With the latest addition to the Royal Family here at last, post-pregnancy fitness and getting back in shape after having a baby are in the spotlight once again.
ZAAZEE, which was created by women for women, has enlisted the help of one of its ambassadors - Manchester-based personal trainer and mummy of one, Debbie Rowlands - to provide some pointers for new mummies to help them regain their fitness and get that pre-pregnancy body back in a natural and safe way.
Here are Debbie's five top tips for getting back in shape after having a baby:
1. Go easy on yourself
Don’t put too much pressure on yourself! Remember that it took you nine months to lose your pre pregnancy shape so it’s unreasonable to expect your body to bounce back in a few weeks. Unfortunately we’re bombarded today with images of celebrities who appear to have pinged back to their pre pregnancy shape overnight. This puts a lot of pressure on us ’normal’ mums. Having said that it is possible to get your body back into good shape but it can take time.
2. Introduce activity into your routine
As soon as you can (as long as yours was a straightforward pregnancy and labour) try to incorporate some form of activity into your daily routine. The easiest way to do this is to go for brisk walks with the buggy. This will be good for both you and the baby, as fresh air can also aid natural sleep for both of you.
3. Be kind to your body
Listen to your body. Rest is so important in the sleep deprived early days so make sure you get plenty and don’t burn out. Nutrition is also vitally important when thinking about weight loss and getting back into shape. It’s often stated that weight loss is 20% exercise and 80% diet. Whatever the percentages, what you eat plays a massive role in weight loss. You (contrary to what many women believe or want to believe) were never eating for two and certainly not now your baby has arrived!
4. Healthy snacks on hand
If breastfeeding, you will probably find that you get hungry more often. Try to keep healthy snacks on hand and stay well hydrated. It's very easy to reach for the sugary treats, refined carbs and processed convenience foods, but fill up the fridge and cupboards with things like houmous, wholemeal pitta breads, veggies, nuts and seeds and fresh fruit instead. You can even make your own flapjacks or granola bars with energy-boosting ingredients like organic oats, seeds, nuts, dried fruits, mashed banana and honey.
5. Make the most of your exercise time
In terms of more vigorous exercise, it is a good idea to wait until after your six week postnatal check or even wait for three months to allow your muscles and joints to fully recover from pregnancy and birth (everyone is different though and do check with your GP or health visitor if you're unsure.) Once you feel completely ready to get back into harder training, up the intensity to work on serious fat burning. With a little one time is precious, so when you can get to the gym, make sure that you make the most of your time. Interval training is a great way to get in shape - working at high intensities with short recovery periods. This is great for fat burning and improving aerobic and anaerobic fitness.
Debbie says: "Family time and spending quality time with my son is my main priority. However keeping myself fit is also really important to me. It keeps me sane and makes me feel good. Each week I plan when and where I am going to fit my training in around work and home life. If there’s no time for a gym session I can usually fit in a run or a kettle bell session at home. We also keep active as a family by going for lovely walks at the weekend which is a great activity that we all enjoy."
ZAAZEE is a luxury British fitness wear company for women, which was created by mum-of-two, Deborah Todd. ZAAZEE gear is designed by women with women in mind - it's beautifully soft, breathable and ultra-flattering for all body types, giving all women the confidence to get back in the gym and feel great while working out. The capsule collection comes in a variety of jewel brights, black and Arctic white colours that all complement each other perfectly
To find out more information about ZAAZEE and shop the collection, visit zaazee.co.uk