Since elementary school, I've always been athletic. Horseback riding, volleyball, track, swimming...
But then college came and with it, mornings that started before sunrise, working at the horse track and then night classes to follow. If I made it to the University's gym, it was few and far between. Flash forward to the beginning years of marriage and pre-baby, time was still a factor. Working out wasn't ever really on my mind and though I kind of missed the years of school sports and mandatory Gym class, I just let it slip by.
And THEN, enter MOTHERHOOD! After both babies, my body went through Postpartum Thyroiditis which meant I shed the baby weight quickly BUT, my core was still shredded (and not in the sexy way). Having two kids who are fifteen months apart, for me, meant bye-bye ab muscles. And if I didn't visit a Gym PRIOR to kids, do you think I signed up for one once I had THEM? Heck to the no. My roles now included: Wife, Teacher, Photographer, Blogger, and MOM. Whenever nap time rolled around, that was my time to work on deadlines or house work and that just cycled all over again once they were in bed for the night. So, I needed something quick, something flexible and something that I ENJOYED, period.
Enter Suzanne Bowen Fitness. My sister-in-law started working with her a few years ago and after my son was born, she showed me Suzanne's website and told me that I would really like the workouts. I could do them on my time, without a Gym, and at an affordable price. I started doing core specific workouts, but really all her videos (which I streamed from my computer in the middle of our dining room) help strengthen the entire body. Her workouts encompass strength, cardio and flexibility in so many effective ways. After my second child, I continued working through her programs and enjoyed her Facebook group, where numerous challenges are posted. It really is thanks to Suzanne that I have an ounce of my core back and while I have a ways to go, I am so proud of the progress made thus far (and uber thankful to HER!)
My daughter is now almost three-years old and over the last couple of years, I started to actually miss the Gym setting. My husband has a weight bench in the basement and also a super cheap treadmill, but I can *never* force myself to work down there since it's so dark and grungy. I signed up for Planet Fitness, but that looked like me going AFTER the kids were in bed (8 o'clock at night!) and just meant more time away from my husband + super late nights. I tried it for a month and just wasn't a fan. Nothing personal to Planet Fitness, it was super affordable, I just couldn't get a great routine working for my lifestyle. Together my husband and I looked at our budget and decided we would sign up for the YMCA, where they offer childcare and we could BOTH go get a workout done at the same time. We've been going since April and I'm actually NOT minding it! (WHAT?!) We are on summer vaca now, but during the school year I would immediately change into GYM clothes (instead of ripping off my bra + getting into pajamas) and last month I met a couple of my *big* fitness goals: Running 4 miles without stopping and I planked 4 minutes straight.
It's nothing too hard core and for anyone curious, here is my current fitness routine:
- Run on the treadmill (at least 1 mile without walking, but I typically try to complete 2-3)
- Core Work:
-1+ minute forearm plank
-1+ minute straight arm plank
-1+ minute side plank (rotating sides)
-1 minute bicycle crunches
-30 second mountain climbers
-50-100 crunches on the ball
- 15+ pushups
- 3 sets of squats holding 15lb. bar
I don't think this routine is anything that will give me a six-pack, but I promise you, it has helped tighten my loose skin immensely. I can actually *see* definition in my stomach, which for the last three years was just NOT visible.
I still love to stream Suzanne's workouts, especially the 10-15 minute videos and she has GREAT stretch routines that completely help me reset my mind and body.
My fitness GOALS? To continue tightening my core, run further than 4 miles, and continue with this workout pattern. Some days I don't feel like going (like, currently, since I'm teaching summer school for six more work days as well as shooting weddings and everything else), but I don't want to quit and I am always SO much happier after a workout.
So NOW, I want to hear from YOU! What are some workouts that you love (or don't love) doing? What motivates you to push further, dig deeper? And how do you feel after whatever type of exercise YOU make happen? Leave a comment below or send me an e-mail to say HEY!