6 Get-Your-Body Back Moves for New Moms
Getting your body back after having a baby is never easy. But it's also not as hard as you might think.
Research shows that a regular exercise program started soon after giving birth is not only good for your overall health but may also help reduce the risk of postpartum depression.
Every pregnancy and delivery is different, so check with your doctor before engaging in any workout program after giving birth. If you experience any heavy bleeding, excessive soreness, headaches, or other unusual symptoms during or right after exercising, stop immediately and call your doctor for advice.
These exercises will help put you on the road to success.
It may not sound like much of an exercise, but walking is one of the easiest ways to ease into a fitness routine after giving birth. Everything from a leisurely stroll to a pumped-up power walk can do wonders for you and your body. Bringing baby along in a front pack will give you an automatic extra "weight" that can increase the benefits.
For a variation, try walking backward or walking in a zigzag pattern to help keep your muscles guessing. You probably should not include baby in this activity until you've mastered it and are certain of your balance.
2. Deep belly breathing with abdominal contraction
This exercise is so easy you can do it an hour after giving birth. It helps relax muscles, and it starts the process of strengthening and toning your abs and belly.
- Sit upright and breathe deeply, drawing air from the diaphragm upward.
- Contract and hold your abs or midsection tight while inhaling and relax while exhaling.
- Gradually increase the amount of time you can contract and hold your abs.
3. Shoulder lifts and head lifts
These two movements help strengthen back muscles. They also tone the tummy and abs and burn calories.
- Lie on your back with your arms along your sides.
- Keeping your lower back flush to the floor, bend your knees so that the bottoms of your feet touch the floor.
- Relax your belly as you inhale.
- As you exhale, slowly lift your head and neck off the floor.
- Inhale as you lower your head back down.
When you can do 10 head lifts with ease, add shoulder lifts.
- Get in the same position you did for head lifts.
- Inhale and relax your belly.
- As you exhale slowly, lift your head and shoulders off the floor, reaching with your arms and hands toward your bent knees. If this strains your neck, fold both hands behind your head instead.
- Inhale as you lower your head and shoulders back down.
4. The curl up
When you can do 10 shoulder lifts, move on to the curl up. To increase the benefits you get from the shoulder and head lifts, start by getting in the same position on the floor. Now, instead of just lifting your head and shoulders, lift your torso until it's about halfway between your knees and the floor behind you. Use your arms to reach toward your knees and hold for a count of between two and five. Then slowly lower your torso. Don't forget to breathe. Exhale when you exert. Inhale when you relax.