Revitalizing My Fitness Routine After Pregnancy
I love to exercise. This may be annoying but it's true. I not only enjoy it but I also find it incredibly important for my mental health and for the health of my relationships. Since having my son I was finding that I wasn't super inspired by my workouts. I found it hard to get back into the groove of regular, enjoyable workouts and was super frustrated!
I think some of it is/was a general lack of fitness. I only walked max twice a week for the last 10 weeks of my pregnancy and was only approved for incline walking for eight weeks after my C-Section. I was also self-consciousness about my post-partum body and everything was obviously larger and softer. For the three months I was pumping, my breasts were much larger than I was used to which was really awkward and uncomfortable for me. While I knew exercise was important, it seemed to magnify my awareness of what was different after pregnancy. I felt uncomfortable and too tight in my clothes and previously "easy" workouts left me exhausted and sore for days.
I was so excited pre-delivery to return to exercising and I was disappointed that I was finding it not as fun. I typically work out around 5 am before our kids wake up. I use our garage gym so it's super convenient (shout out to J. who insisted we invest in weights, a bench, and a squat rack after our twins were born--HUGE win). I knew I didn't want to change the time I exercise because early mornings are my most energetic time of day. I also was reluctant to finding classes because of the time it takes to get anywhere from our house. So, I went about trying to add some variety which still fit within my fitness level, time, and space constraints.
Enter the magic of Instagram and YouTube! I am new to Instagram and am still unsure of its true benefits. It's so easy to just scroll and then feel bad that you too aren't on a tropical vacation. However, I've loved Pinterest for workout ideas for years so I thought Instagram might provide new inspiration.
Well, let me introduce you to @lathoma3! La Thoma is a doctor of physical therapy who posts mostly 10 minute Tabata style workouts and they are killer! They can be done with or without weights and they are perfect for a starter and/or finisher of a workout or on their own. I have been doing five minutes at the beginning of strength training workouts and then five minutes at the end. Normally I don't enjoy timed workouts because timers stress me out but these are adding a fun new component to my usual workouts. She also has a dynamic stretching routine that I'm incorporating at the beginning of workouts when I have time.
I also went reluctantly to YouTube. I constantly tell J. "I just don't get YouTube," and it's true! I don't understand the joy of watching random, "hilarious" videos which could lead me down bizarre and sometimes scary rabbit holes. However, my friend who is a certified yoga teacher recommended "Yoga With Adriene" and I LOVE it. Adriene is the perfect amount of hippie for me and her instructions are clear and concise. I also love that her videos vary in length from eight minutes to over an hour. We have been doing some simple videos with the kids and J. and I have gotten into a habit of doing at least one video after kid bedtime. It's completely brought me back around to yoga (which I often find boring). I love that it's a fun, new skill J. and I are learning together. I usually don't have the motivation to do anything in the evening but these are so convenient and short that it feels manageable.
I hope these ideas help you kickstart some energy into your fitness routine! What are your favorite workouts? Do you follow anyone to get ideas for new workouts?