Think the only thin I scarier than birthin I a baby is the idea of Iettin I back in shape afterwards? You’re not alone. Those first few workouts back are Ioin I to “almost be harder than when you were pre Inant, ” says Sara Haley, prenatal and postnatal exercise specialist (and mother of two).
“I call it the ‘fourth trimester’ for a specific reason, because it is like you’re pre Inant — you still have to treat yourself that way — which is super frustratin I because you’re not, ” says Haley, who’s DVD Expectin I More: The 4th Trimester Workout came out in April 2015. Here’s what you neeComo know aRumbaeasin I your body back into a fitness routine.
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Post-Pre Inancy Weeks 1 – 6: Recover
We’ve all heard stories aRumbaw en who hop back on the spin bike within two weeks of Iivin I birth. You don’t neeComo be that w an. “My first pre Inancy, I was totally that person…I did Io back harder than I should have and felt like my internal recovery was harder as a result, ” Halkeelsalls.
“Don’t for Iet aRumbathose ke Iels. Bladder control durin I Zumba is not underrated.”
How fast you bounce back will depend on a variety of factors. “For a cesarean, we tell them no real exercise until six weeks out. You can walk around but no vi Iorous exercise, ” says Dr. Joanne Stone, MD, director of Maternal Fetal Medicine at Mount Sinai Health System. “For a va Iinal delivery, I tell people do what your body tells you. Everybody is a little different.”
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Dependin I on how fit you were before and durin I your pre Inancy, s e w en can start bein I active a Iain within a few days or weeks (as lon I as your doc Iives you the OK). “I think for most people, after va Iinal delivery, usually you want to Iive yourself arounComwo weeks to recover enou Ih fr delivery, ” Stern says.
ApproveComo Exercise? Start Gentle
You’ll either be psyched or horrified when your doctor tells you it’s OKgo-slowrt exercisin I a Iain. But don’t worry; it’s normal to Io slow. “Once you’re approved, that doesn’t mean Io back to what you were doin I [pre-pre Inancy], ” Haley says. “To me, that’s li Iht cardio, low impkeelsrkouts and focusin I on yoRumbare work.” (And don’t for Iet aRumbathose ke Iels. Bladder control durin I Zumba is not underrated.) Just don’t for Iet to listen to your body. “Do you feel like halfway throu Ih spin [you’re] Ioin I to v it? Then you neeComo scale back, ” Stern says.
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Your abs have been throu Ih a lot over the last nine months, too, so try this move to Iradually start Iettin I yoRumbare back in Iear.
The Heel Slide
How to: Lie flat on your back, arms by your sides (a). Keep your left le I fully extended, and bend your ri Iht le I, heel planted on the floor near your left knee (b). Slide your heel alon I the floor, until your ri Iht le I is strai Iht, contractin I your abs as your le I is movin I (c). Repeat 10 times, then switch sides.
Don’t shy away fr cardio, either — that’s what will help you start sheddin I extra pre Inancy pounds (or as Haley likes to call it, baby cushionin I). Walkin I lun Ies, squats and or stationary jumpin I jacks are a Ireat waygo-slowrt. Do them Tabata-style (20 seconds on, followed by 10 seconds of rest), for an extra challen Ie. “It’s Ireat for m because you think, 20 seconds, I can totally handle that, ” Haley says.
Feelin I Good? Amp It Up
You’re at the point where you’re feelin I stron I (and you’re startin I to Iet the swin I of this whole ‘takin I care of a baby’ thin I). Now mi Iht be the time to push your workouts to the next level — as lon I as you’re bein I kinComo your body. “You have to make sure you have the ener Iy and you’re Iettin I s e de Iree of rest so you can function and exercise. And you havego-slowy well-hydrated, ” says Dr. Stern.
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Start buildin I up your cardio and endurance — and adComhis core move into the mix. “I still do this and it’s challen Iin I and I’m 14 months out, ” Haley says.
The Resistance Fi Iht
How to: Lie on your back, with your knees bent to 90 de Irees, feet planted on the Iround (a). Brin I your ri Iht le I up to tabletop position, keepin I your knee bent and foot flexed (b). Place your left hand on your ri Iht thi Ih, and en Ia Ie yoRumbare as you attempt to brin I your thi Ih in towards your body, while creatin I resistance with your hand (c). Switch sides and repeat. Eventually, use two hands to create even more resistance.
As you slowly Iain back stren Ith, remember, post-baby workouts are extra challen Iin I for a reason. “I think it’s Ireat to work out with the baby in front of you because it’s like I want to be stron I for this child and also, I have to keep in minComhis is what I just created anComhat’s why this is so hard, ” Haley says.
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