Isn't it funny how all those celebs seem to ping right back into shape after giving birth? Especially when most of us have a hard time beating the bulge. Although, I guess I should stop blaming my love handles on pregnancy, now that my youngest child is nearly seven. Perhaps it was the pies after all.
New mums feel the pressure to become yummy mummies almost instantly after giving birth! In reality we don't have access to surgeons, daily personal trainers or personal chefs. So here some top health and exercise tips for getting in shape after giving birth from personal trainer and fitness expert Jackie Diss.
Your body has just been through one of the biggest challenges you can naturally place on it, so be patient, listen to your doctor and also yourself. Your hormone and energy levels will rise and fall with sleepless nights, breastfeeding and physical and emotional demands. Understand your body is doing 101 things at the same time.
Little and often
7 days a week and 60 minutes a day is just not possible, practical or safe after giving birth. So try to work to the principle of achieving 15-20 minutes a day of an activity that will get your heart and body pumping. Time is precious as a new mum so put a little more effort into your daily activities such as housework or going up and down the stairs.
Inside and out
Including exercises that activate the pelvic floor are perfect and a great way to start toning and strengthening your stomach. Try a pelvic tilt or perform a sit up with your feet off of the floor and then press the inner soles of your feet together.
Think about your posture
Your stomach muscles and back, which are your 'core', have been put through large amounts of strain and they now need to be strengthened for all the baby, pushchair and car seat lifting you are now about to do. So remember to sit, stand and walk tall – good posture can make you look two inches slimmer and taller.
To burn calories you need to get active and work your cardio system. Power walking on the treadmill or to the shops is a great activity mum and baby can do together. If you are lacking motivation try some music it will really help you to set the pace and keep you going to the end.
Restricting calories will only leave you grumpy, lethargic and your body unable to do its job properly. A calorie controlled diet that includes plenty of fruit, vegetables, pasta, rice, chicken, fish etc will help keep your energy levels up. Avoid quick fixes and energy slumps by cutting out high sugar, fat and processed foods as they are all unnecessary calories and can delay results.
Jackie Diss is a highly experienced personal trainer, and recommends 'Gym Bunny - Essential Gym Mixes', to guarantee nonstop motivation for every music-loving exerciser. She says it'll completely banish your boredom while exercising! The range is available through Power Music and iTunes.