Starting a new workout regime is HARD. It is even harder after a hiatus, like after having a baby. But this topic is true to my heart. I, too, struggled with staying active after babies. When your life suddenly revolves around two Littles, there’s not much time to sleep, let alone workout. I had to devise a plan to make it work around my new lifestyle.
My plan was this: move.
After years of trial and error, I have decided that moving, any sort of movement that I could get in on a single day, would be considered a successful day. It is totally okay if you miss a workout. Be kind to yourself and do what you can. Have fun with it. Like Marie Kondo, find joy in your workouts and the rewards will follow.
My next plan was: goals.
What do I want to get out of this? While the goal used to be: “lose fat”, it quickly evolved to, “feel stronger” or “have fun”. When you know where you are going, it’s easier to get there. Sit down and think about what you truly want out of this. Some of us want health, some want to be strong, some want to be bikini ready for their beach vacation. Whatever your goal may be, find the steps to get you there. Start with baby steps. Take a few steps back, too, if you need it. Remember, health + wellness is a lifelong journey, not a sprint.
Follow the SMART Goal Setting technique when setting goals:
S – Specific. Make your goal specific. What are you focusing on? For example: I want to be able to lift 40lbs. Or, I want to walk up this hill and not feel out of breath.
M – Measurable. How often will you move? What is the intensity and duration of each movement session? How will you be tracking your progress? Pen and paper strength progress chart (can be found for free on the internet) or use an app on your phone.
A – Attainable. Goals should be challenging but also realistic. A goal of doing an Ironman in 8 weeks would be difficult for someone who doesn’t run or swim.
R – Realistic + Relevant. What does this goal mean to you? Can you see yourself reaching this goal? Be honest and break it down into smaller goals if it makes it easier to reach.
T – Timeline. Is the goal attainable in this timeframe you set? Don’t be afraid to break down the goal into smaller goals.
When Amanda from The Urban Mom told me about her goal of movement, I was so excited for her! Her little cutie, Mikayla, had turned 1 recently and she had also returned to work after maternity leave. She used to be active but pregnancy affected her energy levels. I love her enthusiasm to get started again and created a MOVEMENT RESTART workout for someone who is getting back into movement after a hiatus. A Q&A can be found on her blog, here.
MOVEMENT RESTART CIRCUT
- shoulder press to squat
- bent over row
- weighted squat
- walking lunge with lateral raise
3×10 per side
- walking plank
- knee to elbow touches in plank
All of these exercises will work the whole body but each one will concentrate on a specific body part. Visualize contraction of the muscles you are working.
Good luck to Amanda and have fun! Feel free to send any questions you have along your journey.
This post was originally published Thursday January 11, 2018.