Having a baby is a life changing moment — sometimes not always for the best.
The lack of sleep, dirty diapers and the fact you’ve turned into a milk-making machine can be overwhelming. And however much some women would love to get their pre-baby body back, most have no idea how, or when it’s OK to start exercising again. Leandro Carvalho tells us how to achieve post-baby body perfection.
“Women who give birth naturally need to wait around four weeks before they can start exercising again. The recovery period goes up to six weeks if they’ve had a caesarian,” Carvalho tells Metro.
A serious operation, a caesarian limits the type and amount of working out that can be done months after giving birth. In other words, it’ll be a while before you can run, jump, cycle or do squats, lunges and sit-ups again.
But not all new moms can hope that newborn-related stress and breast-feeding alone ++will help them lose the baby weight.
For that reason, Carvalho found a way to increase heart rate and trigger weight loss- with zero impact.
Here’s how it goes:
Walk in incline
Start with the easiest exercise known to man: walking.
Carvalho advises you start off slow, maintaining a speed anywhere between two to 3.5 km/h on a five per cent incline (if on a treadmill). Never go faster than 4.0 km/h as this is basically running and no high impact exercise is allowed until at least two months after giving birth.
If your ultimate goal is to lose fat, you’ll need to keep going for at least 30 minutes:.
“Ten minutes on the treadmill is a good warm up, 20 minutes is good for your health but if you want to burn fat, you need to go beyond the 25 minute mark. Up until that point, your energy comes from the glycogen stored in the muscles, but after 25 minutes, your body gets its energy by burning fat,” he adds.
Once you’ve walked in incline for a minimum of 25 minutes you can move on to the floor exercises.
The safest strategy: add some weight
Your workout intensity is limited and you’ll need to be patient if you want results. You can’t jump or run around, so challenge your body by wearing ankle weights and weighted gloves during your workouts.
“Adding light two to eight pound ankle weights when doing leg lifts (such as a kneeling leg lift) or weighted gloves when doing arm movements will increase the intensity of a move,” explains Carvalho.
Slowly building up your resistance and the number reps will tone and sculpt your body. Start with 20 to 30 reps for each move, eventually working your way up to 100.