Fitness After Baby

My little medal winner

My little medal winner

A series of eternal debates rage on in my head… exercise vs. sleep, exercise vs. clean, exercise vs. snack, exercise vs. sit around doing absolutely nothing at all… Before baby, the answer was always fairly easy for me. I have always enjoyed working out. After W “the anti-sleep baby” was born, the decision to exercise became increasingly more difficult. Everyone I talked to said the same thing, “You really should try to sleep when the baby sleeps.” The problem with this suggestion is that there is so much else that needs to be done.  Besides, it’s not like falling asleep is the easiest thing in the world for new parents. No, after W was first born I had so much adrenaline pumping through my system from lack of sleep that by the time  I had fallen asleep he was up again. I call it the Ugly, Sleepless Cycle of New Parents. So, I would spend 30-45 minutes, never more than that, lying in bed, not sleeping, thinking about all of the things I could be doing with my free time.

As the months went on, W became a slightly better napper/sleeper, and I got used to living with the lack of sleep. Who knew baby sleep doesn’t typically follow a straight progression? Regressions, teething, growth spurts all contribute to a very up and down pattern of sleeping. I feel like I’m rolling the dice every night, and I know all too well that the house always wins. So, I have adapted and have developed ways to exercise and stay in shape despite W’s unpredictable sleeping habits.

I would think that most people, parents and non parents alike, would agree that one of the biggest obstacles getting in the way of exercise is time. Previously, working out to me was this big “event.” I had to get the right outfit, put my hair up, put on my sneakers, go to some place (e.g. gym, class), do the work out, come home, shower, etc. I have since learned that getting in some exercise does not have to be a huge production. I have realized that I don’t need to leave my house to get a work out. Heck, I don’t even need to change! You only have 10 minutes to spare? Run up and down the stairs a few times, jog in place, do some jumping jacks, push ups, even dancing around the house is better than nothing. You have somewhere to go and don’t want to get all gross? Try a few yoga moves; you’ll increase your strength and stability without even breaking a sweat. Even if you feel absolutely ridiculous doing squats in your living room as your significant other binge watches episodes of Orange is the New Black; once you’re finished you will feel infinitely better about yourself and, shockingly, more awake!

Stay tuned for my first fitness routine post next week!

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