Since my husband and I joined our gym last June, I am ashamed to admit that I had only been twice – until last week. We have been running once or twice most weekends. But, that has been the extent of our exercise regimen since our second daughter was born over a year ago.
Last week I ran out of excuses. After quitting my job, I had no more reasons to avoid the gym. So, on Monday, I went to a 9:30 am weight lifting class. On Wednesday and Friday morning, I went to a 5:30 am cardio class. By Friday afternoon, I could hardly stand up or sit down. Every muscle in my body hurt. That being said, I felt more energized and alive than I had felt in ages.
If you’re looking to jumpstart your workout routine, below are PureBebe’s tips for getting back in the saddle after the birth of your baby:
1) Find the time.
I know, insert laugh here. If the only time you have all week to work out is during the weekends, set aside time for yourself. Or, workout before the kids wake up in the morning or right after they go to bed. If you don’t have access to a local gym, there are really good workout DVDs out there. Some of my friends rave over Jillian Michaels’ DVDs.
There are also quite a few organized workout programs today for mommy to do with baby. For example, both Baby Boot Camp and StrollerFit offer programs for mommy to workout alongside baby or babies in the stroller. Many of my friends have participated in the StrollerFit class for years and rave about it! To find a StrollerFit class near you, click here. An added bonus to these organized “mommy and me” classes is the ability to meet other moms with similarly-aged children.
2) Find an “accountability partner” (i.e. a workout parter).
My accountability partner lives on the other side of the country. She and I have similar lifestyles and schedules (we’re both moms who work out of the home). We check in every week via email and Facebook, and discuss our workouts and progress. An accountability partner can offer support, encouragement, and well, accountability. If I know that someone is going to be asking me how my workouts were for that week than I’ll be less likely to press ‘Snooze on the alarm clock.
3) Set realistic goals/benchmarks for yourself and your workout partner.
By realistic, I don’t mean follow The Biggest Loser’s weight loss plans. Unless you have trainers and doctors working with you on a daily basis, don’t expect to lose 15-20 pounds per week. Work with your doctor and/or workout partner to set realistic weight loss goals. If you need some guidance here, you can always reference WebMD’s “5 Ways to Set Sensible Weight Loss Goals.” If your goals are unrealistic or too aggressive you risk setting yourself up for disappointment. I always tell my mommy friends that it takes 9 months to gain the weight, give yourself time to lose it.
Goals can also include training for an event, like a 5K race or a mini-triathlon. A few months after the birth of my first daughter, I started training for a marathon. Ten months after she was born, I ran my third marathon. Now, I’m no Paula Radcliffe – I definitely didn’t achieve my personal best marathon time – but I finished.
4) Attend classes at your gym and/or work out with a friend.
I realize that everyone gets their motivation from different sources, but I found that working out with other people both motivates and inspires me. Sometimes all it takes is seeing other people working hard or to feel like part of something bigger, to get the ball rolling.
Now, let’s get moving ladies and gents! Do you have a favorite workout routine? Are you thinking of starting one? We’d LOVE to hear from you!
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