I know there are all sorts of jokes floating around about moms only wanting to wear yoga pants. I’m here to say that even before I became a mom, I only ever wanted to wear yoga pants. It helped that I am a yogi and truly enjoy being active, thus I’m often wearing workout gear anyway. But, this past year has been a bit rough on the ol’ body, so I’m talking less about athleisure — although, I’m sharing my favorite pieces at the bottom of this post — and more about getting fit again.
From pregnancy to early post-partum woes, I struggled to get back into my healthy and active routine. Just as I had found my groove, I had a major surgery and was right back to square one. Surgery recovery was much more difficult and painful than recovering from delivery, but I’m now ready to get back to it.
Pre-pregnancy, I spent 5-7 days a week at the yoga studio. Yoga was my life outside of time with Sam and time at work. I also spent a lot of free time walking my dogs, going through at-home workouts, and participating in other activities. Once pregnant, though, that routine gradually tapered off. Although I picked back up as best I could between baby’s arrival and surgery, it was still minimal.
Now that I’m back up and moving, I’m engaging my body in a variety of activities to build up strength and endurance again. There’s no magic combination or schedule that I’m following, but I do find it so important to diversify my workouts. With exception of hot yoga, I simply cannot do the same thing day after day. So, below are a few things I’m trying out:
Cardio stations. Some people have no problem hopping on a treadmill for 45 minutes, but I tend to use three cardio machines within one workout — a treadmill, the Stairmaster, and a rowing machine. Using all three in the same gym visit adds variety to my workout, makes the sweat session more enjoyable and seems to give me better results altogether. I’m engaging so many different muscle groups and am able to do higher quality workouts on each. Typically, I’ll do 20-30 minutes on the treadmill with high incline, 10 minutes on the Stairmaster and 10 minutes of intensity on the rowing machine. Add a few free weight exercises, stretching and a trip to the sauna and you’ll be all set.
Hot yoga. This is the first workout I’ve truly loved ever since “retiring” from swimming way back when. And it’s not just any hot yoga, it’s The Yoga Studio in Broad Ripple and Carmel. There is nothing like it. The teachers, the music, the flows … they are electric. They are inspiring and intense at the same time. I’m constantly using muscles I never knew I had as I meditate like I never knew I could.
Ab Asanas. Building off of many of the yoga moves I learned at the studio, I bought this e-book from The Southern Yogi and love it. It’s so easy to pick up and do a quick ab workout, knowing it really does build core strength. That’s something I desperately want and need back!
Sweat with Kayla. This is another popular at-home or at-the-gym workout regimen that I love. You don’t need a lot of equipment — if any — and you can feel the burn from start to finish (and for a few days after). At some point, I’d like to truly follow the entire 12-week program and focus on documenting results. We’ll see if I can commit to that kind of repetition and schedule!
*Photos by Lana Marie Photo.