Bouncing back Into Shape
Get your curves back after pregnancy, start exercising, stay fit and fab
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.
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