Some women never quite return back to their pre-pregnancy figures after giving birth. With all the weight gain, skin stretching and expanding waistlines, it’s quite an amazing feat for those who do.
You can recover from pregnancy with a body you can be proud of. Your belly and waist size don’t have to be endless reminders of those nine months that are long behind you now.
More Than Just Exercise
If you were exercising regularly during pregnancy, the transition back to your pre-pregnancy weight and size will be easier since you probably haven’t lost your flexibility and muscle tone. If exercise was an afterthought during pregnancy, the journey may be a little more difficult but still possible.
The good thing is that you will now be likely eating fewer calories since you are only eating for one person instead of two. As you make your food selections, keep in mind that your baby is still feeding off of the nutrients from your body if you are breastfeeding. We only want the best food for our babies, so put only the best foods in your body – foods that you know are good for you.
You can never go wrong with fruits, vegetables, whole grain, lean meats and light dairy for balanced nutrition (and all the fiber you need). As you continue eating healthy and filling up on water throughout the day, your body will begin to break down stored fats and naturally help you lose weight.
In addition to eating right, though, exercise is where that much needed toning comes in. Below are some exercises you can do, with your doctor’s clearance, to get you back in tip-top shape. There are a range of exercises you can do for your overall body, but since the area that’s most hit by pregnancy is the midsection, these exercises aim to trim you up there.
Cardio exercise is an immediate must, as these types of exercise (whether or not they target the midsection directly) loosen up and burn accumulated fat stores and prepare the way for the toning and strengthening exercises. If you attempt to build muscle only without cardio, your muscles will be hidden under layers of fat.
So you should start wherever you can for 15 minutes and gradually add more time per day, up to an hour, and maybe go walking, cycling, swimming or do a mild aerobics or yoga class. Yoga is very effective at elongating your muscles and giving you a lean, trim, feminine physique.
To target your core, you should do a series of exercises that strengthen and tone. Mixing it up with exercises like crunches, planks, the bicycle, kickboxing, Kegel exercises, breathing exercises and balancing exercises using a stability ball will work your abs from different angles and give you the best results.
Also, try to keep your stress levels to a minimum so that it doesn’t get in the way of burning fat. Always consult your doctor before beginning any exercise regimen, especially following pregnancy.