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Exercise Realities When You’re A Mom

By Sara Haley

Exercise Realities When You’re A Mom

I remember a time when I could decide when I wanted to work out, how often I wanted to work out, and how long I wanted to work out. If I’d had any idea how drastically that would change once I had a child, I probably would have savored it a bit more. In hindsight, I clearly had absolutely no idea.
I’m a fitness expert. I’ve consulted for fitness companies including Reebok, Gaiam, and UltraSlide. I’ve taught thousands of fitness classes around the world, trained celebrities, starred in more than a dozen fitness DVDs, and even created my own fitness brand, The Daily Sweat.
So you would think with all of that, I’d have been prepared for how to continue my work outs as mom. To be honest, I couldn’t have been less prepared.

Finding the Desire

After having my son in 2011, I was not only unprepared for the lack of time to work out but moreover, I was not also expecting the lack of desire. This creature I created was so much cooler and more important than any work out, so trying to carve out some “me time” to go get my sweat on at times no longer felt important. It still feels that way.
To get motivated, I had to take a step back and look at the big picture. Staying fit and taking the time to exercise isn’t selfish; it’s actually a necessity:

  • To be strong for my child—literally; he’s 30 pounds now!
  • To feel happy about fitting in my clothes and looking good
  • For an emotional outlet on the days I need to blow off some steam
  • For overall health
  • To live a long healthy life

Reworking Working Out

Here is the truth: If you work hard enough, you don’t need an hour! We’ve had it engrained in our heads that we need an hour because most training sessions and group exercise classes are an hour.
When I started working out again after birthing my son, I would head to the gym and pretty much have no idea how much time I would have to work out. That’s when I created my second Daily Sweat exercise DVD, Sweat UNLIMITED, based on my new work-out method: segments that are 5, 15, 30 or 45 minutes, depending on how much time I have in the day. With that kind of strategy I can be assured that at least 5 minutes is better than no minutes at all.

Sara Haley is a fitness expert and contributor to Healthy Mom&Baby.

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