The best prenatal exercise tips from peloton coach Robin Arzón

All postnatal exercise advice can seem like a LOT… Confusing or even conflicting studies, a lack of clarity about what to do and what not to do, and pressure to do more than is right all play a part. .

So we caught up with Peloton’s Robin Arzón for his expert insight. As the head instructor for the infamous stationary bike brand (and treadmill aka Tread, with a Strength offering launching this year), ultramarathon runner, author, and mom herself, she’s a true fitness pro. fitness with direct postpartum exercise experience.

When do you in fact fall within the postpartum range? Well, that’s technically defined as just the first six weeks after birth, but studies show that recovery can take up to an entire year, so it’s very open to interpretation.

“It is essential that we have a comprehensive understanding of this fourth quarter,” Robin tells us. “These few months of fixing your body, caring for a small child, and lack of sleep – you need to take care of yourself as gently as possible.”

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If you haven’t had any complications during childbirth and feel up to it, the NHS says it’s safe to do low-intensity exercise, such as walking and slow stretching, as well as works on the pelvic floor and stomach, right away. It is recommended that you wait until after your six-week postnatal check-up before beginning high-impact exercises, such as running or HIIT. As always, though, it’s very much up to you – how your pregnancy went, how your delivery went, how your recovery is going, everything – and it’s definitely not a plan.

The most important thing is to listen to what your body is telling you, but if you are unsure ask your GP for help. Here’s what Robin wants you to know.

1. Slowing down is strength

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If you’re someone who likes to give it your all, the flexibility required by pregnancy and childbirth can be difficult. But it is really vital.

And getting it right is a skill in itself.

“I love intense workouts, but slowing down is strength – vulnerability is also strength,” says Robin. And if someone who’s run 27 marathons can do it, we all can.

2. Give yourself grace

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Being hard on yourself is never a good thing, especially not during the postpartum period. Your body has just done and is doing something huge and amazing, so focus on being kind and caring for it – as you are with those around you – rather than the things. which it is currently unable to do. PB, schmeebies.

“We always have a choice,” says Robin. “I choose to think about the future version of myself and give myself a lot of grace for the current version of myself.” (Spoken like a true queen.)

3. Movement heals

“I don’t believe now is the time to put your feet up, unless of course it’s medically recommended, because movement is good for mental health. My goal was to do 10 minutes either walking or breathing – whatever I had access to and whatever was safe,” says Robin.

“Whatever postpartum time you find yourself in, you want to focus on what you can do rather than what you cannot do.

Every body will be different, so go at your own pace and don’t compare yourself to others. Especially not celebrities.

4. The importance of breathing is huge

We’re not just talking about the breathing techniques that have helped you during pregnancy and childbirth, but their connection to your heart, which helps create a stable foundation for exercise.

“Engaging your inner core, abs, and pelvic floor is crucial,” says Robin. “That’s the first thing people should think about before getting back into intense workouts.”

If you have diastasis recti or have had a caesarean birth, it’s important that you work on building those muscles before resuming your workout routine.

5. Feed your body with the right food

Contrary to what his gram suggests (urrrm, hello mom, runner, author, all-around superstar!), Robin is only human.

“When you’re sleep deprived and things are chaotic in your home and maybe in your mind, it’s easier to reach for the wrong kinds of foods,” she says. *Heads nod in unison*.

“I tried to think: how does this feed my body when it’s trying to heal itself? I tried to make intentional good food choices. At first, I drank a lot of broth and foods that warmed me from the inside, and things with anti-inflammatory properties, like cherries and ginger, were perfect for me.

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6. Hydration is crucial

Most people know they are aware of the amount of caffeine they consume when breastfeeding (no more than 200mg/day, for your information), but it is also essential to stay hydrated.

“Especially if you are breastfeeding! I was surprised at how thirsty I was. Hydration is good for your milk supply and, of course, your overall health,” says Robin.

Nursing parents are recommended to drink 16 glasses of water a day, so try to always have your water bottle with you when you set up to breastfeed.

7. Don’t be afraid to ask for what you need

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This is something that many people, but especially women and often new mothers, struggle with. A recent study by children’s brand Stokke found that 71% of parents were reluctant to ask for help in the first weeks after the birth of their baby. As a result, 71% of mothers would have felt guilty for not being able to do something advised by parenting experts and 81% would have felt guilty for their parenting choices.

“Ask for help,” Robin said. “I don’t believe we should kill each other in the maternity ward, even if it’s a small thing.”

“My husband made peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, so if I was hungry when I woke up at 2 a.m. to breastfeed the baby, I had something for myself – I didn’t have to take those 5 to 10 more minutes.”

Remember that even small tasks can add up if you try to do them all yourself. Think about what you could help delegate or ask others to do for you, and don’t feel bad about being specific about how you’d like them done.

8. Look for a community

As with pregnancy, early parenthood can feel isolating. You are more tired than ever, you doubt your decisions, you face entirely new things all the time. It’s both a marathon and a sprint.

“Looking for a community, whether online or local, reminds you that you are not alone,” says Robin.

“You have to give yourself a lot of grace, but also a lot of courage.”

The NHS offers many community services, including advice on parent and baby groups. It’s a cliché, but a problem shared is really a problem halved.

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