It’s easier said than done to get fit post pregnancy.
You’ve piled on the pounds, you’ve no time, you’re exhausted and you just want to collapse on the sofa with a biscuit or ten.
But I’ve found it it really is possible to build fun exercise into the day and shift some baby weight without going to the gym … which I hate!
Now when I say baby weight I mean from a baby born almost 4 years ago!
I actually did get a bit fitter immediately post baby.
I walked every where and would walk a good 45 minutes around the park with another mum at nap time.
But after going back to work, our fab “walk & talks” got dropped and the pounds and inches came back on. So in the last month I have been trying really hard to get fitter and lose weight with the motivation of getting back into a gorgeous vintage dress I inherited that won’t currently zip up. At all!
An added motivation is that a whole load of my family, including my dad, have Type 2 Diabetes. As like him I’m a classic Welsh apple shape with all the weight around my waist, I know I need to do something about it to reduce my own risk.
And I reckon that if I don’t get my heart and lungs in better shape now, it will get harder and harder to pick exercise back up as I get older.
Over the last 3 or 4 weeks I have been eating more healthily, tried to walk as much as possible and managed to get hot and sweaty with my heart pumping for about 20 to 30 minutes 3 times a week … which is what you need to do both to shift weight and to keep your heart healthy.
I’ve started off very slowly … just stretching myself a bit further each week.
I can’t get into the dress yet but I do feel so much better already and the added plus was a friend who unprompted told me my skin looked amazing! Hurrah!
This is a list of get fit tips that I am using to enjoy exercise without going to the gym.
1. Walk, Walk, Walk!
Ditch the car and public transport and walk whenever you can, as briskly as you can.
It might not get your heart pumping that seriously but all those extra steps will burn off calories.
2. Stand Up Straight
Pushing a buggy around can really give your back and shoulders a mummy slump.
Pulling shoulders back and your tummy in gets your core muscles working but also give you more energy because your diaphragm has got room to move and can get you breathing deeply.
3. Brisk Buggy Walk
Pop little one into the stroller at their longest nap time and head for the nearest park or open space.
30-45 minutes walking as fast as you can will – with the added resistance of the buggy – get your heart pumping and burn calories.
4. Walk and Talk
Find a friend with a child on a similar sleep routine to yours and go around the park together at nap time. A brisk walk and talk is not only a good cardio session but also great for mental health.
5. Attack Those Hills
If you’ve got any good hills around you attack them!
Pushing the buggy up the hills at a brisk pace is as good exercise as the running machine.
6. Scouts Pace
If you’ve got a toddler or older child who is on the move – particularly if they are on a scooter – make a virtue of the fact that you’re going to spend half your time running after them.
Put your trainers on and go “scouts’ pace” e.g. run for 50 steps, walk for 50 steps.
And scouts’ pace is great if you’re not ready to start running properly as it will let you build up gradually the amount you can run in one burst.
Root out your old rope or cut the perfect length for you from an old washing line and skip to your heart’s content in the privacy of your own home and garden.
It’s brilliant cardio exercise and will bust those bat wings and back fat and flatten your tummy – how good is that?
8. Get a Scooter
If you can’t beat them … and you CANNOT run as fast as a child on a scooter … join them!
If your kids have got a scooter get your own and zoom round the park or to school. They’re not so cheap but if you share one with your other half you can get your money’s worth out of it – Micro who make the great ones for kids do a range of scooters suitable for adults.
9. Do What You Love!
If you actually like running, run! If you hate it, you will never keep it up however good it is for you so don’t force yourself to do something that makes you miserable.
Focus on any exercise you have enjoyed in the past … cycling, swimming, dancing, basketball and find a way that you can build it into your weekly routine.
The first few times it might feel like torture but really hold onto that buzz you get at the end of it … remember that feeling and use it to motivate you the next time.
10. Start Small
Don’t be over ambitious when you first start.
If you’re completely knocked out after the first time you won’t keep going. And don’t be demoralised if you can’t do much initially.
Your body will quickly get used to the new habit if you start with just a little cardio 3 times a week and stretch yourself just a bit further each week.
11. Build Exercise into Journeys
If you’re struggling to find the time build a really brisk walk or a run or cycle or scoot into a journey that you’ve got to do anyway.
I walk a mile to my daughter’s nursery three times a week and then run the mile after the drop off, so I get in near enough 3 30 minute sessions without taking any extra time.
12. Just Keep Going
The thing about getting fit is that, the more you do it, the easier it becomes.
If you miss a day just go the next day. If you miss a week, just go the next day … your body soon gets into the rhythm and actually expects you to do it.
What are your best tips for easy exercise?