How I Adapted My Exercise Routine After Having My Son
This website earns income from affiliate links, ads, and sponsored content.
A letter from BurgerFit CEO, Alane Boyd
Like any parent will tell you, having a child changes everything. My whole life shifted around to make room for my son, but I tried really hard to hang onto my old exercise routine. Maybe I needed the normalcy, the endorphins, or the emotional self care, but I couldn’t let it go. At first it was easy. I could put him in the baby carrier and drag him around the gym with me, and usually he would either fall asleep or one of the other ladies there would scoop him up and love on him while I trained. But once he started walking it got too difficult to bring him to the gym, and I finally gave up and stopped working out. For a year.
Changing My Mindset
After twelve months of not exercising regularly, my muscles weakened and my clothes fit differently. I was disappointed, because working out isn’t just good for me physically, it’s essential for my mental health! I didn’t feel myself for that year I didn’t work out. It was hard, and I wondered if I could ever get back to training like I used to. The problem was I could never go back to that same routine, my life had changed and I needed to change with it.
So I started exercising again, but with a different mentality: seasons come and go, but my physical and mental need for exercise is constant. My workouts needed to adapt to the weather, to Fletcher’s development, and to my schedule. I’ve learned that it’s possible to find a way to get some movement in no matter what and to be okay with what a particular season of exercising looks like.
Getting Movement In No Matter What
Here are 5 ways I adapt my exercise routine to accommodate what’s going on in my life:
During the warmer months, if Fletcher doesn’t feel like exercising with me I’ll put a blanket out on the grass next to the dirt road by our house and I’ll run back and forth so I can keep an eye on him. I know not everyone has this kind of space and privacy, but this is just what works for me.
This winter I made it my mission to go exercise outside more, no matter how cold it was. Fletcher and I had tons of fun hiking and going on little adventures! Figuring out how to prepare for the cold took some getting used to, but it made for an amazing winter full of exercise and getting out in nature. Here are the things that kept me warm and cozy:
- Wool base layer pants
- Wool socks – I love the fun designs from SmartWool
- Thick leggings to go over the wool base layer
- Pro tip: put your base layer on, then your socks, then put leggings on over the socks. This keeps your base layer pants from riding up when you pull your leggings on!
- Snow bib
- Big puffy jacket
- Water repellent winter boots
- Toe and hand warmers for the extra cold days and longer hikes
- Ear warmers plus a hat or hood
I also got a small treadmill for my home office for the days that were too busy to do anything outside. It’s nothing fancy and it folds up so I can put it up against the wall when I am not using it. Sometimes I’ll just jump on it for 10 minutes and other days I’ll get in a full workout. My goal every day is to get some type of movement in and having this treadmill handy helps me achieve that.
I’ve talked a lot about our struggles getting Fletcher to sleep at night, but at the end of 2020 I had an idea to help make bedtime less stressful: I started doing yoga in my office! Because I’m just across the hall from Fletcher’s room he can still see me, so he can lie in his bed and feel the security of having me nearby while I am getting a nice yoga session in. This is my new favorite exercise routine: Fletcher goes to bed easier, I get some much-needed stretching, and it can be an amazing strengthening workout for me (for Christmas my husband got me a Feetup and I am OBSESSED with it).
Now that we are heading into spring, my routine will change slightly once again. Yoga will continue because it’s been a huge success for both me and Fletcher. As the weather warms up I’ll start running more, and he can join me or chill out in the grass playing with robots. On busy days I can still squeeze something in on the treadmill, because the important thing is just to keep moving!
As life changes and seasons change it can be hard to keep up with an exercise routine. My encouragement to you is to think outside the box and find a way to take care of yourself both physically and mentally. Even if it means retreating to your bedroom for some quick squats and lunges you’ll be glad you did it! And just know that if an exercise routine feels really hard and un-doable in this season of your life, it won’t always be that way. Another season is right around the corner ready for you to get creative with. You can do it!
Meet our Founder
Alane has kept her 40 lb weight loss off since 2013, and created BurgerFit and Cooking with My Friends as a way to get her family eating better. Her health journey started in 2012 after being diagnosed with high blood pressure and obesity. Frustrated and determined, Alane decided to make small, sustainable changes in her diet so that it would be maintainable for a lifetime. Now Alane maintains a healthy weight range and has incorporated quick and easy recipes that keep her picky family members eating better!