Many women don't take part in any form of exercise on a regular basis, but in order to get back in to shape after having a baby, exercise after pregnancy should be included in some way.
There is a popular belief that the best type of exercise for losing weight after having a baby is either going to the gym, attending fitness classes or some other form of high impact or competitive sport.
But when we talk about exercise, this can be a little misleading because really the aim here is to simply burn off calories, so activity would be a much better description, especially where new mothers are concerned.
Activity can be anything from cleaning, pottering the garden and general housework to walking, swimming or dancing. It is important not to think that for exercise to be beneficial it has to be hard work. In order to lose weight you just have to be active.
The ideal activity for new mums is walking with your baby in a pushchair. It's free to do, can be done whenever you like, you can work at your own pace and both you and your baby will get plenty of fresh air.
To begin with you should find a local route that doesn't contain any hills and takes anywhere between 10 – 20 minutes to complete. If possible, walk this route twice a day at first, then as your fitness improves, gradually increase the distance or the speed at which you walk to keep it slightly challenging.
You should aim to walk for 20 – 60 minutes at least 5 days a week.
Your stomach muscles will also need some attention, they are in a delicate state right now and should be exercised with caution. There are some very specific movements that should be done, called pelvic tilting exercises.
At this early stage in recovery most women will try doing sit ups, but these should be avoided at all costs. The intra abdominal pressure created when doing this type of movement forces the gap between the muscles much wider apart and could leave you with a rounded stomach forever.
In order to lose weight after having children it is going to be important to become more active but exercise after pregnancy shouldn't be too challenging. As your strength improves, so will your fitness and you can move on to more advanced activities.
Jago Holmes is a registered personal trainer and director of New Image Fitness Ltd. He is a qualified personal trainer with over 10 years experience working with new mums and pregnant women. He has created a website for new mothers, devoted entirely to safe and effective weight loss after pregnancy -
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