Congratulations! Now that you gave birth, you are ready to ditch the pregnant mother lifestyle, get your sneakers out of the wardrobe and get back into shape. But if you just got out of the hospital, do not rush it – the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommend resuming exercising in a gradual fashion, and after your six-week postpartum checkup.
Once this window of time passes, you are free to pursue getting your body back. Luckily for you, when it comes to what sports to pick up, there are many options to choose from. To make the decision easier on you, here are five sports that you can do to lose weight after giving birth.
Over the last few years, mountain biking has become a popular outdoor activity. Between 2012 and 201, the number of cyclists in the United States has increased from 51 million to 66 million. As rates of heart disease, diabetes and obesity have skyrocketed in the previous decade, so has people’s willingness to be more physically active.
And it is no wonder why, as mountain biking has plenty of beneficial health effects. This particular sport, if performed regularly, can boost cardiovascular fitness. More specifically, mountain biking trains large muscle groups that require high levels of oxygen to function, increasing the activity of the heart and its fitness by 3-7 % in the process. Other advantages consist of reducing the risk of diseases associated with obesity and sedentarism and is not stressful for the joints.
Other than that, mountain biking is a beneficial sport both physically and mentally. Experts have associated this sport with an improved mood and reducing stress. This happens because it boosts the rate at which the brain produces serotonin, a substance which prevents anxiety and depression. Since many women are affected by postpartum depression, it is obvious why picking up mountain biking after giving birth could prove beneficial.
Finally, a common misconception surrounding this sport is that it is very hard to get into from a financial standpoint. That can’t be farther from the truth. Mountain biking is a fun, exciting and inexpensive sport which you can enjoy with friends and family. All you need to get started is a sturdy bike and some protective gear, such as a helmet, pants, a jersey and – very important – knee pads. Fortunately, there are many affordable options out there – for example, you can find and buy high-quality mountain bikes under 300 dollars and as for the apparel, you can always get creative by reinventing and reusing some of your old clothes.
Running is another sport you can pick up postpartum if you want to lose all the baby weight in a timely fashion. This sport is as beneficial to your health as mountain biking. Besides being an efficient calorie burner, it can improve the health by increasing the levels of good cholesterol, boosting the lung and immune system and prevent the development of blood clots. Beneficial mental effects involve boosting confidence, which can alleviate the effects of postpartum anxiety.
However, if you want to start running after giving birth, you must do it gradually. In the first couple of days, start slowly by walking at a steady pace in short intervals, taking pauses when necessary. After that, increase the pace at which you are walking daily, until you start running.
Next up, make sure to run on flat surfaces during the first few days to prevent any negative impacts on the pelvic floor and joints. To avoid any unnecessary feelings of fatigue, adopt an adequate posture – this is important because pregnancy forces women to adopt a slumped forwards posture that can damage the spine. After this transition period, you can start alternating the surfaces and running at a faster rate.
Basketball is one of the most popular sports in the world. It’s easy, accessible, does not require any special equipment other than a basketball and can be played almost anywhere in various forms.
Since you can burn between 630 and 750 calories after just one hours of playing it, it is a great way to lose all that extra weight that you have gained during pregnancy. It also has many health benefits – it increases your levels of physical endurance, boosts coordination and balance and increases muscle strength. Basketball is also associated with self-discipline and concentration, two essential factors that can help alleviate postpartum depression.
Besides, assuming you keep playing it well after giving birth, you can take your kid with you once he or she grows up. Basketball is a great way for children to have fun and get active, while also boosting their growth and fitness.
Swimming is especially good after childbirth because it helps you restore the tone of your muscles and lose weight in the process. This particular sport is efficient postpartum because it works your core, upper and lower body while being very low impact and safe to practice. If you swim daily for an hour, you can burn up to 400 calories, or 3,500 in a single week. Though, word to the wise, do not stress yourself too much about calories if you are still breastfeeding.
Moreover, by swimming, you can also recover and even boost the stamina and strength that you have spent in during your childbearing months. However, make sure to wait between four to six weeks after giving birth and consult with your doctor before picking up this sport.
Similarly to other sports, it is best not to rush and pace yourself. Start with 30-minute-long sessions daily and increase it to an hour after a month. Watch out for symptoms such as increasing pain and bleeding because if they occur, it is best to stop and go to the doctor. Other than that, drink lots of water before, during and after your swimming session and do not feel ashamed if you get tired quickly, because this is normal for new mothers.
Finally, if swimming is not enough for you, you could pick up water polo. It combines the health benefits associated with swimming with the perks of volleyball. A typical player swims, on average, upwards to 5 kilometers in a single game, while burning up to 700 calories after just one hour.
Because the water adds an extra level of resistance, you will not only lose weight in a timely fashion, but you will also boost the body’s endurance. Other benefits of this particular sport involve improved cardiovascular health, boosting strength and enhancing your flexibility. Moreover, the sport is easy on the muscles and joints, so you will probably not experience the pains associated with other physical activities.
Now that you have contributed to the perpetuation of our species, you are ready to lose all that baby weight and get your body back.
Fortunately, there are many options out there that will help, from mountain biking, swimming, to basketball and water polo. Make sure to read this list and choose one that you like the most.