By Brandy Contributor
When I mention I work out most days, working moms look at me like I have 3 heads. Yes, I find time to work out at least 3 times a week. Job, kid, blogging and *GASP* pregnant. I do it all and find myself down if I don’t squeeze in a run here or a body sculpt class there. To me, it is a priority, but that doesn’t mean it is easy either.
I got addicted to working out before I got on this mama bandwagon and my
stubborn ass head strong personality wasn’t about to let me stop when I started sporting a baby bump. I ran for 22 weeks with my son, Landon, in my belly before I called uncle due to the fact my feet changed shape and I was tired of buying new sneakers (my goal is to look into cheaper inserts this time around to make it much longer). I did Pilates until I had to do more modifications than real exercises and I credit my core strength and lack of back problems to just that. BAM. I did strength training and low impact aerobics until he was born along with water classes and lots of walking.
Six weeks postpartum I was back at it. Heck if you count walking a newborn around for hours strapped to your chest, lets say about 5 days postpartum. When I stopped breastfeeding at 15 months, I decided I would use MY body to train for a half marathon and did…all while working a 35 hour work week and caring for my family. It made me feel confident, I got smaller than pre-pregnancy AND I could eat ANYTHING I WANTED (seriously…2 hamburgers after a 10 mile run for protein…HOLLA).
So the first question I always get is “How do you have time?” Well, I make it. Mostly lunch breaks. I am VERY fortunate to work at a spectacular place (another post coming soon on that). We have an on-site gym, walking trails, pool and fitness classes scheduled throughout the day. I know some of you are now rolling your eyes and going “Well…then of COURSE you work out,” but there are plenty of people I work with that say they don’t have time either…so it can’t be all resources.
To me, it is all about scheduling. Yes, I have errands to run at lunch and even days I just want to meet a girlfriend to talk about why our kids are now terrified of the bath, but I work around it. Some people meal plan…I workout plan…if that makes sense. Monday morning I check out the gym schedule for the week and decide what I want to do. Cross reference that with standing appointments already. Then fill in days with running friends, blogging and lunches. With the addition of the kidlet, weekends are pretty crazy. I can’t guarantee I will do anything. Sometimes if I wake up earlier than everyone, I will go for a run before the house gets going, but I love sleep, so I don’t punish myself.
Next question is “How do you have this energy?’ Well, it sounds silly, but it is because I work out. Call it endorphins or whatever, but it works. I think some has to do with getting your body tired and sleeping better. I always sleep better after a good workout…so then I am refreshed the next day. Rinse and repeat. I also have a rockstar immunity system. We all know a kid in daycare is pretty much just a walking CDC lab, but I usually dodge it all. I attribute this to a healthy lifestyle and getting plenty of sleep. After that first year as a new mom, I appreciate all the sleep I can get. I will fight someone over sleep…really. That means I am in bed by 10:30 at the latest on a week night. Plus I am avoiding caffeine while preggo, so…yeah. Where is my gold freakin star?
The other thing I have learned in this new life as a working mom is that you don’t have to pump it for an hour on a elliptical for it to be a work out. Anything is better than nothing. Early on I started figuring out how to workout and mom at the same time. This was anything from doing pull ups on the bathroom door frame while Landon played in the tub to doing crunches while he built legos on the floor. I am a big supporter of 30 day shred for its short bursts of working out. It’s a hard 25 minutes but then you are done. I would sometimes do this after work while my husband took Landon to play outside. And if you have a smart phone, find some workout videos to rip and compress them for the phone (we use a product call Handbrake). I’ve used this many times when I go to the gym and needed a plan. The instructor can yell in my ear and I can reference the screen if I am unsure on the move. There are also plenty of apps out there to give you plans. Squeeze it in where you ca.n ::that’s what she said::
Now this isn’t going to happen overnight. Like I said before, I make it a priority because I know I will feel better. Sometimes on the weekend, I can feel me getting tired after lunch, but if I power through and go for a walk with the dog, I feel 100 times better and usually come back and can be productive. It gives me “me time” to think about blog posts, crafts for Landon or even just listen to some new music. So next time you see you have 15 minutes, try it. Do something simple. Do some jumping jacks and help your toddler learn to count. Have a dance party while holding your infant. Or my husband’s favorite, vacuum with a kid on your hip. You don’t need a fancy gym membership or even equipment, just look for ways to be more active and maybe soon you will get the exercise bug and be paying more for running shoes than heels….maybe.
So what do you do for exercise? What do you WANT to do? I hope to focus of health and fitness here as a new contributor so I want to know what you are looking for in work/life balance and where fitness comes into play.