How to get back into shape after pregnancy

Wondering how to get back into shape after pregnancy? Go for a walk with a friend ... photo by CC user "Mike" Michael L. Baird on Flickr

Ever hear about how all those celebrities magically snap back to a firm, fit body only several weeks after having a baby?

It seems unfair that they can do it while you seem to be stuck with the aftereffects of childbirth for much longer, but there is a way to getting back to a healthy state faster than you have in the past.

They might have the resources to do it faster, but by following the same path they follow, you’ll get there not much longer after they do. Here’s how to get back into shape after pregnancy in record time…

Get in physical activity every day

Want to get out of the large (but very stylish) clothes you have been wearing since you bought them from one of your favorite maternity clothing stores?

After the first week following the birth of your bundle of joy, start working movement back into your daily routine.

Begin by going for walks, even if it is just around the block. From there, you can increase the length and intensity of your cardiovascular exercises as your body sees fit: if you experience pain, dial back your workout.

When you are trying to get back into shape after pregnancy, the process is not unlike that of a marathon, rather than a sprint.

In addition to walking, running or swimming, you should also begin to work in a weight training regimen.

By increasing your lean muscle mass, you’ll increase the fat-burning capacity of your body, as these type of cells are 30 times more efficient at catalyzing fat than thee adipose cells that they will be replacing.

Opt for the breast over the bottle

Years of slick advertising campaigns may have convinced you that bottle feeding is healthier and less burdensome.

This couldn’t be less true, as not only does the act of regular breastfeeding foster an emotional connection between you and your child at a crucial stage of their lives, but the nutrients in your milk are actually better for them than formula.

What’s more, the simple act of producing milk for your newborn burns up to 600-800 calories a day, which helps you to slim down while you sit there snuggling your precious infant as they get their daily sustenance from your bosom.

Adopt a healthy diet that is rich in whole foods

This might seem obvious, but after a nine month period of indulging in calorie-rich foods for the benefit of your baby (some of which included some truly bizarre snacks, like pickles and ice cream), it can be difficult to stop feasting on chocolate cake at 3 am.

Just the same, begin limiting your consumption of simple carbs, and ramp up your consumption of whole foods (complex carbs, fruits, vegetables, lean meats and fish – you know, all the stuff that you can find along the edges of any supermarket).

Except for one cheat day per week, cut out all sweets, soda and white breads during the other six days. This will keep you on the path of healthy eating, while giving you a day where you can pig out to your heart’s content, which will keep you on the path to re-attaining your pre-pregnancy body.

Wear stomach tightening girdles

On top of the dietary and exercise suggestions above, it also helps to wear core tightening girdles such as belly bands.

These devices help you by supporting the body structures in your core, by forcing abdomen to flex and contract, which strengthens them.

This increase in musculature causes their calorie burning capacity to go up, reducing the size of your fat cells as these energy-hungry cells seek out more food to function properly.

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