You’re tired and can’t remember the last time you managed to drink a HOT cup of much needed coffee, let alone had a shower in peace. You live in your active wear but thats more your “mum uniform” not because you are actually planning to work out. It’s not that you don’t want to workout after having kids. You thought that joining a gym, get that pre baby body back. Then reality hits. The only good time for the kids between feeds and naps and tantrums is 8am. The crèche isn’t open then and there are no classes on at that time. So you have a casual stroll on the treadmill and a really long stretch/quick nap in the yoga room. While you lay and stretch you contemplate the cost of putting kids in the crèche a few times a week on top of your membership, which adds up fast.
I hear you!! That was me. But I so wanted to work out after having kids and move my body. I knew it cleared my head, made me feel calmer. It also made me feel better about myself and sleep better. I knew I needed it. There is so much research to link exercise and improved mental health. I absolutely know it to be true with myself and other women I have worked with. However, the gym and creche weren’t working for me.
So How Did I Workout After Kids?
I started working out at home. Short workouts. That didn’t need equipment. I didn’t want the kids to hurt themselves on a kettlebell so I just used body weight exercises and I loved it. I saved time not travelling and money by not paying a gym or crèche. Plus I got a little sanity back in my day. Plus the kids saw me do it, they would join in, and that is the best motivation, to know you are setting an amazing example for them, and that you are working on being a healthier version of you to be there for them.
My At Home Workout
I started with simple workouts in the back yard. I would often do it barefoot, and get my feet in the grass for some “grounding” at the same time – who doesn’t like to multi task, right?
- Down load an interval timing app. So many free ones. Set it for 30 seconds rest and 30 seconds work. Already exercising a little? Then do 45 seconds work and 15 seconds rest. Why times like this? Because it’s one less thing to fit in your brain. You just do the exercise until the timer goes off. You don’t get distracted having to count to 20 all the time. As mums we fit enough in our head, we don’t need to be counting push ups too!
- Pick some exercises and move your body for the “work”time.
- Squats, push ups, lunges, sit ups, tricep dips, glut bridges, arm circles, burpees, wall sits … are all amazing and will get your heart rate up and sweat on!
- Pick a few and do them all, then repeat if you have time. Always remember that some exercise is better than none! 5 minutes is better than none!
Want an example workout after kids? Find my At Home Workout HERE
You can also find a video of this workout in my ladies only Facebook community here : Amped with Dr Aimee
Need More To Commit To Workout After Kids?
Why not keep it simple, and start slow! Add in some incidental exercise. Every time you go to the toilet, do 10 squats. On the phone? Walk or do some lunges as you talk. Catch up with friends? Don’t sit and have coffee, go for a walk. Do you normally walk? Add in some squats every time you walk past a certain spot, or every park bench do some push ups on it. Pushing the kids on the swing? Do a squat every push. Take the stairs (except when you have a pram with you!!). Park a little further away at the shops (and you will probably save time looking for a car park close to the door!)
All these little things add up over a day. You don’t need to be doing an hour of hard core exercise to make a difference. Just add in a little more each week and you will see changes.
Planning Is Key
One other thing I have found that works well, is to plan out your workouts for the week. Sit on Sunday night and plan what days you can fit in 10-20 minutes. It doesn’t have to be every day, especially not to start with. Be kind to yourself! Plan it, write it on the calendar and maybe even tell a friend. Commit to it. Stay accountable to someone else, and encourage them to get their bodies moving to. Other tips on how I manage to stay healthy, and fit it all in, with kids and a business are in my blog HERE
Get The OK From You Health Care Provider
Remember to start slow. Slowly building everyday. Get the ok from your health care provider and make sure that post birth you are checked for things like abdominal separation. A good women’s health physio is a great place for this. They can also then let you know exercises to do or not to do if needed. Also remember that light bladder leakage while exercising, or stress incontinence, is common but can very often be helped, and often avoided with advice and exercises, again from a good women’s health physio. So I always recommended seeing one before you get back into working out. Even if it’s been a while since you had that darling child, it’s still worth a visit.
Try To Enjoy It!
Move your body. However you enjoy it. This is what worked for me, and has worked for so many other mums that I have worked with. Exercise should be something that makes you feel good, and fills your cup, not depletes it. Always make sure you eat good nutritious food before and after a workout, and drink plenty of water. Have a good stretch, and if you can take a few minutes at the end of your workout to lay, close your eyes and take some deep breathes. It will help to calm your nervous system and lower your stress. There is no wrong way to workout after kids if it’s time for you!
You’ve Got This!
Breathe, remember you are amazing, you are an amazing mum and woman, and you have just improved your health. Even if you skipped the workout and just layed down to breathe, you have done something amazing for your health, inside and out!
You are amazing, always remember that!