Ever wonder how all the celebrities get their pre-pregnancy bodies back so quickly after giving birth? The better shape you are in during your pregnancy, the easier it will be to get back to your pre-baby body.
Highland Park Personal Trainer Katie Corkill gave birth to her first child, Kinley Rhodes Corkill, on November 11, 2013. Maintaining her physical fitness during pregnancy allowed Corkill to maintain her mobility and feel good about her changing body. She worked out regularly until the day before she was induced and credits her physical fitness during pregnancy for helping her get through the physical intensity of labor. She also says exercising has helped her manage the stress that comes along with being a new mom.
Since giving birth, Corkill has continued workout out. “Kinley goes to the gym with me a lot,” Corkill says. “Her naptime is my workout time.”
If you are pregnant or have recently given birth, Corkill offers these tips for getting back in shape after having a baby.
Start moving as soon as you feel like you can. Exercise promotes better blood circulation, and increased blood flow helps the body heal more quickly. Most doctors recommend waiting six weeks to workout, and while you should always follow your doctor’s orders, even light activity such as walking and pushing the stroller can help your body heal and help you get back in shape more quickly.
Be consistent. The best post-pregnancy workouts are the ones you will do consistently. As you gradually increase your level of physical activity, you should be working out 30 minutes to an hour of exercise five or six days a week. Keep a good balance between cardio and resistance training.
Gradually work back into your normal routine. When your doctor has cleared you to get back into the gym, do so slowly. You can’t hit the ground running, and you won’t be able to jump right back into the intensity of workouts you could do before pregnancy. Be patient with your progress. Your fitness will come back faster than you think, but pushing too hard puts you at greater risk of injury. If you enjoy running, start walking on the treadmill at an incline. Walking is lower impact than running, but the incline will still allow you to get your heart rate up.
Be patient. Don’t be discouraged your first few times back in the gym. Just remember, your body went through a lot of stress during pregnancy and labor. It took nine months to grow that baby, and it will take about that long until you are totally back to normal.
Getting back to a regular fitness routine as soon as you are able after giving birth will help you manage stress, promote faster healing, and help you keep your confidence.
“It’s fun to see how quickly you make gains toward your normal fitness level,” Corkill says. “Don’t put too much pressure on yourself. Enjoy your time with your baby and your fitness level will come.”