Meet our August featured athlete, Erica! She's a personal trainer with a love for CrossFit. See how this FitMom juggles fitness, work, and being a mom.
Q. Having a baby makes your schedule so unpredictable. How do you make time for your workouts?
A. Yes, having time to workout while having a baby seems impossible some days! That's why there's a difference between "having time" and "making time". I made fitness a priority in my daily routine not only to feel better about myself, but to also be a better Mom. I have more energy, in a better mood and I get to incorporate her in the workouts so it's a win-win!
I realized when she was just a newborn that finding the time to workout was going to be tough. So I simply began to either hold her while I performed the movements (squats, lunges, etc) or laid her down on a yoga mat with some pillows and did some push-ups over top of her or any other movement which involved me being on the ground. Then around 3 months, I took her with me to CrossFit and she sat in her car seat the majority of my workouts and simply watched. Not only was that bonding time for us, but now she absolutely LOVES going to the gym with me, it's our family's second home!
Q. What was your fitness journey like through pregnancy and post pregnancy? How soon were you able to start exercising again?
A. During my pregnancy I tried my hardest to workout 3-4 times a week. I did mainly bodyweight exercises with some light weights on occasion. I was scared of pushing myself too hard and unsure of what movements were safe during pregnancy. Now that I've experienced pregnancy, I now know I was capable of much more. For my second pregnancy, I will continue CrossFit all the way through!
I began working out 3 weeks after giving birth. Nothing crazy, just lots of walking, slow jogging, and attempts at doing bodyweight movements. I will always remember trying to do a push-up on my knees at 3 weeks postpartum and not even coming close to completing it. My core strength was toast. As hard as that was to realize, instead of letting it discourage me, it gave me my first fitness goal postpartum - to do a push up! And within maybe 6-8 weeks, and A LOT of practice, I got one!
Q. Take us into one of your workouts.
A. My workouts are generally HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) style. I believe you don't need to spend hours at the gym to get in shape. My clients typically are in and out of our sessions within 45 minutes! I incorporate bodyweight movements with some running/rowing. We also use equipment like barbells and dumbbells, med balls, kettlebells, dog sleds, tires, etc. the list is endless! Every workout is always different. In my opinion, that's what makes fitness fun!
Q. It's amazing how you incorporate your baby into your workouts. What would you say is your favorite move that's fun for you and the baby and also very effective?
A. My favorite move would have to be a squat with my baby. Squatting is one of the best movements you can do for your body and it's fun for babies because it's like a roller coaster for them! Up and down, up and down...because I've squatted with her so much, my daughter at around 13 months could already squat on command! Proud mommy moment for sure :)
Q. What is your definition of "be your own athlete"?
A. Great question. I think to be your own athlete, you need to always be focused on bettering YOURSELF and not trying to compare yourself to others :)
Check out a clip of Erica working out with her baby!
Connect with Erica at:
Facebook: Simply Fit By Erica
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