Zumba Expert and Celebrity Fitness Coach Sucheta Pal followed these post-partum fitness tips to safely return to shape after pregnancy.
For all the challenges that a woman’s body undergoes during and after pregnancy, she deserves special attention to recover from her post-partum weight. However, while there’s unrealistic societal pressure to bounce back, there’s no information on the right way to rehabilitate, heal and strengthen the body inside out.
Zumba expert Sucheta Pal was in a similar challenging situation as a new mom last year. “For many women, ‘bouncing back’ after having a baby is a common fitness goal. But we all have been a little surprised by our postpartum bodies. A weak core, stretched pelvic floor, poor posture, an aching body, and lack of energy are only some changes that make getting back to exercise difficult, no matter how fit and strong we were before having a baby,” says the new mom.
Getting back to suitable exercises can get confusing, with a myriad of conflicting information available. She realised lack of an empowering approach to rehabilitating, healing and strengthening the body after childbirth. Hence she decided to change the narrative. She studied postpartum fitness, became a certified specialist and created a scientific research-based postpartum fitness program called Mom.Bod.Strong, a program curated to restore strength and function to the deep core stability system.
Sucheta believes that as a new mother, you have just created a universe inside of you, and that is no small feat. So your postpartum fitness journey is beyond weight loss but it’s truly to heal and recover to safely get back to exercising.
The celebrity fitness coach shares some post-partum fitness tips to get back to shape after pregnancy.
Ditch the weight loss goal
Depending on how much weight you gain during pregnancy, you may take much longer than expected to lose the weight. Don’t lose heart. Instead, focus on goals like building stamina, increasing energy and regaining strength. Try to enjoy the process and not to worry about the weighing scale. Weight loss will be a side effect of exercise and good nutrition.
Enroll in a post-natal exercise program
Once you get the go ahead from your doctor and feel ready to start exercising, enroll in a post-natal exercise program before jumping back into your old fitness regime. The body needs to first recover and that needs specialised deep core and pelvic floor exercises tailor made for postpartum women. Dead bugs, heel slides, clam shells (and not crunches, planks or sit ups) is the way to go. How long after childbirth you can start exercising will depend on your method of delivery, health, fitness levels among other things. Consult your doctor for the same.
Don’t crash diet
Speaking of nutrition, a crash diet is a drastic solution to lose a large amount of weight in a short amount of time by consuming a very low-calorie diet. But after delivering your baby, your body needs to heal and repair itself, so you need to be well nourished. Focus on nutrient dense food that will help you heal and recover first. Make adequate protein and good fats must-haves in your daily diet.
Lack of sleep is linked to weight gain, as being sleep deprived fogs up our brain and impairs decision making. The body then craves for sugary foods during the day to keep alert and awake and since we are not able to think clearly, there is nothing stopping us from consuming junk. Getting adequate sleep is obviously a challenge for new mothers but try to get help from family members and regularise your sleep pattern as much as possible.
Drinking enough water is most important even otherwise, so when recovering post childbirth, drinking at least three liters of water a day is non-negotiable.
Most importantly give yourself grace, time and patience to heal.