If you’ve given birth recently, you may be wondering how you will ever lose the weight you gained during pregnancy. Although this is a common problem for young mothers, with the right women’s fitness program it is possible to regain your pre-pregnancy figure.
However, prior to starting to exercise before, during or after pregnancy, please check with your physician to make sure you are healthy enough to participate in a women’s fitness program. Once you’ve gotten the okay, make a plan to get started.
Be sure to eat a light meal of proteins and carbs about two hours prior to working out. If you exercise for 30 minutes to an hour, you will want to eat within the 30 to 60 minutes after your workout too. The body can deplete its protein stores within an exercise session and you’ll need to replenish these, especially if you are breastfeeding.
I suggest eating 5 to 6 small healthy meals per day. Space your meals a few hours apart and plan each meal ahead of time, avoid the tendency to eat impulsively as that may not give you the nutrition you need. Be sure to eat a serving of protein at every meal. This is very important for your hair, nails, skin, muscles and every other cell in your body. If you are breastfeeding you may need even more protein or even a protein supplement. Remember that sticking to 6 small meals rather than the traditional 3-per-day means your meals will be spaced adequately to get the most out of your exercise program.
When starting an exercise program or resuming to an old one, you will want to make sure it includes both cardio and strength training exercises. Cardio activities, as you may know will help you to lose weight and increase stamina and endurance. These include walking, jogging, elliptical trainers, treadmills or playing fun sports like tennis, racquetball, volley ball or any other sport that keeps your body moving for at least 30 minutes.
Along with the cardio activities, strength-training exercises tighten and strengthen muscles to give you that smooth, firm, defined look. At least 30 minutes every other day of strength training exercises including lower body and upper body workouts will get you in shape.
If you haven’t time for the gym, don’t worry, exercises like those described above, can be done in the comfort of your own home. All you really need is an exercise mat to get started. Cardio activities, such as walking or jogging are easily performed in your own neighborhood. If you can’t get time alone without the baby in tow, remember that there are some great strollers available both for walking or jogging.
The important thing is to get started doing something if you want to get fit after pregnancy. Don’t starve yourself and do your body a favor by continuing to stay active for a healthy and happy lifestyle.
~ Karen Ficarelli
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