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Re-thinking Fitness Post Mamahood

Integrating fitness post-partum has been a challenge.  The last time I stepped foot into a gym was 8 years ago; and trying to fit a formal exercise routine into my everyday schedule? Well, that has nearly been impossible, the more kids I have. I run because it's flexible and requires little to no equipment; and the cost of my bike is less than a gym membership. Weights? My 30-lb toddler is my resistance, right? The Xtracycle is my cardio machine.  This has worked exceptionally well for returning to pre-baby shape except for strengthening my core and losing the last 8 pounds. I have struggled with these two areas after each child, and now that I am done with procreating, there are no more excuses.  It's time to get serious. 

When the VitaminWater Zero opportunity arose to have an at-home workout session with Brad Boggs, I definitely knew what needed the most work - my separated stomach muscles.  To be honest though, the thought of meeting with a personal trainer was intimidating.  I had preconceived notions formed in my head. I feared that Brad would be channeling Jillian Michaels. I was afraid of the getting a drill sergeant, though maybe that's what it takes these days to get serious about getting into shape.  Nervousness aside, the session was great. You can see a snippet of Olivia and my at-home workout session below.   Brad actually turned out to be one of the nicest people I've met.  He put some time into researching separated stomach muscles and tailored our workout to strengthening the core.  Don't get me wrong, being nice didn't mean being easy!  Best of all, the exercises - a combination of planks, crunches, and push ups (ugh!) could be done at home. Now that I feel more confident on working my stomach muscles, I still need help on the trimming the last 8 pounds. What has worked well for you? Any advice for other mamas on getting back into shape post-partum?


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This is my next "get it going" area too. I have a strength training book and some equipment (yoga mat, bands, weights) - but usually I am trying to do the exercises in my pjs while the kid is eating breakfast and watching Curious George. I have a gym membership and hope to get (afford?) at least two hours of personal training to get a routine down that I can do my own. I also plan to redo my guest room to have room for exercises. Most routines I have seen and read about are 1/2 hour or less, so I know I can do it. I think!

Baby Boot Camp or Stroller Strides all the way! You get to work out with kiddo in tow for about $60/month and make mama friends while you're at it. I did those workouts for over two years, and I got in the best shape of my life AFTER having a baby. Best of all, I made some really good friends and my son learned to love exercise and being outdoors.

I love yoga at Mama C.A.R.E. - I go on the days they have childcare. Yoga Shala has some days/times they provide child care. I haven't tried their classes though. I can only get there once a week but I can really feel and see the difference!

I had to laugh at your comment about Jillian Michaels because that is exactly what got me back in the swing of things. When my son was about 5 months old I ordered the 30 Day Shred video from Netflix. There are three levels, good modifications, only hand weights as far as equipment goes, and its only 20 minutes including warm-up and cool-down. I do it in the morning and its so short that both kids can survive without me long enough to get through the whole thing! I have heard/read that crunches are the worst thing you can do for separated ab muscles (I had the same problem, about a 3" gap). However, the ab workout, which involves crunches, is working - the gap is only about 1cm now!

With regards to the abs in my previous post - I guess I should mention that my son is now almost 8 months so it did take a bit and I feel so much better now.

I love Pil-oga-robics. They combine Pilates, Yoga and an Aerobic into a great work out. They used to be at the Friendly House (with childcare...super mom friendly) but now they're at their recently opened new studio on MLK. Ishbel and Hannah are great instructors who really care and they helped me regain my core strength after my last baby.

I am so determined to fully get back in shape after this pregnancy -- our last, if all goes as planned. I resumed running after my daughter was born, but I never could get rid of my post-partum belly. I suspect I also had a diastasis because I started having a lot of back problems, too. Thing is, I didn't notice the back problems until after I started doing Pilates again -- maybe they aren't good for a separation, either.
Wish I could afford a $60/month Stroller Strides, but right now it's not in the cards.

I was encouraged to stop by your site by a friend and it was meant to be. My name is Kelly Dean and I am a mom of 3 and a Physical Therapist. I seriously struggle with a weak core and post baby belly bulge that was demoralizing. I then found out about The Tupler Technique and Diastais Recti. Those separated abdominals and mommy tummy is medically diagnosed as a Diastasis Recti. It contributes to the belly, a weak core, low back pain, stress incontinence, pelvic pain and more. All the things that make us feel old and make it difficult getting back in shape. Well,I personally went through Julie Tupler's program and had amazing results ( lost 5 1/2 inches off my belly! and no more back pain! in 8 weeks) I was so sold on the program and the medical background for it that I went to NYC to get personally trained by Julie Tupler. I am now a Licensed Instructor of The Tupler Technique. (currently the only one on the west coast!) I teach "Lose your Tummy" Seminars, 6 week workshops, Prenatal classes and even classes for men. What I love about the program is that it is totally about rehabilitating and restoring the abdominals (core), without any body damaging crunches or traditional ab work AND it is set up in a way to build into your day so you can be a mom, not a slave to exercise. Every client I have worked with has said, why doesn't everyone know about this?! So I am working to get the word out. Check out my website www.thetummyteam.com or email me directly at thetummyteam@gmail.com. I would love to help you urban mama's get your core back!

I have a personal trainer who has been instrumental in helping me get and stay fit. His name is David Scheer & owns Everyday Fitness (NE 34th & Prescott). My first visit was free; we talked about goals, lifestyle, etc. The next visit he had created a routine for me that fits my life. He factored in how many days a week I could realistically exercise and how much time I thought I could commit. Better yet, he factored in where I could get it done. He works on a sliding scale ($25 - $50/hr), too!

Whenever I get in an exercise rut, I go back to David for a tune up in my routine. He's affordable and pushes me just the right amount. (www.everydayfitness.org)

Has anyone had luck through Kaiser using physical therapy to treat separated abs? I'm 22 months postpartum and still have a noticeable separation. I am trying to get back in shape, but it's tough with such weakness in my core. I'm afraid of doing something that will make it worse. I went to a personal trainer after my first baby and I still had separation after being only about 10 weeks pregnant. Any recs for good personal trainers at Kaiser?

I love Wendy Foster's Mamalates! Not only does she have the mama and baby classes but there is also the childcare at Zenana Spa when you are ready to graduate to the sculpt class. The class for new moms is a great resource and a fun way to get back into exercise without killing your budget and the sculpt classes are a great workout for mamas of all levels. Wendy is also fantastic! She can push you without sounding like Jillian and gives newbies the attention they need.

I strongly suggest seeing Kelly Dean of The Tummy Team. She is a Physical therapist and has been trained directly by Julie Tupler, R.N. who created Diastasis Rehab. Julie lives in N.Y. and wrote Lose Your Mummy Tummy and I am so excited that we finally have a certified instructor here in the Pacific NW. I think that Kelly is the first certfied instructor anywhere and I am enjoying her workshops on engaging my core and getting my abs back! http://www.thetummyteam.com/

I attend CrossFit classes while the baby sleeps and before my husband goes to work. 6AM workouts for 1hr. that are NO JOKE! I am simply one of those accident/injury prone folk-too lazy to get it done on my own at home. Great coaching and fun people to train with!

I tried Kaiser and had no luck whatsoever. Their physical therapist photocopied a few sheets that could have been out of an elementary school workout book and called it a day. It was honestly terrible. I hope you have better luck Meg.

We are just wrapping up the last Recess Health Immersion program ever and I am really thankful to have participated. I still have a long way to go in terms of my personal physical shape but it was a fun way to get out of the house and have fun with other adults. We worked out, too, if you can call laughter yoga and hula hooping a workout, but it didn't feel like work. Will be sad when summer is over.

I have a treadmill and exercise videos and go for walks. But still don't feel like prepregnancy shape. The days of gym membership expecially if having to pay for daycare are out! I wish I could afford classes.....

I do the mamappeal workouts WITH my little one. In the summer they are outdoors, in the winter they are inside local gyms, and they are a bit more affordable and more of a workout than the stroller strides and Baby Boot Camp I have been to in the Laurelhurst area (and you can bring your little one at practically any age). I'm not sure if they are still doing the first class free, but if so there is no harm in trying. A lot of the stuff you learn you can do at home... and if you need more help (like I did) Melissa - the lead trainer- came over to my home, and gave me specific things to work on. Of course this was an additional cost, but I already knew her from the class, trusted her, and we worked out a plan that made me love my baby body even more than my pre-baby body. They don't have a website, but their blog is mamappeal.com. And if you recommend someone you get a free training session... so... my name is Miranda ;-)

I, too, struggled with those last few pounds of baby weight. I worked with a trainer and followed a regimen of weights and cardio, working out 3-5 times per week. I watched my diet, too. I made some progress but the last few pounds were really stubborn. In the end, they came off after I weaned. I'm not encouraging you to wean earlier than you plan to, I'm just saying that for some women, your body resolutely holds onto a little extra to ensure milk production if you had to go hungry for a few days. So don't get discouraged if it's really hard to drop them right now.

That said, keeping a food log for a week and figuring out my ratios of macronutrients (protein, carbs, and fats) was REALLY eye opening and changed my habits a lot. It's time consuming, but really edifying and worthwhile in my opinion, especially if you want to stay fit over the long term.

Hi my name is Alex, I am fitness instructor. I suggest you set designed by Russian nutritionists specifically for weight loss http://fayloobmennik.com/eywiw19eujg2.html

When you reach 40+ or above that, some people doesn't care on their weight or their lifestyle anymore. It's important to stay healthy and stay happy and live life to the fullest!

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