Pamela Berens M.D., professor of obstetrics and gynecology at the University of Texas Medical School recommends beginning a stroller workout six-weeks after childbirth. Prior to then, it is essential to let your body recover. But do not become sedentary. Dr. Berens suggests taking 10- 20 minute walks after returning home from the hospital to keep you moving, reduce stress levels, and decrease risk of postpartum depression.
In an article in Parenting, Berens offers instructions for a 26-minute stroller workout you can do with your newborn and other moms. The workout uses a method of interval training by alternating between walking at challenging and slower paces.
1. Warm up by walking at a moderate pace for 5 minutes. Keep your shoulders back, spine long, and stroller 6- 10 inches from you hips.
2. Walk at a challenging pace for 30 seconds. You should be aware of your breathing and have trouble carrying on a conversation.
3. Walk at light, moderate pace for 60 seconds.
4. Alternate the challenging 30 seconds and moderate 60 seconds 12 times for a total of 18 minutes.
5. Cool down by walking at an easy pace for 3 minutes.
When you feel ready, increase the time of the challenging walk to 45 seconds and that of the moderate pace to 90 seconds.
Your workout will now be 35 minutes. After approximately 4- 6 weeks of building your stamina, intensify your workout by adding minutes or increasing your pace. When beginning, Dr. Berens recommends working out 3 days a week.
When you feel comfortable, add a fourth and then a fifth day to your workout.
Don’t stress if you do not lose pregnancy weight right away. Parenting reminds new moms it is completely normal not to reach pre-pregnancy weight for a full year. However, the stroller workout will make it easy to lose weight in a manner that is healthy and fun.
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