My kid used to sleep for hours and hours each day, and now he does not. He's decided to be more of a cat-napper and only sleep when he's being worn, taken for a walk, or rocked. Meaning, for him to sleep, I must be moving. People keep telling me this is just temporary.... but this impatient momma just really needs a nap.
Anyway, I'm not here to complain so here is my point: I can still manage to "make it work". I have a present for you at the end of this post, so read on!
Here's how I do it:
1) Tummytime is the new workout time.
Yup, I put a blanket with some toys down for him next to my yoga mat. He gets to practice rolling and lifting his head, I get my workout in. Yes, he constantly needs to be moved, breastfed, changed, etc. No, he doesn't sleep during the day, and to be honest, I use his power naps to do other stuff. Rarely do I actually get to complete my circuits without pausing a timer, but I get it done.
2) I time everything cardio
In my honest opinion, timed cardio circuits can be most effective when time is limited. This is something I've learned from years as a groupX instructor... when I start counting down the 10 seconds that remain on a specific exercise, people typically increase their speed. Why? Because when you know you only have 10 seconds left you try harder to get the reps done! It's a complete mindset shift from "ugh TEN burpees?!" to "I only have 10 seconds, I can do this!" Rather than focusing on how hard the exercises are or how many more I could do the day before, it's a mental game of how many I can do in the here and now. Much more motivating, in my opinion!
3) Circuits are the solution
Seriously! I've been training for years and circuit training (working one muscle group then moving on to a different muscle group) seems to work the best for my clients. You get a break while you switch from upper to lower body (for example) but you never stop... so you keep your heart rate elevated and burn more calories. Even better if you can create circuits with compound exercises (like a squat-press and a deadlift row). So, from the busy working mom to the busy SAHM (see the theme here?), you just get more bang for your buck.
4) I live in my yoga pants, and sometimes I workout in my jeans
Look, motherhood is a messy job. I'm not strutting around all glam on a Tuesday. (Not like I ever did before becoming a momma, let's be real.) My new superhero costume has lots of lycra and this makes it easier to chase my baby and also to go from tummytime workouts to strollertime whenever I can. In the rare instance that I have to put something with a button on and don't have time to change, I'll just keep it to strength training or stretching. A little red lipstick and a baby wipe can go a long way.
5) Fifteen minutes are really all you need!
I'm serious! Look, sometimes motherhood IS cardio. Pair that with just 15 minutes of strength training and you're golden. Trust me, I'd much rather spend an hour at the gym or in a class but that just isn't possible most days.
Say this with me "Any movement is better than no movement!"
When I design programs for my newly postpartum mommas, this is usually the most time they have and frankly, it's better than nothing. Can you get results? Absolutely!
I designed this quick circuit specifically to challenge the muscles that we all need to recover from birth and prepare us for motherhood. It's functional circuits that mimic the movement patterns we do on the daily so we can perform better and prevent injuries. I aim to do this at least twice per week and I've already felt and seen results.