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Pre-Natal Workouts

*Consult with a health care professional prior to engaging in any type of exercise. And continue to talk with your doctor throughout your pregnancy about exercising to avoid any risks.

Why Exercise While Pregnant?

  • Decreases common discomforts such as constipation, swollen extremities, leg cramps, nausea, varicose veins, insomnia, fatigue, back pain, and more
  • Helps prevent excessive weight gain
  • Can assist in prevention of urinary incontinence, pregnancy-induced hypertension, diastasis recti and in controlling gestational diabetes
  • Helps to improve posture and body mechanics, facilitate circulation, reduce pelvic pressure, and increase energy levels
  • Allows a faster recovery and also can help overall psychological well-being

 

What Exercises Should I do?

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The most important thing to do is to LISTEN TO YOUR BODY. If something hurts or doesn’t feel right then don’t do it. Every person and every pregnancy is different. Don’t ignore any warning signs.

  • Aim to exercise 3-5 times per week for 45-60 minutes
  • Keep the intensity to a RPE (rate of perceived effort) of 5-8 on a 10-point scale. There is no magic heart rate number to stay under, but do not exercise to exhaustion. Instead work at an intensity you feel comfortable at
  • After the first trimester avoid exercising in the supine position for extended periods of time, or avoid all together if directed by your health care provider
  • During pregnancy some muscles shorten & tighten (shoulders, chest, low back, hamstring & calves) so it’s important to stretch these muscles first, then strengthen muscles that lengthen & weaken (upper back, glutes, abdominals, pelvic floor, & quadriceps)

Cardiovascular Exercise:

  • Walking, jogging, eliptical, swimming, stair stepper, stationary bike, light aerobics
  • Stick with cardio exercises that do not require too much balance, as your center of gravity shifts during pregnancy

Stretches for Tightened Muscles

  • Goal Posts
  • Door Stretch (chest)
  • Shoulder Shrug
  • Spinal Flexion (seated / standing)
  • Cat and Cow
  • Hamstring Stretch
  • Calf Stretch

Pelvic Floor Exercises:
Pelvic floor exercises are important for a number of reasons. The muscles of the pelvic floor affect bladder, bowel, and sexual function. Exercising the muscles of the pelvic floor can help prevent urinary incontinence and pelvic pain as well as helps with control and relaxation during the pushing phase of labor.

  • Kegel tighten the muscles you would use if you were trying to stop urinary flow (Drawing up the muscles between your legs). Hold for 10 seconds, relax, and repeat. Make sure to breathe while tightening the muscles. This exercise can be done anywhere, so be sure to do it often
  • Pelvic Tilt
  • Bird Dog
  • Cat and Cow: includes a pelvic tilt and also works/stretches back muscles

Transverse Abdominis (TVA) Exercises:
These are the deep abdominal muscles that are important in pushing during labor, can help decrease chance of diastasis recti, can help keep your abs stronger throughout pregnancy and after delivery. Strong TVA can help reduce lower back pain and is another important muscle to assist with the pushing phase of labor.

  • Activate TVA: visit website to view video on how to activate TVA
  • On all of the above Pelvic Floor exercises make sure you activate your TVA

Upper Back & Shoulders:
The chest size increases during pregnancy, which can draw your shoulders forward; lengthening and weakening the upper back muscles. Breastfeeding / bottle-feeding and holding / rocking a child can also draw the shoulders forward. We need to get the back and shoulder muscles strong to decrease aches and pains along the way.

  • Posture – continually think about your posture. Draw your shoulders back, sit/stand up straight.
  • Scapular Retraction
  • Upright Rows
  • Inverted Row
  • Front & Lateral Raises
  • Cross body Pull & Press
  • Alternating Pullover
  • Seated external rotation

Legs, Hips, Glutes:

The added weight and pressure from being pregnant can cause pain and discomfort in the hips, glutes, and legs. Keeping these parts of the body strong and flexible is important in the effort to reduce the pressure, pain, and discomfort. Strong legs can also assist in the pushing process during delivery.

  • Side Lying Leg Raises
  • Clam Shell
  • Hip Bridge (on stability ball)
  • Fire Hydrants
  • Donkey Kicks
  • Step Ups
  • Hip Hike (helps prevent and relieve round ligament pain)
  • Squats
  • Lunges (hold on to something for balance)

 

Uncategorized, workouts

Workout with your Kid(s)

We all know that when you have kids it can be a struggle to prioritize working out and taking care of ourselves. BUT…in order for us to be our best self and the best parent/spouse/daughter/son/friend, we need to have self-care strategies in place and make sure we are healthy!Whenever possible I encourage you to take time out for yourself to exercise, but some days/weeks it just isn’t possible, so why not get in a workout while playing with and enjoying the company of your child(ren).

Don’t get me wrong, it can be a complete chaotic mess trying to work out with kids, so keep expectations low and just try to have fun and MOVE. In video 1 I tried to choreograph it more with the kids and even bribed my son with a donut to film with me (he’s quite stubborn like most 3yr olds!) and it didn’t really go how I envisioned, but o’well, we did it. Video 2 I just threw the camera on and went for it and it actually was a better workout and a little more fun for us all I think. Video 3 was a fun outdoor workout that you could do at a local park!

Video 1: Try to do 2-3 rounds if possible and you can use a dumbbell or a milk jug filled with water. My animal sounds are way off, but you’ll get the picture 🙂

  • Gorilla Squat & Reach: 15
  • Kangaroo Hop & Curl: 15
  • Bear Crawl: 30
  • Flamingo (1 leg deadlift w/ a row): 10 each side
  • Frog Jumps: 15
  • Elephant Trunk Swings: 15 each side
  • Hippopotamus hip bridge: 30
  • Down Dog Leg Lifts: 15 each
  • Fire Hydrants: 15 each


Video 2: 
grab a milk jug or dumbbell and start moving

 

Video 3: a great workout to do at a local park. If you’re lucky your kids will throw snow at you too! 😉

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My Favorite Health & Fitness Things

With all the fitness and health trends out there, I thought I would share some of my favorite things with you. So, here they are:

EXERCISE:

  1.  HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training): fast, “fun”, effective
  2. Exercise Bands: so versatile and a game changer for exercises. Also, easy to take with you anywhere
  3. TRX Suspension Trainer: another versatile and portable piece of equipment. But, learn how to use it properly from an expert before getting one!
  4. Exercise with Friends: turning happy hours into workout sessions can lead to a healthier friendship. Go for a walk/run, find a workout class to join, grab coffee and explore your neighborhood, bike rides, etc.
  5. Finding Workouts You LIKE: and ideally will stick with. From yoga to zumba to HIIT and crossfit there is a plethora of workouts available. Find what you like and DO IT. Even if that’s walking with a friend

NUTRITION: (and even my kids and husband like all of these!)

  1. Chicken Crust Pizza: just try it! Easy, high protein, delicious, PIZZA
  2. Flourless Chocolate Chip Chickpea Blondies: yum, that’s all
  3. Organic Edamame Spaghetti: found at Costco. Spaghetti has never been tastier or healthier! I pair with shrimp and pesto
  4. Protein, Veggies & Whole Grains: it’s so simple and what I eat for almost every meal. A lean protein of choice, veggies galore, and occasionally some quinoa or brown rice or farro.
  5. Meal Planning & Prepping: makes life so much easier!

OTHER

  1. Self-Care: taking care of yourself makes you a better YOU which reflects in how you treat and care for others. Find what self-care works for you
  2. Investing in YOU: Investing in your health is important and worth every penny. Even though I’m a trainer/health coach I workout with a trainer once per week and I am seeing a nutritionist to help with some gut issues. We can’t do it alone!
  3. Goal Setting: whenever you are feeling unexcited about life, set a goal! It gives you purpose, power, feeling of worth, and excitement. Shameless plug – see below for my Goal Setting Workshop happening Monday.
  4. Positive Thinking: you can actually reduce stress by eliminating negative self-talk and adding in positive thinking.
  5. Podcasts: I’m in love. I learn, I get lost in them, I enjoy them while I workout, there are endless topics. My faves: This American Life, TED Radio Hour, Radiolab, Stuff You Should Know.