Last week was absolutely crazy busy, and even though we had something to do every day (sometimes a few things to do each day), I stayed focused on my healthy goals.
I met with my trainer at RWJ Fitness & Wellness Center, and she set up my training schedule for the next six weeks. I was being very hard on myself during this session, because things I could do 2 years ago (pre-baby) I can no longer do. Having had a c-section (3 c-sections total), my abdominal muscles have been put through a war. When your abdominal muscles are fit and tones, you not only look trimmer and have a flatter tummy, but you also have better stability and balance. Your core muscles, pretty much everything between your shoulders and your hips, influence every other muscle group in your body.
What’s very frustrating for me is that I have zero core strength. On a daily basis, I feel klutzy, off balance, and my whole body just aches. I know its because other muscles and joints are over compensating for what my abdominal and other core muscles should be doing. So that pretty much sums up phase one: BUILD CORE STRENGTH & STABILITY.
My trainer led me through a series of stretches and exercises to help strengthen and repair my abdominal muscles. In my head, I should be able to do more, but I have to look at this experience as if it is Physical Therapy that is needed in the recovery of an injury.
When you have other types of surgery, or other injuries, you are scheduled for several weeks of physical therapy after the initial healing period is over. However, when you have a c-section, it is looked at differently, and no one ever talks about what a new mom should be doing to rebuild her abdominal muscles. So here I am, 14 months after having my son, and starting the process from scratch.
While the exercises I am doing look like they should be easy, I can feel muscles working that haven’t been challenged in over a year. It feels really good, and I’m not uncomfortable after my workouts, but I have that mild ache that is your body’s way of saying thank you.
In addition to the core exercises, I am doing cardio. I don’t know how it ever happened, but I like to run. I hated it in middle school and high school, and honestly could not even run the curves on the track in high school. Now, I enjoy running and have actually been missing it this last year. Since my core muscles are shot, there is some concern about my balance while running, and my feet not hitting the ground properly. To avoid injury, I am starting very slowly. I am following the C25K program, and during the jogging portion, I am keeping my pace around 4.8-5.2 mph. Previously, I was running around an 7.6-7.9 mph during the jogging portion, and am looking forward to working back up to that.
Since most of my exercises are done without any special equipment, I spend about 15 minutes a day stretching and working on core, even when I am at home. Just like when you are assigned Physical Therapy from a doctor, when you follow the prescription for repairing the injury and continue to do the exercises at home, you heal more completely.
Going forward, this week is going to be crazy again since Steve is home during the week. We have quite a bit scheduled, and my next day to sit still is going to be next Sunday! My goal is to make it to the gym two times this week, complete C25K week 1: days 2 & 3, and continue doing my core exercises on my “off days” at home.Disclosure: RWJ Fitness & Wellness Center in Mercerville is sponsoring my weight loss journey. While I am being compensated for promoting them, all opinions are based on my personal experience at the fitness center.