Now that I’ve had baby #2, I’ve found that my body is totally different than it has ever been. To start off, let me preface this post by saying that this post is not about body hate, but about body improvement. I am NOT including any pictures of my “before” body, namely because I can’t stand those pictures when the picture is of a lady who is 9 months pregnant. My body at 9 months pregnant is not a before picture. That was my body doing something amazing by making a whole other human being. (Pretty cool, eh?)
What this post is about, however, is self-improvement, self-care, and strength. Before I had Little Bear, I used to go to the gym, take lots of fitness classes, and was in pretty good shape. After I got pregnant, due to a great many reasons/excuses (time, energy, medical issues) I lost muscle tone and barely exercised. I am now 3 months postpartum after having my second child and am ready to get my strength back. (Abdominal wall? What abdominal wall?!) But now, with a 3.5 year old and a 3 month old, when and how will I find the time (and energy) to exercise?
The truth is, there isn’t a lot of time. I don’t have time to go to the gym for hours everyday. I can make other excuses too: money, energy, childcare…but ultimately the only real reason I find myself not exercising is feeling like I don’t have the time.
What’s a girl to do?
If you can’t make more time in a day, make the time you have work for you! I realized that since I can’t devote myself to a strict exercise regime, I just need to exercise smart! I’ve compiled some of my favourite fast and easy workouts in this post. All of them can be done at home with little to no equipment. And yes, I have done all of them with my toddler and infant! Another bonus to these workouts is that they are all free and available online – so I can do them whenever, wherever, and however many times I want.
So join me in my quest to feel stronger and check out some of these quick and easy workout routines. (Stick with it and I promise you’ll feel better for it!)
- HIIT – So for those of you who still maintain that you have no time to work up a sweat, HIIT is for you. If you’re wondering, HIIT stands for High Intensity Interval Training. What does that mean, you ask? Think of a turbo-charged workout, and that’s pretty much it. Workouts can be as short as 7-10 minutes, during which you might be only resting for 10 seconds between reps. The result is that you can end up dripping with sweat after only 10 minutes. I used these pre-pregnancy and I know that HIIT works!
(This is a GREAT workout to do with a preschooler, especially on stormy days when you`re stuck inside. Get them to join in. They’ll think it’s hilarious, and if your kids are like my 3.5 year old, they’ll be doing circles around you burning off energy while you work up a sweat!)
Some of the free HIIT workouts I like to make use of are:
– Bodyrock/The Daily HIIT
– Zuzka Light
– Fightmaster Yoga – HIIT Playlist – My friend recently told me about Fightmaster Yoga, and while not all the Fightmaster Yoga videos are HIIT workouts, the ones that are have kicked my butt.)
One thing to keep in mind before starting any HIIT workout is that although the health benefits have been proven to be real by researchers, you must be extremely mindful of your body. When working out at such a high intensity, it is easy to overdo it or push yourself a little too hard. Listen to your body and modify/stop when and if necessary.
And on that note…
- Yoga with Adrienne – “Find What Feels Good.”
Adrienne Mishler’s YouTube channel is one of the most watched yoga channels on YouTube today. There’s good reason for that too. She’s upbeat, positive, funny, and always reminds us to “find what feels good.” She could be the girl next door, and that approachability is what makes her so appealing. She has an amazing range of videos, from Dorm Room Yoga to Yoga for the Winter Blues to a 30 Day Yoga Challenge. There’s something for everyone on her channel!
- Tammy’s Yoga – While I love Yoga with Adrienne, I found that she didn’t have enough for me to work with when I was looking for specific prenatal yoga workouts. After trying a whack of videos, I fell in love with Tammy’s prenatal yoga videos. She also gave birth just months before me, which made her even more endearing! Now one of my favourite workouts to do with Little Pip is her Mums and Baby yoga video. While I don’t think I would ever try her little baby somersault move, both Little Pip and I love doing this video together.
- Annie Pichette – I love that Annie Pichette is all about mums (she’s a wellness coach for mom, after all!). She has some great videos on her channel, but my favourite is her Baby Wearing Workout, a great reminder that there’s always a chance and a way to workout if you really want to!
These are just a few of my favourites out there. There are countless 10 minute workouts out there – you’re really only limited by your willingness to get up and do something! For me the easiest way to workout has been to incorporate it into my day as opposed to trying to do it kid-free (I can’t wake up before the kids and by the end of the day, I’m DONE). At first I thought my 3 year old would need some other activity during my workouts, but then quickly realized he loved my workouts and actually now he keeps me accountable. Before he leaves for school in the morning he makes sure that I won’t work out without him, and after school he remembers to ask me about “our” workout! Find what works for you and stick to it!
What’s your favourite way to workout at home?