Physical therapist-approved ways to lose baby weight
As I scroll through social media, I see countless celebrity moms posing for post-baby photos and it seems like each one is in even better shape than the last. Many of my patients are new moms, and one of the most common questions I hear is, “When can I start losing my baby weight?!”
As a mom myself, I understand as much as anyone how tempting jumping into a high-intensity routine can be after giving birth, but it’s important to give your body enough time to heal and reenergize to avoid injury. As such, I typically recommend moms wait 6 to 12 months before beginning rigorous workouts. But that doesn’t mean you can’t get back into shape in the meantime.
There are some exercises you can do as early as 24 hours after delivery as long as you get the OK from your physician. Try incorporating these low intensity workouts into your everyday routine to strengthen your body and prepare to return to your pre-baby workout regime:
- Baby Rock Matrix: Get moving with your baby. Vary how you hold your baby while moving your hips forward and backward, side to side, and in a circular hula motion. A fussy baby might enjoy adding some music and turning this into a dance routine. This helps get your heart rate up and uses muscles you probably don’t engage often.
- Baby Stroller Matrix: Babies and their strollers make for the best workout partners and props. On a nice day, take your baby out in a stroller and walk for 30 steps straight. Then walk 30 steps with toes slightly turned in, and 30 steps with toes slightly out. Face the stroller laterally and side step for 30 steps. Then, face the stroller head on and try 30 cross-over steps. Small movements like these help get your heart rate up without causing too much strain on your body. Added bonus: Baby will be amused by the show.
- Ab Buster Matrix: How many times a day do you find yourself sitting on the floor next to a playing baby? Begin this exercise by lying on your back with your knees bent, feet on the floor. Lift your hips up into a bridge position and rock your hips up and down, side to side. Then, circle your hips clockwise and counterclockwise 10 times each direction; try this 2-3 times a day.
With all the excitement and change motherhood brings, it can be hard for moms to pay attention to their own wellbeing, but exercise is important for your physical and mental health during the postpartum period. As you look to begin your post-delivery workout routine, remember every “body” is different. If you are experiencing any pain or want to learn more baby-friendly exercises, take advantage of a complimentary screening in your area.