During pregnancy something I looked forward to after giving birth was working towards my pre-pregnancy fitness level and weight. Before becoming pregnant with Maeve I was in great shape. Maybe the best shape I've ever been in. I felt healthy and strong and very comfortable/confident in my own skin. Those are all feelings I love having.
I want to be explicit that I don't think I (or anyone) should be a certain weight or look a certain way to feel good and be comfortable in their own skin. Even heavier and less fit, I feel comfortable and confident in my body now too and actively practice appreciating my body. For me personally it's a fun kind of hobby to build back up my fitness and strength as well as work towards fitting into my non-maternity clothes again.
Before the global pandemic hit I felt excited about returning to my three times per week usual workout routine after giving birth and recovering. I knew that at first I would feel slow, not as strong, and a bit winded but if I just kept showing up I would improve. Well, once I was physically ready to return to exercise my previous workout routine no longer existed.
I've never loved working out from home so I wasn’t excited about home-based workouts. But you know what? I'm doing it anyway. Even though I'm not enjoying home workouts as much as in-person classes I'm not hating it as much as I thought I would. I tell myself that if I just keep showing up I'll get stronger and more fit which will make the workouts even more enjoyable. Also, my own personal saying is that you never regret a workout. And it’s always true!
Here's what I'm currently doing:
+ Exercising three or more times per week. Consistency is key for me so each week my goal is to work out a minimum of three times. Right now Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays is working for getting in three workouts and then I can add additional workouts from there. Even though with working out at home the day doesn’t matter (except for High Fitness) I like having a schedule. This way as I head into the week I’m already mentally preparing for my workouts.
+ Monday jogs. After I put Maeve to bed on Mondays I pop in an AirPod and hit our neighborhood sidewalks for a 30 minute jog. Even though it's warm (like 97+ degrees!) it's actually not that bad since the sun isn't shining and there's very little humidity. I actually kind of like warm, dark summer runs.
+ Wednesday evening jog + Orange Theory at-home workout. These are pre-recorded and available through the app with membership. My membership is currently on hold but the app still works and has a new workout daily plus archived workouts. This past week I added a 20 minute jog before the workout and I'd like to continue that practice.
+ Friday morning Zoom High Fitness class. I shove Legos out of the way, log in to Zoom, and dance around our front room for an hour. It's not as fun as in-person but it's still really enjoyable and such a great workout. I'm so sweaty at the end! If you have any interest in joining, the class is at 8 a.m. PST and is just $2! Everyone's screens are blacked-out so you don't have to worry about not knowing the moves. Follow my instructor, McCall, on Instagram for more information.
+ Online barre3 workouts. This is a new routine I’m hoping to make consistent. My friend let me try out her online membership and I enjoyed it so I signed up for my own account. One evening a week I want to do a 20 minute jog and then a barre3 class. Maybe I can plan to do it Saturday or Sunday, whichever works best that week.
Having a set exercise schedule has always helped me maintain an active lifestyle. Other things that are helping include changing into my workout clothes before or soon after dinner on nights when I'm going to work out. And it helps me to picture myself working out and imagining how good it will feel to finish the workout. That helps to keep me motivated to follow through.
Right now I don't get a lot of time to myself. Living through a global pandemic also makes this an unprecedented and uncertain time. Exercising is a way that I relieve stress and also that I connect with myself. It feels so good to get that time which in turn motivates me to work out.
Even though I still don't love at-home workouts I'm pleasantly surprised that it's not a deal-breaker for me. I feel proud of myself for doing them anyway and the benefits of regular exercise, especially during this crazy time, feel well worth the efforts.