YOUR BODY GOES THROUGH MANY CHANGES WHEN YOURE PREGNANT, AND IT CONTINUES TO BE SENSITIVE AFTER GIVING BIRTH.
To tone up stretched muscles after baby and regain your pre-pregnancy physique, you need a healthy regimen that supports healing and increases strength.
1. INCORPORATE A HEALTHYDIET
Fuel your post-partum workouts with nourishing foods that are rich in beneficial nutrients. Whole grains, legumes, nuts and seeds provide energy and satiety. Fresh fruits and vegetables deliver high levels of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.
Incorporate a variety of these foods into small meals throughout the day to avoid getting too hungry. Dont restrict calories in an attempt to lose weight; this can cause imbalances in your metabolism and rob you of the stamina you need to take care of your baby and yourself.
2. GO FOR A LOW IMPACT FITNESS ROUTINE
You might be tempted to jump into a high-intensity cardio routine to burn off baby fat, but doing so can delay healing or result in permanent damage. Begin with something relaxed like walking or swimming and only move on to more intense cardio after your doctor gives you the okay.
3. EXERCISE YOUR PELVIC FLOOR AND ABS
The muscles in your pelvic floor and abdominal area get stretched throughout pregnancy and stressed during childbirth. Start exercising these muscles as soon as you can after your baby is born to prevent future problems such as incontinence and back pain.
Pelvic floor muscles are the same ones used to control urination. Drawing these muscles up, holding the contraction and then relaxing tones up the whole area. Learn to do this while lying on your back before progressing to sitting and standing. Eventually you should be able to do pelvic floor exercises anywhere.
When working your abs immediately after pregnancy, avoid curls and crunches. The muscles deep within your abdomen need to be targeted first before theyre ready for these exercises. Instead, try moves like pelvic tilts, heel slides, head lifts and shoulder lifts.
4. INCORPORATE STRENGTH TRAINING
Working out with light weights tones up the muscles in the rest of your body. However, since hormonal changes during pregnancy leave your joints loose, youre at a higher risk for injury if you push yourself. Only use an amount of weight that allows you to maintain good form without holding your breath.
Consider using V-Bandswhich add resistance for toning but don’t add any additional weight.
5. STRETCH OUT
Stretching improves range of motion, posture and strength. Post-natal yoga classes or DVDs provide gentle workouts tailored to the specific needs of your body at this time. Mommy and me yoga lets you work out with your baby in a fun, relaxing environment.
Be mindful of how your body feels as you ease back into a regular exercise routine. Never do anything that hurts or push yourself to do more than you should. Learn good form and maintain it throughout each routine. Invest in clothing with proper support to reduce discomfort. When you feel like its time to increase the intensity of your workouts, talk with your doctor or a personal trainer about how to do so safely.
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