Itching to shed those post-baby pounds?
Dr. Karen Nordahl, cofounder of Fit to Deliver International, suggests cutting yourself some slack.
"It took nine months to put it on; give yourself at least nine months to take it off," she says.
To make the most of that time, focusing on fun activities will definitely be more effective. So, to aid the bulging battle, here are a few mommy workout ideas with a little extra spice.
It's amazing how much more enjoyable a workout can be when it comes in video-game form. Moms on the pregnancy and parenting site TheBump.com are all about Wii Fit workouts. "Love the Hula Hoop and boxing," says one mom on the message boards. The Wii won't give you all the exercise you need, but it can be a fun supplement that concentrates on your core. Get your husband to join in - he might just lose a little "baby fat" of his own.
Choose free-time activities that necessitate walking. Hit up local festivals (check out Festivals.com), schedule lunches with friends and explore nearby parks, museums and playgrounds. Before heading out, La Reine Chabut, author of "Lose That Baby Fat!," suggests that you start the day with a 10-minute walk in your neighborhood. And for maximum benefits, pay attention to your stance.
If you can't get motivated to hoof it alone, try a class. Nordahl is a big fan of Stroller Strides, a fitness program that not only involves baby, but inspires some great (and much needed) interaction with other moms (StrollerStrides.com). Either way, strap on The Strollometer ($40, Target.com), and you'll know just how far -- and how fast -- you've wandered. Talk about multitasking.
YOGA AND PILATES
Postnatal yoga and Pilates classes are popping up all over the country, making for a great way to tone up and empty your mind of burp cloths and diapers for a bit. According to Holly Jean Cosner, instructor at YogaWorks, NYC, and author of "PeeWee Pilates: Pilates for the Postpartum Mother and Her Baby," "Pilates targets the core which consists of three layers of abdominal muscles -- all of which are overstretched to make room for baby - (as well as) the hips, buttocks, lower back and pelvic floor. Basically all the areas hit hardest during pregnancy." And there's good news on the child-care front: Mommy & Me classes abound. Baby will learn to value exercise, and you'll have a little partner smiling up at your Downward Dog.
Come on, there's nothing more fun (or better for your gams) than a good boogie. And there's no greater excuse to make a fool of yourself than playing with baby.
If you're up for cutting a rug in public, check out BabyLovesDisco.com for a pint-size dance party near you. (Remember to spend a lot of time grooving at baby's level -- it'll give you killer thighs.)
You have to take it easy for a few months, but not forever. Once your body has healed and you have your doc's permission for strenuous exercise, go for whatever workout gets you going. If you like a good challenge (and a lot of sweat), check out martial arts classes. Kickboxing, karate and capoeira are great exercise, and the focus (and burn) can make you feel like one uber-powerful and put-together mama. Just be sure your doc is on-board with the plan, and ease in slowly to avoid injury.
(For pregnancy and parenting advice, tools, and more, visit TheBump.com.)
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