Two-a-Days are No Longer Possible.
It’s not uncommon these days for women to workout twice a day; especially women without children. Speaking from experience, my days consisted of early morning runs or walks at 6am and hitting the gym at night to sweat. Sometimes it was an early morning pilates class with a girlfriend and a yoga class at night with my husband to help him decompress after a hard day. Basically I was moving my body multiple times a time and I loved it.
Any way you put it, women these days are more active than ever before, but that lifestyle just isn’t maintainable once a baby enters your world. Your schedule just doesn’t allow for the multiple hour long workout sessions because your changing diapers, constantly feeding baby, putting them down for naps, or taking an hour just to prep to leave the house. No joke, it literally takes forever to leave!
In the beginning of your new life postpartum, you're lucky to find just 20 minutes for yourself. Even if you do find the down time you’re likely tidying up the house, putting toys away, doing endless loads of laundry, maybe being smart and taking a disco just like your little one, or even using that down time to shower without having to rush and maybe even washing your hair! Which leads me to my next point.
Schedule Your “Me Time” Workouts
My motto before Natalie was born was “Fitness First”. I always started the day with a personal workout, but that quickly changed after she was born. As a new Mom your world revolves around your newborn and they pretty much set the schedule for the first several months. Finding a quiet moment during the day to focus on yourself can be difficult, but it’s totally doable. See what works best for you and your little one and their mood. Maybe it’s first thing in the morning after your baby wakes up and is in good spirits or maybe it's during the long afternoon nap when you have some uninterrupted time. Whenever it is, put it in your calendar (mental or write it down), plan for it, and stick with it! It’s not always easy, but scheduling a workout will help you stay committed.
No more hour plus workouts
As someone who use to spend countless hours at the gym lifting weights or doing cardio outside, I’ve learned to maximize my new limited free time. I use to think that if I personally didn’t spend 1.5 hours working out that I wouldn’t reach my goals, but I learned that shorter, more intense workouts are a great way to see results. Today I spend about 30-40 minutes strength training before or after my client sessions and some days just bursts of 15 minute workouts here and there if we are having a difficult day. For example, core exercises & stretches in the morning while I’m having coffee, strength training at the park after a client session, and a evening stroll at night with my family.
Circuit workouts, work!
Prior to pregnancy and even throughout, I personally did a split routine (each day was a different body party or parts grouped together) as I found them to be most effective and my body responded well to that style of working out, but for new Moms I strongly feel circuit training is the way to train. You can accomplish an intense workout in under an hour with a 5-minute warm-up, 30-40 minutes of circuit training, and a 5-minute cool down. As a new Mom, your postpartum schedule is pretty busy with naps, feedings, and maybe even a Mommy & Me class or other interest group, so you can’t workout every day. Too much activity in one day can be difficult for babies. Circuit workouts are a great way to train when you have a limited schedule and you can target all the muscles in your body in one intense workout.
Find a qualified Pre & Postnatal Trainer
I understand that sh*t can get expensive and you’re living on a new family budget so this option might not possible, but it should be considered so don’t rule it out! A personal trainer with experience in Pre & Postnatal is a great investment, because they can give you the proper, safe and effective workouts you need to get your body moving, feeling good again, and yes even get your pre-pregnancy body back. Postpartum training is entirely different and if exercises are done incorrectly or you’re using the wrong exercises they can actually cause more harm than good. Qualified PT's can also keep you motivated and committed while understanding the stress and exhaustion you are going through. If you're investing money in something (or in this case someone) you’re also more likely going to commit and show up to workout versus working out in your living room at home where it’s easier to find an excuse to not exercise.