One of the questions I often get asked is how I lost all the baby weight. It’s honestly not a big secret. Unfortunately, I didn’t take a magical pill that melted away all of the extra pounds. But I have consistently done one certain postpartum exercise that I believe has significantly helped with losing the baby weight.
I gained a total of 40 pounds during my pregnancy, and lost it all by 3 months postpartum. I exercised 3 times a week up until labor. The exercises before and during my pregnancy included jogging and light weight lifting. I am a firm believer that exercising during pregnancy helps you lose weight after birth!
However, after becoming a mom, I have found it harder and harder to go to the gym or exercise. It’s not easy with a little baby (although she’s more like a toddler now). But it is still so important to stay active and to find ways to incorporate physical activity into your day.
Related post: How to Stay Active as a Stay at Home Mom
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So, what’s the best postpartum exercise for weight loss?
Okay, I know you’re probably like, “yea right Lauren, you don’t just lose weight from walking”. But trust me, you can!
Walking truly is the best postpartum exercise. It’s low impact, which is good because you shouldn’t be doing strenuous activity until 6 weeks postpartum, or until you are cleared by your doctor.
Doing a light stroll with your little babe gets the blood flowing, calories burning and allows your baby to be a part of your postpartum exercise routine. You can also make the exercise more strenuous as you progress in your postpartum journey.
Benefits of walking
Walking for at least 30 minutes a day has amazing health benefits such as:
- increased cardiovascular (heart) + pulmonary (lung) fitness
- stronger bones
- stress reduction (much needed if you’re a mom!)
- reduced appetite
- reduced body fat
- increased strength
You burn roughly 65-100 calories per mile that you walk, and even more depending on terrain and how fast you move. It’s also light on the joints so you won’t get as many aches and pains, which you really could do without after having a baby (betterhealth). You don’t have to be a marathon runner in order to see weight loss results.
Variations of walking
If you’ve hit the 6 week mark and have been cleared by your doctor, you may be considering upping your postpartum exercise game.
When you’re pushing your little one in the stroller, there are added movements or different ways to make the exercise more intense:
- add lunges while walking
- tone your arms by adding weights underneath the stroller to make it heavier to push
- pushing the stroller up slopes and hills
Incorporate walking into your routine
The main reason why walking has been the best postpartum exercise for me is because it is so easy to incorporate into my routine.
I currently go on 2 walks a day for 30 minutes each. Once in the morning and once in the evening before dinner.
I don’t have to think twice about getting my walk in for the day because it is now a huge part of our daily routine.
Make walking more fun
You might think walking seems boring, but there are ways I make the exercise more enjoyable:
- listen to music
- listen to a podcast (my favorite thing to do)
- walk somewhere scenic
- find other moms to walk with – we walk with a group of moms and their babies once a week and it’s amazing!
I used to dread having to go on runs because my joints would always ache. Now, I do a very brisk walk instead and I love it. I don’t feel the pressure to exercise, I genuinely want to. And I feel great afterwards. It sets the tone for the entire day. Not mention, I have 100 percent seen results.
I think it goes without saying you have to incorporate other healthy lifestyle choices, such as eating healthy and drinking more water, if you really want results. But, walking is such a great place to start when it comes to postpartum exercise.
My daughter also LOVES it. She gets to be outside and witness her mom taking care of herself by staying active.
Cheers to being our happiest and healthiest selves, mamas!