You've had your baby, and you finally have clearance from your doctor to start working out again...yeah! Where to start?
When you're caring for a newborn, first off, finding time for physical activity can be challenging. That's why I love the new personal training classes at Bionic Body! I bring my newborn with me to class--and she actually participates in the exercises. That extra 8 pounds is just enough to challenge me on those butt bridges.
Guidelines such as warming up and cooling down are no-brainers. But here are some other guidelines to consider:
* Stretch before and after you workout. Whether it's a brisk walk with the stroller, or a jog, or a full- on weight training session.
* Drink plenty of fluids. A tip I learned at Bionic Mommy is to not only drink water, but to drink Cran Water. The recipe is 56 ounces water and 8 ounces of pure cranberry juice (buy it at Trader Joe’s for $4). I drink 12 ounces of Cran Water in the morning and I consume a full 64 ounces daily.
* Another tip, which I have always done and find quite motivating is food journaling. I write down (using old-fashioned pen and paper) what I eat, and when I eat it. The goal is to eat 5 healthy meals throughout the day every 3 or so hours. Food journaling is essential for success because it shows when and how much you might be eating. It also shows you where you might be lacking in certain areas. My trainer noticed I was eating a lot (ok, too much!) animal protein and shared with me alternative plant-based proteins such as quinoa and hemp seed. She also quickly noticed I was terrified of carbs. I’m learning to be less scared now. The feedback and tips is a key reason I love this program. It’s more than just the exercises; it’s a lifestyle.
* And lastly, don't worry about the scale. Focus on feeling better and looking better. You’ve heard this and it’s true, muscle weighs more than fat. And let’s be honest, we all want more lean muscle. Give yourself time, and don't over do it. Your muscles need time to break down and repair themselves if you want to see results.
Exercise after pregnancy might not be easy but it can do wonders for your well-being, as well as give you the energy you need to care for your newborn. After 4 classes I am already feeling stronger and am building back up to my pre-pregnancy stamina.
--By Andrea Cannistraci, Mommy to 9 week old Giovanna Francesca, and Bionic Mommy client