Your Fitness Journey, My Fitness Journey
As I have written about in some previous posts, recovering from a c-section was a slow process, but day ten was a real turning point and I could reduce my pain medication by that stage. I had already been doing a lot of walking and yoga during my pregnancy and I also used the exercise bike from time to time, so I wasn’t totally out of practice when it came to exercise. After my surgery I very slowly began yoga stretches from home, taking it very easy in the beginning. I also took my first (very slow and careful) walk outdoors in which I had to rest halfway through, as this kind of surgery is no laughing matter! (Disclaimer: Please see your doctor to get advice on an exercise routine after having a baby and/or surgery of any kind, and make sure it’s tailored to suit your specific needs).
By the six week mark, my obstetrician said I was able to return to my yoga classes and any other aerobic exercise I liked, which I was very pleased to hear. I began with yoga classes and walking there and home. Pushing the stroller was some extra exercise in the beginning too. I returned to my usual routine of attending between one and four yoga classes per week, just as I had been doing in the pregnancy. Eventually I added a low impact body weight class to my schedule – this was once a week.
It took a good six months to get rid of the majority of the aches and pains I was left with after the c-section, and almost eight months for the numbness in one of my thighs to return to normal as well. (I was told this may have been a result of the pregnancy itself, rather than the surgery or anaesthesia). Then, when baby was ten months old, I had this urge to start running. I had never really done running much in the past, but I really wanted to try it and had a whole lot of newfound energy which I was really happy about and ready to use.
So, about seven weeks ago I acquired a jogging stroller and started to run almost every morning with baby, as you may have read about in my Summer Summaries. I started running regularly for the first time in my life, and I even joined a women’s running group and have so far been on two early morning runs with the group, watching the sun rise over the desert. Yesterday I was up at 5:30am and ran five miles with these local lady runners (plus a few brief stops to walk along the way to catch my breath and capture some photos of a magnificent desert sunrise). In another two weeks I am running a 5K charity event for the very first time. (With the group runs I practice running solo, with no stroller).
I encourage anyone out there reading this to try something new (anything!) and challenge yourself. It really is worth it and you can achieve more than you ever thought possible. I’m new to running, but we all have to start somewhere, and over time things improve with hard work and perseverance. Listen to your inner voice. I was feeling the need to add running to my life and I don’t regret it for a second. And listen to your body too. Today is a definite rest and recovery day for me, and apart from some yoga, shopping, cooking, and writing (and looking after baby as normal), I am taking it easy.
I have to say that life feels much more balanced with great food and consistent exercise. I’ve never felt better than with this current diet and exercise plan, or should I say “healthy lifestyle change” to be more accurate. If I can inspire and motivate just one other person then that’s great and I would say it’s all been worth it, but it’s been worth it anyway because I’m doing this for myself and life is getting better all the time. Helping others achieve their dreams is certainly an added bonus. Whether it takes you six weeks, six months, or six years after having a baby (or with or without a baby) it can be done.
So, try something new, even if it’s completely different from anything you’ve ever done before. I can’t say I ever imagined I would be running through the desert of New Mexico watching the sunrise, but here I am…
Love to everybody out there,
Bridget @ Hot Tea, Travel, and Thyme x