If there’s one thing on which many parents can agree, it’s that finding time to get your fit on can be a struggle when you’re juggling kids, work and running a house. I know my own fitness efforts have always been pretty sporadic, going from a few months of 5.30am alarms for pre-work gym sessions, to only managing one evening Clubbercise class a week, to all-out couch potatoing…and all sorts of variations in between.
As I sit here, over a week past my due date with baby number three, I’m about as far away from getting on a treadmill as you can be (though maybe a wee jog might get labour started…?). I haven’t even touched my pregnancy workouts for a few weeks now, as the mere thought of pulling on my leggings makes me want to go for a nap. But there is a small part of my brain that is actually quite looking forward to getting back into fitness once this little guy is here.
I am not a natural sportswoman, and my relationship with exercise can often be more guilt-fuelled than from a place of genuine passion. But I’ve found that if I keep shaking things up, set myself challenges and look for things that are fun then I can get quite into it. With that in mind, I’ve put together a list of things I’m hoping to take a stab at. Obviously I’m not going to rush into it, and I have a postnatal DVD I’ll use at first just to get used to owning a non-pregnant body again, but I don’t want to pass up the golden opportunity maternity leave offers to whip my body into a shape other than blob-of-Playdoh. I’ve tried to put them in some sort of order, but I’ll see what takes my fancy when the time comes. And it goes without saying that I will also be hitting up my incredible Clubbercise class each week too!
Lots of walking
This is a double whammy of good, because it’s just as important for my sanity as it is for my body. I walked a lot, miles a day, last time I had a baby. It helped me drop the huge amount of weight I’d put on in pregnancy but it also got me out of the house and out of my own head for a part of each day – invaluable when dealing with post natal depression and a colicy, refluxy baby. I’m hoping to walk our four year old to and from school on days when it’s dry, but even on days when it’s raining I’m not adverse to getting on my waterproofs and getting some air when it’s just me and bubs. Plus, it will give me some time to listen to podcasts too.
30 Days of Yoga – Yoga with Adriene
I stumbled across Adriene and her free yoga videos last year, and she is perfect. Her attitude is amazing, she makes yoga so accessible and for all levels, and has so much content on YouTube. I dabbled a bit with this challenge when I first came across her but wasn’t able to commit, and so I think this could be my time. I’ve loved my yoga practice in pregnancy and tapped into the breathing and mindfulness through hypnobirthing too, and would be keen to keep those things as part of my lifestyle.
30 Day Shred – Jillian Michaels
This is a classic, which means you can grab a DVD of it really cheap*. I did this workout a few years ago, and found it was a great way to get my head into strength-mode (I followed it up with Insanity and getting into weights). I have continued with strength and weights-based exercises during pregnancy so I’m hoping this wont be a shock to the system, and more like a gentle re-introduction to some muscles I’ve maybe forgotten I had!
Or “couch to 5k” to give it its full name. This is a game changer – it was for me and I’ve seen so many other people sing its praises. Basically, you follow a programme (and there seem to be about a million to choose from) which starts you off from walking and progresses you until you can run a full 5k route. Different programmes work through the progression at different rates, so there’s bound to be one out there that works for you. I’ve done it twice before, the first was a Race For Life training plan for Pretty Muddy, and the second was a programme on my Microsoft Band. I was amazed with my first attempt – I literally couldn’t run the length of myself and yet in a matter of weeks I completed the Pretty Muddy 5k in 35mins. Told you – game changer. My issue is I often fall out of a routine once I’ve got up to the 5k distance and then have to start all over again, so I’m hoping to make it a regular thing and then progress to 10k (eventually!).
The Modern Woman’s Guide to Strength Training – Girls Gone Strong
Whilst I’m working on my cardio, I also want to get back into my weight training. Girls Gone Strong are an amazing collective of inspiring women who aren’t afraid to lift, and were my first introduction into what is probably my favourite form of exercise. GGS is about so much more than lifting weights though – body positivity, acceptance, health and supporting your fellow woman are so core to this movement. I bought their programme, and this is where I’ll be building up from again because it is such a great approach and the tutorials for every move make sure that you’re as safe and effective as you can be. I want my sexy shoulders and butt back!
Blogilates calendar – Cassey Ho
I came across the whirlwind that is Cassey Ho in my last maternity leave and I love her! It’s amazing what she’s achieved since I first started doing her workouts – she’s now a fitness megastar and has built quite the empire. She has about a bzmillion free workout videos on YouTube and compiles a new workout calendar each month. I’ve never completed a full month of her workouts, but I’d love to give it a proper try. Her energy is infectious, but don’t be fooled by the bubbly personality and pop music – she is hardcore!
Insanity – Shaun T
Speaking of hardcore… I’ve left this one until last because to be honest, the thought of it right now makes me want to puke! Hubs and I have attempted it twice, and although we got close we have never quite finished the 60 days. But this works. I’ve never pushed myself so hard or impressed myself so much as when I was doing Insanity. I think if I get my cardio and strength up, and tick off a few of these other challenges then maybe (just maybe!) I might stand a chance at finally getting to the end of this.
I’m aware this is a big ol’ list, but nine months is a long time. My approach to fitness has always been to do what I enjoy, so if any of these things don’t turn out to be as fun as I’d hoped/remembered I’ll just ditch them. But the
world gym is my oyster, so lets just see what I can achieve!
What are your current fitness goals?
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