This is a guest post by the founder of Stroller Strides, Lisa Druxman.
70% of moms are unsatisfied with their bodies even 9 months after giving birth. Even those lucky few who do take off their pregnancy weight don’t necessarily regain their same body composition. No matter how fit you are throughout your pregnancy, you’ll need special “training” for your new role as a mother. Pregnancy and childbirth can wreak great challenges on your body; all which are reparable with a sound exercise program.
Very soon after childbirth, most doctors say new moms can start out with a program of gentle stretching, slow walking, abdominal contractions and Kegel exercises. Your body is a good barometer and will tell you when you’re doing too much through increased vaginal bleeding. If that happens, it’s time to rest and relax some more. Build back to a fitness program very slowly. Most doctors will recommend that you wait 6 weeks after childbirth to begin a formal exercise program. The nice thing is that you don’t have to leave your baby to get in your workout!
Front Pack Carrier Workout
A must have for every new mom is a front pack carrier. These handy holders let mom carry baby around and keep her arms free. Baby loves the motion and being close to mom and she loves the freedom. What moms might not realize is that that same carrier can also be a great workout. Because baby’s weight is evenly distributed, it adds a functional “weight” to the workout. The only downside we can find with a front pack carrier is that it can wreak havoc on your posture. New moms already suffer from posture problems aggravated from feeding, picking up baby, car seats and more. The best way to use a baby carrier is to focus on stretching the chest area and strengthening the upper back. When wearing the carrier, regularly contract your shoulder blades, bringing them together as if you were squeezing a pencil. Keep shoulders down and back, and neck long and relaxed. Exercises you can do with a front pack carrier include lunges, plie squats and wall sits. Obviously, baby’s safety is first!
Every new mom has some type of stroller. Not only is it a great mode of transportation, it makes a great workout! You can get a great cardiovascular workout while walking or running with your stroller. And, you can get a great strength workout by doing lunges or squats with the stroller. Pushing a stroller incorrectly is a sure way to sabotage your posture and to wind up with an injury. Take an inventory of your body from head to toe.
1) Walk with good posture at all times.
2) Keep shoulders low and pulled back.
3) Lead with your chest. Imagine that you had a string attached at your sternum (the bone between your breasts) and it was pulling you forward.
4) Hold in your abs, not your breath.
5) Keep a soft bend in your arms and keep wrists in neutral alignment.
5) Stroller Stride. When walking, feet and knees should be facing forward. You can do long, powerful stridesand/or short, quick strides. Work at an intensity where you are a little out of breath, but not so out of breath that you cannot talk during your workout.
Nationally recognized as an expert in the field of fitness, particularly pre and postnatal, mompreneur Lisa Druxman is the creator of FIT4MOM®. Formerly known as Stroller Strides®, FIT4MOM is the country’s largest fitness program for every stage of motherhood. FIT4MOM has consistently been ranked by numerous publications as one of the fastest growing franchises in the country.
A noted authority on pre / postnatal fitness, Druxman has presented at national and world conferences, and is certified as a Group Fitness Instructor, Personal Trainer, and Provider of Continuing Education through the American Council on Exercise (ACE). Lisa also sits on the advisory board for Fit Pregnancy magazine and Pregnancy Awareness Month.