For this week's Wisdom Wednesday, I asked Achiever Emily H. if she would give us some insight on what it's like to continue a health and fitness routine as a new mom! Read our conversation below for some truly great advice!
Question 1: What has been the biggest challenge maintaining a fitness routine as a new mom?
TIME. Squeezing out that hour is tough (especially when you're like me and you're NOT a morning person). I can't decide on a whim anymore to swing by the gym in the evening. We've had to experiment a little bit with different days and times to figure out what type of routine will work best. I also started adding runs on days when I work from home after daycare drop-off. It's getting easier, but it's been a bit of a process to get there.
Question 2: What have the been the greatest benefits of maintaining a fitness routine as a new mom?
OH SO MANY. I'll list them out for you:
1. "Getting your body back" is not (entirely) about the scale: You spend nine months with an (adorable) intruder. And then you spend a few more months carrying the (adorable) kiddo in your arms, napping with the intruder on your lap, feeding the intruder, etc. etc. And it's great. But it also means that parenting is real, hard, physical work and it's almost constant. Going to the gym meant that I got to laser-focus on myself and my needs--and get stronger to meet my family's needs.
2. My kid is a giant. I have managed to haul him around for 18 months without a back injury. Knowing proper squat, deadlift, and TGU form is a major benefit for lifting a kid!
3. Being a mom is a big part of my identity now, but it has been an addition, not a replacement. Part of that is that I have my gym time and my gym space to have my own accomplishments and goals, and it really forces me to think about what I want. It can be super easy to slip into a kind of all-consuming mom fog, but it's been so important for me that I have my "thing" that I get to do. I get to add things like "runner" and "can bench 85 pounds" to my identity in addition to "Mom."
4. He doesn't SAY this yet, but my son is growing up knowing that going to the gym and exercising is a fun thing that mom does, and that girls can be super-strong.
Question 3: If you could give expecting moms one piece of advice based on what you know now, what would you say?
Taking care of yourself is a part of taking care of your family. Try to get back in as soon as your doctor or midwife gives you the all clear! Those first few visits back were so strange because I was in a different body--different than before I was pregnant, different than pregnancy. But like I said before, Achieve really helped me figure out that body (which I would argue is now New and Improved). Take it slow, listen to your body, and know that you are doing your best for you, your kid(s), and your family. And then get out there and rock it!
Learn more about getting fit with the Unify Approach, a new, four-part fitness methodology.