Let's face it: The idea of a postpartum workout plan is a little brutal. Your life is already grueling. You're exhausted, and it's not like you're sitting around looking for something to do. But, aside from a few hours of sleep, exercise is the best thing you can do for yourself right now. Not only will it help you get your prebaby shape back, it will help you shed stress, feel happier, and get more in control of your life, all things new moms can use.
If you read the first installment of our plan last month, you know that our aim is to help you fall in love with your new-mom body. (Missed it? Check it out at babytalk.com/lynmb.) We want you to feel strong. And sexy. These ten moves can get you there. We partnered with Mary Beth Knight, president and lead fitness director of StrollerFit, to create this easy and effective workout (no sitter required: you can do it with your baby!). So let's get started. First, remember to:
Get the go-ahead. If you've recently given birth, check with your health-care provider before you begin this (or any other) exercise program, particularly if you've had a cesarean section. (C-section moms can find exercise moves customized for them at babytalk.com/lynmb.)
Ditch the guilt. Taking time to exercise regularly -- with or without your baby -- enables you to be a better parent. Period.
Do what you can. Try to pull off 30 minutes of heart-pumping exercise, such as walking with the stroller, two or three times a week. Then do these exercises twice a week (they take about 45 minutes). But even just splitting up the workout into shorter sections (say doing upper-body moves on Mondays and lower-body on Tuesdays) will give you noticeable results.
Think baby steps. Think baby steps. There's truth to the saying "Nine months on, nine months off." Although you'll feel better right away, be patient about those pounds. It will happen!