Hello and welcome back to my N.E.S.T.S. (Nutrition, Exercise, Sleep, Time for Self and Social Interaction), series of posts, this is the second in the series and I want to highlight why exercise has been really important on my postpartum journey. I am not an “athletic” person or someone who plays sports; I prefer to workout in the gym but during my pregnancy, I wanted something that was relaxing and that I could do at home.
I have always wanted to do yoga as it is great for the body and the mind and so I was searching for a good prenatal yoga video. A friend recommended Lara Dutta’s pre-natal yoga routine (found here), and after work, I would do the short 30-minute routine and I really enjoyed it. The yoga itself was not too intense and it started off with deep breathing which helped me to be mindful and calm. As it was a pre-natal workout it helped me stretch and prepare my body for labor too.
After giving birth I waited a few months to gain my strength and then decided I needed to start exercising again. I had asked the Mr. to buy a treadmill but I have not used it as much as I hoped especially with the weather improving it was more inviting to go out and get some fresh air. I would strap both BabyJ and BabyG into the stroller and head out to the park. It is a short 15 min walk from the house and being out in the fresh air was nice- not to mention so much fun for BabyG! Another activity I enjoyed was getting back into the swimming pool I would take BabyG and a friend of mine and her little one would join us too. We would spend almost an hour in the pool and then end by having a little soak in the hot tub- it was also a great way for me to spend some one on one time with BabyG.
Although I was starting to exercise I wanted something more structured and so I decided to join a hot yoga class, Vancouver has no shortage of Yoga studios so I searched around and decided to go with Oxygen Yoga in Langley. I was worried about committing to a membership and so did a 7 day trial for $10(!) first. It was great as you can try out as many classes before deciding to take out a membership. Many mistakes were made that week(!), namely not reading class descriptions, before signing up for classes and then being completely shocked by the workout. They offer a lot of combination pilates and HIIT classes as well as regular yoga classes so that one week helped me to decide which classes I wanted to do (and which I didn’t!). I love that a majority of the classes are heated and you end up sweating bucket loads!
It has now been almost six months since I joined and I love the workout, the classes are challenging but also focus on breathing and relaxation. The heated room has me sweating the whole time which has been really great for my skin and getting rid of bad toxins I also feel less bloated and more firm all over. Another plus of hot yoga is having to drink lots of water and so it that has been great for part-time breastfeeding and aiding the weight loss journey. (P.s. Oxygen Yoga run promotions all year round for discounted memberships usually around the holidays if you’re looking to join!)
Another tool to help me exercise is my Fitbit, I got the Fitbit Alta HR for mother’s day this year and it is an amazing piece of kit! I usually love to wear watches but the Fitbit has become my 24/7 accessory! I am constantly discovering new features but so far I have been using it to make sure I get my step count in, my target is 6,000 steps a day and so I have set hourly step reminders which let me know I need to get up and move, in order to meet my hourly step goal. It also tells me how many miles I have walked as well as an (estimated) calories burnt.
The Fitbit has an accompanying app which allows me to further input food and exercise, water consumption and track whether I have met my weight goals. The Fitbit connects to my iPhone via Bluetooth and sends my data to the app. Both the Fitbit and app are very easy to use and a great way to keep track of how active you are!
My exercise journey so far has not been about weight loss or regaining my pre-pregnancy body but simply about being healthy and gradually working on myself. I know that exercise is probably one of the last things that a new mother wants to do but the need to stay fit and healthy for a new mother is so important. I firmly believe that if you are the best version of yourself you exude that in all aspects of your life, children follow by example and a mother who is conscious of eating well and exercising will set a great example. The stronger your body becomes will help your mind become stronger too. So whether you play sports, hit the gym or take a walk-Exercise!
Take care and happy reading!