For me, it's really important to work physical activity into my daily life. For a bunch of reasons. There's the underlying health/weight issue and the more important stress relief aspect. Being active makes me a more relaxed person.
And having a kid makes it even more necessary that I get in a run or a trip the gym. And it also makes it much harder to do!
For some, the difficulty starts during pregnancy. Fatigue, nausea, body aches are all typical hallmarks of pregnancy. Luckily for me, I didn't have any of those. Which meant that keeping moving during my pregnancy was really easy. For a while I thought that keeping up with my running was what kept me from feeling fatigue and nausea, but Mrs. Pirate ran during her pregnancy and she still had they typical symptoms.
I do think that keeping up with exercise made labor a bit easier, and my recovery a snap, since most of my running friends had similar short push-times and were back on their feet pretty soon after.
So how do you make it work? It's going to be different for everyone, but for me, this was my schedule:
During first trimester I ran a half marathon and started training for a second. I was running 5 miles, 3 times a week and 7-8
miles during the weekend. When the half marathon sold out before I
could sign up, I decided to give my body a bit of a break by shortening
my runs, and just doing them more often. I cut down to 3 miles, 5 days a
week and a 4-5 miler on the weekend. But I was getting slower and it
was taking me longer and longer to run those 3 miles. By third trimester I was running 2 miles a day during the week and 3-4 miles on the weekend. In the evenings/afternoons
I'd hit the gym and/or do a 10-minute pilates video. At the very beginning of the third trimester I ran a 5k. Looking back, I miss having free time to do long runs!
The first 6 months:
I took 4 days off after having Thatbaby, and then Thatboy and I started our 3 mile daily afternoon walks. I felt fine, and wasn't pushing it, but I needed out of the house! So did Thatboy. After 3 weeks, I started running again, slowly, keeping it to the 2 miles I was doing before I gave birth. And it felt wonderful. I hated running such short distances, right as I'd get into my groove, I'd be done.
At 6 weeks, I got the okay from my doctor to return to my normal routine. I started training for another half marathon. I had to move my morning runs to the evening, and from outside to the treadmill, because there was just no telling how often Thatbaby would be up at night and it was too dark when Thatboy got home from work to run outside. I still got to do my long runs outside on the weekend though. Even after the half marathon, I was able to keep up with my gym time after Thatbaby went to bed. And during Thatbaby's naps I would do workout videos, so I got some strength training in too.
6 months - present:
We introduced solids at 6 months. Part of BLW which I think is such an important part, is the social aspect of eating. Which means we do all meals together. No feeding the baby and eating after he goes to bed. In truth, I really think this is partially responsible for his good eating habits - in both what he eats, how much he eats, and how he behaves at the table. Because he can mirror us and feels like he's part of something. The downside to this is that he goes to bed later than before he started eating dinner with us. And I don't have much time after he goes to bed to do much of anything. Especially when it gets dark relatively early. So now I really have to work to get in my daily fitness. I haven't been to the gym in ages - and I hate that. I have to convince myself that I'm getting lots of strength training carrying around a baby. Although I'm sure my left arm is stronger than my right! I keep talking about dropping Thatbaby off at daycare early and heading to the gym, but he doesn't really wake early enough for that and I'm not about to sacrifice his sleep! My schedule for running is "fit it in where you can." Which means most of the time I get up at 6 and head out before Thatbaby wakes. Since daylight savings time, it's been dark in the morning, which I don't love. So a couple of days a week I make dinner the night before, we eat early, and I get in a little run before I tuck Thatbaby in to bed. I actually like that better for a couple of reasons. The first is it's not dark yet. The second is I can fit in a longer run. In the morning, in order to get ready and multitask, I run with Thatdog, and he's been slowing me down as of late with his potty breaks and sniffing. And I still try to get in long runs on the weekend! Hey, you gotta do what you gotta do!