Recapture Your Form: 5 At-Home Post-Pregnancy Circuit Routines!

Not sure how to fit fitness into your schedule as a new mom? Try these quick, do-it-at-home workouts.

The arrival of your bundle of joy means saying goodbye to the giant orb your midsection grew to the last nine months. You also no longer have to worry about random people touching that giant orb as if it wasn't actually part of your body.

Despite the incredible joys you might experience having your child, you might have some weight-related worries lingering around. Perhaps it is not surprising that studies show most women gain an average of about 30 pounds during pregnancy. Many of us end up gaining way more than that!

There is good news! Within a month after giving birth, most women lose approximately 18-to-20 pounds. But what do we do when the body takes a "pregnant pause" shedding those extra ten pounds? Your body might be different after your pregnancy, but that doesn't mean it's incapable of losing that weight. You just need a little patience and consistent exercise, not to mention a healthy, clean diet to get back into shape.

I get it though, trust me. Working out is the LAST thing you want to do when you're only getting a few hours of sleep and you feel exhausted. But even short, easy workouts can help you sustain energy through the day, restore your abdominal muscle tone, improve your mood, relieve stress and permit you to sleep better at night.

Exercise is also helpful to control postpartum depression. According to a 2009 study, "Home-based exercise is an effective and feasible intervention for alleviating symptoms of depressed mood in the postpartum."

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) suggests you can begin exercising when you feel ready, but you need to talk with your doctor before you begin a program. The ACOG also explains that if you've had a cesarean or difficult birth, it may take a bit longer to feel ready for exercise.

The following circuit routines can be done in 15 minutes! They are safe, effective and can be incorporated into your busy schedule. What's the best part about them? You can do them at home!

Each of these exercises can be tailored to fit your goals. If you are new to working out, try using lighter weight. If you are used to being active, use heavier weight or increase the intensity of the repetitions or sets.

  • Do them every other day; you need to get a good day of rest between on-days.
  • If you'd like to up the ante, try doing these circuits twice per day.
  • To do these home workouts, you need a yoga mat, dumbbells, stability ball, bench or a chair. You can find these items in any sports store. Or, you can use things from home.
  • Do all moves one after another; rest 10 seconds between each exercise. Repeat circuit three times.

Add more activities to this routine like going for a stroll with your baby, walking in the mall, using stairs instead of elevator ore playing outside with your kids.

Warm up and stretch before you begin training. After you are done, include some cool-down activities and stretching.

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A randomized clinical trial of exercise to alleviate postpartum depressed mood. Journal of psychosomatic obstetrics and gynecology, 2009; 30: 191-200.