postpartum fitness mythsCrunches are the best way to get rid of your new “mummy tummy.”

False
Traditional crunches don’t work your core, the deeper muscles affected by childbirth. If you’re not sure what exercises address those muscles, try a Pilates class, which can show you.

Most moms can hit the gym six weeks after giving birth.

True
Once you get the green light from your healthcare provider, look for gyms that offer free babysitting services; some care for infants as young as three months.

Mini-workouts can be just as effective as one long session.

True
Quickie workouts for busy new moms are fine, provided you really get down to business when you do them.

Mommy-and-me fitness classes have limited benefits.

False
You can burn some serious calories with a stroller-walking group for new moms, or you can improve muscle tone by taking a yoga class with baby. You’ll also get time to bond—with your baby and with other moms.

If I had a C-section, a difficult birth, or complications, I should start exercising asap.

False
Start when you feel up to it and know you will keep at it. Exercise over time is more important than starting right away after birth.

Even if I exercise, I’ll never get my pre-baby body back.

True or false
Honestly, this can be false for some people (like Giselle). And if you’re as dedicated to working out as she is, it’ll probably be false for you, too. What’s definitely true is that if you stay active, set reasonable expectations, and have fun, you’ll look fit, and you’ll be more likely to be healthy and happy—and what’s more attractive than that?

Sources: Momover: The New Mom’s Guide to Getting It Back Together (Even if You Never Had It in the First Place!) by Dana Wood; acog.org