Just finished bringing your brand new baby into the world? If so, you might be itching to get back into the gym to find more energy, beat the tiredness and tone up the tummy!
There’s no question that your body has changed since you first became pregnant and now you might be wondering if you’ll ever get your pre-baby body back. The good news is that with the proper program, hard work, and a good amount of patience, you most certainly can get your body back.
But, there are some important points to know along the way. Let’s look at some of the most important post-pregnancy fitness tips that all new mom’s should know and remember.
First things first, never rush into your program. Remember that you will have had some time off of your workouts now and deconditioning will have taken place. You can’t expect to just dive right back in and be at the same place you were before.
Start with some easy, brisk walking and then slowly build up from there. Now is not the time to really push hard and try to set some PR’s. Do this and you’ll risk injury, not to mention possibly putting added stress on your body that may compromise milk production.
AVOID DIRECT AB WORK
Next, you’ll also want to be sure that you avoid direct ab work as well. Your abdominal region has been through a lot and needs to heel itself first before you can go right back to your usual crunches and other exercises.
The primary focus on core work for the first month or two should be on bringing back your pelvic floor strength. Focus on performing kegels regularly and this should help you bounce back quicker and get on to more intense ab work down the road.
GO LOW IMPACT
You’ll also want to ensure that you’re making good use of low impact activity. Remember that as you are slightly heavier now, doing high impact exercise can place excess strain on your joint.
This isn’t to say you can’t get back into activities such as jogging or skipping shortly down the road, but give your body some time first. You’ll want to shed a few more pounds and ensure that your muscles along with ligaments and tendons have regained some of the strength they may have lost.
FOCUS ON SHORTER SESSIONS
Finally, with the new baby home, time is off the essence. You likely won’t be able to get in full hour-long sessions, not to mention you might not have the energy to do so anyway.
Instead, focus on shorter, more frequent sessions. Take a 10 minute walk with your stroller, perform a 10 minute circuit workout while the baby is sleeping, or use 10 minutes before bed to perform some stretching and yoga exercise.
Every little bit adds up, so focus on simply getting as much movement into your day as possible. If you do this, it won’t be long before you’re ready to kick the intensity up a notch and start in with your pre-pregnancy workouts.
BREASTFEED AS LONG AS POSSIBLE
There’s no doubt that breastfeeding can help dramatically when trying to lose your baby belly. While not all mums can breastfeed for different reason, if you are one of the lucky ones, then breastfeeding for as long as possible will help you lose the weight quicker than most other methods. Most breastfeeding mums know this from experience. It is recommended both for your babies best development to breastfeed for at least one year. The world health organisation recommends breastfeeding until 2 years of age – if this works for both you and your baby. What better way is there to help your child develop a strong immunity, develop and nurture their emotional needs, bond with your baby AND lose that weight. Along with regular exercise this combination is almost guaranteed to get you fit, toned and fabulous in no time. Oh and not to mention, giving you and your baby plenty of the feel-good hormone, oxytocin, in the process!
Got any great post-pregnancy fitness tips that worked for you? Tell us in the comments below…we’d love to hear them.
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Hoping to fall pregnant sometime soon but it’s not happening? If you’re currently trying to conceive, there’s a number of things you can be doing to help improve your chances of conceiving. Taking good care of yourself at this time is essential in order to ensure you’re doing everything possible to increase your fertility.
That includes getting enough sleep at night, doing regular exercise, cut out the alcohol, and ensuring you’re eating the best foods.
The food that you eat on a daily basis can have a huge influence on how quickly you fall pregnant.
So, let’s go over a few of the best foods to eat for optimising your body during this time.
First up, start serving beans more often. Swapping out the red meat you’re eating for beans a few nights a week can do wonders for not only for your fertility, but your health as well.
Those women who tend to have the lowest consumption of red meat tend to show the greatest level of fertility as they typically have fewer issues getting pregnant.
Beans are a rich source of protein, fiber, as well as complex carbohydrates, so are perfect for providing the energy you need. They’ll also provide some folate as well, which is a very important nutrient for optimal fetus development.
FULL FAT GREEK YOGHURT
While most of your life you’ve probably avoided higher fat dairy products, now it’s time to add them back in. Whole milk products can help increase your level of fertility while also providing the added calories you’ll need to ensure optimal health.
Women who have been using a lower calorie diet plan to lose or maintain their body weight for years may have a harder chance of conceiving, so upping your calories slightly can help.
One serving of full-fat Greek yogurt per day is perfect and will also provide another source of protein along with some calcium for strong bones.
Make sure you aren’t passing up the salad next time you sit down for dinner. Leafy greens, including spinach are great for improving your ovulation, which can then lead to higher levels of fertility.
These leafy greens are also loaded with antioxidants and a variety of important vitamins and minerals, so will strengthen your immune system, boost energy levels, and may ward off disease as well.
Aim for two to three servings of leafy greens per day.
Finally, the last food you’ll want to ensure is making an appearance in your diet plan regularly is pumpkin seeds. Not only is this food loaded with healthy fats, which will provide energy and help keep your sex hormones at optimal levels, but they also contain a good dose of iron, which is needed for conception.
Women who are suffering from iron-deficiency anemia will have a harder time getting pregnant, so if you are, make sure you take steps to increase your iron.
Now is the time to load up on nutrients that encourage cell growth. Beta-carotene, found in pineapple and also commonly found in leafy greens and yellow and orange foods such as carrots, melon and sweet potatoes, helps keep your hormones in check and prevents early miscarriage. In fact, the corpus luteum, which helps produce the progesterone necessary to sustain a pregnancy, is loaded with this powerful nutrient.
Pineapple is often highly recommended during the early stages of pregnancy. In addition to beta-carotene, pineapple contains a substance called bromelain, which has been shown to mildly support implantation through its anti-inflammatory properties. “There’s not a lot of research out there for the benefits of eating pineapple during the time of conception, but if you want to hedge your bets, you may benefit,” says Wright. “After all, pineapple is a healthy food with no downside.” Experts discourage taking bromelain as a supplement though because the dose may be too high, and anything that dramatically moves blood during this time could be counter-productive so stick with fresh Pineapple and you can’t go wrong!
So there you have it — a few of the best foods to optimize your diet as you prepare your body to conceive. Add these into your diet now and you will be that much closer to bringing a new beautiful addition to your growing family.
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