*By: Megan Deppen*
Did you recently have a baby and are looking for ways to get back into shape? Let’s face it, caring for a newborn is hard work! Between the sleepless nights and the endless round the clock feedings, it might seem impossible to fit exercise into your daily schedule. However, even if you only have a short window of time, there are ways you can fit in exercise.
Here are a few ways to help yourself get back into shape and remember…be kind to your body as it went through a lot of trauma during childbirth!
Walking – Walking is low impact and a great way to get back into exercising, especially if you had a C-section and you’re not able to do any strenuous activities for at least 8 weeks or longer until you have fully healed. Start off slow and then increase your walk times as you get stronger. Try working out on the treadmill or getting outside for some fresh air if the weather is nice. Taking a walk with the baby in the stroller is a great way to get some steps in while getting some vitamin D.
Strength Training – Strength training is one of the best workouts you can do for your body and will not only help you to gain your strength back after baby, but will also help you burn those extra pounds. Check out our previous post, Making Strength Training a Priority in Your Fitness Regimen, for more information and tips.
Breastfeeding – If you’re breastfeeding, you’re burning around 500-600 calories a day, but remember you still should be eating a healthy diet and exercising. Breastfeeding alone won’t get you back to your pre-pregnancy weight, but it’s a good start.
Abs – Without realizing it, we use our core muscles for almost everything we do, so it’s important to keep them toned or we could experience lower back pain, muscle injuries, and poor posture. Try incorporating crunches into your workouts, however watch out for diastasis recti, which is adnominal separation after having a baby. You’ll know if you have this if you’re able to get three or more fingers in between your abs. If you do have diastases recti, refrain from any strenuous ab workouts until you can bring them back together. In order to do this, try a basic crunch and as you’re doing the crunch, manually draw them together, by putting your hands on either side of where the abs are separated.
Cardio – When you’re feeling strong enough, try small bursts of cardio to start and then increase the intensity of your these workouts over time. Try a mix of cardio such as hill intervals, hiking, or jogging to keep your workouts interesting.
Check out some post pregnancy workouts below to help you get started.
What are some ways you’re getting back into shape post pregnancy? Leave us your comments below.