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Getting Your Shape Back

During pregnancy, we're told to eat healthy, balanced, nutritional diets and gain 25 to 35 pounds. For some of us, limiting it to 35 pounds is hard to do, especially when our bodies are craving all kinds of odd things. A craving for chocolate milkshakes by one of our subscribers resulted in a weight gain of over 70 pounds. Her doctor finally told her "no more milkshakes, you're gaining too much weight." Though she planned on heeding her doctor's advice, the decision was made much easier since her blender had given out from running so hard.

We all know how to put on weight, but how do we lose this excess weight after pregnancy? The process can be extremely difficult, even depressing at times. Our bodies may change so drastically - skin can stretch almost to the point of being transparent, and our hips can spread like we never knew they could. You have to have the initiative and willingness to exercise and change your eating habits in order to get back into shape!

It can take a long time to lose unwanted pounds. Since it took 9 months for your body to gain all that weight, give yourself at least 9 months to lose it. It will not disappear overnight, unless you're one of the fortunate women who pops right back into their old body immediately after delivering.

The first 20 pounds usually come right off after delivery. Shedding the rest will take a commitment by you to exercise and eat a sensible diet. Many women find it difficult to exercise because they're tired from caring for a new baby. Not liking the way you look, however, can serve as the best reminder that you'll have to overcome the fatigue and take action.

Most doctors recommend waiting six weeks before you begin any exercising routine, especially if you had a cesarean birth, so get the OK from your doctor first. The extra weight tends to balance between your tummy and hips, therefore you may want to start with simple exercises that work these areas the most.

Aerobic exercise increases your heart rate, and will have you huffing and puffing, burning off the pounds. Jogging, swimming, cycling, dancing, or a brisk walk are all great ways to shed those extra pounds. Always warm up before exercising with simple stretches. Remember to wear appropriate clothing and supportive shoes.

Stretching Tips

Shoulder Lifts - lift one shoulder up to your ear, let down, switch to the other shoulder, lift up to ear, let down. Repeat 5 times each side.

Shoulder Rolls - lift right shoulder, roll forward, move back and down, switch to other shoulder, lift, roll forward, move back and down. Repeat 5 times each side.

Neck Roll - standing straight, move right ear to right shoulder, return to center, repeat with left ear to left shoulder, return to center. Repeat 5 times.

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