It is a known fact that a woman’s tummy changes from flat to flabby right after having a baby. It’s no wonder. During pregnancy, the three bands of muscles are stretched and pushed to their limits across the tummy area. Unfortunately, unlike rubber bands, these muscles do not snap back after having a baby.
After pregnancy, most women feel the need to return to their previous weight or want to start a new, healthy lifestyle, which allows them to achieve their ideal weight. Some women turn to the spot reduction method to solve their weight issues.
The Problem with Spot Reduction
Spot reduction is an idea that if you work on a specific muscle group, it decreases the accumulated fat in that area on your body. For instance, it’s widely believed abdominal exercise alone can help reduce fats in the stomach area. However, in reality, spot reduction is simply a myth.
Health studies have shown that performing abdominal exercises alone does not help you develop a flat tummy. The reason behind this is pretty simple: muscles do not own the fats that surround them. Sit-ups, for instance, will surely strengthen the abdominal muscles, but doing it alone will not do away with the fats covering these muscles. To lose fat, you need to burn calories through exercises, which involve weight training and cardiovascular training. These exercises will not only work on a specific problem area but tone the entire body.
For women who want to get rid of their post- pregnancy weight, it is recommended to follow and maintain a healthy diet and proper exercise. Here are a few toning tips that you may want to consider:
Identify your goals
Like any other endeavor in life, the very first step is to identify and set your goals. These goals may include the problem areas that you want to tone – like the flabby tummy or upper arms and how much weight you want to lose.
Plan a healthy diet
A healthy diet is considered a powerful tool in any weight loss program. Hence, plan a healthy diet that is easy to prepare and adapt to your lifestyle. Health experts recommend including vegetables and fruits in every meal. Also, include black beans, Greek yogurt, proteins, low-fat dairy, and whole grains in your diet plan. Limit your consumption on processed foods, alcohol, saturated fats, and sugar. To have more control over the food you eat, cook at home. Avoid eating your children’s leftovers. You can plan meals that contain essential nutrients, which your body needs.
Perform cardiovascular exercises
To increase your metabolism and achieve positive weight loss results, perform cardiovascular exercises. You may do 30-60 minutes of brisk walking every day. This helps burn calories and increases your energy level. For faster effects, incorporate high-intensity activities to your exercise regimen for at least three times a week. You may try horseback riding, team sports, ice skating, dancing, jumping rope, and swimming to increase overall muscle tone.
Initiate a resistance training program
This program helps tone specific targeted areas of the body. For instance, Pilates and crunches help tone the abdominal muscles; weight-training, yoga, and push-ups help tone the arms; combined stretching and ball exercise repetitions strengthen the lower back. You can vary your resistance training exercises and routine to suit your goals. For best results, do resistance training three times a week or every other day.
Recruit a partner
Getting rid of your unwanted flabby tummy or arms and getting toned after having a baby require a lot of patience. As a new mom, your many responsibilities need to be balanced. Nevertheless, without putting on extra effort to tone your flabby muscles, these are bound to stay flabby and saggy, which gets worst when the next baby arrives.
Toning your muscles will not only help strengthen your abs but also reduces the risk of experiencing postpartum back pains and improves blood circulation. Losing fats in our body might be difficult but achievable. Just stay positive, enjoy the changes, and be gentle to yourself to lose weight and get toned in less time.
This article was written by the team at exercise equipment retailer, Orbit Fitness, based in Western Australia.