What to Expect from Your Workouts When You’re No Longer Expecting

People give you all kinds of advice on life after you have your baby (ehm-sometimes too much advice), but you honestly won’t really know what you need or how you’ll feel until you find yourself lying at home on the couch with an icepack, a jug of water, snuggling your brand new human.

Will you feel like you can’t walk for weeks? (ME!) Or will you feel ready to get back into your workout routine right when you’re cleared? Having an active pregnancy right up until the end does not always translate to jumping right back in to where you left off!

Whenever you are ready, there are some things you maybe don’t expect when you try to start working out again:

  • Leaking… enough said.

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    Must have.

 

  • Being worried about milk supply, soreness, engorgement etc etc.

 

  • Being interrupted multiple times by crying, pacifying, feeding, holding your baby, and taking your own pee breaks!

 

  • Not being able to hold your pee in when you jump or run

 

  • Not being able to do upper body weights EVER because your arms & shoulders are perpetually sore from carrying baby & the heavy car seat around

 

  • Being so tired from not sleeping that it takes days to muster up the courage to workout, & then several days before the next workout because you’re still sore/tired from the last one

 

  • Your old workout clothes don’t fit the way they used to & you may not feel like yourself

 

  • Starting, then stopping for several weeks, then starting again, then stopping again. It may take many more months to get into a regular routine than it did pre-baby! And just when you get into a routine, your baby may switch it up on you.

 

  • Needing way more pelvic floor work than you think… Taking a break from your old HITT routine & sit ups to focus more on kegel exercises, glute bridges, wall sits, light sumo squat pulses… The “boring” stuff. Your insides need to HEAL!

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  • Feeling guilty because you’re not giving your baby your full attention (or maybe have a sitter while you head to the gym), but hey, mama’s gotta be strong to handle the craziness of motherhood!

 

  • Your body may feel up to it, but your mind may not, especially if struggling with postpartum depression, anxiety, or hormonal fluctuations

 

And because everyone has to offer their 2 cents new moms, I’ll offer mine:

You might not bounce back right away, so take your time, be gentle with yourself, and laugh at yourself A LOT.  Your body just went through an amazing and incredibly taxing miracle. Any time you’re active is a victory! Take it one day at a time, and focus on getting some movement in each day–walking with your baby around Target counts 🙂 Speaking as someone that has always LOVED to workout and was running the stairs hours before my water broke, it has taken me 6 months to feel up to a consistent routine again, and really wanting to get back into it.

As with most things worth doing, the path is often not linear, but we keep working at it. Listen to your body, and push yourself–or tell your partner to push you– when you feel up to it and know you need to! And remember, even if you’re not thrilled about how your body looks postpartum, please appreciate it for how it housed your little one and worked hard to bring them into this world ❤

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My first “walk” 1 week post-delivery in January. Walks have been my saving grace to get me out of the house and doing light cardio when I don’t feel up to more.

Outdoor Cardio Workout

outdoor workout

here’s an easy outdoor cardio workout for end of summer as the weather starts to become a little more pleasant! Run 5 minutes in between each exercise and then find a bench to perform the exercises for 1 minute straight. It should look like this:

Run 5 mins

Alternating Bench Step Ups 1 min

Run 5 mins

Tricep Dips 1 min

Run 5 mins

Squat jumps (with or without weights if you have them!) 1 min

optional mountain climbers 1 min

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#SneakPeekSaturday: Health Apps I LOVE/USE

Fitbit

Yall, I know people might be sick of hearing about Fitbits, or other similar bands…but I LOVE THEM. I have tried from the beginning not to become obsessive about my steps, but it has really helped me be mindful on a daily basis of my sitting! I enjoy some healthy competition with myself and with friends/family, and as a fitness junkie, I love checking my heart rate while I’m working out to know how intense I’m working. On days I’m being lazy, I’m motivated to be a little more active, and on days I’m really tired, I have “proof” on the app of how hard I’ve worked. THE BEST PART IS THE SILENT ALARM! aka Waking up in peace.

MyFitnessPal

I have been using this app off and on for YEARS to keep track of my day’s calories. I’m not strict by any means with “counting calories”, but sometimes I like to be aware. I haven’t once looked up a food they didn’t have, even from restaurants! I can sync this app with my fitbit to adjust my calories for the day… if I’ve walked a lot or worked out hard, it will adjust my number to tell me to eat MORE so I don’t risk falling below what my body needs. In addition to keeping track of what I ate that day, I can be “friends” with my personal training clients and see their diary of what they’ve been doing for exercise/nutrition without me. It’s a good way to cheer people on and interact!

AchieveMint

Now I don’t have to do much for this app, but I keep it around because I’m slowly earning $$$$ for good habits. You can set different goals for yourself, and as you accomplish them each day, it rewards you points. Once you reach 50,000 points you get $50! It’s a good way to reward yourself after working hard to be consistent. Studies show we are often motivated by a reward we find valuable… like money (if doing it for your health wasn’t enough 😉 )

 

 

Beachbody on Demand

THIS.IS.AWESOME. The ultimate “no excuses” program. You can stream the FULL 60 or 90 day workouts on your phone, tablet, laptop from Insanity, P90X, P90X3, Turbo Fire, 10 Minute Trainer, Brazilian Buttlift, ChaLean Extreme etc.! I’ve done PI-YO and T-25, so those purchased programs also show up on to stream. So if I don’t want to take the DVDs with me on the road, I can always have a workout with me via technology. There are also a few trials of the other newer workouts, so you can try the 21 Day Fix, Pi-Yo or T-25 for FREE!!

You can get a 30 day FREE TRIAL to Beachbody on Demand! CLICK HERE

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What to do, When What You’re Doing Isn’t Working

This past week several friends have come to me asking, “WHY?!?! I’m eating less, working out more and still not losing any weight.” While this “eat less, move more” philosophy definitely can help with overall health or beginning weight loss, it may not be that simple for everyone. Each body is different! There can be a number of things to keep in mind when you feel like no changes are happening.

What to do? Remember:

  • Stick it out! Don’t lose heart! Changes take TIME. Make a decision to be committed and be relentless toward your goals. It WILL happen, just keep at it. Your body fluctuates several pounds on a daily basis just because of water intake, sodium bloat, constipation, and inflammation, that it’s impossible to get a good measurement if you’re weighing yourself too frequently.
  • Realize the other victories that are happening in your body. The scale may not always reflect it, but the time you spend exercising or being more disciplined with your nutrition is appreciated by your organs and muscles. You may be gaining muscle, more energy, better sleep, or more confidence. No steps taken toward improving your health are wasted.
  • You may not be accurately counting your calories (if you’re paying attention to them at all). Be honest, are you really eating as clean as possible? Are you still treating yourself to extra treats in your coffee? Are you eating after 8pm and not giving your body a chance to digest?? Maybe you’re over doing it even on healthy foods? You don’t need an entire avocado just because it’s a healthy fat for you or several protein shakes a day with tons of peanut butter in it. Some things our brain says we can have plenty of because it’s “healthy” is actually very caloric, and better served in smaller portions.
  • You may need to switch up your workout to high intensity, sprints, interval training, or circuit training with weights. Your body gets used to the same old 30 minute cardio session, adapts and becomes more efficient at using the fuel. You need muscle confusion to challenge yourself enough that your body will react to it and change. Lifting weights increases your metabolism and gives you more effective, long term weight loss. Cardio alone isn’t enough. Try switching it up with a fitness class, a home DVD workout, one of my challenge groups, or find a personal trainer!
  • Check in on your stress levels. Take a look at your lifestyle habits and see if you’re getting enough sleep or paying enough attention to your emotional/spiritual needs. Chronic stress releases a hormone called Cortisol that increases fat storage and the rate at which you store fat. It can also increase your appetite and raise your blood sugar. Excess exercise then may be contributing to the stress in your body, not helping. You may need to take it easy for a time if you’re over exercising, until your body is able to get enough rest and recover. Drink plenty of water to make sure you’re not dehydrating your body either!
  • Your body may already be below it’s set point. We are naturally designed to hold on to our fat, as our ancestors didn’t know the next meal they’d get. Take time to learn if you realistically are at a healthy weight and it is unsafe to lose any more. I know society can push push push on this topic, so just be sure you actually NEED to lose weight. If not, find a new goal: maybe exercise consistency, a measurable endurance or strength goal, or something fun and active to focus on. You may be able to measure your progress by goals, or how your clothes fit, rather than the number going up and down on the scale.

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