Strong as a Mother: 5 Tips for Staying Fit

by cee cee & ryan January 24, 2018

Strong as a Mother: 5 Tips for Staying Fit

 

by Amanda Cahill, Founder of MrsHappyHealthy.com

Let me start by saying that I haven’t always been such an active person. I didn’t grow up playing sports and would try to get excused from P.E. class every chance I had. In college, I used our brand new student gym probably three times and when Brad and I first started dating he had to trick me into working out with him. But somewhere along the way, I began to find activities that I enjoyed and a community that I bonded with and this helped me to not only become more physically active, but strong and determined as well.

From barre classes to running and cycling, I was very active before I got pregnant with Sloane. But from the moment I saw that second pink line on the pregnancy test, my activity level came to a fast and screeching halt. First trimester nausea and exhaustion took a serious toll on me and after a few months of falling out of my routine, it was easier to continue on that path for the duration of my pregnancy.

Flash forward to the 8 weeks postpartum appointment when my doctor gave me the green light for physical activity. I cringed. I didn’t know if I was going to enjoy exercise again, let alone be able to partake in any of the activities that I once loved now that I had a baby to take care of! But, not one to give up, I explored my options. I committed to running using our BOB stroller but it was often too hot for either Sloane or I. I joined a fun outdoor workout class for moms that incorporated strollers, but Sloane would often be just waking up or about to go down for a nap. It soon became clear to me that if I wanted to get active, lose the baby weight, and feel good again I needed to find something that I could do at home and at any time of the day…no matter what.

Then, a friend introduced me to a home workout program that she was doing. The program came with an online community of like-minded women to hold me accountable and support me along the way. Before I knew it, I was hooked. Months later I had not only lost the baby weight, but was in better shape than I was before I was pregnant. I also had increased confidence and energy. I was becoming more interested in cooking and feeling more confident with meal planning and prepping. And I had a daily routine to help me manage the postpartum depression that I was struggling with.

Work outs with baby

It has been almost two years since Sloane was born and I am so proud of the lifestyle that I have adopted for my family and myself. I am proud of my body…its strength, its power, its beauty. I am proud that Sloane will grow up with a strong and healthy mama. I am also proud that I have had the opportunity to share what has worked for me and what I do with other women.

Pregnancy workout

And so, in that theme, here are my tips for staying active and healthy as a mom in the hopes that you too can look and feel strong again!

5 Tips For Staying Fit As a Mom:

  1. Find workouts that bring you joy.

Now, I am not saying that you have to love your workouts. I am not even saying that you have to like them. But my hope is that at some point during or after workouts, you will have some fun or the act of working out itself will bring you joy. Perhaps its that rush of endorphins or the ability to do more than you once could or even a really good song that made you do a little happy dance in between sets. At some point during your workout, you need to feel a sense of joy. This is going to keep you coming back.

  1. Workout at home.

Seriously nothing beats the flexibility and ease of working out at home. Sure you need to invest in some gear- free weights, resistance bands, a yoga mat but heck you can work out in your pajamas if you want to! And don’t tell me that you don’t have any space. When I started my home workouts, we were living in 700 sq. feet while renovating our home. I had to move the coffee table and my daughter’s swing out of the way at 4:45 every morning so that I could have enough space to work out. You can get creative with the space that you have if you really want to make it happen. The best part of working out at home is that you make it happen when you can. No scheduling your spot. No cancellation fee when your daughter wakes up sick. You simply workout when you can- before they wake, while they nap, or heck while they are watching Moana.

  1. Find a community.

One of the best parts of going to the gym or working out with a class is the energy and vibe that you get from everyone else there! When that spin class instructor comes over and cranks the knob on your bike or your best friend makes goofy faces at you during a plank hold, it is hard not to feed off it. So find a way to be a part of a community without even leaving your home. Everything is going digital these days…why not your workout community? Through my online groups, I have up to 50 women to check in with every day. We share sweaty selfies, how hard the workout was, what we are making for dinner, etc. Many of these women I have never met in person. And yet, they have become my friends and I truly enjoy seeing their posts every day.

  1. Set goals for yourself. 

You need to not only have a clear goal in mind, but you need to have it written down and placed somewhere where you will see it every day. Remembering why you are getting up at the crack of dawn or why you are pushing yourself until your muscles scream, will help you keep going and it will help you come back each day. Consistency is the key to success and you need to be consistent with your workouts in order to reach your goals. The best part? That feeling when you crush them. And then, it is time to set some new ones. I encourage you to come up with some non-scale related goals. We too often place way too much weight (pun intended) on that number on the scale and it is truly just one factor of our overall health. You can achieve that number and still feel terrible, have low energy, be overwhelmed, and not feel confident in a swimsuit. Instead, set a goal related to a physical activity (running a 5K) or achieving a feeling (feeling comfortable in a swimsuit at the pool) or something you want to overcome (an injury or a weakness).

  1. Learn how to meal prep and plan.

I have found that this is most often the most challenging piece for everyone, especially moms. But ladies, this is often the most important! Fitness makes up just 20% of our health. Nutrition is 80% of it. You can run all the miles you want but if you are eating junk, your body will feel and show it. Meal planning and prepping helps you plan to be healthy. You pick out the meals that you want to make in the upcoming week, you grocery shop for ingredients only required in those meals, and then as your week progresses you are only faced with healthy meals and snacks that are directly related to your goal. My relationship with food and with cooking has completely changed since I have gotten into the habit of writing out a weekly meal plan and doing as much prep as I can `on Sundays. Sure, things come up. A last minute meeting or a sick kid or a burnt chicken. But when the rest of your week is planned, you are less likely to make these one-offs a regular occurrence and more likely to feed yourself and your family the nutrition that you all need.

So, what about you? What have you found to be helpful for staying healthy and fit throughout your motherhood experience? What do you find to be the most challenging?

Workout for Moms

Curious to try one of the home workout programs or online communities that I mentioned? Please consider working with me by contacting me here.

 

A few words from Amanda...

Well hello there! I’m Amanda and I am a middle school teacher turned SAHM living in Seattle with my husband (Brad), daughter (Sloane), and dog (DJ). Shortly after having my daughter, I found myself struggling with postpartum depression. At the same time, a friend introduced me to a healthier lifestyle through at-home workout programs, dialed-in clean-eating, and daily inspiration and support. I truly believe that I am a healthier and happier me because of the changes that I have made inside and out and so it is my goal to share my daily ups and downs with other women. Follow along for all things fitness, food, and family related!

To read more great articles on family life and yummy recipes from Amanda click here - MrsHealthyHappy.com 

 



cee cee & ryan
cee cee & ryan

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