Getting back into shape after pregnancy
One of the things I was most concerned with during my pregnancies was losing the weight I’d gained. When I was pregnant with my son I gained 36 pounds, despite my obstetrician’s scolding remarks. I walked during my pregnancy to keep in decent shape, but I still ended up near the high end of the recommended 25-35 lb weight gain for a healthy woman.
After my 7lb 4oz son was born I didn’t know what to expect since this was my first child. I am an athletic person and have played sports all my life so I felt like a prisoner for those 6 weeks of recovery when you are told not to do any exercising. I was convinced that the longer I waited, the harder it was going to be to lose the weight. It also didn’t help that at 8 weeks postpartum I had someone (a man, no less) tell me that if you don’t lose the weight in the first 6 weeks then it’s really hard to lose it at all. I know I looked at him as if he had two heads – you can’t even work out in those first 6 weeks! I thought, that’s just what I need to hear when I’m still trapped inside this unfamiliar, larger body, overwhelmed with a new baby, and deprived of sleep!
After the 6 weeks of recovery my husband and I started working out together. Being an athlete, I had always lifted weights for sports and knew that working out with weights would build muscle, tone my body, and increase my metabolism. I didn’t concentrate on scale numbers, but rather on getting my body back into shape and back to pre-pregnancy size. My workout consisted of lifting weights to strengthen, but mostly tone, my body, which meant using lower weight and doing high repetitions. I did this 3 times a week and also jogged 2-3 times a week for a cardio workout.
I found that this workout really helped me get back to my healthy pre-pregnancy weight quickly, but safely. I will mention that I was in my early 20s, so obviously that helped since my metabolism was still up there.
I took the same approach after my daughter’s birth. During that pregnancy I gained only 25 lbs so I had less to lose, but I still followed the same type of workout. This time I used a Pilates workout DVD instead of running and found that I loved it. It was great for toning and strengthening in combination with weight lifting. The DVD I found even had a section called Pilates Burn that got your heart rate up and burned extra calories.
No matter what type of workout you decide upon to help shed those pregnancy pounds, make sure it’s safe and suits your ability. In my experience, making time to exercise will make you feel better, so do it, despite being sleep deprived! Remember to stick with the workout and slowly but surely you’ll start to see your old self. And yes, the baby will eventually sleep through the night!
Any tips on losing pregnancy pounds are welcome in the comments section! Share with your fellow moms!
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