Dance, Dance, Dance

Way back in the day, I was lucky enough to have a local Prenatal (then a Baby and Mom) exercise class nearby. I met most of my best Mom friends there and is was a fantastic way to connect with other new moms to be and get moving, too. Sometimes the schedule just didn’t work (some days are like that) and knowing there is a DVD on your shelf can be all the motivation you need to work out at home. Here is an option for the days you need it from a dancer, choreographer and frankly, someone way too fit to be in my class.

Prenatal Dance – Three DVD Giveaway

Use the Rafflecopter below for a chance to win and hopefully you’ve ordered your Dear Kates…just in case.

Guest Post by Menina Fortunato

Menina’s top 10 list on getting back into shape after baby..

Allow your body to rest and recover right after birth. As eager as you might be to start working out again and get your pre-pregnancy body back, your body needs time to heal. Take a few weeks to enjoy your baby until your physician gives you the OK to start being physically active again.
In the first few weeks after birth, take long walks with your baby in a baby carrier. Carrying the extra weight is a great way to burn fat and improve cardio. It’s also a great time to bond with your baby and get fresh air all at the same time.
Turn playtime into workout time and incorporate your baby into your workout. Putting your baby in a carrier or sling and doing squats or lunges is effective for toning the lower body. Do push ups while your baby is laying on the floor underneath you and kiss them every time you go down near their face. Babies love the face to face interaction. Sit on the floor in a seated straddle split and lay your baby in front of you. Reach forward as far as you can and play with your baby while you stretch your hips and legs. A little creativity can go a long way.
Breastfeed, breastfeed and breastfeed. I cannot emphasize this enough. There are countless benefits for your baby, but also for you, as the mother. Breastfeeding helps the uterus contract back into place which helps for a speedy recovery. According to WebMD, a mother can burn up to 500 calories a day with breastfeeding alone.
Someone once told me “abs are made in the kitchen”. This is so true. If you want a flat tummy after baby, eating healthy is even more important than working out. What you eat can and will affect your body and your overall health. Eat a clean organic diet full of nutrient dense whole foods. Avoid processed foods, refined sugars and carbs. Remember if you are breastfeeding, what you eat will pass onto your baby. Give your baby and your body the best quality foods for optimal health.
Continue taking your prenatal vitamins even after pregnancy. Other supplements that I highly recommend are cod liver oil (to boost the immune system and maintain strong teeth and bones) since pregnant a nursing women a more prone to tooth decay. Take encapsulated placenta. YES, I said the placenta. The idea of eating your placenta may gross you out, but it is one of the most nutritious things you can eat. Do you know that we are the only mammals that don’t eat our placenta after birth? Eating the placenta has many health benefits. It can help prevent or minimize post-partum depression, increase energy levels, enrich milk production and balance hormone levels.
If can be tricky to leave your baby and go to the gym or take a group exercise class in the first few months. Working out at home is convenient for new moms. You can workout while your baby sleeps. Choose your favorite workout video, move your furniture if you need to and workout at home.
New moms can relate to other new moms, so why not workout together? Go for walks, whether in a baby carrier or stroller. This allows you to exercise, and be social.
There are a number of group classes worth trying (ie. stroller strides, dancing in a sling dance classes, mommy & me yoga etc). When you and your baby are ready, you can also take group classes on your own without your baby. Dance, yoga, Pilates are some of my personal favorites since there is a lot of core work that help tone the midsection.
When you are ready to workout, start slow and gradually intensify your workout as you feel stronger. Remember your body has been working overtime for months carrying the baby, going through childbirth and then recovering. Take your time getting back into shape. Set realistic goals. It took 9 months for your body to gain the weight, so it’s realistic to expect that it should take around the same amount of time to go back to your pre-pregnancy weight.

prenatal dance dvd with menina

Menina Fortunato is a dancer, teacher, and choreographer who has shared the stage and screen with many celebrities including: Britney Spears, Victoria Justice, Beyonce, Carmen Electra, ZZ Top, and Carrie Underwood, to name a few. “Prenatal Dance” will show expecting women how to safely work out with a series of non-impact, sassy dance combinations, followed by a relaxing cool-down that will help mothers connect with their baby.

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