May 272010

Before we start discussing what kind of exercise after pregnancy you should be doing, you need to take care of one important item. Do not start an exercise program without discussing it with your obstetrician or gynecologist. Your body has undergone major changes and stress during pregnancy. Depending on whether you delivered naturally, by cesarean, and the stress of your delivery can all play a role on how soon you should begin your exercise program. Many women are able to start exercise within only a few days after delivery.

Now that you have talked to your Doctor, what should you be doing? There are a series of exercises recommended by most health care professionals for women after pregnancy. These include kegel exercises, pelvic tilts, bridges, and leg slides. These exercises are designed to start firming up the muscles which were stretched and abused during pregnancy and delivery.

Before you start with any of these exercises take a few moments to warm up. This could be as simple as walking around the home for a few minutes to get your body warmed up and your blood pumping a little quicker.

Kegel exercises are ones you can do during your workout or anytime during the day. A kegel exercise is simply contracting the muscles in your pelvic wall similar to stopping urine flow. Make sure to hold the muscle contraction for 10 to 15 seconds, then release. Do this in a series of 10 to 15 contractions. Do kegel exercises at least 3 times per day, or more often if you wish. These exercise will help you have better bladder control and start firming up your lower pelvic area.

The leg slides are a very simple exercise but great at starting to build up leg muscles and your abdominal muscles. Lay flat on your back and slide one foot up until your knee is bent and the foot is flat on the floor. Slide the foot back down until the leg is straight then rotate to the other leg. Start off doing this ten to twenty times with each leg, doing the reps slowly. As your energy and fitness increase you can do more reps and quicken the pace.

The pelvic tilt is another exercise you do flat on your back. Tighten your stomach muscles, pressing them inward and towards your backbone. Then slightly tilt your pelvic area upwards giving a deeper contraction to your abdominal muscles. This exercise will strengthen and flatten your stomach area quickly. Do five to ten reps to begin with and work up to 20 reps.

The bridge is our final recommended exercise after pregnancy. Starting on your back with your knees bent, feet flat on the ground, tighten your abdominal muscles and your buttock muscles to lift your rear off the ground. Bring your buttocks up until you have created a straight line from your knees to your chin. Start with five reps and slowly build up to 20 reps. This exercise improves the entire core of your middle body.

Exercise after pregnancy does not need to be intense to be helpful. Get started with these few exercises and your body will start to firm, your fat will begin to decrease, and you will feel great.

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