My exercise routine
After my last post on postpartum wellness, I had a few requests about what exercise specifically I'm doing to feel strong again.
For the first three months after having Olive I stuck to a mix of walking, pilates and yoga, but since then I’ve upped the intensity a little because I've wanted to get some core strength back.
Adding a bit more HIIT into the mix is really leaving me feeling fresh and energised! I will always incorporate yoga into my routine because I find it so calming and great for my muscles, but I must say I've really been enjoying the higher intensity exercise lately too.
So here's a breakdown on my exercise routine at the moment and what people/programs I've been following.
I will issue a caveat here - below is my ideal exercise routine and what I aspire to each week, but in reality I may miss a few sessions a week because... life.
Weekly exercise routine
Monday - walk
Tuesday - HITT
Wednesday - walk
Thursday - yoga or pilates
Friday - HIIT
Saturday - walk and/or yoga (or pilates)
Sunday - yoga
The above routine looks like a lot but it's really not bad and I'm quite strategic how I fit it in.
For one, the afternoon walk I treat as a wind down after work. I take Olive for a walk in the pram after I’ve picked her up from my Mum and Dad’s house.
Secondly, I always do the HIIT or yoga as soon as I've put Olive down for her morning sleep, so I know I will at least have enough time to get in some exercise and have a shower before she wakes up.
So with that out of the way, here's exactly what I do... I'll start with yoga, as that's my favourite.
For yoga, I follow Yoga with Adriene. She's got quite a quirky personality and doesn't take it too seriously, so her videos are really enjoyable.
You also work hard in all her routines but never in that 'aerobics' way I feel like so many yoga and pilates videos do. She focuses on doing the poses properly and growing your practice over time.
Her '30 Days of Yoga' videos are my favourite because there is a great mix of slow and faster routines, and they're usually only 15 - 35 minutes long, which is really doable.
In terms of pilates, I really like Studio Pilates. I have purchased a couple of their full-length videos via their website but they also have some good shorter videos on Youtube, which are great for a quick workout.
I've been doing HIIT exercises for a few months off and on. Some weeks I do three sessions and some weeks I do one. I mainly got into this because I wanted to get some strength back after Olive's birth. I’ve been playing touch football occasionally and the HIIT has really helped with this - it wasn’t such a shock stepping back onto the field.
The program I've been following is by Kayla Itsines. I have both of her eBook exercise guides and have done them in the past. The guides are quite costly but you can get a free weekly program if you sign up to her newsletter.
I find most of the exercises very doable and any that are beyond me, I just modify for my fitness level. Each workout is also under 30mins, which is great!
I'm not sure how long I'll keep up the HIIT because I don't enjoy it as much as yoga but it has been making me feel great - that get-your-blood-pumping, heart-racing, clean energised feeling!
And like everyone else, I have weeks where I don't stick to it at all but I like to start fresh every week with at least the goal of following my exercise routine!
It's amazing how much more energy I have and it's nice to have a moment to myself in a day that isn’t cleaning or washing.