All right guys, we’re talking about something a little bit out of the ordinary here today: working out. This blog is usually a space for my latest adventures in putting donuts on things. I’m also the farthest thing from an expert in health and fitness. I do however love to share things here that are relevant to what’s going on in my life. Working out has been a new addition to my lifestyle, and I thought it would be fun to share a little bit about how I worked out before having Jane, and how I’ve found some ways to reintroduce it back into my routine post-baby.I have a bit of a complicated history with going to the gym. Well actually, it’s not complicated at all; I hated it and just never went. Last year when we were starting to discuss the idea of maybe getting pregnant, my doctor encouraged me to focus on my own health, lose some weight, and more importantly: get strong. After many (many) years of avoiding the gym I found a routine that really worked for me at a local fitness studio. It was small group training class, I loved the trainers, and the appointments kept me super accountable. Have you read Gretchen Rubin’s Better Than Before? It’s a smart, quick read about how we can form and keep habits, and in it the author describes four different habit behavior archetypes, and I’m so clearly the “obliger” – which essentially means I’m a million times more likely to commit to a new habit if I have outside accountability. It’s a big reason why I share my goals on this site too!

Once I found out I was pregnant (surprise! Getting healthy seemed to have worked!) I decided to keep up the training sessions. We modified my goals and stopped focusing on weight loss, but rather getting strong in all the right places and staying healthy during the pregnancy. I ended up working out until about 2 weeks before my due date (3 weeks before I had Jane!). I’m so glad that I committed to it because I know that it made a huge difference during the labor and in my recovery. In my haze of pain and adrenaline during my contractions, one of the nurses commented on how strong she thought I was and it felt so good to hear that she was noticing how my hard work at paid off. It definitely gave me some much-needed confidence during that part of the labor.

After Jane was born, I felt like I had a very quick recovery even with my C-section. For the first few weeks after she was born I took tons of walks with her. We’re luck to live close to town and can take a stroll to the grocery store or coffee shop. We’re even luckier that it was a mild winter and I was able to get outside several times a week even in the middle of February.

Once I got the clearance from my doctor that I was able to start working out again, I realized that it was going to be hard to go back to my trainer while juggling childcare. On the days I have a babysitter, I really need to prioritize work. So I’ve been exploring a bunch of classes I can do with Jane, and I’ve found a few I love!

I’ve taken a Mom and Baby Barre class at Xtend Barre on Newbury Street and it was an amazing workout that both Jane and I loved. The facility itself is very baby-friendly, with plenty of room for stroller parking, a bright and light space that was calming for babies, and comfortable private spots if you have to change or nurse your little one. About half of the time in the class your baby is in a baby carrier, and the other half the baby chills out on the yoga mat. Jane loved checking herself out in the mirror while she was in the baby carrier, and when we were on the floor mats she was fascinated by their ceiling fans. The instructor was really helpful at guiding my movements and adjusting me as we went to help support parts of my body that might be weaker with a new baby. It was a great core workout, and I felt like it was the perfect solution for tightening up some of my problem areas post-baby. I wish there was one a little bit closer to our house because I would seriously go every week (plus if you need a little extra motivation, it’s only a few doors down from Shake Shack, but you didn’t hear that from me!).

Another class I’ve been taking is with Oh Baby Fitness, which offers several different types of fitness classes for new moms. I’ve been going to a stroller boot camp class with Jane for almost 8 weeks now, and we both really enjoy it. It’s a great combination of cardio and strength training. The babies can stay in the stroller and we run with them and do different weight-based circuits nearby. I’m lucky that the class aligns pretty well with Jane’s naptime so she might snooze for the entire hour class. I found this class was also a great way to meet other moms, it has a social element to it – everyone always introduces themselves and their babies before we start.

The same fitness studio has a few other classes that I’m excited to try, including a mom and baby yoga class, and a water-aerobics style class that you can take with your child. I’m finding that activities I can do with Jane are the ones that make it way easier to actually accomplish working out!