In a bid to give at least one of my New Year’s resolutions a crack (decreasing my wine intake isn’t going quite as well as I’d hoped), I’ve recently join my local Couch to 5k group. If you also foolishly decided on New Year’s Eve that watching ‘SAS: Who Dares Wins’ isn’t actually an exercise regime and vowed to get fit again, here are the top tips I’ve picked up so far…


  1. Don’t call it ‘getting fit again’ if, like me, the most exercise you’ve done in the last two years is running away from that scary goose that always goes for you at the farm (he is such an arsehole), and the only time you gave it a whirl pre-baby you ended up spending a small fortune on an annual gym membership that got used a handful of times (and by ‘used’, I mean I got on a treadmill, died a bit inside, couldn’t bear listening to ‘Call Me Maybe’ played at 1000 decibels for one second more, and retreated to the jacuzzi to ‘recuperate’)…I could have bought my own flippin’ jacuzzi at that price!). I have to be honest with myself, ‘fitness’ is basically unchartered territory!
  2. Do try on your old gym clothes, if only for the laugh. F*ck you Dominos, this is ENTIRELY your fault…on the plus side you can now spend weeks planning exactly which trainers/tops/joggers/reflective gear/useless gadgets you might need on your quest to ‘get fit’, which is an excellent way to postpone the actual ‘getting fit’ part. A bit like when you were at school and spent weeks lovingly crafting elaborate revision timetables and aimlessly highlighting things to avoid actually having to revise…
  3. Don’t become too disheartened when you nip into Tesco on your lunch break to buy said gym gear, and the only size they seem to stock is small, they don’t have bra sizes bigger than a D, and the only trousers that DO fit you have weird see-through panels all over them…if I was confident enough to skip about the place with my arse cheeks showing I wouldn’t be DOING this bloody fitness malarkey in the first place! Thank the lord for online shopping…
  4. Do find allies. Joining my local running group has really helped because A: people are expecting you to be there so you can’t really sack it off at the last-minute to watch that Friends episode you’ve already seen 3,000 times, B: we’re all beginners, so I’m not the only one looking longingly at the pub as we trundle past, and C: we run at 7.30pm. This has two key benefits – I get excused from the bedtime routine once a week (“enjoy the next 30 minutes of ‘Watch Ooh-Tube!/NOT sleepy!/More Peppa!’ SUCKER!!!” is obviously what I DO NOT think as I skip out the door and leave the husband to it…). But the very best thing is that it’s dark, which means I feel much less self-conscious, and almost nobody saw me trip over my own laces and get better acquainted with a nearby hedge last week…
  5. Before you head out, do give yourself a bit of time to get hydrated, stretch, and FOR THE LOVE OF GOD get a bit of practice in with your sports bra. Those things are almost impossible to get into; it’s like squeezing a melon into an egg cosy. The first time out I’d only given myself 10 minutes to get ready, got one arm through and then got completely stuck – it’s a real low point when your husband has to rescue you from a lycra-induced panic attack…
  6. Don’t give up! Because you actually feel pretty great once you’ve done it (you will then of course feel sh*t again the next day when you attempt to climb stairs and the thigh-burn sets in; it took me half an hour to reach the top floor in Next) and it definitely gets a little easier each time. Although I may need to find a slightly less counter-intuitive hydration method for afterwards… 😉


2 thoughts on “The do’s and don’ts of post-baby fitness

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