In the last two years, ever since I re-started my fitness journey as a new mum, I learnt a lot of things that eventually helped me. In this post, I am going to share a few of those things, in the hope that some other mums out there would find it useful. I have already shared my meal preparation tricks and tips earlier. This post will focus on workouts more specifically home workouts.

One thing which still overwhelms is how to balance between cardio, weight-training and yoga whilst also handling everything else in life—home, family, work and blog.  I must admit I do fail a lot of times but planning ahead works.

Over the course of these two years, few programmes have immensely helped and these are:

Hiit workout

HIIT Workouts:

HIIT stands for High Intensity Interval training. It is all about putting your body to maximum effort in minimum time. You can do it in the gym using treadmill and other cardio machines. Or you could do it with weights and you could also do it at home using no other equipment other than your body.

My favourite HIIT workouts are ones by Beachbody like Insanity Max by Shaun T and 21 day fix and 21 Day Fix EXTREME Essential Package by Autumn Calabrese (which I am following at the moment). Fitness Blender and Jillian Michaels are another favourites which will torch up those calories in no time.

Post baby exercises

Image credit: Pinterest

Cardio:

What really worked for me was combining different things. A good mix of cardio, strength and HIIT ensures that my body is always guessing what would come next and will always be on “work” mode. To be honest, cardio is my least favourite hence the challenge was to make it super fun. Enter Zumba (dancing). I thoroughly enjoy Fitness Marshall’s videos, Get Fit Janani and Vijay Tupurani (which you can watch on YouTube)for some Bollywood fun. I also love LesMills Body attack and body combat workouts. They are far cry from your usual cardio machines and oh so challenging.

postoartum core exercises

Image credit: http://www.womenshealthmag.com/fitness/standing-abs-workout

Strength Training:  

Weight or strength training is my favourite. However, I admit it was (and still gets) really overwhelming. Enter Bodybuilding website  another platform which I highly recommend. It has a plethora of programmes some by elite athletes and bodybuilders with succinct instruction videos and dietary guides. Whether you are a beginner, intermediate and advanced “athlete” you would find a wealth of information, programmes and plans suiting your needs and goals.

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I have mentioned many times in this blog that I love exercising and staying active. My intention has never been to be a size 0 or 2 but whether I am a size 8 or 12; I should be fit. Needless to say, like my many women out there, I also want to get back to my pre-pregnancy size as soon as I can. However, as much as I want, I need to respect and accept the fact that my body took almost 10 months to expand to house a growing baby and it will not just snap back in a matter of weeks. That said, I still try my best to eat healthy and exercise for at least forty minutes 3- 4 times a week. So, here are few exercises and sequences that are helping to get back to shape and keep my sanity intact.

Core exercises: 

Most new mums would vouch that they want to get rid of their mummy tummy and have those pre-baby, flat abs as soon as possible. Whist I am not sure if it is even possible to get rid of all signs of having a baby (it depends on genes too), I know having a strong core is pivotal not just for vanity but to keep issues like stress incontinence at bay. The core is primarily your abs, obliques, back and pelvic region. Having a strong core will give you those wash board abs you lust for. I do the following exercises.  (Before starting your core workout post a baby, you need to make sure you do not have Diastasis Recti). I do three sets with 12-15 repetitions.

Image credit: http://www.womenshealthmag.com/fitness/standing-abs-workout

Image credit: http://www.womenshealthmag.com/fitness/standing-abs-workout

Yoga:

I have been lucky to learn different schools of yoga like Hatha, Sivananda and Ashtanga yoga. I am a self-confessed yoga lover and I feel answers to almost every problem can be found in yoga. Taking care of an infant means inevitable sleepless nights and other challenges which can sometimes leave you overwhelmed. I do these stretches early in the morning for 1-2 minutes and sometimes throughout the day to keep calm and carry on. And when all things fail, I do my favourite restorative pose–viparita karani (legs on the wall pose) which energizes me instantly.

Image credit: http://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-3761/Good-Morning-Yoga-Sequence.html

Image credit: http://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-3761/Good-Morning-Yoga-Sequence.html

yoga

Cardio:

I must confess whilst I have no problem lifting weights and doing yoga when it comes to do cardio I try and avoid it as much as I can. However, cardio and getting your heart rate up is important to lose weight. So I try to do one-day of cardio each week. It could running, cycling or cross training and if the weather is great outside, you can take the baby out in the pram and go running or climb a hill if possible.

Lower back and Glutes: 

Your lower back and glutes can weaken considerably after having a baby. It is important to strengthen these areas too if you wish to get back into your pre-pregnancy shape. However, many women can experience joint pain (I do!) it has nothing to do with the extra weight but the hormone relaxins, which helps you labor. When the body gets rid of this hormone many women can experience inexplicable joint pain. I do these knee-friendly exercises that are challenging and soothing at the same time.

Image credit: Pinterest

Image credit: Pinterest

So ladies do try these exercises and yes you can be fit as a fiddle no matter what. 🙂

PS: I really wanted to take images whilst exercising but I only get so much time to exercise and hence have used images from my Health & Fitness Pinterest board.  Also, please consult your GP or personal trainer before you start any exercise. I am neither just a woman who happens to love to stay fit 😉 

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