Fun Ways to Lose the Baby Weight
Get ideas for dropping the pounds without getting trapped in the gym. Photo: Veer
Sure, you're itching to shed those post-baby pounds ASAP. But take a hint from Karen Nordahl, MD, cofounder of Fit to Deliver International, who suggests cutting yourself some slack. "It took nine months to put it on; give yourself at least nine months to take it off," she says. To make the most of that time, focusing on fun activities will definitely be more effective." If [exercise] is something that a woman has to do, she'll be less likely to do it regularly," says Dr. Nordahl. So, to aid the bulging battle, here are a few mommy workout ideas with a little extra spice.
It's amazing how much more enjoyable a workout can be when it comes in video-game form. "Love the Hula Hoop and boxing," says KG91705. The Wii won't give you all the exercise you need, but it can be a fun supplement that concentrates on your core. Get your husband to join in -- he might just lose a little "baby fat" of his own.
Choose free-time activities that necessitate walking. Hit up local festivals (check out Festivals.com), schedule lunches with friends and explore nearby parks, museums and playgrounds. Before heading out, :a Reine Chabut, author of Lose That Baby Fat!, suggests that you start the day with a 10-minute walk in your neighborhood. "It will help put [you] in the frame of mind for exercise and get [your] circulation going for the day ahead." And for maximum benefits, pay attention to your stance. "It's easy to get hunched forward [when pushing a stroller]," warns Nordahl. "You have to be conscious of posture." If you can't get motivated to hoof it alone, try a class. Nordahl is a big fan of Stroller Strides, a fitness program that not only involves baby, but inspires some great (and much needed) interaction with other moms (StollerStrides.com). Either way, strap on The Strollometer ($40, Target), and you'll know just how far -- and how fast -- you've wandered. Talk about multitasking.
Yoga & Pilates
Postnatal yoga and Pilates classes are popping up all over the country, making for a great way to tone up and empty your mind of burp cloths and diapers for a bit. According to Holly Jean Cosner, instructor at YogaWorks, NYC, and author of PeeWee Pilates: Pilates for the postpartum Mother and Her Baby ($14.96, Amazon), "Pilates targets the core which consists of three layers of abdominal muscles -- all of which are overstretched to make room for baby -- [as well as] the hips, buttocks, lower back, and pelvic floor. Basically all the areas hit hardest during pregnancy." And there's good news on the child-care front: Mommy & Me classes abound. "I think [babies] love having Mom on the floor with them, at their level," says Cosner. Baby will learn to value exercise, and you'll have a little partner smiling up at your Downward Dog.
Come on, there's nothing more fun (or better for your gams) than good boogie. And there's no greater excuse to make a fool of yourself than playing with baby. "Put on the music for 10 minutes, twirl your baby and have a ball," says Chabut. "It's a great way to get in some cardio and your baby will love it!" If you're up for cutting a rug in public, check out BabyLovesDisco.com for a pint-size dance party near you. (Remember to spend a lot of time grooving at baby's level -- it'll give you killer thighs.)
You have to take it easy for a few months, but not forever. Once your body has healed and you have your doc's permission for strenuous exercise, go for whatever workout gets you going. If you like a good challenge (and a lot of sweat), check out martial arts classes. Kickboxing, karate, and capoeira are great exercise, and the focus (and burn) can make you feel like one uber-powerful and put-together mama. Just be sure your doc is on-board with the plan, and ease in slowly to avoid injury.
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