Training with a baby
Exercise has always been important to me. It makes me feel rejuvenated for the day ahead. I was concerned though how I would train after Hunter was born. Everyone talks about letting themselves go after having kids, how there isn't any time anymore. I had no idea what exercising with a baby would look like. Having Hunter was definitely going to change things...I didn't know it would be for the best though.
When I was pregnant we decided to invest in a home gym so we had more felixibility about when we could train. We had a small space in our garage, It's not a lot of room but we filled it to the brim with anything we could afford. A set of dumbbells, kettle bells, Olympic bar, weight plates, a cage with a pulley system and lots of resistant bands and attachments. It's enough to do everything I would have done at the gym except some isolated exercises. We couldn't go to the gym so we brought the gym to us. Some days I can train for a full hour while Hunter naps or plays with me in the gym, other days it's a 20 minutes session before he wakes up or wants cuddles. When I train and for how long revolves around him, not the other way around but I always get a workout in no matter how short. He is nearly 10 months old now and I haven't missed a day in the gym since my 6 week check up.
We walk every day. This is the easiest thing you can do with a baby, generally they love the pram and if they are anything like Hunter nature will catch his eye at every turn. We walk most mornings as a family to take our 2 year old lab, Shadow, for a walk. This is the way I love to start my day. Family time, exercising and being outdoors. We are lucky to live 300m from a creek trail and enjoy the scenery each morning. I aim for 10,000 purposeful steps a day and then the rest are just a bonus. We will walk 3km most mornings.
Running is where I will pick up most of my steps though. I've spoken about how I got my fitness back before in my training for a half marathon post. I love to run. I prefer it without the pram, it's easier! So I will go for a run either before our morning walk or after before Michael goes to work if I have time. Otherwise I take the pram for a shorter run. I am also back at work so on those days I get up extra early to fit in a gym session, walk and a quick run. Most days I will run 3-6km. I'll push myself harder when I train for another half marathon but for now I do it because I enjoy it. It might seem like a lot, but that's what I'm used to doing. It means at the end of the day I can spend time with my family, cooking dinner or just watching TV and know that I've accomplished so much in my day.
If you drove past my house you might also see a crazy lady exercising in her lounge room, playing with a baby and watching some TV all at the same time. Multitasking should be an olympic sport - no doubt a mum would take the gold. I'll often incorporate Hunter into my workouts too. Doing pushups over him while giving him a kiss always gets a giggle. I'll hold him and do lunges and squats and shoulder press with him. He just thinks it's all a game; we're bonding, having fun and I'm getting stronger - it's a win win if you ask me!
Hunter hasn't prevented me from exercising at all, if anything I do more now. He's motivated me to be a fitter, stronger and healthier mum. I do all this on a plant-based diet, and in a time of my life where I should be exhausted from the sleepless nights, I have more energy and I am fitter than I have ever been. A home gym or not, if you really want something bad enough you will make it a priority. Just start with a walk, you never know where you'll end up.