Ask any mother in the world about the happiest moment in her life and the answer is sure to be the birth of her little angel. Ask the same woman her life’s biggest ordeal and chances are she’ll say it was losing her post-baby flab. It is not uncommon for women to experience distress due to their unshapely body after delivery. In an attempt to quickly get back in shape, they may indulge in high intensity workouts too soon (before 6 weeks) that can be detrimental not just to their health, but also their baby’s. If you’re trying to shed those extra pregnancy kilos, make sure you design your workout and diet plan only after consulting a doctor. Here is a list of the top 5 safe post pregnancy workouts that can help you lose your pregnancy weight and build endurance:
Top 5 post pregnancy workouts
One of the easiest and the most effective workouts that you must continue even after pregnancy is walking. In fact, walking is the most ideal way to kickstart your post-delivery exercise routine. What’s even better is that in addition to helping you lose weight, it is also a great way to boost your mood and helps you sleep better. Always ensure that you start slow and increase the intensity of your workout as time passes, rather than tiring yourself out from day 1. For example, if you are walking 850 steps in the first week, try and increase it to 1000 steps in the second week. Over time, you can even carry your baby along in a carrier while you walk, but with caution. This can give you twofold benefits – it will reduce the guilt you may experience leaving your baby during your workout, while also promising a high power exercise. When walking alone, make sure to also stretch all your muscles thoroughly.
Breathing may seem too simple an exercise to help you lose 9 months of pregnancy weight, but it is surely an excellent way to start. There ought to be a reason why so many yogic practitioners laud the benefits of slow breathing for both physical and mental wellbeing. Belly breathing is an excellent exercise to help you relax your muscles and slowly strengthen and tone your belly. For best results, you must practice belly breathing slowly, by sitting straight, taking deep breaths and contracting your abs during inhalation while relaxing them during exhalation. This exercise can also be done lying on the back, with knees bent.
This exercise is safe to do right after giving birth, even if you’ve had a c-section. Kegel is a great endurance exercise that helps tone the pelvic floor muscles that are weakened during delivery. These muscles support the uterus, bladder, small intestine and rectum. Kegels help increase the blood flow to heal any pregnancy wounds and also improve bladder control. You can do this exercise lying, sitting or standing. Begin by contracting and relaxing your pelvic floor muscles for 2-3 seconds and move up to 5-10 seconds and then to 15-20 seconds. Initially stick to 2 – 3 contractions per session and gradually build it up to 5 contractions through several sessions during the day.
Light Weight Training
Lifting light weights (3-5 pounds) is a great way to help you regain your balance and cut down on the flab around your arms, belly and other areas. Under the supervision of a certified trainer, try lateral raises, triceps exercises, bicep curls and push up on your knees or against the wall.
Water exercises like swimming are considered safe throughout the pre and postnatal phase. Swimming is recommended by many doctors as it helps strengthen the muscles and improves cardiovascular endurance after delivery while ensuring there is no added pressure on the joints. Take necessary precautions and consult your doctor before you decide to start off any water exercises.
The best way to begin the workouts is with the cardio exercises. These exercises help you to develop a mood for exercising. You can start with walking, jogging, running and dancing etc. Try to get a baby stroller. Walk along for a while in the neighborhood, in a nearby park or at the mall with your baby. This is one of the best ways to take care of your baby as well as your body. After a few days you will notice that your baby is thoroughly enjoying the walks. Apart from burning calories you will be able to enjoy some fresh air too.
Dancing is also very effective for reducing the post pregnancy weight gain. Turn on some music and dance around for a while. At least 20-30 minutes daily could give you some amazing results. If your baby loves music, you can have him around too.
A rebounder is also a special fitness device especially beneficial for post pregnancy workouts. You can get one for you and have a perfect home fitness device. Workout on it for at least 3-4 times a week. The sessions can last for about 20-60 minutes each. Do various things like dancing, jogging in place, kick boxing, jumping jacks or even simply jump up and done on it. The workouts are very good for your joints. You will not feel the burden of doing the exercises and at the same time you can enjoy a great workout in an interesting way.
Stair climbing is also an effective way of losing your weight after pregnancy. If you have stairs at home, try walking the stairs up and down for a few times. It can help you to burn a lot of calories, increase your heart and pulse rate as well.
Once you are comfortable with the cardio exercises, you can also concentrate on stretching exercises before focusing on other kinds of strenuous exercises. Incorporate the leg stretches since you will be doing a lot of running and walking. Kegel exercises are also good for strengthening the pelvic muscles.
When you get ready for doing the exercises, remember to start lightly and increase the intensity slowly. Make a good workout schedule and follow it strictly if you want to get back to shape after pregnancy.
In addition to your exercise plan, make sure to follow a healthy diet chart as well. Avoid going on crash diet as it can affect both your health and the quality of your breast milk, in turn affecting your baby’s health. If you lack motivation, enrolling in a postnatal exercise class can help give you the morale boost you need. Don’t worry if your doctor advises you to hold back on exercising for some time as even breastfeeding can help you lose weight. Good luck on your fitness journey!