Workouts For Postnatal Weight Loss
- Postpartum weight poses a threat to women's health and well-being in the long run
- If not managed properly, it can lead to obesity and other metabolic disorders
- Postnatal weight can be easily managed by a sustainable exercise routine
- Yoga, Pilates, swimming, and jogging are viable exercise options to consider
There are no words to describe the feeling of holding your newborn in your arms! With tears of joy rolling down your cheeks, you wish nothing but the world for your little one. However, one of the first challenges you will face after delivery is postpartum weight loss, which require specific postnatal workouts.
Why are postnatal workouts important?
Let's face it. Your body undergoes a lot of changes throughout those 9+ months of pregnancy. One of those changes is an increase in fat deposits in your body. This change is a necessity for the proper growth and nourishment of your little one.
However, you might want to get back to your pre-pregnancy weight now that you aren't pregnant and eating for two. Plus, all this additional fat and weight need to be shed since it can affect your health and well-being in the long run.
So you're probably thinking about getting back in shape, not just for the looks but also for your personal health. A recent study shows that weight changes during and after pregnancy, if not managed correctly with postnatal exercise, can put you at risk of weight gain, obesity, and other metabolic conditions.
The good news here is that you can effectively lose weight and fit back into your skinny jeans by adopting an active lifestyle and following a weight loss diet plan.
However, as most of you will know, not all exercises are safe even after delivery.
You need to carefully select light exercises that are best for you to get in the maximum benefits of exercise . We get it, out of all the options out there, it can be overwhelming to pick and choose a few.
Yoga for the win!
Are you someone who enjoys exercise that not only helps you lose those rolls but also makes you feel more at peace? Then yoga is the most perfect postnatal exercise after normal delivery. You can take up light yoga even if you have had a C-section.
Consisting of easy-to-do movements and emphasis on breathing, yoga is a safe and effective exercise for post natal mothers, to reduce the number on the scale! Here are a few yoga asanas that you can do to lose that extra fat!
1. Stretch with Surya namaskar
Surya namaskar or sun salutation is a sequence of 12 dynamic poses that work out all the muscles in your body and burn fat. Furthermore, this particular asana forces you to keep rhythmic breathing which can help improve your cardiovascular strength. Talk about killing two birds with one stone!
However, it is imperative that you have the correct form and technique to reap all these benefits. Here's how you do a Surya Namaskar with the correct posture!
- Stand with your feet together and arms by your sides. Breathe in and join your palms in front of your chest as if you were praying. Stay in this position for 2-3 seconds. This pose is called the prayer pose or pranamasana.
- Take a deep breath in and raise your arms above your head and try to touch your shoulders to your ears. Also, try to push your pelvis forward while doing this pose. Doing this arches your back and stretches your entire body, from your heels to your fingertips. Hold this pose for 2-3 seconds.
- Now, exhale and bend forward and try to touch your palm to the floor. It's not compulsory to touch the ground, bend only to the point you feel comfortable. You will feel a stretch in your glutes, hips, and lower back while doing this pose. Hold for 2-3 seconds
- Inhale for two counts and extend your right leg back and touch your right knee to the ground. Make sure that your left leg is bent 90o at the knee and is between your hands. Look up and feel the stretch in your entire body
- Breathe out and take your left leg back and assume a plank position. Make sure your body is parallel to the ground
- Inhale and slowly lower your body to the floor. Get your knees to the ground first, then slowly lower your upper body. Make sure to lift your hips. Only the hands, feet, shoulders, and knees should touch the ground
- Now, exhale and slide forward while raising your chest, looking at the ceiling. Hold the position for 2-3 seconds
- Lift your hips to push off the floor and form an inverted 'V' position
- Now, inhale and bring your right foot forward in between both hands while keeping your left leg extended and your left knee touching the floor.
- Exhale and bring your left leg forward and assume a pose similar to that in step 3.
- Breathe in and repeat pose 2.
- Exhale and we're back to the prayer pose.
A great postnatal workout that can be done within 2 minutes from the comfort of your home!
2. Embrace positivity with the happy baby yoga pose!
We don't have to remind you how painful childbirth can be. During a regular delivery, your pelvic muscles stretch considerably to facilitate childbirth. This puts a considerable strain on your muscles, causing them to tighten and become painful after delivery.
Fortunately, there is an easy yoga pose that helps you deal with this issue. The happy baby yoga pose, when done correctly and regularly, helps stretch your pelvic muscles and relieve you from this pain. Here's how you do this pose correctly!
- Lie down on your back with your knees bent and arms by the side
- Exhale and bring your knees toward your chest
- Open your knees wider than your hips
- Tuck your arms inside your knees and grasp the outside of your ankles
- Now gently pull your feet downward and your knees towards the ground
- At this point, your feet will be facing the ceiling
- Hold this position for about a minute
A simple and convenient stretch that doubles as a great postnatal exercise after normal delivery!
3. Let lose the tiger within!
Apart from the primary goal of weight loss , women must also focus on building strength and flexibility in the muscles. Even weeks after delivery, your lower back muscles, hips, and abs may still be weak.
You must strengthen these muscles. The tiger pose is a safe and gentle exercise that works on your core muscles and glutes to give you the strength you need! Here's how you do the tiger pose with the correct form and technique.
- Get down on all fours on a mat
- Make sure to keep your knees below the hips and hands beneath the shoulders
- Make sure you have rhythmic breathing
- Now, exhale and lift your left knee toward your chest and look inwards towards your knee
- Hold this position for 2-3 seconds
- Now, take a deep breath in swing your leg back, and lookup
- Return to the original position
A great and convenient postnatal workout that is motivation to move and helps you burn some fat at the same time!
Pilates-a gentle way to strengthen yourself
Did you know? Nearly 65% of women suffer from postpartum fatigue! Due to this fatigue, most mothers find it difficult to return to their daily routines. Unless they get back the strength in their muscles, it can become tricky to get back to normal life.
Pilates is one of the best exercise for postnatal mothers that help build up lost strength after pregnancy. Comprising of gentle movements and easy-to-do exercises, Pilates is a safe and sustainable way to build muscle and lose that stubborn fat simultaneously. Here are a few exercises that will help you on this journey!
1. Steel yourself with pelvic tilts
One of the most basic and easiest to do exercises is Pilates. A pelvic tilt helps strengthen the core muscles, lower back, and glutes.
A great exercise to lose those stubborn roles and build core strength. Here's how you perform a pelvic tilt with the correct form:
- Lie down flat on your back, with your head and shoulders rested on a pillow
- Bend your knees to a comfortable angle
- Breathe out gently and push your lower back down with the help of your abdominal muscles
- This will tilt your pelvis and raise your tailbone
- Hold this position for a few seconds
- Breathe in and slowly return to the starting position
- Repeat this 5-10 times
Try doing 3 sets of this exercise for better pelvic strength.
2. Elevate your strength with wall push-ups
Regular push-ups work out your entire body and can be strenuous on the body, especially during the postnatal period. A variation to your regular push-ups, the wall push-up exercise is designed to be less intense and easy on your body.
However, don't mistake it to be useless or ineffective. When done correctly and regularly this exercise will provide a much-needed boost in your upper body strength!
- Stand facing the wall with at least a foot-step distance between you and the wall
- Place your hands on the wall shoulder-width apart and below your shoulders
- Keep your feet hip-width apart
- Engage your core and lean in towards the wall
- Hold for 1-2 seconds and push back up
Gradually increase the difficulty by stepping further from the wall. Try doing 3 sets of 5-10 reps each. An easy postnatal workout that is guaranteed to improve your upper body strength.
Other exercises to try out
Hate being restricted to a mat? Here are some fun outdoor exercises that will get your blood flowing! Say goodbye to that extra fat with these exciting exercises!
A low-impact exercise that is easy on your joints and beneficial for your body. Any style of swimming involves the complete use of all the muscles in your body to propel yourself while keeping your breathing in rhythm. This helps build muscle, lose fat, and improve cardiovascular strength.
Feel the wind in your hair and lose all your worries with this exercise. Cycling is a great way to improve your stamina and build stronger leg muscles. So put on your helmet and take yourself for a spin!
Are you someone who enjoys going on trails in the woods? Then jogging is the best fit for you! With little to no equipment required, jogging is a convenient way to get in some exercise while breathing in nature!
Can't stop tapping your foot to the rhythm of the beat? If so, then try dancing as a form of exercise! Dancing is an awesome way to have fun and shed those extra calories at the same time. Try including your significant other and your baby for a fun family workout!
Some of these workout ideas are more intense than others. Consult your doctor before starting any of them. Have a happy workout!
Read more : Tips For Managing Pregnancy With A Toddler
Postnatal weight is no joke. If not managed correctly, these extra kilos can have negative effects on the health and well-being of mothers. Studies show that the excess weight after delivery puts women at risk of obesity and other metabolic problems in the long run!
Fortunately, there are a lot of diet plans and postnatal workout regimens in place to tackle this problem. Pilates and yoga are one of the best exercises for postnatal mothers. Full of workouts that improve flexibility, muscular strength, and stamina, these exercises can help you say goodbye to those stubborn rolls of fat.
However, it is important to remember that these exercise routines, when done incorrectly, do more harm than good. Having proper exercise habits like doing warm-up exercises go a long way in preventing exercise-caused injuries.
You can begin your weight loss journey 4-6 weeks after delivery. However, you must remember that there are certain habits you need to develop for a safe workout.
That being said, we would like to wish you all the best for the weight loss journey you are about to embark on and wish you all the happiness for the new life ahead!
Did you like our Article?
- Nartea R et al. Correlation between pregnancy related weight gain, postpartum weight loss and obesity: a prospective study. Journal of Medicine and Life. 2019 Apr;12(2):178.
- Exercise after pregnancy: How to get started? Available from: https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/labor-and-delivery/in-depth/exercise-after-pregnancy/art-20044596
- Information about Post Natal Exercise (Pilates). Available from: https://www.nhsggc.org.uk/media/253006/pilates-booklet.pdf
- The best swimming stroke for weight loss. Available from: https://www.swimming.org/justswim/best-swimming-stroke-for-weight-loss/
- Qian J et al. Effectiveness of nonpharmacological interventions for reducing postpartum fatigue: a meta-analysis. BMC pregnancy and childbirth. 2021 Dec;21(1):1-6.