Tuesday, 6 January 2015

Baby Fit

Okay. The day is here. The time has come to finally, finally, start my post-baby work out. It's only taken five months and three false starts. But this time I will persevere. Hopefully. Fingers crossed post-Christmas virtue and all those 'time to get healthy' statuses on my Facebook newsfeed will help me to keep going.

I should confess that I've already been incredibly lucky; I've always been slim and I didn't put very much weight on during my pregnancy. I'm also quite happy with my current body shape. I am not, however, happy with the loss of the abdominal muscles I was once so proud of which have now turned to mush. And I've eaten a ridiculous amount over Christmas and still have the stock of a small sweet shop in my cupboards. But I'm breastfeeding, so that makes the indulgence okay, right? Maybe not. No.

So far, all my plans for post-baby exercise have gone awry. My daughter hates her pram, so thoughts of going for long walks/gentle jogs while pushing her round a park went straight out the window (an issue also confounded by the fact that I have to drive to the nearest park). The only mother and baby yoga classes even vaguely local to me all occur on the one day of the week when I don't have a car to get to them. And it's not as though I can just sign up to a gym and pop along to a few classes, or hit the pool to swim a few lengths. What I need is something I can do at home when my daughter goes down for a nap, which leads me back to the Nike Training Club App I dutifully downloaded when my daughter was only six weeks old. Unfortunately, at this point my na├»ve hopes of doing 20 minute workouts each day were crushed by the slight snag that my daughter would only sleep on me. Getting her to go down in her crib for long enough to get showered and dressed was a huge achievement. Forget 'Jeanette Jenkins' 15 minute Hollywood Ab Blast' or 'Leah Kim's dynamic yoga'. Not that I wasn't getting any exercise - as well as refusing to sleep in her crib, my daughter was also happiest if I was pacing up and down the room rocking her and singing. When she would finally fall asleep, all I wanted to do was curl up next to her (which would have been far more feasible if I could put her down…)

But the purchase of a Sleepyhead now means that I can get some baby free time each day (when she deigns to go down for a nap, that is) and since today I a) didn't have a mountain of housework to get through and b) had an okay-ish night so don't need to have a nap myself, I decided I would try the Nike app once more.

My plan was initially derailed when I discovered that I had forgotten my password and I spent a few frantic minutes trying to reset it, all the while expecting my daughter to wake up and expect to play. When I finally got logged in I wasted no time in selecting a work out. The 15 minute regimes are still out - the most exercise I've done in the past month has been watching an Ultimate Frisbee tournament and I still need to get showered and dressed, and put a load of washing on before my daughter wakes up - so I settle on the 'Workout of the Week' a 7 minute core strength workout by Gracie Gold.

I'm going to take a moment now to explain how amazing the Nike app is. First of all, it's completely free. Then there's the choice: it's really easy to find a work out that will suit your needs and fit your time frame. Most need very little or no equipment and there are step-by-step picture instructions and videos all the way through to explain what you need to do. The app also keeps track of how much exercise you're doing (for that much needed guilt trip when you've been avoiding it all week). And because it's on my phone, I can use it anywhere. There is also some way of linking it to the music on your phone for a workout soundtrack, but I haven't had the time to look into that yet and I need to be able to listen out for my daughter waking up anyway.

The 7 minute workout is great. It's mostly Pilates based and isn't too taxing for a first go. It's easy to follow and I'm finished before I know it (although it takes a little over 7 minutes as I have to keep pausing it to look at the instructions for each segment). Do I feel a lot fitter? Well, no, not really. I probably need to pick a cardio workout next time. But I'm also not too worn out for all the carrying and rocking the day is likely to entail. Plus, the fact that I managed to kick-start my day with something is a huge mental boost. In fact, I might go and reward myself with some of that Christmas chocolate that needs eating…

Hopefully I will get to try out a different routine tomorrow (or whenever my daughter next agrees to go down for a morning nap!)


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