I hear from a lot of moms that their biggest obstacle when it comes to working out during pregnancy and postpartum is not feeling motivated. And trust me, I get it. Because I don’t either.
But if we were to rely on motivation alone to workout, many people just simply wouldn’t workout! So what can we do to get ourselves to stick to a workout routine, especially during pregnancy and postpartum, when motivation doesn’t work?
If we are meeting for the first time - Hi! Welcome to Vibrant Mama Wellness! My name is Megan, and I am a pre and postnatal personal trainer. I am certified through the National Academy of Sports Medicine, with a specialization in pre+postnatal fitness through Pronatal fitness. I am a mom to a toddler, and pregnant with my second baby!
(Disclaimer: I am not a doctor and this is not medical advice. This blog is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease or condition. This blog post is based on my own research and experience - please consult a medical professional before starting or making any changes to your exercise program).
I am 30 weeks pregnant with my second baby at the time of this blog post. And I will be completely transparent with you - if I were to rely on motivation ALONE to get my workouts in, I’d maybe workout 2-3x a MONTH. And while there’s not necessarily anything wrong with that (I do believe everything counts!) — it’s not going to help me reach my goals.
Here’s the tough love that no one likes to hear - there’s no secret or hack to finding the motivation to workout. You just have to do it.
But there are a few tips that CAN help you stay more consistent, and over time develop more discipline!
1. What is your WHY?
Why is it important to you to workout during this season of life?
If you’re pregnant, maybe you’re looking to gain a healthy/recommended amount of weight or you want to prepare for an unmedicated birth. Maybe this is your second or third pregnancy and you’ve learned from experience that your postpartum recovery will be easier if you stay active during pregnancy. Or, you’re like me and you suffer from pelvic girdle pain and know that staying active and having a strong core and glutes will help alleviate your pelvic pain.
If you’re postpartum, maybe you want the energy and stamina to chase your toddler around all day. Or you have Diastasis Recti and you want to have a strong core so you can get back to crushing your OrangeTheory classes. Or maybe you’re a runner and want to run a 5k this summer!
Finding a strong why can help motivate you to show up, even on the days when the couch is calling your name!
2. Schedule it into your day like an important meeting.
I personally find if I don’t get my workout done before noon, it’s typically not happening. This is true for most people - the further along they get in their day, the more obstacles get in the way and working out becomes less important.
Something that can be really helpful (and something my 1:1 clients have done) is schedule your workouts into your day like an important meeting with your boss. Block it off in your calendar, and if you can, have it be consistent each day (i.e. 10am on Monday, Wednesday and Friday). Eventually, you’ll get so used to this being part of your schedule that it will just be a habit and it won’t require any motivation at all!
3. Just commit to 5 minutes and allow yourself to quit if you’re not feeling it.
Sometimes you just have to force yourself to show up. But rather than slog it for 30+ minutes, just tell yourself you only need to do the first 5 minutes, and if you’re really not feeling it, you have permission to call it quits.
In the majority of cases, you’ll feel pretty good once you get started and you’ll want to follow through with the whole workout! But if you’re really having a rough day and 5 minutes in you just can’t take it anymore, allow yourself to throw in the towel and try again tomorrow. This method helps you consistently show up, so even if you don't log a full workout, your brain still is in the habit of working out.
4. Follow a program or invest in a coach for accountability!
Following a structured program with a laid-out schedule and plan takes out the mental planning portion of working out (which, honestly, can be a huge energy suck!!). In both my pregnancy and postpartum programs, I have taken out the guesswork for you so all you have to do is show up and press play (check them out here!) But if you’re someone who needs more accountability, consider hiring a coach! A coach not only tailors your workouts specifically to you and your goals but also provides daily accountability and motivation to help keep you on track. If you’re interested in working together 1:1, check out my packages HERE.
Pregnancy and postpartum are unpredictable. There are a lot of things that come up (not to mention sleep is wildly inconsistent) so relying on motivation really doesn’t work, and that’s okay. Hopefully, these tips will help you get into a consistent routine so that you can feel healthy, strong, and confident in your body!
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Disclaimer: This blog does not serve as medical advice. Please consult your medical provider before starting a new fitness routine. This blog is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease or condition.