OK so your anxious to start exercising after your C-Section.
Exercise is important. It improves blood flow, increases your energy, helps get your shape back and just overall speeds up your recovery.
But how soon can you exercise after a Cesarean?
You can actually begin exercising almost immediately after surgery but you want to be careful to take it slow.
You can begin with very light Kegel exercises by making circles with your feet and ankles while you’re still in bed. More strenuous abdominal crunches and sit-ups should not be done until about 8 weeks post C-Section.
The Kegel exercises can do a lot for getting your circulation going and preventing blood clots that can come from inactivity.
Within about 12 hours post Cesarean you’ll be able to get up and start walking. In fact most hospitals insist you get up and start walking within about 12-15 hours post surgery.
Walking is not strenuous exercise, but it’s good, low impact exercise for your abdominal muscles.
The first time out of bed can be painful, so ask for pain medication about 10 minutes before walking.
After your first walk, try to continue walking every few hours or so while in the hospital. The more walking you get in the better you’ll feel when you get home.
Once you get home from the hospital, usually in about 3-5 days, keep walking. Get outside and walk whenever you can or use a treadmill if you have one. In fact, I love the treadmill. After my second Cesarean I got the Horizon Compact Treadmill which I love. In fact I still use it today. It’s quick, safe and it’s ideal if the weather is bad or you live in an area where getting outside is not practical. But I also love walking. It’s been perfect for keeping my midsection in check.
When walking soon after your C-Section you may still feel pain in your belly, if you do try holding your stomach with a pillow, but don’t hunch over. Unfortunately using a pillow encourages hunching, so I prefer you use a c-section abdominal binder, it will give your belly better support and keep you standing up straight so there’s no hunching.
I highly recommend wearing your belly binder all the time, even on your treadmill. It’s super comfortable so wearing it all day long makes any movement practically pain free.
If you’re thinking about abdominal exercises such as sit-ups or ab crunches let me just say that I don’t advise that. In fact here are some things you should know before doing abdominal exercises:
Advice for Continuing to Exercise after Your C-Section
I don’t recommend strenuous abdominal exercises or work outs after a C-Section until about 6-8 weeks, or possibly longer.
Sit-ups and crunches should be avoided after your Cesarean as they’ve actually been found to be ineffective after abdominal surgery and can damage to the abdominal area. That’s because any gaps between the muscles are forced apart during sit ups and crunches, and can stretch the muscles wider causing long term damage. If this happens it makes any form of muscle toning almost impossible.
A much better exercise routine like those found in Jago Holmes Essential Guide To Exercising After a C-Section will get you back into shape faster and much more safely, and the exercises are easier. I’d much rather go with easy and effective rather than doing strenuous crunches and sit ups that aren’t really attacking those fatty areas as thoroughly.
All exercise after a Cesarean should be done slowly, and work within your comfort zone. Do not attempt to go beyond what you are capable of doing. If something hurts or doesn’t feel right, don’t do it.