Every mom wants to know the key to getting her pre-baby body back. Here is the secret…it actually begins during pregnancy if your doctor gives you the thumb’s up to exercise while you are pregnant.
Focus on strengthening your deep core muscles to help prepare your body for weight gain, postural changes, labor, delivery, and of course, recovery after baby. Your deep core muscles are your pelvic floor and transverse abdominals, think “kegels" and “hugging your baby.” Aim to get cardio in by walking at least 30 minutes 3-6 days every week. Strength train your entire body by doing pilates, yoga, and/or weight training, modifying as needed.
By moving your body during pregnancy, you can prevent or at least lessen common aches and pains. During pregnancy, the hips and lower back muscles tend to take over due to the growing baby. When strength training, focus on glute exercises, activating your butt muscles, rather than overusing your quads and hip flexors. Think about moving from your core. Do a gentle kegel before you start exercising and think about holding it throughout your entire workout. If you find yourself holding your breath, ease up on how tightly you are gripping your pelvic floor and keep on moving.
Focus on your posture by standing straight and using your core to stand tall. Doing this gives your back more support and strengthens your muscles without even physically moving!
It took you nine months to take on your beautiful pregnancy shape so don’t expect it to drop off overnight. Slowly your body will come back and yes, it is possible to have an even better body after baby, think “baby steps”. Nursing also helps burn off a majority of your baby weight along with healthy eating and good exercise habits. Those last 5-10 pounds may seem to linger until you are done nursing, Your body holds on to those last pounds so you can continue to produce enough rich nutrient milk for your little one. In time you can have that amazing knock out body back! Give yourself nine months to a year before you fit comfortably into your pre-baby jeans; your hips take time to completely come back, but not to worry. Exercise helps tremendously, along with healthy eating habits. So keep up the hard work while you’re pregnant, it will really pay off!
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