If you could only do two things to improve your health this year, I’d suggest exercise and spending more time with your friends and family. If you can combine them, that would be ideal! I’m lucky because my business partner, workout buddy, and best friend is my sister, Kelly.

We have always been each other’s biggest supporters. We ran track together in both high school and college. We have helped and encouraged one another through all of life’s ups and downs.

But this past year plus, I needed her more than ever. I got pregnant in the spring of 2017 and was so excited to begin my journey. I ran through my first 18 weeks of pregnancy without a problem, but on that first day of week 18, I was plagued with pelvic pain I couldn’t work through.

That meant no more running for the next thirty weeks. If you’re a runner or even someone who enjoys running semi-regularly, you can understand how heartbreaking that was for me, and for Kelly, who also appreciates having a running buddy!

So, how did we work through this new season of our lives? We used our same fitness philosophies, but we tweaked them to our current situation.

Accountability. For us, and most people, being held accountable is crucial. Since we couldn’t work out together, we exchanged workouts via text, helping each other modify and tailor them to our needs without competing (which can be hard for sisters!), and made sure we completed them.

Set rules. We follow a 3-day rule, never miss a workout three days in a row, even if it’s just a quick sweat sesh! We would remind each other of that regularly.

Be positive. As we enter new phases of life, our bodies aren’t the same as they used to be. During my pregnancy, there were so many days where new aches and pains would creep in, and I would get frustrated. I’m thankful I had Kelly to remind me to stay positive, give myself a little grace and not compare myself to my “old” self.

Make healthy food choices. I’m not perfect when it comes to making healthy food choices, but with Kelly at my side, I was able to get through cravings by exchanging healthy snack and meal ideas.

Without Kel, I don’t think I would have been able to continue my training through my pregnancy at the level I wanted to. I certainly wouldn’t have been able to get back into “track shape” as quickly postpartum between my son’s naps and nursing sessions!

Finding that person who “gets you”, motivates you, and pushes you to be better and stronger can be one one the best things you do for yourself.

By Lauren and Kelly of SISSFiT