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Exercise after Giving Birth: How to Get Back in Shape


Aside from getting back in shape right away, exercise after giving birth is also important for your overall well-being. There are a good number of postpartum exercises you can do. Shedding off the extra 15 pounds or so is a little difficult to start, but with motivation and discipline, you'll lose weight in no time at all. Before engaging in the exercise tips listed below, do not forget to consult your health care provider first and discuss what your options are when it comes to postpartum exercises.

Allow Your Body to Recuperate

Do not rush into things, and do not be too relaxed about it either. Give your body enough time to heal--may it be from a c-section or a vaginal birth. You have to understand that your body should be given enough time to recuperate and restore to its normal processes.

According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, it is safe to perform pregnancy light exercise after the first postpartum week. Light working out refers to stretching, modified push-ups and walking. A light 30-minute walk thrice a week is fine. You can increase the length and frequency as you regain strength over the weeks.

Know Yourself

Again, each of us is unique and every new mother will heal differently after giving birth. Figure out how your body works and what type of exercises work to your advantage. Some will do well in treadmills while others prefer to go outdoors and jog their way to getting back in shape.

Work on the Abdominal Muscles

You may notice that there's a gap in your abdominal muscles right after giving birth. This gap usually disappears right within four to eight weeks. Make sure that this gap is already closed before doing belly exercises.

To work on the abdominal muscles, bend your knees and lie flat on your back. Place your right hand on the upper thigh with your left hand fingers above your belly button. Inhale and exhale. While exhaling, lift your shoulders and head from the floor and slide your right hand upwards to your thigh and knee. Feel your abdominal muscles tighten.

Tone It Down

Aside from doing aerobic exercises and burning fat, find the time to build muscle mass too. You don't have to find a personal trainer; start with 25 sit ups and pushups. You can add five or 10 more a week and work your way up to 50, 75 and 100. You can mix it with sessions of yoga or Pilates.

Go Aerobic!

Just like other non-pregnant individuals who are keen on losing the extra pounds, the best way to start is to do some aerobic exercises such as swimming, biking, running, brisk walking and other activities that will keep your heart rate up.

Keep in mind though that you might have to wait for at least six weeks before actively doing the activities mentioned above. It is also suggested that you should not lose more than a pound or two a week, particularly when you're breastfeeding.

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