Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Getting back to it after a baby with guest blogger, April

The majority of the Girls Run the 901 know what it is like to get back into shape after having a baby. We are so thankful our sweet friend,  April has agreed to share her journey  We met April a few years ago when attending a Breakaway group run. She was so kind to us and we have been a fan ever since! The picture below is after she ran the Louisville Derby Marathon, can you believe she was able to run a marathon just a few months after having a baby? She was also recently named the Breakaway Runner of the Month and has a beautiful 9 month old son, Winston. Thank you, April, you rock!

Getting back in shape after having a baby can be a daunting task. We are recovering, sleep-deprived and adjusting to life with a new baby. This can sometimes mean that we put taking care of ourselves on the back burner. As a first time mom to a 9 month old, I know this firsthand. (Some days I feel proud of myself if I can shower and brush my teeth before noon!) Exercise often gets bumped to the bottom of our to-do lists for one reason or another. We may feel too tired, get busy or even feel guilty for being away from our families. However, I have found that getting in my daily workout makes me feel happier, more confident and more energized. I truly believe that this makes me a better mom and wife. Just ask my husband how grumpy I get when I can’t get my run in! So if I can get back to my active lifestyle with a busy family, you can too! Here are some tips to keep in mind.

Start slowly. It is truly amazing what a woman’s body goes through during pregnancy and childbirth. Our bodies need time to heal. Begin with walking and build from there.

Be realistic. The rule that it took 9 months to put the weight on, and therefore will take 9 months to get the weight off, has rung pretty true for me. It took a lot of hard work through eating right and exercising, but it is possible! I have also accepted that my body is just going to look a bit different than it did before baby. I’m not saying that’s a bad thing. I just know that certain pairs of jeans might never fit me the way they used to because I have a little extra curve…and ladies, curve is sexy! Embrace it!

Set a goal. I always find that I’m much more motivated to work out if I have a defined goal to work toward. For example, pick out a 5k or a half-marathon several months out and build your training to complete it.

Include your family and friends. These are always my favorite workouts. I love family bike rides with my husband and son. We go slow and easy, but we are still getting out there and getting that blood pumping. I would also recommend getting a quality stroller that is made for running. I can’t tell you how invaluable ours has been to us. Plus, baby sure does love riding!

Join a group. Memphis is an awesome place to meet and make friends within the biking and running communities! Most of the local sports stores and clubs have free groups that you can join, which range from beginner to experienced. I also find it super helpful to have running and biking buddies to hold me accountable.

Mix it up and make it fun! Bored with running? Do some laps in the pool or join a yoga class instead. If you make it fun, you are much more likely to do it.

Don’t be too hard on yourself. Sometimes a nap is more important, especially when you are only getting one or two hours of sleep at a time due to a waking baby. While it is good to push yourself on occasion, it is crucial to your health that you respect and listen to your body.

I hope these tips help you get back in the saddle! I know it can be hard to get started, but I have never once regretted getting out there and working up a sweat. You will feel great, I promise! Have fun!

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