We all know it can be hard to take the first steps back to fitness. After exercising my whole adult life, I took a break while I was trying for my second baby, it lasted three years (long story)! When I finally returned to exercise I realised how much happier, brighter and lighter I felt with fitness back in my life! Here is my guide to ease back in to exercise, this is what works for me, I hope by sharing, it is of some encouragement to you.
The Real Healthy Mum xx
• Find an activity you enjoy
• Build up gradually
• Listen to your body
• Find a way to make exercise a regular part of the daily routine
• Aim to be active every day it doesn’t matter if it's only a brisk walk to school it all counts towards us leading an active lifestyle
• Try and buddy up if you can with a friend or a mum from school. I love group exercise it’s fun!
• Book an appointment with yourself to move and stick to it!
• Get outside with the family at the weekend for some good old fashioned free fun to feel good as a family
• Acceptance! As a mum it’s tough but important to adjust the way we exercise after pregnancy, labor or after a break in exercise
I’m a believer in embracing what we can do now and building on that
• Be patient! Building up slowly, doing exercise suitable for where we are at now with our fitness means we can do more as
• Finding fitness that suits our bodies that we can embrace and love to do is exciting!
• Invest in a good quality pair of trainers, a supportive sports bra and a lovely pair of leggings to feel good in whilst getting fit
• Always check with your doctor before starting any new exercise plan
I am so happy to see the back of January! The first month of the year brings so much pressure to hit the gym and detox and there seems to be a new workout or eating plan to try wherever I turn. All this can be confusing and even intimidating. I feel like I should be doing something drastic, when actually my approach is very different to this. I want to keep my exercise going all year, not go as hard and tough as I can for one month then do nothing for the rest of the year. This isn’t fun and I definitely couldn’t keep it going with my busy family life. So February let’s do this! For me that means exercising regularly, eating a variety of fruit and vegetables and avoiding processed foods and sugar wherever I can. This all sounds so easy but actually it can be pretty difficult to maintain when I am running around with the children and working. Preparation is super important, I don’t want to get caught short when out and about, this can easily end up in me reaching for something unhealthy. So on a busy day I pack a snack and some lunch in my gym bag it doesn’t take long, I’m making my childrens packed lunch boxes anyway so I simply do a little extra for me, then it doesn’t feel like an extra job or the hassle of food preparation yet allows me to be organised. Finding ways of exercising that work for me, are fun, rewarding, fit into my daily routine and not something that I want to put off helps me stick with it! One of my favourite exercises is walking, I have dogs so even on those wet damp days when I don’t fancy getting out there, I have to do it and I can honestly say I never think I wish I hadn’t done that walk! To make my exercise fun in February I am meeting a group of friends for walks, taking a class with a great bunch of Mums and bringing a friend along to try a new class with me to mix things up a little!
My Exercise of the month
Scheduling in a fun class or two to my weekly routine is going to keep me motivated throughout February. When my January good intentions are dwindling, getting booked in to a group session is what’s keeping me going this month! Booking in with a friend, sticking to the same day and time each week really helps and makes it part of my routine, far easier to commit to than relying on myself alone to get up and out my cosy house!
I love December a month of festive fun! As we all know it is a little tougher to stick to the exercise plan and easy to fall into unhealthy habits after a couple of weeks of being out of the normal routine. I for one am feeling a little bloated and lacking in energy. But returning to healthy patterns makes me feel good and gives me the energy boost I need to cope with a busy family and work life. So, I’m starting now as I write this, to eat clean, hydrate and step up my exercise, which I find so much easier to do when I’m eating and sleeping well and generally in a good routine. It feels kind of nice to get back into the swing of things after the holidays not just for me but for the whole family. We are saying goodbye to morning advent calendar requests (I must remember what amazing chocolate free advent calendars there are available next year) and hello porridge, fruit and a few walks to school each week. January I’m ready for you!
My Exercise of the month
The bird dog. After I’ve done a good warm up and some dynamic stretches, as part of my main workout, I like to add in x 10 alternating Bird Dogs to strengthen my core. I focus on slow, controlled movements, keeping my back flat with my hips in line, whilst engaging my core (I find the easiest way to engage my core is to think about drawing my belly towards my spine). A nice tummy toning exercise for my post Christmas belly that also works my bottom and lats too!
Now the festive season is well under way and time is even more precious, I find it hard to make time for exercise. On the days I can’t get out of the house or I'm too pushed for time I do this little workout. My warm up, one round of the exercises and a stretch sequence takes me approximately seven minutes.
Yesterday I had a ten minute gap after all my jobs at home were done, before I needed to pick up my kids… I managed my warm up, two rounds with no rest in-between and a stretch sequence, afterwards I felt like a jollier mum, yay! I’ve added some videos in my Instagram.
My Warm Up
50 x March on spot
50 x Heel digs
50 x March and reach
50 x Jog on spot
6 x Walkouts into full plank spider man and pec stretch
My Festive Exercises
Knee thrusts x 10 each each side
Standing side crunch x 10 each side
Star jumps x 10
V - sits x 10
Kneel down stand up x 10 each side
Squat front kick x 10
My stretch sequence
I always make time to stretch out my body to avoid muscle soreness. A few of my festive favourites below!
Over the past month I have been trying to focus on healthy eating as much as possible, with the cold weather, the temptation of Halloween and Bonfire Night. At this time of year, I definitely find it tricky to keep on track with a healthy lifestyle but, equally I want to feel good and energised to keep up with everything that comes with the festive season and reach Christmas Day feeling good and ready to indulge in all the food I enjoy!
To help maintain my fitness and healthy eating I find exercising daily is the way forward. That could be something as basic as a 20 min walk to a full on 30 minute HIIT session. I find moving my body and getting outside in the fresh air (as much as possible) makes me feel good, keeps my energy levels up and encourages me to eat well.
I have been doing my best to drink at least 2 litres of water every day, which doesn’t come so easily to me when it is cold outside. As a reminder I keep a dispenser on the kitchen worktop infused with lovely, fresh sliced orange, lemon or lime and carry a water bottle with me. Fruit infused water feels and definitely tastes a bit more indulgent than plain water and I’m more inclined to stay hydrated.
My Exercise of the month ~ Walking
Cold weather and shorter days definitely mean I’m spending a lot more time indoors, so I have been trying to walk daily. I Love walking and aim to make it brisk. This not only counts towards my total number of daily steps but also as an effective cardio workout. I find a doable way to factor this in is by parking ten minutes away from the school gates. This gets some daily exercise done without too much thought and is great for my children too. If I’ve had a slow walk in with all the boys, I pick up the pace on the way back to the car when I am on my own. Then that’s my exercise ticked off the to do list for the day!
Have a great December,
The Real Healthy Mum
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