Morgan Kline is the co-founder, along with husband Devan, of Burn Boot Camp, a boutique fitness gym that specializes in high-intensity interval training (HIIT). BBC has over 260 gyms nationwide and when the pandemic hit, they pivoted to virtual workouts from their basement gym, all while Morgan was pregnant. In June, the couple welcomed their third child, Ryan.

Being pregnant during a pandemic has certainly been different than my first two pregnancies. The uncertainty of how the virus affects mom and baby, the virtual pre-natal appointments, not knowing who would be able to support me during labor and the fear of being separated from my son if I tested positive lead to scary and stressful thoughts!

On top of that, I was running a business from home with my husband while our two small kids were pulled from school. Thankfully, the birth was amazing and the memories I choose to look back on are nothing but positive.

But getting back in shape has had its set of challenges. When I was cleared for exercise, our gyms were still closed down due to the government mandates, so on top of finding the time, I had to dig deep to find the motivation to work out from home.

Here’s my best advice to get moving again:

1. Start Small

Owning a fitness company, it’s hard not wanting to just get back into the gym full force. After having three children, I’m lucky to know what I can and can’t do when it comes to easing back into working out. I always start small and shoot for 20-minute exercises because my little one is still so small and needed me often. I also don’t want to overexert my body that just did the hardest job it will ever do!

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Burn Boot Camp co-founder Morgan Kline recommends exercising in small 20-minute increments once a new mother is cleared to starting working out again.Courtesy Michael Sati

2. Nutrition

Nutrition is a key piece to healing your body. During pregnancy, I would give in to my cravings occasionally because I was growing a human, and sometimes I just wanted it. But postpartum, I found myself wanting to eat healthier because my body was searching for all the vitamins and nutrients from those foods.

And when it came to drinking water, I had crazy the amounts of energy when consuming the daily amount a person should. When I didn’t drink enough, I found myself even more tired than a typical postpartum mom.

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3. Accountability Goals

Just like I did with starting small, I set obtainable goals that kept me honest. It also doesn’t hurt to have some of your close friends keeping you accountable. Instead of worrying about “bouncing back” – which no mom should – I focused on my water intake and setting goals that didn’t revolve around weight. I also dedicated 30 minutes each day for “me” time. Bringing home a new baby during a pandemic was crazy enough, I didn’t need to set unrealistic expectations for myself.

4. Mix it Up!

Don’t get me wrong, I love my Burn Boot Camp workouts. But sometimes, when it was really nice outside and the family just needed to get out, we went for a walk. If the kids were sleeping, I did some stretching, even a few squats while watching TV.

Burn Boot Camp’s Morgan Kline.Courtesy Michael Sati

Letting go of stress by doing these different movements throughout the week was a nice change of pace. It left me excited to do a more intense workout because I wasn’t burning out.

5. Shift your Mindset

This is always the hardest part. Your mind can play some mean tricks on you. I didn’t want to succumb to the thoughts that rush into your head after you scroll through Instagram, so I reminded myself daily that my body has done an incredible thing. And I wouldn’t trade my “pre-baby” body for my children, ever.

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I have nothing to be ashamed of because my body did EXACTLY what I asked of it by bringing a healthy baby into this world. Also, posting my postpartum journey on social media has helped me share this mindset shift with other moms, letting them know it’s OK to feel this way, but that we are all here for each other.

Morgan Kline is a mom of three, the co-founder and COO of Burn Boot Camp, and the podcast host of Coffee & Kettlebells. Follow her @morgan.a.kline.