'Midnight workouts' helped new mom close in on impossible goal

Korin Miller
Yahoo Lifestyle
A young woman practices yoga. (Photo: Getty Images)
A young woman practices yoga. (Photo: Getty Images)

Australian fitness trainer Emily Skye has built a huge online following (of over 2 million followers) for being candid about her life, bodily imperfections, and fitness journey. Skye gave birth to her daughter, Mia, three months ago, and has been posting regular postpartum updates about trying to get back in shape. Her most recent post revealed a surprising secret to her success: She works out in the middle of the night.

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“Some people might think my progress is due to my genetics or because of breastfeeding but I can tell you it’s got a LOT to do with hard work and consistency!” she wrote on Instagram next to a photo of herself in a sports bra, holding her daughter. “All those midnight workouts I did after Mia fell asleep and eating healthy meals from my FIT Program are getting me great results.” Skye says that she knew getting her pre-baby body back “wasn’t going to be easy” and that she would “have to work for it.” “I’m very proud of what I’ve done so far! I’m getting stronger and leaner every day and I’m in a good mood most of the time,” she concluded.

Many fans marveled at her dedication in the comments, and some even shared that they did the same thing after having kids. “I gained 60 lbs with my pregnancy and I worked really really hard to lose it. Midnight workouts, 15 min workouts… whenever he was asleep I would try to slip in a workout. People said I had good genes, we all have the same 24 hours…,” one wrote.

But others pointed out that while this level of dedication is admirable, it’s hard for a lot of moms to achieve. “I admire your hard work but moms need to know midnight workouts may not be necessary or even possible for many,” one commenter said. “At 5 days postpartum it’s so hard to imagine not resting when he goes to sleep for the night,” another said. “How did you balance giving yourself ‘time off’ while also working hard to train?”

While midnight workouts might work for some new moms, they’re not for everyone. Still, most new moms can usually find time to squeeze some exercise into their day, Doug Sklar, a certified personal trainer and founder of New York City-based fitness training studio PhilanthroFIT, tells Yahoo Lifestyle. “It’s important to remember that a workout does not have to take 60 or even 30 minutes,” he says. “If you have five minutes, you can squeeze in a few exercises.”

Physically speaking I will never be the same (which isn’t a bad thing) and I’m making the most of what I’ve got. I’ve still got loose skin on my belly but my abs are beginning to make a comeback – which shows me that what I’m doing is working (following my FIT Program)! . Some people misunderstand my reasons for living a fit and active lifestyle and think it’s “selfish” because I’m now a mum. Being fit, strong and healthy is important to me mainly because of how it makes me feel. And if I feel good I’m happy, and I’m a much better mum to my daughter Mia and a better partner to my man Dec and so on. I also like being strong for myself because I like it and I love the look of a strong physique! My focus is always on being healthy but I like to look good too and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with wanting to look good!! I’m not sure why there seems to be a stigma attached to wanting to look good. As long as I’m not ever sacrificing my health to look a certain way and as long as it doesn’t negatively affect my family I don’t see anything wrong with it – in fact I see everything RIGHT with it! . Do what makes you happy regardless of what anyone else thinks – as long as it doesn’t directly hurt anybody. – These are words I live by and what I’ll instil in my daughter. The last thing I want is for her to live to please others (like I used to) – there is a difference between showing love and doing nice things for people and trying to constantly please others at the expense of your own happiness. . This lifestyle makes me happy so I’m going to keep living it and I encourage you to live a life that makes you happy too. . What makes you happy, and are you doing it? . . #2monthspostpartum #fitmum #emilyskye #postpartum

A post shared by EMILY SKYE Health + Fitness (@emilyskyefit) on Feb 20, 2018 at 6:53am PST

One of the best ways to try to do this is to include the baby in some of your exercises, Sklar says. You could use your baby as a weight by holding them while you do squats, or you could perform a yoga routine while the baby shares a mat with you. You can also walk, jog, or run with your baby in a stroller, or do walking lunges and calf raises while pushing the stroller, he says.

If you’re short on time (which you probably are), a few exercises can give you more bang for your buck and don’t require any equipment, Sklar says. He recommends doing these in 30 second increments with no rest in between:

  • Pushups (standard or modified)

  • Body-weight squats

  • Glute bridges

  • Alternating side lunges

  • Burpees (standard or modified)

After completing all five, take a 30 second break, and then dive in again. Do this for five minutes, and you’ll get a solid workout, Sklar says.

Of course, your ability to work out ultimately depends on your health after having a baby, how your delivery was, and how you’re feeling now. If workouts just aren’t a priority right now, that’s OK — you’re dealing with a lot at the moment. But if you’re itching to get back into fitness and are struggling with time, try to squeeze in exercises whenever you can. You’ll be surprised at how far it can get you.

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