Getting back into shape after having a baby can seem like an uphill struggle – your body is still recovering from childbirth, and you have a new-born baby to take care of. But it’s not all doom and gloom. There are a few simple things you can do to help your body get back into shape.
1. Get lots of rest
The first few weeks of motherhood can take a heavy toll – leaving you tired and lacking energy. Before you can even think about exercising, you will need to ensure that you are getting enough sleep. But with a new baby to care for, getting your 6-8 hours may not always be an option. If you’re up all night, try squeezing in a few power naps when you can – there is evidence to suggest that sleep-deprivation can lead to extra stress and hunger pangs, so make rest your priority when devising your new fitness regime.
2. Make your house your gym
If finding the time to go to the gym seems impossible, that doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice your workout – make your home your gym. You can do this by using exercise videos and investing in some home exercise equipment. You can get all the fitness and nutrition advice using the Kiqplan post pregnancy weight loss app. This digital coaching app intuitively tailors a fitness and healthy eating regime based on your personal needs – including easy-to-follow workout routines.
3. Lift weights
The denser your muscle mass, the more calories your body will burn during periods of activity. While aerobic exercise is a huge part of any post pregnancy weight loss plan, lifting weights should also be part of your regime. Use dumbbells and various items of resistance training equipment that can be easily stored away in your home. Increasing your muscle mass will also help you to get toned.
4. Use exercise as a social event
Let’s face it; being stuck in the house with a screaming infant for 24 hours a day is no fun – and it isn’t good for your health. Get out and about at every opportunity.
Join the local mother and toddler group – many of these community groups provide exercise classes and childcare in the same place, giving you a chance to socialise with other new mums.
5. Don’t slash your calorie consumption too much
Being a new mum requires a huge amount of energy – particularly if you are breastfeeding. The worst thing you can do is to cut your calories by so much that your body goes into starvation mode. This will result in feelings of lethargy and weakness, as your body will slow down your metabolism and turn to your muscles for vital nutrients. Make sure you are eating little and often throughout the day (without exceeding your daily calorie allowance). Prepare some healthy snacks you can nibble on when you’re feeling peckish, but steer clear of snacks high in added salt and sugar, such as crisps and chocolate.
6. Do your pelvic floor and abdominal exercises every day
The area of your body you’re probably most concerned about is your tummy. Pelvic floor exercises involve continually contracting and relaxing the muscles you use to stop yourself from peeing. These exercises are vital, as they protect against stress incontinence and reduced sensitivity during sex. And the faster you can tone your stomach muscles after giving birth, the greater your chances are of fully regaining the flat tummy you had before you became pregnant.
It is important not to get too disheartened if your weight loss plateaus. Exercise, eat well and get as much rest as you can, and you should be saying hello to your old self in no time at all.
Disclaimer: This is a collaborative post