Thursday, January 07, 2010

Need some Input

Ok. So my brain is apparently not working. Maybe some of yours are.

I need to exercise. Unfortunately, it's really difficult right now. Options:

Go outside to walk
It sounds nice: just put Margaret in the Mei Tai and go for a walk. It's actually not that nice. It's cold out there, which means extra bundling of Margaret and me. She'd have to go on my front so that I can wrap my coat around her. I have to manually hold my coat around her, so my fingers get some freezing time. Another issue with the cold is that it's icy. Not everyone shovels and salts their sidewalks. Ideally I'd get a power walk in, but it's hard to power walk when you're trying not to slip.

Also, right now, wearing Margaret on my front isn't a big deal. But what do I do in March when my belly gets bigger and it's still too cold to not wear a coat? If it were warmer, I'd put her on my back, but Utah winters usually require a coat all the way through March (it snowed the day after Margaret was born).

Go walk at the mall
Ok. It's warmer there. No ice. No extra bundling. Problem is that mall walking happens early in the morning... before Margaret wakes up. And I've tried waking her up early for things; it's not pretty. It's better if I let her sleep. Actually my biggest issue with the mall is the advertisements. The last time we ate out there, I sat by a window where just outside was a diet ad with a lovely airbrushed impossibly proportioned woman in a bikini. In the mall, you walk in circles, which means that Margaret would get to see that ad over and over and over again. She's only 1, but I still feel it wouldn't be good for her. I know she'll be exposed to all that body image crap in the future, but I really don't want to expose her to more than she needs to be- and I definitely don't want to be the one to do the exposing, you know? It might be a mountain out of a molehill for some people, but I take body image messages very seriously and I really don't want to do that.

Exercise videos at home
Well, I've tried this in the past. We don't have a lot of room so doing it when Margaret's awake could end up with Margaret getting whacked in the head. Not good. And when I've tried doing them when she's asleep... well, you try sleeping with someone exercising in the same room. Even if I turn the volume down, I'm clumsy and hitting things accidently and waking her up. I actually can't even get chores done when she naps because I'm too loud at washing dishes. Another issue is that when she stirs, I have to stop my exercise video to nurse her back down, so I get interrupted.

Go to the gym
I suppose I could do this, but it just doesn't jive with me to buy a membership when I should be able to work out for free. We're trying to budget so we can move. Also we'll be moving in 4 months. Getting into a contract for 4 months sounds ridiculous.

The other day I did do some yoga while she was asleep and then some handheld free weights. That seemed to be ok, but I really would like to do something more cardiovascular like walking.

Ideas? Anyone know of a place I can walk that's not icy and doesn't yell, "You must buy this to be happy!" into her little brain every 2 seconds?


  1. Does your ward have a cultural hall (aka gym)?

    Some of the sisters in our ward go and exercise in the gym in the mornings.

    I always walked our mall during pregnancies because our winters are HARSH here and it was the only free place for me to exercise.

    Good luck and I hope you find a solution that works! :)

  2. One of my favorite things to do at home in the winter is to put on some good dance music and dance around. And then you could have Margaret dance with you, and you'd be paying attention to where she was and wouldn't knock her over. Also dancing with kids helps you keep your heart-rate up, because they have so much energy! I would definitely recommend it. I love dancing by myself at home, but it is definitely much easier to keep up a good heartrate when my nieces come over and join me.

  3. At the rec center here in town you can pay $3 to use their facilities. They have a weight room and they have a cardio room with treadmills and elipticals. Maybe you can pack a bag of toys for margaret and let her entertain herself while you get a good $3 walk at the rec center? If you can find a sitter they also have water aerobics and lap swimming. for $3 a visit there's a lot of possiblities. It's a cheaper alternative to the gym, no contract, and it's local. I also second the dancing at home. Youtube 'Zumba', copy some of their moves, and then do them at home to some of your own tunes. Good Luck!!

  4. Have you considered the BYU indoor track? It's free, not icy, and mostly advertisement-free. The track team practices there during one half of the day (I can't remember if it's am or pm this semester) but I think it's open to the public the rest of the time. And it's a bigger circle to walk than the cultural hall.

  5. I know what you mean, I'm trying to work off baby weight now.

    Outside + too cold
    Mall - totally agree the advertisements are awful!
    videos - depends on the person, but your right you need space.
    gym- I love this option but we too are now budgeting to move.

    BYU has an indoor track. I know people go there to use it when it's open to the public, which is usually early morning and nights :)

  6. I struggle with the same thing. Feeling like since I "should" be able to work out for free, why pay for a gym membership? And then I don't, because it's too cold/dark/windy outside.

    Re: a coat, does your husband have a coat/hoodie/etc that will zip around both of you? Mine has a relatively stretchy Sherpa hoodie from Old Navy (cost around $20 I believe) that I can easily zip around baby and me (though baby is only 6mos, there is a lot of room left).

    Re: free places to walk besides the mall, is there a school nearby with a track you could walk at? A public library where you could walk the stairs? Any free museums or other exhibits around?

    Re: giving in and joining a gym, is there a YMCA in your area? I've found them to have great no-contract options and they usually have a sliding fee scale as well, which is awesome. Right now I pay around $60 a month but when I was in college I think I paid that much for an entire year! Some might even give you a reduced rate if all you want to do is use the track (no classes, etc). Alternatively, they have Mommy and Me classes, a pool you guys could swim in, etc at most locations. My membership also came with a couple of free personal training consults, which was helpful with motivation and sketching out a fitness plan :) If you're so inclined, they often also have nursery/childcare for free so that you COULD take a class or use machines or whatever if you wanted to.

    Hope this helps. Just wanted to say also that I am a longtime reader, fellow UC'er and am excitedly following your story as you add #2 to the family. I have a 6-month-old daughter and you and Margaret are an inspiration to us :) Wondering also if you have any posts/thoughts about introducing solid foods, since there is so little "solid" advice on this matter...

  7. I vote Mall...I did it my last 2 winters there and got exercise I would not have without it. They have the play area for after you are done. The best way to avoid the advertising is to find a buddy with a child @ Margaret's age and go together. You get to talk which makes the workout go faster and the kids can interact and share snacks and giggles. I know you said she sleeps later but if you go before the stores open..7:30 or 8, the gates are all down and it is pretty dead besides walkers..She won't notice the posters as much as you think..especialy with a friend and food to keep her occupied. a pregnant woman, there are multiple bathrooms along the way, including the family on by the food court(a child-sized one)
    So..I say, find a work out buddy and give it a try!

  8. BYU's gym facilities -- including track, pool, exercise machines, and weight room -- are free to you as McKay is still a student. Yoga might be chill enough to do at home not to bother Margaret. And I like Jennie's idea of dancing around to music; Margaret might even love that.

  9. I vote for the mall. Of course that was where I chose to go myself when I lived there :)
    Honestly, you could walk at any time--not just mornings. And I'm not convinced that Margaret is going to be that influenced by body image stuff at her present young age...but even if she is, what better way than with you with her, talking to her as you walk

  10. Dancing... that's a great idea.
    Or how about some light aerobics at home with Margaret.

    Is there a parent-tot exercise class you could join in on at your local rec. center? I always enjoyed those when my kids were toddlers.

  11. I have liked the BYU Indoor Track and the Provo rec center in the past. The BYU track is open to the public from 5/6am?-9am and 5pm-10pm. Jacob got bored there, so it was hard to take him. When he was with me, sometimes I opted for walking up and down the hill behind the SFH for exercise. You could also walk up and down the stairs at your apartment complex.

  12. I was going to mention that track at BYU, too. I used to go there.

    Fresh air is so wonderful, though, so you can't totally rule that out, can you? (Plus, I think it's easier to exercise when all you have to do is walk out the door) Maybe you can rig something that doesn't involve freezing your fingers. I had this issue, too, with Michael. Sometimes I take him out in the stroller because I can then bundle him up, and I don't have to worry about slipping on the ice while carrying him. I know, carrying them is so nice, but safety first, right?

  13. Kaite2:50 PM

    Double check with your local community center on their track prices too. Ours (in Pleasant Grove) charges $3 to use the entire facility, but only 50 cents if you just want to use the track. You can even buy 1-month at a time memberships for great prices so you aren't locked into a contract.

  14. Right now I use our little Ikea stool as my stair stepper, up and down for as long as I can. It's not boring when the kids come tell me something every 2 seconds :) And I feel like I get more benefit than walking for the same amount of time.

  15. Go for a walk. It's free. Do the mei-tai thing until your tummy is too big and then push her in a stroller. Don't be hard on yourself because you can't carry her. That's what strollers are for. Sometimes keeping it simple is best. :)

  16. One thing I did at BYU was take an exercise class. It isn't free but it was only around $30 for the whole semester. I really enjoyed the class I took and since there are a lot of pregnant women at BYU they often have modifications for you.

  17. I've heard water arobics are awesome for pregnancy.

    When I was pregnant I could not breathe so I just did pilates.

  18. The City's Community Recreation Centre down my street has a gym and, unlike actual "gyms", you don't have to sign a contract to join. You can buy passes in bulk, like 5, 10, or 20 visits (it adds up a to a bit cheaper), or simply pay by the visit. When you buy passes, you can choose for which services, like cardio, strength training, aquafit, or a combination, with prices cheaper the less you take. If you have an option like that nearby, you could always use it as a fall-out option if you haven't been able to get some free exercise down that week! (I prefer the free version myself, but like you, our winters are not very walking/running friendly when little ones are involved! I could negotiate the snowed sidewalk on my own, or walk just inside the curb, but it's not very practical to wear the sling when we both look like the Michelin Tire Man, and stroller in the snow is not something I want to deal with ;-) ).

  19. Make a MamaPoncho or one of those nifty babywearing jackets, put her on your back, cover up and go for walks. And pick carefully!

    You could walk from campus to the temple grounds (most of the areas around there will be not icy).

  20. I recently figured out (wearing a pedometer) that if I walked every aisle back and forth and back and forth at my local Costco it came out to exactly 1 mile. Of course, you have to have the strength to not eat any of the samples (or time it so you go when there aren't any), but it works!
    I check the Lowe's Hardware store next door, since they don't have samples but it wasn't quite as big.

    Does help to be creative in winter!
    Good luck. I'm still trying to figure it out here. Not doing as well as I would like...

  21. i vote for walking in the mall until the weather gets nicer. im conflicted about joining a gym, because i dont think i should pay to exercise, but then again, i prefer swimming to anything else and that severely limits my options.

    im hoping this spring to get my bike fixed and get a burley.

  22. I love going to the Smith Fieldhouse becuase it is free whether you are a student or not, and we are no longer students but still in Provo. Also I noticed other people posted the times, but I didn't notice anyone post about the lunch hour. There is a few hours in the morning and evening, but there is also a lunch hour time from 12-1pm. Anyway I vote for the track because it isn't the mall, and everyone else is there to exercise so it has that vibe of other people wanting to stay in shape, and not all the advertisements.


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