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Dropping Those Stubborn Post-Pregnancy Pounds, Part 1: Interval Training

Updated on December 4, 2014
Motivation is the key to success!
Motivation is the key to success!

Losing that stubborn baby weight can be extremely frustrating. Trust me, I know from experience! After recently having my son I am currently in the midst of losing the remainder of my baby weight, and I have discovered some awesome techniques along the way that have REALLY worked. During my pregnancy I gained close to 50 pounds. I gave birth to a big, healthy, baby boy, who is the greatest joy in my life. Being in two weddings about five months after having my son was born has really made me feel the pressure to lose this weight. Immediately after having him I was pleasantly surprised to have the first 20 pounds just disappear. Of course, after losing all of the water weight, the rest of the weight didn't want to come off so easily. At times it can be discouraging and frustrating, but I am slowly peeling those difficult pounds off and have discovered some tips and tricks that really work. Take control of your life today and lose those stubborn baby pounds that I am sure you won’t miss!

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After delivering via a vaginal or caesarean birth it is important to get approved by your physician before you start an exercise routine. With caesarean deliveries, such as my own, it can take up to six weeks or longer before you get approved to exercise. Even when you are approved and you are anxiously waiting to start working out, I would recommend starting slowly. Taking walks is the perfect way to start building your body back to its pre-pregnancy strength.

With a fairly nice community, after giving birth and having a few weeks of rest, my husband and I began taking one to two mile walks around a trail in our community. I felt that this was a great place to start, but I knew that if I really wanted to shed the pounds, I had to gradually increase the intensity and frequency of my workouts. Turning to a treadmill, for the interval training that I’ll discuss below, really helped to force my body and mind beyond the limits that I had difficulty achieving when simply walking around our community.

What is Interval Training?

Interval training is a newer form of cardiovascular exercise and is becoming increasingly more popular. Interval training is defined as a series of low- to high- intensity exercise workouts interspersed with rest of relief periods. This type of exercise continues to burn calories even hours after you finish your workout. Research has shown that interval training increases fitness and burns more calories in a shorter period of time than a steady paced cardio workout. This is the form of exercise that many professional athletes use! Fitness guru and the Biggest Loser veteran, Jillian Michaels, was quoted saying “Interval Training is a top fat and calorie torcher.” Let’s face it, with a newborn baby you are NOT going to have loads of time for working out; therefore you need to maximize your exercise routine!

Interval training works by pushing your body from an aerobic to anaerobic state. The object of interval training is to push your body past its aerobic threshold for a few moments (into the anaerobic phase) and then returns back to its aerobic state. This in turn improves your bodies conditioning with speed, endurance, and strength.

Aerobic vs Anaerobic:

Aerobic vs Anaerobic basically refers to the “presence” and “absence” of oxygen. When you are working out “aerobically” your body has sufficient oxygen. The body has all the oxygen it needs to keep the body running and to power your muscles. When you are working out “anaerobically” there is NOT sufficient oxygen present. That is why in interval training you only transition into the “anaerobic” state for a brief period of time.

The following chart that I found is very helpful in further explaining interval training and has many helpful tips and workout ideas!

Source

Prior to the start of your Interval Training:

-Consult with your physician.

-Always warm up to prevent an injury.

-Always cool down and stretch at the end.

-Always incorporate high intensity and low intensity periods.

-Always customize the workout routine to meet your specified goals.

Blast the fat:

The form of interval training that I love and have actually come to enjoy is completed on a treadmill. This is my favorite form of interval training. The results are tremendous and it only takes 25 minutes to complete this workout. The combination of high-intensity spurts altered with rest periods is the key to burn the weight fast. The key to this work out is alternating a minute of walking with a minute of running. This workout is quite simple, please read the following table for the exact breakdown.

Interval Training: Treadmill

Warmup
Fast Walk/Fast Run
Cool Down
Slow Walk: 2-3 minute
Fast Walk:1 minute
Slow Walk: 2 minute
 
Fast Run: 1 minute
 
 
Fast Walk: 1 minute
 
 
Fast Run: 1 minute
 
 
Fast Walk: 1 minute
 
 
Fast Run: 1 minute
 
 
Fast Walk: 1 minute
 
 
Fast Run: 1 minute
 
 
Fast Walk: 1 minute
 
 
Fast Run: 1 minute
 
 
Fast Walk: 1 minute
 
 
Fast Run: 1 minute
 
 
Fast Walk: 1 minute
 
 
Fast Run: 1 minute
 
 
Fast Walk: 1 minute
 
 
Fast Run: 1 minute
 
 
Fast Walk: 1 minute
 
 
Fast Run: 1 minute
 
 
Fast Walk: 1 minute
 
 
Fast Run: 1 minute
 

The thing that I LOVE about this workout is that the one minute run goes REALLY fast. For me who HATES running this is a life-saver. Honestly, anyone can really do almost any type of workout for ONE minute. The 25 minutes goes by very quickly and at the end of it I feel like I had an intense workout. To be quite honest, I sweat more from doing this than any other type of workout. I can easily pop on the treadmill almost every day to do this when my son is down for a nap or in bed for the night. I can’t believe I am saying this, but I actually enjoy doing this workout. We are considering putting a TV in front of the treadmill; however right now I listen to music while I am working out and I really enjoy this time.

This is Where It All Happens in My Home....

Hours of Research Went Into Creating Our Home Workout Space!

In addition to using the treadmill for interval training, you can also use the elliptical, stairclimber, and stationary bike. Another great interval training exercise is sprinting outside. With sprinting you can alternate between a slow jog for your "resting period" and a full out sprint for your "high intensity period." Interval training at its core is very simple, working your body at it's max for a short period of time and allowing your best to rest for a short period of time and repeating this several times. The key is to allow rest periods for your body after each high intensity spurt.

Beginner vs. Advanced:

If interval training seems to intense and intimidating, not to worry, the nice thing with interval training is that you can moderate it to your personal level. For the high intensity period you can work at just a slightly higher pace than normal to start out. For beginners, at the end of the high intensity period you should feel tired and winded but not gasping for air. It takes some time to build up, but starting conservatively will help you to stick to your workout plan! I feel that it is always better to start small and build your way up to something great!

What is your favorite piece of exercise equipment to use? Why?

See results

I hope that you have found inspiration from this article. While it can be frustrating to lose those pounds, there are ways you can slowly peel them off. It is important to incorporate an exercise routine into your daily life, and this can be a great way to get started. Working with a friend/spouse/relative can also help you achieve your goals. I have found that having a workout buddy helps to keep my accountable. Achieving your goal with hard work and sweat feels like an amazing award. I know that I feel proud of myself and I know my son will be too!

You can start with baby steps and you will succeed!
You can start with baby steps and you will succeed!

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    • torrilynn profile image

      torrilynn 4 years ago

      amazing hub. really enjoyed it. thanks

    • DIYmommy profile image
      Author

      Julie 4 years ago

      Thank you torrilynn :) I am glad you enjoyed the hub!

    • Dorsi profile image

      Dorsi Diaz 4 years ago from The San Francisco Bay Area

      What a great hub DIY for people seeking detailed advice on how these exercises work to help you shed the pounds (BTW nice workout area! and I love those prints from VistaPrint, great idea!)

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 4 years ago

      Great post and this will help many women to lose those stubborn pounds. It is something that is much needed.

    • DIYmommy profile image
      Author

      Julie 4 years ago

      Dorsi-thank you for the nice comment! We absolutely love our work out area and use it all the time :)

      Teaches12345-thank you! It can be so difficult to lose the post-pregnancy weight and I love to help people as much as I can!

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