Mum and baby in good form – the trainer advises how to combine the active lifestyle with motherhood

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Pregnancy is a beautiful period in the woman’s life. Expecting and then coming into the world of a little person changes everything. However, in addition to the life changes, it also brings alterations in the woman’s body and its appearance. After labour it is worth looking after oneself, starting quickly – the later the start, the longer wait for satisfying effects. Dear mums – it’s the end of giving excuses of lack of time. How to return to the old form and how exercises with a child can help? Those and other questions are answered by Agnieszka Bajer-Ciszewska, fitness trainer and nutritional specialist.

Sweet excess baggage

During the pregnancy the body dramatically changes. The first thing the woman notices – except the enlarged breasts – is the body mass increase. The extra kilograms are made up of: baby’s weight, placenta, amniotic fluid, enlarged breasts and uterus, water retention in the body. In addition, the amount of stored body fat increases – on the one hand, metabolism changes, on the other – it is the result of lower activity and often the proverbial eating for two – especially the sweets. There is no such thing as ideal body weight during the pregnancy – each woman puts on weight differently. However, it is possible to indicate certain rules and the range of weight based on the BMI values of the future mother. In case of women with the correct BMI the norm is approx. 11 – 15 kg weight gain. In the case of underweight women in can reach 13 – 18 kg, and in those with more rounded shapes – 7 – 10 kg. – Most of those extra kilograms disappear in few weeks after the labour; however, with the rest each mum must deal herself– says Agnieszka Bajer-Ciszewska. – It is time to stop believing that if we breastfeed – body naturally loses weight on its own. The nature is not so kind, so we need to take care of our good appearance and well-being ourselves.

Activity with the toddler

During 9 months the woman’s body loses its firmness, extra inches appear on thighs and hips, stretch marks become a nightmare and the burden carried over the several months has treacherous effects on the spine. All of those less pleasant aspects of pregnancy can be overcome or at least minimised – just a little regular exercise is enough. Infants are quite capricious, so not every mum can afford a daily hour of gymnastics. An ideal solution is spending active time with the little one. – The basic activity each day should be walks. As they are recommended to children, use this time also for your own health. Instead of sitting for a few quarters of an hour on the nearby bench – establish routes, which will get longer every day. Increase the speed, too. Running with the pram is a discipline undertaken more and more willingly by the Polish mothers. If the weather and child’s mood allow it – we should go out twice a day – says the expert. When we forget of the hardships of labour and our body rests enough – we can start exercising at home. Many exercises can be performed with the child – such solution will allow us find time not only for our activity, but will also help in the little one’s development, for whom observing the moving mum will be a stimulant comparable to colourful, jumping toys. Which exercises are recommended by the trainer? – One of the lighter, yet effective exercises is squats. If our heath allows, we can do push-ups. Lying on the blanket near the baby we ensure it additional stimuli – mum’s face coming closer and moving away will be a perfect stimulation. Moreover, the child may be an additional burden, e.g. during squats or moving it up and down in the lying or standing position – it is a popular game, which affects well the muscles of arms and back – hints Agnieszka Bajer-Ciszewska.

Both during exercises and daily walks do not forget of the appropriate diet. Light meals, limiting empty calories, and mainly appropriate hydration of the body are the most important characteristics of a healthy menu. Nursing mother should also remember that every consumed meal affects the quality of her food. During lactation the demand for water increases, and if mum is additionally active, she should increase the amount of fluid intake. The best and safest drink is water – however, not every water. Nursing mother should reach for crystal clear water with a low content of sodium, best recommended by the institutions specialised in assessing the children’s products, such as for example the Mammy and me water.

Water play

From month to month the baby understands more, the mum regains her form – both can afford to be more active. For some time swimming pool classes with infants have been growing in popularity. It is a very interesting alternative for the development classes on the home blanket. First of all, for a small child it is still a natural environment – it reminds of a mother’s womb. Theoretically, during such lesson the baby may participate from the second month of its life; however, different sources give different ages ideal to begin the water adventure – usually it is third, fourth month. – Water games with parents on the one hand are a great fun for the baby, positively influencing its development; on the other hand – they have a considerable impact on building the family bond. It is a perfect alternative for daily plays – advises the expert.

Getting back into shape after the pregnancy causes many women to have sleepless nights. However, even with a small child, who mainly eats, cries and sleeps, it is possible – and with positive results for both sides. A little exercise each day on order for the body to regain former shine, at the same time supporting the child’s development.

Dr Agnieszka Bajer-Ciszewska fitness trainer and nutritional specialist

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Expert bio:

The owner of the “Ciszewska Pilates Studio”. Experienced trainer of AFP, presenter and lecturer at workshops, conventions and fitness training; participant and host of TV programs dedicated to fitness. A graduate of the University of Physical Education in Wroclaw, where she wrote her doctoral thesis as part of the Faculty of Anatomy and Anthropometrics. She also completed postgraduate studies at the Food and Nutrition Institute in Warsaw, her course being “Food, nutrition and health”. A certified fitness instructor with 13-years of experience, specialised in Pilates, body ball, Schwinn cycling, Nordic walking, and also a dancer holding the international “S” class.

More information about the expert can be found on the following website: www.pilatesbielany.pl