Thursday, June 29, 2017

Exercise for Lazy Moms: How to (REALLY!) Get Fit and Lose the Tummy

Okay, here's the thing:

I'm. So. Lazy.

Like, back in middle school and high school when we were supposed to run the mile?

Never once did it.

I mean, I was diagnosed with exercise-induced asthma, but I milked it for all it was worth because I haaaated exercise.

But after having 6 kids in 7 years? My core was shot. My back was killing me by the end of every day. I was exhausted even when I was getting adequate sleep. And I had pretty obvious Diastasis Recti (abdominal separation) that had made my most recent pregnancy much more uncomfortable than it needed to be.

Fed up, I purchased the MuTu System when it went on sale (affiliate link!) - I was hesitant to put money towards an exercise program, since (have I mentioned this?) I hate exercising. But I knew that for me, if I shelled out money for something like this, I'd have to follow through or I'd be incredibly annoyed at having wasted that money. Then I undertook the exercise regimen for Lent, because I also needed a little spiritual motivation to get off my lazy booty.

And you guys?

It works. 

I'll tell you right now, these pictures don't show a hugely dramatic change, but the change I feel is so much more important.

Before:

3 months post-partum, a few days after starting the program and I was already seeing improvement, but had only just gotten around to taking a picture...


During:

8 weeks in, 5 months post-partum, looking and feeling much more toned, healthier, stronger, more energetic.

And... I'll admit, I don't have an "after" picture yet - once warm weather hit I had to start spending every free minute in the garden, so I got stuck at the 8-week mark and need to get back to it when life slows down a little.

So. Curious?

Here's how it worked for me:

To start off, I knew that I had Diastasis Recti (separated abdominal muscles, I had about a 3-finger separation) from back when I was pregnant with the twins. The exercises in this program are designed to help heal that separation, and are geared specifically towards post partum moms - LOTS of other exercise programs can actually make this problem worse, since they don't address it specifically. Things like crunches and planks can make your DR much worse, which is why I was willing to pay for a program that would ensure I didn't do more damage!

The first two weeks of the program are very gentle. I was still feeling like I was getting real exercise, since muscles I hadn't used in years were actually waking up. Take it slow if you're just starting out - it's okay to make each week of the program take more than a week if you need it! This all helped me realize just how poor my flexibility was, as well. The stretches are so helpful. And the first two weeks are just gentle exercises and stretches to help gear your body up for really working out. You need to take a walk outside every day as well, although I'll admit that I missed mine pretty frequently because it was COLD out! I was already noticing a difference in my belly during these first two weeks - the reminder to engage your core is huge.

Once Week 3 hit, the real workouts began. I was beat after the first one. I couldn't even finish it, and I woke up sore the next day. But after a few rounds, I was able to finish (although I was still breathing heavily!) and eventually wasn't sore the next day. Taking a day off between intensive workouts during weeks 3 and 4 is a really good idea, and helped me a lot. 

I finally got proper squatting (feet flat on the floor all the way) down after about Week 4. I told you my flexibility was terrible! I noticed my energy levels were much, much better - I was no longer waking up feeling like I had been hit by a bus in the morning, and was able to feed the hordes much more cheerfully!

Weeks 5-8 added new stretches & core workouts, as well as two new intensive workouts (the core workouts can be done any time during the day and in any order - much gentler exercises. The intensive workouts are about 20-25 minutes of "actual" working out, and I found it helpful to use the provided videos for those). You can choose which intensive workouts you do each week, and I honestly still find the first one (from week 3) to be the most challenging, so know that your body will get used to these, and once you get past week 3 or 4, things get much more manageable!

I seriously feel like this is a miracle program

I didn't have serious pelvic floor issues, but this is meant to address those as well - it's all connected, and the Kegels you learned to do years ago? Probably not helping. 

No more back pain.

No more Diastasis Recti 
(which can lead to poor positioning in subsequent pregnancies, and is unsightly and uncomfortable).

Increased energy.

Increased flexibility.

Increased strength.

Do you understand why I feel like shouting this from the rooftops??


There's a big sale coming up that you don't want to miss if you've been thinking about purchasing the MuTu System - 46% off all programs and kit bags. This is a better price than I purchased mine for!



The sale starts at 12:01 AM BST, which is the same as 7:01 PM EST (6 Central, 4 for those of you on the West Coast). So if you're on the East Coast like me, set your alarm for 7 PM on July 5! And make sure to use the code wendy46 - it's good on any of the programs, and the kit bag (which, at the sale price, I actually recommend - I bought my pieces individually and on sale this is a good deal!). I've never seen a sale this big for the MuTu system, and it only lasts for 24 hours (all of July 6 for Brits, which is 7 PM July 5 through 7 PM July 6 if you're an East Coaster).

Questions? I'm happy to help! Or you can click through to their site and read the FAQ section. If you're like me and do better with support & accountability, hop over to Facebook and join this group!

I'm a MuTu Ambassador, which means that if you purchase the program through my link I get a small commission. But I purchased the program on my own, and legitimately love it, or I wouldn't share it with you! 
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