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Posts tagged with: fitness

How to work out with a newborn

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It’s crazy, right? When you’re juggling a total lack of sleep (umm, hello 3 hours!), other kids, trying to get food into all the mouths, including maybe your own, changing a gazillion diapers, and feeling like you’re glued down with a nursing wee babe. Yep, the last thing most of us want to do in that situation is work out.. but often it’s the one thing that can give energy and help make us stronger in the long run.

How can you do it when it seems like there’s a free-flowing to-do list? I follow a few little steps:

  • Set out workout clothes so they’re easy to grab and pop on when you’re in a mad dash
  • At the slightest sign of sleeping baby, set him down in a bouncy chair (or Momaroo in my case), and RUN to get your gear on and the DVD queued up
  • Press play and get as far as you can. Sometimes I have to nurse the little guy, pop him back down, and carry on where I left off.
  • Try to get your spouse on board. Having the help of someone who can occupy the kidlets during your workout, or even for the last few minutes when things get crazy is soooooo helpful!

Obviously none of this would be possible yet if I had to head to a gym. I haaaate gyms, so there’s that too. Workout DVDs that I can do on my own time at home are almost a luxury.

Want to get going on your own with workouts at home? You can get the one I’m doing (PiYo) here. It’s PERFECT as a first workout program to do after having a baby, and also great for during pregnancy!

Here’s some PiYo in action:

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4 tips to modify your workout for pregnancy

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As my pregnancy progresses, I’m becoming increasingly aware that I’m umm.. yeah.. pregnant! Ding ding.. This means that my usual workouts are getting harder, my body aches here and there from the relaxin hormone that comes with pregnancy, my growing belly gets in the way, and (tmi?) my bladder thinks I’m crazy to be moving at all.

Are ya on the same page? It’d be so easy to just give up workout out at all, especially with all the people who say you’ve earned it, you’re pregnant! Sound familiar?  But seriously, don’t we want to try to stay healthy while growing a little human?

Here are my top 4 tips to modify your workout during pregnancy so you’re still staying fit:

  1. Widen your stance.  For squats, lunges, even child’s pose, it’s helpful to widen your stance. You’re creating extra space for your baby belly, plus you’ll have better balance.
  2. Go for less or no impact. Are you used to doing cardio? Tone it down a bit. You’ve probably noticed that all that jostling of your body just doesn’t feel good after the 1st trimester.  The workout programs I do all have modifiers, so there are always low to no-impact versions of the moves. My current favourite is PiYo, which I am now having to cut out any little bit of impact there is. Another great program with easy-to-follow modifications is 21 Day Fix.
  3. Slow things down. You just may not be able to move as fast as you’re used to. Remember to slow things down in order to prevent injury.  Most of our bodies are more prone to pulling muscles while pregnant since everything’s a bit looser than normal.
  4. Go easy on the ab work.  Here’s one I’m struggling with. I want to push myself and feel like I’m working, but at the same time I really want to avoid diastasis recti (abdominal separation).. Yeah, SCARY! This is common, so it’s good to be careful of what you’re making those abs do while pregnant.  Pay close attention, and if you think you’re straining those muscles, modify or cut out that exercise all-together.
  5. (BONUS):  Set your ego at the door.  Yep.  I don’t think you should have a free pass to sit on the couch or skip exercise completely, but when you are working out, you need to remember that your body isn’t the same as a few months ago. It’s going through a lot of changes, and it’s expected that you may have to take things back a notch at some point. Don’t feel bad about that! You can add in more upper body strength work if you’re really feeling bad, but I like to think that the workouts I’m doing are still setting myself up for a healthy pregnancy and a much easier road back to being fit after my sweet baby is born.

how i’m staying healthy while pregnant

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Oh the pregnancy struggle.. The one time in your life when everyone else gives you complete permission to do nothing and eat whatever you want.. but is that really the best choice for your body?  In my first pregnancy I started out trying to run 4-5k as much as possible, but that quickly became a bit of a joke.  Runs turned into walks, which turned into skipping it altogether.  Not this time!  I don’t want that feeling of absolutely dying when I try to play my first game of ultimate, or spending a year + wishing about my pre-pregnancy clothing.

I’m at 20 weeks now, and am doing pretty well!

Fitness
This time around, I have a plan for fitness.  I’ve jumped into the PiYo workout program, and have found that it’s PERFECT for pregnancy.  I’d never been into yoga or pilates, but this is faster paced and upbeat, plus I just plain feel GOOD after I do it.

It’s easy to modify!  In the videos, there’s a modifier that is so easy to follow.  I just love her.  You bet I’m modifying already, and will likely be a whole lot more as the weeks go on, but I’m not just going to quit.  I don’t want the terribly hard road back to fitness when I have this baby. I have high hopes that it’ll be easier than last time because I’m not spending a year or two inactive.

Other bonuses: No impact, increased strength and flexibility, and I can do it whenever I have a bit of time at home. No heading to the gym.  I still try to get it done when the little one’s sleeping, but sometimes she just has to sit and play or eat while watching me. Even better is seeing her attempt the moves along with her mama!  Plus, some of those workouts are less than 20 minutes long!

Nutrition
I have a nutrition plan too, although let me tell you, this has been a STRUGGLE for me.  My cravings are strong and my willpower doesn’t exist right now.  Do I want to make a million cookies? Totally.  Do I do that sometimes, and then eat most of them? Yep.  Still, I keep pulling myself back towards my plan, which has got to be better than no plan at all.

This is where the 21 Day Fix nutrition plan comes in (the workouts are amazing too, but I’ve delved deep into PiYo).  There are easy to use containers for portion control, and food lists.  I have so much fun combining foods and making delicious meals that work with the plan.  Healthy can be good.  My favourite part is that there’s room for things like chocolate! YES!

Want to join my next challenge group for either of these programs, or have any questions? Send me a note here.  I’d love to help get you started on your journey too!

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tips to start and keep working out

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We’ve all been there.. With a workout program sitting there collecting dust on the shelf.. Maybe you’ve never even opened it, or maybe you got a few weeks in and then life happened. Right? Lots of excuses.

You work too many hours, your kids keep you from working out, you’re too tired, it’s too hard, you don’t love it, your nutrition sucks too, so why bother.. Yup, lots of excuses. You should be able to counteract ALL of those with some great little tips and tricks.

4 ways to set yourself up for success long-term:

1. Remember your great big goal. Where do you want to be? Do you want to lose weight? How will it FEEL to fit into that cute dress? Or how will it FEEL to be able to keep up to your kids, or be able to run 3 miles? Pretty amazing, right? Stick a picture of what that goal looks like to you somewhere you’ll see every day.

2. Not enough time? Try a short run or bike ride. You can just get out there and go! Or try one of Beachbody’s awesome 25-30 minute workout programs, like T25 (I got crazy results with this program, as you can see above!), the 21 Day Fix (30 minute workouts and fabulous nutrition tools), P90, and P90X3. There’s something nice and short for everyone!

3. Kids? Get them involved too. You can do this outdoors, or even at home using a fitness DVD. From an early age, I’d set my daughter up with a snack or breakfast, and get going. Yes, there were some interruptions, but I always found a way to get the workout done. The best part is you’re modeling great healthy behaviour, and seeing your kids start mimicking you.

4. Too tired, or it’s too hard? I don’t know anyone who regretted working out. If you’re feeling wiped out, just start. Tell yourself you’ll do at least 5 minutes. You may surprise yourself and get through the entire thing. If not, wrap it up but know that you at least tried! You’ll feel better than if you hadn’t.

8 tips to get that workout started each day:

1. Set out all of your workout clothes the night before. Put them where you’ll see them when it’s time to work out. I put mine in the bathroom so they’re the first thing I see when I wake up in the morning (after the stumbling steps down the hall).

2. Home workout program? Pop that DVD into the player and set out whatever other gear you’ll need so there’s no wasting time and no excuses! You don’t want to be running around at 6am searching for your sneakers or trying to find your beloved water bottle. Those seem like silly little excuses, but I hear people use them all the time.

3. Play some energizing music. If you’re just not feeling it, pop in some energizing music and bop around the room. That should get you going enough to get started.

4. Take it 5 minutes at a time. Like I said above, start with 5 minutes. If it still seems hard, just go for another 5 minutes. See how far you can get.

5. Stick your calendar on the wall. Make a workout schedule, or use the one that came with the program, and stick it on the wall or fridge. Mark off each day after you’ve completed it. This feels so good and is great motivation to keep going

6. Schedule it in your calendar just like an appointment or something else important. Make sure you schedule it in for a time that actually works for you!

7. Tell someone. Tell a workout partner, friend, significant other, or accountability partner. When someone else expects you to do your workout, you’re more likely to do it! Get them to make sure you check in each day

8. Join a challenge group. I’ve got lots of different challenge groups on facebook that are great for motivation, support, and accountability. Others are on their journey right along with you. Send me a message if you want to join a group!

21 Days to lose up to 15 pounds?

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Beachbody has a new fitness and nutrition program that helps you lose weight, and fast. It’s so effective that people are losing up to 15 pounds (ok, some even MORE) in 21 days! Yeah, I was floored by it!

The 21 Day Fix combines easy portion control with 30 minute workouts, getting you great results in a short amount of time. There’s no guessing, no fiddling with a scale, and no counting calories or points. The best part is that you don’t have to deprive yourself by completely cutting out some of the treats you love. There’s room for chocolate, and even wine! (Yes, ladies, I’m with you. I need my chocolate!)

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The workouts are easy to follow, with a modifier, so no matter what your fitness level is, you’ll see amazing results. Plus, there’s lots of variation, so you won’t get bored after 3 days!

I will be hosting a 21 Day fix Challenge group/boot camp to keep you motivated and on track. You’ll have others doing the program with you, so you’ll never be alone, yet you get to do this from the convenience of your own home.

I recently got the opportunity to do a live workout with the 21 Day Fix celebrity trainer, Autumn Calabrese (in the photo above!). It was AMAZING! Every single move was easy to follow, and she knew just what to say to make me work harder. The story behind the simple nutrition system? It’s still possible to overeat when you’re eating healthy food. The 21 Day Fix gives you super easy portion control. You fill coloured containers. You get to eat what fits in the right containers each day. Simple.

So if you want to get started on your journey to better health with me fill out the form below and get ready to change your life!

never give up!

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We’ve got struggles and excuses, right? Not enough time to workout, kids with demands on us, too much work, not feeling up to it, feeling too tired, or even an injury. I can give you ideas to work through those excuses, but none of that matters if you don’t really WANT to.

Here’s my injury story and how I almost did give up. I was just finishing up with a round of a mostly weights-based program. In retrospect, it was too much heavy lifting for my body, and not enough other stuff to balance that out. Still, I felt pretty good, and was in pretty much the best shape of my life, able to do about 7 full pull-ups. Yeah, a few years ago I couldn’t do ANY, even after completing P90X, so I was pretty proud!

Best shape of my life, hoping to grow our family and be super fit through the next pregnancy so I wouldn’t have to work quite as hard afterwards as I did last time. Heh. Nope, didn’t happen. Out went the disc in my neck and weeks of crazy excruciating nerve pain. Top it off? No meds because I WAS pregnant! (Yay/OUCH!.. Best/worst combo!)

I was pretty crushed, knowing the recovery was going to suck, and my hopes for staying super fit were gone. I could barely sit up on my own, let alone crank out a T25 workout! I stuck to physio and still headed to the Beachbody Coach Summit. I skipped all the workouts, but couldn’t really skip the Super Workout. I mean, miss the chance to workout in the blistering heat with 9 000 other crazies? heck no! I headed there and kind of mimed the moves, but did my best. No jumping jacks for this girl! BUT, as my body warmed up, I was actually able to do a burpee segment. Enter the one-armed burpees:

I was still pretty bummed that I wasn’t going to be doing any harder workouts as planned, especially in the early days of pregnancy. Weight gain, lethargy, blech. Along came the PiYo workout program, and I’m LOVING it. It’s hard, but doable for me, plus low to no impact with a focus on stretching and strength building. Perfect for a pregnant mama, or someone who’s just had a baby! (Honestly, it’s a good match for anyone wanting to work on strength, flexibility, or injury prevention in sports).

While things aren’t going as planned, they could be a lot worse, and I’m feeling good about myself for sticking with some fitness even when I want to hide under the covers most mornings!

Want to start your own PiYo journey? I’ll coach you through it. You can get that program here.