Exercises for Banishing the Baby Weight After Delivery
The miracle of pregnancy and childbirth changes your mind, body and soul forever. The mind and soul part is great, but the body part has some downsides.
According the to Centers for Disease Control, nearly half of women gain more weight than recommended during pregnancy, but that’s not the only change. Your stomach muscles expand and can pull apart in the third trimester. If you were on bed rest at any point, you may have also lost muscle mass.
Exercise is essential to getting your body back on track and staying healthy for your baby. Regardless of whether you join a gym or workout at home, the trainers at Fitness 19 remind new moms to take it slow. They help post-partum clients create workout plans, but they also remind new moms it may take a little while to get back to where they were pre-pregnancy. Trying to do too much too quickly increases your chance of an injury.
Below are some exercise ideas that will help you get back to your pre-pregnancy physique while you enjoy being a new mom (always follow your doctor’s recommendations).
Start Breastfeeding Immediately After Delivery
If you can breastfeed you have one way of torching up to 300-500 calories a day during the weeks when exercise is off limits. Virtually every mom would probably consider breastfeeding an exercise, especially in those first few weeks. After all, your body is working harder to produce milk and you’re holding a 10-12 pound weight.
It’s important to maintain a healthy diet during the first weeks after delivery. A healthy diet will help you avoid excess pounds and ensure you have enough nutrition to produce milk.
Start With Walking at 2-4 Weeks
If you had a vaginal birth, are feeling healthy and not experiencing pain it’s safe to start going on walks at the 2-4 week mark. I know what you’re thinking. Many people assume walking isn’t much exercise because it’s low intensity. The truth of the matter is walking is a great form of moderate exercise, but you do have to put in more time to see the cardio benefits and burn more calories.
Aim to walk at least 150 minutes a week, which torches about 450 calories. Strap on a baby bjorn for bonding time with your babe and a little added resistance. In some big cities there are also groups of moms who get together for stroller strides.
Start Moderate Exercises at 6 Weeks
About six weeks after delivery it’s usually safe to begin easing back into an exercise routine. Before you start, take a little time to create a workout plan that works for your schedule. If you had a c-section you may need to work with your physician to create an appropriate exercise plan. If you need help deciding which equipment to use check out our post on cardio machines. Aim to get a mix of cardio and strength training, which blasts fat while toning the body. Get a good post-partum workout with these exercises!
Easy Abdominal Training
The one area where most women want to exercise after childbirth is the stomach. But because the muscles can pull apart during pregnancy you shouldn’t do crunches and other strenuous stomach exercises for the first three months. Instead do easier moves like lying bridge exercises and leg lifts.
Stroller Interval Training
Now that you can bump up your brisk walk into a jog or run you can burn a lot more calories while pushing the stroller. Ease back into your cardio routine by doing interval training. Walk at a brisk pace for 3-4 minutes then jog quickly for 30-60 seconds.
Yoga With Deep Breathing
Yoga is a great way to get back into exercising after childbirth since it’s low impact, reduces stress and can help you target different muscle groups. Increase the benefits by incorporating deep breathing as you hold poses. As you inhale contract your stomach muscles to help strengthen and tone the abdominal area.
Baby Bootcamp Programs
If you want to step up your workouts or need a little accountability a baby bootcamp program could be a good idea. Programs are typically led by an experienced instructor that knows what you body needs now that you’ve had a baby. Another bonus of these bootcamp programs is they usually involve working out with your baby!