Walk the walk
Let’s face it, on some days it’s as much as you can do to get out of your pyjamas so the idea of fitting in a workout can seem impossible not to say laughable. But getting out for a walk? Now that is something that is do-able (most days anyway!).
If you’re lucky enough to be in the same area as FitActive, you’ve got the outstanding natural beauty of the Gloucestershire and Oxfordshire Cotswolds right on your doorstep to tempt you out.
But before I go off on one about the joys of walking as post-natal exercise, remember to give yourself a break some days. If you’ve had a difficult night with a wakeful baby, you may want to do some breathing and stretching exercises and catch up on a nap. If it is one of those days, then go with it.
If you do feel able to get out, you’ll find it’ll do wonders for your sanity to pop the baby in the buggy, grab a drink of water to have on the go and take a walk. Do be prepared for the elements – sunscreen for yourself and babe, rain cover/sun shade/hat, you know the form. A brief word on footwear – avoid shoes with a heel (please… pretty please!).
It may surprise you to know that because of the gait we use when walking, it does more for whole body alignment than any other form of exercise. And without boring you with too many details, good alignment will mean a much better chance of your pelvic floor getting back to full working order. Beginning to like the sound of walking?
There are a number of ways you can really make walking count. First of all, walk without a buggy whenever and wherever possible. However hard you try, walking with a buggy is bad for your upper body posture because the shoulders tend to fall forward and inward while pushing it.
Buggy pushing can’t be helped though so when walking with it, keep the handles of the buggy close to your hips and try to make use of the powerful muscles of the thighs and bum. Relax your shoulders and neck, open the chest and think of the top of the head being pulled towards the sky by a thread. Spend the first five minutes of your walk focusing on these points.
By the way, the benefits of walking aren’t just applicable to the post-natal woman. Other halves and kids can join in too – so you need not be short of company. It’s also a brilliant form of pre-natal exercise.
There are lots of ways to increase the challenge and variety of walking too. But I think that might be another blog…