Postpartum fitness: Navigating the journey back to exercise after pregnancy

Welcoming a new baby into the world is an exhilarating experience filled with joy, love, and a fair share of challenges. Amidst the sleepless nights and endless diaper changes, many new mothers are eager to return to their pre-pregnancy fitness routines. In other words, postpartum exercise.

However, the journey back to exercise postpartum is unique for each woman and should be approached with patience and care.

In a recent study, most of the participants had some plan for incorporating exercise into their postpartum routine, regardless of whether they were regular exercisers before pregnancy. Those who were frequent exercisers before and during pregnancy were more likely to have already resumed activity. Keep in mind that unfortunately, data indicate that less than 25 percent of people meet the recommendations in the Physical Activity Guidelines during pregnancy, so postpartum exercise can feel overwhelming for many.

Here’s a guide to navigating postpartum fitness safely and effectively.

Understanding the postpartum body

The postpartum period, often referred to as the “fourth trimester,” is a time of significant physical and emotional change.

After childbirth, a woman’s body undergoes numerous adjustments as it heals and adapts to its new state. Understanding these changes is crucial before diving back into a fitness regimen:

  1. Hormonal shifts: Hormones like relaxin, which increases during pregnancy to loosen ligaments and joints, remain elevated for several months postpartum. This can affect joint stability and flexibility.
  2. Muscle and joint recovery: The abdominal muscles, pelvic floor, and lower back are particularly impacted by pregnancy and childbirth. Diastasis recti, a separation of the abdominal muscles, is common and requires specific exercises to heal.
  3. Energy levels: New mothers often experience fatigue due to sleep deprivation and the demands of caring for a newborn. Energy levels can fluctuate, making it important to listen to your body.
  4. Emotional well-being: Postpartum depression and anxiety can affect motivation and the ability to engage in regular exercise. It’s important to address mental health alongside physical health.

When to start exercising postpartum

Before beginning any postpartum fitness routine, it’s essential to get clearance from your healthcare provider.

Generally, women who had an uncomplicated vaginal delivery can start gentle exercises, such as walking and pelvic floor exercises, within a few days to weeks after childbirth.

For those who had a cesarean section or experienced complications, the timeline may be longer, typically around six to eight weeks, or as advised by a healthcare professional.

Guidelines for safe postpartum exercise

Before diving “all in,” keep the following in mind:

  1. Start slow and steady: Begin with low-impact activities like walking, gentle stretching, and pelvic floor exercises. Gradually increase the intensity and duration as your body heals and strengthens.
  2. Focus on core and pelvic floor: Rebuilding core strength and pelvic floor stability is crucial. Exercises like pelvic tilts, Kegels, and gentle abdominal contractions can help. Avoid high-impact activities and heavy lifting until these muscles are adequately restored.
  3. Stay hydrated and nourished: Proper hydration and nutrition support recovery and energy levels. Breastfeeding mothers, in particular, need to ensure they are consuming enough calories and fluids.
  4. Listen to your body: Pay attention to signs of overexertion, such as pain, excessive fatigue, or bleeding. Rest when needed and adjust your routine based on how you feel.
  5. Include baby in your workouts: Incorporating your baby into your fitness routine can make exercising more enjoyable and convenient. Activities like stroller walks, baby-wearing exercises, and mom-and-baby yoga classes are great options.

Effective postpartum exercises

While Kaia FIT is a fantastic option for women returning to fitness after having a baby, there are basics that you can explore:

  1. Walking: A simple and effective way to start moving. It’s gentle on the body and can be done with your baby in a stroller.
  2. Pelvic floor exercises: Strengthening the pelvic floor is crucial for preventing issues like incontinence. Kegel exercises and pelvic floor physical therapy can be beneficial.
  3. Gentle yoga and stretching: Yoga can help improve flexibility, reduce stress, and promote relaxation. Focus on gentle poses that support core and pelvic floor recovery.
  4. Bodyweight exercises: Gradually reintroduce bodyweight exercises like squats, lunges, and modified planks to rebuild strength without overloading your body.
  5. Swimming: If you have access to a pool, swimming is a low-impact exercise that works the entire body and supports cardiovascular health.

Overcoming common challenges

If you’re feeling overwhelmed about getting back into fitness postpartum, you’re not alone! The following are some tips to overcome the hurdles:

  1. Time management: Finding time to exercise with a newborn can be challenging. Short, frequent workouts can be just as effective as longer sessions. Incorporate movement into your daily routine whenever possible.
  2. Lack of motivation: Postpartum fatigue and emotional changes can affect motivation. Setting realistic goals, finding a workout buddy, or joining a new mom fitness group can help maintain motivation.
  3. Body image concerns: It’s common to feel self-conscious about postpartum body changes. Focus on the incredible work your body has done and prioritize health over appearance. Celebrate small victories and progress.

In conclusion

The journey back to fitness after pregnancy is a personal and gradual process. By understanding your postpartum body, setting realistic goals, and listening to your body’s needs, you can safely and effectively return to exercise.

Remember, the primary goal is to support your overall well-being and enjoy the journey of motherhood. Celebrate each milestone, no matter how small, and embrace the new strength and resilience your body possesses.

Kaia FIT is a women’s fitness and nutrition program that empowers women to become the best version of themselves through personalized coaching in a group environment. We prioritize community to help connect women to each other for additional support and accountability. Caren Roblin is the owner of Kaia FIT Sierra, with four studio locations in Reno-Sparks.

7 Day Reset

We’ve incorporated inspiration and motivation to help you rock all 7 days. In the next 7 days you will make shifts in your mind and body that will boost your metabolism, improve sleep and increase energy.


This is a self paced reset, so you can start when you are ready but we recommend to continue with the reset each day once you begin to see the maximum results.

All it takes is 7 DAYS. What are you waiting for?

Kaia Tri is a ten-week triathlon training program with workouts three times a week, which is an optional extra during our spring and summer CORE sessions. We swim, bike, and run, with some cross-training classes too. By being able to set a personal pace, our triathlon training program is suited to beginners tackling their first race and intermediate athletes looking to improve their finish time.

Our mock triathlons run several times to familiarize women with the course route. We finish the season with a Triathlon Training Camp which includes paddle boarding and power workouts. The next day is our exhilarating and fun Triathlon race day for all Kaia Tri women to enjoy working out in a beautiful location. Friends are welcome too!


Kaia Sandbag combines traditional fitness with unconventional training methods. With sandbags, the weight shifts and moves in an unpredictable fashion. This piece of equipment is integrated into our conditioning & strength building workouts to simultaneously develop strength, power, endurance, mobility, and balance – with an additional emphasis on developing overall core strength and stability.

New to sandbag training? No problem! Beginners are always welcome.


TRX® Suspension Training® body-weight exercise simultaneously develops strength, power, endurance, mobility, durability, balance, flexibility, and core stability. Whether you’re younger or older, out of shape or a pro athlete, injured or at the top of your game, TRX Suspension Training meets you where you are and takes you where you want to go. TRX Suspension Training leverages gravity and the user’s body weight to enable hundreds of exercises that can be instantly scaled for any user to reach any fitness or training goal. The easily-scalable nature of TRX Suspension Training makes it a practical solution wherever you are on the fitness continuum.

Need a little extra boost to keep your body guessing? Our TRX/Cardio class is an excellent complement to any Kaia FIT session. TRX workouts, which can be used by anyone at any level, builds true functional strength and improves flexibility, balance and core stability all at once. Mixed with cardio, the classes give every member the perfect balance of challenge and success.

*TRX classes not available in all areas. Please contact us your local studio.


Our trademark Kaia Cross-Training™ classes are a unique mix of cardio, functional movement, and both weighted and non-weighted exercises.

Cross-Training benefits:

Each day brings a new workout. We have an elite group of advanced coaches who infuse each workout with their own flair and focus, meaning you’re never going to repeat a workout, avoid burn-out, and fitness plateaus.

Keeping the body guessing is key to sculpting lean muscle mass. We also have a 3-part modification foundation: Balance (non-impact); Strength (mid-impact) and Kaia (high impact). Each exercise has its own progression so that everyone can feel successful.

As a part of our program, we also offer nutritional guidance to help you make healthy food choices and keep your fitness on track.

What are you waiting for? Join us today!


Our barre-based class is a unique combination of postures inspired by ballet, yoga, Pilates and Kaia. Using the barre as a prop to balance, you’ll complete a series of isometric holds combined with high reps of small range movements to elongate and tone your major muscle groups.

In addition to the barre, classes incorporate pilates balls, yoga blocks, and/or resistance bands for increased endurance, challenge and focus. Following each set of holds, you’ll rest and recovery with a short series of stretches and poses to increase flexibility prior to advancing.
Kaia Barre is a low-impact class that perfectly complements our program offerings. Meet us at the barre and try your first class for free!

Participating locations may vary. See the schedule page for more details.


Our dance fitness class is rooted in traditional dance. We use those foundational moves and offer a class that is easy enough for beginners yet challenging enough for the more seasoned dancer. The simplicity of the routines allows you to keep moving with ease. Although this is a workout, it feels more like a dance party with your girlfriends.


Improve your speed, skill, endurance, stamina, and strength with our Kaia running program. The program works on developing running skills that can increase speed, endurance, and overall fitness. The program is designed for you to run at your pace and and help you see improvements every step of the way.

The Kaia training is a simple, progressive program designed for women of all ages and all fitness levels. Whether you are a walker, jogger, or runner, you will be able to join this program and move at your own pace. Research has shown that even 20 to 30 minutes of running (two to three times per week) is enough to help you lose or maintain weight and improve many other important health markers, i.e. your cholesterol, blood pressure and insulin response.

Don’t be intimidated by the Kaia Run program name, each class will have walkers, joggers and runners. Keep in mind that the first mile is the hardest mile you will ever run. Once you get off the starting block, things only get easier. All you have to do is be patient and disciplined in your training, and that is where Kaia


Kaia Yoga combines mind and body with a power yoga and core-strengthening weekly workout with Pilates-style techniques. We focus on balance, strength, and cardiovascular fitness through stretching, strength training and dynamic movement to improve overall fitness levels.

By creating long, lean muscles, Yoga promotes improved coordination, greater flexibility and a fuller range of motion, with a strong body that’s less prone to injury. Yoga keeps the mind centered and reduces stress through positive thoughts and a sense of mindfulness, which also inspires mental strength and confidence.

Yin Yoga, or restorative yoga, is a quiet contemplative practice. It targets the deepest tissues of the body, our connective tissues – ligaments, joints, bones, and the deep fascia networks of the body. Poses are held for 1 minute or more and transitions between poses are gentle and slow. This class is an excellent compliment to our other classes, provides dedicated stretching, and is known to reduce stress and anxiety.


Our BRIK Bootcamp sessions are offered three times a year and are designed to help you reach your health and fitness potential, and you’re welcome to start anytime!

Our BRIK Bootcamps are six weeks long and feature classes daily.* This programming fits in seamlessly with our regularly scheduled classes, and it’s as easy as 1-2-3:

  1. Register for BRIK Bootcamp HERE (included for Platinum & Gold Memberships)
  2. Book your classes through our branded app and Show Up
  3. Let our expert coaches do the rest!

These sessions offer great results in weight and body fat loss and an increase in strength and cardiovascular endurance. Our nutritional support will boost energy, help you de-bloat, increase sleep quality, and enhance your overall glow.

BRIK Bootcamp includes:

In between BRIK Bootcamp, we offer a variety of classes to meet you at your level! We also have nutrition and fitness challenges, in addition to fun opportunities to spice up your routine. What are you waiting for? Join us today!


Cardio based, calorie torching workout with certified spin instructors. It’s a party on a bike!

Try a Week Free