Having a newborn means you’ll constantly have a million things on your mind. Though most new moms are eager to lose baby weight they gained during pregnancy, with so much to balance finding time to exercise can be difficult.
Once you feel physically and mentally able, however, starting a post-pregnancy workout designed specifically for new moms can help you get your pre-pregnancy body back. Coupled with a healthy diet void of added sugars and processed carbohydrates, exercise can help you lose baby weight you may have gained over the course of your pregnancy. As an added benefit, the endorphins produced by exercise help clear your head and boost your mood. When you feel ready to start, and after you get the okay from your doctor, try some of these easy post-pregnancy workout tips and techniques:
Don’t expect to be able to immediately exercise at the same level or pace as you did before your pregnancy. Start slow and don’t push your body past its limits; gradually building up to more intensive workouts is better for your body than starting out at too-difficult a level. Warm up and cool down before each workout, and stop if it hurts.
Focus on Cardio
Cardio is one way to lose inches and tone your body after a pregnancy. Go for a brisk walk or jog while you push your baby in the stroller; the extra weight will add to the workout. Bike riding or swimming a few laps at a moderate pace are other good low-intensity aerobic exercises.
Do Your Kegels
Many women do kegel exercises throughout their pregnancy to prepare for childbirth, but kegel exercises post-delivery are just as important. Doing regular kegel exercises can help tone and control your bladder muscles and will help reduce your risk of incontinence. Simply contract, hold and release your muscles, working up to longer and longer holds.
Work Your Abs
If you’re trying to work your abs, modified crunches and push-ups are the way to go. With your doctor’s permission, try modified crunches: lie on your back with your knees bent, exhale slowly and slowly extend one leg along the floor, then inhale and bring the other leg back to the bent-knee position. Also, doing regular sets of ten push-ups will help get your upper-body strength back; babies are heavy, so you’ll need plenty of arm strength
Get Baby Involved in the Workout
Part of the reason new moms may have difficulty finding time to work out is that they don’t want to be away from their baby. So why not incorporate your infant into your workout? Hold your baby securely to your chest while you do light squats and lunges; the baby will serve as extra weight for your workout. Just make sure you’re in shape enough to ensure both you and your baby’s safety.
There’s no rush to lose baby weight and even a little exercise can go a long way in getting yourself back in shape. Stick to what you’re comfortable with, don’t push yourself too hard and you’ll see results before you know it.