By Nicole Fuge, MD® Managing Editor
Sally Pearson is beaming. And for good reason.
With her beautiful baby, Ruby, recently turning one, Sally officially survived the first year of motherhood [well done, lady!] and she’s just wrapped up a cool commentating gig at the Tokyo Olympics [yewww].
So now she’s back to the mama juggle, which includes coaching and training the next generation of track and field superstars, plus encouraging parents to live their best lives as an ambassador for Nature’s Own.
Health + fitness during pregnancy and early postpartum
In my experience, I found that when you are pregnant, your health and wellness become one of your top priorities – if they weren’t before, they are now. Your baby comes first, so your exercise routine changes to what will be the healthiest for the baby.
It doesn’t change in the way that you stop exercising altogether, rather you just must modify your usual exercise routine according to the baby’s needs.
While nursing Ruby, I remember catching myself doing as much exercise as possible – such as running on the spot whilst watching television! I found that making smart choices about my body also became more important.
I had to prioritise aspects of my routine such as eating a balanced diet, getting adequate sleep, and just squeezing in exercise at any point in my day. While nursing baby Ruby, these changes in my lifestyle were so crucial in making sure that I have both physically and mentally prepared to keep up with taking care of
How life changed since becoming a mum
My life has become a lot busier! You become selfless, and there isn’t much time for yourself – especially when you always have your eyes on your child. But I’ve also found that becoming a mum has made my life a lot more fun and entertaining.
Another change that came along with motherhood was that ‘health,’ and ‘wellness,’ had become attached with new meanings. After giving birth to Ruby, I felt that I had to re-adjust my routine and the ways that I could be smarter with my body.
This could be something just as simple as getting enough sleep or even allowing myself to have some downtime to unwind and relax. I also realised that I wasn’t just making healthy and smarter choices for myself and my body, but also for Ruby’s sake, too.
A typical day
Because of the pandemic and the way the world is at the moment, I don’t think there is a ‘typical day,’ in my life anymore. Is there for anyone? But a few things remain constant, and that’s making Body Smart choices, taking care of baby Ruby and working.
My day always starts with a nice healthy breakfast, which ensures that I get the energy boost that I need to kickstart my day. I try to get plenty of vitamin-rich foods into my body to fuel myself for the day ahead and protect my immunity.
These days a lot of my time goes towards taking care of Ruby. I also work online at home, creating training programs for the athletes that I coach.
At the end of my day, I always try to make sure that I get a full night’s rest. I know that it’s often hard to get quality sleep as a parent, but getting enough sleep makes a lot of difference in your energy levels and overall mood.
Depending on how I feel for the night, I’ll often do a quick meditation, or a few bed-time stretches.
Favourite thing about motherhood
My favourite thing about motherhood is getting to know Ruby better and better with each passing day. The more we spend time with each other, the more I get to discover her glowing personality.
It’s incredibly rewarding to watch her grow and develop, and I love learning about her little quirks and her likes and dislikes. It’s such a pleasure to simply spend time with Ruby.
We know how fast children can grow, so I make sure I treasure all these little moments. It could be as small as playing with blocks together and building castles, reading her favourite books together, or hearing her laugh, but they’re all equally important to me.
Biggest challenge in motherhood
I found that the most challenging thing for me about motherhood is not being able to do your everyday chores. All the normal things that you used to do, such as laundry, cooking, or even washing the dishes, change when you are with your child 24/7.
Sally’s tips for boosting your health + wellness… even when you’re super busy
Try to include your child in healthy activities. These can be taking them with you for a stroll in the park or taking them to the beach for a walk or run along the sand.
By combining playtime with exercise, these activities will help you keep your bodies moving but are also entertaining and enriching for the kids.
I quickly realised that when you have a child, it’s often tough to make them fit into your previous lifestyle. You really must fit into each other’s lives, and that helps in achieving that much-needed balance.
Do what you can when you can. It could be as easy as squeezing in 20 sit-ups before folding your laundry or doing a few squats before taking a shower. Another great way to squeeze in some movement is to incorporate exercise through chores, such as gardening or taking the stairs when shopping.