As part of my Healthy Mommy Challenge, I turned to one of the strongest, most inspirational women of fitness that I know: Andrea Page of FITMOM. Andrea is an expert at post-partum fitness, and she’s sharing some wonderful advice with us today on fitness after baby. Want to strive for a healthier 2013 with me? Visit this post, comment on it, and then chat with me on Twitter, Instagram (use #healthymommy) and Facebook about what you’re doing to be a fit mama. I also encourage you to visit Andrea’s website – I love her workout videos and she even has an online training program! – Christina
How should a woman expect to feel 6 weeks after the birth of her baby? It seems to be a common belief that a new mom should not expect to feel good about her body, 6 weeks or even 6 months after her baby arrives. I however, after having trained hundreds of expecting and new mothers over the last 10 years, have yet to meet a mom that doesn’t want to slip back into her skinny jeans and feel great, inside and out at the earliest possible opportunity.
It’s disturbing how many moms report feeling like they have aged 10 years, just one year removed from the birth of their child. Although the most important question to this phenomenon is “why”, my focus today is to help you understand how to start getting back into those Parasucos as soon as possible.
As a new mother who strives to achieve a fit and healthy mind, body and soul, here are 3 simple facts you should know before you get started.
- Spot Training Won’t Lose your Baby Bulge
Spot training (focusing on and fixing one specific area of your body) does not burn the baby fat around your belly. Sorry ladies, 50 sit-ups at the crack of dawn and again just before bed simply won’t cut it. The most effective way to burn that baby bulge is a combination of eating consistent and frequent small healthy meals, interval training and spot training.
- Abdominal Separation is a “CORE” concern
Most people have heard of abdominal separation but very few address it properly prior to engaging in exercise. Get checked for abdominal separation by a trained professional and seek out a pre/postnatal fitness specialist who knows core restorative protocols.
- Don’t Forget to Watch Y & RR
Yield to rest and recover. Like the soap opera, too many women experience feelings of guilt and drama about yielding to rest and recover, but in actual fact, we are betraying ourselves, just like Jack and Nicky. Resting is very specific. It means napping in the day and early to bed at night. Recovering can also be achieved through passive activity like meditation where your mind is quieted or reading. Although going out with the girls or watching the real Y & R is great for an escape, it does not constitute true rest and recovery. The fact is sleep deprivation has been proven to hinder weight loss.
The FITMOM 5: Five Must Do Exercises for New Moms
- Wall Sit
How: Lean your back against a wall and lower yourself until you have your legs are bent at a 90 degree angle.
Reps: 3 intervals of 30-60 seconds.
Benefits: A great stabilizing exercise that targets your abdominals and lower large muscles with very low risk of injury.
- Side Plank
How: Lie down on one side of your body with your bottom leg bent for beginner or straight for advanced. Lift your hip off the ground and hold for 30 -60 seconds.
Reps: 3 intervals per side of 30-60 seconds.
Benefits: Widely considered one of the most important core exercises for postpartum women. It engages all of the stabilizing core muscles including the pelvic floor.
How: Stand with your feet shoulder width apart. Bend the knees slightly and lean forward at the hips to 45 degrees, keeping core firmly engaged. Create length through your spine and extend your arms, holding 1–5 lbs weights outwards and parallel above your thighs. Extend your arms (elbows slightly bent) out to the side (like a cross) and focus on clinching your shoulder blades together.
Reps: 2 sets of 20 repetitions
Benefits: This exercise helps improve posture and strengthens large back muscles to combat middle and upper back strain from pregnancy posture, baby wearing and baby holding postpartum.
- Curtsy Lunges
How: From a standing position, extend one leg back as far as you can with the knee slight bent in a lunge position. Then lower down similar to a traditional ladies curtsy.
Reps: 2 sets of 20 repetitions for each side.
Benefits: A great low impact exercise to strengthen and shape calves, quads and gluts. A much better option than a traditional lunge for women recovering from pubic symphysis.
- Speed Skater
How: From a standing position, bend over at the hips to 45 degrees. Extend one leg as far as you can to the side. Squat with body weight centered over the stabilizing leg with knee slightly bent. As you elevate from the squatting position, also elevate the extended leg as high as you can off the floor.
Reps: 2 sets of 20 repetitions for each side.
Benefits: An exercise that both requires and helps restore balance. This assists the stabilizing hip muscles will support the realignment of your hips as we all know, it’s a common fact that women’s hips widen during pregnancy.
Andrea Page is founder of FITMOM (fitmomfitness.com) , fitness personality and expert , DVD producer and author.
Throughout her career, Andrea has been deemed an International expert on Prenatal and Postnatal fitness, been sought after by the media for expert knowledge, written hundreds of articles and developed alongside other experts the curriculum that is the “FITMOM” Coach Certification.
Within motherhood, business and the relationships of working with over 30,000 woman who are mothers Andrea has shared her insights in the great works of others like Mom Inc, Death By Rubber Ducky, Toxic Baby Documentary, The Mom Show, Entertainment Tonight, Chatelaine, Active Woman Magazine, CTVS Success Stories with Sandy Rinaldo.
You may have also seen Andrea as she MC’d the event that lobbied the government to ban bisphenol A, MC,ing for Health Minister Tony Clement as he launched a healthy pregnancy awareness campaign along side Dr Andre Lalond SOGC Executive Vice President.
- Private and group training, consulting and online education.
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- Book in progress
- Fitmom DVD series B
- International Certification Model
- Fitmom Signature Active Baby wearing carrier