– Written By Jenny Silverstone from MomLovesBest.com –
Pregnancy and delivering your baby was an emotional rollercoaster — there were highs, lows and everything in between. You wouldn’t change the experience for the world. One thing you would definitely change though if you had a choice is your post-baby body. These days, it feels like you’re trapped in someone else’s body and looking in the mirror is something you’d rather avoid.
Things are flabby and rounded where they used to be tight. There’s excess skin and no muscle tone in your midsection whatsoever.
What can you do to improve things so you don’t feel so awful about your new body?
One of the quickest ways to get back into your skinny jeans is by breastfeeding. Breastfeeding torches an additional 300 to 500 calories a day. If you don’t overcompensate for the calorie deficit by eating extra food, you could lose up to a pound a week just by breastfeeding.
Running is a great way to burn calories quickly, and it doesn’t require any fancy equipment. All you need is a good pair of running shoes, and you can burn approximately 100 calories for every mile you cover. You can do it anywhere you want, on any street or trail you find.
If you’ve never run before, start out slow so you don’t become discouraged. You may want to check out the Couch to 5k training program, which gives you attainable goals to focus on each workout.
Carry Your Baby Around
Lugging your baby around is one of the best ways to work on your upper body strength. Whether you’re carrying her in your arms or hoisting her car seat from place to place, your arms will get a good workout every day. So don’t shy away from the heavy lifting — your muscles will thank you.
Pop In a DVD
As a new mom, you might not want to head out to the gym every night after work, and if you aren’t careful your health will suffer. Buying two or three inexpensive exercise DVDs will help whip you back into shape. You’ll be able to work out whenever you want, and if you only have 10 minutes at a time to spend on fitness, it’s still better than nothing. It’ll add up over the long run.
Use Your Own Body Weight
You won’t have to pay a dime for the following exercises — planks, sit ups, push ups and squats. Planks will help strengthen your arms and your core and there are several variations of them that you can do to work different muscle groups.
Doing push ups and sit ups may make you feel like you’re back in school doing the Presidential Fitness Challenge. But there’s a reason school children are required to do these exercises in PE class — they work. They won’t be easy at first, but stick with them and before long you’ll see a big improvement.
Although you’ll be able to greatly improve your post-baby body, you need to realize that you may never have your old body back. For many women, pregnancy changes their body shape forever. All the crunches in the world will never get rid of the saggy skin many women wear around their lower abdominal area after pregnancy.
While it might never be the same, there’s still a lot of improvements you can make on your body. But you need to realize that it’s going to take some time. It took nine months for your body to reach its current state, and it isn’t going to whip back into shape overnight, or even in a month.
Sometimes it can take a year before you start to feel like you’re getting your shape back. Don’t buy into the celebrity hype where they have their bodies back three weeks after delivery. They either have really great genes or they’re spending a lot of money on personal trainers, plastic surgeons, nutritionists and nannies. This is real life — most moms are working on a lack of sleep and energy. We’re doing the best we can.
Just remember to make an effort if you want to see change and to look at your baby whenever you feel discouraged about your progress. Your baby doesn’t care at all about the shape of your stomach — all she feels when she looks at you is love.
Jenny Silverstone is just another mom trying to do her best. She loves making lists and trying to help others find what they are looking for. When she’s not using her powers to find her kids missing socks, you can find her sharing the latest parenting hacks & finance tips on MomLovesBest.com and Pinterest.