By Lauren Hartmann | photo credit (top) Pamela Montanez
I've never been one of those people who "just LOVES" to workout. I guess I just don't have it in me. It's always been something that I do, because I know I should (health and blah, blah, blah), or because I have an important event coming up that I have to cram in extra workouts for. Because I've never loved working out, I always found an excuse to skip it. The getting there was always the hardest part... especially when I didn't particularly enjoy the form of exercise I was going to engage in (Oh hey treadmill runs at the gym! I'm looking at you!). My weekly exercise attendance was pretty abysmal even before I had kids, but after kids? Well, let's just say that adding in the daily stresses of being a busy mama gave me even more reasons to skip out.
And then I discovered barre3.
Here I was with a nearly one-year-old, feeling lethargic and lackluster (not to mention more than a little squishy) and I knew I needed to do something about it. So, I started taking classes at my local Portland barre3 studio... and it totally kicked my butt in the best of all possible ways. The combination of ballet, Pilates, and yoga was exactly what I needed to get back in shape and find more energy again. And oddly enough, I actually looked forward to these workouts! I've tried a ton of different forms of exercise and while some were less torturous than others, I had never found one I truly enjoyed until I found barre3.
The best thing about it, was the fact that there were so many options for modifications within the class. When I first started, I was admittedly in terrible shape and some of the movements were too much for me, but my instructors were great about helping me find the right modifications so I could still get a great workout, but without being in pain. Barre3 helped me get back in shape before getting pregnant again and I continued to take classes throughout my second pregnancy. All the modifications and gentle stretching were perfect for pregnancy and for preparing my body for my upcoming home birth — and because I was able to bring my daughter along and have her drop-in for childcare, I was also able to get a much needed break and some "me time."
After the birth of my son, getting to the studio got a lot trickier. My son is a total mama's boy and while I have been able to bring him along with me to the studio on occasion, his happiness while being separated from me is pretty short-lived (i.e. not long enough for me to get through an hour-long session). As such, online barre3 workouts have become my new B.F.F. Since my 9-month-old also isn't great at taking naps that exceed 20-30 minutes, the online workouts are perfect. The workouts range from 10 minutes to 60 minutes, and you can choose from total body workouts or area specific ones. I usually stick to the 10-minute workouts and do as many as I can before my little man wakes up. Working out from home also means I can do barre3 in my pajamas, which is always a plus.
My favorite way to do barre3 out-of-studio is actually on the barre3 app, because all the workouts on there are around 10 minutes long, and I don't have to drag out my computer to follow along since I can see them right on my phone. Doesn't get much easier than that. And since I'm at home, my ballet-obsessed toddler gets to join in on the fun. She actually has a ballet barre in her room, and her favorite pose to do is "starfish." It's pretty cute and nice to be able to multitask working out with having a little quality time with her. I really do love going into the studio when I can, but I'm so thankful for barre3 online options. The workouts are updated regularly, so I don't have to feel bored doing the same ones over and over.
Barre3 is great for anyone, but I can't say enough just how perfect it is for a busy mom's lifestyle.
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Lauren Hartmann is a wardrobe stylist and blogger, living in Portland Oregon with her husband and their two little ones. She writes about pretty things, funny things and parenting things at her blog The Little Things We Do.