This post was authored by Sarah Porter, Certified Instructor at Bar Method Winter Park and National Coach/Evaluator for Bar Method.
So your bouncing bundle of joy has arrived — congratulations, mama! Cue endless hours of just staring at your darling babe. Hopefully, your baby will sleep through the night and allow you time to refresh. Maybe you’ll even find that breastfeeding is a breeze and your little one is so amenable that carrying on with life is simple. Who said motherhood was hard?
But wait — what happens if you’re not feeling this way? It’s more than likely that you’re completely exhausted, sore and tired. You might start to feel like you’re losing your mind or become weepy for no reason. What’s happening is called the “baby blues” — and it’s actually normal.
While getting support from your partner, family, and friends is extremely important during this trying time, you need to find time to do the things that bring you joy and keep you on an even keel. Whether you gave birth vaginally or via caesarean section will play a role in how quickly you can spring back into your Bar Method regime — but as soon as your OB says it’s okay, jump back on that bandwagon. Exercise is actually one of the best ways to cope with those baby blues. Read on for six reasons why getting back into class can help.
1. You’ll experience endorphins. Better than a cup of coffee and almost as good as sex, the feel-good vibes you get from successfully completing three sets of thigh work can reinforce the feeling that you truly are a super mom.
Carrie Mack, a regular Bar Method student, instructor and mom to Wyatt agrees that class made all the difference when it came to her energy, happiness and confidence after giving birth. “After I had my son, I started experiencing the “baby blues”. I had a pretty tough recovery from labor and struggled with breastfeeding and getting sick during the first month. I spent most days feeling a sense of sadness that I couldn’t shake. I knew something was different.
She continues, “The first class I took post-pregnancy saved me. It refreshed my new mom mind and calmed my spirit. I was able to focus that entire hour on me. I felt renewed and reenergized and it literally took away the blues I was feeling. Every class I’ve taken since then has made me experience this same feeling of being refreshed and reenergized. I am a better mom because of this.”
2. You’ll raise your energy levels. Working out revives your inner stamina and strength. Having an hour to yourself to work on your fitness will mentally help you to deal with life and your newborn more easily. You might think, ‘Oh, I am exhausted and I just can’t do this!’ Instead, I promise you’ll feel so much better after taking an hour to replenish you.
3. You’ll lose baby weight. I’m always blown away by the post-natal clients at our studio — they bounce back to their pre-baby weight so fast. Talk about a confidence boost!
4. You’ll re-strengthen your core muscles. Remember how pushups, bent-elbow lifts, and reverse pushups made your upper body look fierce? Well, those same exercises are going to give you the strength to carry your baby around (plus all the gear that comes with him or her). Don’t forget that your Bar Method instructors are all extremely knowledgeable. Let your teacher know if you’re concerned about pain in specific areas so you can modify exercises as you need to as you work to get back to your strong self again.
5. You’ll remodel your pelvic floor. Pregnancy and delivery can cause chaos on your pelvic floor muscles. In fact, The Bar Method’s focus on consistently firing up your abdominals and squeezing your glutes is the perfect remedy for retraining that area. You’ll even be able to sneeze with confidence. All praise be to back-dancing!
6. You’ll enjoy social interaction. Don’t underestimate the benefits of hitting class with your Bar bestie again after having your baby. Spending time with others can help you rediscover your motivation and keep you inspired to stay healthy.
“Class enabled me to redefine myself as a young woman and not just a mom,” Kelly Higuera, a Bar Method student and teacher says. “I had a wonderful group of women who helped inspire me and motivate me daily. I truly believe that The Bar Method is why I can look back on pregnancy and post-pregnancy and think about how enjoyable my life was at the time.”
Remember that your Bar Method instructor will be there to welcome you to each class and constantly remind you of how strong you are — along with how amazing and strong your body is. Don’t deny yourself of that love. You deserve it.
Did Bar Method help you get over your post-baby blues? Tell us about your experience in the comments.
Taking a Bar Method class 3-5 times per week has major benefits that range from improved flexibility and strength to a more toned-looking physique. Whatever your motivation, setting solid goals for what you can achieve with class will have a huge impact on your success while inspiring you to stay on track when life gets hectic.
According to SELF Magazine, there are a handful of best practices that can make all of the difference when thinking about the fitness milestones you want to reach. These tried and true tactics are rolled into the SMART Method, a goal-setting guide that trainers and professional athletes swear by. The SMART Method says that each should be five things: specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and timely.
- Specific: A general goal like “getting stronger” is good in that it will help you identify a direction and path for all of your hard work, but it the SMART Method calls for a more specific goal that you can narrow down as you progress. If your goal is strength, identify something that’s particularly hard for you right now. If your goal is to be healthier, connect it to something like weight loss or your energy levels.
- Measurable: Not only will measuring your progress do wonders for your motivation, but it will help you see what’s working (or isn’t!) so you can keep fine-tuning for improvement and eventual reach. If you hope to lose, weight, consider measuring your accomplishments in pounds or inches. If you’re working on becoming stronger, set specific challenges for yourself in each portion of class and proudly note when you meet them.
- Attainable: The SMART Method says that a good goal is attainable, so choose something within reach that requires discipline and dedication. Never made it through thigh without taking a break? Start with getting through an entire subset or exercise that’s especially tough. Build on your goal once you get there!
- Relevant: Students regularly tell us how Bar Method has helped them in different parts of their life, whether staying in shape before giving birth or toning up before their wedding. Tie your goal to an event in your own life to give you a little bit of extra inspiration. It makes a big difference!
- Timely: Giving yourself enough time to successfully accomplish your goal is healthy, but open-ended goals can cause potential pitfalls. The SMART Method suggests using time to create a sense of urgency and keep yourself on track. There’s no magical time-frame for achieving fitness goals, so be honest with yourself and come up with a plan that fits your lifestyle and what you hope to achieve.
Whatever your goal, using the SMART Method to put together a quick plan will help you reach your goals. Hold yourself accountable and be consistent – results are sure to follow!
(h/t SELF Magazine)
One of the best things about Bar Method is that class is based on of exercises that you can do nearly anywhere. Knowing how valuable this can be, we’ve built Bar Online for students who want to keep up with a workout routine while away from their home studio — as well as for students who don’t live close enough to a physical Bar Method location to try an in-class experience. From 20-minute targeted mini classes to a full 60-minute class, Bar Online offers classes with instructors who will get your energy levels up and keep you moving for the entire session — just as if you were with them at the studio!
This month’s Bar Online success story comes from Jen, a regular student who wanted to keep up with class while on vacation. She says, “I’m in Florida this week and Bar Online has made my workout routine seamless and fun. This is an annual trip for my family and each year I keep my workouts going, but with a lot of effort. In the past, I really had to push myself to do another DVD, drive an hour and a half to the Tampa studio to take a class. I needed more variety to keep me going for 7-10 days than the DVDs (which are amazing workouts) alone offered. My partner, Jenn M., is much better than I am at pushing herself outside of the class than I am.”
She continues, “This week, I’ve been excited to take Bar Online. I look forward to doing a new workout or repeating a favorite. I even got my sister, who has ‘taken a break’, to workout with me. My husband, who takes classes as a complement to his other triathlon training, joined once too (using lamps for bicep curls – I will take a picture next time). I feel very motivated by the interactive style of the instruction and the class format. I push myself as hard as I do in class and still drink water a few times during transitions, just as I do in class, but laugh when Jen H. says, ‘put down your water’. I also feel sore and invigorated as I do after a class or DVD (still love the Super Sculpting duo!).
She concludes, “I am feeling grateful for my family, vacation time, The Bar Method and now, Bar Online.”
We’re grateful for you too, Jen!