My Postpartum Fitness Routine: Why I Think Running Is A Positive Way To Workout After Having A Baby

After having Giulian I was not in a rush to “get my body back”. The article “A Letter To My Daughter About My Postpartum Body” by Taylor Roybal perfectly portrays my views on how amazing, powerful and beautiful our bodies are. Being pregnant, giving birth and then breastfeeding made me realize that my body is more powerful than I ever knew. I now have a deeper understanding and appreciation for my body, I see it in a whole new light thanks to motherhood.

With that being said, I also knew that I wanted to get back in shape after having Giulian. I knew I wanted to challenge myself in fitness, feel strong, get my stamina up so I can have more energy to keep up with our baby boy and of course the added bonus of fitting in all of my super cute clothes I had before baby G. After Giulian was born I took about 6 to 8 weeks off from working out (the normal suggested time), we went on a ton of walks but that was about it. After that I did some workout classes, at home workouts and hit the treadmill a few times a week. Then in early March of this year (2018), I began my running journey. I had two of my best friends say they were going to run the Boulder Boulder, a popular 10K run here in Colorado. I decided to do it with them and since I was the rookie in the group I felt this pressure to make sure I was going to keep up with them on the day of the run. They both had ran the 10K before, but I had never participated in anything like that so I had an extra layer of nerves about it, thinking “gosh, I can’t be the weak link of the group!” So, I picked a training plan and stuck to it for the weeks up until the race. I was so strict about the training, I didn’t miss a single day. On the day of the race we had a blast, I was absolutely prepared and we had a wonderful time. Then I decided I wanted a greater challenge, so I signed up for a half-marathon. Training for that was a whole new commitment, the days of the long runs kicked my butt and were incredibly time consuming, but I did it and I’m so glad I did.

It feels great to be proud of yourself, to challenge yourself, and to finish what you start. It’s the mental part of all of it that I think is such a good thing for women to do postpartum. As mothers with new babies we can get so consumed with the daily tasks of motherhood that we forget to take care of ourselves, too. Having something for myself was so important in regaining my happiness after having Giulian. I struggled quite a bit with feeling happy for the first few months of Giulian’s life, I was exhausted and stressed out. Even on the days where I was tired, going on a run really helped me to relax and regain perspective on everything. I think it’s such a positive thing to do after having a baby and I’d suggest it to any woman going through a similar journey.

Here are the 5 reasons why I think running is a positive way to get in shape after baby:

  • It gets you in shape without having the focus be your weight.

    I didn’t want to obsess over my weight and the way my body looked after having a baby. I didn’t want to get caught in a downward spiral of shaming my body for how it looked because of having a baby, instead I wanted to focus on being happy, healthy and feeling good in my skin. What I love about running is that my goal was never a number on the scale. My goal was always to increase how far I could run little by little over a long period of time. My goal was to stay consistent with the training plan I had picked out and to finish the race I had signed up for. And that’s exactly what I did, for both the 10k and the half-marathon. I simply picked out a training plan and stuck to it. For the 10k I literally did not miss a single day from the training plan, I was extremely strict about sticking to it and training properly. I missed quite a few runs on the half-marathon training but overall I stuck to the plan and increased my distance little by little. It was amazing to watch my body change, and to feel the change. When I first started running, one mile without stopping was a huge challenge, this was 27 weeks ago. Now one mile doesn’t feel like much, I’m so proud of how far I have come.

    The truly amazing thing is I have not focused on my weight during this entire process, I didn’t obsess over how I looked, what size I wore or what the scale said, and I actually weigh less now than I did before I got pregnant. When I got pregnant I weighed 135 and I now weigh 129. I’m so grateful that this is how I lost the “baby weight” because I don’t want to say I starved myself, deprived myself or mistreat my body just to lose weight. I used to pull that crap in high-school, obsessing over how skinny or fat I felt, and I really didn’t want that to be my postpartum story too.

  • It gives you goals outside of motherhood.

    I’m sure you’ve heard people say things like this before, that it’s good to have goals outside of motherhood. I strongly agree with this. I’m not trying to diminish the job of being a mother, it’s hard work and also extremely fulfilling. However I do think it’s healthy to have goals, dreams and work outside of motherhood, even if you’re a stay at home mom. The more full your cup is the more you can pour into your children and your family. And accomplishing goals and growing as a woman outside of motherhood will fill your cup and make you a better mommy. Giulian is too young to understand now, but I want him to be inspired by me and the goals I’m pushing towards. I want him to see that mommy and daddy both value growth and are ambitious. And if for no other reason, it’s good for you to feel proud of yourself mama!

  • You get time to yourself.

    Not gonna lie, sometimes I wish my time to myself was sitting in a peaceful coffee shop sipping on a latte, but you know what—going on a run is good too. Just to have some time away from the kiddos is a great thing. I don’t think any mama would argue with that.

  • It gets you outside, fresh air and vitamin D.

    Parents.com has an article on ways to prevent postpartum depression and one of the things mentioned is make time to exercise. The article shared a quote that I found so true, it said “Taking a brisk walk, getting fresh air, and enjoying nature can improve your outlook," says Karen Rosenthal, Ph.D., a psychologist in Westport, Connecticut.” I personally think running outdoors instead of on a treadmill is the best option for postpartum workouts (if the weather permits of course). There have been so many moments where I was feeling overwhelmed, anxious from the baby being upset or just stressed out from my “to-do list” and then I would go on a run and feel so much more relaxed and ready to conquer my day. It’s been a wonderful stress reliever over the last six or so months.

  • It’s a great opportunity to push and challenge yourself .

    Like I said before, it’s so important to feel proud of yourself. It’s a great way to build your self confidence (which can be lower during the postpartum phase of life). Running helped me regain a ton of confidence after having the baby, I began to feel better about how my body looked and how my body felt. Every time I set a goal to run a little bit further and I achieved the goal, it was a boost in self confidence and over time it let my subconscious know that “I can finish what I set out to achieve”.

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Whatever form of fitness that is best for you, is best for you. I just wanted to share my running journey with you all and the reasons why I feel it is a wonderful way to get back in shape after having a baby. Comment below if you’d like to share about your postpartum fitness journey, I’d love to hear!

 
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Summer Workout Routine + The Perfect Post Workout Snack

The official first day of summer is coming. June 20th. This time of year, with beaches, bikinis, vacations and summer outfits on my mind, I am far more health conscious. I find myself more motivated to bust my booty during workouts and to choose healthy snacks.

I am super grateful that my sister is a personal trainer. Sometimes I get bored of my same workout routine and I'll ask her to fill me in on some fresh moves. She was kind enough to let me film her so that I could share her awesome workout routines with all of you! This is a simple workout for men or women that you can do at the park. The only thing you need is a park bench and some water. She has demonstrated six simple workouts for us to do, that we are to try to complete at least three times all the way through. I hope you enjoy this killer full body workout. Don't forget to keep reading to discover the perfect post workout snack!

FIRST MOVE

Squats | 20 Times

 
 

SECOND MOVE

Push-ups | 20 Times

Choose one of the three variations

THIRD MOVE

Bench hops | 20 Times

 or

Modified bench walks | 10 Times each leg leading

FOURTH MOVE

Tricep Dips | 20 Times

Choose one of three variations

FIFTH MOVE

Squat kicks on the bench | 20 each leg

 

 

FINAL MOVE

Inchworm, tricep push-up, & knees to elbows | 20 Times

Make sure to stretch good before and after your workout to prevent pulling any muscles. 

Carbohydrates are great to consume after an intense workout like this. Fruit is such a pure and natural way to get some sugar/carbs in. Froozer, a Colorado based nutrition company, was kind enough to send me some samples of their frozen fruit snacks. They are delicious! Genuinely, my husband and I have sorta become addicted to these because they really are great. The company prides themselves on having extremely healthy products that are NON GMO, dairy free, kosher, gluten free,  and all natural, so basically anyone can enjoy them. They have three flavors- Strawbanana Bliss, Tropical Sunset and Blue Aloha.

We loved them all, in fact we already ate them all (within a couple days of receiving them!). I wasn't kidding when I said it's an addiction! We need to make our way over to Safeway to pick up a few more boxes. Like I mentioned before, it's the perfect post workout snack, but we also are just loving them as a cold summer snack to cool us down. 

Another great thing about Froozer and their line of products is it's an easy thing to be able to take with you when you're out and about... like at the park doing a workout! It's really a good way to intake some carbs before or after a workout and an easy snack to have for the kids if they get hungry. For those of you out there that may be watching your sugar or carb intake, Froozer products are only around 35 calories! So not only do you get to enjoy a sweet treat, but you can do it guilt free. Check 'em out, I was really impressed with the product and will be buying more as soon as possible because we ate ours so quickly.

 

* This post is a collaboration with Froozer. As always, all statements and opinions are genuine and my own. Thanks so much for supporting the brands that partner and collaborate with According To D. 

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Nightly Health & Fitness Routine: a few small disciplines can make a huge difference

Please understand, I am not a health professional in any way. I am simply passionate about discovering different things I can do to make myself a healthier person, and I love sharing that with you! I have recently added a health and fitness routine to my nights. I try to do this every night, except I slacked while we were in Orlando on vacation haha oops. I love the idea of this nightly health routine because it is soooo simple, it takes only a few minutes, and is not difficult to squeeze in before you go to bed. This is something quick and simple to ADD to what you are currently doing; I would not suggest taking your normal workouts out of your day and adding this in as a replacement. This is simply a few small disciplines you can add to your night time routine, and over time it will make quite a difference in your health, and I personally think your energy too.

| STEP 1 |

Stop eating after 8:00pm. Or you can do what I have been doing and stop eating around 6:00-6:30pm. There are studies that show that eating late at night your body is more likely to store those calories as fat instead of burning them for energy. I have stopped eating around 6 for several nights in a row and I feel great. It keeps me from doing my late night snacking. I will eat a decent sized meal right before 6, maybe grilled chicken, veggies and some fruit and I am good for the rest of the night. I might get hungry around 10:00pm or so, but because I stick to not eating past 6, it keeps me from snacking and adding unnecessary calories. I am going to continue doing this, I want it to simply be part of my lifestyle. 

| STEP 2 |

30•30•30

30 lunges on EACH SIDE, 30 squats, and 30 push-ups. Adding this onto your regular workouts will be amazing, especially for your legs and booty!!! I do this set of workouts with no break because then my heart rate goes up a bit. 

 

| STEP 3 |   

Drink 8oz or more of water before you go to bed.

Ok, this one I have really struggled with. I am horrible at drinking water, I need to get better because that is so bad for my body. The only downside to this one is I always wake up at least once to pee in the middle of the night. But hey, I guess that's a small price you pay to be healthier. 

 

THAT'S IT!! See, I told you it was simple. Three simple disciplines to add to your nightly routine that over time, will make a huge difference in your overall health and wellbeing. I, with you, will be implementing this. I'm excited to see the effect it has over time. I'm sure I'll have days where I slack, but what's important is getting back on track and each day resetting your focus towards a better you. 

Thanks for reading and stopping by! Comment below with your favorite nightly routine. Also, if you decide to implement this, comment below and keep me posted with your progress!! 

 

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