The Best Workout Programs for Nursing Mothers

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If you're looking to shed pounds after giving birth, a healthy diet and daily exercise is safe even if you are breastfeeding. The National Institutes of Health recommends losing weight slowly -- no more than a pound and a half a week if you're breastfeeding. Follow a moderate workout program during your postpartum months. Postpartum exercise improves your immune function and mood. Before you begin a workout program, check with your obstetrician or regular doctor.

Stroller Fitness

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Pushing a stroller while jogging or walking fast is one way to get cardio work in. A jogging stroller has three wheels for easy maneuvering when running or walking. Typically a jogging stroller has bigger wheels than a normal stroller and good suspension so that when you're running with it, your baby will have a bump-free ride. If you are looking for a no-cost option, pass on the three-wheeled stroller and put on your walking shoes. Walking is the recommended exercise during the early recovery stage, but once you are given clearance by your doctor, speed walking or jogging is perfectly safe.

Be-Fit Mom

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Founded by perinatal exercise specialist and author Helene Byrne, "Be-Fit Mom" helps women stay fit and healthy during and after their pregnancies. Offering an instructional DVD and several books, the "Be-Fit Mom" system rebuilds the abdominal wall from the inside out and develops core strength. The "Bounce Back Fast! Post Natal Core Conditioning" DVD features two progressive postpartum workouts, which blend Pilates, yoga and dance. With exercises demonstrated by actual postpartum moms, the first workout, "Gentle First Moves" offers restorative exercises that you may start just days after giving birth. The second workout, "Bounce Back Fast!" builds off the first program and provides a more challenging, total-body workout.

Mommy and Me Workout

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For a program that you can do in the comfort of your home with your baby, try the "Mommy and Me Workout." Developed by professional ballerina, Apphia Laune Noel, the curriculum combines classical ballet, jazz and yoga. The "Yoga-Dance for Mommy & Baby" DVD allows busy new moms the opportunity to regain their strength and muscle tone after pregnancy. This workout incorporates your baby into each movement, and includes yoga exercises to aid baby digestion, sleep, comfort and relaxation.

Yoga

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Yoga is beneficial during pregnancy and postnatal recovery -- it helps improve respiratory endurance, muscle strength and flexibility. Prenatal classes at your local yoga studio can help you train for labor and enhance your pregnancy experience notes Angela Gallagher in "Yoga for Moms-to-Be", published in the Yoga Journal. Yoga poses suggested for new moms that target the back and abdominal muscles include the Locust, Triangle, Downward-Facing Dog and Downward Plank.

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