Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Baby Weight: Where to Start

New mothers face a different set of challenges than others. You've just had a baby in you for nine months, which means you probably have not been able to work as hard on your body as you usually would. Your middle area is bigger than you could have ever imagined, and of course, if you had to push, down there is a little less tight.

Getting back into your program is never easy, but you have to consider a couple of things: Your body needs time to recover, so give it about 6 weeks; And you need to understand how different your body is now from how it was prior to the baby. Plus, you now have a baby to take care of, so your time challenges are different.

Fret not though. It is achievable. You should focus on the following as you rebuild your training program:

Incorporate Kegels into your training: Childbirth weakens the pelvic floor muscles. For those who do not know, Kegels are meant to help strengthen these muscles, allowing for increased sexual pleasure and to tighten up the area down there. Kegels simply involve contracting and relaxing the pelvic floor muscles (in your vaginal area). As you do any ab or lower body exercises, contract your pelvic muscles as you contract any other muscle, and then relax these muscles as you would relax other muscles as well. For example, as you bend into a squat, tighten up, and then as you lift up, relax the pelvic floor muscles.

Focus on cardio for fat burn: As a new mum, you've gained weight all over, and so it is important to do workouts that burn fat all over. Do something very high-energy that also forces you to use your core for balance, like taking a hip-hop or zumba dance class, swimming, or doing kick boxing.

Ease into the workout: Your body is like a machine. It needs to be charged, properly oiled, and heated up when necessary. Since you have had a foetus feeding off you for nine months, you now need to focus on eating right for your routine, and getting your body slowly charged as you fully get back into your workout regimen. Don't force your body to go lengths that it cannot yet achieve and then break yourself. Ease into the workout.

Don't hold out on the core exercises: There is no doubt about it - the midsection is one of the most problematic areas for mums. And if you take to long to work it out, you could risk making it harder to lose. So make ab exercises your best friend, especially ones for your lower abs like leg raises, reverse crunches, and six-inches off the ground. Also, make sure you incorporate core exercises into every single routine you do. Hold your abs tight in every pose, twist to work on your obliques when you can, and always sit upright with your abs in.

Manage your expectations: It took your body nine months to get where it is, and so it is important to be patient with it. You are not going to be able to run 10 miles a week after your delivery or get that butt that you were known for the minute the baby pops out. In fact, for the first few months, you'd have to work harder than you did before to get to the same level of fitness. So make sure you are prepared!

You can get your body back. You just need some patience and hard work. But you can do it!

Cheers Eights & Weights!

Photo credit: MadameNoire.com

1 comment:

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