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Getting (Back) in Shape

health happy round-upWelcome to a weekly series on Traveling with Baby, Health Happy Round-Up which focuses on multiple aspects of wholesome living and optimal health for the entire family.  Each weekend, Traveling with Baby will share some insightful news, recipes, and tips to help you consider fresh new perspectives on wholesome and happy health.

What new mom doesn’t feel the pressure of getting that pre-pregnancy body back, stat?

runner

Some moms feel ready to do light walking within a few days after the birth event.  Personally, I was advised to avoid that and especially avoid stairs for an entire month.

The road to recovery was slow, but it sped by compared to the road to regaining fitness.  I was at my peak fitness just before I was pregnant.

Anyone else?

I credit that fitness peak to the decidedly crazed health and fitness bubble that surrounded me in chiropractic college.  Have you seen Super Size Me?  Well, my colleagues and I were on the opposite extreme of that spectrum–to a fault.

I can’t compete with my grad school self the woman who could study until 11PM, then wake up at 6 AM for a long run.  Hours of class or clinic were interrupted with a lunchtime swim.  Afternoon classes were topped with weights at the gym.

Seriously.

What parent has time for THAT kind of schedule?  Maybe the Hollywood crowd, but not me.  At least, not in this season of my life.

Also, I recognize that breastfeeding can tend to keep a layer of padding for that constant milk supply.  Yes, I’m still making milk, thankyouverymuch.

So, I’ve grown weary of my clothes feeling too tight, and my padding feeling more cushioned in places that didn’t used to have quite so much.

Don’t get me wrong.  I don’t expect to look like the svelte 29-year-old pre-prego gal that I used to be.  I accept that I’m shaped a little differently now that I have birthed a baby.

However, I know I can have more energy and feel a little more comfortable in my clothes (and my own skin) if I can shed a little unnecessary padding and increase my muscle strength and endurance.

After all, I need to be fit and strong to take care of my family and my patients.

So, I started making small and manageable strides to making exercise a more regular component to my week.  Chasing after a toddler and lifting a laundry basket aren’t cutting it anymore.

1-3 times a week, I’m doing calisthenics.  The amount varies, but it looks something like this:

I bust out with as many lower abdominal crunches as I can possibly do for a full minute.  Then, I do as many pull-ups as I can for another minute.  Next, I do as many perfect military push-ups as I can before I must do the girlie modified version on my knees for a full minute.  Finally, I do as many perfect squats as I can in a minute.

Then, I lace-up my runners, and clip Calvin into the running stroller and I run…FAST.  If I slow to a walk, then I only take a few steps and then I launch back into my run.  I run as fast as I can because it forces me to use better ergonomic form compared to a sluggish and knee-jarring jog.

When I’m spent (about the time I hit cardiac hill), I walk.  But, I walk as FAST as I can with long strides and pushing the stroller up a 7% grade.

Afterward, I feel achygoodallover and refreshed.  I remember WHY I used to run…to de-stress, for refreshment, to clear my brain about the workload of the day.

I encourage you to find your fitness mojo.  Whether it’s stretching, yoga, walking, or an ironman triathlon, I encourage you to join me on the road to finding balance by first carving out some time for a few days each week for fitness.

Join me…won’t you?

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