After nine long months (very long months,) your bundle of joy has arrived making you a momma! Whether you are a first-time mom or a seasoned momma of three, baby weight is always a touchy subject, and something most moms want off like yesterday. But, before you go being all hard on yourself, you need to give yourself a major pep talk (or we will!) Your body just created a human being, it did absolutely amazing things, so don’t be in a massive rush to get the weight off a week after you give birth. You will want to get approval from your doctor first and ease into it. Enjoy the baby cuddles and the slower pace.
Ok-pep talk over. We want to share some tips on helping you ease back into your fitness routine (when you’re ready) whether you stayed active throughout your pregnancy, or are just getting back into it after a nine-month hiatus. We want to help make fitness work for you in the postpartum phase.
Your Guide to Getting Back into Your Fitness Routine Post Baby Bump
So you have been cleared by your doctor, and you’re itching to get back into some form of exercise (yay!) For many of us moms, this is an exciting time because getting back into exercise without a big baby belly is a little easier than working out during that third trimester.
We are here to help you start this postpartum exercise journey, so here are some tips to help you get started.
- Ease into it. Start slow, even if you were exercising throughout your pregnancy. You don’t want to completely overdo it right after having a baby. It’s kinda like the saying “don’t start sprinting if you’ve never ran.” You will want to just use some common sense here like don’t go lifting the heaviest weights if you’ve never done any strength training before. Basic stuff, but important nonetheless. We don’t want you overdoing it to where you run the risk of injuring yourself which will only derail your weight loss efforts. If you did regularly exercise during your pregnancy, you may have had to modify, especially in the third trimester. Now you can start working your way back to the level you were at before getting pregnant. Again, progress slowly and listen to your body. You may be mentally ready to go full steam ahead, but your body may be saying “not so fast.”
- Have a plan. Your time is more precious than ever now. Your schedule is not your own and probably won’t be for a while. If you have a plan, you won’t waste time trying to figure out what to do. Write it down and get to it!
- Schedule your workout. Just like your baby’s naps and feedings, you need to also schedule in your workout. Find a time that works best for you whether it’s once a day for 45 minutes or twice a day for 20 minutes each workout. Remember, it’s the quality of what you do with that time that counts the most.
So, Now What?
So now that we got some basics out of the way, what types of exercises work best to help you rebuild that strength and support weight loss? Here are some of the best options to get your body moving after having a baby.
The Best Workouts For Weight Loss Postpartum
#1 Cardiovascular exercise
Babies love to be on the move so long walks with the stroller are a great starting point. Once the walks start to feel easy, take a hillier route or walk for a longer period of time. You can even incorporate running intervals (i.e., walk for one minute then run for one minute).
Sometimes leaving the house is not an option with a newborn especially during the colder times of the year. The good news is that there are plenty of exercises you can do inside to help you lose the baby weight, such as:
- Jumping rope
- Squat jumps
- Mountain climbers
- Jumping jacks
- Tuck jumps
These exercises require minimal space and really give you the biggest cardio bang for your buck. Perform them in a circuit for a specific amount of time for a few rounds. It’s quick, yet gets the job done.
#2 Strength training
Adding strength training to your routine is important. Not only will you get stronger, but it will tighten up your body, reduce body fat and help you burn calories. The more muscle you have, the more calories you burn. Here are a few exercises to get you started:
- Shoulder presses
- Rows (or pull-ups if you can do them)
- Chest presses
These exercises cover every major upper and lower body muscle group. You don’t want muscle imbalances so working all the muscles in your body is important.
A Few More Things….
Don’t be afraid to go out of your comfort zone. After a few weeks into your workout routine, you may want to see what else your body can do. You certainly don’t want to go too hard too fast, but if the exercises don’t feel as challenging or the weights no longer feel as heavy, it’s time to take it up a notch.
Endless crunches are not the answer. That postpartum belly is usually the most stubborn body part to lose weight. But you can’t lose it by doing countless sit-ups. As long as you stay with a consistent routine of both cardiovascular exercise and strength training, the belly weight will begin to go away. Be sure to add in some planks though as you still need to strengthen your midsection.
Try an exercise app. Lots of exercise apps have you covered when it comes to formulating a workout plan. FitOn is a totally free app that offers virtual fitness classes led by celebrity trainers that are always open! Plus, you can get your friends in on the action by working out together through the app.
The Bottom Line
Whatever you do, don’t quit. The baby weight will come off. Follow your plan, stick to your schedule and eat a healthy diet. But, remember that it took nine months of growing that beautiful baby of yours to put on the weight your baby needed, so don’t rush the weight loss. Give yourself grace, and give yourself time. Don’t let weight loss goals ruin this fleeting newborn phase. Just show up to exercise each day, eat clean, and your body will do the rest.