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Postpartum Workouts

3 Sep

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It has been so long since I have written! I exercised through my entire pregnancy, altering movements and intensity as needed in order to maintain a healthy pregnancy.  It was not always easy to keep moving towards the end of the pregnancy, but I did it.  Then, I had a sweet little girl born on April 1st, 2015.

Between her and my toddler, life has been interesting, exciting, tiring, and chaotic.  I needed to figure out how to fit workouts into my day.  I knew that although it would be a challenge, working out would make me feel better and be a better mom.  So, as soon as my body felt ready, I resumed my workouts.

It was important to pay attention to my body and how it felt in order to ensure my safety and healing.  As a nursing mother, it was also important to progress slowly in order to maintain a healthy milk supply.  I altered movements and intensity of the workouts as needed.  I also had to workout when I could, even if it would be only for 10 minutes.

My baby is now 5 months old and I am proud to say that I have managed to keep it up.  I feel good because of it.  In all honesty it has not been easy to find time to exercise.  Between the two children, nursing the baby, working, and other important family obligations… it has been tricky.  I do what I can, when I can, and I adjust my plan as needed.  Sometimes workouts get cut shorter, sometimes workout plans change, sometimes workouts including wearing or holding the baby, sometimes I workout holding two baby monitors up to my ears, sometimes I don’t get to workout.  But if my plan is a lifetime of health and fitness, then I just go with it and do what I can.  On average I think I am now working out 20 minutes a day at least 5 times per week.  Not my ideal, but something has got to give!  I continue to be on the road to weight loss, as I have 10 more pounds to lose.  It will happen in time.

Here are a few clips of what I have been up to:

Note: It is important to follow your doctor’s orders about when and how you can begin your fitness routine postpartum. Your body requires time to heal and beginning a workout routine too early can hinder that and cause larger problems.

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).

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

Step for Cardiovascular Training and Strength Training

5 Jun

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The step is a great piece of equipment for aerobic training.  High intensity step-training provides the same cardiovascular benefits as running and it is fun! The step can also be used as a tool to complete strength training exercises for the lower body, upper body and the core.  In this video I alternate between aerobic movements, which raise the heart rate, and strength training movements, which decrease the heart rate yet challenge the target muscles.

Here are some tips for using the step:

  • Keep your shoulders back and down (chest up)
  • Always place your entire foot on the step when doing any movements
  • Step lightly to reduce stress on the joints (specifically the knee)
  • Keep the area around your step clear of any objects or potential tripping hazards
  • The step height depends on fitness level and comfort with equipment: Recommended height for beginners is 4 inches and more advanced individuals can use a platform of up to 10 inches
  • The height of the step should never cause your knee to be flexed more than 90 degrees when stepping up
  • Only use pieces of equipment that are intended for stepping as they are sturdy and minimize injury
  • It is not recommended to use hand weights while doing aerobic stepping as the risk of injury is increased (and there is little to no benefits for strengthening the muscles in the arms). However you may use hand weights on the step when doing the strength training portion of your workout.
  • Enjoy…

Postpartum Workout – Step – 20 minutes

24 Dec

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I love my newborn.  He is truly amazing.  But, wow having a newborn is way more challenging than I had imagined!  I knew it would be hard, but I guess it is something I couldn’t truly understand until I was in it.  So here I am!  Exhausted, nursing my baby for what seems to be 20 hours of the day, amid the postpartum hormonal shifts, and dealing with house renovations (please pardon the mess in this video).  It is all getting to me! The one thing that always kept me calm was working out and now there is limited to no time to do it.  Fortunately I have worked out a schedule with my husband where I can get a 20 minute workout in on most days. On days that I have missed a workout, I am, well, a mess.  I wanted to be real for you mothers out there…I now better understand what you have often expressed to me.

On the upside, I am getting stronger and stronger with each workout and I have been able to slowly increase my intensity and the amount of resistance I use.  Weight loss is and will be slow.  This is expected.  I am not going to stress that as I am feeling stronger each day and I am feeling quite healthy.  It is important not to focus on the weightloss and rather focus on maintaining a balanced lifestyle of fitness and health. The rest will fall together in time.

Again, please pardon the appearance of my space!

Finally some video clips for you!

7 Oct

So finally, here it is.  I apologize for the length of this video…fast forward through it and you’ll get the idea:)  I attempted to compile various workouts into one video and after I completed it I realized it was a bit lengthy.  Take from it what you may and I look forward to reconnecting 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).

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

Step – 40 minutes

8 Mar

The step is a fun way to do your cardio.  You can make it a higher intensity workout by increasing speed and including more jumps on, around, or about the step AND you can make it a lower intensity workout by sticking to the basic movements at a slower pace.  Don’t forget to integrate your upper body resistance training and core work into your step mix.  Enjoy!

Step and 6 lb Med Ball

20 Nov

The winter is coming…I can feel it already.  There is a chill in the air and the sky turns dark before I have time to go out there and play! By the time I get home from work it is dark and chilly. I was able to maintain my outdoor routines over the past few chilly winters, and I hope to do the same this winter.  But this week, I stayed warm and cozy inside.  Here is a 40 minute step and med ball routine.