Bounc­ing back Into Shape

Get your curves back af­ter preg­nancy, start ex­er­cis­ing, stay fit and fab

India Today - - COVER STORY - Preg­nancy Notes—Be­fore, Dur­ing & Af­ter by Ru­juta Di­wekar ru­juta di­wekar

Women must re­alise that not look­ing af­ter them­selves doesn’t turn them into bet­ter mothers. This abil­ity to think about our­selves be­fore the baby, like they tell us in the safety brief­ing dur­ing air travel, needs strength. This strength comes from the spine, the spine that has sup­ported the womb, al­lowed the uterus to ex­pand, and given the pelvis its flex­i­bil­ity. The next forty days are ‘thank you, my friend’ time. Feed­ing and lac­tat­ing, car­ry­ing the baby around, chang­ing nap­pies, ev­ery­thing from here on is also go­ing to bur­den the spine. The key here is to not just re­build the strength in the spine but to also make it stronger than ever. But again, whether we stay there as un­chal­lenged fit­ness queens or con­tinue to make the one step for­ward and two steps back­wards jour­ney to­wards weight loss will de­pend on our at­ti­tude. Whether we are sen­si­ble enough to be pa­tient, and fear­less enough to eat in such a way as to re­build bone and mus­cle den­sity, and sup­port the fat-burn­ing pro­cesses of the body. If we take the im­pa­tient and in­sen­si­ble route of crash di­et­ing, then the body may lose weight for a short while and even look like it has shrunk, but then we will be­gin to suf­fer from sacro-obe­sity. That’s the kind of obe­sity where the com­po­si­tion of the mus­cle cells, sar­com­ere, changes to ac­com­mo­date more fat and less mus­cle pro­tein. So you might fit back into the same size of jeans, but they don’t quite look the same on you. And now, be­cause you are over­all fat­ter than what you used to be, your vul­ner­a­bil­ity to de­vel­op­ing life­style dis­eases in­creases. Let’s look at how you can main­tain a bal­ance be­tween look­ing af­ter the child and your­self.

To ex­er­cise or not

How do you plan to equip your­self with the new role of moth­er­hood? Where will you pos­si­bly de­rive the strength and the en­durance from? It’s a job of a life­time and both the brain and the mus­cles must be well equipped to take it, shall I say, head on. While ex­er­cise helps with strength, en­durance, flex­i­bil­ity and re­flexes, the one that is of im­por­tance dur­ing and af­ter preg­nancy is strength. The main rea­sons are—bet­ter strength means a toned body; ex­er­cise has a pro­tec­tive ef­fect on the weight-bear­ing joints— hip and spine—as they are prone to hyper flex­i­bil­ity dur­ing preg­nancy; and a stronger body also means a faster re­turn to a flat­ter stom­ach.

Keep it gen­tle

Weight train one to two times a week but never on back to back days. Limit the to­tal num­ber of sets to 12 per work­out ses­sion. En­sure that you have had a meal be­fore ex­er­cis­ing or eat a fresh fruit be­fore ex­er­cise. Eat a ba­nana post ex­er­cise, be­fore you leave from the gym. If you are feel­ing sick or had a late night, avoid ex­er­cise on that day. Take ad­e­quate but mea­sured rests be­tween sets. En­sure that there is a proper warm up and cool down and in­clude stretch­ing in both.

Ex­cerpts from

Pages 220 Price `250 west­land Pub­li­ca­tions

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from India

© PressReader. All rights reserved.