Real Labor – Getting Back Into Shape After Baby
By Lisa Druxman, Stroller Strides
As excited as new moms are about the birth of their baby, they also can’t believe the body that’s been left behind. Our round, voluptuous body seemed beautiful while pregnant and seems like bread dough after labor. What makes matters worse is that new moms 1) don’t have time to do traditional exercise and 2) shouldn’t be dieting. Your body has undergone a tremendous amount during pregnancy, so the last thing you should do is deprive it of precious nutrients. But yes, there is hope. A program in San Elijo called Stroller Strides is helping new moms get back their pre pregnancy shape. What’s even better is that they get to meet other new moms and spend valuable time with their babies. Classes consist of power walking with intervals of body toning “stations” using the stroller and the outside environment. Even if you can’t make it to a Stroller Strides class, you can follow these tips for getting back in shape.
1. It goes without saying that you need to get your doctor’s permission before beginning this or any other exercise program. Most doctors will suggest you wait 6 weeks after your labor date to begin exercise.
2. Use the environment. You don’t need a gym and you can take your baby with you. The best exercise out there is walking. It’s something everyone can do and you don’t need special equipment to do it. You can put your baby in the stroller or in a baby carrier for your walks.
3. It doesn’t need to hurt. In fact, it shouldn’t. Your body needs lots of energy to recover from pregnancy and childbirth and to take care of your baby (especially if you’re nursing). Exercising at the right intensity will give you more energy, not take it away. How do you know if you’re working at the right level? Try the talk test. If you can talk so easily to your baby that you can carry on a regular conversation than you are definitely not working hard enough. However, if you’re working so hard that you can’t sing the ABC’s to her, then you are working too hard. Find a good balance of being just a little bit out of breath.
4. Any time is the right time. New moms don’t have a traditional 30-minutes, three times a week to workout. So, just get active whenever you can. Take a 10-minute walk here, do some push ups there, and before you know it you’ll have a workout. Get creative. Figure out ways to turn your chores around the house into a workout. The most important thing is consistency. Make a commitment to get active regularly.
5. Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate. Everyone is supposed to drink 8, 8-oz glasses of water a day. If you are nursing, you’ll need even more. Make sure that you are drinking water throughout your workout.
MORE GREAT INFO BY LISA DRUXMAN AT Fit4Mom