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Kelly Ripa's Take on Mothering

Talk show host Kelly Ripa weighs in on healthy kids, parenting that works, and family dynamics.

Kelly Ripa's Work/Life Balance continued...

But she doesn't rule out cosmetic Botox down the road. "People write that I've had it [injected in her face], which I take as a compliment, because I haven't. Maybe for a milestone birthday. I don't know. ... Forty's coming up fast! Because I make no judgments on anyone who decides to use it."

By all appearances, it seems Ripa leads a blessed life, and she'd be the first to agree.

"Sometimes Mark and I see these little faces around the breakfast table and we just look at each other and think, How did we ever make something so beautiful? Our kids -- well, they're our hearts."

Kelly Ripa's Postpartum Workout

Sure, Ripa is "ripped" -- now. But she lost her pregnancy weight after each of her three pregnancies slowly and safely. "It took me a year and a half after every baby to get back to normal," she tells WebMD. "I didn't stress about it. Weight is just a number, and I knew that if I ate well and exercised, eventually it would come off."

Geralyn Coopersmith, an exercise physiologist and certified personal trainer in New York City, offers these postpartum tips for getting back in shape after your doctor has given you the green light:

Start low-impact. Postpartum and breastfeeding women need to protect their joints, which show increased laxity from pregnancy hormones and are susceptible to injury. "Try walking, swimming, biking, or low-impact aerobics for at least 30 minutes, three to five days a week," Coopersmith advises. "Maintain an intensity level that leaves you breathy, but not panting."

Weight it out. Strengthening muscles protects joints and supports the alignment of the spine, so lifting free weights or doing circuit training is a good idea for postpartum and breastfeeding women. Coopersmith says to "go for the highest weight you can handle where 12 reps is a challenge and form is not compromised. Do two to three sets of each weight exercise."

Work the abs. Add planks, "bird dogs," crunches with a twist, and pelvic tilts to stabilize the spine and tone the tummy. "You may never have the abs you once did," says Coopersmith, "but, remember, skin elasticity improves over time, and if you're willing to do the work, you can tone and tighten your midsection -- and it can look great."

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Reviewed on March 31, 2008

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