If you were active prior to and during your pregnancy, you probably want a smooth transition back into postpartum exercise. However, getting into a regular program may seem impossible with your new scheduling limitations and the physical and emotional demands of a newborn . Especially if you were someone who relied on a gym or fitness classes prior to pregnancy! The good news is you can get an effective and complete workout at home using only your body weight. Not convinced? I’ve listed my top 5 reasons as a pre and post natal exercise specialist as to why I prefer body weight workouts for new moms!
Bodyweight Exercises Are Just as Effective as Free Weights or Machines at Burning Fat
Although many people have relied on machines and free weights to tone their body, burn calories and build muscle, bodyweight exercises have the same desired effect on the body. One study completed by the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) looked at high intensity circuit training with bodyweight exercises and found individuals had similar or better health benefits to a traditional gym workout with equipment. Plyometric exercises are another great way to burn calories and get your heart rate up when you’re ready to do some jumping.
Body Weight Exercises Closely Mimic Real Life
When your body completes a “functional” exercise like squats or pushups you are training your body to complete those same movements more efficiently. Squatting down to pick up a child or pushing your self up off the floor becomes an easier task, lowering your injury risk and fatigue.
Limited Space and No Equipment? No Problem
If it seems like your house has been taken over by family toys or you’re struggling to find space to store equipment or get fit, bodyweight exercises are a great solution for you. Executed using your own body weight and gravity as resistance, a good mat and space to lay it out is all you need to get in a complete body workout. Exercise bands, free weights, machines, and stability balls are not a necessity to becoming or staying strong and healthy.
Improved Flexibility, Balance and Stability
After having a baby, muscle weakness and weight gain threaten your balance, posture and center of gravity. This can create instability in the body. Bodyweight exercises like planks, squats and pushups are a great way to improve your total body strength. Stretching, Pilates and yoga fall into the same category and will help with your overall range of motion, flexibility and posture. Paying attention to your muscles will help protect your joints and minimize lower back, hip, pelvic and shoulder pain.
No Expensive Gym Membership Required
Even with the best of intentions, gym memberships that rarely get used are a common occurrence among parents. Having a workout plan you can do at home without equipment takes away the need to keep paying that monthly bill to your local gym. Bodyweight exercises can be done indoors at home, outdoors at a park or track and in any hotel room when traveling, making it an inexpensive and convenient workout for moms!
The information contained in this article is provided for informational purposes only, and should not be used as a substitute for the advice of your physician or licensed health care provider. You should consult your physician or licensed health care provider before engaging in any exercise activity described in this article to determine if it is right for your needs.