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Post Baby Fitness

Posted Jul 23 2009 10:00pm 1 Comment

(Photo courtesy of flickr )

A lot of new mommies are anxious to get started losing all that pregnancy weight, but wonder how soon is it ok for them to start…

You can begin exercising your pelvic floor and lower tummy muscles as soon as you feel ready. Getting out and about is good for your physical and mental health, so bundle up your little one and take him for a walk, the fresh air will do both of you loads of good!

Some obstetricians will tell you to wait until your six-week postnatal check before trying other forms of exercise, although most feel that it’s OK to gradually go back to your pre-pregnancy routine based on your personal physical capability. It all depends on whether or not you are a regular exerciser.

Generally, if you exercised right up until the end of pregnancy, you can probably safely perform your pregnancy workout – or at least light exercise and stretching – from the start.

If you still are experiencing heavy bleeding, wait to do any heavy physical activity until this stops. However, if you had a fairly routine delivery and relatively easy pregnancy, most experts say that you do can start light exercise before your six-week checkup.

If you are finding it difficult to do pelvic floor exercises or you are leaking urine when you cough, laugh or sneeze, make sure to talk to your doctor first.

As a new mommy, you may find it hard to take time away from your baby to exercise, so why not exercise WITH them! Here are some great ways to get in your exercise, while still enjoying some time with your baby as well.

1. WALKING– It is important to get a cardiovascular workout since this will help you burn off the baby fat. Walking is a great way to get some fresh air, tone your legs and improve your over-all health. A friend of mine even wore her baby carrier on the treadmill when she worked out, just so she could be close to her baby. What a GREAT idea!

2. CORE WORKOUT– Whether feeding or just playing, you can use a stability ball to help strengthen your core muscles as you hold your baby. Just sitting on the ball requires you to keep your balance by engaging the core muscles, and in doing so, extra blood flow goes to the back which nourishes this area with oxygen and nutrients and helps alleviate lower back aches and pains (perfect after 9 months of carrying baby, in which your back has been a trooper.)

Just as in your pregnancy, post-baby fitness can help ease a host of discomforts simply by increasing your circulation. Exercise can also help with any postpartum depression you might be experiencing. Plus, if you maintain your exercise, you will be providing your children with an excellent example of how to stay healthy. If you feel comfortable about spending time away from your newborn to do some exercising, here are some suggestions for you:

1. STOMACH EXERCISES–Your tummy is probably the area of your body that you are most worried about getting back to its pre-pregnancy shape. The Plank and Side Plank are great exercises for your abdominals to get them into shape quickly. For both tummy exercises, you should try to do two to three sets of then, holding for a count of 15-30 seconds.

2. CARDIO–Intervals are the best way to lose that baby fat. These can be done on any type of cardio machine and even done outside walking. To do intervals, you will start at a warm up pace for 2-3 minutes, then increase your speed for 30 seconds and then back down to an easy pace for 60 seconds. Perform this routine 4-6 times and you will be burning away that baby belly for sure!

Most importantly, don’t feel like you have to do it all at one time. Break up your workouts into 10-15 minutes chunks throughout the day, in between diaper changes, naps and feedings! Just do something and you will feel a whole lot better!

Comments (1)
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After my last baby I have been much more active in getting rid of my post pregnancy tummy and it's done wonders for how I feel.  My husband didn't really understand how postpartum blues worked, but they are real.  However, when I exercise it makes me feel a million times better!  The hardest part is starting your routine again, but instead of making you tired, daily exercise really does GIVE you energy!

Great article, I loved it!


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