Post-Partum Cardio Essentials
As a mom sometimes it can be hard to balance prioritizing yourself and your needs, against those of the home and your children. When short on time and energy, a lot of the time one of the easiest things to sacrifice is your exercise routine. After all, spending time with your children is more important, right? lol
It is so easy to talk our way out of working up a healthy sweat! I'm no exception. A couple of months after delivering Arria this was the struggle of my life. I wanted to work out but I couldn't muster up the will power to do it-- yet at the same time, I was constantly complaining about the baby weight not dropping as quickly as I wanted, and about how my clothes weren't fitting the way I liked.
At one point it finally dawned on me that just sitting around complaining about my post-baby body wasn't going to do anything to change it-- it just made me hate my body even more. So I stopped whining, and started going on daily walks in hopes that it would get me back on track to running. Once I started on my daily walks I came to realize that I needed to invest in some simple workout gear. As soon as I did this, I discovered that just investing in couple of key items, actually motivated to want to work out!
1. First and foremost, a sturdy baby carrier that is comfortable for both you and baby (especially when it comes to extended wear at any given time).
A really lightweight stroller that glides well on various terrains and can quickly be folded up/put away with ease.
I invested in a baby carrier about 5 weeks after Arria was born, and truth be told it was one of the best investments I could have made at the time. Using the baby carrier not only allowed for extra bonding time and snuggles, it also helped work me out a little more! Carrying Arria around was like having an extra 10 pound weight strapped to my body everywhere I went-- except I always wanted to kiss and chat with it. lol In addition to this, while on walks wearing Arria in the carrier allowed me to keep both hands free. Not having to worry about lugging around the extra weight of a fumbling stroller meant more dancing, hugging back rubs, and free access to my phone when necessary. Plus when we wanted to head out we were able to do so quickly and easily! And thankfully so, because after staying inside for a couple of weeks I was starting to go stir-crazy. The weather was just starting to warm up and the fresh air felt so nice!
When it came to a carrier, I decided to purchase a Baby K'tan because it wasn't bulky and didn't require straps and buckles which made it easy to put on. In addition to this, it could be thrown into the wash with very little fuss because it's all cloth. My Baby K'tan was an investment that continued to pay off throughout the year, until we started using the stroller on a regular basis.
Arria is super observant and it was more convenient for her to witness her surroundings from the stroller after a year. The fact that the stroller also makes it easier for me to load additional bags and things (rather than carrying them) is definitely an added bonus!
I recognize that the baby wearing life is not for everyone. Personally, I found baby wearing to be super convenient since you can't initially use a stroller without an additional (newborn carseat) system because they're so little. We'd originally purchased a super fancy jogging stroller system, but after more thought we returned. We realized that ultimately the most important thing for us was that the stroller was light weight and easy to stow away.
2. A solid pair of bluetooth headphones
Nothing sets you up for a feel good workout like great tunes-- but you know what makes those tunes sound even better? Not having to fidget and fumble with cords. It doesn't matter if you're going on a walk or a jog-- headphones that constantly fall out are a definite vibe kill. On top of this, if you're wearing your baby in a baby carrier you want to avoid having cords or wires anywhere near your sweet child's neck.
I tried buying a number of different wireless headphones (I'm talking like 4 pairs in less than 3 months). Almost all of them broke within a couple of weeks which was rather disappointing because they were supposed to be great quality. They all came with a "lifetime warranty," But each time those lifetimes were rather short-lived.
Eventually I took to amazon and found a pair of Mpow wireless headphones. All of a sudden my life was changed! The sound quality was great not only for listening to music, but also for making calls; the earbuds stayed snug in my ear even when I went on a run and with heavy sweat, the band went behind my neck so it was never in my way or baby's, the controls for changing the songs/volume were easily accessible.... but the best part was that they were less than 25 bucks! My younger brother saw me with them, tried them out, and loved them so much that he purchased two pairs for himself. Later on my husband did the same. ;-)
It has now been over 8 months later an these headphones are still going strong. Definitely the best pair of headphones I have ever owned, especially when it comes to working out!
3. Cute workout outfits:
Once I started exercising again I realized I needed to revamp my entire workout game. No more wearing the same cheerleading sweats and gym shorts that I've had since high school and college; it was time to sex it up a little! I didn't want to become the rag-tag bummy mom that everyone in the neighborhood recognized while doing my daily walks. Not that I planned on wearing anything risqué-- but at the same time I wanted to look as good (on the outside), as I knew I would feel after finishing my workout.
So I invested in some cute and colorful new workout apparel-- mainly leggings. Tons of leggings. Every time I went to Marshalls a cute pair of sporty new leggings always seemed to make its way into my cart... and eventually into my closet. As a new mom (with potentially fluctuating weight), I'm sure that the wonderful world of leggings may find its way into you heart and closet as well.
In addition to these, there are some additional workout pieces that you should pick up as well:
a) A couple of quality sports bras: Your jugs are carrying extra love and your baby's
breakfast, lunch, and dinner-- You need to make sure that they are well supported. Nothing can make cardio more discouraging than an achy back and leaky boobs gone wild.
b) A good comfy pair of sneakers (depending on your level of activity/the kind of exercise you'll be doing): Cute sneakers can only go so far if you barely ever wear them because your knees ache. Invest in cushion! During pregnancy your body experiences so many changes, while having a baby your body undergoes so much stress. Be kind to your body and your feet when you can. Give your joints the cushioned support they need. You'll feel so much better, and eventually you'll feel so good that you may surprise yourself and want to do longer harder workouts!
I invested in two pairs of sneakers for different occasions: A pair of Nike Flyknits for casual walks, and a pair of Nike Free RN Distances for going on runs. Both shoes are so comfortable and feel like I'm walking on marshmallows. When I was trying them on I came to accept that though I loved the look of the Flyknits, there wasn't enough cushion in the shoes for me to be jogging longer distances; and while I wasn't as in love with the look of the Free RN's, they felt better suited for higher impact distance. I loved both shoes so much and couldn't decide so, I bought both. :)
c) A sporty hat: At first I didn't think I needed one of these, but as the days grew hotter, and the sun was in my face, I gave in and purchased one by Adidas. I loved the curved bill fit, and it sits nice and snug on my head without the need to adjust a snap or velcro. Whenever I'm in a rush to get out without looking crazy, having this sporty little situation to slap on over my struggle-twists is always a quick and easy win for me. :)
5. Complete the look with cute workout gear and accessories!
Once I got into the workout spirit, I also picked up a cute and very functional water bottle and sports bag. I recognize that these things aren't really "essential", but I found that they motivated me to want to live a little healthier.
I'd never felt the need to invest in a water bottle-- but the Kleen Kanteen, though more expensive than I would have typically liked ($25), has been worth every penny (all 25000) of them. lol The canteen holds 32 ounces and keeps my water cool for over 12 hours. I've left ice in my bottle and a full day later, there was still ice water! Since having the canteen, I've built a habit of keeping myself well hydrated and easily drink over 86 ounces of water a day.
I also invested in a really cute gym bag by Adidas (they make the cutest stuff!), and a fanny-pack for running. I love the color gold. So this black and gold splattered bag was very much my vibe. When I saw it, I HAD to have it, but (to make sure I wasn't being impulsive) I waited a whole week before coming back to buy it. So happy I did! Carrying my kickboxing gear in any other bag just wouldn't be the same-- and the fact that there are so many compartments helps keep my life (and my belongings) easily accessible and organized. It's every moving mommy's dream!
6. A cute yoga mat!
A yoga mat probably isn't necessarily cardio-centric, but it is good for overall wellness and relaxation. After pounding the pavement, hitting the bags, or whatever cardio release you chose-- a good stretch should always be thrown in the mix before, and after. I found that investing in a cute yoga mat motivated me to use it. lol
In the 6-week period after delivery (where they tell you to avoid stressful workouts and sex) I even picked up a daily yoga challenge on YouTube! Though I got nowhere near yogi status, I did find that the stretching felt good and allowed me a much needed mental break.
Well, I hope that this list has inspired you to get up, get out, and get started on living your best #LiveRi¢hMommy life!
If you still need some motivation/inspiration, check out the workout gear at your nearest Marshalls-- there is always so much cute stuff! Hopefully you're trying a form of exercise and wellness that awakens your inner strength, or maybe you're considering trying something that's new to you. No matter what it is, or how you do it, kick ass!
#LiveRi¢h, and happy dream chasing!
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