Post-baby exercise

I hear you - I’m too busy/I’m too tired/I can’t be bothered. I know, it is a total battle to prioritise exercise when what you REALLY want is sleep.

It’s not about the abs (although it could be eventually). It’s about turning up! Let's be honest, that is the main battle.

It is not about losing weight and looking like the influencers of Instagram in their post-baby bodies, please remember THAT IS NOT REAL LIFE! 

The Paper People community exists to serve all mothers, of every shape and size, it is my goal for you to celebrate who you are and for you to feel your very best.

And here is the secret about these 3 top tips:

It will actually give you more energy!

I’m going to share with you three easy ways to ease yourself back into exercise after a break away. The question is…Are you ready to make time for your body and your mind?

If so, here are three easy ways to ease yourself back into exercise after a break away. 

Speaking from my personal experience, I really notice the difference that having a regular exercise routine can have on my overall wellbeing. When I make an effort to create space for small pockets of exercise time it enhances other areas of my life. It has a snowball effect. 

Today I'm going to share with you my top 3 favourite exercise ideas which are super easy to get into. If you you're:

- a little bit out of the way of doing any exercise

- you've just had a baby 

- you just feel too exhausted after running around after kids all day

Life with children can leave so little fuel for you. 

However, that is the reason that you will love these ideas. They are perfect for beginners or those looking to ease themselves back into an exercise routine and they can be slotted into a busy life.

One benefit of the options I'm going to outline below is that there are approaches to fitness that build up over time so you don't need to be an expert to begin with they will ease you in gently. Once you get started these top 3 tips can easily become a regular habit for you, that will make you feel great.

  1. Couch to 5K

You might look at people out running and just think, ‘how could you actually be bothered doing that?’ Maybe you think to yourself ‘I'm just not a runner’.  Exactly the same thoughts were in my head. I have tried on a few occasions, in the usual new-year-new-me style, aiming to get fit and healthy. We all do it. This never seem to last very long I would often start with the best intentions and I feel like I wasn't really getting the hang of it and would give up.

That was until I tried Couch to 5K app.  it is broken down into a manageable approach, to the point it seems almost silly to begin with, where you mainly walk with a tiny bit of running.  slowly over time the amount of running increases and the amount of walking decreases with the aim being that by the end of the program which takes approximately 8 weeks you'll be able to run for 30 minutes without stopping.  I was sceptical. 

By the time the program has made its way up to running for 3 minutes and walking for 5-minutes I was telling myself that it was almost impossible for me to run for 30-minutes non-stop. However, much to my surprise and with a lot of encouragement from the voice in the app (which you can choose btw- I hear Jo Wiley is a big hit) that I played in my ear at the same time run for 30-minutes or up to 5K three times a week and what's more surprising for me is I actually enjoy it. 

So if you feel like you're ready for a challenge  or you have the desire to feel fitter then I encourage you to give this a go.

2. Yoga with Adrienne

You may have heard me mention a few times on the blog that I'm really passionate about the all-round well-being of mothers and women. I am passionate about encouraging you to take time not only for your physical health but for your mental well-being as well. That's what's great about yoga, it ticks all of the boxes. 

I started doing yoga because I was looking for a bit of balance (I don't mean standing on one leg) I mean within my own mind and lifestyle. I was looking for a tool I could use when I did start to feel a little bit overwhelmed with family life or just the endless things that sometimes pile up. Observing my breath and practising yoga really was an excellent way of giving me a little bit of headspace. 

Like anything it is so easy to go on to Instagram or YouTube and see these idealistic images of what yoga should look like and I am here to say that this is definitely not what I look like when I'm doing yoga and that it's totally ok.  Luckily yoga with Adrienne is a slow but focused program of stretches, mindfulness and yoga movement which  builds over a period of 30 days.

This is great because it offers you incremental improvements day-on-day that you will notice and feel the better of and I think that you'll find it really rewarding.  Adrienne’s instruction style is super sweet, friendly and relaxed. Her mantra encourages you to “find what feels good”.  She completely embraces the weird and the wonderful and tries to unpick the myth that yoga is about shoving yourself into uncomfortable, probably painful and dangerous poses if you're not an expert. 

The great thing about this is that you only need a yoga mat and either a smartphone, tablet or Smart TV so that you can watch the channel on YouTube. 

Keeping in mind that this is to fit in with your routine I would encourage you to think about trying to do it two to three times a week as opposed to every single day.  You want to make habits that will last not just a quick fix that will burn out.

3. Walking

I think it's important to understand that one of the big hurdles for mothers, post baby, or just life with kids in general, is that we don't necessarily feel we have time to exercise. Time for yourself feels limited so it is REALLY difficult to spend that time expelling more energy. I totally get it. However, the key to finding success in this are is to prioritise your fitness routine find something that works for you and fits in with your life. After all it is you that is doing the workout.

That's why I'm putting walking in my top 3 post-baby exercise habits. It's probably one of the easiest approaches to getting exercise into a busy day. To gain the benefits of walking and improve your fitness it is probably easier if you have a baby in a buggy. From my experience 3-year olds walk really slowly and if you have a toddler walking companion they key to this new habit will be to build it up. 

It’s more important to make the time and create a habit of undertaking exercise- so even if it's a slow wonder with a 3-year old, make sure it happens at the same time every day or twice a week so that you’re embedding that habit into your lifestyle. Telling your body that it is time to be outside and getting fresh air, moving your body the best way that you can.  If you've got a baby in a pushchair or a pram then even better because you can set the speed and can try to get a little bit out of puff as you go up the hills. 

The reason that walking is super important is that once you begin enjoying the idea of going for walks and getting outside and being active you might also then feel more inclined to move on to some of the slightly more challenging exercises such as the Couch to 5K that I've mentioned above. Walking can also be an inspiration for your kids as they grown up too. 

The absolute bottom line here is that, on top of your busy life, any exercise you do is awesome. Becoming active again and not overdoing is about finding balance. Turn up for yourself and use these three top tips to ease yourself into a manageable, effective and rewarding routine.

Jane x