I had grand plans for prenatal exercise. I had a good running base. I’d done my research, talked to my doctor and read some blogs about running during pregnancy. I didn’t need to run a marathon on the day I gave birth or anything; I just wanted to maintain some level of running fitness. It should’ve been easy.
You know what’s easier? Sitting around and having your husband bring you ice cream. Because you are fat and hot and tired and nauseated and taking care of two pre-schoolers all day.
I started out fine- not my typical mileage but still doing something. I even ran a 5k. But then, first trimester exhaustion arrived, along with her friends, nausea and bloat. So I walked when I felt like it and figured I’d get back to running in the second trimester. By then summer had arrived, and between the heat and the flurry of pool dates, zoo trips, picnics, and whatever else I could think of to entertain the girls, I was just too tired to work out. I resigned myself to the fact that my pregnancy running plans were a complete fail. (And I was mostly okay with that. I mean, I still had ice cream.)
I’m three months post-pregnancy, and I’m finally getting back to running on a regular schedule. It feels SO GOOD. But also? Running is hard! I’m challenged by speeds that would’ve been slow for me before, and distances that were a piece of cake. And finding the time? Very tricky.
I used to run after the kids were in bed. That doesn’t work right now. Nor does early morning because little dude’s feedings aren’t consistent. Both girls are in school during the latter half of the week, so after I drop them off, I head to the gym.
My goal right now is to run three days a week. So far, I’ve only made this happen once. But I’m still exercising! Here’s how I’m making it work, as I adjust to being a mom of three:
- Go to the gym when wee precious babe is asleep: Little dude is an easy baby. I nurse him, put him in the stroller and hop on the treadmill. After we smile and make some silly faces, he usually gets bored with watching me run and shuts his eyes.
- Meet a friend to work out: If I plan to meet a friend for a workout, I’m obligated to be there. No excuses. As a bonus, there’s an extra person around to entertain the baby, if needed. Also? I get to converse with an adult.
- Hire a trainer: I’m working out once a week with Trainer Jen! When we started, I said I needed her to help me avoid a tummy tuck. We do lots of ab exercises, among other things.
- Walk, walk, walk: If I haven’t made it to the gym, I take the kids out for a stroller or bicycle walk.
- Find something to do at home: Sometimes I only have twenty minutes. I can totally do some abs and arm work with free weights in that amount of time.
- Don’t be too hard on yourself: There are times when I’m too tired. There are times when the baby won’t let me put him down. There are times when I don’t want to put him down, because one day, he won’t fall asleep in my arms. And that’s okay. The treadmill will be there tomorrow.
Moms, did you run during your pregnancy? Any tips for finding time to workout with kids? Let me know in the comments.
I wasn’t into running while I was pregnant (only started a couple of years ago, as you know) but I walked and did light weight work with my Stroller Strides class throughout my entire second pregnancy. I definitely felt better about myself being active through pregnancy; it helped me during delivery (VBAC) and then I was able to get back into the groove of Stroller Strides classes again once my kiddo was 6 weeks. Having a set time and a group to meet up with definitely assisted in motivating me!
Having a friend work out with me right now is key. I’m making the husband run with me this weekend!
Love these tips! I can’t wait to get back into running and getting fit after I have my baby, unfortunately I let exercise slip during pregnancy also.
Thanks! Pregnancy is a marathon on it’s own, isn’t it?
It most definitely is! Easily out of breath, irritable back, no energy. But worth every minute 🙂
I could not agree with you more. My daughter is almost 4 months and I’m just now getting back into my running groove. I have 3 other kids (ages 6,4 and 20 mo) so finding time to run is hard enough.. Add the exhaustion from not sleeping & being out of shape from pregnancy running just plain sucks right now. It’s getting a little easier day by day. Once the weather finally breaks here in WNY it will be easier to get out and start to enjoy the run again.
Hi and thanks for the comment! I hear you on the time thing. Mine are 5, 3 and 3 months. The other day, I just had the baby at home and it took over an hour to do a thirty minute DVD. We’ll get there though.