The best workout for weight loss begins during pregnancy with regular resistance training and gentle endurance exercise, both of which increase strength and stamina during labor and delivery and greatly improve your recovery time and ability to shed pregnancy pounds. However, if you shied away from exercise during pregnancy, you likely experienced decreased cardiovascular fitness and muscle atrophy, particularly in your arms, chest, upper back and abdominal muscles.These effects have a few consequences for a new mom. First, it makes carrying your child in his car seat and lugging around baby gear more challenging and may increase your risk of injury. Additionally, it decreases your basal metabolic rate, or the number of calories your body burns at rest.Therefore, post-pregnancy workouts should include cardiovascular exercise for burning fat and calories and targeted resistance training exercises to increase strength and lean muscle mass. Remember, it took you nine months to gain the baby weight. Be gentle with yourself as you regain your former level of fitness and body composition.
Never underestimate the power of a simple walk. Numerous studies have shown it to positively influence weight loss, improve muscle tone, improve insulin sensitivity and encourage positive mental outlook. As soon as you’re discharged from the hospital, your doctor will likely encourage you to engage in light physical activity. Aim for at least 30 minutes a day of walking until you’re cleared for more vigorous activity.
Spinning® provides an exciting aerobic workout that can burn between 420 and 620 calories in an hour-long ride. Over the course of a week, that adds up to nearly a pound of body fat. Additionally, Spinning provides a fun communal atmosphere, particularly beneficial for new moms who miss the camaraderie of being with other adults. Finally, Spinning workouts often include anaerobic sprints, which have been shown to specifically target stored belly fat and improve the body’s ability to utilize fat for energy during exercise.
Kettlebell and Medicine Balls
Kettlebells are an excellent tool for building upper body strength and core stability while engaging in a cardiovascular workout. These tools also develop proprioception, the ability to sense the position of your limbs and the strength of effort employed in movement—a useful skill to build before your baby becomes a toddler, wriggling from your arms and racing around the house.A medicine ball, such as the Ugi® Fit ball, is another useful tool for building strength and stability. Moreover, the unique, “squish-ability” of the ball makes it a safe piece of equipment to keep in your living space without fear of your little one injuring herself. Moreover, the Ugi workout
combines cardio and strength training into a 30 minute workout, making it easy to fit it into nap time and still have time to make a healthy lunch or even take a nap yourself!