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Monday, June 4, 2012

A New Mom's Guide to Regaining an Active Lifestyle...

Becoming a mother for the first time is undoubtedly one of the most exciting times in your life. But for many moms, the process of returning to an active routine can be a bit of a challenge. Not only do your new responsibilities as a mother absorb a great deal of your time, you may also be overwhelmed by the thought of tackling that excess "baby weight."

According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), a weight loss of 1 pound per week while breastfeeding is safe. Weight loss of 1 to 2 pounds per week is recommended for new moms who are not nursing. To start getting that weight off, it's time to get moving -- at a pace that works for you and your new little one.

Here are some simple tips to help you along the way:

(1) Follow Doctor's Orders

Before beginning any exercise regime, especially after giving birth, consult your OB/Gyn. Talk about any concerns you may have and explain your goals. Your doctor can help you outline a plan that is both safe and effective.

(2) Take It Slow

Do not expect to return immediately to your pre-pregnancy physical fitness level. Getting back in shape takes time. How much time depends very much on how active you were during your pregnancy, particularly toward the end of term. Your physician can help you set realistic goals. As you gain strength, slowly begin introducing more resistance or challenge, depending on the activity. For example, if you're a runner, add a short distance every so often. If you're attending yoga classes, rest when necessary. You'll be able to complete a class from start to finish before you know it.

(3) Get the Baby Involved

As a new mom, it can be tough to leave your baby's side. Instead, try incorporating the little one into your workout. Simply get out the infant stroller and get moving! Bringing baby along on a brisk walk is a low-impact way to get out of the house and start getting back in shape.

There are also plenty of great exercises you can do by simply lifting the little one. Lying on the floor and using the baby's weight as resistance can be a fun activity that also tones and strengthens your muscles.

(4) Join a Group

Getting together with other moms for group fitness activities provides an opportunity for socializing and support as well as motivation. Join a group at your fitness facility, find a group in your community or start one with your friends. The important thing is to make time for fitness. As you adjust to motherhood, finding time to take care of yourself might be a challenge, but it is essential to your health and well-being. It's also a great way to teach your child the importance of exercise from an early age. So lead by example and get moving!

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