Get back to it
Get back to it

Sometimes life gets in the way of regular exercise. Illness, injury or even a new addition to your life can put workouts on the backburner.

But when the time is right to get back to exercise - take it slowly.

Before you jump into the next Pump class or pull out your old workout schedule, your first stop should be your doctor or specialist fitness professional. If you stopped working out because you had a baby, were ill or injured, get clear guidelines on what is and isn't safe for you.

Gaia Fitness personal trainer Ebony Midolo says women who have had a baby can start walking and resume pelvic floor exercises as soon as they feel comfortable.

"After six weeks this can be graduated to light-intensity exercise and, after 12 weeks, higher-intensity exercises and sports can be reintroduced," she says. "For a caesarean delivery, any aerobic exercise needs to be avoided for at least six weeks to allow for healing."

Even if you're recovering from a serious injury, you don't have to be stuck on the sidelines. Shredded Strength Institute director and strength coach Marty Williams says exercise should play a role in recovery.

"Rest should be taken depending on the injury but you want to look at building a strong body that is structurally balanced with good mobility to prevent further injury," he says.

Your best place to start is a program of low-impact weight training.

"It can be adapted to fit your fitness level and designed to work on your weaknesses and aid in your rehabilitation," Mr Williams says. "It can also be progressed to accommodate your improvements. Look for a qualified and experienced coach to write a program personalised for you."

If you have spent a lot of time sitting during the day, Mr Williams says your body will have tightened through the front, while the back of your body will have become weak. He says mothers may face overuse injuries from carrying children both during pregnancy and after birth.

"Both of which can cause pain and discomfort through the lower back, shoulders and neck," he says.

Once you're ready to start, keep expectations realistic. If you haven't exercised for six months, don't expect to be lifting your pre-break weights in six weeks.

"Take your time and build into it," Mr Williams says. "A good trainer will assess how tight you are, where your weaknesses are and you current level of fitness, and go from there."

Most importantly, have fun. If you enjoy your exercise routine you're more likely to stick with it.

"Exercise can specifically be of benefit in reducing anxiety and depression as well as improving vitality," Mrs Midolo says.


The West Australian

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