I very rarely post fitness related posts.
Because I am not a fitness junkie. Yes, I try to live an active, healthy lifestyle... but it's not super fun for me.
Before my son was born, I would stay in shape my going to the gym. I went regularly, several times a week... and hated every moment of it. I would basically count down the minutes until I could leave. A few months after my son was born I tried going back to the gym to do my normal routine and... I just couldn't. Now that I had a child, I very rarely had any time to myself. So an hour of my time being all mine... was precious. And I couldn't spend that time doing something I despised.
During my pregnancy I bought a bunch of prenatal exercise DVDs. The only one I did consistently was Ruah's Long & Lean Prenatal DVD. It was the only one I did... because it was the only one I liked. The workouts were a little challenging but not difficult to the point where I wanted to quit. The exercises also relaxed me, kept me engaged, and made me feel refreshed instead of the usual exhausted. I LOVED the Prenatal Stretch and Relaxation segment. I also used the Postnatal Workout at the end of the video to start to get my belly back. Its important to BE CAREFUL with exercises right after having a baby, if you do too much or do the wrong movements, you could end up making things worse for your belly. That's why I recommend sticking to workouts that are specifically postnatal for awhile.
So once I realized I could never go back to my gym routine, I started looking for DVDs by Ruah that I could do at home. I also realized I loved walking my son outside. He loves being outside, I get to spend time with him, and the long walks are great for exercise and fresh air.
I found 2 DVDs that I now switch between. One is Ruah's Release, which is a yoga/pilates hybrid that is more about feeling great while exercising than sculpting particular body parts. The segments also range from about 10 - 15 minutes long.
Once I was getting tired of that one, I went to Suzanne Bowen's 10 Minute Solution: Perfect Pilates Body. I really love this one. Each segment is 10 minutes long, so I can easily fit it into my schedule. I also started seeing results within a week. My favorite segment is the Pilates Perfect Silhouette. I like that it encourages keeping your curves and works on tightening and toning them. There is also something about Suzanne Bowen's instruction that I just like more than any other video exercise instructor. I like that while instructing she seems understanding "You may need to use a chair here for balance... and that's ok." Or "Your leg may be a little bent. That's ok. You will be able to straighten it out once you get stronger- and you will" Thank you. Thank you for understanding you are exceptionally fit and most women... can't do this stuff perfectly right away.
I pretty much get my cardio through my mommy lifestyle. Walking my son in his stroller multiple times daily, chasing him around, and playing outside with him is plenty for me.
It's a lot easier for me to stick to an exercise routine now that I've found one that not only fits into my schedule easily, but that I also enjoy. If you're having a hard time finding a routine, don't give up! You may just need to figure out what combination works for you. Not everyone has it in them to be a gym rat. And not everyone should feel that they have to be. Because that is not the only way to get in shape.
If you want to see for yourself without buying the DVDs, here are some Youtube clips you can take a look at. Enjoy!