What's the best way to start exercising after a long period of illness?

I've had a very hard pregnancy and spent 3 months of it unable to walk more than 25m or in a wheelchair. Now the baby has been born the loss of muscle tone and mass is staggering and quite a lot of my balance has gone too. I need some ideas as to what to do. Even walking isn't easy any more, whereas I used to walk miles. I doubt I could make it to the end of the street now. I need to build up fairly quickly as I have a newborn and 2 year old to chase full time after as of next week

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  • Looking after your children will be exercise in itself of course and naturally builds up the strength and stamina to do it.

    I would sincerely hope that you were having some physio input with that degree of pregnancy induced disability and all mothers should be getting information about postnatal exercises specifically aimed at restoring muscle tone. (It might just have been in the form of a leaflet) It could be well worth contacting the health care professionals you've been involved with for information tailored to your circumstances and location. In your situation, speciific postnatal exercises and some gentle 'getting out in the fresh air' is likely to be more than enough to aim for for a few more months without compromising your emotional health. You could have some fun getting the two year old to join in.

    As a disabled mother, I found I could walk further with a pram than I could without.

  • Hi Chay, any exercise is going to be better than no exercise. Do you like swimming? I love swimming but hate being seen in a swimming costume so it is a tough one. But every time I go I'm surprised at how much the positive out weighs the negative. How about an aqua baby class, I think the key here is to get active and mobile with any activity.

  • At the moment I don't think I'd cope with it. But it's something I could work towards. Thanks.

  • I have asthma and that's hindering my exercise too. Surely a five minute session of floor exercises is better than 0 minutes. If I do 5 minutes today how about you do too? I think nhs website advocates 20 minutes a day. I'm going to do 5 today, 10 minutes tomorrow, in a few days I'll be doing 20. I'll hopefully progress from floor excercise to walking to the end of my road.

  • I'm still having complications from the pregnancy and so need to be very careful.I've just been told to not start anything at all by my hv. I have to wait for a good few weeks. Thank you anyway though. I would have joined you until this meeting. I think I'll start just by potching around the house and build up slowly.

  • Perhaps have a look at Pilates when you are able. It can be done in a very gentle way and is very good for improving muscle tone, especially the pelvic floor.

  • Yes, I think it's going to be a lot slower than I had originally hoped for. I'm used to being up and about and am exhausted from just leaving the house for a while. I'm just wary that the longer I leave it the longer it'll take.

  • Hi Chay, In addition to the suggested replies I would suggest that you try yoga or pilates as they would be a very good way to get back you balance and body strength. I go twice a week and it has made a huge difference to me, however, will you be able to fit this in with a newborn and two year old? Our local leisure centre has a creche during the day, so would suggest that you make enquiries about what classes are available locally to you that also offer childcare. Good luck.

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