6 Exercises to Shed The Postpartum Weight
If you’re a new mommy, it will be an understatement to say that you have a lot on your plate! There’s a newborn to take care of, postpartum feelings to be managed and tons of advises to be juggled. In addition, you’re also wondering when things will get back to normal, starting with your weight!
Getting rid of the post pregnancy, baby weight is an ideal combination of diet and exercise, which doesn’t happen overnight! So mommies, brace yourselves as we bring you the healthiest possible ways to lose post pregnancy weight!
Take note, mommies!
- You might want to start exercising with gusto in all your eagerness, but this will do you more harm than good. High impact activities after childbirth can reduce the strength of the pelvic floor muscles (the muscles that support the rectum, uterus and bladder.) These can cause long term bladder and bowel problems (pelvic organ prolapse). Not something we want, right?
- Make sure you’ve recovered fully after delivery before you begin any kind of exercise. If you’ve had a Cesarean section, you might need more time to recover. Your doctor is the best person to give you a go ahead.
- Your focus must be on repairing and strengthening your core muscles first. Only then can you lose weight, the healthy way.
- Sometimes you may not feel motivated to exercise at all. At such times you can still strengthen your abdominal and pelvic floor muscles when lying down. Small movements also make a big difference in the long run.
- You might get tired easily in the first few months after delivery, blame it on interrupted sleep, demanding motherhood and breastfeeding. But isn’t that just another excuse for you to eat healthy and exercise.
Benefits of Postnatal exercises!
- Postnatal exercises strengthen muscles which get stretched during pregnancy and birth
- They promote blood circulation and heal the wound
- These exercises help you regain your pre-pregnancy body structure and get back in shape
- They prevent backache
- The exercises enhance maternal well-being and fitness, helping you adapt to motherhood
Postnatal exercises to knock that baby weight off!
Pelvic Floor Muscles Exercise: Your pelvic floor muscles get weakened after enduring, all the strain from the delivery and the hormonal changes. To strengthen and regain control over these muscles, you need to hold and squeeze them in. It feels quite like when you stop urine in midstream, but do not practice this exercise when you’re actually passing urine.
Sit or lie down comfortably. Continue breathing as you squeeze, draw up the pelvic muscles, then hold for few counts hold and finally release the muscles.
Abdominal bracing Exercise: This exercise can be done when you’re standing or lying down. Simply contract your stomach in slowly. Do not pull or push your abs. This exercise activates all the layers of your abdominal muscles along with the muscles deep in your lower back.
Pelvic Tilts: Lie down with knees bent and hands by your side. Flatten your lower back against the floor and slowly lift your hips off the floor. Hold for ten seconds then gently lower your hips. Breathe in when you lower your hips and breathe out as you lift.
Knee rolls: Lie down with your knees bent. Now bring your knees closer to your chest and hug them. Inhale and gently roll over to one side as you exhale. Come back to the first position then slowly repeat on the other side. Repeat!
Brisk Walking: When you are too lazy for other exercises, go take a walk! Walking is one of the safest exercises to initiate weight loss. You can start taking your baby out of the house once you feel he/she’s old enough. Sing and talk to your little one as you walk, you won’t even know you’ve completed your exercise!
Cycling or Swimming: Cycling and swimming are both amazing exercises and they burn calories really quick. But wait for a minimum of eight weeks after your delivery to attempt these!
Exercise for 5 to 10 minutes daily when you begin. Gradually increase the time of your workout. Ideally a workout should last from 30 to 50 minutes per day.
The Do’s and Don’ts of Postnatal Exercise!
- When exercising, be aware of any warning signs of pain or discomfort. Slow down if necessary and allow the pain to subside. In short, listen to your body.
- Stop exercising if you notice an increase in bleeding, breathlessness or fatigue.
- Get yourself checked for something called the diastasis of the abdomen or the post-delivery ‘pooch’. For a lot of women, the left and right abdominal muscles separate during pregnancy, resulting in a gap between them. If you indeed have diastasis, avoid exercises such as sit ups or picking weights. Always roll onto your side before you get up and support yourself with the help of your arms. You could try the abdominal bracing exercise as mentioned above.
P.S: Getting a fitter body is more important than getting into your pre-pregnancy jeans. Don’t compare your weight loss journey to anybody else’s as each body responds differently. Remember, you are and always will be, a yummy mummy!
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