Ok, you just had a baby and your ready to start going to the gym to loose those extra pounds. But before that you must sit down, do some research and plan your post pregnancy workout especially if you had a C-section. Even I was all pepped up and motivated to do the same but you must take adequate rest and still eat well because you are nursing.
If you had a normal delivery you must wait for 6 weeks and start your exercise routine only after you get a green signal from your doctor or midwife. In case of a C-section, since you had a major abdominal surgery you must take ideal rest and gather all your strength and energy before you can even start taking a stroll around the neighborhood. I would ideally suggest 3 months to recover from a C-section. Doctors will ask you to increase your food intake because you will be nursing and you are likely to put on more weight especially with our Indian culture of eating Ghee, Panjiri (blend of whole wheat flour, sugar and dry fruits), and other post pregnancy highly nutritious food. Just remember to eat in moderation; eating too much will only add more weight to your body and will not be very useful for the baby.
Once you feel you are mentally, emotionally and physically ready you can start your workout schedule. Pick a form of workout, something you like and enjoy. You can join a gym, hire a personal trainer, do Yoga, go running, or do Pilates. More then anything you require motivation, patience and determination. Pregnancy is a long 9 month time period in which our body changes tremendously to make room for another life and gains weight to support the same, you must remember to give it at least a year to lose the weight.
After Sabar and Sehaj were born I found myself extremely busy and could hardly take out time to go to a gym. That’s when I discovered Pilates, it suited my time schedule and I could do it anytime in the comfort of my home. Pilates uses your body weight to work your muscles and tones your body. It’s like a combination of Yoga and Cardio. I was so obsessed with it that I started incorporating theses moves in my day-to-day baby related activities.
In Pilates, posture is the most important thing to keep in mind. By just improving your posture one can look and feel so much better. Below are 4 basic moves, I have created while spending time with my babies and it got me started to a full-fledged workout routine.
ABS at naptime – When you have feed your baby and are rocking the baby to sleep on your lap with your legs folded. Slowing and gradually lay down on your back and pull you’re self up back to the sitting position. Repeat this step slowly with resistance. The slower you are the better it is for your core muscles. It’s exactly like the roll up exercise in Pilates, only you have your legs folded and your baby’s weight provides resistance. It’s an amazing way to work that abs!
SQUAT and pick – When your baby is on the rocking chair/ bouncy chair, you can squat and pick up the baby instead of bending your back. This will prevent backache and make your thighs stronger. Eventually when you baby becomes a toddler and leaves a trail of toys in the house, it’s a great to opportunity to workout those quads!
TWIST while swaddling – This one was my favorite; I still do this all the time when I put my toddlers to sleep. When your swaddling your baby and singing a lullaby just widen your legs, straighten your stance and twist your core to each side. It works on your side abs and love handles along with putting your baby to sleep.
INCLINE PRESS playtime – Once my girls got a little bigger I would often lay down on the carpet and hold my baby in my hands, bring her closer to my face, kiss her and lift her. Repeat this again. This move is a combination of toning arms, and making her giggle every time I would kiss her.
So here we are 4 moves for abs, quads, love handles and biceps! It’s a great way to get you started. Just remember if you can make a new life inside your body you can do anything! It’s amazing how strong we are. We just have to believe in ourselves. Don’t we? What are your views, I would love to hear your stories and experiences.