By Lynette Carrington
Getting back in shape after having a baby is often a concern for a new mom. Primarily, it is most important to always consult your OBGYN and your general physician before starting any type of an exercise regimen when pregnant, or after giving birth. In past generations, exercise during pregnancy was frowned upon, but times have really changed. Owner and personal trainer at Core Fitness Cory Schidler sheds light on the current thinking about women exercising during pregnancy and ways to get back in shape after having a baby.
Schidler explains, “Contrary to common belief, you absolutely can and should continue to exercise while pregnant and you can continue with your current exercise program. If you are pregnant and have been sedentary (haven't been exercising regularly for 6 months or longer) I would recommend getting the OK from your doctor to begin on an exercise program. If you get the OK then you can still do most exercises, you really just want to avoid high impact sports or exercises that involve running, jumping, horseback riding, vigorous intensity racquet sports, etc. You should also be concerned with staying upright. By this, I mean do exercises that are at minimal risk for falling and causing trauma to the baby. Also by week 16 of pregnancy a mommy should not lie down on the back as the baby can block the mommy's venous return of blood. Holding your breath should also be avoided-just breath normally. Stay very well hydrated. Your core temperature as well as caloric expenditure will be higher, so avoid heat stress and hot or humid environments.”
Pregnancy Workout Recommendations:
After your baby is born, it is always recommended to consult with your doctor before getting back into a regular exercise routine. Don’t feel pressured to be a “super mom” and lose your pregnancy weight in one week. It’s not a race. It took nine months to gain that weight, so have realistic goals in losing that weight. Schidler says, “Generally, gradual exercise in the postpartum period may begin 4-6 weeks after a normal vaginal delivery, or 8-10 weeks after a cesarean section delivery (with medical clearance). Take note that I say gradual exercise. De-conditioning may occur during the post-pregnancy period and so you may have to back off on the intensity from what you were doing pre-pregnancy.”
Schidler continues, “A great starter program that builds fundamental technique and needed strength while burning unwanted fat is my Build+Burn program. This is one that can be done anywhere. You don't need equipment and so you can start conditioning right at home. This utilizes all of your major muscle groups and gets your heart pumping because we are doing light weight with a lot of reps. This program is also great if your goals are to tone and firm. While some exercises, like cardio, are good for generally everyone, individual preference, ability, and goals determine what exercises I prescribe a client.”
Post-Baby Workout Recommendation:
Pushups (from the knees)
Dying bugs (not if pregnant)
Twisted Prayer Stretch
Hip Flexors Stretch
Supine Hamstring Stretch (do not do while pregnant)
Schidler also has some favorite exercises for moms that want to get back into shape. He says, “Multi-joint exercises that involve the most muscles as possible are the desired exercises to participate in for mommies wanting to get back in shape. For example: squats, seated rows, shoulder press, sidesteps, and triceps extensions are the bread and butter for most new mommies. At Core Fitness I work with small groups and gear each exercise routine according to the individual-including new moms! Again, we will safely progress with intensity and duration in order to maximize results.”
If nursing, your nutritional intake does change. “During pregnancy, because metabolic demand increases by about 300 calories per day you will need to increase your caloric intake to provide enough energy for the body and baby. To avoid excessive weight gain during pregnancy, consult a registered dietitian,” Schidler adds.
At Core Fitness, there are special classes tailored for new moms. Schidler explains, “Specifically for moms wanting to get back in shape after not exercising for some time, my MomFit program starts gradually from 20-30 minutes and after a few weeks we work up to 50 minutes of moderate intensity exercise. MomFit is part of our group training where you can mingle with other moms and have fun with other women while doing exercises that will safely progress in intensity to get you even fitter than you were pre-pregnancy. MomFit semi-private classes are at 9:30 a.m., 10:30 a.m., 12 p.m. and 7pm. If you prefer to work in a private one-to-one setting with a professional trainer, we offer individualized packages at an affordable rate as well.”
Example of MomFit Workout:
Shoulder Press with dumbbells
Resisted Side-steps or Donkey Kicks
Triceps Pull downs with rope
From high school student athletes to weekend warriors and those that want to get into better shape, Core Fitness has a program for you. Two staff nutritionists are also on hand to give clients an extra boost into understanding healthy eating habits and nutrition that will best work for them in connection with their fitness goals.
Core Fitness is located at 8700 E. Vista Bonita Dr., Suite 170, Scottsdale. Visit www.corefitnessaz.com or call (480) 620-3000 for additional information or to schedule a complimentary personal training session.