After my daughter was born I was itching to get back to my normal workout routine, running and practicing yoga. Boy was I in for a surprise!

Everything about my body was different. I had to slow down my thoughts about exercise to adjust to this new (and wonderful) body I was living in. Start small and gradually increase your exercise load.

Before starting to exercise after giving birth always consult your doctor. Once you have the go ahead here are some simple movements and exercises you can begin with.

-Kegels- This exercise can be done anywhere at any time while sitting, standing or laying down and no one will even know you are strengthening your pelvic floor! Make sure your bladder is empty then tighten your pelvic floor muscles and hold for 10 seconds. Release and repeat 10 times 3 times per day.

-Pelvic Tilt- This is a small but mighty exercise that can be done laying down. Bend your knees and plant feet on the floor/bed. Tighten stomach muscles and buttocks to tilt pelvis. Press lower back into the floor/bed. Hold for a few seconds and work your way up to holding for 10 seconds. Release and repeat 10 times. Try not to push into your feet. Make this movement all about your lower abdomen muscles.

-Deer Pose- This is a nice gentle twist to be done sitting down. Both legs at 90degrees, right knee facing forward. Place right hand on your left knee. Sit up tall without sticking out your ribs. Pull your belly button in towards your spine to tighten up your ab muscles. Pull shoulders down away from your ears and begin to twist your chest towards the left. If it feels ok on your neck, begin to look back over your left shoulder. Take 5 deep steady breaths. Inhale to look forward. Exhale to release pose. Repeat on the other side.

-Body weight squats- Standing with your feet shoulder distance apart, toes faced out slightly. Take an inhale, pull hips back and sit down as far as you are comfortable to go, keeping chest up. On your exhale, engage your quads and glutes to push up to a stand. Your knees shouldn’t pass your toes and ribs stay tucked into your body. Just like in Deer Pose, belly button to spine and ribs not sticking out. Try not to arch your back. Think Pelvic Tilt.

-Last but definitely not least….. Walk! Walk anytime you can. Walk in the morning, afternoon and evening. Walk to the store, walk around the block, walk to get your coffee. You get where I’m going with this… Walk.

Gemma Carleton is a mum, registered yoga teacher and fitness lover based out of London, Ontario. You can follow her on Instagram @gemmacarletonyoga

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