Working out after having a baby not only helps you get back into shape faster, it also can boost your morale and get your hormones and emotions back on track. While exercise is no substitute for professional help if you have after baby blues, it can aid in getting your emotions back to normal and help your hormones get back into balance. Here are some tips for postnatal workouts that will take off the baby fat, turn that drooping mass of tissue back into a flat toned stomach and have you feeling your best.
There’s nothing better than a brisk walk to improve your circulation and start a program of exercise.
Don’t ever discount something as simple as walking to get your body toned and back into condition. When it’s warmer, taking the baby for a walk around the neighborhood is great exercise for both of you. You can use a baby sling as you get stronger and can carry the baby for longer distances without getting tired. The extra weight of the baby will add to the workout and the closeness of your body will comfort the child. During foul weather, consider a trip to the mall for indoor walking. Go early in the morning to avoid the crowds. Make sure you have the doctor’s okay before you start and stop if you have warning signs, like excessive bleeding or pain, at least until you check with your health care practitioner.
Regular workouts may have to wait longer if you’ve had a C-section.
Vaginal delivery doesn’t require the extra time to heal that you’ll need for a C-section. For those mothers with a C-section, your doctors will probably recommend at least a six week wait. The first exercises should be limited. Don’t try to do too many at one time, just do a few each day. Start by doing keegle exercises to strengthen the pelvic floor. That can be done almost immediately but don’t overdo them either. Do a few each day until you develop strength in those muscles. Again, if you feel pain, contact your health care provider. Stick with low impact exercises. Swimming is a great one for this stage.
At six to eight weeks, start with light weights and other low impact exercises that can strengthen your core.
One amazing fact of life is that you’ll be lifting your baby and as your strength grows, so does the baby. It’s the perfect natural combination that builds muscle strength slowly and dependably. You’ll start lifting six to eight pounds initially, on the average, and work up slowly until the baby is double or triple the weight. If you workout with weights, follow the track Mother Nature created for you and only go a pound or two more than your baby weighs until you get more strength. Use anti-rotation exercises and throw in a few Pallof presses and some single arm seated, incline or supine chest presses. Dead bug exercises at this point strengthen the core in a safer manner.
- Wait for the tougher exercises. Doing crunches and situps too soon and heavy lifting puts too much pressure on weaker core muscles. Those should be done later as your muscle strength builds.
- Exercises that have you leaning forward are not advisable for a while. Save those for later when your core muscles are stronger. When you lift baby or anything else, lift with your knees.
- Keep your first workout sessions shorter and gradually work up toward a fifty minute session. Doing a little every day is far better than doing a lot all at once.
- Eating healthy is part of getting back into shape. Fresh fruit and vegetables can provide lots of fiber to help you avoid constipation that can occur both during and after pregnancy.