It is not just about losing “baby weight” after baby is born, for most moms, it is just nice to get out of the house. Whenever you decide to start exercising again it is best to consult with your health care provider, but you must listen to your body. If something is uncomfortable or hurts, you should take a break. Every delivery is different and even if you feel you are okay to start back, there could be more going on than you think.
The biggest thing to remember is that stubborn baby weight didn’t show up overnight, and it won’t go away overnight. It took nine months to gain it, so be patient with yourself when you are working on losing it. Don’t compare yourself to the mom next to you, we all have different body types and metabolisms and we change at different rates.
According to the Mayo Clinic:
Regular exercise after pregnancy can:
- Promote weight loss, particularly when combined with reduced calorie intake
- Improve your cardiovascular fitness
- Restore muscle strength and tone
- Condition your abdominal muscles
- Boost your energy level
- Improve your mood
- Relieve stress
- Help prevent and promote recovery from postpartum depression
Better yet, including physical activity in your daily routine helps you set a positive example for your child now and in the years to come.
Physical activity goals
For most healthy women, the Department of Health and Human Services recommends at least 150 minutes a week of moderate-intensity aerobic activity — preferably spread throughout the week — after pregnancy. Consider these guidelines:
- Take time to warm up and cool down.
- Begin slowly and increase your pace gradually.
- Drink plenty of fluids.
- Wear a supportive bra and, if you’re breast-feeding, nursing pads in case your breasts leak.
- Avoid excessive fatigue.
- Stop exercising if you feel pain.