fitness

'My wellness routine is basically non-existent. Here’s what happened when I tried one for a week.'

Emily Skye Fit
Thanks to our brand partner, Emily Skye Fit

Can confirm: the parenting juggle you hear about constantly is most definitely real. In fact, having kids is no walk in the park. 

Both my husband, Neil, and I work full time, and then the minutes where we’re not sitting on public transport or at work, we’re sorting out life for and with our little loves. 

We have a 5-year-old and an almost 2-year-old, and both are extremely active. Our evenings are spent doing baths, mealtimes, sight words, reading logs, putting out fires (metaphorically), lunchboxes, washing, dishes, vacuuming, and oh, the list goes on. We are exhausted by the time our heads hit the pillow. 

Time and energy become so precious that words become a rarity. You find that the zest for life you used to wake up with is replaced with exhaustion. But instead of changing lanes, you continue because it’s just easier. But is it?

Over the last few months, I’ve found myself just constantly tired and in a rut. It then dawned on me — I had unfortunately neglected me. I had neglected my body. I had neglected my wellbeing. I had stopped looking after myself, and instead prioritised everyone and everything else. In the juggle, I had forgotten to balance.

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I was on Instagram one night scrolling and stumbled on the Emily Skye FIT Program. It brings together workouts, recipes and exercises for mindfulness, providing the tools and motivation for women to be stronger, happier and healthier.

The program is also great for pregnancy and new mamas. This was reassuring to hear, because although my kids are older now, I still feel like I’m a fresh new mum and as my maternity jeans will testify, I'm still in my post-mum body. 

Since the program offers a 7 day free trial, I thought I'd give it a go because I felt that all I really needed was a mindset shift.

So, for one week, we decided to put the kids to sleep 30 minutes earlier so I could get some time for myself in the evenings. On mornings when I found myself awake earlier, I ditched the phone and headed to the tablet to do some mindful exercises to start my morning.

This is how my week went. 

Sunday

To start off, I thought I'd spend Sunday evening looking through the app. It's so easy to navigate — takes a few minutes to sign up, and then instantly at your fingertips you’ve got access to a whole new world. No more gym and instead, you've got exercise from the comfort of your own home. 

Once I opened the app, the planner popped up, which might actually be one of my favourite features of the app. Each day of content is also organised for you via the planner, so while you have the choice to tackle anything you want, it's also reassuring to know that when you're not quite feeling like making that decision, everything is planned for you — from exercise to recipes.

To start out, I decided to follow the planner's suggestion which was the Mobility Mover: Active Recovery.

Image: Supplied. 

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It combines yoga poses with traditional stretches and is designed to help you finish off the week and recover from your workouts. While I hadn't done any working out yet, it was an accessible session for me to get started.

I also immediately loved Emily for her relatability and warmth. She's supportive as she guides you through each exercise, and as I was feeling a bit nervous to get started, it was exactly the encouragement I needed. 

Monday

On Monday evening after a tough day at work (and an even tougher night with the kids), I tried the 32 minute program Yoga: Total Body Wellbeing.

This one was smooth and gentle on my body and included safe backbends and shoulder stretches that opened my heart, chest and shoulders. I felt so much more unlocked.

It was also such a great way to turn my mind off after such a crazy day. Afterwards, I jumped into the shower and was able to settle into bed without my mind running approximately a million miles per hour.

Image: Supplied. 

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Tuesday

The planner's meals for Tuesday were Blueberry & Lemon Granola Breakfast Muffins and Crunchy Quinoa Fish with Sweet Potato Chips. While I didn't have the breakfast, I really enjoyed using the recipe of the fish and sweet potato chips for dinner.

My kids especially loved the chips — "they're orange, mum!"

Image: Supplied. 

Once the kids were in bed, I had a go at the workout. The allocated session was Simply Upper Body. I was initially a bit nervous to give this one a go, but it was super accessible.

Like the other sessions, the workout is broken up into three sections: warm-up, workout, and cool-down. 

The warm-up and cool-down sections were mainly focused on stretching and required no equipment, whereas the exercises in the workout section required dumbbells. 

It definitely put the 'work' in workout, but what I loved most was that I could press pause and breathe if I wanted to. But more than anything, it was good to feel strong again (or at least work on building up my strength again).

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Wednesday

On Wednesday, the breakfast in the planner was an Oaty Breakfast Smoothie. As it only had a five minute prep time, it was an easy one to get ready in between getting the kids organised and me off to work.

I absolutely loved the banana flavour and the added cinnamon was just gorgeous.  

The workout was Cardio Mash-up which was a HIIT and HIRT blast. It targeted the full body and definitely got my heart pumping. I especially loved the ease of warm-up. 

Thursday

Thursday unfortunately served another tough day at work, so I wanted a class that helps not only your body, but mind relax.

This one lead me straight to Yoga: Total Bliss, which is all about settling into each pose and allowing your body and mind to move into a space of de-stress.

It was my favourite class of the week, and I actually got my daughter, Nia, involved the following day to help wind her down before bed. 

Image: Supplied.

Friday

After doing the Yoga: Total Bliss class with Nia before she went to bed, I was feeling extra empowered and decided to do another class. 

Image: Supplied. 

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I completed the Mobility Refresh, a 24 minute session that is entirely equipment free. It was an excellent class to reset and recharge after a big week of work. It has gentle stretches designed to nourish the body. 

Absolute perfection. 

Saturday

To finish up the week, I was feeling extra brave, so I decided to do the 20 minute No Repeat All Bodyweight workout. It requires no equipment which was super convenient.

It was a lot of movement with 15 seconds to rest and reset between each move. It was definitely more of a challenge, especially because my son, Noa, woke up a few times during the night. It also doesn't help that I'm a little... unfit. But I persevered and I'm so proud of myself for it. 

My verdict

I can’t genuinely express in words just how different I feel. I’m less snappier. I’m more energised. I’m much calmer. I feel like a swan compared to how I was feeling last week – which was like a headless chook! 

My favourite part of the program is that you can filter based on what part of the body you want to target, what equipment you want to use (or no equipment at all), and the style of workout. It makes life so much easier. 

Next week I’m going to start the FIT Foundations Program. It’s 6 weeks long and great for beginners like me! Low intensity, and low impact – and all under 30 minutes.

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I also love that it's not just about fitness — Emily Skye FIT is all about the whole person.

They've got meditation, recipes, and everything you need to motivate you to be the person you want to be. 

Image: Supplied/Mamamia. 

During the week, I listened to one of their meditations while sitting on the train on my way to work which was something far more mindful compared to what I would usually do – scrolling on my phone mindlessly. There's also over 500 healthy and nutritious recipes also worth trying. From spiced cauliflower popcorn to peanut butter cookie dough bites, I can't wait to test them out.

I’ve started with a commitment of 30 minutes daily. The absolute rush of contentment I get each evening when I end it with time for my body and my mind is absolutely priceless.

It’s all about balance. And I'm glad I'm starting to find mine.

Emily Skye's FIT Program brings together workouts, recipes and mindfulness — providing the tools and motivation for women to be stronger, happier and healthier. 

To give the program a try yourself, use the code MAMAMIA30 to get a 30-day free trial. Sign up here.

Feature Image: Supplied/Mamamia.

Emily Skye Fit
Emily Skye FIT (ESF) is a health & fitness program led by Emily Skye. The FIT Program brings together workouts, recipes and mindfulness - providing all the tools and motivation for women to be stronger, happier and healthier. Re-launched in September 2020 the program now features a whole new digital experience, and brand new programs including FIT Pregnancy for mamas-to-be and FIT Post-Pregnancy for new mamas. Train with Emily at home or the gym, fuel your body with deliciously healthy recipes & achieve your goals with expert advice.