Getting back to shape after delivering your baby is something every mother wants. Once you are done with the blissful phase of carrying and delivering your baby, the next task at hand is to return to your pre-pregnancy avatar by shedding the extra kilos that you have added during the period. Contrary to popular belief, it is not as difficult to shed the extra weight and get back into shape. Simple exercises and control of your diet will ensure that you can fit into your favourite dress again.
Top 10 Exercises to Reduce Belly Fat After Pregnancy
The body needs 6 to 8 weeks of time to recover from the stress of labour and birth. Starting exercise too soon after delivery will delay the recovery process due to additional stress and make you feel tired. It is essential that before beginning your exercise routine to lose weight, you should consult your doctor and understand the various changes that the body has gone through during pregnancy and the precautions you will need to take to get back in shape in a healthy manner.
Listed below are a few post-delivery exercises to reduce tummy. Following these exercises on a daily basis will help reduce your stomach fat and put you on track to get back your lost shape.
- Walking: Walking is one of the easiest workouts and the best way to warm up your body and set it up for more intense exercises. You can start walking with a leisurely stroll initially and slowly move to brisk walking over a period of few days. Try walking for 15 minutes every day, at least five days a week and gradually increase the walking time. You can take your baby along in a walker or a baby-sling bag. The added weight will make the walk even better.
2. Basic Stretching and Twisting: Once your body is used to basic walking, you can proceed to basic stretching and twisting. Stretching and twisting will start the process of strengthening and toning your muscles.
3. Pelvic Exercises: Pelvic exercises such as kneeling helps to tone your tummy and strengthen your abs. To perform the exercise, start on all fours with arms straight down from your shoulder line and palms touching the floor. Your back should be relaxed and straight and not curved or arched. Pull your buttocks forward as you inhale, tilting your pelvis and rotating your pubic bone upward. Hold for a count of three and move back to the start position. Make sure that your tummy muscles are completely relaxed and stress-free.
4. Bridging Exercises: These exercises will help to tone your tummy, bottom and thigh muscles. To perform this exercise:
- Lie on your back on the floor and bend your knees and slide your feet upwards, taking it to your bottom area.
- Take a deep breath and while exhaling, tighten your tummy around your belly button along with your pelvic floor.
- Lift your bottom as high as you can and hold on to this position for five seconds. Breathe normally in this duration.
- Gradually lower down your bottom back towards the floor and repeat this exercise for up to 10 times.
5. Hip Exercises: Doing simple hip exercises will help you in toning down the hips and provide strength to the tummy. Lie down to your right side with your knees bent and inclined towards your bust. Then hold your knees together diagonally and lift the left side of your knee upwards to the side of the ceiling. Hold on this position for minimum 5 seconds and perform at least 10 reps. Repeat the exercise by lying down on the left side as well.
6. Sit-Ups: Sit-ups will tone your upper legs and help to cut down the weight on your lower tummy. Start with a few, gentle sit-ups initially and proceed to more rigorous sit-ups eventually.
7. Yoga: Yoga is a complete package of exercise and breathing techniques for the body, mind and soul. Yoga is one of the best exercises after pregnancy to reduce your tummy. Habituate yourself to perform yoga early in the morning to rejuvenate and energise yourself for rest of the day. You can practice yoga at home or join classes so that it becomes a part of your routine.
8. Pilates: Pilates strengthens your body, makes it more flexible and balanced. The routine of this exercise involves a series of movements and change in positions that will help to improve your body strength and coordination. Ensure that you breathe deeply and relax while performing this exercise.
9. Aerobics Training: Aerobics is an effective option if you want to lose excessive fat gained during pregnancy. Consistent aerobics training will help you burn out excess calories and increase your metabolism. Make sure to start your aerobic session slowly and increase intensity as you proceed. Aerobics must be done at least two to three times a week.
10. Abdominal Exercises:
- Abdominal Crunches: Doing crunches is an effective way of reducing post-pregnancy belly fat. Start-up slow and do not strain yourself too much. If required, perform the exercise under professional supervision. You can start with 5 crunches a day and gradually increase the number.
- Flutter Kicks: For doing this exercise, lie on your back with your hands behind, lift your legs above the ground and make quick but gentle motions as if swimming on your back. Flutter kicks will help you lose extra fat in your calves and thighs.
- Hip Raises: A hip raise is another powerful exercise to get rid of belly fat. Lie on your back with legs straight up in the air at a ninety-degree angle. Place your hands under your buttocks and raise your hips few inches above the ground. Try doing this exercise without using your hands.
- Swimming: Swimming helps lose weight and tone body muscles. It is also very refreshing at the same time. You should go swimming only after 6 to 7 weeks after delivery to avoid a chance of infection.
Performing these exercises on a regular basis will help you get back into shape and give you back your pre-pregnancy shape. A simple 25-30 minutes of daily exercise routine along with a nutritious diet will work wonders when it comes to weight reduction.
Taking care of your health is as important as taking care of the baby after delivery. It is thereby essential for mothers to find time from their busy day and follow exercise schedules to stay fit and regain lost shape. Getting back in shape does not require extra effort, just these simple exercises.