I am coming up on a year postpartum with Ophelia and wow has it been different. With Jessamyn I trained and ran a full marathon at 6 months postpartum. With Ophelia I planned on doing the same thing but to be honest that didn't really happen. Actually my entire postpartum workout plan kind of went out the window as I grossly underestimated life with two kids AND how hard pushing a double stroller down the road for miles and miles would be. I however think postpartum fitness is important and for more than the physical benefits. For me working out is in many ways almost a form of therapy and keeps me mentally healthy so finding a routine that worked with two kids was more than just for the vanity of trying to lose the baby weight and fit into my jeans again! I found a couple things that work and have helped me along the way....
- Setting aside time: This is harder with two kids but setting aside time to work out has made all the difference for me. Sometimes that means leaving the girls with Ben for an hour and just going out for a run. This has also looked like finding a gym with childcare and committing to going at least 3 times per week. The girls get to socialize with other kids and I get some time to myself to focus on my body and its needs. This also sometimes means not going... if Ophelia had a bad night or I am just too tired I wont beat myself down for not going to the gym AND remind myself constantly that I am doing it for my health and shouldn't be forcing myself so it isn't a chore but a moment of self care.
- Alternating activities: I feel like with kids my time is limited so sticking to one set program or training has been more challenging. I have been trying to do a variety of different things, running, yoga, weight lifting.... shaking it up so that depending on the day and how much time I have I can at least get something in. Also because Ophelia is still not sleeping through the night having different options has really helped on days where I am just exhausted. There are several good at home yoga programs you can find one HERE and HERE. I also love this book for running you can find HERE. I count hiking as exercise (because ummm it really is) so sometimes if I am just not feeling it I will put Ophelia in the baby carrier and head out the door with Jessamyn by my side... sometimes the best workout is one we can do together because she takes a crazy long nap afterward which is always the best!
- Eating Well; This one seems obvious but I feel like as mothers we so often put our own needs last. One of my focuses this time around has been on nutrition and so even on days I cannot workout I have been trying to eat well and stay hydrated. Especially while breastfeeding I have been really watching what I eat and making sure I am eating well and enough to cover my bodies needs as well as the demands of breastfeeding. My go to lately has been really nutrient packed smoothies as I can just throw everything in the blender and go!
- Good workout clothes: This one may seem silly but it really isn't. Wearing tired, saggy workout clothes isn't motivating and doesn't help especially when you may be feeling insecure about your body. One thing I did this time around was throw out all my old worn-out work out clothes and get some new ones as a motivational gift for myself to help my confidence as I adjusted to my body postpartum and took time to exercise and take care of myself. One of my favorite brands for workout clothing is Stronger you can use code KAYLA15 for 15% off your oder HERE! I really love the quality of their leggings and the different beautiful but still practical patterns. Which I know buying new workout clothes is maybe a small thing but it is amazing how the small things add up when you are working toward taking care of yourself postpartum.
Lastly and maybe most importantly my postpartum exercise routine this time around has involved a lot of patience and allowing space for myself to really heal and appreciate my body. Birth is crazy, pregnancy is life changing and taking time to respect those changes is important. Postpartum exercise shouldn't be torture and 11 months into my postpartum journey I have to say the thing that has kept it fun and exciting has been the fact that I am giving myself space and time to heal and reminding myself that taking care of babies is hard and I don't have to prove myself to anyone. SO on that note I would love to hear your postpartum exercise plan? I still really would love to run another marathon but honestly pushing a double stroller up and down hills for miles and miles is my biggest obstacle to that so for now it is the occasional three mile run and lots of hikes/gym time!