Exercising Post-Pregnancy and Personal Training for New Mothers [NYC Guide]
Mark Greenfield is a Licensed Massage Therapist, Certified Personal Trainer and Active Release Techniques practitioner based in New York City. He works with a wide variety of clients in his Midtown Manhattan office.
It is well-known and accepted by now that exercising while pregnant is a great way to support the health and well-being of expectant mothers and their babies. From back pain to depression, from low energy to balance, pregnancy brings many challenges. But post-pregnancy exercise is also super important for new mothers and their babies and it is sometimes overlooked. This foes for all populations and demographics, whether you live in New York City, in the NYC suburbs or beyond.
When all of the attention and excitement of giving birth to a beautiful newborn fades away and the daily realities of nursing and caring for a crying infant sets in, And what if it's the middle of the winter and you're stuck indoors most of the day, day in and day out. Or when one's partner returns to work after paternity or maternity leave. And how about if you are a single parent struggling to make ends meet.
It's a tough initial journey that can be tiring, never-ending and both physically and emotionally draining. This is where getting back into shape and perhaps finding a personal trainer can be an instrumental asset for mothers navigating the challenges of raising an infant. Exercising after you give birth doesn't have to be complicated or all-consuming. It doesn't have to be exhausting and take hours of your day. And just getting in small workouts with some regularly can go a long way in helping mothers make the physical, mental and social transition into motherhood.
Exercise post-pregnancy is a great way for women to stay healthy and empowered. Specifically, postpartum exercise can help:
Decrease and manage postpartum depression and anxiety.
Increase energy and enhance sleep.
Strengthen abdominal muscles that may have weakened during pregnancy.
Strengthen lower body muscles essential for safe heavy lifting and bending over.
Help women return to their desired weight and burn fat.
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Exercise can rebuild strength, improve posture, increase balance and alleviate back pain. This is very important, especially as babies grow in weight and size and become harder to pick up and carry. Increased strength can also help women prevent injury and exhaustion from all the heavy lifting, for example baby carriages, and the constant bending over to pick things up.
Exercise is also am amazing way for women, and men, to bond with their babies. There are many exercises that can be done with a baby present and even holding the baby, for example while performing squats. There are “mommy and me” yoga and small group exercise classes which can also enhance a woman’s social life and help avoid isolation.
Working 1-on-1 with a certified personal trainer who is skilled and experienced with postnatal personal training is another great option. A personal trainer can give you the individualized attention you may need to rebuild, reshape and restore your body following the many changes that have taken place while pregnancy and during childbirth. Working with a personal trainer well versed in postnatal fitness will ensure that you are safely getting back in shape. Having a trainer who can tap into the nuances of postnatal health and biomechanics can be transformative, especially in the early weeks and months following childbirth,
In summary, whether you live in New York City or elsewhere, exercise is a safe and empowering way for new mothers to improve many aspects of their health, from the physical to the emotional to the social to the psychological. Exercise should be a central priority during and after pregnancy. The risks are in most cases very low and the benefits can be vast and powerful.