Question: WEIGHT LOSS AFTER BABY

Hi Lisa My daughter is 7 months old, during my pregnancy I only gained 4 kilos and my daughter was 3kg, so the minimal weight was gained. I have found now though after having her that im gaining weight rapidly but i am not over eating or anything of the like. How can I kickstart a healthy lifestyle bearing in mind that i still have a little baby. thank you

Answer

As all new mums know, getting back into shape after having a baby is high on your list of priorities! This can be especially challenging, as looking after your baby is of course at the top of that list. If you want to squeeze in effective exercise where you can, without sacrificing any of your responsibilities as Mum, here are some fun ways to incorporate your baby into your exercise routine.

Tips to get you started
Get the timing right: As moms will know, timing is important when it comes to playing with your baby. Exercising with your baby soon after he has woken up and been fed guarantees he is neither hungry nor tired when you start.

Breastfeed beforehand: Making sure your baby is fed before you exercise means less discomfort for you and less chance of plugging your milk ducts from strenuous moves.

Dress the part: Take care to avoid unnecessarily bulky or baggy clothing. You want to avoid any opportunity of tripping or snagging your clothing whilst carrying your precious cargo.

Come prepared: There are going to be days when your baby is sleeping or not up for a workout, so keep dumbbells on hand to use as a substitute. These can be used permanently in the future when your baby is too big! Baby carriers are also a great way to practise these exercises if your baby is not restless. This leaves your hands free for balancing, and helps to ensure you hold correct posture.

Set the mood: Make the music appealing to your little ones as well. For strength training, you’ll want something upbeat, but keep it light for your little one’s ears – no faster than 130 beats a minute. Numerous studies sing the praises of classical music when it comes to developing children, so include some in your playlist if it suits you.

Make it fun: Engage with your baby in all activities. Kiss them, sing and talk to them where you can, always keeping eye contact.

Warm up
Take your baby for a brisk walk or jog in his stroller if you can leave the house, or else, held your baby in your arms and take a 10 minute walk around the house, including stairs where you can. Include simple exercises, like squats, traveling lunges, or rocking your baby from side-to-side, lifting each leg as you do.

Your work out
Kiss the baby
Rest your baby comfortably on his back and position yourself in pushup stance over him. Lower yourself into your pushup slowly, kissing your baby as your face travels closer to his. Broaden your arms slightly to work your chest, and start with ladies’ push-ups on your knees, rather than your toes.
Works: biceps, triceps, shoulders and chest
2 sets of 12

Baby bicep curls
Seat yourself on a chair or couch, holding your baby on your lap with your arms outstretched. Never lock your elbows. Keeping your abs tight, lift your baby straight in front of you then bend your arms, bringing your baby towards you for a kiss. Slowly lower him back down to your lap.
Works: biceps, shoulders
2 sets of 12

Plie squats
This is a twist on the original squat. Widen your legs and turn your toes out slightly for a broader squat. Keeping your back straight and tummy tucked in, either hold onto your baby or hold him out in front of you as you squat. You may want to position yourself over a low couch or chair to help your balance. If you’re holding your baby at arm’s length, touch his toes to the floor as you squat.
Works: hamstrings, quads and glutes
3 sets of 12

Baby dead-lift
Stand normally with your knees soft, and your back and tummy muscles tight. Holding your baby to your chest, lean forward so your body is forming a right angle, and then slowly return to the upright position.
Works: hamstrings, glutes and lower back
3 sets of 12

Booty bridges
Lay on your back with your knees bent and your baby in your lap. Keeping your hands on your baby, slowly lift your butt off the ground and straighten your body, then lower back down. Keep this exercise challenging by not allowing yourself to touch the ground completely.
Works: glutes and hamstrings
3 sets of 12

Baby back
Back pain is an inevitable part of child rearing, so pay attention to your lower back. Placing your baby on the floor, position yourself above him on all fours. Stretch out your left arm and right leg in one movement, then bring them back to the ground and repeat with opposing limbs.
Works: lower back
2 sets of 12

Baby twists
Seat yourself on the floor, with your baby in your lap and knees bent. With your back lifted off the floor in sit up position, lift your baby and twist your body from left to right. Touch your baby’s toes on either side of you as you twist. The straighter your arms, the harder the exercise.
Works: abs, obliques and transverse abs
2 sets of 12

Leg raises
Lay on your back with your legs resting on the seat of couch. Put your baby on your stomach, and then lift your legs in the air to form a right angle. It is okay for your knees to bend, and your butt to lift off the floor before you lower back down.
Works: abs
2 sets of 12

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