7 tips to get back in shape after pregnancy
As a mother, you want to give as much time as possible to your new born, but not at the cost of your health.
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As a trainer, I get to work with mothers who are desperately trying to get back in shape after pregnancy. They have to be careful and ensure they lose all the unwanted fat that they acquired during their pregnancy. Because if they let go of their health at this stage, it will become extremely challenging for them to get back in shape, both physically and mentally.
Mothers want to give as much time as possible to their new borns, but not at the cost of their health. Mothers tend to ignore their health in an urge to do more for their kids. It’s now time for them to lose that unwanted fat which they have acquired during pregnancy.
When to start
Doctors will tell you that you must wait for at least six to eight weeks before you start exercising again, given you have had an uncomplicated delivery - which is the right thing to do.
It would be very challenging for you to start any fitness routine considering pregnancy does lead to some hormonal changes, which may make you too emotional. At times, you would be too tired for exercise. Your partner needs to be really supportive if you want to go back to your old self.
Steps to remember
• Don’t just start exercising the way you would before delivering a baby. It may take you some time to get back to this routine.
• Don’t be impatient to start your fitness routine. It is good to want to get back into shape, but it has to be channelised.
• Take it slow and gradually increase the intensity of your work-out sessions. Remember you have to start from scratch. You can always work your way up once your body gets used to the routine.
• Hydrate yourself with fluids. This is as important as eating right. Without adequate hydration, your performance won't be the same.
• Remember, you don’t really have to tire yourself out. A good work out is not necessarily one which tires you, but that which refreshes you. Focus on the latter.
• Your body will tell you if you are ready to exercise, so stop whenever you feel discomfort or pain.
Exercise to perform
You can't just hit the gym and start running or lifting weights. So start with walking, this could be either an early morning or after dinner routine. Once your gynaecologist gives you a go-ahead on the exercise, try performing these exercises.
What you really need to focus on is your core and abdominal area. So try the Pelvic tilt to condition your abs.
• Lie on your back and bend your knees (You may want to keep a pillow under your hips as extra support).
• Flatten your back against the floor with feet flat and your arms on the side.
• Now try tightening your abs and bend your pelvis slightly up.
• Hold for at least five-ten seconds and repeat it five times.
This will strengthen your traverse and support your core.
• Lie on your back as shown in the graphic, with your knees bent.
• Now place a towel on the front part of the leg below, the knee across your upper shins. Hold the towel from both ends.
• Pull the towel and squeeze thighs together.
• Inhale and then exhale as you draw your abs in. Lift your shoulders off the floor.
With determination and will power, you can go back to your old self.