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Mom-to-Be Exercise Moves

The Challenge: Getting in shape again. "I lost the weight after Aidan was born, but I don't feel as fit as I did before kids," says pregnant mom Colleen Brennan. Her only exercise is a daily walk.

The Solution: Strength training to boost energy now and help tone up postpartum.

  • Keep walking daily, says Sharon Monplaisir, fitness expert, former Olympic fencer and mom of twins. "But don't push it. If you get tired, slow down."
  • Three days a week, add low-stress moves to increase overall strength, especially in the back.¬†Monplaisir recommends chest stretches, biceps curls, arm raises, leg lifts, and pelvic tilts. These help counteract aches caused by pregnancy and, later, by holding and nursing a baby.
  • Kegels, Kegels, Kegels! Squeezing and releasing your pelvic-floor muscles (imagine trying to stop peeing) aids in childbirth¬† -- and recovery. "You don't have to squeeze hard," says Monplaisir, "but be consistent." Hold each Kegel for ten seconds, and do a set of ten two times a day.
  • The postbaby plan: Continue this routine, adding reps as you gain strength. Hefting a stroller in and out of the car will also help!

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