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Exercise in a Post-Baby World

Back when, my wife and I loved to exercise together.

Leading up to our wedding, we took an early morning “boot camp,” in addition to a calorie-burning Sunday afternoon workout. It was so easy, since we lived literally half a block from the gym.

And we also walked our dog separately and together at least once a day around Washington, DC.

It was a good time in our lives – but a lot has changed since then.

We now live in the suburbs and, obviously, have a baby.

Fitting exercise into our new routine has proven to be a major challenge for us.

With work, our new commutes, and the responsibilities of parenting (never-ending feedings, laundry, documenting, social visits, etc.), finding time to walk the dog seems like a miracle.

Even when we set the alarm clock a little bit early to squeeze in a few minutes for sit-ups, crunches and free weights, the snooze button and 15 extra minutes of sleep are much more attractive.

Being honest, the most taxing physical activity I’ve had in a while has been unloading mega-boxes of diapers from the car.

But we looked at our daughter hitting six months as the time to turn it around – which is why this is NOT a New Year’s resolution.

Since exercise has been the hardest part for us, we’ve started with food first. Over the past two weeks, we’ve purged our house of all our junk food. Well…most of it, at least.

We’ve replaced the high-calorie, high-fat items with foods rich in protein and fiber and low in sugar.

With our eating habits already changing, we have more energy to power through the day. What we’ve found is that we don’t have more hours in the day, but that we are more active and efficient in the time that we have.

And despite the colder weather, we have a plan to be more active this winter. My wife will be taking advantage of some exercise classes her company offers, while I’ve dusted off the dumbbells and the pull-up bar.

So while our family is growing, my wife and I plan to be shrinking in 2012!