Back in the Saddle: The Fitness Reset Button

Here’s the 14-weeks-postpartum fitness report from Every48 Central:

WOW.

After the most insane and incredible life change I could ever imagine, and after twenty of the 42 pounds I gained during the pregnancy decided they wanted to, ahem, hang around (in some places, literally) longer than they were welcome, I’m more convinced than ever of the value of vigorous exercise. When we can do it, and however much we can do it.

Back on the horsie...in a most contemplative and slow-but-steady way. (Image courtesy of TeddyBear[Picnic] at FreeDigitalPhotos.net)
Back in the saddle…in a most contemplative and slow-but-steady way. (Image courtesy of TeddyBear[Picnic] at FreeDigitalPhotos.net)
There will come a time in the not-too-distant future when I can really live the Every48 way again: an hour of intense exercise, every 48 hours, no questions asked. Right now, that’s hard on multiple levels. I’m bigger than I’m used to being, and that means more force and pounding on my joints when I run. And, I have this small tiny human to care for as well, which makes planning workouts (let alone being energetic enough to do them) a big, big challenge.

Perhaps you can relate? It could be pregnancy and the arrival of a new baby. It could be an unexpected surgery, or an injury, or an illness. It could be a weight gain after a period of stress in our lives. Whatever the cause, there are times when we just have to stand back and press the fitness reset button and say, hey, I’m getting back in the saddle. I may not be as fast/strong/limber as I was Before That Thing Happened That Caused This Situation, but I can definitely do something about it, even if it’s shorter, less intense, and therefore less impressive that whatever it was I did earlier in my life. The key? Consistency, and doing what I’m capable of doing, right now. In other words, not making excuses, and not selling myself short.

I have now had two triumphant treadmill workouts, in the 14 weeks since Baby Bear made his appearance. Both of them were 30 minutes each, and in both of them, I was only able to run a pace that’s about three minutes slower per mile than my top racing pace for short races (5K’s and such things). That’s where we are right now.

The next step in my fitness playbook will be consistency and variety of motion: sun salutations and the Daily Dozen from Fit by Nature in the morning, aerobic exercise that gets my heart rate up into that nice 60-80% of maximum heart rate range at least 30 minutes at a time, at least every other day, and some light strength training at home with a resistance band. That’s what is possible right now.

Every time I work out now, I’m amazed at how much it affects not only my sense of physical confidence (even with the twenty extra pounds), but also my mood, sense of optimism, and my ability to think clearly, even on the perpetual lack of sleep we new parents all experience.  It helps me feel confident that I’ll be able to model good health behaviors for my baby, so that he has a great start in life with healthy parents who are teaching him how to take care of himself, in all circumstances, no matter what life throws his way. This week’s lesson learned: Fitness is simply an extraordinary medicine for living well. 

So, get out there (or stay in and put on a fitness DVD or a YouTube workout), and do something. Do whatever you are capable of doing right now. Then, do it consistently. That’s how we’ll get from where we are now, to where we want to be—together.

Best wishes for a great week!

Recent Every48 workouts: Yesterday, a TREADMILL WALK/RUN at the gym for 30 blessed minutes. I didn’t even look at how far the machine said I’d run. I just looked at my heart rate monitor, saw that I worked hard, wiped the sweat from my brow, took a triumphant shower, and went on the with the business of the day.

 

 

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One Comment Add yours

  1. HeyRachey says:

    Glad you’re back! We missed you. And of course you are speaking good wisdom to everyone, moms and non-moms alike about that all-important step of Getting It Back On Rails. Woo Hoo!!!

    Liked by 1 person

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