Last week, we featured Autumn Bonner, of Tailored Fitness, as a guest blogger about Breastfeeding and Exercise. We thought her business was so amazing that we wanted to share it with you! The best thing about Tailored Fitness.... it is all online so you can access it anytime, anywhere! Here’s my recent interview with Autumn.
When did you first become interested in fitness for moms?
I have always known that I wanted to be a mom and when we began planning for a family, I started looking into how I could continue to teach exercise classes with my baby. I came across Stroller Strides, which is a fitness program for moms, that was started right here in San Diego. It combines my passion for kids, exercise, and being outside. I immediately fell in love with the moms and really enjoy being a part of helping them take better care of themselves. While teaching Stroller Strides, I saw how quickly the kids picked up on exercises we were doing. We would often see the kids practicing their push-ups and sit-ups while playing. I realized that the moms in my class were setting a powerful example of health for their kids, just like my parents did for me!
What inspired you to start Tailored Fitness?
As my passion for helping moms grew, I wanted to be able to reach a bigger audience than just the moms in my Stroller Strides class each week. I wanted to create a convenient way to workout at home, because let’s face it, some days it’s just too much work to get out of the house with kids. Through talking with friends with little ones, I realized that there wasn’t really a good option for those moms who wanted to work out at home. So I decided to create one! That’s how Tailored Fitness was born.
How can moms best use your videos?
The awesome thing about the Tailored Fitness program is that you can truly create a tailored fit, hence the name! The video clips are divided into sections (warm up, cardio, upper body strength, lower body strength, core, and cool down).
To get the best workout, you should choose a mix of cardio and strength videos to make up your workout. A combination of cardio and strength work is the best recipe for weight loss. Because the exercises in the videos are designed to get you the best workout in the shortest amount of time, you can make big strides in your fitness in just 30-45 minutes 3-4 days a week!
We also have pre-made workouts you can choose from. The best part is that you can have all of this in the comfort of your home, whenever it is most convenient for you to workout. We are offering a free 30-day trial so you can try out the program! http://members.mytailoredfitness.com/accounts/register/
What can moms gain from exercising after having a baby, other than the obvious (losing their pregnancy weight)?
I love that you asked this question! I always remind my Tailored Fitness clients that there is so much more to exercise than just fitting back into your clothes. We often just focus on the physical changes we want to see and when they don’t come as quickly as we hope, we tend to give up. It’s the more meaningful reasons to work out that will keep you motivated on the hard days!
- Most moms don’t realize the psychological benefits of working out. For example, you will have more energy when you work out. I know it seems counterintuitive that working out when you are already exhausted can actually give you more energy, but it’s true!
- You will also feel better about yourself. The changes a woman’s body goes through during pregnancy and in those first few months postpartum are staggering. It can be hard to look in the mirror and accept what you see. When you exercise, you are doing something good for yourself that will eventually help you get back to feeling and looking like yourself again.
- Spending time caring for yourself will make you a better mom! Don’t let mom guilt get in the way in of your workouts. You can even get a great workout with your kids. Check out a local Stroller Strides class or try out our Workout with your baby video series on Tailored Fitness. You are worth taking care of!
- As we discussed, you are setting an amazing example for your kids by exercising. They are learning that exercise is important and that it can be fun, just by watching you. You are giving your children an amazing gift!
What are your top five tips for easing into an exercise routine after having a baby?
- Start slow! Your body has just been through a lot and needs time to recover. There are two things you can start right away: 1) Kegels – Doing kegels several times a day will help rehab your pelvic floor and avoid urinary incontinence, which is common for new moms. 2) Walking – Getting outside in the fresh air will be good for you and the baby. Start by just walking around the block or around your apartment complex. Add a few minutes each week as you feel stronger. Once you have your doctor’s clearance (usually around 6 weeks) you can resume more exercise. I have been chronicling my post partum experience on my Tailored Fitness blog. You can follow along and read about my exercise routine and see pictures month by month. 1st month , 2nd month , 3rd month , 4th month coming soon
- Focus on strength work! You will be burning lots of calories breastfeeding and getting cardio with your baby is pretty easy by simply walking with them in a carrier or stroller. Strength work is extremely important, but it is often neglected by new moms. Every new mom soon comes to realize that the life of a mom is physically demanding. From lifting the baby in and out of their bed to carrying the car seat, you will be using muscles you didn’t know you had. Plus, you probably lost some strength during your pregnancy. It is important to incorporate strength work into your exercise program as soon as you have your doctor’s clearance. It will not only help you with your everyday tasks as a mom, it will help you fit back into your pre-pregnancy clothes sooner!
- Ease back into ab work! Your abs are definitely weaker after pregnancy, even if you worked your core while you were pregnant. Ease slowly back into ab exercises and be patient as you rebuild strength in your core. It’s best to start with bracing core moves like the plank and save twisting moves like bicycles for later. Some women experience separation along the midline of their abs, so rebuilding overall core strength first is best.
- Be consistent, even when you are tired! There will be lots of days as a new mom when working out is not going to sound like much fun. Especially those days when you are tired because you’ve been up the night before caring for your kids. Remember that the benefits of exercise stretch far beyond achieving a certain number on the scale. It will benefit you mentally in tremendous ways. Even if it’s short, a little is better than nothing at all. Tailored Fitness has a ton of great video clips that you can combine to create an excellent workout in just 20-30 minutes. Remember you have to take care of yourself to care for your baby! Exercise will also help boost your immune system, helping you avoid sickness, which is common during those first few months postpartum when you are low on sleep.
- Find a routine that works for your new life as a mom! The way you worked out before may not be possible or practical once you have a baby. Find a new routine that works well with your schedule as a mom. You may find that working out at home is a lot simpler and makes it easier to be consistent than getting to a gym. I encourage you to give Tailored Fitness a try. We even have videos you can do with your baby to exercise. Our goal is to simplify exercise so you can make it fit into your day and experience the benefits. 30 days free - http://members.mytailoredfitness.com/accounts/register/
Lastly, what tips do you have for eating to keep up your energy after having a baby?
- Request healthy meals. If you are lucky enough to have friends and family bringing you meals, it’s usually comfort food, loaded with fat and carbs, with a cookie or two to finish things off. Although it may taste good, this is not the type of food that is going to give you the energy you need to recover and care for your little one. When people ask what meal that can bring you, ask for something healthy and request that they hold the desert (at least sometimes!)
- Focus on WHAT you are eating, rather than stressing about HOW MUCH and counting calories. While you are breastfeeding it is not the time to worry about dieting. In fact if your daily calorie intake drops below 1500 calories your milk supply can be negatively affected. Instead, focus on what foods you are eating. Focus on consuming lots of lean proteins and vegetables. Enjoy fruits and dairy as well in moderation. Try to avoid processed foods and refined carbs (like bread and crackers). These are the types of food that your body can convert easily into energy.
- Keep your cooking simple. Caring for a newborn is overwhelming enough. Trying to prepare gourmet meals can sometimes add more stress. When you start cooking meals again, keep them simple! A typical dinner should contain a protein (such as fish, turkey, chicken, tofu, or pork loin), a high quality carb (such as quinoa, brown rice, brown rice pasta) and at least half a plate of vegetables (either steamed or in a salad). The crockpot will be your best friend too! Check out our Tailored Fitness Pinterest board where we have a ton of easy, healthy recipes. https://pinterest.com/tailoredfitness/healthy-recipes/
- Drink lots of water. I know you have probably heard this before, but when you are nursing, it is EXTRA important to drink water. Did you know that we can confuse feeling hungry with feeling thirsty? Often times we think we are hungry and reach for food, when really, our body just wants water. By drinking enough water throughout the day, you’ll be able to tell the difference and avoid overeating. Don’t love the taste of plain water? Try a one of these recipes to mix it up.https://pinterest.com/pin/425308758529863503/ , https://pinterest.com/pin/425308758529863475/, https://pinterest.com/pin/425308758529863450/
- Stock up on healthy, high protein snacks. Especially if you are breastfeeding, you need to make sure you are consuming enough calories to keep your milk supply steady and support your body’s needs. Having easy to grab snacks is essential. You may even want to keep a few snacks near where you nurse. Here are a few of my favorites:
- Cheese stick and an apple
- Greek yogurt with berries
- A handful of almonds
- Peanut butter on a banana
- A couple slices of turkey bacon
- Check out this blog post for more ideas: Snack Ideas
Tailored Fitness Links:
To hear Autumn’s personal story about her background and finding her passion for fitness, take a look at her video: http://youtu.be/lAm-nts0aVY