Being pregnant is a big strain on your body. You spend 9 months carrying around the extra weight of a growing fetus while enduring all the delightful side effects pregnancy brings such as swollen ankles, back ache, morning sickness and lethargy to name but a few.
After giving birth you are probably desperate to get the body you had back in no time! The good news is as soon as you get clearance from your doctor you are ready to go and SMASH IT.
Your body will naturally shed some of the extra fat it was storing so you will have a good head start. After delivery, the fat stores gradually decrease over a period of four to six months.
You may notice a difference in your body during the first two weeks after delivery, when you lose much of the accumulated pregnancy-related fluid through urination. After that, loss of fat stores is up to you.
Want to know the most effective ways to get in shape after your pregnancy. Let’s show you how…
1. Start off gently and be kind to your body
Let’s ease in gently because there’s no rush. Your body has done something incredible. If you weren’t a seasoned athlete before you got pregnant, the chances are you might have put your fitness regime on the back burner during your pregnancy. If this is the case you need to start off lightly.
Start by walking around the block and gradually increase this to 2-3 times a week. You can build up your distance and speed as the weeks go on. It’s simple and effective and the endorphin release you will activate will make you feel good!
2. Nail the diet & nutrition
Having a baby means your body has given it’s all to sustaining a new life. Many new mums often become nutrient deficient and lack iron. Ensure your diet is rich in iron by eating lots of green, leafy veg and B vitamins, which also come from green, leafy veg.
It is of course safe to shed those extra few pounds you may have gained, just do it in the healthy way. Work with a nutritionist or personal trainer if you have to so you can follow a tailored nutrition plan that is brimming over with all the micronutrients you need. Your nutrition plan should also be worked out to put you on a calorie deficit so you can safely lose weight.
3. Take regular naps
This is probably something you didn’t realize was good for getting in shape after pregnancy. Of course a new baby can prevent you from getting enough sleep but getting away with regular naps will work wonders for your waistline.
Getting plenty of sleep has been shown to help with weight loss because you’re not compelled to binge on high-calorie, high-sugar foods for energy. Having constantly broken sleep can upset your hormones which make it tough for your metabolism to stay in tune and as a result, you struggle to lose weight.
Weight training is excellent for getting back your pre-baby body. It’s important you keep your pelvic floor safe and supported so don’t jump in to heavy squatting and leg pressing immediately.
Weight training speeds up your metabolism because muscle burns calories even when it’s not being used, simply to maintain its presence.
You can enjoy cardio activity; just make sure it’s not super high impact cardio such as Plyometrics as this will put excess strain on your pelvic floor. Why not try a class at your local gym?
Embrace your new role as a mum
You can even indulge in mummy and baby classes, which are awesome for motivation. You can take your tot with you and classes will incorporate resistance training with the weight of your baby.
There are also prams that you can invest in which allow you to effectively run while pushing your baby in the pram. Inventions like this mean just because you have a baby you aren’t limited anymore to the house for fitness.
Be kind to your pelvic floor
Remember that your pelvic floor won’t take kindly to big compound movements like squats and deadlifts. You may cause yourself an injury. By performing pelvic floor specific exercises, you can strengthen the muscles. This helps to reduce or avoid stress incontinence after pregnancy.
When it comes to getting back into shape after your pregnancy listen to your body and take things at your own pace. Some can recover faster than others while some ladies need a bit longer to get back into the swing of things.