Get Your Body Back After Baby

By JustMommies staff

Are you ready to lose that baby weight and whip your body back into shape? All you need is a little patience and dedication when it comes to your diet and exercise and you will be well on your way. There are many benefits to exercising after your pregnancy. Exercise can help keep postpartum depression at bay, increase energy and help you lose the weight you gained. Next to exercising, a healthy diet is the best way to lose your pregnancy pounds. Tracey Mallett, an International Fitness Expert and Sports Nutritionist has some wonderful advice to get you started…

JustMommies:After giving birth, when can you start exercising again?
Tracey Mallett:4-6 weeks depending on what kind of delivery you have. With a cesarean, it may take longer. Please get clearance from your doctor before you start any exercise program! Once you have the go-ahead, take caution before jumping into any strenuous activity, especially when it comes to your abdominals. During pregnancy, your abdominals may separate from the added pressure of the baby. It''s important to minimize that separation before performing any type of abdominal exercises that require you to lift your head off the floor or rotate the torso further separating the abs. Allow time and perform exercises to correct the gap in order to allow the abs to function properly. If you have been doing Kegel exercises throughout your pregnancy, then keep doing them. For those women who did not do any Kegel exercises, you will want to start as soon as possible after delivery. This will speed the healing process, transporting valuable oxygen to the pelvic floor muscles and strengthening them. Simply tighten the muscles of the pelvic floor as if trying to interrupt the flow of pee and count to five- then slowly release the muscles. Visualize your pelvic floor like an elevator going up. Try and perform about 20-30 Kegels a day. Remember, you can do them anywhere so there is no excuse! Most importantly, listen to your body. It may take a few months or possibly longer to lose your baby weight, depending on how much time you can dedicate to working out. Be patient with yourself. A little extra weight is a small price to pay for a bundle of joy.

JustMommies:How do I find the time to make exercise a priority?
Tracey Mallett:Buy a daily planner and try to schedule your workouts around your baby''s schedule. For example: After you feed your baby, go for a nice walk around the neighborhood with your baby in the stroller. Or when your baby goes down for a nap, try to squeeze in 15 minutes for core conditioning exercises. Pilates is a wonderful option. Another fun idea ~ join a "Mommy and Me" exercise class. This is a great way to bond with your baby and fit in some exercise time for yourself! You can also buy a collection of exercise DVDs that are different lengths, so you are ready to go when you find some unexpected time to work out. If you maintain your exercise program, you will be providing your children with an excellent example of how to stay healthy.

Just Mommies:What are the best postpartum exercises?
Tracey Mallett:One of the main factors in determining how quickly you regain your shape is how healthy you were during pregnancy. If you were exercising and eating right, you should start to see results sooner. Circuit training is the best way to lose weight if you only have a short amount of time. Working multiple muscle groups at the same time expends more energy and burns more calories when you are on a tight schedule. Also, adding short bursts of cardio will elevate your heart rate- so it''s a good idea to integrate cardio into your workouts. Some cardio recommendations are: walking, running, hiking, stair climbing and spinning. Try to fit 2-3 times a week of cardio activity for about 30 minutes. Weight training is really important for weight loss because as you build lean muscle mass, it increases your metabolism and helps your burn more fat. Another way to lose some of your pregnancy weight is to breastfeed. For breastfeeding moms, make sure your breasts are well supported when you exercise. Also, try to breastfeed your baby before you work out. This will help you feel more comfortable because your breasts won''t feel full.

Just Mommies:What do you recommend in terms of diet after pregnancy?
Tracey Mallett:A healthy balance of lean protein, fiber, unlimited veggies, fruit and good fats such as olive, flax seed and canola oil. No crash diets after pregnancy! Exercise, eat healthy and breastfeed- this is the perfect solution to get your body back. Make yourself accountable for what you are eating. Start a food journal and learn about food portions. Our view of food portions has been distorted by the ever-growing servings, so this is a great tool to start cutting back. Eat every 3 hours to keep the metabolism on fire. NEVER skip breakfast- it is the most important meal of the day to jump start not only your energy, but your metabolism. Drink plenty of water to keep you feeling fuller for longer periods of time.

JustMommies:Tell us about your book Sexy in 6 and the QuickBlast Method.
Tracey Mallett:The Sexy in 6 book and the QuickBlast DVDs when combined together will give you the ultimate package to regain your body in just 6 minute blasts. It contains a health eating plan and a comprehensive plan combining strength circuit training: Pilates and Yoga. We placed 90 women on the program for 6 weeks and some women lost up to 25 pounds and toned their body from head to toe.

Tracey has stared in over 15 exercise DVDs and is the star of the 3 in 1 Pregnancy System and the 6 Minute QuickBlast DVDs- workouts designed for the busy mom. Tracey is a mother of two children and owner of ATP Specific Training in S Pasadena,