Get back into shape after pregnancy – postnatal fitness tips for mums!
Want to get back in to shape after pregnancy? Here’s some postnatal fitness tips to make sure you’re fit and get your body and flat tummy back once you’ve had another baby.
Just had a baby? Congratulations! Here’s some hints and tips on how to get back into shape, lose weight and have a flat tummy in a sensible way, when you’re ready and in your own time – how to get back in to shape after pregnancy.
While the experience of childbirth (read my birth story) is usually a joyous one, a pregnancy and labour can take an enormous toll on the body. If you’ve just had your baby, life will be hectic, and there won’t be too much time for getting back into shape. But by following pregnancy exercise plan and making the best possible dietary choices, you can feel like yourself again in no time.
Start your pelvic floor / Kegel exercises straight away: Kegel exercises can prevent urinary incontinence and various other problems related to weakened pelvic floor muscles. In order to execute Kegel exercises effectively, you should lie on your back, and tighten the muscles in your pelvis for between five and ten seconds. Imagine you’re trying to stop yourself from peeing – it is these muscles that you need to work on. You should try to tighten pelvic floor muscles and nothing else, and you should be breathing normally throughout.
Work on your core-body strength: Lower back, abdominal muscles and obliques are subjected to a huge strain during pregnancy, and they can become weakened as a result. Any exercise regime you take on should give priority to core-body strength, as tightening up and toning your abdominal muscles will transform your entire body shape. Sit-ups, abdominal crunches and the use of an ab-roller will help you to achieve defined and strengthened abs as quickly as possible. You might also find that yoga will help you with key muscle groups and your ability to relax.
Avoid ready-meals: The first few months of parenthood can be enormously hectic, and there is usually very little spare time for cooking. Too many new mums fall into the habit of heating up ready-meals, snacking at irregular times of the day or skipping meals altogether. It is vital that you eat a well-balanced, nutritious diet from the moment you arrive home with your newborn. Ready-meals usually contain high levels of sugar, fat and salt – all of which can slow down the process of getting back into shape.
Work with your partner, family or friends to give yourself a couple of hours every week to prepare healthy and nutritious meals for freezing. Invest in some freezer bags, and portion up your meals in advance. So, when it’s time to eat, all you need to do is grab something healthy from your freezer and heat it in your microwave. If you feel like snacking, stick to fruit, rice cakes and low-sugar cereal bars.
Breastfeed your baby: According to The Liverpool Women’s NHS Foundation Trust, breastfeeding burns 500 calories a day, which is the equivalent to around an hour of vigorous cycling. There is also extensive evidence to suggest that it helps your baby’s development, so it really does represent a win-win situation. And a growing body of research links breastfeeding with a reduced risk of breast cancer.
Take every opportunity to exercise: Cardiovascular exercise is crucial to weight loss and a healthy lifestyle during the months after giving birth. However, it’s important to remember that this doesn’t have to mean putting in hour after hour at the gym. You can get a great cardiovascular workout by taking your baby out for a brisk walk. There are gyms that specialise in providing care for children while busy mums workout for an hour or so. If you have a little help with your child, try to take the opportunity to go swimming twice a week, as it is an activity that gets your heart working while being gentle on your aching joints.
Embrace technology: Although personal trainers and nutritionists can be very expensive to hire, using technology to achieve your post pregnancy weight loss goals can deliver many of the same benefits. Whether you need help with nutrition, your workouts or your general lifestyle, there are several apps, tracking devices and digital programmes to help you – at a fraction of the cost professional services cost.
If you want to get back in to shape after pregnancy, the journey back to fitness and your target weight might be a long and arduous one when you have a baby to look after. But with a programme of healthy eating and regular exercise in place, a little will-power should ensure you achieve your ultimate goal of getting back into shape.