Shaping up after birth is a priority to many mums, but getting started can be tricky. If you’re still recovering from the birth process and want to ease into exercise slowly, here are some ideas to incorporate exercise into your daily routine.
Strengthening your pelvic floor and your abdominal muscles are your top priority. Make sure you’re contracting the muscles correctly before intensifying the exercise. Remember that Kegels are a must, whether or not you’ve had a natural birth. Much of the strain to the pelvic floor happens during the months of carrying your baby, and new mums that had caesarians will still have weakened their pelvic floor to some degree.
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Squeeze your pelvic muscles tight as if you were attempting to stop the flow of urine; none of your abdominal, buttock or thigh muscles should clench as you do this. Practice your Kegels as often as you can, two ways: small contractions done in rapid succession, and slower ones that are held for 3-10 seconds at a time.
Correct Abdominal Contractions
Simply pull in your stomach to feel the necessary muscles work. When doing so, you should feel as if you are pulling your belly-button in towards your spine. Hold this for a few moments – whilst still breathing regularly – then slowly release again. It may seem simple, but practicing this as many times as you can in a day will go a long way towards strengthening your abdominal muscles from the inside out.
Finding time to exercise can be one of the biggest challenges of new motherhood. Try incorporating more exercise into your day with the following tips:
Wear toning shoes when you walk
There are plenty of good quality toning shoes out there that are specially tailored to help you burn calories as you move. Wear them when pushing a stroller around the mall or while taking baby for a walk.
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Wear ankle weights around the house
If you are house-bound for the next few weeks or months, ankle weights are a worthy investment. Strap them on as soon as you start your day and torch some calories while performing household chores or looking after baby.
Make running upstairs a rule
Whether it’s at the mall, on your way up to a friend’s apartment or in a big house, run up every stair you see. Always opting for the stairs and moving quickly up them can be a valuable calorie burner on a day-to-day basis.
Swap your seat for an exercise ball
Not only does this strengthen your core muscles and pelvic floor, it improves energy levels as well! Swap your seat when burping baby or when you have some relax time in front of the television.
Invest in a mini-trampoline
This is one of the best pieces of home equipment – whether you’re a new mom or not! Gentle rebounding is one of the most effective ways to strengthen your pelvic floor, improve core strength and tighten skin. Just 10 minutes a day will make a difference. This was so instrumental in shaping my body after Bella was born - and that's where my passion for rebounding really took flight!