Work it Out Wednesday: Your Mommy Fitness Mantra
by Lisa Bruno
Photo Credits: Thaddeus Rombauer Photography, Kim Alfonso
A beautiful thing happened to you, maybe 10, 16, 20-months ago. You became pregnant and had a wonderful bundle of joy! Congrats! Now you have a newborn, baby, or toddler. You’ve been adjusting to motherhood like a champ. Diaper changes, feedings, nap times, and playtimes, are scheduled and you are keeping it all together. Well, almost all together.
Those nagging 10 to 15-pounds are just not leaving, and you are running out of ideas. We understand. How many times can you walk down Washington Street with the stroller?! We get bored too!
You cannot just do one thing all the time. That’s why our studios offer so many different classes on the schedule. And that’s not just due to boredom—it’s better for your body to vary its activities, you’ll see physical changes faster and stay engaged in your workouts.
Now you’re probably thinking we’re going to tell you that you need to start a serious fitness regimen. No. That’s not what we are going to say. We want to turn that assumption on its head.
It really all starts with your mental place. We believe deeply in having our clients believe in themselves, especially new moms, and a great way to start that process is to create a mantra. A phrase that you repeat to yourself that brings you back to your ultimate goal of making fitness and healthy living an uplifting and positive experience, not a stressful one, so you can get back to your pre-baby bod!
Our Work it Out New Mom Mantra is…drum roll please…
Slow and steady wins the race. Yes, you heard us right.
There isn’t a miracle exercise or diet. The secret is called consistency and sometimes it is a slow process. Your body went through so many changes, internally and externally, respect that and give yourself time to adjust and let a routine work for you. You’ll find consistency by setting mini-fitness goals.
Your #1 mini-fitness goal is to make it all start at home. You’re a busy mom with a busy schedule, and may also be juggling a career and more. Begin with this simple step. Whether it is during naptime each day, in the morning when you wake up or before you jump in the shower at night, commit to this mini-workout: 30-jumping jacks, 10-pushups, 30-crunches, 30-lunges and each week, increase the amount by 5. These small, targeted exercises will start to gradually improve your muscle tone in key areas such as your arms, core, and legs. These three areas are all mommy-troublezones. These four exercises are perfect for any fitness level and as you get stronger, all you need to do is increase the reps. This is something that will take up, maybe 10-minutes of your day.
Once you are feeling confident at home, venture outside into the fitness wilderness! Enter mini-fitness goal #2! Start off with researching studios or gyms with childcare, or a strong weekend schedule, when you have some extra time on your hands, and maybe a little extra help. Then find classes that are intriguing to you. Did you used to dance when you were younger? Look for dance-based classes, like Zumba or Barre. Both of these styles are great entry points when you are getting back into fitness. They are low-impact, yet have great toning elements to them. Not ready to leave the baby yet, there are tons of mom and me classes around town (ahem, we have an amazing mom and me barre class called BiteSizeBarre, but more on that later). These types of classes, allow you physical activity, without the stress of leaving your child.
Your third and final mini-fitness goal to keep your new mommy mantra working—everyday is brand new. If you fell off the wagon yesterday and didn’t make time to be active, or treated yourself to a dessert and a glass of wine, because gosh darn-it, that kid was really driving you crazy, that’s a-okay. A couple days off your fitness game, will not deter your progress. It takes two full weeks of sedentary living to lose muscle tone and endurance. Respect the day and start anew tomorrow with a mini workout, lots of water and all clean, non-processed foods—fruit, vegetables, whole grains. Maybe even go meat-free for the day.
We live the slow and steady mantra day-in and day-out. If you have ever visited our studios, you’ll notice we have classes all the time. Literally, we have classes at 6:00am, 9:00am, 12:15pm, 3:30pm, and 8:15pm, with a variety of times in between. This isn’t because we love working out (we do), but it’s because we want you to find your consistency. Each day is different, and that is okay, because fitness can be done anywhere and at anytime. We also offer different class styles to blend with how you are feeling. Some days cannot be a day of spinning on the bike, but maybe it is the perfect time to do some toning at the barre, or amp up that fitness and do some bootcamp classes.
Whatever it is, start out small. A class or two a week, a few exercises consistently at home, don’t get crazy. By setting small goals and achieving them, it’ll increase your self-confidence and you’ll find a sense of fulfillment. Remember, slow and steady wins the race, and all new moms are on this race for some time; don’t burn out too early.
Lisa Bruno is the co-founder and director of business development at Work it Out Fitness Studios in Hoboken. Bruno is an avid fitness and nutrition enthusiast (and has been since a very young age). She holds a bachelor’s degree in Food & Nutrition and is currently pursuing her certification as a Registered Dietitian.