I remember chatting with a friend about a month before I was due about what workout program I was going to do after I had the baby. Before becoming pregnant, I was an avid morning workout person. I would consistently get up at 5-6 am and get my workout done before the rest of the house woke up and before taking my oldest to school for the day. I loved being able to get it done and out of the way before the chaos of the rest of the day took over.
Unfortunately, after having our third baby, morning workouts were just not happening anymore. Even after she turned older, started sleeping through the night and I was getting more sleep, the morning workouts were still not happening.
I knew now after having our fourth (and final) that things would have to change if I wanted to get this baby weight off. Also, because I’ve had four c-sections it’s a little more difficult to just jump back into a heavy workout as soon as I’m cleared.
With all that, I’m trying to take a more mindful approach this time. Yes, I am super anxious to lose all this weight and start fitting into pants again that I haven’t fit into since before our second baby but I also know that these things take time and patience. It took 9 months for me to gain all the weight and it will take nearly as long to lose it all and start feeling like myself again.
Here’s a few little things I’m keeping in mind and going to follow with my fitness journey this time around.
Start Back Slowly
This is a hard one because I’ve been such an avid workout fanatic for years; however, I know that it’s important to let my body heal before jumping into anything too strenuous. I listen to my doctor’s advice and don’t start any workout routine until she clears me.
Plus, if I push myself too hard in the beginning I might not heal properly and end up injuring myself even more than what the surgery did. So while I’m usually itching to workout before the 6 week checkup, I’ll head out for a walk to get the legs moving and the blood flowing.
Repairing Abdominal Muscles
While I don’t personally suffer from diastasis recti, I know a lot of people do and it’s important to mention. Of course, after having four babies there is still a slight separation of my abdominal muscles that I need to pull back together.
When starting back on my abdominal exercises I won’t be doing any crunches as those don’t actually help with pulling ab muscles back together. Instead I’ll be doing more planks and variations to strengthen the whole core.
Finding a Regular Routine
Attending the gym or regular classes aren’t necessary to get back into a regular routine. Actually, I haven’t stepped foot into a gym in about 8 years and I don’t plan on starting. I workout out solely at home since it’s easier with all the kids but I’m not going to beat myself up if I don’t get the time to do the designated workout that day.
Instead I can go for a walk around the block to get out of the house and get some fresh air or go for a bike ride. Anything that gets my body moving for the first few weeks is a win.
Drink All the Water
I am terrible at getting enough water throughout the day. I do keep a water bottle with me all day but I just don’t drink it as much as I should.
I think I’m just going to set a recurrent timer on my phone every hour or so to remind myself to drink some water. Hydration is essential for a great fitness routine.
It really does irk me when people say, “sleep when the baby sleeps.” Well, if I do that, when is all the other stuff that needs to get done going to get done? What about the house cleaning, dishes, laundry, grocery shopping, etc.?
Yes, there are times when you can and should sleep when the baby sleeps but it’s few and far between. However, I also know that rest is essential to recover from working out and easing soreness.
Plus, if I’m feeling rested and restored then I’m able to give more to my family when they need me.
There’s all the things I’m doing before jumping full force back into a fitness routine. Hopefully some of them will help you also.
Do you have any tips for me that I should try? What do you do to ease back into a routine?
Header Photo by Heather Schwartz on Unsplash
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