Probably the question I get asked most often by clients, is how do I make time for exercise with a new baby in the house—plus all of my other responsibilities?? Well, I’m here to tell you, it definitely isn’t easy, but it can totally be done! Thousands of new moms, just like you (and me) are making it work everyday. It really just takes some creative planning and team work. Achieving physical fitness at any time (but especially at this time) is a commitment. You have to make it a priority in your day. This may mean waking up earlier than you’d like to or you’re used to. It may mean skipping that afternoon nap or, more likely, skipping those afternoon chores while baby sleeps. It could also mean ordering take out, allowing someone else to cook dinner, or eating leftovers a few nights per week. Are any of these scenarios optimal? Probably not. But, if you’re ready to make a commitment to yourself, your family, and your health than choose how you’ll make it work. Another great way to fit it in, is to make it a family affair. Take a walk (or run) with baby in the stroller or take family walks together in the early evening. What a great way to get in your exercise and reconnect with your partner at the same time!
I’ll tell you my own experience. I was really committed to getting healthy after my son was born. He. Was. Not. A. Good. Sleeper. In any way. He was up every 2 to 3 hours for the first 10 months of his life. I was exhausted because he was breastfeeding and I was the only one who could get up with him for those first several months. Luckily, I was able to stay home with him for the first 5 months of his life, but those second 5 months while I was working were even more brutal. Anyway, while I was home during those first 5 months, I wouldn’t say the sleep deprivation was any easier to deal with. Just different. I could stay in my pajamas all day even though I was on call to my little man. How did I fit exercise in during this time? Well, I gave up day naps and chores to work out in my basement. I made it a priority. Of course, there were some days when I would’ve rather been on the couch, but those were the days I made myself workout the hardest. I NEVER came out of the basement wishing I didn’t workout. It made me feel better every time. My energy improved, I felt happier, and I felt accomplished. Were there days I didn’t make it into my basement to workout? Yup. And, those were the days, I felt the worst. I was tired, cranky, and felt like I was failing. I always worked out harder the next day. So in some way those days inspired me.
Once I went back to work it became a little more difficult. Those basement workouts were a little more difficult to fit into my day. But, I still made it down there in the early evening most days before dinner. The key for me was always before dinner because once dinner happened, I was exhausted. I knew that about myself, so I worked around my needs. The lesson here is to know what’s best for you and work around it. Don’t work against it. Early mornings better for you? Great do that. Late at night is better? Awesome, go for it. As baby got older, we began taking a lot of family walks in a local park. This was such a great way to reconnect as a family while getting in a much needed workout. We talked about our day, looked at the beautiful scenery, and worked up a sweat all at the same time. Win, win, win.
My goal here is to let you know that yes, it’s hard to fit everything into your schedule. But, if you make it a priority, you can totally make it work. If you’re interested in some at home workouts to get you started, check out my online yoga, barre, and postnatal fitness programs at app.namastream.com/y2bfit. The membership plans start at just $10 per month for unlimited yoga and barre videos.
Self care is so important. I can’t say it enough. You need to make time for you. Make the commitment to yourself today.