Before 29-year-old Page Powers of Los Angeles became pregnant with her first child, she was in the best shape of her life. "Cooper was conceived on my honeymoon. Prior to my wedding, I was doing cardio three times a week, yoga twice a week, and lifting weights with a trainer," she says. And now? "Since giving birth four months ago, I've gone to the gym four times."
The pregnancy plus the lack of exercise have left extra padding on Powers' abs, hips, buttocks, and arms. "I'm close to my pre-pregnancy weight, but my body is far from the way it used to be," she says. "My stomach got stretched out and my midsection is extra flabby." Her goals: Fit back into her jeans and look good in a swimsuit on the beach this summer. Her challenge: Finding time to work out, since caring for Cooper takes almost all day and night. "I'm majorly sleep-deprived," she confesses.
To help Powers reach her goals within her time constraints, Child scheduled a session with Kathy Kaehler, the Today show's fitness correspondent, who whipped Michelle Pfeiffer, Lisa Kudrow, and Meg Ryan back into shape after their pregnancies. "Page's problem is typical," says Kaehler. "Many new moms think, 'I can't get a shower before 2 o'clock, let alone get to the gym, so I'm not going to work out.' The reality is that you don't have to go to the gym or even do your exercise routine all at once for it to be effective."
So Kaehler devised this 15-minute, at-home workout regimen, which targets Powers' trouble spots (common to many new moms). Her advice: Perform this routine at least three times a week, and steal a few moments every day for super-short bouts of exercise -- 30 seconds of jumping jacks or 200 revolutions of skipping rope. "In several months, you'll not only tone up and drop a few pounds, but your cardiovascular fitness and overall strength will improve too," Kaehler says. For quicker results, add 30 to 45 minutes of aerobics three times a week.
Still, Kaehler cautions new moms to be patient -- it took her a year and a half to get back into shape after her twins and one year after her third child. "Resist comparing yourself to other women; you'll only end up stressed and anxious," she advises. "Your body is individual and it's going to change at its own pace -- just keep up your workouts and you will get your body back." Promise.