Many of the physiological and morphological changes of pregnancy persist 4-6 weeks postpartum. Therefore, exercise routines should be resumed gradually only when medically and physically safe. Weight loss is often desired during the postpartum period, a time when women are often anxious to resume exercise routines quickly after delivery. Exercise complements the benefits of restricting calories and limiting portion sizes. Exercise helps achieve increased lean body mass, increased fat loss, and improved cardiovascular fitness. Women will be more successful at postpartum exercise if they have a plan and are confident in their ability to carry out the plan [73]. Healthcare providers can help women to identify barriers to exercise, including inclement weather, safety issues, lack of transportation, childcare, time, and cost, and to develop strategies to overcome these obstacles.

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