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Health & Fitness

Setting a workout routine in the new year

Working out isn't always the top priority after kids, but I am trying to get my health back on track now. Although, it's not easy, here are 5 ways I try to squeeze in a workout and some Chicago gyms I love.

Before kids, I was able to workout whenever I wanted. Early in the morning, late at night, etc. Whenever! Now, fast forward to a marriage and two kids later, it has become really difficult to get in my workouts.

Now that Mila is one years old, I am putting working out back as a priority. Not only because I know it’s good for me, but it’s sometimes the only hour I get alone during the week. It’s time for me to clear my head, destress and do something positive for myself. My goal is to workout 3-4 times a week in 2020. It does require a little planning and being creative, but it’s definitely achievable.

On our walk along the lakefront

Below are 5 ways I try to squeeze in workouts during the week. I hope some of them help!

There are some affiliate links below, but at no cost to you to click and read on through!

Schedule ahead of time

This is the biggest tip I can give. I schedule my workouts every Sunday because I have such limited alone time. This is probably the last thing anyone wants to think about on a Sunday, but if you can schedule even one workout, just stick to it.

The gym I have belonged to for awhile now (since I was 25 actually!) does not have childcare, so this makes working out very difficult since I am with my kids all day. The only time I can make a class is when husband gets home from work or early in the morning.

On Sundays, I will look at our schedule for the week and pick 3 classes that work for the both of our schedules. I sign up and add them to our shared Google calendar. This way, I can’t cancel because I get charged if I cancel within a certain window of time. Who wants that? Not me. It holds me accountable for sure!

Walk, walk, walk

I know this might seem obvious, but sometimes I get both kids in the stroller and head outside. My goal is always 10,000 steps (which can happen inside and outside!), which translates into roughly 4-5 miles. There’s the lakefront, 606 trail or cleaning the house gets all the steps. Also, pushing a child or two in a stroller is such a great ab workout!

Baby wearing is also a HUGE workout. Those little ones get heavy! Mila is too big now, but I carried her for at least 7/8 months.

My favorite carrier is the Baby Bjorn. It’s the absolute best, most supportive carrier there is. I have a fair amount of back pain too and this is the most supportive. I walked 18,000 steps in one day with Mila on a trip to NYC- see pic below. Definitely a workout.

As for tracking your steps, I just used My Fitness Pal or the Health app on my phone. It may not be the most accurate, but it gives me a rough estimate. Many love the Apple Watch to track their workouts, which maybe I’ll invest in down the line….any feedback on it if you have one?

Baby Bjorn is my favorite carrier. It's a great workout to baby wear.
Baby Bjorn and this travel stroller was also super helpful to move around NYC.
Amazon Workouts

Last winter, I discovered these free workouts on Amazon (if you are a Prime member). There are HIT or toning videos that I really liked. They range from 15-30 minutes and surprisingly, you work up a sweat. Best part, no equipment is needed. Great for days you can’t get outside or to the gym.

Fit 4 Mom

I can’t talk about this program enough. If childcare and scheduling is a huge conflict for you, this program is fantastic. You can bring your kids with you to workout. There are classes during the week or on the weekends and they have locations all over the country-14 just in Chicago. I did it with Noah while I was pregnant with Mila and plan on doing it again this summer. You can read more about my experience here.

There are 14 locations just in Chicago alone, but they are a nation wide program. They are in many major big cities. You can find a location here.

I used the Baby Jogger for this class
Errands turned Exercise

Ok, I know this sounds ridiculous, but let me explain. I usually have a few errands to do, especially early in the week. Whether it’s groceries, buying things for the kids, and so on, I map out where I need to go and walk there. This way, I can bring my jogger stroller and bring them along for the ride. There’s lots of room on the bottom and I have definitely filled it all the way up. Getting stuff done while running errands? It’s a win-win.

If the weather is cooperating and going outside isn’t an option, I turn on some music and get to cleaning. I find scrubbing, vacuuming and cleaning the house can burn calories. I just try to wear my phone so I can count those steps! These Champion leggings from Target have been on repeat and it perfectly fits my phone to track my steps.

Some of favorite Chicago gyms
  • Shred 415 is a combination of cardio on a treadmill and strength training plus they have childcare at all their gyms! The childcare rooms aren’t huge, but it works!
  • I am currently in a partnership with Studio Three for the cycling classes. Honestly, I couldn’t love it more! The childcare room is the biggest I have seen in the city, it even includes Ipads. Noah is asking all the time if we can go to kids care, he loves it. If you would a FREE class for your first time cycling class, let me know! I can get you a code.
  • I have only done Orangetheory once, but I loved it more than I thought I would. Everything is at your pace and you keep track of your own reps, so it’s a lot less pressure to keep up with everyone. This is a note to self to get back to a class soon!
  • Barre Code is one of my favorite gyms! I have belonged here for years and there are gyms all over the Chicagoland area. I like their barre and their Total Body Conditioning class- which is intense! (I LOVED barre classes during pregnancy!)
  • Recently, I just did a Brooklyn Boulders intro to climbing class and it was so fun! You use muscles that you normally don’t use in your everyday life and I was sore the next day! They also have lots of kids classes and camps, in addition to lots of workout classes. This place is massive and you could seriously spend hours climbing and watching others climb.
Final Thoughts

For some extra motivation, I have recently partnered with Fabletics. Before even partnering with them, I thought about joining the monthly subscription just to switch it up.

For me, I always find extra motivation when I have new workout clothes. It really helps! You can cancel anytime and if you don’t shop or “Skip the Month” by the 5th, your credit card will be charged $49.95, BUT you can use that credit toward future outfits. If you sign up for a membership, you can get two pairs of leggings for $24!

I hope you find some of these workout suggestions helpful. I am definitely working on it and it’s a work in progress. Add your comments below or DM me on Instagram. And as always, thanks for following and you can sign up for weekly email updates here.

Until next time,

Christine

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