TPB Fitness Series: 4 Steps to Help a New Mom Start a Fitness Training Program
Exercise is one of those things that is so important for our health but often gets pushed off to the side. Having kids isn’t the excuse or reason for this, but it definitely makes our daily mix more dynamic. When your day revolves around others it’s easy to see why many women find it hard to make time for themselves. And I’m one of them. I am totally guilty of talking the talk- vouching for how we need to take care of ourselves and make time to do so- but then neglecting to follow through. This isn’t anyone’s fault but my own, and I have to be accountable for that. And I know I’m not alone. How many women like the idea of running a marathon, hiking the Grouse Grind, or even just conquering a few kms in the pool but just don’t feel like they have the time to fit in exercise to achieve these goals? If you love the idea of making fitness a part of your routine, this series will be perfect for you. I’ve teamed up with Irina, personal trainer and founder of Tone Every Zone, a mobile personal training service, to show you how making time for exercise isn’t as time consuming/ annoying/ frustrating, etc as you might think. I’m excited for this 6- part series that we’ll be bringing to the blog every month, and hope you’ll pick up some tips to help you with your fitness goals (if you need some workout wear to get started, make sure to check out Underables & Leave Nothing But Footprints, who provided our workout wear for this series). And now, I’ll hand it off to Irina for our first post in the series so you can get to know here a little better…
4 Steps to Help a New Mom Start a Fitness Training Program Guest blog post by Irina Almasan
First, some introductions are in order! My name is Irina and first and foremost, I am mom to an adorable but very feisty 3yr old girl. Secondly, I am a lover of all things fitness – but you should know that this wasn’t always the case! I didn’t discover my passion for fitness until I had my daughter, and brought fitness into my life at a time that was incredibly hectic and busy (just like surely all of your schedules are as well)! Soon after doing so, people started to ask me questions about how I was able to squeeze it all in my day and how I was able to look so good after having a baby. I genuinely wanted to help other busy moms get active – but doing so required some special training. So I decided to become a personal trainer. I also realized that busy people don’t often have time to go to the gym, and that it’s hard for them to stick to a particular schedule. And so I thought I would turn the whole concept upside down, and bring fitness to the people instead! This is how Tone Every Zone was born, a mobile personal training service.
Part of my mission with Tone Every Zone is to teach people how to exercise safely and at the right intensity, and this is where I feel the value of hiring a personal trainer truly lies. So for the next 6 months, I will be bringing fitness related blog posts to The Pampered Baby – but I want to make it interactive – so I’m looking for your questions/comments and any topics you want to learn more about.
Now, with intros out of the way, let’s start learning about fitness! In this first post, you will learn a few easy ways you can start moving and grooving towards lifelong fitness.
So you want to start getting into shape…
Getting into shape is often the #1 thing a mom wants to achieve after having her baby. And it makes sense because we so desperately want our bodies back. The first thing you should know is that it is never too late to start! There is no rule that says you need to start exercising right after you’ve had your baby. And there’s no rule that says that if you haven’t done anything for a year then don’t bother trying. In fact, after having my daughter, I did nothing for the first 11 months and I was still able to get some awesome results!
So don’t beat yourself down, be kind to yourself and allow your body and your mind to recover. More importantly, remember to speak to your doctor before you become more active just to make sure you’re all good to go and there are no underlying issues.
Step 1: Start small and work your way up
The single biggest mistake I see people do when they think about getting into shape is that they attempt to do too many things at once. They become super excited and eager to get going but they start doing workouts that are too intense for their fitness level, get on a diet that deprives them of too many things and it all lasts about one week before they revert back to their old habits. They feel miserable because they failed and feel like it’s no use to even try.
Sometimes, as a personal trainer, I find that my role is to help someone pace themselves and remind them that our goal is lifelong fitness. You cannot look for a 30 day fix and expect it to last longer than that. You also need to learn how to exercise properly. So often times people’s expectations need to be toned down a bit – but this is such an important aspect because the reality is fitness transformations take time. And if you want to be active long term you need to learn how to make fitness as habitual as brushing your teeth.
I started my fitness journey by taking my daughter on longer and longer walks each time. I then started going grocery shopping and pushing back a stroller full of groceries. Eventually I started adding on yoga classes and home based workouts to build strength.
I also didn’t bother with nutrition right away. I focused on getting my workouts in. I felt like the fact that I was now working out 45-1hr every day was enough of a start and enough of a caloric expenditure that I needed to focus on that. Once I started seeing results and felt like the workout part was pretty habitual, that’s when I started thinking about what I put on my plate.
Step 2: Set realistic goals
Here’s the deal. You’re a real person. You don’t have a chef cooking for you or a nutritionist building your perfectly balanced meal plan. And on top of that you’re a mom, which means there’s always at least one mini version of yourself tugging at your pants. You probably don’t have any time to yourself until late at night, and when you do it’s a constant battle between doing something for yourself or working away at the endless list of things that make a household liveable. Am I right?
Yup. I feel you.
When I hear phrases like “A 1hr workout is 1/24th out of your day” I always cringe because very few moms have 1 free hour every day. I know I often don’t. So when you set a goal, make sure it’s realistic and that you are setting yourself up for success, not failure. Here’s an example of a goal one of my clients came up with:
This month I want to be active at least 30min every other day. I will achieve this through a combination of going for a walk with my kids, doing a short home based workout off the internet and a session with my personal trainer. Time permitting, I will go for a yoga class during the weekend while my husband babysits the kids.
Notice that the goal is not “I want to be more active this month”. That’s super vague.
What’s awesome about the goal this lady came up with is that it is:
Specific: 30min every other day and she even lists the options for exercise.
Measurable: She knows when she has achieved it.
Attainable: 30min every other day is a big change for this person but she’s confident she can do it.
Realistic: She’s setting herself up for success by committing to doing something every other day instead of every day because she knows she doesn’t have the time every single day.
Time-based: She is committing to doing this pattern this month. At the end of the month, we evaluate.
SMART goals such as the one above set you up for success because they very clearly outline your path to getting there. So try it. What’s your SMART goal for this month, using the framework above?
Step 3: Get help
One thing that I’ve found to hold true about people who are continue to stay active is that they are surrounded by individuals who are also either very active, or support them in their quest. When I started working out, my husband and I worked out together, helping each other along the way and sharing in the whole journey. Partner training, if your schedules allow it, is awesome. If not, even the support of a friend who is already active can work wonders.
As a personal trainer, I love to provide this kind of support because I think it’s so important, especially when things get tough. I love to hear how my clients are doing and I encourage them to reach out to me between sessions to share their success, but also their struggles with me. I am always there for them.
Step 4: Be patient. Things take time.
I want to leave you with some food for thought. Just as every single body and every single person in this world is different, everyone’s fitness transformation will be different too. Genetics, metabolism, past diets and your time commitment all play a part. Some get in shape faster and some slower. Some see visible results right away. For others the results are not that obvious. But there is one thing you can be sure of: your body is absolutely changing when you become more active. Here are some of the things that happen when you become more active:
Your heart becomes more efficient and your resting heart rate goes down
Your lung capacity increases
You have more energy and feel more positive
You increase your strength and stamina
You learn wonderful things about how your body reacts to exercise
You find weak spots – things you can work on and improve
For all of the reasons above, becoming more active is an awesome thing to strive for! And it’s never too late to start!
Irina has a background in Science and Marketing, but above all, she is a MOM! She discovered her fitness by accident after having her daughter and started Tone Every Zone out of an overwhelming desire to help other busy individuals such as moms juggle a hectic lifestyle while staying on top of their fitness. Irina’s goal is to get her clients closer to THEIR goals! She loves teaching people about fitness and working with them as a team to make long lasting lifestyle changes.
To get in touch with Irina about her personal training services, send her an email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or get in touch through her website. She would love to hear from you!
You can also follow Irina on social media for more great fitness education tips:
Tone Every Zone is a mobile personal training company servicing New Westminster, as well as parts of Burnaby, Coquitlam, Port Moody and Surrey. Tone Every Zone comes to you, saving you the cost gym memberships, and eliminating the need to adhere to a schedule set by a commercial gym. To learn more, please visit: www.toneeveryzone.ca
Thank you to these partners for collaborating on this post series: