childbirthGetting back into shape after giving birth.

Princess Kate gave birth to Prince George of Cambridge and she looks fantastic. What was her secret in getting her pre-pregnancy shape back and to re-gain her fitness. Just like the rest of you, Kate would of found herself with a flabby stomach, water retention, stretch marks and a few extra pound heavier than she use to be after she gave birth to the future king. Where did her pre-pregnancy body go to and how did she manage to get it back?

When to start exercising?
It’s important to remember that you should always consult with your doctor before starting up any form of exercise. Generally you would wait until your 6-week post-natal check up before starting an exercise programme or maybe longer if you had a cesarean. Some women start exercising before this. The best advice is listening to your body and wait until you feel ready. If you were fit before you became pregnant and continued to exercise during your pregnancy, you might start within a couple of weeks after given birth, just remember to start off slowly.

Why start exercising?
Post-natal exercise offers a whole range of benefits for new mums and losing your pregnancy weight is not the only one. Just as in your pregnancy, post-natal fitness can help ease a host of discomforts simply by increasing your circulation and gaining muscle strength. Exercise can help with any postnatal depression you might be experiencing. To maximize the benefits of exercise, try to stick to a well-balanced, healthy diet, and remember, whenever you work out, always drink plenty of water, warm-up and cool-down properly, and never exercise to the point of exhaustion. If you were fit during your pregnancy, you should start to see results very soon. However, getting your body back to normal can take anywhere from three to nine months.

What are the best exercises?
Pelvic floor exercises that you would have been doing throughout your pregnancy must be continued. These exercises were recommended to you during pregnancy because they can help make your labor easier. But now the pelvic floor muscles have become weakened and need to be strengthened again. These exercises are essential to protect you against your bladder leaking (stress incontinence) after birth. It is important to strengthen these before you begin to do lots of stomach muscle work like sit-ups, or you may find that you begin to leak during exercise, they will help with bladder control.

Abdominal exercises are very important to strengthen your stomach muscles after giving birth. During pregnancy, your abdominals will sometimes separate from the added pressure of the baby. This is called diastasis recti.  It’s important that you minimize the separation, allowing the abdominals to function properly, and also before doing any strenuous abdominal work. Don’t go straight into doing sit-ups, this could make the separation worse. Speak to a qualified Personal Trainer to get first hand knowledge on the best exercises to start with.

Walking is the one of the best forms of moderate exercise, especially post pregnancy, getting the circulation going to help remove all that unwanted water and fat, helping tone the legs and getting fresh air for you and your new baby.There are plenty of post-natal Yoga and Pilate’s class around if you prefer a gentler approach, both great for getting a flat stomach and meeting other mums.

Stick to a Routine
To make the most of your post-natal fitness. Try to set up a routine that you can stick to. Establishing a schedule will help maintain regular workouts that fit into your everyday life. Also try to workout at least three times a week for at least 30 minutes each time. If you are determined to lose your weight quickly, then exercise more often. However, never exercise to the point of exhaustion. If your body is telling you it’s tired, stop exercising immediately.

Remember, if you feel faint or dizzy, have shortness of breath, experience heart palpitations, have an increase in vaginal bleeding or have troubles walking, stop exercising and contact local GP.

Written by Peter


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