Recently I got to think about the kind of fitness routine I followed in my early 20s and how much it has evolved since then to accommodate for the demands of a family life with 2 kids. So here I am today to talk about busy mom’s fitness adventures 🙂
Undoubtedly, one of the best things that happened to me was becoming a mom to my two amazing kids. They are my world and my everything. As you may know, life changes quite a bit after having kids and I wouldn’t want it any other way. The one thing that caught me off guard was that suddenly I had very little time for myself.
In my early 20s – and before kids – fitness was a big part of my life. Or so I thought. My membership tag was consistently scanned at 24 Hour Fitness. I would go to group classes twice a week. TurboKick was my jam at that time, although treadmill and occasional weights were also in the picture. I loved the power of a good sweat after a stressful day at work. Oh, the freedom of packing your gym bag in the morning and going straight to your class after work… I’m pretty sure I took it for granted in the pre-kids era haha!
Nutrition was not something of a huge concern to me back then. Fast metabolism of early 20s took care of overindulgence in sweets, my little weakness. Other than that I did ok with food. Luckily, I was never a big fan of fast food, and I would rather eat a home cooked meal. In-n-Out was the only exception, and it still has a soft spot in my heart :).
Fast-forward 10 years and 2 kids later... I had to deal with losing a significant amount of weight after each pregnancy. Then came the surprising realization that I now had to watch more closely what I ate. It was a sobering reminder that my metabolism rate had started to slow down. Coupled with non existent free time (it was pretty much a diapers-feedings-dishes-laundry routine for a while) I found myself in a pickle. Gaining weight was easier than losing it and I had no time to go to the gym.
All this time the gym membership was on hold and waiting to be re-activated… And yes I did eventually go. Just the thought of an ordeal it would take to find the right time between the baby’s naps and feedings, pack all her necessities then get myself ready and drive to the gym – all while trying not to lose the motivation to workout – yes that thought was exhausting. But I did give it an honest shot. When my second baby turned 2 months, she seemed ready. So I packed the diaper bag and enthusiastically delivered her to the gym daycare. It was a success… until the next day she went down with fever. Two weeks later I re-attempted the experiment, and it ended with same results.
Any mom knows that there’s nothing worse than a sick baby. Fever, cough and runny nose made her miserable. I finally decided it wasn’t worth it going to the gym until she got older. In the meanwhile, I went on daily stroller walks and followed a postpartum program I ordered from Amazon. I also did YouTube workout videos every once in a while but the motivation to do it consistently wasn’t there. More time was browsing through the channels and looking for quality workouts than actually doing them 🙂 I didn’t have a plan and that was the problem.
It was a lucky coincidence that in January 2016 I came across a friend who was a Beachbody Coach. We chatted and I liked the idea of doing workouts at home and having a program with a schedule to follow. The online support group was just the icing on the cake!! Perfect, I thought to myself, this is totally doable. Since then, I’ve completed several rounds of 21 Day Fix, 21 Day Fix Extreme, T25 Focus, Core de Force and Insanity Max30. I really couldn’t be happier that I found something that fit so well into my schedule.
A year later and many pounds lighter, I have arrived at a fitness routine that works for me AND my family. My workouts are 30 minutes long. This is usually all I can allot a day anyway and still have the energy and time to take care of the kids. Short workouts and no time wasted on getting ready for and driving to the gym allow me to to do it consistently 5-6 times a week. There is no way this busy mamma could go to the gym that often! I follow professionally designed programs that are built to target different muscle groups every day so that you never work the same muscles two days in a row. The flexibility of home programs is incredibly useful too. I like it that I can sweat my little heart out on my own schedule, when it’s convenient to me and not on the gym’s schedule.
My little one loves to watch mommy jump around the living room. I dare to say she is mildly entertained 🙂 There are days when she needs more attention than usual, so I scoop her up for a quick hug in between the reps. Sometimes she hugs me when I squat. It’s all a fair game.
Funny thing is back in my 20s I used to think that it was a waist of time unless you spend at least an hour at the gym. Now I am a believer in shorter sessions. A recent study confirms that 30 minute workouts can be just as effective than a full hour of exercise. The key lies in finding effective training, such as a combination of cardio and weights, or HIIT. Quality over quantity, my friends.
Surprisingly now – two kids and 10 years later I feel like right I am in the best shape of my life! I feel more confident in my own body and have more energy. It’s really all about finding what works for you, my friends, and what fits in your schedule!
While I still love the variety and effectiveness of Beachbody programs, it’s always fun to try new things and set new goals. On To Do list are Orange Theory classes and Barre3 studio. All the newly gained strength gave me the confidence to get into running. Currently I alternate run days with 21 Day Fix workouts. My goal is to run a 5K in May for Mother’s Day. Wish me luck!
OK it’s your turn dear moms: what challenges do you face when it comes to staying in shape? What workouts have you tried and liked the most?
Hope you have a wonderful Friday!!