There are many types of exercise that will stimulate your cardiovascular system, your circulation and breathing and help you to maintain a healthy heart, as well as toning muscle groups for better posture and overall well-being. If you do not wish or are unable to join a formal fitness class or local gymnasium, there are many informal ways of increasing your fitness and health.
Informal ways of Improving Postnatal Fitness
- breastfeeding – aids weight loss
- walking in the park with your baby
- dancing and singing to music while doing household chores
- gardening, mowing the lawn
- walking up escalators in shops (if you do not have the buggy!)
- walking to local shops every day instead of driving to the supermarket
- swimming after your baby’s swimming class
- buy a mini trampoline -great for your pelvic floor and abdominals.
Suggestions for your Fitness Programme
- pilates, yoga
- swimming, water-based exercises
- cycling – whole family can join in
- aerobic exercise
- horse riding
- dancing – salsa, ballroom, line, etc.
- weight training (build up slowly)
- personal fitness trainer.
You will also, no doubt, be keen to lose the weight you have gained during pregnancy, but it is important to tackle this slowly. Regular exercise will help you to tone up and lose weight but you may not return to your ‘normal’ weight for some I especially if you are breastfeeding (in some women all weight is lost after they stop breastfeeding, but it is recognized that the longer you breastfeed the more weight you will lose). It can certainly take a good six months for you to lose the weight and you should aim to lose no more than half a kilogram per week.
Calorie counting is definitely not recommended if you are breastfeeding as you need about an extra 500 calories a day during this time, and even if you are bottle-feeding, your body still needs time to adjust slowly. Eat nourishing healthy meals, take regular gentle exercise and be patient. If you encourage your partner and children to eat healthily and to exercise as well it will be much easier; taking your baby/toddler to activities which promote a variety of exercises for children will also help everyone to develop habits for healthy living.
Getting Pregnant is a great thing but it comes with great mental and physical demand to a women’s body. Post natal is very crucial and maintaining your health and fitness is crucial for a healthy and happy life.
written by Dawn who currently writes for Mommy Edition.
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