Losing weight and exercise go hand in hand. Diet may make you thin but exercise will make you fit: fitness in body and mind.
First of all, see your doctor at your 6 weeks postpartum appointment and make sure that your body is completely healed before starting a work-out plan. What kind of exercise is good for a breastfeeding mom? You can do anything that you are comfortable with!
One easy and effective way to lose weight is walking. Put your baby in a stroller and go for a walk. A brisk walk will re-fresh you and give you a chance to work those muscles. You can regulate how much energy you expend by walking faster/slower and by walking for longer/shorter distances. It’s easy, it’s cheap, and your baby will love it too.
Some moms prefer to jog – good for you! You might want to invest in a jogging stroller because they are so much easier to maneuver (they go over bumps better, they turn easily, and have better suspension). Stroller Strides is an exercise program designed for moms, babies, and their strollers. The concept originated in San Diego but is now one of the fastest growing franchises in USA. Read all about jogging strollers here.
If jogging bothers your knees or your milk-full breasts, try swimming instead. Water gives you resistance without the pressure on your joints and the water will actually make your breasts buoyant! Swimming is also good because it works out the entire body: arms, legs and torso. Can’t be motivated swimming alone? Try a water aerobics class. I find that just sitting in the pool helps me feel sleeker because the pressure of the water tightens me up.
Don’t want to get wet? How about joining a local gym? The advantage of joining a gym is that it offers a large variety of classes and equipment, and some offer baby sitting services too. Free weights? How about doing time on a stationary bike, treadmill, or StairMaster? Maybe you prefer a class in aerobics, pilates, or yoga.
Talking about yoga – have you thought about a Baby and Me yoga class? These classes are designed for moms with infants. You do your yoga exercises with your baby and the other moms will totally understand if you have to stop to breastfeed or change a diaper. Find a Mommy and Me yoga class near you. Or, you can also get a post natal yoga video and exercise from home. Don’t forget your yoga mat!
If the above are beyond what you can do right now, just keep it simple. Do some leg lifts with your baby balanced on your shins (hold him so he doesn’t fall over). Hold your baby in front of you and do squats – can you do 3 sets of 10? Some mothers will turn on music and dance around while holding the baby. Find something that works for you; you can get some ideas from these post-natal exercise
books, videos and DVDs.
Oh yeah, remember to drink lots of water, and breathe. It takes water and oxygen to burn fat.