Hey new mom, let’s get one thing out of the way: you are simply amazing. Take a moment to honor the incredible body that held and nourished another human being for months. If weeks after delivery, you are chomping at the bit to jump on the treadmill or hit the weights, you aren’t alone.
An estimated average of 25 to 40 pounds is put on over nine months and although much of this is lost when the baby is born, you may still feel uncomfortable carrying around some extra weight, perhaps even discouraged or insecure in your ‘new body’. The great news is, change is coming!
Enthusiasm for post pregnancy fitness can quickly die down with limited time, increasing demands and a lack of energy, but once you’ve been given the green light to get back in the groove, you can safely implement strategic exercises for belly fat-loss results.
Between changing diapers, baby bathing, cuddling, and taking a nap, the ‘perfect’ time opportunity to exercise may be virtually non-existent initially, but even an outdoor walk for one hour twice a week, will keep your body moving. You’ll breathe fresh air, gain more energy, and your hamstring, calf, and quad muscles will thank you for it. Since like attracts like, the more often you move, the more energy you’ll have to want to move more. Forming a supportive stroller walking group of moms would create accountability, socialization and friendly encouragement to keep going.
Once you’re ready to step things up in the exercise department, it might seem counter intuitive to work around the stomach to target belly fat, but spot reduction isn’t possible with crunches alone. If you haven’t felt your abdominals in a while, you may wonder if they were taken out with the baby. Don’t worry, they are still there! But just like a car sitting on stilts in the winter, you have to put it back on the ground, turn the steering wheel, roll the tires, pump the gas and get moving. In the early stages of strength training, and particularly a C-section mommy, keep the focus on building a strong core with bodyweight exercises such as controlled squats, modified side planks and glute bridges. Although you might feel antsy to speed up the results, avoid direct downward pressure on the pelvic floor, heavy weighted exercises and jumps until your doctor gives you the thumbs up.
Eventually you can focus on bigger movements such as push-ups, rows, sprints and burpees. Exercises that recruit more muscles, burn more calories and burning more calories, means losing more weight.
Rather than pressure yourself to complete strength training exercises in a given period of time, completing four rounds of five minute increments over the course of the day, will give you 20 minutes of moderate intensity and this all adds up at the end of the week. At the very least, you will feel fantastic, reduce stress, increase energy and blood flow, and get back in touch with previously rested muscles.
Finally, don’t forget that getting into shape doesn’t have to be a sprint to the finish line. Take your time and do it the right, healthy way, and enjoy longer lasting results.