Today we’re talking all about getting back into shape post partum and setting some realistic goals.
Getting back into shape after baby
So I’m four months into this post baby body thing and am starting to get serious about exercise and eating healthy (after I make cookies tonight). Last spring, before I got pregnant, I decided I was going to learn to run (but with the pregnancy it didn’t last very long). In high school, the only time I liked running was in a good rain storm (preferably if I had something dramatic to think about) and found it so cathartic. There was one brief time in college after a break-up that I put my emotion into running (getting in shape + endorphins make life lots better), but most of my exercise was in a dance studio and running is, well, something I can work on.
These days I alternate between being incredibly impressed with my body – it grew, birthed, and now nourishes a baby – and being a tad frustrated that eighteen weeks hasn’t put an end to some of the less desirable changes. Really, the female body is an incredible thing and one fun thing about being in such poor shape after Lincoln was born is that it is easy to see progress. Like a month ago, when I started running, one mile just about killed me and I needed to walk a couple of times. Now I’m working up to longer distances and a mile is much less intimidating. There was also that time two months post partum I tried to do a sit-up and physically couldn’t even do one. One week later, after evening planks, I could easily do 15 modified v-ups. Win.
Right now, my main goals with running are to fit into my clothes (because getting in shape would be loads cheaper than buying a new wardrobe –I’m still about 8 pounds from my pre-pregnancy weight) and to be able to lead the physically active lifestyle Ben and I want/had. Life with a little one is undoubtedly a bit different, but I’m hoping this summer can still involve bike rides, rock climbing, and tennis like the ones in the past. For me, running is the quickest way to get in a good workout. While I love classes/videos like Pilate’s and Pure Barre, I feel like I need at least an hour a day to really make any progress ….but with running, fifteen or twenty minutes at a fast pace is perfect
Post Partum Fitness Goals
- Find songs with the right beat: I’ve been running to Taylor Swift’s new(ish) album 1989 and some songs are great for slow plodding and others are much better for the final sprint. Having a few good songs definitely sets the pace for my workout. My friend Janssen recommends audiobooks for runs and I’m hoping at some point I can run to books, but right now I need the motivating music.
- Set distance goals (not time goals): Just starting out, for me its more important to focus on getting the miles in instead of vamping up my speed. I let myself all-out sprint at the end of each run (and it’s my favorite part) but the rest of it I’m just focused on running and not getting anywhere fast.
- Order fun workout gear: I just picked up a few new things from Zappos (because hello two-day shipping and free returns) that will make me a little more excited to get out the door.
- Start a training regimen: I’ve found a few guides out there for 5ks and 10ks and I’d love to find one to run. I was talking about running something over thanksgiving with a friend and it would be GREAT motivation for me to be accountable to someone and something. Still thinking about it 🙂
- Stretch: My biggest issue with running is that I neglect the post-running stretches and IT band gets incredibly tight (which makes me not want to continue running) so this time around I’m trying to remember to stretch before and after each run.
- Adding more protein: I’ve started on these new protein shakes and I’m addicted. I use one as meal replacement/ fourth meal and will sometimes sneak another one at the end of the day for dessert because they taste just like frosties. The added protein helps me recover faster and keeps me from snacking on less healthy treats 🙂