Pregnancy and giving birth takes a toll on a women’s body, both during pregnancy and afterwards. The whole body changes, some parts stretch out and women tend to put on weight, especially in the stomach area.
Nonetheless, these are all normal post-birth manifestations and slowly but steadily we can start transforming our body to its pre-birth shape. However, exercise after pregnancy is a matter that ought to be approached carefully. There are many factors that need to be accounted for before starting to workout again…
#1 Give your body time to recover
Getting your body back after pregnancy is something all women want immediately after giving birth. The reality is different, though. Your body needs time to recover after pregnancy, and that recovery period usually lasts from 6 to 12 weeks after giving birth. C-section deliveries require even more time. The most important thing to remember is to consult your doctor before starting with any kind of exercises. If you start exercising while your body hasn’t fully recovered yet, you are putting yourself at risk. It can cause serious damages to your vital organs and it can extend your recovery period even longer.
#2 Start slowly
The key to getting your pre-baby body is to start slowly. When your doctor has confirmed that you are ready to start exercising, feel free to start. Start with small things, such as taking a brisk walk with your baby in a stroller. If you check YouTube, you might be surprised by the types of exercises that include your baby, and some light exercises which you can do around the city. Start with the easiest and the most basic ones and slowly increase them as time passes by. You will eventually discover what works best for you.
#3 Listen to your body
When you start exercising, especially in those beginning stages you should monitor how your body reacts. If you feel like it’s too much for you, slow down – stick to an intensity that you feel comfortable with. If exercises cause excessive bleeding, pelvic or abdominal pain, exhaustion after even light exercises, muscle soreness that doesn’t stop after a day or two, or extreme shortness of breath, then stop doing them immediately and visit your doctor. In order to get your body back in shape safely after pregnancy, you need to take care of your health first. Only then the rest can follow.
#4 Try out some exercises
When you feel like you’re ready to start with some more serious exercises to get your body back in shape, there are quite a few efficient ones. You can start with strengthening your pelvis with a pelvic tilt. This pelvis-strengthening activity requires you to lay down and bend your pelvis upwards. These exercises provide enough support for your back by using your own weight to wake up your muscles. Moreover, Kegel exercises are quite useful as well. They can be done literally anywhere. While the baby is very young, you won’t have too much time for yourself, so exercising using some expensive gym equipment won’t be an option for all mums. So instead, try focusing on the exercises you can do at your home.
#5 Bike riding
After you have already built your workout base with some simple exercises, such as the ones mentioned previously, you are ready to upgrade your workouts by getting back on your bike. Since some time has passed from the last time you rode it, you need to make sure that its condition is impeccable. Check the tires, the seating and the buffers. If necessary, order some free shipping bike parts in case some of them are broken, damaged and not functional. You need to make sure you are both comfortable and safe while riding it.
#6 Don’t over-exercise
It’s important to keep in mind the fact that everybody is different and our bodies react differently to surroundings. Something that works out for most women doesn’t necessarily have to work out for you. Don’t force yourself with too much exercise. Keep a steady pace and intensify the exercises only after you are completely sure that you can handle them. If you cause completely unnecessary damage to your body due to reckless behavior, you will have to rest for even longer. Moderation is essential and the results will come eventually. Remember that slow and steady wins the race.
#7 Do cardio & stomach crunches
The key to losing all that baby weight is to burn calories. And what better way for that than doing cardio exercises to pump up your heart rate? Simple tasks such as walking with your baby around the house and park, pushing the stroller at a faster pace and jumping around can all cause your heart rate up. In order for you to get rid of your jelly belly, you’ll have to do some serious crunches. Start small, with 10 crunches a day. When you master that, move on to a set of 20, two sets of 20 and finally 3 sets of 20 crunches.
#8 Eat right & drink plenty of water
As in every aspect of our life, here as well, eating right and maintaining a healthy, balanced diet is quintessential. Being on a strict diet is highly advised against. It accomplishes nothing except for you being hungry and stressed out because you have given up food and the results are not showing. Nutritious food and food rich in protein and fiber is the diet base for worn-out moms. Moms who breastfeed need calories even more. Lean meats, fruits and veggies and whole grains is something you definitely want to include in your everyday meals. Staying hydrated during all times is also crucial on your way to getting your fit body back. Water speeds up your metabolism, keeps your belly full and less hungry. A piece of advice: keep a bottle of water near you at all times and you’ll probably drink it without even thinking.
Being a mom is both fulfilling and exhausting. Moms are expected to work, to give birth and raise a family, to keep the household going, to make cooked meals and to be in shape quickly after giving birth. A lot is expected from women these days. However, a will to be the best version of yourself is what keeps you motivated and on track, capable of accomplishing anything.