Her army of followers was suitably impressed, with comments like “you look like a superhero” joining the flood of likes accompanying the post.
But what made this particular video all the more impressive was that it arrived just months after the health and fitness guru admitted she was unable to last even 15 minutes walking slowly on a treadmill.
That was her first exercise after giving birth to her baby girl Arna in April and for a person used to crushing her workouts, failing so quickly came as a shock.
“Returning to exercise after having a baby is tough. I underestimated the physical and emotional rollercoaster of motherhood and the challenge of regaining my strength after having Arna,” Itsines tells Health Hacker.
“My confidence, my strength — internal and externally — was gone.
“I was just at a loss. But it started to come back when I started doing things for myself again. Even if it was just walking for five minutes, I could feel my confidence coming back.”
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That treadmill moment inspired Itsines to rethink her fitness programs and she got to work on new post-pregnancy routine which focused less on weight loss and more on the things that really matter to new mums — herself included.
“I’d never been a beginner before, and so it was interesting,” she says.
“I developed the program to give women the tools they needed to be able to walk into a gym and do a workout with confidence, really building up the things they need as a mum like core strength, posture, stability and functional strength to make things like carrying a child easier. ”
FAST FACTS ON … POST-PREGNANCY FITNESS
1. Time out
“Sometimes as a mum you just don’t have any time,” Itsines says.
“No matter how many people say you can find 30 minutes, if you can’t, then you can’t. That’s why home workouts work, you can squeeze them in while you’re baby is sleeping. The truth is, that’s sometimes the only chance you’ll get.”
2. Hack your schedule
“There are so many ways to make exercise easier,” Itsines says.
“Put your workout clothes out the night before, have your motivation playlist ready to go, find a friend who’ll keep you accountable, book in a workout like you would a doctor’s appointment. Just stay committed.”
3. Be kind to yourself
“You’re not going to go through life eating healthy every single day, you just can’t,” Itsines says.
“And as a mum, you’re not going to be able to workout exactly when you think you will. So be kind to yourself if you miss something or eat something you shouldn’t, and understand it’s all part of your plan.”
Question: Hi Adam, I find that it’s impossible to keep track of everything I’m eating, especially around Christmas. I find myself thinking I’ve had a healthy day, then I remember that mid-morning cupcake and that glass of wine with lunch. How do people stay on top of it?
Answer: Just like when you were a kid, it’s time to say “dear diary” again, only this time it’s not your hopes and dreams you need to record, but exactly what you’re eating.
A 2008 US study that included nearly 1700 adults found participants who kept food diaries for six days a week lost twice as much weight as those who kept food journals for one day or less per week.
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