Unfortunately, my personal fitness goals stalled a bit these past few weeks due to being sick. Missed workouts and not-as-challenging-as-usual workouts slowed down my get-legs-of-steel plan down. Despite still coughing and dealing with excess mucous, my energy is back 100% so yesterday I was back at it in the gym, squatting, lunging dead lifting.
The girls also took an interest in fitness this weekend. Both jumped on the treadmill to see how long and fast they could run. Big A started on Saturday and by Sunday, they were both at it, encouraging each other to go faster and further. Little A did over a mile on a pretty massive incline, I was super impressed! I am trying not to get my hopes up that this will be a regular thing. I never preach to them about exercise, but just hope my example, and Adam's will rub off on them, and the sooner the better, I say!
I never fall off the wagon with fitness altogether because of love it so much, and its such an integral part of my life, but I know for many people, exercise adherence comes and goes.
In particular, once women have a baby, their fitness is often the first thing that falls off the rails. Lack of time, sleep and energy are often the culprits, but for all of those reasons, it is critical to take care of yourself and include regular physical activity.
There is no doubt the body can change after you've had a baby. But it doesn't have to be permanent! I am definitely leaner and in better shape now than I was before I had my children. I think the fact that I do have less time and freedom has forced me to get smarter about how I eat and exercise.
Even if you've never been active, post-partum is actually a great time to start focusing on your fitness. A mom needs to be strong and healthy! It is so important to take care of yourself when you are a care giver. If you fall apart, you're no help to anyone.
When I was asked to review a fitness DVD targeting new moms, I was thrilled to accept. You know I am super critical when it comes to fitness DVDs. You might be surprised that I would agree to this one though, since it's Jillian Michaels. As you know, I have found her attitude in some of her DVDs arrogant and offensive. But I've read several articles where interviewers emphasize how much Michaels attitude has changed since she had her own children. Michaels has an adopted child and another child whom her partner gave birth to. Apparently, she has softened significantly and really changed her perspective. Amazing how kids do that, eh?
Anyways, I am happy to report that Hot Body Healthy Mommy is a great video for new moms, or even for anyone who is a newbie to exercise.
Michaels does, indeed, behaviour better in this video and has a much kinder attitude. The workout is divided into 3 20-minute segments: Upper Body, Core, and Lower Body. This will appeal to moms who don't get long periods of time to themselves (I can relate as Big A didn't nap during the day at all (except on me) until she was 6 months old).
The segments feature different women with Michaels, who are all new moms, and not professional dancers or whatever they are in her other videos. This may make it less intimidating for some women. You need hand weights, so I recommend purchasing some if you don't have any already. Newbies should start with 3, 5 and 8 pounds, more experienced exercisers should get some heavier ones.
The segments are mostly strength-based, but Michaels throws in some 'cardio' intervals, although they are so low intensity, you aren't likely to get your heart rate up unless you are an absolute beginner. Those with a very weak upper body may struggle with the push ups and tricep dips at the beginning, but keep at it until you are strong enough to perform these exercises. I promise you'll get there. I suggest using weight as heavy as you can and going heavier once something no longer feels challenging.
Michaels moves you quickly through the exercises, done circuit style, so each is performed twice. The style of the DVD reminds me most of her Six Week Six Pack Abs DVD, which is my favorite of hers.
Overall, I think this is a great workout DVD for new moms or newbie exercisers, just make sure you are always challenging yourself to get the most out of your workout!
Disclosure: I was sent a complimentary copy of this DVD but all opinions on this blog are my own.