Returning to Exercise After Having a Baby

One thing I was really craving during pregnancy wasn’t food related, oddly. Towards the 8 month Mark, when I’d given up my exercise classes, I would have given anything to be able to do a sit up or a burpee. And I bloody hate burpees.

I was craving this and general exercise to the point where I would get quite down if I couldn’t so much as get out for a walk in a day. So my 6 week post-partum check up couldn’t come quick enough for me after baby M arrived.

Quite literally the next day I’d booked myself into an exercise class for that night. Having not been in 4 months, I was apprehensive as to how much my body had changed and was no longer capable of doing, so I decided to ease myself back in with Clubbercise.

Clubbercise is one of my favourite ways to exercise because It’s so much fun that it doesn’t feel like a chore of a workout. You get all the cardio alongside some basic toning, while raving to some top club tunes with glowsticks, whistles and UV lights.

First time back
My first class back was in mid November, and as suspected it was a bit more breathless than I’d been used to but overall it was a lot like I’d imagined it would be. Some of the routines were still lodged in my brain from months ago so that was helpful and reassuring.

One thing I was shocked to realise though is how much your pelvic floor exercises matter. If I hadn’t been squeezing those exercises in (No pun intended) where I could, there easily would have been a mess on the floor to contend with. This is especially true for Clubbercise as there’s a lot of jumping around and raving, and let’s just say I felt the pressure a couple of times on my first day back!

Diving in deep
After I’d done a couple of Clubbercise classes, my instructor announced she was running a new fitness class; Deep Hau2. Full of – you guessed it – deep house music, this workout focuses more on your core and toning, using interval training but at a much lower intensity than something like metafit. I was eager to get back to toning, not liking or wanting to get used to the sagging tummy I’d been left with post-pregnancy.

The only trouble is, this class takes place straight after Clubbercise. Not wanting to back out of my favourite night of the week, I’d signed up to both classes when Deep Hau2 started in mid-December. Oh dear Lord it hurt. Double and even triple classes back to back were a fun challenge pre-pregnancy, and something I felt confident doing even up to around 6 months pregnant. However after only 3 real attempts at working out, the combination of Deep Hau2 exercises (think planks, press ups and other stomach-killing moves) and extended period of workout left me defeated. I tried my best but realistically probably only did about 1.5 press ups and felt like I’d been assaulted the next day.

I love to push myself and know that it’s better to try and struggle than not to bother, but boy was that a reality check on my fitness levels. There’s no doubt about it my body has done some incredible things in the last 12 months but it will take a lot of work to get to the same level of fitness I had this time last year.

New year, new expectations

So going into 2018, I decided to take things a little more gradually. On Wednesday I returned to Clubbercise which was just the cardio boost needed to beat those winter blues. Today I had planned to return to Pound; another one of my favourites which uses weighted “Ripstix” (giant green drumsticks) to help you tone as you rock out to some fab tunes. However it seems the winter flu bug has struck and the class was cancelled. So instead I carted myself off to Piyo at 8.45am on a Saturday. Ordinarily an achievement in itself, exercising at that time on a Saturday doesn’t feel so early when you’ve been up since 6am.

Piyo is a combination of Pilates and Yoga (geddit?) which helps improve core strength, flexibilty and balance. As a bit of a Pilates virgin, I was keen to see what the fuss was about, not to mention try to get back some flexibility post-baby. It was interesting to see how much of my body could still actually bend and stretch, though a bit depressing to find out all the bits I couldn’t do. The most difficult bits were definitely the burpees and anything involving pulling myself up from downward dog/low lunging positions. But I’ll get there, as long as I keep going back and pushing myself that bit further each time.

Next up is Strong by Zumba, on Monday. Related to Zumba only in name so I’m told, this class is more high intensity training in time to the music. I’m not confident I’ll be able to do a whole lot, but I am confident I’ll give everything a try at the least. If there are no more posts after today, you’ll know it has defeated me!

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