There are many things I would like to spend money on—a new wardrobe (for when I fit back into my old sizes), new shoes (for the time when I don’t) and cooking/cleaning help from now until eternity. But one thing I will not spend money on is a physical trainer.
I am not knocking the profession. I know that many people get their butts kicked regularly by their trainer who can design a specific workout plan for them. If I had the money, I would certainly hire one. But I have a number of other things I would prefer to spend that money on first. So the workouts? They are all up to me.
I am lucky.
I have tremendous amounts of motivation when it comes to working out. No one has to force me to go to the gym—I am already there. I actually like getting up at 5 a.m. and completing a run before the rest of the world is even awake. I am crazy like that.
Running, specifically, and working out in general give me a sense of control. Every day I do this for myself, something I can count on even when the rest of my day feels like it is spiraling. I sometimes wish there was a national mandate for us all to work out six times a week. I swear there would be less crime.
So, how does a trainerless mom (especially one who is nursing a newborn) find the time to work out?
1.) Work out videos (good ones include the 10-minute solutions DVDs–I heart Suzanne Bowen’s pilates DVD and doing it in 10 minute increments allows you to get a full workout without the time commitment on crazy days. I also love Baron Baptiste’s Yoga DVDs; Denise Austin’s core workouts and Mom and Baby pilates with Jennifer Gianni.)
2.) Four-mile run/walks (40-60 minutes, depending on pace) before or after work—this workout takes less time than hauling to the gym and it is nice to get fresh air. It will not take you away from your newborn so long to necessitate a bottle either if you time it right.
3.) 10-minute circuit training sessions around the house with some stretchy bands for resistance, light handweights and jumping jacks for cardio.
4.) Check out options for new moms—Mom and Baby Yoga; Stroller aerobics; Gym Babysitting.
Feel free to add your ideas if you have them.
Sasha Brown-Worsham is a freelance writer whose monthly column runs online at The Family Groove. Her work has appeared in Pregnancy, Runner’s World, Self and many other publications. She lives in Boston with her husband, daughter, son (and a cat and dog).