Thursday, July 7, 2011

How to Get Back into Exercise After a Baby

Hi! I am so excited to be doing a guest post here at Mom Swim Bike Run. I am Danielle from www.Runningmamavt.blogspot.com. I started reading blogs this past winter when a runner friend started one as a way to keep track of her training. I thought I would jump on the bandwagon and www.runningmamavt.blogspot.com was born. I’m still new to the blogging world, so I’m not sure where it will take me, but for now I talk about running, being a mama, and all the random happenings and ramblings in my every day life.

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As moms know, having a baby is a life-changing experience. It is also a body-changing experience. During my pregnancy, my body was stretched to limits I didn’t know existed.

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My last day of work- still with five weeks to go!

I was big. 75 pounds bigger to be exact. I don’t know what I expected after Jack was born, but for some reason I thought I was going to be able to shimmy into my pre-pregnancy size 27 jeans leaving the hospital. Yeah, right. I left wearing maternity yoga pants.

Pre-pregnancy, I was very active and exercised diligently every day. Pregnancy hit, and I was tired all the time. I had an on-my-feet job which was draining. I ran the first eight weeks, but after some complications, I had to take it easy throughout the remainder of my pregnancy. I tried to walk every day, but all the walking in the world couldn’t counteract the Jim Dandy I ate every night at Friendly’s. And my husband is a chef, which didn’t help matters. Brussels sprouts cooked in bacon fat, anyone?

Six weeks after my unscheduled c-section delivering a 10 pound 10 ounce baby, I was given the okay to exercise. Here are some tips to getting back into exercising after baby:

1. Forget what you used to be. Your body is different now, your boobs are bigger, things changed. Plus you’re running on much less sleep. Accept where you are NOW. I couldn’t even fit into my old running shorts, so I wore my husbands.

2. Take it slow, and the first steps are going to hurt. And feel weird. I started by running for 30 seconds, and walking for two minutes, making my way around a two mile loop. Run / walking is an excellent way to ease back into running.

3. Leave your insecurities at the door. I was a little embarrassed to go to the gym after Jack was born. I felt like everyone was staring at me because I was so out of shape, but really, no one cares. They only care about their own workout- so you should only care about yours.

4. Buy yourself a cute new workout outfit that fits and is flattering. You will be much more likely to feel good about yourself working out, if you look good working out.

5. Use that stroller and WALK! I was lucky to have a neighbor next door who had a baby the same week as me. We would walk every day together. It was great because we were in the same boat and could completely relate to each other. (And try not to hate too much on the mamas who look like they rolled out of Self magazine with their one month old.)

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Yes, there’s a baby in the stroller and not in my belly.

6. Do lunges as you go along. Lay on your back, balance baby on your knees and work your core. There are tons of sneaky ways to get in strength and cardio, so utilize them. You will soon learn the importance of time management as a mama.

7. It might take a while to get back in shape, and that’s okay. It took me a long time to get back into the shape I wanted to be in- almost a year.

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Playing around after I PR’d at a 5K!

8. Don’t feel bad about taking this time for yourself- you deserve it! And some days are going to be hard to get out the door. I guarantee you will feel better if you do, though. And if you have to miss a workout- baby is sick, husband gets home late- it’s okay! There’s always tomorrow.

Thanks for reading (if you made it this far!) and come visit me- www.runningmamavt.blogspot.com- and follow me on this wild journey.

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It’s crazy… but I love it, and wouldn’t change a thing!

2 comments:

Ronald Obringer said...

I am going to pass this on to my wife who is dying to get back into running as soon as our baby is born! Thanks!

XLMIC said...

such great advice! Y'all are such a happy crowd! LOVE your pics :)

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