weeks, but I'm not sure it was that sensible. Hard on the pelvic floor. I didn't have any problems though.

I did the couch to 5k programme to get myself up to speed and it felt ok, so initially just short running and walking intervals. Was running 5k again in 12 weeks or so of the programme. Not very fast but comfortably.

It goes without saying my baby was sleeping well between 2 and 5 months! I had a straightforward vaginal delivery and no tears.

I did weekly pilates from about 3 months after birth and that felt a lot better for me, actually. I didn't lose all the weight immediately or anything but when it did all come off I had the same body shape as before and decent stomach muscles (didn't get a bump with no 2 until 18 weeks or so). I think that was probably the pilates.

In retrospect I don't think the running was a good idea so early and wouldn't do that again. I'm not a skier so not sure what sort of exercise it would entail. I think like everything if you start very gently and stop if your body says NO! - it should be ok.

weebairn Thu 28-Aug-14 09:50:51

(You will also need someone to look after the baby while you exercise! I used to go running early in the morning while DP and baby were all snuggled up asleep together still awwwww)

ohthegoats Thu 28-Aug-14 09:55:51

I've done the couch to 5k before (about 10 years ago now I think) - it was a great intro to running, and I'd probably do it again as a re-start. I like that if you need to you can just stick around on week 1 or 2 for longer until you're ready to move on.

weebairn Thu 28-Aug-14 09:59:45

Yeah I really enjoyed it, downloaded some podcasts so it had music and someone telling you when to run and walk. I'd like to do it again.

I have heard of a lot of people with pelvic floors issues post birth though so even though I got on fine with it I would be wary of doing it so soon this time. Maybe I'll leave it till 4-6 months or something.

I'm going to try to do some regular yoga and pilates instead, which is very challenging and good for the core if you do it correctly and often. Unless the reality of toddler plus newborn is far too much, of course grin

ohthegoats Thu 28-Aug-14 10:40:23

I can't stand yoga.. by which I mean I'm really bored by yoga. Pilates is a bit better, and I don't mind the Les Mills Body Balance classes which are a bit of yoga, pilates and tai chi combined. That works quite well for me, and the gym does them too. There is a good crèche at the gym that I'm able to put the baby in from 3 months, so will definitely be doing some of that.

Couch to 5k on a treadmill I expect.

weebairn Thu 28-Aug-14 10:54:03

So jealous you have a gym with a creche, all our leisure centre creches shut a few years ago (I think the expensive gyms might have them but I'm not a member) - that's a great option!

Can't run on treadmills feel like a hamster, need some rain and grit grin

SomeSunnySunday Thu 28-Aug-14 10:59:27

I ran (gently) from 4 weeks post (straightforward elective) c-section. I ran a slow 5k at 6 weeks post section. I did tummy fixing exercises from pretty early - maybe 10 days or 2 weeks post section?

I did find that I was fairly injury prone initially though - I think due to prolactin, which you will still have a lot of for as long as your as you are breastfeeding.

After my emergency c-section I felt completely broken, and couldn't do anything at all strenuous for about 2 months.

This time round I'm planning a middle ground - no running for a while, but lots of walking, Pilates, maybe cycling if I can manage some baby-free time, all from as early as feels comfortable.

ohthegoats Thu 28-Aug-14 11:00:33

When we moved here in February, I was already pregnant but had a bit of money due to selling my house in order for us to move. So, I treated myself to a years worth of fancy ass gym membership. Boyfriend did too, but he's hardly used it. Before we moved I was a member in our old town and probably went every day. I haven't recently been as much as I used to - once I couldn't go to pump or balance classes anymore I stopped doing much at all other than swimming. Sometimes it's just nice to go and use the woggles/floats to lie around floating on my front. I've got some aquanatal exercises that I can do too, so in amongst all the triathlon trainees, there's me floating around like a whale. I've also been quite naughty and been in the hot tub with the jets on my back and shoulders - lush - cheaper than a massage!

Anyway, I think that the crèche facility is going to be a lifesaver for me during maternity leave. Means I don't have to get up at 6am to exercise while boyfriend is still at home. They've got a great coffee shop with discounts too... might just move in there.

CorporeSarnie Thu 28-Aug-14 11:46:17

It depends is the short answer. Most people would suggest you wait until after your 6w check to do any strenuous exercise.
I started some postnatal-specific, Pilates-derived classes around 2m after my first, which let me work on pelvic floor strength. Anything more than a fast walk and I felt like my insides would fall out (and I had an EmCS just after transition due to a breech baby, so not due to delivery). I did however also have SPD, and the presence/influence of relaxin can remain in your bloodstream and hence affect ligaments for up to 6mo, so is not recommended to hold long stretches for this period.
It really is a play it by ear thing - I have friends who have been back to running half marathons by 6mo, and others who had yet to stop feeling postnatal.
For your original Qn, I cycled until 35w last time, and was back on my bike doing hills with trailer at about 16 weeks (once the snow had gone is my recollection). Sadly this pregnancy have been possibly over-cautious, due to a previous MC, and haven't been on my bike since about 8 weeks, so it may take me longer this time due to loss of fitness.
Swimming is great both pre- and post-natally as it is non-weight-bearing, and is very toning. re: skiing, depends on your level of fitness and ability really - at 8weeks I couldn't have contemplated doing much, but my skiing is rubbish anyway, but you may be more able for it. I wouldn't be booking anything right now in your shoes as you just don't know how you'll feel - you may bounce right back, or feel to tired to bother with exercise for months. re: gym creche, you may not feel able to leave your baby with anyone else for long, again this is something you can't predict (I did a paed 1st aid course when DD was about 3mo and used their nursery-based creche, was fine, but there was a lot of to-ing and fro-ing by all the babies there).
Sorry for the mammoth post - I didn't think I had that much to say!

HazleNutt Thu 28-Aug-14 12:58:01

back in bodypump after 5 weeks. There's rarely any jumping there, so good if you are worried anything will fall out grin

LIG1979 Thu 28-Aug-14 13:17:28

I was exercising right up to when dd was born and was very worried about 6 weeks of no exercise. Day after dd was born went out for a walk and felt like I had been run over by a truck. It took a couple of weeks before I was back walking around normally. So I didn't miss those 6 weeks off exercise. I did have a good distraction in dd!

However, I was back running, spinning and in the gym at 6 weeks. I did get my tummy muscles checked and had to do special exercises for a couple of weeks before I could start doing normal tummy exercises. Like another poster said not sure my pelvic floor muscles were ready for running but my mind was. It was also a good excuse to get some me time.

There are lots of classes you can do with your baby. I did buggy fit and post natal spinning where I put the dd in front in a car seat and would rock her to sleep whilst I pedalled.

In my experience the gym crèches are not ideal for tiny babies unless you can time it for nap time and they can sleep in a car seat. Yours may be different but I know people who tried mine did not have much luck until they were older and mobile. The ratios are generally quite poor and the kids are left to get on with it!

That said during my maternity leave I got pretty fit from being so active. Now fitting in work and dd means that I don't get nearly as much time to exercise.

BettyFriedansLoveChild Thu 28-Aug-14 13:51:02

I think it depends what you mean by 'heavy' exercise - as other posters have indicated, this will vary individually. I was riding a bike four weeks after my c-section, and the midwife was fine with that. I was running 3 months after my first c-section (now about three months after my second section, and can't face the thought of running just yet). If you are normally fit, have kept active through your pregnancy, and get a straightforward birth, I can't see why you wouldn't be up to skiing three months post-partum (aside from sleep deprivation etc!)

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