Now that Beyoncé and Jay-Z have welcomed Blue Ivy Carter into the world, it's time to get back to work. In the days since Blue's birth, Jay has already released a track, "Glory," featuring his baby girl, making her the youngest person ever to appear on a Billboard chart. But for new mom Bey, the road back to headlining tours and music videos starts with getting her enviable physique back in tip-top shape.
Beyoncé is known for many things, and her bangin' body is right at the top of the list — hers was the bod that inspired a new word, "Bootylicious," after all. The pop superstar has always been the picture of health and happiness, and to celebrity trainer Jeanette Jenkins — who helped Pink and "Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol" star Paula Patton get back in shape after their pregnancies — that's half the challenge.
"Working out should have been a part of a new mom's regimen before she got pregnant, while she was pregnant, and for the rest of her life," Jenkins told MTV News. "It should be part of your daily life, just like brushing your teeth or combing your hair. It's your internal hygiene.
"The goal should not be to lose weight," she added. "The goal should be to live a healthy life, and by working out and eating healthy, you will be happy and the weight will just fall off because you are making healthy choices."
So, where should Beyoncé start in her quest to get her fantastic abs and toned legs back? With her doctor, according to Jenkins. "A new mother should first wait until she gets clearance from her doctor, and she can immediately start by making healthy food choices. Once a mother receives clearance from her doctor, then her starting point depends on her fitness level," Jenkins said. "A weekly workout regimen should include all of the components of fitness — cardio, flexibility, muscular strength and muscular endurance — for overall functional health and fitness and for maximum results."
Jenkins prescribes a strict training and diet program to her celebrity clients — a four- or five-day-a-week mix of cardio, endurance exercises like circuit training, and strength and flexibility training, including yoga and Pilates — but understands that the outcome will be more successful if the new mom is enjoying the regimen and has realistic expectations.
"A new mother has to eat healthy for herself and for her child, but she also has to live and have a good time too," Jenkins said. "From my experience, if you make healthy food choices 80 percent of the time and eat whatever you like 20 percent of the time, then you will have great results. I recommend to my clients to eat healthy Monday through Friday and then let go on the weekend and enjoy yourself."
The trainer also noted that "when people are having a good time, they are more likely to stick to their program."
"The goal is to find activities and workouts that you enjoy so that you keep it a part of your life forever. Consistently mix it up, and enjoy working out," she advised. "Try yoga, Pilates, playing in the park with your kids, hiking and kickboxing."
She also recommended dancing, which we know Queen B has down to a science.
For those not lucky enough to have a personal trainer or unable to sneak away to the gym, Jenkins said, "A walk with the baby in a stroller is good enough. It will help a mother lose their extra baby weight by boosting metabolic rate and increasing caloric expenditure, but more importantly it will give you a boost of happy hormones so you feel great and it cleans out your internal organs, improving your body's pH balance and decreasing your risk of illness and disease."
For Jenkins, the keys to a successful workout program are progression and variety. "Training for peak condition is just like training an athlete for peak performance. It has to be done in a healthy progression to maximize results and decrease risk of injury," she added. "For the best weight-loss and toning results, it is important to train the entire body head to toe through all of the components of fitness with an emphasis on using the core at all times. It doesn't matter if she is power walking, doing yoga or cooking in the kitchen, the core needs to be consistently engaged. Always pull your navel to your spine."
Beyoncé reportedly maintained a healthy diet throughout her pregnancy, and just days before giving birth at New York's Lenox Hill Hospital was spotted looking "amazing" while dining out with her hubby in Brooklyn. If she keeps up her tireless work ethic, there's reason to believe she'll be back in bootylicious shape in no time.