I hope you all are having a great week! We’re enjoying our time at Disney with the boys and I’m really excited to welcome back Lindsay from the Barre Code Metro Detroit to the blog today. At our Neiman Marcus event last month, we got to talking about the craziness of motherhood and I’m so glad she is guest posting today with some tips for moms on staying healthy amid the everyday chaos that is life with kids!ht
Without further ado…here’s Lindsay!
Prep the bottle. Fold the laundry. Feed the dog. Drink enough water. Oh, and cherish every single moment because they are fleeting and your babies will be grown and in college before you know it.
Motherhood: it is crazy, BUSY, wonderful, filled with so much love… and so much pressure. Then enters: celebrities on magazines explaining how they “lost the baby weight,” articles on Facebook telling you how to “feel like your old self,” your former wardrobe taunting you from the back of your closet… while still juggling all the other balls you have in the air.
Take a deep breath. I’m here to share a little secret. Healthy living with a baby actually IS possible, and not only is it possible but it is vital. You can’t take care of your loved ones to your greatest capability without taking the greatest care of yourself, too. This is important not for the societal pressure, or even the unnecessary pressure you may put on yourself to look a certain way. This is important because you owe it to yourself, and your family, to be your healthiest and happiest you during some of the most precious years of your lives.
Life is infinitely busier now, so as the old saying goes – if you fail to plan you can plan to fail. Map out your week (for both eating and exercising!) at the start of it, and stick to your commitment to yourself! I like to spend my Sundays doing this because my husband is also home and we can work together to prepare to head into Monday knowing where and when everybody needs to be, to make things happen the way we need them to.
Fuel your body. You can’t out exercise a bad diet. No matter what you are doing in the exercise department, if your eating habits aren’t in line you won’t be able to reap quite as great of a reward. By focusing on your fuel, you will also experience better moods (postpartum you still can have crazy hormones!), lifted energy levels, and just a greater sense of wellness from the inside-out. Try to plot out 3-4 healthy snacks to always have on hand at home, that you can also eat with one hand if on the go or juggling a babe in tow! The easy ones for me are avocado toast, bananas dipped in almond butter, cucumbers sprinkled with hemp seeds and Trader Joe’s new Everything but the Bagel seasoning (life changing), KIND bars… etc. If you find that you are losing inspiration with your snacking ideas, head to Pinterest and search “healthy easy snacks” and about five billion responses will pop up. Try to always pick items that contain at least two of the macronutrients proteins, healthy fats, and complex carbohydrates – having at least two of these with every snack or meal will give you the biggest energy boost and satisfy you longer.
Every little bit counts. Ditch the idea that the only successful workouts happen in the gym (and hi, I’m a studio owner!) Yes, you totally can’t beat the motivation and experience of a group fitness class and I’m a huge advocate of sweating in a group setting when possible as you’ll work harder there than on your own – but when life gets busy, something is always better than nothing to help you get your heart rate and endorphins lifted. Take advantage of the fall temperatures while they are still here and enjoy a nice long stroller walk. Run around with your kids or dog outside and enjoy some playtime together. Wear your baby and lunge around the kitchen. Do ten jumping jacks after every diaper change throughout the day. YouTube “no weight workouts” (or check out The Barre Code On Demand online, wink wink!) The options are endless. Make it a goal to just MOVE in some way, every single day. Your body and your mood will thank you.
Use your time wisely. When you are able to carve out time to make it to the gym or class, try to pick one that will really help you make the most of your valuable time, and that you will also enjoy as some “me time.” My current favorites in our studios are the ones that combine strength training, cardio conditioning, AND stretching – so I can feel like I hit all of my bases. HIIT training in particular can be incredible for this, because a lot of the time the lifted heart rate is coming from the intensity of the strength work (lunges, squats, burpees with push ups), meaning you are sort of double dipping on your time and getting them both in one. I also always make sure to make time for two of my favorite ways to move – kickboxing and dancing – because in addition to helping me sweat, they make me happy, and isn’t that our main goal always, anyways? Which brings me to my final point…
Know your why. The biggest way to find internal motivation is to consistently remember why you are striving toward whatever goal it is that you have in mind. My wish for women is that their “why” isn’t to succumb to the pressure of fitting into a pre-baby dress, the number you weighed in high school, insert whatever other “must do” label here. Yes, those things can totally happen with a keen focus on healthy living, but in my experience, one of the biggest and best things that motherhood brings is a daily reminder that those are simply not the things that matter. At all. My “why”? I want to be able to keep up with my increasingly-on-the-move little man. I want to set a good example for my whole family so we can have a household where healthy eating and exercise are the norm. I want to be a present and happy wife and mom as often as possible and I know exercise has those mental benefits for me, too.
Your body is incredible – it made a HUMAN. All “fit tips” and “healthy changes” aside, please always remember to give it so much gratitude and love for the gifts it brings to you and your family every single day. Any questions about fitness before, during, or after baby? I’d love to hear from you! Leave a comment below or shoot me an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org!
Lindsay Irrer is the co-owner of The Barre Code women’s fitness studios in Birmingham, Royal Oak, and Rochester Hills, Michigan. Lindsay and her business partner Janelle combined their love of movement with their passion for wellness and followed their dream to create a tribe of strong, empowered women. The Barre Code is a national franchise that offers eight styles of group fitness classes featuring strength training, cardiovascular conditioning, and restorative stretching – all with an underlying foundation of confidence, community, and connection. Learn more at www.thebarrecode.com, and use the code HSSFEED for one free visit to a Metro Detroit location!