Congratulations! You survived the past nine months and your baby has arrived healthy and well. But what happened to that body you used to see in the mirror? How can you get back into shape? Postpartum fitness needs can cause despair for many women. It seems like there is so much to be done, but you never have time or energy to do it.
Fitness Tip 1:
Avoid crash dieting. Actually, it seems like everyone should avoid doing any activity with the word “crash” in it. But this is definitely the case for women recovering from pregnancy. Your body has spent nine months adapting to nourishing new life.
Then, in one day, your baby is on the outside and your body is forced to change all over again. You need balanced nutrition to recover. This is especially true if you’re breastfeeding. Stick to a sensible diet that includes whole grains, vegetables and fruit. These healthy choices will give you the strength and stamina you need to regain your pre-baby body.
Fitness Tip 2:
Don’t rush. You may be anxious to get back into shape. But not only are you tired and sore, your newest family member is probably keeping you up at night too. Go easy for the first six weeks. You can probably start with walking and some modified push-ups. But get your doctor’s approval before you get back to more strenuous workouts.
Fitness Tip 3:
Include your baby. Trying to schedule time for fitness with a newborn at home can be challenging at best. One way to overcome this time barrier is to include your baby in your fitness activities. Load up the stroller when you want to go for a walk or light jog. Let baby lie next to you in the floor when you exercise. Fitness may be for your benefit, but being able to turn it into “together” time is even more of a blessing.
By following a sensible fitness plan, you can expect natural weight loss, a restoration of muscle strength, improved mood and reduced stress. In fact, most doctors agree that balanced nutrition and fitness are the keys to recovering from or even preventing postpartum depression. Oh, and you can also look forward to increased energy. Which is good, because you’re probably going to need it.