Postpartum Exercise: When Should You Start Working Out?
Evaluate Your Fitness Level
Most new mothers tend to focus more on the weight gained during their pregnancies than their overall fitness levels, and this is hardly surprising. The media portray images of celebrity moms looking svelte and glamorous seemingly moments after having a baby. This phenomenon puts undue pressure on non-celebrity moms, some of whom embark on a rigorous exercise routine too soon after giving birth.
Refreshingly, when Julia Roberts was pregnant with her twins, she reported that she couldn’t care less about getting her movie-star body back once her babies were born. She was content knowing that her body would return naturally over time.
Yet time is what makes many women despair and fear they’ll never get back to normal. According to the Physician and Sportsmedicine Journal, although the average postpartum weight gain for American women is small, 70 percent are unhappy with their appearance at six-months postpartum. Many women fall prey to the myth that because it took nine months to gain the weight, they should expect weight loss to take an equal amount of time. Remember, there is no time frame for postnatal weight loss. Some women bounce back quickly and others take several years.
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