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Tips for Getting Back In Shape After the Birth

Published July 21, 2010        by Kim

Mommy & Me Lavender Gift Basket

Every new mother asks same question: How am I going to lose all this pregnancy weight? During pregnancy, women are encouraged to put on weight to ensure a healthy baby.  It is the healthy eating and weight gain that assure us that our new little loved one will have a better chance at a long and healthy life.  After the baby is born, things change dramatically.  New mothers are faced with the huge task of dealing with a newborn; this entails dirty diapers, sporadic sleep schedules, and putting your needs second to the newborn child.  How is one supposed to find the time to take care of herself having all these other needs that must be met?

Diet - The simplest way to lose weight and get back into shape is through a proper diet.  Diet plans are all over the web.  Gimmicks like pills, creams, and potions are not the way to go because if you are breastfeeding, these products may have adverse effects on your health as well as that of your new baby plus they often provide only temporary weight loss and the rebound can be significant.  Remember, if you are breastfeeding, whatever you put into your body, you are also putting into your baby’s body.  Oftentimes with a healthy diet comes a pricey grocery bill; eating right is not always cheap.  With a little planning and research, though, healthy foods can be purchased at great deals, especially when it comes to seasonal food.  The major food groups (meats, grains, vegetables, and dairy) all offer a myriad of options for low calorie, high fiber, and lean protein food choices.  Try to stay away from pre-packaged processed foods, as these tend to be loaded with sodium and other preservatives.  Stay with whole wheat products, high fiber, and lean proteins like chicken and fish, and remember, everything in moderation is the best motto.

Exercise - Are you ready to run?  The answer is probably not.  After nine months of carrying around a baby, there is a good chance that your muscles are weak or even suffering from atrophy.  It’s not your fault. This is a natural occurrence when carrying and giving birth to a child.  When you are ready to begin the exercise routine, remember to choose something that is within your limits.  Do not set your goals too high too soon.  Nothing is worse than over-doing an exercise routine and being so sore the next day that it actually hurts to perform your normal, daily activities.  This will actually slow you down rather than speed up your fitness goals.

You might opt to consider a full blown exercise routine with a set amount of time for cardio with a set number of repetitions for each exercise.  However, this is not the only way to improve your physical health and well-being.  You might instead consider an afternoon walk after lunch with a friend, or perhaps light aerobics as instructed on television.  You might also use your new little bundle in your exercise routine.

Mom Jogging with Baby

Baby Workout - Jogging strollers are a popular way of obtaining exercise while entertaining the little tyke, but there are other ways to involve baby in your goal of getting back in shape.  You might do push-ups with the baby under you, so it becomes more like a game and less like work.  In the same manner, consider a bench-press using the weight of the bundle of joy.  Arm curls and military presses work in the same manner.  These are great ways to work on getting back in shape while loving your little guy or baby girl.

Photo shows a group of moms all working out together at a mall.  Groups of like-minded individuals are always great motivation!

While losing the baby weight may be a goal of many new mothers, don't forget to have a little "me" time outside the exercise facility.  A day at the spa or a bath gift basket for Mom full of aromatherapy products also go a long way toward rejuvenating... remember mind is just as important as body!

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