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Ways I’m Maintaining Self-Care In Motherhood: Movement

By Sara McGlothlin

I will be honest, movement has been the most challenging piece of the health puzzle for the past year. I was an anxious exerciser while pregnant, and then having to wait six weeks before working out again felt brutal. Exercise, and my yoga practice especially, has always been something I have turned to for stress management and energy. While I was physically unable to do anything but walk for weeks, I craved my workouts like never before.

As soon as I was given the green light, I jumped right back into barre, yoga, and strength training. Kira Stokes, Peloton, Alexia Clark, and The Sculpt Society are all apps that I subscribe to (I know, it’s a lot, but I like variety). I was still going on daily stroller walks as well. I even tried jogging again (without much success). I felt like I was constantly moving, and while I was getting stronger, ultimately I was doing myself a disservice.

As a new mom (and small business owner), I was in a state of fight or flight for months after Mason was born. My body felt inflamed and my hormones out of balance. I finally realized that if my body is so stressed out, high intensity exercise is the last thing it needs. So I decided to slow down.

I walk in the woods, have picked my yoga practice back up, dabbled in pilates, teach and take barre. I can already feel my body getting back to an equilibrium. I still do strength workouts, but at a gentler pace.

What I’m Working On.

Most days I am only able to fit in 20 to 30 minutes of movement, and I am learning that this is enough. It is a very new mindset for me, but studies have shown that “exercise snacking” (shorter increments of exercise throughout the day) is just as beneficial (if not more so) than one longer workout. When to fit in exercise is also somewhat of a challenge post-baby, but I’m taking it one day at a time.

Core strength and muscle tone. Clearly my core strength isn’t what it once was, but I can tell it is improving. I notice major improvements in my lower back when I focus on core exercises as well. And while my natural inclination is to go on a very long walk (which I do most days), I am trying to incorporate more low-impact strength sessions into my routine to increase muscle tone.

For more daily insights into my movements, follow along on Instagram!

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