There are several ways to get fit or lose weight after childbirth. As stated in my previous article, the best way to lose weight is to combine breastfeeding with physical activity. After that, it really is your lifestyle that will make a difference. But to do that, you need your spouse’s help to take care of the baby while you exercise and spend a maximum of calories to get back into shape!
Obviously, if your spouse works during the day, it is not really an option. You have to do chores around the house while looking after your little one, and when he’s sleeping, you can relax a little. In this case, exercising during the day will be more difficult. But there is a common practice around the world: the baby sling.
Very useful reasons to carry your baby
This practice, which is now a little more common among Westerner, will allow you to have a much greater autonomy. You can go about your business while having your little one with you, and that's the good side of it. Why not do your workout with your baby with you then? That's how you’ll get to exercise while enjoying many other advantages. However, women who had a C-section should start doing it later. But don’t worry, it’s only until the stitches have healed well. Doctors are now recommending that women go back to their activities as soon as possible, so that they don’t have the reflex to bend at the waist unnecessarily and prevent the stretching of the scar.
Benefits of walking
Walking is a very good activity to get back into shape after childbirth. It’s a really interesting and practical activity because:
- you can do it everywhere;
- it’s free;
- it allows you to discover your neighbourhood;
- risk of injury is virtually nonexistent;
- you can do it at your own pace.
Although it may seem like a less intense activity, the important thing is to do it daily. Given that most of you will be off work for a while, is the ideal time to do it. It takes motivation, but you will be able to do it. The body will respond better to a daily demand in energy than to only 2-3 times per week. In addition, you will feel the health benefits more quickly.
Practical side of walking with baby
- You can do your shopping without having to carry your baby in his seat and set him up in the car, which will also allow you to save a lot of time.
- You reduce your fuel costs. It is also good for the environment.
- It allows you to get some fresh air and see something else during your day!
- It’s another way to send baby to sleep and for him to feel safe..
- It allows you to get more vitamin D in winter, which has many health benefits. It increases calcium absorption, reduces the risk of depression and prevents against osteoporosis to name just a few.
These are just some examples to show that walking can bring you much more than you think. Just start doing it and you'll discover so many beautiful things.
Benefits for the baby
Many young mothers are afraid of not giving enough to their child, doing the wrong things, having the wrong methods, in short, of not being up to par. Baby slings have many benefits:
- it increases the child’s feeling of comfort and safety;
- it creates a bond of trust between mother and child;
- it keeps the baby warm;
- it allows mothers to realize any changes quickly: hunger or a full diaper, for example;
- and it helps strengthen the baby’s neck, which is not always very strong at a young age.
Once again, you can see that using a baby carrier has many benefits for the baby. In addition, it allows you to do the chores that need to be done in the house.
Benefits for the mother
Walking has many physical benefits for the mother, and it’s an activity that brings a lot to the women who practice it. Even if you don’t do it every day, you will enjoy these benefits anyway.
- The baby’s weight will have a big impact on the intensity of your walk. Given that he weighs at least 10 lbs, you have to carry an extra weight that for the duration of your walk. In fact, as your baby will gain weight, the more weight you will need to carry and the more energy you will need to spend to support it. Of course, your body will adapt by strengthening the thighs and buttocks. And that’s exactly what you want!
- After walking with your baby, your body will be full of endorphins, which will make you feel really good and relaxed. The endorphins will also help you sleep well at night. Obviously, some of you do not sleep much, but it will allow you to do so easily when you get a chance.
- All this walking will also help you lower your anxiety level. Once again, it's related to endorphins. Whatever the cause of your stress, it will help decrease it.
- For those who walk every day or so, going back to training is much easier. Because the body remained active, you will be able to reach much higher peaks of intensity. It will obviously help you lose the excess weight you have accumulated during the last nine months.
- The fitter you will be, the more you’ll be able to increase the intensity. Walk with your baby on the streets that are more inclined and which require more energy. By walking uphill, you’ll be able to reach the same heart rate as if you were jogging, and you will strengthen your calves and lower back.
Finally, I strongly suggest you to go see a qualified and trustworthy personal trainer to help you in all your efforts. He will assess your body composition, fat and weight, to properly track your improvements and your changes. It will help you keep your motivation and it want to do more.