After being completely focused on your pregnancy for nine months, it is now time to adapt your body without the baby bump. As you heal and get into the swing of new motherhood, you might start preparing your postpartum body with light exercise or a walk. It may take up to a year to start feeling and looking like your old self again, but with patience and persistence you can definitely achieve a healthy postpartum body.

Here is our month-on-month guide to exercise your postpartum weight off!

Month 1:

Only after your doctor has given a nod and you’re feeling ok, you can begin with a light walk, even if it’s for only 10 minutes or on your terrace. If walking causes or worsens any bleeding, stop immediately and consult your doctor.

Month - 1

Month 2:

Now you may gradually increase the length of your walks to 20-25 minutes a day. Try to walk at least five days every week. Building consistency is key!

Month - 2

Month 3:

You can now start to incorporate a Kegel routine, re-strengthening or even re-familiarizing yourself with your pelvic floor muscles which are affected during the process of giving birth. You can try this  3-4 times a day:

  • Lie on your back with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor.
  • Tighten the muscles of your vagina (as if you’re trying to interrupt the flow of urine when going to the bathroom).
  • Hold for a count of ten, then release. Repeat ten times.
  • Do at least three or four sets, three times a day.

Month - 3

Month 4:

In the fourth month post your pregnancy, you can think of adding a light workout like stretching or yoga. They are both great forms of exercise for the new mother whose body is still recovering but yoga definitely helps you strengthen your pelvic a lot. You can begin with:

  • Sit upright and breathe deeply, drawing air from the diaphragm upward.
  • Contract and hold your abs tight while inhaling and relax while exhaling.
  • Gradually increase the amount of time you can contract and hold your abs.

Month - 4

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Month 5:

The fifth month postpartum is a good time to really start to add some form of vigorous and more regular exercise back into your life. Think about motivating yourself by joining a gym, signing up for classes, or even hiring a personal trainer. You should also increase your walks to at least 45 minutes a day.

Month - 5

Month 6:

In the 6th month, you can begin with a new challenge like swimming which is gentle on the joints and pelvic floor, but is great for strengthening the core and back muscles.

Month - 6

Month 7:

You can add more cardio to your earlier set routine of walking by incorporating step climbing or a little jogging to it. For toning your body, you can think about trying out Pilates. It is fabulous for the postpartum body because it strengthens your core, reduces stress, gets blood flowing, and increases flexibility.

Month - 7

Month 8:

By now you must walk up to 60 minutes a week. Along with it attend a 45 minutes class 3 to 4 times every week. This will help your body to improve its metabolism and you can even alternate between cardio and strength building workouts.

Month - 8

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Month 9:

Exercise six days a week. Follow your normal walking routine for four days; on two days, you can add treadmill or stepper for some added cardio.

Month - 9

After following this exercise schedule for the next nine months, you will see your body transform in to a healthy and fitter body. Continue with this routine for upto one year to lose all the postpartum weight. Pregnancy is a wonderful phase and even though you might be in a rush to get rid of that pregnancy weight, you must listen to your body and its signs and do only as much as your body allows. Good luck!

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Namita Nayyar, the President and owner of Womenfitness.org, has studied in-depth about exercise and nutrition, both normal and therapeutic. She is an M.Sc. (Gold Medalist), Nutrition & Fitness Expert (IFA). Women Fitness is a world leading website on women health and fitness in India. It believes that every woman can achieve her desired body if she believes in herself and works wholeheartedly to achieve a healthy and fit body. Their mission is to support each woman to achieve their fitness goal.

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