By the time you give birth, you will be carrying a good amount of extra weight. Over a third of the extra weight you gain during pregnancy will come from your baby. The other two thirds come from the changes that happen in your body while you’re pregnant.
Losing this extra weight can be difficult if you do not have your mind set on a post pregnancy workout and a good eating lifestyle, especially considering the many sleepless nights you will go through. An important step to take before starting your post pregnancy workout is to talk to your doctor about the exercises you can do and when you can start doing them.
Now that you have your doctor’s ok, there are several things you can do to lose the pregnancy weight.
Walking is one of the best exercises you can do that does not require any equipment. It is a post pregnancy workout that is enjoyable, easy, relaxing, and can be done with your baby.
Depending on your pre-pregnancy levels of fitness, you can start by taking 10 minute walks with the baby every day, and then gradually increase your time up to an hour of walking a day.
Pilates & Yoga
Pilates is a form of exercise focusing on strengthening joints and ligaments, increasing flexibility, and can be very beneficial as part of a post pregnancy workout. In addition, these forms of exercises can help you manage the stress that comes after child birth.
While not a workout, breast feeding can help you lose weight after the pregnancy. Some of the weight you gain during pregnancy is fat your body stores specifically for the purpose of breast feeding. Studies have shown that breast feeding will use up some of these fat stores (Click for reference), and will reduce the amount of weight retention in mothers during the first 6 months (Click for reference).
Light weight lifting will help speed up your metabolism, tone your muscles, and help you burn some fat. It can be a great post pregnancy workout, considering there are many exercises you can do with light weights, or using your body weight as resistance. Abs exercises, push-ups, squats, and others are but some of the great exercises you can do anytime at home as part of your post pregnancy workout. While spot fat reduction is not possible, abs exercises will aid you in strengthening and tightening the muscles that stretched and weakened during pregnancy. Make sure you have talked to your doctor about this before starting too early, especially if you have stitches or complications during your child birth.
A healthy diet should not be something you just do when you want to lose weight. It should be a lifestyle. Read the labels on foods you buy. Avoid those that contain hydrogenated vegetable oil or high fructose corn syrup. Eat lean protein, whole grains, and keep healthy snacks like raisins, nuts, and popcorn around. Have one or two cheat meals a week, but be careful not to overdo it.
These are some of the main steps you can take to start your post pregnancy workout for losing the pregnancy weight. Keep it simple, split your workouts into smaller workouts that you can do throughout the day, and you will see steady process and give yourself permission to enjoy your baby.
You have to remember that you gained this extra weight over 9 months, and you should give yourself at least as much time to lose that weight again. It’s a relatively slow process, but some persistence and positivity will go a long way in making you get your pre-pregnancy body back.