February 9, 2015

How to achieve the perfect post-natal body…

So many celebrities seem to spring back into their size 0 jeans after three months of giving birth and you may wonder how they achieve this so quickly. Pilates expert and mum-of-two Sarah Vrancken (www.svpilates.com) here shares her tips on how to lose weight and tone up quickly…

First of all, you have to ask yourself the question what your perfect body is. Do you want to go back to your pre-pregnancy weight and shape or are you looking to lose some extra weight? After all, celebrities are under more pressure to be very slim, whilst that may not be the look you strive for. 

woman 2If you have had a normal delivery without any complications, then you can start exercising after six weeks. It is best to start gentle and focus on the two important supporting muscle groups of your core: the transversus abdominis, which is the muscle group that wraps around your belly holding your stomach in, and the pelvic floor muscle. The most effective exercises to work these muscles include the Plank position and the classic 100 Pilates position whilst breathing in the correct way, which means you pull in your belly button towards the spine when you exhale. It is so important to get the main stomach muscle to shorten during the post-natal period and doing the above mentioned exercises will help you to achieve this quicker.

In addition to toning exercises, it’s key to incorporate some cardiovascular exercise into your weekly routine that raises your heart rate significantly as it’s the most effective type of exercise to burn off fat. From running to spinning, as long as it makes you sweat and out of breath, it will help you to shed the weight. Of course, it’s not easy to find the time to exercise when looking after a newborn. That is why it can be worth investing in a running machine or spinning bike so that you can exercise at home when the little one is asleep.

However, through my own post-pregnancy exercise routines, I’ve learned one important lesson: you can never out-train your diet. To get results quickly, it’s important to have a healthy diet and stay away from processed food, alcohol, caffeine and sugar. I used the Paleo lifestyle as a template after the birth of each of my girls and this together with a consistent exercise routine helped my body to regain its pre-pregnancy shape. It’s not always easy to say no to that piece of chocolate cake when meeting up with friends, but if you can stay focused then the results will soon follow…