Hey there Mamas!
Welcome to week 3 of the 5-Week Mommy Series I’m conducting in May. Feel free to get caught up on weeks one and two, or read on for an inspiring Mommy Fitness Talk plus a BONUS 15 Minute Custom Workout For Busy Moms!
In late April, I sat down to brainstorm topics that would be relevant for Moms. Motherhood & Fitness came to mind right away. Let’s face it, having kids does a number to our bodies! And with all the new responsibilities that come along with Motherhood, it can be challenging to find the time or the energy to bounce back.
Since I’m not an expert in this field, I chose to enlist the help of my good friend Marion Paetznick. Marion is an athlete, she’s highly educated in physical and teacher education, and now works as (pardon my french) a kick ass fitness instructor and Mommy! She’s very passionate about youth fitness and is a shining example of a strong, fit Mama! I compiled a list of questions that I felt every Mother might want answers to and conducted a brief interview. Her answers are clear, relevant and inspiring!
I predict you’ll walk away from this article feeling inspired to be a healthier version of you!
Mommy Fitness Talk with Marion Paetznick
Will you please share your background, experience and qualifications?
I grew up playing volleyball and I fell in love with the confidence that comes from being physically strong. With the help and support of great coaches and parents I earned a full ride scholarship to a division one program. I wanted to pass the confidence and energy that I had gained through physical fitness on to the next generation, so I majored in Physical Education and Teacher Education with a minor in Biology. After graduating, I became a group fitness instructor. I teach strength training and cardio programs through a company called Les Mills. I also write and present choreography for a terrific little program called DrumFit that focuses on youth fitness and I became a Mother to a fun and curious little boy almost two years ago.
How has your fitness changed since becoming a Mom?
Pregnancy was one wild ride! When I was pregnant I developed a crazy sense of smell. Some of my favorite fruits and vegetables began to smell like putrid garbage to me. I never wanted to cook. We ended up eating out a lot of the time and I gained a whopping 65 lbs! It was horrifying! Even with my background in health and fitness, it took me a while to find a routine that worked well.
I started food journaling. I watched my overall calorie intake. I increased my protein to be closer to 40% of my daily intake. I decreased my carbohydrates to 40% and I kept my fat around 20% of my calories. I focused on eating the most nutrient dense foods that I could find. Right after I had my son I took yoga classes to work on my balance and stability. As I got stronger some of my yoga time switched to weight lifting. For me, finding a healthy routine is key!
What are the benefits of exercising throughout Motherhood?
- Strong Moms have more energy at the end of the day. As our muscles grow stronger our everyday tasks like grocery shopping and laundry become easier and easier. As you become more fit, you’ll find yourself taking the time to really clean your kitchen after dinner and not dread that late night trip to the Target to pick up more diapers. Fit Moms have the energy they need to take great care of themselves and their families.
- You’ll sleep better and be more productive during the day. There’s a huge body of research that proves that people who are active are more productive, creative, focused, and even sleep more soundly.
- You’ll be able to play with your child longer. These moments are so special and so fleeting. Have you ever collapsed on the park bench feeling guilty you’re no longer able to keep up with the littles? Ok, me too, and I like to think I’m reasonably fit. But I believe I can hang on to these moments a little longer because health and fitness are a priority.
- You’ll have more confidence! There isn’t a piece of clothing that doesn’t look good on a fit body. You can wear anything, or you could just go naked! Fit and healthy people look that good!
- Exercise lifts your mood! Let’s be real, days with a baby or a toddler can be long. Exercise is one of the best way to release some endorphins and give you an emotional lift!
What are some ways Moms can exercise with their child?
Walking with your baby in a carrier is my absolute favorite. Another idea would be tossing your baby into the air! They love it! Use your legs and make sure you brace your core (this is important, especially as your child gets bigger) and toss your baby up, then catch him/her. Rough housing of all kinds is great exercise too. Add a five minute smoochie or tickle wrestling interval into your workout routine and you’ll have a bright smile to compliment your trim physique.
Are there specific exercises that might benefit Mothers of babies and toddlers?
As Moms, our backs take a beating. We are bent over picking up toys, doing laundry, setting our children down in their crib after we’ve rocked them to sleep. I could go on and on. We need to pay special attention to our core strength throughout these years to keep our spines supported, strong and injury free. I’m going to focus on the lower abdominals here because I feel like that’s a particular area of weakness with Moms. Our lower abs keep our pelvis in alignment and that has a lot to do with our lower back. It’s all connected folks!
Disclosure: Before beginning any new exercise regimen, especially if you are not used to regular exercise, it is important to consult with your primary care physician. People who are not used to regular exercise should meet with their doctor to assess overall health, blood pressure and other vitals before beginning a vigorous exercise program.
The key through these moves is to keep your lower back pressed towards the floor by keeping your lower abs contracted the entire duration of the move.
For the New Mom or New Exerciser: Lie on your back and bring your shins parallel to the floor. Bring your knees directly above your hips. Be careful not to let your knees cave in towards your chest, it will take the work out of your abs. Keeping your core contracted and lower back pressed against the ground, tap one toe down to the floor. Alternate legs.
For the Mom who’s ready to take it to the next level: Try extending the legs to increase the load. You can continue to drop one leg at a time or you can go beast mode.
For the Beast Mode Mom: Try dropping both legs at the same time. Pay close attention to your lower back. If you feel pressure building, drop down to a lower option. Safety first!
Will you share a quick workout for busy Moms?
I created a page specifically dedicated to Marion’s Quick 15 Minute Workout For Busy Moms. I expect that you’ll want to return once you try it and reap the benefits… Take it from me, I’ve been using this routine every day since this interview and I feel SO strong! it’s 15 minutes to a stronger, fitter you!
Anything else you think Moms should know?
As Mothers we know that it’s OK not to be perfect. It’s OK to fail at times and it’s OK to cry. But it is not OK to stop trying. I think we need to bring this same attitude to our personal health. Focus on making healthy habits a part of your routine rather than going on crash diets before a big event. It’s OK to slow down. It’s OK to have a day or two where you fall off the nutritious diet wagon, in fact it’s expected. You’re a human being. But it’s not OK to stop trying.
I also hope new Moms are kind to themselves. Being a Mom is a draining job. Let exercise be your outlet. Let it be your you time where you connect with your body and find your limits. As a Mother you already know your body is capable of amazing things, but you can do even more. Dare to be your strongest self and the role model you want to be for your child.
I’d like to personally thank Marion, for allowing me to pick her brain. Her workout has become a staple routine in my personal exercise regimen. Thanks for inspiring me to take my health and fitness to the next level, and for adding value to all the Mamas reading this post! You were a pleasure to work with!
For me, yoga is a big part of my physical and emotional health. It strengthens me, keeps me balanced, and forces me to slow down. I’m grateful to say I’m in the best shape of my life right now thanks to workouts like Marion’s, yoga and my commitment to eating for hormonal balance. We also walk and hike with our baby carrier. Adding 25 lbs to your frame while exercising makes for one strong Mama! See below… hiking, while carrying baby, while nursing… Holy calorie burn! Our days are also filled with playing “get you” (chase), dancing, and tickle fits. 🙂
What challenges have you faced on your road to fitness during Motherhood? What’s your Mommy fitness plan? Have you tried Marion’s workout? Please share your ideas and results in the comments below!
This post is Week 3 of the 5-Week Motherhood Series that I’m conducting in May. If you missed the last 2 weeks, feel free to get caught up here.
Lindsay & Marion ❤️