My wonderful bundle of joy is now 4 months old! It is crazy to think of where the time has gone as I’m sure all you parents can relate. 4 months postpartum and 2 months being back at work, I am finally starting to get into a routine.
Looking back at my life pre-baby, it seems like I had all the time in the world to do things for myself and I had freedom to pick and choose when to do my workouts. I didn’t realize the freedom I had back then.
After having my baby girl, I waited for the okay from my doctor and once that was cleared I started easing my way back in with stroller walks in the morning and or evening with some light workouts. However, once being back at work my free time came very rarely. When I wasn’t at work, my time was spent on caring for baby and doing household chores. When I wasn’t doing either of those I was so exhausted I took every minute I could with resting and sleeping.
I knew I needed to get out and do more physical activity than I was doing, but I kept pushing it back giving myself excuses that I need to wait for me to settle into a new routine. Until finally, rolling into my second month of being back at work with no set routine I needed to get my butt in gear.
It was definitely rough to get started. Working four 10 hour shifts with about an hour commute doesn’t leave much time to get a workout done with taking care of the baby and household chores. Once I got started and got into a routine it started getting easier to manage my time.
I don’t have a gym membership, which is totally fine considering I wouldn’t be able to make it out there enough for what I’d be paying. However, if you do have time, there are gyms that offer child care. If your gym doesn’t offer child care, maybe switch out gym days with your husband so that you both are able to get some gym time and take turns one on one time with baby. If you are like me, no gym… no problem! There are so many workouts that can be done at home.
With my background in physical and athletic training, I know many exercises that can be done at home that do not require much equipment. There’s no need for all of these, but I have a yoga mat, physio ball, ankle weights, Thera bands, and some dumbbells. If I ever want to change it up I’ll look online for ideas. Pinterest is a great resource to look up pins with easy to follow exercise routines. Another good website is YouTube. You can work out with online trainers who sometimes post video workouts daily. My go to is the “Fitness Marshall”. He instructs one song dance workouts that get me sweating. I’ll do a few different songs and have a blast. I love these workouts because in my opinion the best type of exercise are the ones where you forget you are exercising.
Now to talk about timing. Like I mentioned, time is very limited working full time and caring for a child. I found that waking up early and exercising worked the best for me. Yes, waking up even earlier than I need to sounded terrible, but to my dismay I found it to actually benefit me. One, my baby was still sound asleep so all my focus could be on me and my workout. Second, getting moving so early woke me up and set me up to be in a better mood for the rest of the day. Going through the long work day, knowing that I had already got my workout in the morning put me at ease and in a better mood. I could look forward to going home to getting other things I needed done and spending time with my family.
When time does allow a workout while baby is up, you can always incorporate your baby into workouts. Going for a stroller walk or jog is a great workout and good for baby to get some fresh air. I can also set her up in her jumper or with some of her toys and do my workout right in front of her. She loves watching my moves. Her favorite is when I do the dance workouts from YouTube and even my baby jumps along with me.
Don’t forget about the little things that can be done to keep you active. If you can walk or even bike somewhere (work, grocery store, etc.), go for it. Take the stairs whenever you can. Any time you have the opportunity to get moving, take advantage of it and do it. Everyone is different and lives different life styles. Find the right workout routine that works with you and your schedule. As a part of the Physical Therapy/Rehab team here at OSR in Kailua, I am no stranger to creating personalized exercises for our patients. Here at OSR we have a large portion of pregnant patients, as well as many who are post-partum just like me.
If you or someone you know are suffering from pain, give us a call today to set up an appointment at our integrated health center at 488-5555! We offer chiropractic care, physical therapy, massage therapy and more!