5 Simple Ways to Get Back in Shape After Baby

Research shows that starting a regular exercise program soon after giving birth is not only good for your overall health, but may also help reduce the risk of postpartum depression.

Every pregnancy and delivery is different, so check with your doctor before engaging in any workout program after giving birth. If you experience any heavy bleeding, excessive soreness, headaches, or other unusual symptoms during or right after exercising, stop immediately and call your doctor for advice.

Here are some simple moves to help get you back in shape:

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1. Walking

Why It’s Good For You: It may not sound like much of a workout, but walking is one of the simplest ways to ease into a fitness routine after giving birth.

How It’s Done: Start with an easy stroll. Eventually you’ll work your way up to a pumped-up power walk. But a gentle walk can still do wonders for you and your body, especially in the beginning. Bringing baby along in a front pack will add extraweight that can increase the benefits.

For a variation, try walking backward or walking in a zigzag pattern to help keep your muscles guessing. Note that you should not include baby in this activity until you’ve mastered it and are certain of your balance.

2. Deep Belly Breathing With Abdominal Contraction

Why It’s Good for You: This exercise is so easy you can do it an hour after giving birth. It helps relax muscles, and it starts the process of strengthening and toning your abs and belly.

How It’s Done: Sit upright and breathe deeply, drawing air from the diaphragm upward. Contract and hold your abs tight while inhaling and relax while exhaling. Gradually increase the amount of time you can contract and hold your abs.

READ ALSO:What You Need to Know About Carpal Tunnel Syndrome In Pregnancy

3. Knee Plank

Why It’s Good for You: It develops strength primarily in the core—the muscles that connect the upper and lower body—as well as the shoulders, arms, and glutes.

How It’s Done: This static exercise—meaning the body stays in one position for the entirety of the move—requires no equipment and can be performed just about anywhere

This plank is noticeably easier to hold than the traditional straight-arm plank, making it great for beginners becuase it allows them to concentrate on form. By resting the knees on the ground, there’s less stress on the lower back. Rest your knees on a rolled up mat or towel if they feel uncomfortable on the floor.

4. Kneeling Pelvic Tilt

Why It’s Good for You: This exercise helps tone your tummy. Strengthening your abs can also relieve back pain.

How It’s Done: Start on all fours, toes touching the floor behind you, arms straight down from your shoulder line, palms touching the floor. Your back should be relaxed and straight, not curved or arched. As you inhale, pull your buttocks forward, tilting your pelvis and rotating your pubic bone upward. Hold for a count of three, and release.

READ ALSO: KEGELS: How To Tighten and Firm Up Those Pelvic Muscles For Good

5. Kegels

Why They’re Good for You: This classic exercise will help you tone bladder muscles and help reduce risks of incontinence associated with childbirth. The more kegels you do, and the longer you hold them, the better control you will have over those leaks caused by sneezing, laughing, or picking up your baby.

How They’re Done: Your goal is to contract and hold the muscles that control the flow of urine. To get which muscles they are, start by doing the exercise while you use the bathroom. As you urinate, manipulate your muscles until the stream temporarily stops. Then release and let the urine flow. Remember what that feels like, and when you’re not urinating, contract, hold, and release those same muscles. Try to do this 10 times per session, three times a day.

Source: webmd

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