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What Low-Risk Exercises Can I Do After Pregnancy

What Low-Risk Exercises Can I Do After Pregnancy

After the incredible journey of pregnancy and childbirth, it’s natural to want to regain your strength, fitness, and overall well-being. Engaging in low-risk exercises after pregnancy can be a great way to ease back into physical activity, promote recovery, and gradually rebuild your strength and stamina.

In this article, we will explore a variety of low-risk exercises that are safe and suitable for the postpartum period. These exercises are designed to support your body’s recovery, strengthen your core muscles, and improve overall fitness without putting excessive strain or risk on your healing body.

We will discuss exercises that focus on rebuilding pelvic floor strength, toning the abdominal muscles, improving posture, and increasing cardiovascular endurance. These exercises can be easily incorporated into your daily routine, allowing you to regain your pre-pregnancy fitness gradually and safely.

It’s important to remember that every woman’s postpartum journey is unique, and individual recovery times may vary. It is recommended to consult with your healthcare provider before starting any exercise regimen, especially if you had a complicated pregnancy or delivery or if you have specific health considerations.

By engaging in low-risk exercises after pregnancy, you can not only support your physical recovery but also experience a boost in energy levels, improved mood, and enhanced overall well-being. It’s essential to listen to your body, start slowly, and gradually increase the intensity and duration of your workouts as you regain your strength and comfort.

So, let’s explore the low-risk exercises that you can safely incorporate into your postpartum routine and embark on a journey of regaining your fitness and vitality after pregnancy.

What Low-Risk Exercises Can I Do After Pregnancy?

After pregnancy, it’s important to gradually reintroduce physical activity into your routine. Low-risk exercises can be a safe and effective way to regain strength, improve fitness, and promote overall well-being. Here are some examples of low-risk exercises you can do after pregnancy:

  1. Pelvic floor exercises (Kegels): Strengthening your pelvic floor muscles is essential after pregnancy. Kegels involve contracting and releasing these muscles, which helps improve bladder control, support pelvic organs, and promote faster recovery.
  2. Walking: Walking is a low-impact exercise that can be easily incorporated into your daily routine. It helps improve cardiovascular fitness, boost mood, increase energy levels, and aid in weight loss. Start with shorter walks and gradually increase duration and intensity over time.
  3. Yoga or Pilates: These forms of exercise focus on core strength, flexibility, and relaxation. They can help tone abdominal muscles, improve posture, and promote overall body strength. Look for postpartum-specific yoga or Pilates classes that cater to the needs of new mothers.
  4. Swimming or water aerobics: Water-based exercises provide a low-impact and supportive environment for post-pregnancy workouts. Swimming helps improve cardiovascular fitness, strengthen muscles, and reduce joint strain. Water aerobics classes designed for postpartum women can provide a fun and effective full-body workout.

Remember to listen to your body and consult with your healthcare provider before starting any exercise program. Start slowly and gradually increase the duration and intensity of your workouts. Be mindful of your postpartum recovery and make adjustments as needed. Stay hydrated, wear comfortable and supportive clothing, and most importantly, enjoy the process of getting back into shape after pregnancy.

Benefits of low-risk exercises after pregnancy

Restoring Core Strength and Stability

Restoring core strength and stability is a crucial aspect of post-pregnancy exercise. During pregnancy, the abdominal muscles and pelvic floor experience significant stretching and weakening. Rebuilding these muscles not only helps improve physical appearance but also plays a vital role in overall functionality and well-being. Here are some key points for restoring core strength and stability after pregnancy:

  1. Understanding the core muscles: The core consists of a complex group of muscles, including the rectus abdominis, transverse abdominis, internal and external obliques, and the pelvic floor muscles. These muscles work together to provide stability, support, and proper alignment for the spine and pelvis.
  2. Pelvic floor exercises (Kegels): Kegels, which involve contracting and relaxing the pelvic floor muscles, are highly effective in restoring strength and function to this area. Regularly performing Kegels can help improve bladder control, support pelvic organs, and enhance sexual satisfaction.
  3. Abdominal exercises: Once cleared by your healthcare provider, gentle abdominal exercises can be incorporated into your post-pregnancy exercise routine. It’s important to start with exercises that engage the deep core muscles, such as the transverse abdominis. Examples include pelvic tilts, gentle abdominal compressions, and modified planks. Gradually progress to more challenging exercises as your strength improves.
  4. Postural awareness and functional movements: Maintaining good posture throughout the day and during exercise is essential for core strength and stability. Practice engaging your core muscles during daily activities, such as lifting, bending, and carrying your baby. Functional movements, like squats and lunges, can also help strengthen the core while improving overall body strength and stability.
  5. Seek professional guidance: Consider working with a postnatal fitness specialist or physical therapist who can provide tailored exercises and guidance. They can help ensure proper form, address specific concerns or imbalances, and create a safe and effective exercise plan to restore core strength and stability.

Remember, What Low-Risk Exercises Can I Do After Pregnancy? Restoring core strength and stability takes time and patience. Be consistent with your exercises, listen to your body, and don’t rush the process. It’s important to prioritize gradual progress and focus on quality movements rather than quantity. With dedication and the right approach, you can regain core strength and stability, supporting your overall physical well-being after pregnancy.

Enhancing Overall Cardiovascular Fitness

Enhancing overall cardiovascular fitness is an essential aspect of post-pregnancy exercise. Cardiovascular exercises help improve heart health, increase endurance, boost energy levels, and promote weight loss. Here are some key points for enhancing cardiovascular fitness after pregnancy:

  1. Start with low-impact exercises: Begin by engaging in low-impact activities that are gentle on your joints and gradually increase your heart rate. Walking is a great starting point, as it can be easily incorporated into your daily routine. Aim for brisk walking to elevate your heart rate and gradually increase the intensity and duration of your walks.
  2. Incorporate aerobic exercises: As your body becomes more accustomed to physical activity, gradually introduce aerobic exercises that increase your heart rate and challenge your cardiovascular system. Activities like cycling, swimming, dancing, and using an elliptical machine are excellent options. Choose exercises that you enjoy to make the process more enjoyable and sustainable.
  3. Interval training: Once you have built a foundation of cardiovascular fitness, consider incorporating interval training into your routine. This involves alternating periods of higher-intensity exercise with periods of active recovery. For example, you could alternate between jogging and walking or cycling at different speeds for specific time intervals. Interval training helps improve cardiovascular endurance and can be a time-efficient way to get an effective workout.
  4. Join group fitness classes: Group fitness classes can provide motivation, guidance, and a sense of community. Look for postnatal-specific fitness classes that cater to the needs and abilities of new mothers. Classes such as aerobics, dance-based workouts, or indoor cycling can help you stay motivated and challenge yourself while improving cardiovascular fitness.
  5. Gradually increase intensity and duration: It’s important to progress gradually to avoid overexertion and minimize the risk of injury. Gradually increase the intensity, duration, and frequency of your cardiovascular workouts over time. Listen to your body and adjust the intensity as needed. Remember that consistency is key, and even shorter, more frequent workouts can be beneficial.
  6. Warm-up and cool-down: Prior to starting any cardiovascular exercise, ensure you warm up properly to prepare your body for activity. This can include dynamic stretching, light aerobic movements, and mobility exercises. After your workout, cool down with static stretching to promote flexibility and prevent muscle soreness.

Low-risk exercises after pregnancy always consult with your healthcare provider before starting any exercise program, especially if you have had a complicated pregnancy or delivery. They can provide personalized guidance and ensure that you are progressing safely. By incorporating cardiovascular exercises into your post-pregnancy routine, you can enhance your overall fitness, improve heart health, and experience the numerous physical and mental benefits of regular aerobic activity.

Low-risk exercises for post-pregnancy

Pelvic Floor Exercises (Kegels)

Pelvic floor exercises, commonly known as Kegels, are a vital component of post-pregnancy exercise. These exercises target the muscles of the pelvic floor, which can become weakened during pregnancy and childbirth. By strengthening the pelvic floor, Kegels help improve bladder control, support pelvic organs, enhance sexual satisfaction, and promote overall pelvic health. Here are some key points about Pelvic Floor Exercises (Kegels):

  1. Identifying the pelvic floor muscles: The first step in performing Kegels is to identify the pelvic floor muscles. These are the muscles that you engage to stop the flow of urine or prevent passing gas. Take some time to locate and familiarize yourself with these muscles before starting your exercises.
  2. Technique for Kegels: Kegels involve contracting and relaxing the pelvic floor muscles. To perform a Kegel exercise, follow these steps: a. Start by emptying your bladder to ensure you’re not engaging the wrong muscles. b. Sit or lie down in a comfortable position. c. Contract your pelvic floor muscles by squeezing them and lifting them upward. Imagine pulling them inward and upward, as if trying to lift an elevator. d. Hold the contraction for a few seconds (start with 3-5 seconds and gradually increase over time). e. Relax the muscles and rest for a few seconds. f. Repeat the process, aiming for a series of 10 contractions in one set. g. Gradually increase the number of sets you perform each day.
  3. Gradual progression: It’s important to start with gentle contractions and gradually increase the intensity and duration of your Kegels. Over time, work towards holding the contractions for longer periods and performing more repetitions. Remember to progress at a pace that feels comfortable and sustainable for your body.
  4. Consistency is key: Consistency is crucial when it comes to Kegels. Aim to perform these exercises regularly, ideally multiple times a day. You can incorporate Kegels into your daily routine by doing them while sitting, standing, or even during activities such as feeding your baby or watching television. Consistency will help you achieve optimal results and maintain the strength of your pelvic floor muscles.
  5. Seek guidance if needed: If you are unsure about the proper technique or have any concerns, consider consulting a healthcare provider, pelvic floor physical therapist, or postnatal fitness specialist. They can provide guidance, ensure you are performing the exercises correctly, and address any specific issues or concerns you may have.

Remember that results may take time, and it’s important to be patient with your progress. Regularly practicing Kegels can lead to noticeable improvements in pelvic floor strength and function. By incorporating pelvic floor exercises into post-pregnancy routine, you can enhance bladder control, promote pelvic health, and support your overall well-being.

Walking or Brisk Walking

Walking, and especially brisk walking, is a fantastic low-impact exercise option after pregnancy. It is gentle on the joints, easy to incorporate into daily routines, and provides numerous benefits for postpartum women. Here are some key points about walking or brisk walking:

  1. Gradual re-introduction: After receiving clearance from your healthcare provider, walking can be an excellent starting point for post-pregnancy exercise. Begin with shorter walks and gradually increase the duration and intensity over time. This gradual approach allows your body to adapt and build endurance.
  2. Cardiovascular benefits: Walking, especially at a brisk pace, raises your heart rate and improves cardiovascular fitness. It helps increase blood circulation, and oxygen delivery, and boosts your metabolism. Regular brisk walking sessions can improve heart health, enhance endurance, and contribute to weight loss or weight management.
  3. Low-impact and joint-friendly: Walking is a low-impact exercise that places minimal stress on your joints, making it an ideal choice for post-pregnancy. It is gentle on your knees, hips, and ankles, which may still be recovering from the strain of pregnancy and childbirth. Walking provides the opportunity to engage in physical activity without placing excessive pressure on vulnerable areas.
  4. Mental and emotional benefits: Walking in nature or pleasant surroundings can have a positive impact on your mental well-being. It offers an opportunity to clear your mind, reduce stress, and boost your mood. You can also use this time to bond with your baby by taking them along in a stroller or baby carrier.
  5. Convenience and adaptability: Walking is a versatile exercise that can be easily incorporated into your daily routine. You can walk around your neighborhood, explore local parks, or utilize nearby walking trails. It can be done at any time of day and doesn’t require any special equipment or memberships.
  6. Postural benefits: Walking with good posture can help improve your core strength and alignment. Focus on keeping your head up, and shoulders back, and engaging your abdominal muscles as you walk. This mindful posture can contribute to restoring core strength and stability over time.
  7. Social aspect: Walking can also be a social activity. Consider joining a walking group or inviting friends or other postpartum moms to walk with you. It provides an opportunity to connect, share experiences, and support each other on your post-pregnancy fitness journeys.

Remember to wear comfortable and supportive shoes, dress appropriately for the weather, and stay hydrated during your walks. Listen to your body and adjust your pace and distance as needed. Walking or brisk walking is a simple yet effective way to increase your activity level after pregnancy, improve cardiovascular fitness, and enjoy the many benefits of regular physical activity.

Safety considerations and tips for exercising after pregnancy

Consultation with Healthcare Provider

Consulting with your healthcare provider is essential before starting any post-pregnancy exercise program. Here are some key points highlighting the importance of seeking professional guidance:

  1. Individualized advice: Every pregnancy, childbirth, and postpartum recovery is unique. Consulting with your healthcare provider allows them to evaluate your specific circumstances and provide personalized advice. They can take into account factors such as your medical history, any complications during pregnancy or childbirth, and the current state of your health to ensure your safety during exercise.
  2. Postpartum check-up: Your healthcare provider will typically schedule a postpartum check-up around six weeks after delivery. This appointment serves as an opportunity to discuss your overall health, recovery progress, and any concerns you may have. During this visit, you can specifically discuss your desire to start exercising and receive guidance tailored to your individual needs.
  3. Physical readiness assessment: Your healthcare provider can assess your physical readiness for exercise. They can evaluate factors such as your pelvic floor strength, abdominal separation (diastasis recti), and any other musculoskeletal considerations. This assessment helps determine if there are specific precautions or modifications you need to follow during your exercise routine.
  4. Addressing potential risks or complications: Certain medical conditions or complications during pregnancy or childbirth may require specific precautions or modifications when it comes to exercise. Your healthcare provider can identify any potential risks and guide you on how to safely engage in physical activity. This ensures that your exercise routine supports your recovery without jeopardizing your health.
  5. Recommendations for exercise types and intensity: Based on your individual circumstances, your healthcare provider can provide recommendations on suitable types of exercises and their intensity. They can suggest low-impact activities, such as walking or swimming, and advise on gradually increasing intensity over time. Their guidance helps you choose exercises that align with your goals while minimizing the risk of injury.
  6. Addressing postpartum concerns: Postpartum women may have specific concerns related to their recovery, such as pelvic floor issues, diastasis recti, or breastfeeding considerations. Consulting with your healthcare provider allows you to discuss these concerns and receive expert advice on how to navigate them during exercise.
  7. Monitoring your overall health: Regular consultations with your healthcare provider allow them to monitor your overall health and well-being. They can track your progress, address any emerging issues, and provide ongoing support as you progress in your post-pregnancy exercise journey.

Remember, your healthcare provider is the best source of guidance and can ensure that your exercise routine is safe, appropriate, and supportive of low-risk post-pregnancy exercise recovery. Their expertise and personalized advice play a vital role in helping you make informed decisions and achieve optimal health and fitness after pregnancy.

Gradual Progression and Listening to Your Body

Gradual progression and listening to your body are fundamental principles when engaging in post-pregnancy exercise. Here are key points emphasizing their importance:

  1. Start slowly: Your body has undergone significant changes during pregnancy and childbirth. It’s crucial to start with low-impact exercises and gradually increase intensity and duration over time. Beginning at a comfortable level allows your body to adapt, reduces the risk of injury, and promotes a sustainable exercise routine.
  2. Respect your recovery: Post-pregnancy recovery varies for each individual. Factors such as delivery type, physical fitness prior to pregnancy, and overall health influence the pace of recovery. Listen to your body’s signals and adjust your exercise routine accordingly. Respect any limitations or discomfort you may experience and avoid pushing yourself too hard, too soon.
  3. Pay attention to postpartum symptoms: Postpartum symptoms, such as excessive fatigue, pain, or discomfort, should not be ignored. If you experience any concerning symptoms during or after exercise, consult your healthcare provider. They can assess whether adjustments need to be made to your routine or if further evaluation is necessary.
  4. Modify exercises as needed: Your body may require modifications during the post-pregnancy phase. For instance, if you have diastasis recti (abdominal separation), certain abdominal exercises may need to be avoided or adapted to prevent further strain. Seek guidance from a postnatal fitness specialist or physical therapist to ensure that you’re performing exercises correctly and in a way that supports your recovery.
  5. Listen to pelvic floor cues: The pelvic floor plays a crucial role in post-pregnancy exercise. Pay attention to any sensations of pressure, discomfort, or leakage during activities. If you experience any of these symptoms, it may indicate a need to modify or adjust your exercise routine. Consult with a healthcare provider or pelvic floor specialist for guidance on exercises that are appropriate for your pelvic floor health.
  6. Take rest days: Adequate rest and recovery are essential for your body to heal and rebuild strength. Incorporate rest days into your exercise routine to give your muscles time to recover. This also helps prevent overuse injuries and supports the overall well-being of your body.
  7. Stay hydrated and nourished: Proper hydration and nutrition are crucial during the post-pregnancy period, especially when engaging in exercise. Drink plenty of water before, during, and after your workouts to stay hydrated. Maintain a balanced diet that provides the necessary nutrients for your body’s recovery and energy needs.

Remember, post-pregnancy exercise is not a race. Be patient with your progress and embrace a mindset of self-care. By gradually progressing and listening to your body’s cues, you can develop a sustainable exercise routine post-pregnancy recovery and overall well-being.


In conclusion, engaging in low-risk exercises after pregnancy is a valuable step towards regaining strength, promoting recovery, and improving overall well-being. These exercises, such as pelvic floor exercises (Kegels), walking or brisk walking, yoga or Pilates, and swimming or water aerobics, offer numerous benefits for postpartum women.

By focusing on restoring core strength and stability, pelvic floor exercises (Kegels) play a vital role in improving bladder control, supporting pelvic organs, and enhancing sexual satisfaction. These exercises can be easily incorporated into daily routines and offer long-term benefits for pelvic health.

Walking, including brisk walking, is a low-impact exercise after pregnancy that provides cardiovascular benefits, promotes weight loss, and boosts mood and energy levels. It can be conveniently integrated into daily activities, making it an accessible and effective exercise option for post-pregnancy.

Yoga and Pilates, with their emphasis on core strength, flexibility, and relaxation, contribute to restoring abdominal muscles, improving posture, and enhancing overall body tone. Additionally, these practices provide mental well-being benefits, helping to reduce stress and uplift mood during the postpartum period.

Swimming and water aerobics offer a low-impact and supportive environment for exercise. They target multiple muscle groups, promote cardiovascular fitness, and provide a refreshing and enjoyable experience. Engaging in water-based exercises can be particularly beneficial for post-pregnancy recovery, as the buoyancy of the water reduces strain on joints.

When incorporating low-risk exercises after pregnancy, it is crucial to prioritize safety and listen to your body. Consultation with a healthcare provider is essential to ensure that you are ready for physical activity and to receive personalized guidance based on your individual circumstances. Gradual progression, proper warm-up and cool-down routines, and adequate hydration and nutrition are vital considerations for a safe and effective exercise routine.

Ultimately, by prioritizing post-pregnancy exercise, you are prioritizing your physical and mental well-being. Embrace the transformative effects that low-risk exercises can have on your recovery, self-confidence, and overall health. Remember to be patient with yourself, celebrate small milestones, and stay committed to your journey of post-pregnancy fitness. Your body has gone through an incredible journey, and with the right exercises, you can regain strength, restore balance, and embark on a path of lifelong wellness.