As a new mother, you’re well aware that you have to stay active and get fit. Besides restoring your pre-baby body, feeling good (hello endorphins!) is an added benefit.
Yet, new motherhood is not exactly like what you see in glossy mother-and-baby magazines. As if caring for a newborn isn’t enough, staying active following childbirth sounds good on paper but doesn’t translate well in real life. While motherhood is truly a rewarding experience for most women, exercise is probably the last thing on your mind.
Who has the energy to go back to the gym when you’re only getting a few winks at night?
Super-Effective Moves to Sneak Into Your Daily Routine at Home as a New Mom
If the thought of exercise as a new mother is already making you feel exhausted, read on to get the most effective (and highly doable) exercise moves that you can sneak into your daily routine at home.
When complemented with a healthy diet, engaging in these activities consistently will help you regain your pre-pregnancy body back!
Quick Look at What Happens to Your Body During Pregnancy
To help you understand why the activities that we’ll recommend below will truly work in helping you get your pre-baby body back, here’s a quick look at two major changes that take place in your body during pregnancy and childbirth:
Substantial fat mass gain
It’s normal for a woman to gain weight because of the combined weight of the baby and the placenta. However, this is not the only reason for the substantial weight gain. When you’re pregnant, your body recognizes this life event as a time to store more fat for two reasons: help out with your little one’s development inside the womb and to prepare your body for breastfeeding.
Abdominal muscle separation
As your womb (uterus) makes room for the growing baby, your abdominal muscles will eventually stretch. This will, in turn, lead to diastasis recti or abdominal separation.
To that end, it makes sense to engage in activities that will address these two major issues following childbirth.
Staying Active with a Newborn: Your Game Plan
As to when exactly you can tackle exercise routines and workouts following childbirth, the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) recommends the following in their 2015 guidelines:
“Exercise routines may be resumed gradually after pregnancy as soon as medically safe, depending on the mode of delivery, vaginal or cesarean, and the presence or absence of medical or surgical complications. Some women are capable of resuming physical activities within days of delivery. In the absence of medical or surgical complications, rapid resumption of these activities has not been found to result in adverse effects.”
If you’re in doubt, visit your doctor and ask for the official green light in resuming exercise.
With that in mind, here are super-effective exercise routines and moves to lose the excess pounds and ditch the mushy middle following childbirth.
1. Torch the excess fat with HIIT or high-intensity interval training.
As you carve out time between feedings, laundry, and putting your little one to sleep, a 45-minute treadmill run at the same pace is a luxury. The good news is you can still torch the calories and fat for a shorter time with HIIT.
Recognized as more beneficial than cardio for fat loss, combine intense, quick bursts of activity and periods of moderate-to-low effort with HIIT. There are tons of HIIT variations out there but 3-to-5-minute intervals with 2 minutes of active rest completed at least 6 times has been shown to deliver the best results.
2. Address diastasis recti with integrative compound exercises.
Strengthening your core will significantly reduce the appearance of the post-baby pooch resulting from abdominal separation. To accomplish this, current research reveals that integrative core compound exercises for the core muscles (abdominals, back, and the muscles around the pelvis) are more effective in regaining core strength rather than isolation exercises.
3. Breastfeed when you can.
What does breastfeeding have to do with losing the pregnancy weight?
It turns out that six months of breastfeeding can potentially help you lose around 12 kilos(or 26 pounds!). Another study revealed that mothers who exclusively breastfed experienced greater weight loss that moms who formula-fed their babies.
Fitness: A Lifestyle Choice
As you gradually shed the excess pounds from pregnancy weight gain, and your back and abdominal strength return, it’s important to remember that you should not stop staying active even if you’ve regained your pre-baby body.
To get the best results, engaging in physical activity consistently and eating healthy following childbirth should be a lifestyle choice. If you want to go further in your transformation, a Mommy Makeover through a tummy tuck or liposuction with an experienced plastic surgeon is also worth checking out.