Post Pregnancy Fitness -- with Lyn Leddy
WebMD Live Events Transcript; Event Date: Thursday, July 1, 2004
MODERATOR: Are there specific exercises you recommend for
LEDDY: A sample exercise prescription for post-partum pregnancy would
be walking or using a cardiovascular machine four to five days a week, starting
at 20 minutes, working up to 50 minutes, making sure that you can talk
comfortably yet feel like you're getting a brisk walk and that your heart is
pumping and you're breathing heavily.
To tone your midsection, sit on a stability ball and perform a pelvic
- Curl your hips towards your chest without rounding your shoulders, and then
slowly bring your hips back to a normal sitting position. Think of it as
scooping your hips toward the ceiling.
- Start with as many as feels comfortable, about eight to 10, working up to
- Take a 30-second break, and then perform the same amount of repetitions
again for three to four sets.
Then to strengthen your lower back, which helps pull in weak abdominal
- Lie on the stability ball with your stomach and head facing towards the
floor, toes touching the floor (you should look like an upside down V).
- Cross your arms so your hands touch your shoulders and slowly lift your
upper torso towards the ceiling, your body is in line, making sure your
shoulders are in line with your hips.
- Then slowly bring your head back towards the floor.
- Repeat this movement, working up to 25 repetitions, the same as the
abdominal exercise I just explained.
These two exercises are the basic fitness moves two to six weeks after
pregnancy. After six weeks you may begin standard abdominal exercises, such as
lying on the floor and bringing your shoulders off of the floor and slowly
lowering them down, which is called an abdominal crunch, and the bicycle, which
is performed lying on the floor, hands behind your head, and touching your
elbow towards your opposite knee, which is being brought in towards you.
MEMBER QUESTION: Although I am active (I have a 20-month-old to chase
around all day) I am not really working out. We walk, but that is about it. I
am 122 pounds and 5 feet 4 inches tall. At 37 I feel I should be doing more to
prepare my body for another pregnancy, but feel limited on time to myself to
have a set routine. We are trying to conceive baby No. 2 now and I am wondering
if I start adding 15 minutes of yoga a day now if I can continue this type of
workout if I get pregnant this month. Is it too late to start?
LEDDY: No, it's not too late to start. Exercising prior to conceiving
and during the first trimester is most beneficial to mother and baby, research
has shown. Yoga is a safe and effective exercise for pregnancy so yes, start
yoga now. Your yoga instructor should be modifying moves as your pregnancy
progresses. Your body will start to be conditioned for yoga moves, and you will
be able to carry out your exercise regimen of yoga and walking throughout your
whole entire pregnancy. Yoga will help tone your body, relax your mind, and
reduce stress, which are all key components of a healthy and fit pregnancy.