Postpartum took me by surprise. And I know there’s a new chapter coming just around the bend. I don’t want to be caught as off guard and I don’t want YOU to be caught off guard.
With that in mind, here are five things that I think we should be doing now, to prepare for our ever-after.
How ever young you are today, this is the best time to get started.
1) Take care of your little leaks and other pelvic health issues now.
Small leaks, that seem like a minor nuisance now, can become much bigger problems as you head into menopause.
Menopause predisposes people to leaks and other pelvic floor dysfunctions. The hormonal changes associated with menopause will amplify existing issues you are already experiences.
Set yourself up for success by entering this next chapter with a solid pelvic health baseline.
If you’re interested in learning more about the stuff coming up in the next (super-fun) chapter of your hormonal physiology, I highly recommend this episode of the Practice Brave podcast.
Wanna know where to go to get help with your pelvic health? Check out this post A Pelvic Floor Physical Therapy Primer: What Is It? Who’s It For? What Should You Expect?:
2) Lift heavy.
You start losing muscle mass over the age of 30. This loss accelerates as you approach menopause.
Take control by proactively building muscle mass now. I don’t mean you need to get big and bulky, but lift as heavy as you can 2 or 3 days a week.
For most people (recreational exercisers), a good rule of thumb is to lift in sets of 8-10 reps, with a weight that you could lift no more than 2 more times by the end of the set. If you could do 5 more lifts, it’s too light. If you’re maxing out on the 8th rep, it’s too heavy.
If this is an area where you need a little more guidance, well… this IS what I do. Get in touch and tell me what you need!
3) Learn to squat and hinge.
Explore all your ranges of motion. Learn to move and pick stuff up efficiently.
Mobility limitations now become restrictions later. If you want to move well into your old age, it starts now.
Last week I nerded out on squats and hinges all over Instagram. Check out these posts to learn more:
4) Learn to get up from the ground, without using your hands.
Being able to get up an down off the floor, without using your hands and with ease, is obviously helpful for a new parent. But it becomes a literal lifesaver as you get older.
A 2014 study in the European Journal of Preventative Cardiology demonstrated that the ability to sit and stand from the ground, without using hands for assistance, was a significant predictor of mortality (during a 6 year study period) in peple 51-80.
Most of my readers are in a younger age demographic, but standing from the ground without use of the hands is still an important skill and a useful proxy for flexibility, balance, strength, coordination and muscle power. At any age.
If this is a skill you need to practice, check out this post:
5) Walk more.
Build a solid habit of moving every day. And not just during your “workouts”.
The stuff you do in the 23-23.5 hours you’re not working probably has a bigger impact on your health than the stuff you do during your workout.
Read more about non-exercise movement:
How do you score? Do you have all 5 in the bag? Or do you need to work on one of these areas??
Your first step in managing those little leaks.
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The No B.S. Guide to a Stronger, Drier Pregnancy & Postpartum.👇🏽👇🏽
My mission is to make sure that having a baby is not a reason why you can’t do all the things.
Contact me if you have questions about exercise or pelvic health pertaining to pregnancy or postpartum. I also offer personal training services and consultations to folks locally (Seattle, Bellevue, Redmond, Kirkland) and online.