Women’s bodies are pretty incredible. We grow babies in our body, we push the babies out of our body, and we feed the babies…with our body. That’s a lot of work our bodies have to go through! Adjusting to life with a newborn can be busy and stressful. The desire to hit the gym and start exercising again, while great, can sometimes seem impossible. I’ve set my alarm for 6 am for two weeks in a row now, every night with the intention of getting up and working out from 6-7am before I need to get the boys ready for school. I’ve actually gotten up and done that one time in the two weeks. Sometimes I feel like if I don’t get to the gym by 6, my opportunity to exercise and be healthy is over for the day because now I need to get kids fed, dressed, driven to school, grocery shop, feed the baby, on and on.
After having Eli, I’ve realized that just because I can’t make it to the gym everyday doesn’t meant that I can’t be healthy. Here are a few tricks I’ve learned to fit into my everyday life while taking care of kiddos.
Exercise wherever you are.
Taking care of a baby isn’t for sissys. All day long you are hauling a 20+ lb baby carseat from the house to the car, from the car to the grocery store, back to the car into the school, etc. You are loading heavy groceries into the car, lifting your stroller, pushing your stroller up the hill to the school, carrying a baby on your hip, helping a toddler see over a tall fence, etc. I’m on my feet constantly and all that heavy lifting is definitely a workout!
If you haven’t had a chance to hit the treadmill, take your kids to the park and walk/jog next to them on the walkway. Sometimes I do stroller squats around the park while Cash plays at the playground (hold onto the stoller with both hands and lunge with each step you take). Park a little further from the school and make yourself walk up that hill for afternoon pickup. Incorporate exercise throughout your day…and chances are, you’re already getting a pretty good workout just taking care of the baby!
Invest in quality workout clothes.
I find it a whole lot easier to get out and exercise when I have workout clothes that I actually want to wear. Being already dressed in comfy running shoes or a cute sweat-wicking top makes it easier for me to get out and move around more. And get some nursing friendly options too! I’ve been looking all over for a good nursing friendly sports bra. I finally found this front zip sports bra at Zappos and I ordered it immediately. It was at my house in 2 days (free shipping!) and now it is so much easier to nurse Eli after a workout.
Pack yourself healthy snacks.
I am always throwing fishie crackers and granola bars in my bag for the boys to snack on. If you don’t have something for yourself in your bag, chances are you are going to get starving (especially if nursing) and you are going to eat the extra bag of fruit snacks because you don’t have anything else. I always have a bag of nuts in my bag. They are filling and healthy. I buy this jar of unsalted nuts fills up two of the nut containers perfectly. It is so yummy!
Keep taking your vitamins.
Just because you aren’t pregnant anymore doesn’t mean you should stop taking your prenatal vitamins. I also take 3 of these biotin pills to help with my skin complexion and post baby hair loss (because hormones be crazy!). I take one Fenugreek pill everyday because it helps with my milk supply. I tend to lose my milk after 9 months, and this supplement has really helped keep my supply up. It might not be necessary/beneficial for everyone, but it has helped me.
Drink tons of water.
I’ve never been a big water drinker. It has no taste to me and it’s so hard for me to force myself to drink water. I’ve been flavoring my water with Mio and now I drink so much water! My guilty pleasure is the Mio Energy (black cherry flavor) mixed with a squirt of Mio lemonade. (it tastes like strawberry lemonade!) The Mio Energy gives me a much needed caffeine boost throughout the day. I know it isn’t the best option, because it does have an artificial sweetener, but I just do one squeeze into a giant thing of water…much less than the recommended serving. And it’s got to be healthier than Diet Coke, right?!
Prep your meals beforehand.
Diet is a HUGE part of getting and staying healthy. I always heard that and believed this, but it wasn’t until I started cutting down my sugar intake drastically that I actually saw how much diet helped even when I don’t have time for intense workouts. If you follow me on Instagram or Snapchat (leannebarlow), you probably know that I eat pretty much the same thing everyday (with the exception of dinner). I’ve streamlined my diet so that I know exactly what I am going to be eating that day and barely have to even prepare it.
The trick is to do it all on Sunday night. I prep my breakfast and lunch Mon-Fri on Sunday nights. That way I can just grab the pre-made tupperware from my fridge and inhale it as I feed my own kids. I’ve listed out my recipes for breakfast and lunch below…
This makes enough for 7 days worth of lunches for me.