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A Fit Pregnancy (Take Two)- Part 2

1 Mar

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Maintaining a healthy fitness routine during pregnancy can be challenging but well worth the efforts! Before you begin, get clearance from your doctor.  They will also give you guidelines to follow.  Workouts need to be altered or eliminated due to the changes (rapidly) happening in your body. Here are some clips from my third trimester:

Please note: The exercises seen here are specific to my fitness level, my doctor recommendations, and my pregnancy health.  It is not recommended to pursue a pregnancy fitness routine without approval from your physician.  Please be advised that there are general guidelines for all pregnant women to follow when considering a pregnancy fitness program (http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/pregnancy-and-exercise/PR00096).

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A Fit Pregnancy (take two)

24 Jan

I am happy to announce that I am 30 weeks pregnant.  During the first trimester I was exhausted and nauseated all the time.  But somehow managed to workout when I could (3-4 times per week).  Since then I have been feeling pretty good and working out about 5 days per week.  This pregnancy is similar to my first pregnancy (with my son who is now 2 years old) in that I feel strong, healthy and able to continue a strong workout routine. However it is quite different in that I got larger faster, I continue to crave foods I would not normally eat, and my body seems to be taking on a completely different shape.

There is no one correct pregnancy fitness routine.   My fitness routine is personalized to my fitness level, health, body changes, doctor advice, and how I feel as I go.  I have recently begun recording some of my pregnancy workouts and I would like to share them with you.

Please note: The exercises seen here are specific to my fitness level, my doctor recommendations, and my pregnancy health.  It is not recommended to pursue a pregnancy fitness routine without approval from your physician.  Please be advised that there are general guidelines for all pregnant women to follow when considering a pregnancy fitness program (http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/pregnancy-and-exercise/PR00096).

I also recommend this short article from the American Council on Exercise: http://www.acefitness.org/acefit/healthy_living_fit_facts_content.aspx?itemid=2597 .  

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Following guidelines and following what your doctor tells you are the first steps in determining your pregnancy fitness routine.  From there you have to listen to your body, watch your heart rate, and go for it!

When you are pregnant, your fitness goal is different than before.  Your goal is to maintain your health and wellness during pregnancy in order to minimize discomforts related to pregnancy, to prepare your body for labor, and most importantly to have a healthy baby.

A few things I have learned along the way:

you can not predict how you will feel during your planned workout, so go with the flow and alter it as needed

your heart rate will be more elevated, so you will have to decrease intensity of your workouts and increase rest periods

It is important to decrease resistance (weight) and decrease duration of workouts to accommodate the energy that is already being expended by all that is already happening in your body

you must must hydrate before, during and after

you must change your stance and body movements to accommodate for your changing body

you will be off balance, therefore a wider stance is necessary

never push it.  your body is already working overtime to create life

If your too tired, just rest and drop the workout

A brisk 20 minute walk as a workout does great things

Getting back into routine after…digressing

10 Jul

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It happens.  We gain some, we lose some.  Sometimes the pounds or inches creep up without us realizing and sometimes we get some well-earned pounds or inches.  Either way, once you catch it, you can make the needed changes to your fitness routines or diet and keep moving forward.  Travel and vacations are when I tend to gain pounds and inches. I do consistently workout when traveling, however my eating habits completely shift to more carbohydrates and sugars.  My most recent vacation was no exception and now I am faced with the challenge of getting back to my routines and back to feeling healthy.

Whether you are not feeling good because you are out of routine or because you have not had a well-balanced routine for a while, accept the challenge to make some changes and move forward.  Even if you have minimal time to focus on yourself during the day, start with making simple nutritional changes in your diet and start moving more.  You will begin to see and feel changes which will motivate you even further.

Best,

Shana

16kg Kettlebell – 30 Minutes

25 Feb

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Come on SPRING!  Frigid temperatures, snowfall, and cloudy skies can be quite un-motivating for some (including me).  As much as I miss being outdoors in the sun and breeze, I am attempting to maintain my workout routines indoors.  What keeps me inspired is reading research journals, taking personal training and group fitness courses, and finding and connecting with other like-minded fitness professionals and exercise enthusiasts.  From this I am able to get fresh new ideas and perspectives that keep me going and growing.

My clients are quite inspiring as well.   They are dedicated to lifelong fitness, health and wellness in their lives. And this winter has been a time of great fitness progress for them.  They keep me focused and ahead of the game.  Hopefully I can get some video footage of them to share soon (lets see if they are reading this….:).  

Anyway, find what it is that keeps you inspired and keep pushing forward…

*The 16kg yellow kettlebell that you see here is typically used for Girevoy sport or competitive kettlebell lifting.  The shape, size and weight of sport kettlebells are different than the ‘hardstyle’ kbs that are often found in gyms.  Therefore, the form and body movements used for the cleans, jerks and snatches are different.  I do not recommend using the Girevoy kettlebells without instruction from a certified kettlebell sport instructor. These are NOT your regular fitness or workout bells.  

Jump Rope and Kettlebell – 30 minutes

19 Jan

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Cardio is anything that gets your heart rate up and into your target zone.  There are generalized target zones that you can find on equipment or online.  However, finding your individualized target zone can be much more effective and allow for better use of your work-out time.  Using age and resting heart rate to determine target zones enables for more accuracy.  Zones may also be altered by current physical health and medications, so it is important to take that information into account.

Once your target zone is determined, you can do whatever it is that you love to do in order to get your heart rate into your zone for at least 20 minutes (not including warm up and cool down).  To reduce boredom and to prevent overuse injuries, it is recommended to cross train, or change activities now and then (or even every time).  I love kettlebelling, kickboxing, running, plyometrics, rebounding, step, and doing compound movements (full body movements) with various pieces of equipment in order to do cardio.  Whatever it is I chose to do, I simply monitor my heart rate to ensure it stays within my individualized zone.  It is that simple.

So with all that in mind, I decided to try something new…jump roping! It never was my thing before, but I just went for it.  When my son is napping, I can just go down into our dungeon-looking basement and jump away.

Whether it is hoola-hooping, unicycling, pole-dancing, or parkour…go for it.  No judgement (so long as your heart rate is in your zone:)!

*The 12kg blue kettlebell that you see here is typically used for Girevoy sport or competitive kettlebell lifting.  The shape, size and weight of sport kettlebells are quite different than the ‘hardstyle’ kbs that are often found in gyms.  Therefore, the form and body movements used are completely different.  I do not recommend using the Girevoy kettlebells without instruction from a certified kettlebell sport instructor. These are NOT your regular fitness or workout bells.  

Kettlebell – 30 minutes

4 Aug

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Vamping back up into my pre-pregnancy KB routines.  My son is almost 9 months now. My body is not as lean as it was pre-pregnancy and therefore I am still a few sizes larger.  However I feel good and strong and I am focused on re-gaining muscle.  It truly is a challenge to attain ones fitness level postpartum.  I now understand this more than ever and I want to tell the moms out there I understand and it is completely normal.  Instead of being frustrated about it, remember that although you may have some extra pounds now, you also have an amazing little human.  Love the body that gave you this gift and that will lead you the right direction.

To those who wish to improve their fitness level this message applies to you as well.  Perhaps you are just setting out on your road to fitness, or maybe you are post-surgery or injury, or maybe you are trying to re-gain the health and fitness you once had–STAY FOCUSED and BE PATIENT.  Your goal is a great one and it will be reached in time.  There are no quick fixes, only lifestyle changes over time that will lead you there.

Best,

Shana

Postpartum Workout – KB 30 minutes

21 Dec

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After waiting to gain enough core strength and endurance, I was finally able to pick up a kettlebell again.  I had missed the feel of swinging the kettlebell and the intensity of the full body movements.  Again, because my core strength is still developing I am easing into my kettlebell routine by doing fewer repetitions and selecting movements carefully based on my current strength.

Low Intensity Kettlebell – 20 minutes

14 Oct

As you see, my belly is rapidly growing!  Baby and I are doing well and feeling pretty good (with the exception of those normal pregnancy discomforts).  As my body continues to change, I also change my fitness routines and how I use the equipment.

Although I am still able to use the kettlebell for some of it’s intended exercises, lately I am using it more as a tool to do bodyweight and calisthenic kinds of exercises such as stepping over it or using it to hold as I do a plank.  I suggest you view a pre-pregnancy kettlebell video along with this pregnancy kettlebell video so you can compare and see the adjustments and accommodations that have been made to meet the needs of my changing body.

Being able to adjust your exercise routine according to your current physical state is critical in making exercise and fitness a lifelong committment.  Of course if a doctor tells you not to exercise, you follow those orders.  But if you have medical clearance to exercise, there is always SOMETHING you can do.  If you are unsure of your exercise options, a certified fitness professional can help guide you through safe and effective exercises that meet your needs.

Please note: The exercises seen here are specific to my fitness level, my doctor recommendations, and my pregnancy health.  It is not recommended to pursue a pregnancy fitness routine without approval from your physician.  

12kg Kettlebell-40 minutes

1 Mar

After a two week hiatus from working out, I jumped back into my kettlebell routine.  Taking brief breaks from working out is normal and sometimes needed.  But remember when you get back to it again, you need to listen to your body.  In this video you will catch me snoozing on the ‘job’.  Instead of pushing through and possibly causing myself injury, I let it happen.

16kg Kettlebell-40 Min

7 Feb

Yup folks, thats the 35 pound girevoy sport kettlebell.   You will likely not find this kind of kettlebell in the gym as it is specific to girevoy sport/kettlebell sport competitions. You will notice that the movements used with girevoy sport kettlebells are different from the movements used with the regular ‘hard style’ kettlebells (that are found in many gyms).  Stance and movement need to accommodate the increased weight and the shape of  the sport kettlebells.  For instance, I usually workout shoeless, but it is even more important to use minimal-heeled shoes or no shoes with these bells as an elevated heel combined with the weight and movements with the bell may cause knee and low back injury.

The main movements with the kettlebell include the clean, clean and jerk and the snatch.  When doing these movements you will notice that I follow the kettlebell with my head.  I tilt my head and neck down and my shoulders round when the kettlebell comes down in the arc.  The holding position is called the rack position. You will notice that when I am in the rack position I am holding the bell close to my body with my elbow resting on my hip and my hips are slightly thrusted forward.

This differs from movements with the hardstyle kettlebells.  When using your harddsyle kettlebells you want to keep a neutral head, neck and back through the movements.  Also there is no need to rest your elbow on your hip in the rack position when using hardstyle bells.

To be clear, the movements you see in this video (clean, clean and jerk, the snatch and the rack position) are specific to using the girevoy sport kettlebells.  These movements and the use of this kettlebell are for those with advanced girevoy sport training.  Do not attempt these movements if you do not fall into that category.  If that is the case please use the movements you see in my other kettlebell videos when I use the red or black 12 kg hardstyle kettlebell. 🙂