- All women should get the go-ahead from a provider before beginning intense exercises, like running or jumping rope. But if you had a C-section, make sure you clear any workout with your provider—as well as any heavy lifting. (Even the baby!)
- Start with walking. Added bonus: You can push the baby in a stroller!
- Build up to moderate workouts: The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommend 30 minutes, 5 days a week of moderate exercise (meaning that you can talk normally while doing it).
- Feed your baby—or pump—before your workout.
- Wear a bra with good support to protect your breasts.
- Push yourself too much, too fast: Spend 10 minutes warming up your muscles before jumping in. And always stop as soon as you feel pain.
- Stick to cardio. Try other workouts, such as Pilates, yoga, weight training, and even just sit-ups and push-ups to work different muscles. Try to add in weight-bearing exercises two days a week.
- Go it alone: Group exercise can keep you motivated. Seek out postpartum classes at gyms, studios or community centers in your area that are designed for new moms.
- Forget to drink water: Staying hydrated is always crucial—especially if you’re breastfeeding.
- Wait for the right moment: Even taking advantage of 10 minutes can benefit your body.
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