We’ve all seen the controversial picture of mom of three, Maria Kang asking other moms, “What’s your excuse?” Some women felt this picture was motivational, while others took note of the fact that every mother’s situation is different and getting in shape so soon after having a baby isn’t always attainable. I tend to agree with the latter opinion, but do believe most women can work their way to being healthy and strong.
The reason I believe this is because of a neighbour of mine, Jolene Sidney, who after having three children worked very hard to become, what I consider to be, a role model for health and fitness. Just last year she entered and won a transformation contest which showcased her fitness journey. I recently asked Jolene some question in regards to getting fit:
1) After having a baby when should a new mom think about returning to or starting a new exercise regime?
This really depends on the level of exercise the new mom had before and during the pregnancy. For women who remain physically active throughout their pregnancy, it is often much easier to get right back into it. Labor and child birth tend to be easier, and the recovery time is often much shorter, allowing for the return to exercise much sooner.
For someone who is just starting out, a 4 to 6 week period, before gradually reintroducing physical activity is typical.
2) What is a basic exercise you can recommend for most women?
Women should not shy away from strength training. It’s such an excellent form of fat burning, and plays a huge role in transforming the inner composition of our bodies (turning fat to muscle!). The more lean muscle mass you have, the more calories, therefore fat you burn in all of your daily activities. Somewhere along the way, many women have gotten caught up on the misconception that fat loss is all about cardio, cardio and more cardio. They often also fear strength training, afraid that it will result in bulky muscles. This isn’t the case at all. Combining strength and high intensity cardio is the ultimate combination to transforming your body composition and creating a lean, strong and healthy body.
3) What motivated you to lead a more healthy and fit lifestyle?
I have a very typical background for many women. I grew up participating in many competitive sports and always stayed fit quite easily. It wasn’t until I got pregnant with my first of three children that I started to slow down and really started to put on excessive weight. I had the typical excuses of not having enough time and being too busy with young children and I really let myself go. Finally after my third child was born I took the initiative to do something for myself and I’ve never been happier.
I started out with a few sessions of boot camp and really loved having that hour in the evening to myself. I later joined Greco Lean and Fit and pretty quickly realized that I couldn’t imagine my life without it. It became my “sport” or “club” and it was something I looked forward to doing for myself every day. It made me a much happier person, I was more energized and my kids could sense that. I felt better about my body image as well, and people quickly began to notice and comment.
4) What made you decide to open and manage the Carleton Place location of Greco Lean and Fit?
After being a member for a few years, I knew that fitness was something that would be a huge part of my life forever. I left behind a teaching career in order to pursue something that I am truly passionate about. Greco is such an amazing experience for people, and I’m happy to share that with our members in Carleton Place. When you walk through our doors, our passion for health and fitness is hard to miss, and you can’t help but feel motivated. I’m so fortunate to be able to say that I absolutely love getting up early and going to work every day.
5) Many people are intimidated by the gym, how does Greco differ from other gyms?
Gyms can be intimidating, especially for those who have little or no experience in working out. The really cool thing about Greco, and what sets us apart from the rest, is that all of our members benefit from having access to our personal trainers at all times. Every time you come to class they are there to explain every exercise and help you along the way. There’s really nothing intimidating about it! Every class is different so whether you are new or experienced, you always benefit from daily coaching. Our trainers don’t just lead the class; they walk the floor and supervise for proper form and execution as well, so you never have to worry about doing something incorrectly. They are always willing to chat with our members before and after class as well. We combine strength and cardio, so that you can cover all of your bases just by coming to class regularly! No need to sit in a weight room intimidated and unsure.
6) Anything else you think women should know about fitness?
The biggest component to fitness is nutrition. In order to be successful in the gym, or any physical activity for that matter, you have to have the proper nutrition to support it. At Greco, all new members start out with a nutrition consultation. The purpose of this is to ensure that they aren’t trying to achieve their goals by extreme dieting. We supply them with the tools they need to maintain a healthy lifestyle, not a fad diet.
So, if you think becoming healthy, fit and strong isn’t possible for you, think again! Jolene is a busy mom of three children and her fitness journey is inspirational to say the least! For more information on the programs offered by Greco Carleton Place, check them out online as well as on Facebook and Twitter.