Why exercise is essential to get back your pre-pregnancy figure
Marc Marchant, the founder of ikeepfit.com, is one of the UK's leading weight loss & exercise specialists.
A personal fitness trainer, nutritional therapist & hatha yoga teacher, Marc hosted a Zest Expert clinic about post-natal fitness. Read his answers here.
Marc says, 'Losing weight after pregnancy, through safe exercise and sensible eating, has many more benefits than just losing weight through diet alone.
'Losing baby weight without exercising is possible for some, but it doesn't guarantee that your heart, lungs, and muscles will be as strong as they need to be. Starting a postnatal workout routine will not only help you lose baby weight, but help you get fit and strong. This is essential as your baby gets heavier and you want your back and core to stand up to the extra stress and demands.
'If you exercised during your pregnancy and you had an uncomplicated vaginal delivery, you can begin mild exercises such as walking within a few days of delivery. Gentle pelvic floor exercises are also beneficial at this time.'
New mums should avoid more vigorous exercises until they have received their doctor's approval at their six-week check-up. Women who have had more traumatic births would be advised to wait longer, concentrating on their pelvic floor exercises.
If you had a Caesarean section, you will have to wait for your scars to heal before exercising and need to wait until 12 weeks, before getting clearance from your doctor to exercise.
Here are Marc's top 5 reasons to start exercising to lose that extra baby weight:
1. You'll Strengthen Your Core Building up your core strength will improve your posture, flatten your stomach and prepare your back for the ever-increasing demands of bending over and lifting your increasingly heavy baby.
2. You'll Have More Energy Apart from the added strain of carrying around those extra pounds, exercising away your baby fat will help you to become more limber, fight fatigue and help you to sleep more soundly - essentially a 'magic pill' that all new mothers need.
3. You'll Feel Great Exercising releases a feel-good chemical called serotonin, making it easier for you to cope with the stresses of motherhood, reducing anxiety and the chances of you developing post-natal depression.
4. You'll Look Fabulous & Feel Confident Well before you begin shedding the pounds, you will notice the amazing benefits of exercise. Increased blood circulation will make your skin look radiant and less prone to acne. Your hair will thicken, looking more healthy and lustrous. You'll feel more in control of how you look and feel, boosting your self-confidence.
5. You'll Encourage A Healthy Lifestyle In Your Children Children pick up their healthy, or not so healthy, habits from their parents and surroundings. If they see from a young age that you're serious about a healthy lifestyle, then they will be too. Encouraging kids to exercise with you, in the form of play, will ensure that they grow up to be healthy, active individuals, who have less chance of developing life-threatening diseases. What a gift to give!
ikeepfit.com allows you to shape up and lose weight at a time that suits you, in the comfort of your own home: you can pause the videos at a moment's notice to attend your child's needs, and be exercising again within seconds.
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