Ways to Get Back in Shape After Giving Birth
Congratulations! Now that you have brought your baby home, you are now ready to get back to your pre-pregnancy body. Being pregnant for nine months, you must have unusual food cravings and have been trying to eat “for two” which made you gain excess pounds. Right after giving birth, you are very anxious to hit the gym and shed off those extra fats. But remember that it is advisable to head back to the gym at least six weeks after birth. You need to consult with your doctor to make sure that everything is safe and what would be the proper exercise for you.
When you are ready, here are top 10 ways to get back in shape after giving birth.
The Natural Way
Even right after giving birth, you lose about 11-13 pounds. Breastfeeding also helps you lose weight by burning up to 800 calories each day. When the right time comes for you to exercise, start with weight training. And weight training does not mean going to the gym to lift weights. Your baby’s weight is enough. You can do lunges while holding the baby or behind the stroller as you go for a walk. Often, as you carry the baby and dance until she sleeps, you also shed off a few calories.
Get Plenty of Rest
Having plenty of rest will allow you to recuperate fast and keep your energy levels high. While the baby is sleeping, you should also sleep. A baby’s needs alter sleeping cycles between parents and may upset the metabolism, giving you difficulties to lose weight. If you have enough rest and sleep, you will be more active and energetic throughout the day and will have the energy to get some exercise.
Watch Your Calories and Fats
Avoid empty-calorie foods such as chips and sodas. Going into fad diets is not even advisable because your body needs to recuperate and repair itself. Think about you and your baby’s health, especially if you are breastfeeding. Eat more nutrient-rich meals containing whole grains, lean protein, fruits and vegetables, and low-fat dairy products. Take small but frequent meals so you have enough energy to get through the day as you care for the baby and the family. By taking divided meals, your blood-sugar levels are maintained and you also avoid overeating. Limit your fruit juice intake to not more than two glasses a day.
Eat Healthy Snacks
Skip the sugary treats. Eating too much sugar will cause the blood sugar levels to be unstable and once your blood sugar drops, you get hungry easily and just want to eat whatever you can grab first thing from the fridge. As much as possible, stock only nutritious foods like low-fat milk, yogurt, figs, raisins, whole-wheat crackers and vegetables. Calcium can aid in weight loss by hindering the hormone that enables the body to store fat. High-fiber snacks fill you up and aid in digestion and regularity.
Join Other Moms
Postpartum blues are normal but can be treated if you get in company with other new moms who have the same experiences as you have. They can be the best source for moral support and sympathetic conversation, and you can get helpful tips from them. New moms can learn from other moms who had two or three kids already. You also feel motivated and inspired to jog or exercise if you are in the company of moms with the same goal.
While you were pregnant, you have been doing Kegel’s exercise. They are still important postpartum exercises. It helps speed up the healing process of an episiotomy, heals hemorrhoids, and aids in bladder control. When you regain your normal body functions fast, you feel more comfortable and able to get back into your workout regimen in no time.
Another way of getting back in shape after giving birth is to exercise your core area, which include the abdomens, oblique’s and lower back. These areas may have been strained during pregnancy or with carrying the baby around, so you need to tighten your abs and strengthen your core muscles for the belly to return to its normal size the soonest. Lie belly-down, arms stretched over your head, lift chest and thighs off the ground and release. Do this in 15 repetitions twice daily.
Yoga or Meditation
Doing yoga will do many miracles for you. It lets you relax, focus, and keeps you in good mood. Yoga involves stretching and strengthening moves that are vital for the postpartum period. You may join a yoga baby class so you get meet other moms. But if you prefer, you can stay at home and do yoga or meditate. It clears your mind and body and allows you to reflect on the positive things that are happening to you and to your family.
Exercise with Baby
Finding time for you alone is already hard because now is baby’s time. In order to get on with your exercise routine, exercise with baby. He may be your best buddy as you can do stretching and lifting with baby. You can take walks in the park with baby in the stroller. You can bring him to the gym daycare while you do your routines in the gym. The possibilities are endless. You only need to be creative and flexible so you don’t stress out on baby time and workout time.
Sex Is Still Healthy
While you may think that you don’t have time for your partner anymore, it still plays a big role in maintaining a healthy and positive relationship. You can communicate with your partner about the new addition to the family, what needs to be done and what must be changed. And don’t forget, sex is also a form of exercise. You still get to burn a few calories and get better sleep. But you have to wait for a few weeks when the episiotomy is completely healed so you feel comfortable.
While you are busy taking care of your baby, you also need to take some time to care for yourself. These top 10 ways to get back in shape after pregnancy are not only easy to do, but also flexible with time.