Saturday, 14 January 2012

Getting back into shape after pregnancy

Being pregnant is certainly one of the most memorable times in any woman's life.  From the new sensations associated with those first, queasy weeks to the excitement of feeling Baby move for the first time, the miracle of a life growing inside of you remains just that: A miracle.

Unfortunately for most women, pregnancy goes hand in hand with gaining quite a few pounds - something that could very easily put a bit of a damper on especially those final, "big" weeks.  As a woman in her final, "big" weeks, I'm not only extremely excited to be meeting our little Rose Bud soon, but also eager to start putting together a strategy for getting back into shape after her birth.   

After speaking to a few fit and fabulous moms and reading up a bit on the subject, I've summarised the following strategy for getting back into shape post-pregnancy: 

1.  Be patient. 
It took nine months to put the weight on, and will probably take nine months to work it all off.  Accept it.

2.  Commit to a goal event or race.
By identifying a secondary goal to work towards (apart from the primary goal of getting back into pre-pregnancy shape), such as a fun destination or dress-up race with friends, one adds an element of fun and excitement to the whole process, as well as something that will assist with achieving that primary goal.

Commit to a fun race with friends.
3.  Plan ahead. 
Put on your running clothes before feeding time, feed and then go out for a run as soon as the Little One falls asleep.  Or express breast milk and have Hubby on stand-by for when Bub needs a feed while you're out getting your sweat on.


4.  Don't start out too fast.
Chances are that you haven't been training at top intensity (or at all) during your pregnancy.  Do not fall into the trap of doing too much too soon, or you might end up getting injured and in so doing delay reaching your goal weight.  Refer to Point 1.

5.  Make use of offers to help. 
You are not Superwoman and you don't have to be.  Make use of friends', family's and hubby's offers to help.  Catch up on some sleep while they babysit; or go for a run while they do the dishes/fold the laundry/burp the Bub.  They sincerely want to help and love spending time with the Little One too.

6.  Take Baby with!
There are so many different ways in which you can make Baby a part of your fitness routine!  Invest in a good jogging stroller and take baby with on your run when he/she is old enough and conditions allow it.  Most gyms also have child care facilities and appoint qualified, competent, full-time babysitters - make use of them!  In addition, a number of gyms and other private organisations offer mom and baby classes, e.g. the 'Fit Moma' classes presented by Virgin Active gyms.  Go and have some fun together!

Invest in a good jogging stroller.

7.  Breastfeed if at all possible.
Not only is breastfeeding good for Bub, it also takes a lot of energy from Mom.  Use this to your advantage to help with working off those pounds - a win/win for Mom and Bub!

8.  Relax, have some fun and enjoy the process!

Relax and have some fun!

Question:  Any other tips from fit mamas out there whose been there and done that?  How did you lose your pregnancy pounds?

2 comments:

  1. A very good strategy and, of course, you need the help of husband and relatives. However you are smart and positive so I am sure you will reach your goal in short time.
    About the jogging stroller I remember that last year, in Edinburgh, during a 5 km I was smoked by a mom with her baby and my finishing time was 23'13": she closed with a sub 23'!!!!

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  2. Your strategy is perfect! Give yourself time to recover and take your time. Listen to your body, you may be surprised by how quickly you are ready to run (or not). Enjoy your time with your little lady! I never had a jogging stroller so I have no advice there.

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