Women, we just can’t catch a break when it comes to our bodies and how we see fit to use them, can we?
The Biggest Loser trainer Michelle Bridges has come under fire this week after sharing some exercise advice to her community of health-inspired mums. The guidance included information about her own exercise routine, three weeks after giving birth to her healthy little boy, Axel.
In the post Bridges shares: “Mums have been asking me what I’ve been doing for training. Here’s what I did today. Remember! I’m a professional trainer & have been training for 30yrs. So! For you please dial this down to 15-20 mins of total work,” she says. “30 mins of 1 minute jog 1 minute walk. 26 minutes 20 sec jog 10 sec walk. Enjoy!”
Within a few milliseconds some social media followers and even some experts have been jumping on the body shaming bandwagon, saying Bridges shouldn’t be telling women to jog so soon after giving birth.
Some experts have said that Bridges should instead focus of the importance of strengthening pelvic floor muscles instead of jogging.
All I can say is, give the woman a break. Look, Bridges has her moments, remember when she called people freaks for wanting to grow their own veggies, but shaming the personal trainer for doing some light exercise postpartum is about as ridiculous as telling a woman that she can’t eat a week’s worth of chocolate ice cream in one sitting. A woman’s body is her own and she can understand what it can handle better than you.
People are too quick to jump on the shaming bandwagon when it comes to pregnant women. Women shouldn’t do weights, they say, they shouldn’t do CrossFit, they fuss, and now they shouldn’t go for a jog, either.
There are some serious benefits of going for jogs after a pregnancy. It can improve mental clarity and well-being. I’m not saying you should begin training for a marathon weeks after little Susie is born, but a light jog and walk can do wonders for mental health.
There is no concrete research into how long a woman should wait to exercise after giving birth. Situations and fitness levels change from person to person, so rather than shaming Bridges for encouraging her community to jog postpartum, perhaps we should be commending her for encouraging a healthy lifestyle among so many Australians.
Even the Mayo Clinic says that if you feel great, there’s no need to wait.
“In the past, health care providers often instructed women to wait at least six weeks after giving birth to begin exercising,” the clinic says.
“The waiting game might be over, however. If you had an uncomplicated vaginal delivery, it’s generally safe to begin exercising as soon as you feel ready.”