After a week of very little intentional exercise, I returned to the gym yesterday. I don’t think I’ve been giving endorphins enough credit for what they do for my mood! I hopped on the elliptical and wondered why I had forgotten about it until now.
I actually got my heart rate elevated and having a little sweat running down my face made me feel like me again.
Working out has really only become part of my life over the past couple years. Before that, I liked staying active and participating in sports, but never truly focused on intentional exercise. Now, as I’m unable to do very much towards the end of pregnancy, I’m realizing how much I miss it. I’m no fitness buff by any means, but feeling like I am in good physical condition, being able to keep up with Hailey and having a solid energy base to get me through the day feels amazing.
However right now, as expected at almost 35 weeks pregnant, it’s becoming harder to just get up and go. My energy levels drop around 1pm and sometimes I need to sneak in a quick nap. My feet are sore by the end of the day and I often wear my back brace to support the growing belly. Though I am in love with what my body is doing right now, I can’t help but to not feel like me some days.
(Kettle bell swings at 34 weeks pregnant will get you a gawking audience by the way. I think they were scared for me!)
Part of me longs for the challenge of running, the focus required to get through a hot yoga class, the burn of making my butt and thighs WORK for it. To compensate, my mind has been racing with putting together postpartum fitness plans (I use that term loosely). Here is some of what I have in mind:
Running: Though we have a complicated love/hate relationship, nothing makes me feel accomplished than running. I am optimistically hoping to start with walks a few weeks after baby girl arrives. Once cleared for exercise, I hope to kick things up a bit and relearn to run. I’d be elated if I could get my stamina and strength built up enough to tackle a 5k or 10k (Ok, that might be a bit optimistic for me!) come Octoberish. I’m starting to poke around looking for fall races near Charlotte to help with my motivation.
Running at the gym will be an option once August comes, but until then, it will take some figuring out. We don’t have a double stroller and don’t have plans to get one as of now, but we will see. I’m hoping I can finagle a schedule of some sort, but most likely I’ll be running when I can, around David’s schedule.
Yoga: I did prenatal yoga the entire time I was pregnant with Hailey, but with limited options this go around, I haven’t done any. I like yoga for the flexibility, total body strengthening and general feeling of wringing out the body and mind it gives me. I’d love to incorporate it at least once a week, but honestly am not sure how I see that happening. Though there is a new studio near me (hooray!), there is no child care offered and with David’s work schedule, I’m just not sure how I see that working out.
Strength Training: Ah, yes, I look forward to feeling the burn again! In my dream world, I’d have a trainer that would lay out a plan for me to start toning and tightening areas I feel like have been neglected during pregnancy (butt, thighs, midsection- obviously). More realistically, workouts will be taking place at home when I can fit them in. I’m hoping to scour some of my favorites, Jen, Jess, Paige, etc for at-home circuits. Plus, it won’t be hard to fit in planks while giving baby kisses, though the toddler on my back might make things more challenging…
Just talking about fitness gets me excited, but I’m well aware that there is only so much planning I can do. With these “plans,” I’m assuming that baby girl arrives safely and in good health, and that labor and delivery go smoothly. I’m anticipating things to go as such (positive thinking!), but child birth is no joke and then there is adjusting to being a mom of two, handling recovery, dealing with interrupted sleep, hormone changes, breastfeeding, etc.
I am acknowledging these new challenges I’ll be facing and aware that there will be even more to face that I don’t already expect or know about, but hey, a girl has got to dream! And right now, having a fitness carrot (and a glass of wine) dangling in front of me as motivation is keeping my spirits up as I maneuver my way through the last few weeks of pregnancy.
Has fitness always been a big part of your life?
What sort of exercising is your favorite? Why?
Lauren K says
Oh gosh, fitness has been a part of my life since I was 6-7 (probably 5-6 days a week) with the exception of injuries! I was always playing multiple sports and once that stopped at 18, I kept up the routine. I am not going to lie…it makes me a little nervous when I won’t be able to maintain that anymore! It is such a big part of my life and it makes me a better person. Right now a mix of CrossFit and yoga is perfect. High intensity and building muscle with one and stretching it out/major sweating with the other!
Your goals sound great–can only speak from recovering from surgery, but just take one day at a time. Set up mini-goals for each week, but know that if you don’t achieve all of them that there is always next week!
Katie @ Pick Any Two says
It sounds to me like you have a very healthy attitude – wanting to get back into fitness once the baby arrives, but also not putting unrealistic expectations on yourself.
I’ve always been a lover of strength training because for me, I see results quicker with strength training than anything else. In a very short time I can feel and see my muscles getting stronger, and that is great motivation to keep going.
Brittany Dixon says
Oh I agree with you on seeing more results from strength training! I’m a believer. I love running because it’s such a challenge to me and strength because I can see the results. Ahhh I can’t wait!! 🙂
Fitness has not always been a huge part of my life. Only in the last 10 years or so have I made it priority. But everything just works better in my body when I move it consistently. My favorite is walking and running. I can just listen to music and zone out for a few minutes. It feels great! I actually just started a 100 mile a month challenge to keep myself accountable and motivated. And to challenge others to join with me!
I used to work out with a trainer, and I WISH we could afford for me to do that again. I am wanting to work back in more strength training. I loved how I felt when I was doing that regularly.
Oh my postpartum days were rough. I had a horrible time breastfeeding (pumped after EVERY single feeding to try and increase my supply), and I felt like it kept me chained to the house for those first few weeks and months. I was in survival mode. And I think I was a little depressed too. Looking back, I wish I had made more of a point to just put the baby in the strolled and go more often.
Brittany Dixon says
Ah, that dang pump! I had the opposite issue, oversupply, so I’m interested to see how that works itself out this time.
I love your idea of 100 miles a month! I’ll have to look into something similar down the line. What a fun way to stay motivated 🙂
Remember even though we all put our children first, a happy mom is a good mom. Make yourself and your wants a priority.
I am home all day, everyday, alone with three kids all under the age of 2 years old and I always have one hour a day to workout at my home. You do not need expensive equipment to get a good home workout.
Good luck with your workout plans post baby.
Brittany Dixon says
Great reminder Karen- thank you! I never had the mommy guilt about working out and hope I can avoid it this time, too. It’s more about figuring out the logistics 🙂 You give me lots of hope though seeing that you can make it work with 3 under 2! Serious kudos to you!
Sarah (shu) says
Looks very realistic. Currently I am loving running again (I take C in the stroller while A is at school) and have just started doing some POP Pilates (via blogilates). Free, short, and kinda fun (at least for now!).
Eventually want to go to a weekly yoga or barre class but not until Cameron’s breastfeeding schedule is more consistent. For now, home workouts are the best! Also remember yoga download is an option!
Brittany Dixon says
I’ve heard a couple people lately mention POP Pilates! I’ll definitely have to check that out. I love following your journey. It has me excited for the next phase and the joys (and challenges :)) it brings!
I’ll second Pop Pilates! I love those videos and have actually seen improvement in my midsection and legs after just a few weeks. The best part is that some of them are really short and you can mix and match. Cassey takes some getting used to though…but I think she’s super sweet and knows what she’s talking about.
If you do try them Brittany, let me know and I’ll share some of my favorite beginner ones (which I am still currently one and probably will be for a while because they are HARD).
Paige @ Your Trainer Paige says
I love that you’re swinging a kettlebell at 34 weeks!
Sounds like you’ve got a good plan and mindset postpartem 🙂
I’ve gotten into fitness in the past 10 years. Lately, I have been loving spinning, T25 and walking.
Ashley @ My Food N Fitness Diaries says
I loved the challenge of “getting back in shape” post pregnancy. I didn’t rush anything, but went for it when I felt ready physically AND mentally. My pregnancy wasn’t super active, so I was more than ready to get back to it after I had Hunter. Fitness has always been a huge part of my life, and I always long it when I decide to take a break.
Love your mindset and the plans you’re making for postpartum!
If the new studio is an independent one, I would try and introduce yourself to the owner, give her your contact info, and let her know what day/time you are looking for. We usually make our decisions based off current class attendance, so there’s a chance that as more requests come through they could make it work, they just need to know what you’re looking for!
Brittany Dixon says
Oh I never thought about that! Thanks for the suggestion. I will have to swing by and do that!
I’m so jealous that you can sweat! I know I’m going to eat these words in a few weeks when I’m dealing with the terrible postpartum night sweats, but I miss sweating so much. It drives me nuts that I’m retaining so much water this time.
I hear you on all of this. It is hard to stay motivated to exercise towards the end! Oh — and let me know what race you do! I’d love to join you!
Sara @ lifebetweenthemiles says
I’ve always been into fitness and played soccer and basketball growing up, but about 4 years ago I started running and it changed my life. Now, I enjoy running marathons…crazy? I know!! I also love to strength train and do a lot of heated flow yoga!
I cannot WAIT till I can run again! I’m hoping to tackle a half in October and use it as motivation to workout this summer once my little girl is here. You’re a champ for still going to the gym! I went to costco the other day and learned I shouldn’t go by myself for the rest of the pregnancy bc my back was KILLING me for the rest of the day.
Jaclyn @ BumpSweat says
Good for you for making it to the gym this late in the pregnancy game. I’m all for mamas being as active as possible (and what’s comfortable and healthy) until delivery day. I’m only halfway through pregnancy and still going strong with the working out (gotta love 2nd trimester!), but I’m sure 3rd trimester could be another story. I’m already looking forward to being recovered post-baby, so that I can get back to it. Sounds like you have a good ideas in place for doing just that!
Kelli H (Made in Sonoma) says
I’m totes with you on being active. I haven’t always been as active as I am now. I look back at my years during high school and wonder to myself why I didn’t run then! So many good years wasted not working out. haha.
I have a love/hate relationship with running. Over the last year I’ve really gotten more in tune with my body and have definitely improved my running skills. I never would have imagined I could run 6 miles, but I honestly don’t think I’ll ever want to run more than 6 miles. No half marathons for me! haha. I also love yoga and I LOVE the Tone It Up videos so much! I definitely recommend those videos to you when you’re all healed up from having baby 2!
Avery @ Young Aspirations says
I use to use that Precor Crosstrainer you pictured above at the Clemson University gym almost daily and I LOVED it! I miss it so much now! I would buy one if I could. I’ve been gearing myself up for postpartum fitness mostly just by surrounding myself with things I know will motivate me to work out (lack of motivation is always my biggest battle!) I don’t have much of a set plan except to continue my at home workouts – thinking about signing up for Barre 3 online.. and to get outside and walk a lot, maybe run once I’m healed well enough! In the mean time I’m looking to buy some new tennis shoes, maybe a jogging stroller and some (bigger, for now) new workout shorts and tops. New workout gear is a good motivator for me! I’m also prepared to cut out some of the treats I’ve allowed myself during pregnancy and really back to try and eat as clean as I can while breastfeeding! Side note: I think I remember you mentioning one time you had the City Mini Baby Jogger stroller? We registered for that stroller also (the GT version I think) but I know it’s not technically a jogging stroller (why do they even put that in the name?!). Have you had a good experience using it outdoors or for long walks, etc? Just wondering how much I would actually be able to use it for fitness purposes. 🙂
Lindsay@Fuel My Family says
I am 6 weeks postpartum today so I am going to try a t25 for the first time. It’s always so nice to workout when you haven’t been allowed to. Although I started light running and lifting last week, I love hiit and circuit workouts abd tabata for their quickness and fast results, I hope t25 is good! Can’t wait to have sweat running down my face and be out of breath!
Currently 37+3 weeks pregnant with #4 and all exercise is just not happening right now. Just walking to the bathroom feels like a marathon lately, I can’t wait to get back to a regular fitness routine after this one is born!
Fitness has always been a big part of my life growing up a dancer but got really into lifting weights once I was in college. Now that I am older I appreciate yoga so much more than I did before. You always do so good with your fitness.
I usually work out 4-5 days a week. And I looove this YouTube channel called FitnessBlender. They have everything from cardio to yoga to toning workouts.
Most of the time, my younger sister works out with me, so we usually do easy, not-so-challenging workouts. They’re pretty fun, too! 🙂
Liz @ I Heart Vegetables says
I’m sure it’s hard to stay active at this point, but it seems like you’re doing well!! 🙂
Lauren @ Fun, Fit and Fabulous! says
Sounds like you have a great plan. At 27 weeks, I am already chomping at the bit to get back to my regular workouts and running when baby girl arrives. Like you, I couldn’t be more excited about the little bambino slowing down my workouts (totally worth it), but it will be nice to drip sweat again!!
Jennifer Z says
Such a great plan!! You’ll be back out there running and lifting and stretching in no time. Getting a sweat on always makes me feel more like “me” and more accomplished for the day.