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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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8 Steps to a Successful Resolution

How are your New Year’s resolutions going? I TRULY hope they are going well, I mean it is only January 5th. But, according to a commonly cited statistic only 8% of people actually keep their resolutions. No wonder we “repeat” our resolutions year after year. That percentage will NOT move us to the next grade! Today I wanted to share some tactics, tips, and advice on how to create a resolution (or goal) and set yourself up for success. It’s not enough to just state, “I want to lose 30lbs this year” we need to dig deeper. So, here are some steps to take

Step 1: Create SMART Goals (specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, time-bound).
ex. I will  spend less time on devices when with my kids. My SMART goal is:
“I will designate specific times during the day to check social media/email (6-8am; nap time; after 8pm) AND will only be on it during those times to do designated work (after 8pm I can mindlessly scroll). I will put a note with these times on my computer and phone and will keep devices out of reach.”

*notice my goal is an “I WILL” statement. write yours this way as well

Step 2: Add a WHY to the Goal – the why is our motivation and what will help keep us on track. My Why for the above goal is, “I want to set a good example for my children; I want to be intentionally present while I’m with them; I don’t want to miss out on these potential memories; and I find I can keep the house a little tidier when I don’t waste time on social media all day.”

Step 3: Write a Contract – Print out your SMART goals (I WILL statements) and your Why; sign it; and hang it somewhere you will see it everyday (bathroom mirror). This way you can check in daily to make sure you are on track. 

Step 4: Find an Accountability Partner: You may need to find a few people to keep you  accountable. First, you want someone with similar goals to work parallel to you. Second, you want a person who will be supportive, but will also be honest and let you know when you are slacking. Third, find someone to act as a mentor; someone who has accomplished the goal (can even be someone online via a blog, video, etc.). Fourth, find a community associated w/ that goal; the sense of belonging is comfortable, safe, and motivating.

Step 5: Believe in Yourself – you need to believe it’s possible for it to actually be possible. On the contract from Step 3 write motivating statements such as: “I can do this,” “I WILL do this,” “I deserve this,” “My family deserves this,” “I BELIEVE in myself.”

Step 6: Choose Goals that Fit Your Life – we all have different capabilities and realities. Just because Jane down the street; who doesn’t work or have kids, hired a trainer for 3hrs everyday, had a personal chef, and went on a weight loss retreat for a month; lost 50lbs last year that’s likely not your reality. Be practical about your goal and plan for how to accomplish it. Take small steps and build upon that.

Step 7: Create a Habit – practice your goals and stay consistent. This will soon turn the actions into a habit and will not just be something you do, but will be a part of who you are. If you slip on a goal, don’t let that be the be-all and end-all. Just jump right back into it. We ALL slip at times. It’s not a matter of how many times you slip, it’s how many times you are willing to get back up!

Step 8: Reward Yourself – while building that habit, be sure to reward yourself for every little success. This will help keep you motivated to continue with the goal until it does become habit and you no longer have to think about it. Have a goal to work out consistently? Why not treat yourself with a chocolate square after each workout (once it’s habit you won’t need the chocolate to motivate you). Or, pamper yourself after a week of great workouts (massage, hair, nails, new clothes, etc.)

So, what are your resolutions / goals this year?

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It’s the Holidays! Avoid Falling Off the Wagon Without Skipping Grandma’s Pie

Thanksgiving is a holiday that revolves around eating, like so many other holidays coming up! We shouldn’t feel like we can’t partake in this family-oriented, fun event; or that we can’t try out all the delicious foods displayed before us. You can, and should, eat a bit of everything. You just have to do so with some intent. Healthy habits often fall to the wayside between Halloween and the New Year, which then sets people back in their goals and requires them to reestablish their habits in the New Year. The unfortunate part is too many people fail at reestablishing their healthy habits and continue in a spiral of bad habits. DON’T GO DOWN THAT SPIRAL! Enjoy your slice of pie, then divvy out the leftovers.

Here are a few tips and ideas of how to keep your healthy habits in check during the holidays:

1. Portion control – take a little bit of everything on your first plate with the intention of skipping seconds. This way you don’t fill up on half of the foods there and feel as though you just HAVE to get more because you are yet to try grandma’s famous sweet potatoes.

2. Take a walk – while the turkey is cooking take time with the family to stroll around the neighborhood and work up those appetites. Have a walk planned for after the meal too, this might help you avoid overstuffing yourself, since you know you’ll have to get moving soon.

3. Play – whether it’s football, catch, a game of tag, use these fun games to interact with the family regularly and have fun while getting fit.

4. Kitchen workouts – instead of standing around taste testing all the food as it cooks, try some of these simple exercises between basting bouts: lunges, squats, bicep curls with canned goods, jumping jacks, pushups.

5. Plan ahead – make plans with people to do workouts between Thanksgiving and New Years to help push each other to actually go. Whether it’s the gym, an activity outside, an in-home workout, ice skating, or signing up for a new activity; if you have someone doing it with you it makes it a lot more fun and a lot more likely you will actually do it.

6. Don’t wait until New Years – there is no time like the present to get started on a healthy habit adventure. Today you can begin the journey of making simple changes in your daily life to become a happier, healthier, and more energetic you.

7. Give away leftovers – keep a minimal amount for yourself, then give the rest to guests as they leave. This will help prevent you from digging into the sugary goodness every day for the next two weeks. If you don’t have the temptation in front of you it’s much easier to resist.

8. Watch the Facebook Page & Instagram for a special Turkey Day workout

These are just a few ways to keep on top your healthy habits without missing out on all your favorite dishes. Enjoy and have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

 

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I Am Too Tired…

The second most common excuse I hear is “I am too tired to…” workout, cook, read, play with the kids, etc. This excuse is one I WILL accept, but only on occasion! It is true that some days our bodies and minds are just so worn down from the chaos of life and/or because we haven’t gotten enough sleep for a few days. On those days we NEED to rest. Taking care of ourselves includes adequate REST and SLEEP.

But, if you feel like you are too tired to take care of yourself most days, then we need to strategize to overcome that feeling. Unless you have a medical condition or an extremely intensive manual labor job, then you should have enough energy to take care of yourself throughout the day most days. More often than not it just takes planning, preparation and creating habits out of desired behaviors. Before they are habits though, the behaviors can be hard to push yourself to do when you feel a bit sluggish. Here are some strategize to overcome this obstacle:

  1. GET ENOUGH SLEEP – sleep is SO important and an essential part of living a healthy life. If you aren’t getting 7-8 hours of sleep most nights, then you need to make that a priority. With proper sleep the rest of your day/life/goals will run much more smoothly and you will have the energy to tackle anything. Recharge yourself, like you recharge your cellphone (Sheryl Sandberg)
  2. MOVE YOUR BODY – If you feel tired and uninterested in doing a healthy habit, first try moving your body. Even if it’s a 5 minute walk outside or laps on the stairs. Movement can help rejuvenate us and fill us with more energy and motivation. So, before you plop down on the couch first do 5 minutes of intentional movement. If I have no desire to workout, but know I should get something in, I start with walking and more often than not I end up completing a full workout and feel so much better afterwards!
  3. PLAN AHEAD – plan out your meals, workouts, and other healthy habits each week. Having them written down and scheduled into a calendar will help you stay on track and be successful. There are psychological benefits to writing down tasks and goals, learn more . Every week I complete a Healthy Habits Calendar with meals, snacks, workouts, etc. It makes it so much easier to complete everything knowing each day what I want to do.
  4. ACCOUNTABILITY – find someone to help hold you accountable for your goals, such as a workout buddy, a book club, a spouse or friend you can cook with. We generally don’t like to disappoint people, so having someone depend on us to show up for a task will also make us more likely to complete that task, no matter how tired we feel.
  5. BE REALISTIC WITH GOALS – it’s not likely you will succeed if you try to go from not working out at all to working out every day for an hour at 5am each morning. So, first try to schedule in one workout during the work week for 20-30minutes AND one workout on the weekend for 30 minutes. Then build a little from there. Setting goals to high will make doing them that much harder, especially when tired.
  6. SELF AWARENESS & REWARDS – get to know yourself and your strengths. When do you have the most energy during the day? What do you enjoy doing (healthy habit related)? What motivates you? If you are more productive in the mornings then schedule that workout or other healthy task for then. If you like to dance, try a Zumba class. If you enjoy massages or new clothes, then at the end of the week reward yourself for completely all tasks with something you will look forward to.

This week I challenge you to try these different strategies to see what works best for you. Try to push past that initial feeling of being tired, so you can accomplish what you set out to do.  Need more guidance or a personalized strategic plan? Email me at hahnfitness@gmail.com