I’ve been craving routine. Basically, I’m craving some type of schedule for life in general, but especially for training and mealtime.
As you probably know, we had a baby and bought a house in the same day. We moved and we are starting to get a bit settled…finally! After two weeks of having people in and out doing some work in the kitchen (and being pretty much kitchen-less, which is a nightmare with a newborn!) this week feels so quiet and normal and I feel like we can finally say, WE ARE HOME.
Between unpacking, taking care of two kiddos and still working when possible, I knew that during these last few weeks, it would have been silly for me to really try to plan much of anything. Newborns eat often and since Drew was such a peanut I think he may eat “more than your average bear.”
So what is a new mama to do during a period when time is extremely limited and life circumstances prevent a whole lotta routine?
How to Fit in Exercise with a Newborn
1. Be consistent, not perfect. Don’t forget, you had a baby. You’ve lost some strength, you’re probably a little fluffy in some spots and you’re tired.
When you think about setting goals, be realistic. Start with walking. Then add in whatever is realistic for you. Which leads me to my next point…
2. Ask for help so you have some dedicated “me-time.” On days when I have more help (one day on the weekend and Thursday mornings usually for now) I get to the gym. That gives me at least two solo workouts per week and seems very doable based on our current schedules.
3. Walk often. When CJ is at school, Drew and I walk a lot. I was super worried about not having somewhere to walk at our new house because it’s not really a neighborhood like where we lived before, but there’s a quiet road right near me that is PERFECT for walking.
By the way, not only will walking help with fat loss, but it greatly improves your sanity and can even help with pospartum depression.
4. Take your clothes out at night…or don’t. 😉 I am a huge fan of setting my clothes out the night before I plan to exercise. (I also set my son’s clothes out too because you just never know what the morning is going to bring!) Being prepared is important.
Lately there have been a few times when, even though I’d taken my clothes out the night before, I found it easier to throw on a sports bra and train in my pajamas before showering for the day. It’s easy to convince myself to get ‘er done if the boys are still sleeping or the morning is going well and I know the workout will only take 20-ish minutes.
5. Utilize Short Workouts…or mini-workouts for mamas! There are a few ways you can do this. One is simply to take advantage of morning, evening or nap times when kids are sleeping. The other is to compete sets of exercises throughout the day.
Mini-Workouts for Mamas!
Workout Type 1 – Sporadic Sets Throughout the Day
You may not have an hour to yourself. Heck, you may not have 20 straight minutes to yourself, but that doesn’t mean you have to throw in the towel and just quit exercising altogether!
Instead, do Pull-ups or chin-ups throughout the day!
(Pushups work well too if you do not have a pull-up bar and/or can not perform pull-ups. But…please do your pushups the right way.)
For this workout, either set a goal of how many of each exercise you’d like to get in or how many sets of an exercise you’ll do.
For example, aim for 25 pull-ups today. Or shoot for 10 sets of 3 pull-ups. Leave a paper near the pull-up bar and mark them off when you do them. This gives you a goal to shoot for throughout the day and keeps you focused on constant improvement. Plus, it’s one way to get really damn good at pull-ups.
The other day I even added in deadlifts since I’m just starting out again and need to practice! I’m going light and greasing the groove so I didn’t really need to warm-up prior to the sets.
(This one won’t work if you’re going heavy or if you’re an inexperienced lifter. Try bodyweight squats or light goblet squats instead!)
Tried something different for a workout today. 10 sets of 3 chin-ups and 8 sets of 8 super light deadlifts. Starting to grease the groove on deadlifts a bit since its been a long time! (These didn’t feel great the last 2 months or so of pregnancy so it’s probably been about 4 months since deadlifting.) I did sets of each exercise throughout the morning randomly while doing other things. #mama #motherhood #fitmama #maketime #deadlift #chinup #strength #postnatal #athomeworkout #sistasofstrength #fitfluential
A video posted by Amanda Perry (@amandamaryperry) on
Workout Type 2 – Quick and Effective Workouts for New Mamas
I’m loving 15-30 minute workouts lately. It’s funny because during pregnancy I kept things short for different reasons, but right now I know that if I aim for either a long workout or nothing at all, it will quickly turn into nothing.
Below are two of my favorite short workouts!
Countdown Kettlebell Lower Body Workout
- 10 Goblet Squats
- 10 Reverse Lunges R
- 10 Reverse Lunges L
- 10 Swings
- Next round do 9 reps of each exercise, then 8 of each, 7 of each, etc. until you get to 1. Then you’re done!
If this is too tough at first start at 5 of each, then 4, 3, 2, 1. Each week add one so you’d start at 6 in week two. Just over a month in, you’ll be at 10!
Usually, I’ll throw in military presses or pull-ups for some upper body fun, but the other day Drew fell asleep in my bed so I was two flights away from the pull-up bar when I did this workout.
Set a timer for 15 seconds of work and 15 seconds of rest. Choose an exercise and work hard for 15 seconds. Rest for 15 seconds. Repeat. Yes, keep it that simple. Your brain hurts and you’re tired. Why complicate things? If you feel like getting fancy switch it up and do 2-5 different exercises circuit style.
I love doing this with kettlebell snatches, but it works with kettlebell swings, mountain climbers, step-ups, rows, medball slams, bike sprints and tons of other exercises.
So there you have it. Utilize mini-workouts for mamas to help you stay consistent instead of aiming for perfection. Keep it simple…don’t overcomplicate your workouts and be realistic. Results will come from staying consistent, not from setting your sights way too high and failing miserably when it doesn’t work out. 😉
I am already dreaming of the day when I can really follow a true training program, but I’m glad I took 8 weeks to go with the flow a lot more than usual, especially with all we’ve had going on. I started following a “loose” plan this week so we’ll see how that goes.
For the next month or so I’ll start getting a bit more serious about my training, but still not putting a ton of pressure on myself because I know things are not quite settled yet.
Mamas, especially mamas of 2+ kiddos, what are your tips for sticking to your workouts when schedules are tight and often unpredictable?