Although tackling the issue of weight loss after delivery of a baby can often be frustrating for both new and experienced moms, there’s no doubt about the fact that exercise has to be part of the solution. While there is an abundance of options to choose from, an exercise routine based on Yoga and Pilates is one of the best ways to get you on the road to weight loss after delivery.
What makes these two forms of exercise particularly suitable for weight loss after delivery? Everything about Yoga and Pilates is designed to strengthen and sculpt the core muscles, which are the muscles of the abdomen, pelvic floor, and hips. These also happen to be the areas that suffer the most during pregnancy and the birthing process. So, why not combine both forms of exercise to ensure your weight loss after delivery?
When it comes to weight loss after delivery, there’s nothing quite like yoga to help you shed pounds and tone up every inch of your body. Yoga postures incorporate everything from squats, lunges, pushups, backbends, and crunches, to safely and effectively sculpt every inch of your body.
Another key element in yoga is the fact that you have to hold each posture for a period of time – anywhere from a few seconds to several minutes, depending on your abilities. Holding each of these postures – particularly the balancing postures – requires engaging the stomach muscles. Therefore, during a yoga session your stomach muscles are getting a tough workout the entire time as well.
Aside from the very effective yoga postures, there’s another bonus that comes with this form of exercise: it reduces the levels of the stress hormone cortisol – which induces weight gain and increases insulin sensitivity, meaning that your body becomes better at burning up the food you eat, instead of storing it up as fat. What more could you ask for as you work on your weight loss after delivery?
Pilates is excellent for firming up the core muscles because every exercise is done at a very slow and steady pace, and the abdominal muscles have to be contracted the entire time. Pilates uses a special breathing technique that ensures that each movement is performed with fully engaged and contracted stomach muscles at all times. This allows you to reach very deep, lower abdominal muscles that aren’t usually engaged when performing a regular crunch, for example.
The focused nature of Pilates movements also means you can get all the exercise you need in a short 30-minute session, a plus for busy mothers. For busy moms who don’t have someone to look after their baby while they exercise, there are even special “mommy and baby” Pilates classes and DVDs. This will allow you to still focus on your weight loss after delivery, while simultaneously bonding with your baby.
Because Yoga and Pilates target the core muscles, which have already been fatigued during pregnancy and delivery, it is recommended that you wait about 6 weeks after delivery to start either form of exercise.