Here, five mom-friendly fitness moves from Pilates instructor and fitness expert Asha Macam.
#1 Baby-bonding cardio
Weather permitting (best early in the morning so it’s not too hot for baby), get yourself and the stroller ready so you and baby can go out for a walk or jog. While it goes without saying that your heart will get its much needed workout, baby’s senses also unlock to receive a variety of cues like different sounds and smells outside the crib. Do 20 or 30 minutes of this cardio-based, bulge-burning routine. Make sure to have a full water bottle in tow and a towel to dry off.
#2 Easy does it
Start with slow yet rhythmic routines like yoga, tai chi, and Pilates, which not only let you focus on breathing (essential for speeding up metabolism because your body is efficiently using up oxygen) and relaxing muscles (like abs and arms) to strengthen and tone up as you take control of movement. This also works for expectant moms.
#3 Beat bloating
Give your foodstuff a quick scan. Are these a part of your daily diet: sugar alcohols in your coffee and sodas, white starches like bread, rice, potatoes, and deeply fried food that gets processed in your stomach forever? If your answer is yes to these gas-promoting items, then it’s time to increase your fiber intake. This means switching to browner food and staying away from hydrogenated oils. Fat attaches to fiber so you can say bye-bye to bloating.
#4 Manage your meals
Eating more isn’t necessarily a bad thing. It just means spacing your meals so you don’t overeat some hours. Go big on breakfast so you’re fuller most of the day and have filling snacks in between like a cereal bar (packed with nutrients and fiber), a fruit shake, or half a cup of nuts (almonds and walnuts are especially ab-slimming). Also try these diet tricks: Spread out your food in your plate so it appears fuller. You can also place more vegetables instead of rice so you get more fiber and the feeling of fullness faster.
#5 Mind over matter
Loving your shape and knowing how to dress it is perhaps the smartest trick you can use when picking the perfect-fitting swimsuit. Are you a pear, an apple, or a curvy figure eight? Decoding your shape, skin tone, and assets can dictate the appropriate print, color, and cut of your swimsuit, which makes for wise and speedy decisions.
This article first appeared in Urban Mom magazine.