Right now, Duchess Kate is recovering from the royal birth, but just like any other new mom, she’ll soon be thinking about getting back into shape. But according to fitness instructor and mother of three Karen Vizueta, who developed the new mom-oriented Baby Bounce Back class at New York Sports Clubs, Kate shouldn’t be in too much of a hurry to exercise.
“The usual wait time is six weeks after the birth,” says Vizueta. “For C-sections, it’s 12 weeks. So, don’t be too eager — there’s a lot of damage that needs to be sufficiently healed. It’s usual for moms to get clearance to exercise from their doctor at the six-week check-up.”
Before that, you can start with gentle walks. But even with a doctor’s permission, don’t expect to jump back into your normal gym routine. “It’s baby steps, no pun intended,” jokes Vizueta. “It took nine months to put the weight on and muscles have become stretched and weakened. Go slowly. Don’t expect to do what you did before the pregnancy.“
Vizueta advises taking a class like hers, a mix of Pilates and cardio, once or twice a week, and also doing some exercises at home during your baby’s nap time. One thing that she says is essential is to not feel guilty about taking some "you" time — getting back into shape isn’t just about vanity.
“Exercising helps relieve stress, alleviate depression and decrease post-partum depression," says Vizueta. "It gets the endorphins going, so it’s helping more than just the body. It’s a great way for new moms to get out of the home. I always tell my class, ‘A healthier mom means a healthier baby.'”
“There’s cardio to burn calories and lose weight, strength training and exercises to sculpt butt and thighs,” says Vizueta. “It also helps balance with creating stability in the ankles. [With] all the bending and picking up that a new mom does, the squats will teach the proper way and [how to] avoid back pain.”
Do 10-12 reps of each of the exercises outlined in the slideshow above, in this order, Vizueta says. Then, repeat the entire workout twice.