I am embarrassed to admit that I am a total couch potato. I haven't exercised at all in at least two or three years--didn't exercise at all during pregnancy or this past year because I have been too exhausted with the three kids including the baby. In fact I still have two pregnancy workout DVDs that are still in the cellophane packaging! I am finally slowly starting to emerge from the post-newborn haze 14 months later (though DS2 STILL wakes up at least twice a night!) and really want to start focusing on my own health and getting fit. DH has been motivated to exercise because he has been going on a diving trip alone each of the past three summers (I let him because I want him to be motivated to stay fit)--this year he is learning dry suit diving and going diving in Alaska. I don't have anything like that to motivate me, so I'm thinking of doing the Couch to 5K program and finding a 5K race to enter in this summer. Has anyone done this before? And has anyone tried running/jogging with kids? (Mine are 6, 4 and 1).

This morning I ran one mile on a trail near our house and it took me 18 minutes at a slow pace. It felt good to have some time all to myself and to do something good for myself. But I do realize I need some new gear. I was wearing sneakers that are over 15 years old, so I'm not sure they are the best for my feet. I do have some Zella pants and a jacket but not much for warm weather. Does anyone have any recommendations for running shoes (I'd mostly be running on the dirt trail and sometimes roads), jogging bra/underwear, and tops and shorts/pants? Any brands and/or specific items that hold up well? Also, what do you do to hold your keys/phone/water? It was a little awkward running with my hands full. Also, any recs for workout DVDs? Preferably short ones, 20-30 min max (I've used 30 Min Shred in the past).

I'm doing this to get fit, not to lose weight. I'm embarrassed to admit that I've gone back to my pre-baby weight without any exercise at all, just by nursing and being so busy at work that sometimes I don't even have time to eat breakfast or lunch (I know, I know, not healthy!). Also I have to avoid dairy, eggs, soy and shellfish because DS2 is allergic and I'm still nursing, so that cuts out a lot of sweets and food options automatically. I'm trying to cut down on sugar (which is not easy because I love candy!) and white carbs, but I have to avoid dairy, soy, eggs and shellfish because of DS2's allergies, so I can't go
on super restrictive diets like paleo or gluten free because there would be nothing left to eat!

I'm a total newbie to regular exercise so I figured I'd post here to keep myself accountable to stick with it. Any advice and/or encouragement appreciated! Thanks!

PS I wasn't sure whether I should post this in Off Topic, but since I mainly want help with buying gear I picked Shopping!

PPS I couldn't resist adding some kid pics! More pics of the trail near our house. This is from a recent hike we took with the kids. Piggy and Llama D. Llama (DS1 came up with that name!) came along for the ride.

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