Thursday, January 3, 2013

2013 Back At It

2012 was a year defined by not working out and being pregnant.  I didn't quit working out because I was pregnant, rather I quit working out to see if I could get pregnant.  Then in March when we found out we were expecting, it was very difficult to start running and lifting again.  I made walking my main form of exercise.  Running and weightlifting took a backseat last year.

Now that I am a new mom and no longer pregnant (woo-hoo) I am excited to get Back At It.  I miss the adrenaline from a great sweat, and I really miss being able to push my body to its limits. 

At four weeks post-partum I went for my first run in almost a year.  It was hard, my chest heaved, but it was very refreshing.  I realized at that time, however, my body just wasn't ready to be back in the game yet.  So for two more weeks I continued to lay low, taking long walks with my new family.
At six weeks I jumped out there once again, attending Holly's Total Strength class.  It was brutal, but wonderful.  I was sore for days.  Because we traveled that week, I never squeezed in another workout until seven weeks post-partum, on Christmas Day.  Alex and I ran a full 5k in the cold and blustery air.  Once again, it was hard, but amazing!

It took me another full week to get Back At It again.  This time at eight weeks post-partum I headed to the gym.  Knowing there weren't any classes available at the time that worked in my schedule, I just pulled up an old workout from the blog to give it a shot.
It took just over an hour to complete both cardio and strength sections.  It left me feeling winded and sore.  It was perfect.  Of course you can adjust both weights and speeds to fit your current fitness level.  And as always, I am no medical professional, please consult your doctor before beginning any new exercise regiment. 

Most of the workouts on my blog I have pulled from experts since I have no formal training in exercise physiology.  My good friend and personal trainer Ashley used to make up workouts for me and a group of our friends.  We tagged ourselves "Ashley's Army" and had fitness challenges each month.  I miss those days of gym buddies, but at least I still have a large repertoire of workouts to look back on and implement in a pinch when I can't find an exercise class that works for me. 

The treadmill workout is pretty self-explanatory.  Let me describe just a few of the strength exercises:
  • 3 point Shoulder Press (borrowed from Peanut Butter Fingers) can be found here.
  • Cable Punch: similar to this guy only punching straight out, focusing on form.
  • I used a machine for the leg raises and curls
  • 3 point lunges with bicep curls- I did 10 lb weights and that was too much for my weak arms!  Do 8 reps on each side instead of 12 for this exercise and if your arms are tired or your heart rate spikes just hold the weights by your side or drop them completely.
  • Barbell row
Now that we are home and back to normal life and a new year is upon us I am ready to get #BackAtIt.  I have no formal plan right now.  My plan is to just squeeze in as many workouts as possible and find out what works for me.  Soon I hope to start triathlon training and that will bring a whole new set of challenges.  For now, exercise classes, runs with Alex or friends, trips to the gym using old workouts or new ones I find through blogs, swimming and spin classes will keep me busy and entertained. 

The best thing about working out now versus before Eleanor, it feels like such an indulgence.  It was a wonderful treat to leave the house (alone) and spend a full hour of uninterrupted Tanya-time.  It no longer feels like a chore!

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