Before I became a mom, fitness was a huge part of my life. Working out not only gave me the tools I needed to manage my anxiety, but it made me look and feel good from the inside out.
When I got pregnant that all changed, and I suddenly lost any motivation I had to workout. Between morning sickness and being constantly tired I wasn’t trying to do anything but sleep. Miraculously towards the end of my pregnancy I started feeling better, and more energized. I knew how essential exercise was at that time in my life, and at 27 weeks I was back in Cross Fit and I finally started to feel a little more like myself again.
Giving yourself Grace but be Realistic
As soon as my daughter was born I had these unrealistic expectations that I would immediately be back into the gym like nothing happened. One night I was nursing my week old daughter, scrolling through instagram and seeing these women with six packs days after delivering. It made me feel like I was massive, and I suddenly felt pressure to look a certain way. But as a new mother you have to understand that unless you have won the genetic lottery, you probably won’t be showing off your svelte figure with your newborn anytime soon.
That being said, it is important to set some goals for yourself. As we learned earlier that exercise is good for more than just the body, its good for the mind as well. It helped me deal with my anxiety, stress and even sleep!
Personally I started using apps for at home workouts, when I wasn’t ready to leave my daughter yet. But as she got older I was able to get back into the gym for maybe 3-4 times a week.
Don’t be too hard on yourself.
Like I said 3-4 times a week I was going to the gym, following the Sweat app. But there were times when I just couldn’t do it, either I was just too exhausted or my child needed me at home. Trying not to beat myself up about it, which was another major change that happened after becoming a mom. I learned to give myself grace and instead of feeling guilty for missing a gym session or eating too many cookies, I would just try harder next time.
Fitness has become a comfort to me, a privilege at the end of the day rather than a prerequisite.
Finding time and Making time
One of the biggest things I hear from other mothers is that they cant find the time to workout. Especially if you have more than one child, no help or work full time. But know that there are ways you can still workout, all it takes is 15 to 45 minutes depending on your availability. Here are a few examples of how you can make the time as a new mom.
Workout with your child, put them in a carrier and use that as your weight to do squats and lunges.
Tummy time while you do crunches.
Yoga with your toddler.
Go for a walk or jog with your child in the stroller.
Some gyms have childcare available.
Mommy and me exercise classes.
15 minute Melissa Wood Health app that has mediation and yoga.
Sweat app takes anywhere from 20-45 minutes either on your lunch break or nap time.
These are the five fitness apps I use all the time.
Waking up extra early to workout or like me, wait until everyone is in bed and then go to the gym.
Be prepared at all times
Another thing I’ve learned as a parent is that there is no such thing as following a plan. You have to be ready for change, and sometimes that means you randomly get an hour to yourself. Like last week, we met my parents for lunch and they wanted to take our daughter for the afternoon. She got to spend time with her grandparents and I got to go workout for an hour.
I like to keep an extra gym bag with all the essentials like a clothes, headphones, shoes, water bottle and even pre workout in my car at all times. In the summer months I would put the jogging stroller in the back and just leave it there. There were a lot of times when the weather was nice and we had time to spare between appointments to go for a nice walk. It changed up the scenery and got us out for some fresh air together.
Why do you really want to workout?
Since your a grown adult, with children of your own. There is not going to be someone to make you do something you don’t want to do. No one is going to make you get out of bed early in the morning and do a workout you hate. You HAVE to figure out why you want to workout, and why health matters to you. Maybe it’s because you need more energy to keep up with your toddler, or you want to be a good example or maybe you want to feel and look good.
For me, it wasn’t just because it helped me deal with stress and anxiety that was bonus. It was because I was experiencing aches and pains that felt better after I worked out. Giving birth was hard on my body, and carrying a child for over 9 months stretched ligaments in my back that needed to be strengthened again.
To be honest thou, I also want to look lean and sexy. After you have a baby and seeing the way your body changed, its never easy. But with a little time and effort you will start to see your old self again. Fitness as a new mom can be as simple as making it a priority, setting times and