6 Tips for Easing Back Into Exercise and Embracing Your New Mom Body

Now that baby is almost here, I’m starting to remember what it was like after having Shane. I had a bit of shock when I saw my postpartum body for the first time- I mean, it’s only logical that things had changed since I grew a human for nine months, but I never really thought about how much. It took awhile for me to get back to normal physically- at first I had no idea where to begin, and I barely ever put my baby boy down long enough to do anything. Over time though, I picked up some tips along the way that I plan to utilize this time right off the bat. Here are some of the best tips I’ve received & used:

6 Tips for Easing Back into Exercise and Embracing Your New Mom Body

-Wait to begin a workout routine until you’re ready. Regardless of what type of birth you have, it will be several weeks before you’re ready to resume actual high-impact exercise again. You can begin walking for exercise shortly after birth {about 1-2 weeks for a vaginal birth & 3-4 weeks after a C-section} but anything requiring more effort should usually wait until about six weeks postpartum- and you should get cleared by your doctor first.

-Exercise with your baby. There are several options for including your baby in your workout, whether you’re pushing them in a stroller while you walk or taking them to Mommy & Me Zumba {it’s a real thing- I did it with Shane until I realized I’m not coordinated enough for Zumba}. If you would rather stay home, you can always get a treadmill & work out from home while baby watches from the swing or bouncer!

-Don’t focus on the weight. There are many factors that can contribute to either losing or retaining your weight, especially when you’ve just had a baby. The important thing is just feeling strong and gaining your confidence back- not losing a ton of weight quickly. Unless you’re an A-list celebrity with a whole team of professionals &you have six hours a day to work out, it’s going to take some time.

-Do focus on your core. Your abdominal muscles weakened when they stretched to make room for baby. It will take some time to build them back up again, but you can help them along by focusing on them when you exercise. Building your core muscles back up will help everything from your posture to your strength in general and can help with back pain as well as make any other type of exercise you’re doing easier.

-Reward yourself. While your life as a new mom may be mostly dedicated to your little bundle of joy, be sure to take time for yourself, especially after hitting milestones or achieving goals like working out a certain number of days. It doesn’t have to be anything expensive or time-consuming, just something that you haven’t been doing for yourself since you’ve started doing everything for a little one.

-Remember that some things are just different now. While you can do a lot to improve your strength and lose the baby weight, some things about your body will just remain different. Stretch marks will fade over time, and extra skin on your tummy may tighten up once your abs are back to normal {or it may not, depending on how much extra skin there is}, but things like bigger hips or feet can be permanent. Instead of missing your “old” body, welcome your new body- if it helps, keep in mind that this body is the mother of your beautiful child!

Do you have any tips to add?

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Motivation to Get Moving with Walgreens Steps with Balance Rewards #BalanceRewards #cbias

Making healthy choices is important to me. I am not in the best of shape, but I still make sure to take care of myself- I eat good foods, I take vitamins, and just this morning I went to the dentist for my 6-month checkup. But now I have even more reason to want to be healthy- we’re trying to add to the family, and that means that my body will {hopefully} soon have a very important job to do.

While I’m not pregnant now, I am working on changing that, and so to get my body ready I’ve been changing a few things. I’ve started taking prenatal vitamins, I cut soda out before the wedding & haven’t gone back, and I am starting up walking!

I have horrible timing, because it’s about to get really hot here in Vegas, but I am going to start walking with Shane. I meant to start a few weeks ago, but we’ve all had a cold that just won’t go away for the last few weeks &my asthma gets really bad when I’m sick. I’ve almost completely shaken the illness though so we’re ready to get started!

Walgreens Prenatals

I headed to Walgreens to pick up a few things to keep me well. You can view my entire shopping trip here, but I picked up some essentials like granola bars with protein, sports drinks, and prenatal vitamins. I love shopping at Walgreens because I earn Bonus Rewards Points when I shop- and those add up to give me cash back! When you accumulate 500 points, you can redeem it for $5 off your purchase- or you can keep stacking your points for even bigger savings!

Walgreens tag

It’s easy to earn rewards- every week, Walgreens has bonus items that will help you quickly stack up the points &you can even earn 500 points for every prescription you fill in the store! &Now Walgreens has a FREE way to earn points- you can now walk, run or jog with the Steps with Balance Rewards program to earn points!

Balance Rewards Points

It’s easy to get started- just sign up for a Balance Rewards card online or in-store, and then use it to create your Steps with Balance Rewards account. You can set goals & track your progress- and earn points the whole time. Some of the tasks are super easy- I got 250 points just for setting my first goal! You can also earn points for linking a device {like a FitBit}, tracking your weight {20 points per day}, or walking or running {20 points per mile}. The points quickly add up into real rewards- which is a huge incentive for me to start walking!

Walgreens Helpful tools

Another incentive is that the Steps with Balance Rewards program has a whole community that you can interact with. They also include healthy tips & articles right on your dashboard, making it easy to stay inspired. &If you like to have something to strive for, they list local relays & other walking/running events!

Step Up to Win

Walgreens is also running a Step Up to Win Instant Win & Sweepstakes where you can win daily prizes- and even a grand prize- a trip to a The Biggest Loser resort of your choice! {They are located in Chicago, Ivins, UT, Malibu, and Niagara, NY.} The sweepstakes runs until May 31st so you have a chance to win every day! This week they’ll be giving away Fiber One Coupons, a great scale, Blue Classic Brita Pitchers, Walgreens Gift Cards, FitBit Zips, Entertainment Books, and Dr. Scholl’s Insoles!

Be sure to sign up for Steps with Balance Rewards today & start earning those points! &When you’re done with your workout, be sure to reward yourself by checking out the Fun Channel via AisleShare for some entertainment!

What motivates you to get moving?

Note: I am a member of the Collective Bias® Social Fabric® Community. This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study forCollective Bias® and Walgreens #cbias #SocialFabric All opinions are my own.

Track Your Activity Easily with the FitBit One {Review}

I’ve noticed that whenever I do well with weight loss, it’s thanks to tracking. Normally, I succeed by tracking what I eat- it always surprises me how quickly little bites of things add up that I often forget I’ve even taken. So since that always helps, I decided to literally step it up & try out the Fitbit One, since it helps to track your physical activity!

fitbit one

Not only does the Fitbit One track your steps and distance, but it also tracks the calories you burn & the amount of stairs you climb- and this particular version of the Fitbit even tracks your sleep habits! It times how long you sleep for as well as how many times you wake up at night. You can easily keep track of your progress with your free Fitbit account, which your Fitbit wirelessly syncs to on your computer or on select phones.

Fitbit

The Fitbit One is tiny & so easy to use- you just put it in the holder and clip it to your pants or bra, or put it in your pocket. All day it will track your movement, and you can easily check how close you are to your goal by pushing on the only button that it has. Just push the button repeatedly to cycle through all of the stats for the day.

sleep tracker

Then when it’s time for bed, take it out of the holder and put it into the wrist band so that it can track your sleep! The only time you have to be without it is when it’s charging {though it keeps a charge for several days at a time} and when you’re in water, since it can withstand some moisture but isn’t actually waterproof. {Confession: I totally forgot to unclip it from my pants one time before putting them into the washer. Somehow it survived, but I wouldn’t recommend doing that.}

fitbit one app

It’s so easy to keep your information up-to-date: I used the free iPhone app {also available for Android} and whenever I opened the app in the vicinity of my Fitbit, it automatically synced the information for me. {You do have to set this up first but it’s easy.} That information is accessible within the app or on their website. With the app you can also track your food consumption for optimal success, as well as your water and sleep. You can even add friends & cheer each other on!

While I admit that I forget to use it some days, I find that on the days that I remember I really push myself to walk more. It is easier to push yourself to meet a goal when you can see your progress, and much more motivating! I’m trying to get into the habit of making it an every day thing.

Buy It: You can find the Fitbit One or any of the other Fitbit products online on their website or at various electronics retailers. Prices vary, but the Fitbit One retails for $99.99.

How do you track your food or activity?

Note: I received the Fitbit One to facilitate this review. All opinions are my own.

In a Turkey Coma? Just Dance 4 is Here to Help!

Thank you to Ubisoft for sponsoring this post. Please click here to learn more about Ubisoft. I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls Collective. #UbiChamps

They say that finding a type of exercise that you enjoy is important & I couldn’t agree more. Unfortunately, I hate just about every type of exercise with only two exceptions- yoga, and dance. Since my wedding is in just four months, I needed something that I could do a lot but that wouldn’t bore me. So when I found out that Just Dance 4 was coming out, I knew it was perfect!

Shane Just Dance 4
I had the original Just Dance & while it was really fun, I didn’t use it all that much. I had it for Wii & my Wii wasn’t great at picking up my movements, so it became frustrating. I’m not the best dancer ever, but I knew I was hitting the moves, and it didn’t give me credit for it. With the new Just Dance 4, though, I’m playing it with my XBox 360 Kinect and it is amazing what a difference it makes. It recognizes every movement- and it even records you playing & turns it into a music video when the song is over!

sweat it out just dance 4

Not only is it easier to use the new game, but there are more features as well. They have a new Just Sweat It Out program that is meant for using it as a workout- it even counts the calories you’re burning! There are 5 different Just Sweat workouts & each one has three levels {10, 25, or 45 minutes} so they’re perfect for anyone, even if you’re pressed for time!

music video just dance 4

Just Dance 4 also has a new battle feature called Just Dance-Off! where you can challenge your friends & family in 6 rounds of dance battles. Justin hasn’t been brave enough to play that with me yet but I really want to try it! He was brave enough to just dance with me- we could not stop watching the music video that it made when we danced to Will Smith’s “Wild Wild West”- it was hilarious! {By the way, I totally beat him!}

song choice justdance4

The song selection is amazing, too. There’s a large variety- they have everything from Elvis Presley’s “Jailhouse Rock” to Carly Rae Jepsen’s “Call Me Maybe”- and they even have “Gangnam Style” as downloadable content! In fact, they have a whole selection of downloadable content so that you can always add more songs- but there are so many included songs {around 40} that I don’t see myself getting bored with them for a long, long time.

just dance 4 cover xbox

Just Dance 4 is a great way to spend time with your family- especially on holidays! Whether your turkey put you into a food coma & you need some energy or you just want to laugh & dance, Just Dance 4 is a great game for any holiday get-together. We are celebrating Thanksgiving on Saturday & I’m thinking about bringing our XBox over to play because it’d be so much fun! Just look at how much fun Shane has with it:

Buy It: You can purchase Just Dance 4 at many retailers & online for the MSRP of $39.99 {Or currently on sale on Amazon for $29.99!}

What is your favorite way to work out?

Note: I received the game to facilitate this review. All experiences are authentic & all opinions are my own.

J is for Jeep Jogging Stroller Review & Giveaway!

With Autumn just around the corner, I’m looking forward to getting outside more. Summer is often thought of as the season for playing outside but when it’s over 110 degrees outside, you tend to hide out and wait for Fall.

One of the things I’m most looking forward to doing is walking. Shane & I loved going for walks before summer hit, and I know he’s going to love starting up again. My goal for this year is to not just take leisurely walks- I want to start jogging! I’m definitely not in fighting shape for it right this moment, but I’m planning on starting out slow- first by walking slowly with Shane, then by walking more briskly while pushing him in a stroller, and then, hopefully I’ll be able to really jog by the end of the year.

J is for Jeep stroller

I’ve got a great new tool that will help me with my goal: the new J is for Jeep Wrangler Sport Jogger! It is perfect for walking or jogging, so I can take Shane along with me still, even if I plan on going faster than his little legs can handle. &The stroller has SO many great features that will make it so much easier to enjoy our time outside together!

J is for Jeep Jogging Stroller iBaby system

This stroller has something called the iBaby system- it easily connects to your phone or MP3 player and allows you to play music for everyone to enjoy! I love listening to music while I work out but I don’t want to use headphones if I’ve got Shane in tow in case he needs me, so I love this!

J is for Jeep Jogging Stroller cup holders and handle

Not only does the stroller come with a cup holder for storing your water bottle- it comes with two cup holders for Mom & even one for your kiddo! We never leave the house without water so I appreciate that I won’t have to fight Shane for the cup holder!

J is for Jeep Jogging Stroller seat

In addition to a cup holder, the seat also has two pockets for storage. When I go on longer walks & jogs, I know Shane will probably get bored. I love that I can let him take a couple of toys {or even a game system} along for the ride and that he can access them & put them away himself without making me stop to reach underneath in the storage area.

J is for Jeep Jogging Stroller under storage

Speaking of the storage area- it’s huge! You could really hold a lot under there- I’m very impressed by the amount of storage space. You can even access it from the front or back of the stroller, allowing you to fill it up & not have to dig through it to get what you need.

J is for Jeep jogging stroller brake

A more simple feature that I’m in love with is the brake. The stroller I’ve always used {also Jeep} has standard brakes- where there’s a tiny lever on either side that you have to step on or lift up to use. I always have issues with it though because I’m either wearing flip flops, in which case it hurts to use my toes to lift it up so I have to reach down & touch the dirty brakes with my hand, or I’m wearing gym shoes that are larger and it makes it hard to hit the tiny lever. This brake takes care of both issues- it’s bigger and easy to maneuver, and it’s smooth metal instead of jagged plastic so it doesn’t hurt to lift up with your toes- even with open-toed shoes.

The tires on the stroller are real, air-filled tires. I like this because if I get a flat I can just patch it if needed & repair it with air instead of replacing the whole wheel. It also makes jogging more comfortable & makes the ride smoother on uneven surfaces.

J is for Jeep Jogging Stroller preschooler
{Don’t worry, we didn’t leave the driveway or else he’d have his seatbelt on!}

One of my favorite things is that the weight limit is 60 lbs. Shane is still under 40 lbs. and while he’s tall, the seat is very adjustable. He’ll be able to ride in this one long after he’s outgrown his regular stroller!

J is for Jeep Jogging Stroller folded

The stroller is easy to store, too- it has what’s called a “Free-Stand” design, meaning that it stands upright when it’s folded and doesn’t have to be leaned against anything.

J is for Jeep Jogging Stroller profile

Other fun features:

-Compatible with many infant car seats with no adapter required, including Baby Trend, Britax, Chicco, Cosco, Graco, Peg Perego and Safety 1st.

-Forward-locking front wheel allows added stability while jogging but can be allowed to swivel for everyday use

-It has a tether {that string hanging down in my pictures} and a 5-point harness for added safety.

-The handle adjusts to multiple heights- perfect for me, since I’m very short.

This stroller is great for many uses and I love that it is going to allow me to spend some quality time with my son. Whether you’re a seasoned jogger, a beginner like me or just the mom of an older kid who needs a bigger stroller, you’ve found it in the J is for Jeep stroller!

Buy It: You can buy the J is for Jeep Wrangler Sport Jogger for the retail price of $299.99 exclusively at Buy Buy Baby stores- either online or in-store!

Win It: One lucky {Not Quite} Susie Homemaker reader is going to WIN this amazing stroller! Just enter using the simple form below. Good luck!

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