Meet Furo Okoroh, fondly called “Furaya for fire”. She is a fit mom. She is happily married with two beautiful kids. Her commitment to living a fit lifestyle (especially after having kids) is such an inspiration, especially to moms. She believes there is no excuse for being complacent about one’s weight after marriage, hence one of her cool mantra, “Orobo no dey reign again“. Not only is she an exercise buff, she channels her college-days cooking skills into making great healthy meals for delivery to busy, fitness-aspiring people.
Furo’s regimen is tried and true ‘coz I’ve witnessed her journey. Here is her advice on getting great abs after having babies . Enjoy!!!
I remember when I first got pregnant, like every woman out there, I kept stressing about my weight gain as the numbers on the scale kept going up, “Why can’t the baby grow all by herself?
“Why do I have to get fat in the process?”
“Will my tummy ever go down again?”
These were questions I kept asking myself over the 9 months my tummy grew larger. But all my questions and crying didn’t stop my weight gain resulting from my ‘eating for 2’. So to maintain my sanity, I started my search online (google is your friend) and found out that contrary to
popular belief, sorry Nigerian belief, you can actually continue exercising while pregnant and the baby won’t fly out of your belly. In fact, studies show that you only need an additional 300-500 calories of food for the duration of the pregnancy.
So here are my tips to a sexy body and abs (before, during or after pregnancy)
- Water is your friend and you should drink about a gallon of water daily: Even though our bladders are already squished during pregnancy (who wants the extra trips to the toilet), your stomach and skin will thank you for the reduced water retention and glowing skin you get after the baby comes.
- Abs are made in the kitchen so you have to diet; but our mothers say we must eat and stuff our faces for the baby to thrive. I’m sure you’ve all heard “you must drink akamu (pap) for breast milk to flow”. LIES!! Don’t tell them I called them liars oh!
To clear a few misconceptions, diet doesn’t mean one should eat grass. When I say diet, I mean eating wholesome organic food, grown naturally from the ground and comprising one ingredient ONLY e.g.: brown rice, ingredient: brown rice, carrot, ingredient: carrot. Throw out processed beverages and embrace your British side, drink more tea instead and stop frying everything (I know someone just had a panic attack thinking about dodo). You can still get the same fried taste by grilling or air frying your meals while watching portion size. I have a trick to this: I always dish my food in a small plate, so when the plate is full, it tricks my mind into thinking I’m eating a big portion.
- Lastly, exercise. Do at least 30 mins of cardio daily. Whether walking, jogging or running, you can do either while pregnant with minimal risk to the baby. Running however is a higher risk exercise than most others. So if you weren’t previously an active runner, a pregnancy is not the time to start going out to get new running shoes, if you know what I mean.
For those who can, you could incorporate strength training to your exercise regime, using free weights or body weights (lifting weights boosts metabolism and speeds up weightloss). Some of the exercises you can do (amongst others) are:
- Squats: Squatting (with or without weights) is one of the best exercises you can do before during or after pregnancy, it works your glutes, thighs and abs, yes abs, because your abdominal muscles contract to aid in proper alignment of the back during a proper squat(stand with your feet shoulder width apart and keep your toes pointed forward, keep your back straight and extend your arms out to level with shoulders, tighten your abs and push the hips back as you descend in to the squat, making sure your knees don’t bend over your toes. Repeat 12 to 15x for 3 reps) giving you well-toned abs over time.
- Bridges: There are so many variations to the bridge, but the basic techniques to move your hips towards the ceiling while lying flat with your legs drawn towards your body. This exercise as with the squat, works your glutes, thighs and abs, it also strengthens the lower back.
- Lunges: I personally don’t like this particular exercise, but when you start seeing those lovely cuts on your thighs, you will also love to hate them like I do…
- Side planks: Finally!! Exercise that works the abs primarily.
- Leg raises: These work the thighs but are also great for the belly because the abs are used to stabilize the body during the movement.
Notice I didn’t mention sit ups or crunches or full planks, because those increase your chances of having diastasis recti (topic for another day) and make matters even worse, giving you that dome shape or pouch that never seems to go away even after the baby has turned 2!!
So in summary: Diet first! Cardio second!! Building muscle third and abs exercises last!!! Remember, #orobonodeyreignagain
Thanks Furo!!! Looking forward to more tips from you. *feeling motivated*
Okay, people! You’ve heard it from the exercise buff herself. I am into crunches but recently my hubby warned me about the risks and this post was timely to remind me and everyone out there trying to slay with their abs. So like Galaxy Note 7, I’m taking back all the crunching advice I gave out?. If you must crunch, seek professional advice. Stay fit ladies. Yes, you can!
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