After the Baby Arrives
delivery the first question naturally is how is my baby? The second question
asked by workout – alcoholics often is “When can I begin exercising now that
I’ve given birth?”
There are no clear cut answers to this question. You can ask your doctor about
when he or she feels you are ready to begin exercising, and restarting your
regime also will depend somewhat on how you feel. (This is another time when it
is a good idea to listen to your body.) Unless your had a particularly
complicated delivery, walking probably can
begin fairly soon after giving birth. Taking as little as 15 to 30 minutes while
maid watches the newborn so you can get some fresh air, plus a little time to
yourself will probably be one of the best things you can do shortly after having
a baby. When your infant is a little older taking him or her with your on your
walks will be good for both of you. As long as the weather cooperate put the
baby in a snuggle or a stroller and get out of the house.
Begin by working out for about 30 minutes a session three days a week.
Try for an intensity
level of about 50 percent of your pre-pregnancy workouts.
Gradually build in
duration, intensity and
Go about making the following exercises a part of you daily postpartum recovery.
Alternately contracting and releasing the muscles of the pelvic outlet and
Purpose: Strengthening supports the contents of the abdomen, preventing
your uterus or bladder from falling through these muscles, especially after you
have had children.
Description: Sit upright on a chair with a hard, flat surface; make sure
your weight is on your "sits bones," the two rocker-like bones on either side of
your vagina, and you are not slumped down on your tailbone; squeeze the muscles
between your sits bones and lift them up inside; hold for 10 seconds (keep
breathing), then relax them slowly, noticing how they fall toward the chair
surface. Start with five, and then work up to sets of 10 done two or three times
Exhaling and contracting the deep abdominal muscles and curving the lumbar
spine (back of the waist) into the C shape.
Purpose: Provides abdominal support, relieves low back discomfort after
pregnancy and labor.
Description: Sit upright on your chair or floor, relax your abdomen and
inhale; then exhale, tightening your deep abdominal muscle and rolling back
slightly onto your tailbone so that your lumbar spine can make the C shape;
relax your chest and shoulders; inhale and return to upright. Also do 10 of
these two or three times a day.
Perform wall push-ups when you have a minute or two by placing your hands
at chest level with your feet several inches behind your body. Lean forward
toward the wall, and then slowly push back.
your legs and bottom with leg lifts when you're on the phone or any time
you're standing for a few moments. In a standing position, lift one leg with
knee bent up toward your body, and return your foot to the floor. To tone hip
and thigh, raise your leg from your side up 12 to 14 inches, and return to the
starting position. To tone the buttocks, lift one leg toward your back with the
knee slightly bent, and slowly return your foot to the floor.
To wind up, Stretch your entire back and shoulders by standing with
your back against a wall, hands at your sides and heels, hips, and shoulders
pressed against the wall. Slowly raise your arms over your head, keeping your
hands and elbows touching the wall.
This exercise will strengthen abdominal and back muscles while providing
mobility to your spine. Lie on your back with knees bent, feet firmly on bed hip
width apart. Raise buttocks slowly off the ground and lift your hips about 2-3
inches off the floor to form a straight line. Place your hands on your buttocks
to feel the muscles tighten. You should feel the weight primarily in the legs
and buttocks, not your lower back. If you feel in the lower back, then lower
your hips slightly.
Repeat 3-5 times.
on your back with your knees bent. Do the pelvic tilt (do not arch). Inhale,
then slowly slide one heel up the floor or bed, exhale and slowly lower the leg.
Keep your back flat at all times and only work within the range that you can
maintain a flat back. Repeat 5 times with each leg.
Postpartum workouts should always include a
warm up period and a stretching and cool down phase. Remember to drink lots
of water to stay hydrated. Most important have fun and don’t fatigue yourself so
much that you cannot enjoy your new days.
Perhaps your were not into fitness before your pre-pregnancy but you have become
interested in starting a program now that you’ve looked at yourself in the
minor. It’s good to start your new life as a mother with healthy new habits. As
with any startup program a trip to the physician is essential before you begins.
Find out what your fitness baselines is and set realistic goals that you will
have the time and energy to meet. Refer to - for
setting up your fitness plan.
Exercise can help you meet and enjoy the challenges of motherhood. Combine it
with a healthy diet and you will
be on your way to regain pre-pregnancy figure.
When planning meals, focus on whole grains, breads, pasta,
vegetables, and dried beans, peas, or legumes.
5 fruit or vegetable servings every day. Low in calories, but
high in vitamins and minerals, fiber-rich fruits and vegetables
fill you without fattening you.
Eat breakfast (and other meals for that matter). By skipping
meals, you'll only be extra hungry at the next meal and more
likely to overeat. Besides, research shows that a person who
eats breakfast burns more calories at that time and during the
Broil foods rather than deep-fat or pan frying them.
"Sauté" foods in a bit of broth instead of butter or oil.
Top off salads with fat-free yogurt, cottage cheese, or
dressings rather than traditional high-fat dressings. For a
fat-free dressing mix rice vinegar or citrus juices with a
or fat-free dairy products in place of the regular products. For
example, drink reduced-fat or fat-free milk rather than whole
milk, serve fat-free ice cream or lower fat frozen yogurt in
place of premium ice cream, or substitute reduced-fat cream
cheese, sour cream, or yogurt for their regular counterparts in
cheesecakes, puddings, parfaits, and dessert toppings.
Dated 27 March 2012