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fitness

Health & Beauty

A 16 Minute At-Home Workout to Get Back to Pre-Preganancy Shape

(Note: This post was originally published in January 2013 and has now been updated.)

A couple of summers ago, I attended some workout classes in my home town of Stony Plain, Alberta called “Workout in the Park”. They were absolutely fantastic because they were held outside near a park where my 3 year old could play while I got a quick but intense workout in. The genius behind this class was Jenna, and I’ve asked her to share some of her wisdom with us as part of my Healthy Mommy Challenge. She knows exactly what moms need to work around in order to get fit (kids! she has four!) and she’s graciously sharing a great at-home workout routine with us today.  I encourage you to visit Jenna’s Facebook Page – she’ll inspire you, and you can learn all of the details of her Workout In The Park classes starting THIS WEEK – June 23, 2015! – Christina

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16 Minute At-Home Workout to get back into pre-pregnancy shape

When I had my first baby I soon realized that my freedom to get to the gym was now hindered by naps, feedings and play dates.  My ability to get a workout in, or a morning Zumba class, was now a difficult and expensive task. Yet I had these extra pounds left over from nine months of ‘eating for two’.

There are great ‘Mommy-Baby’ classes at local fitness facilities that have childcare for older children. However it came at a cost and the effort and motivation to get out of the house was sometimes low. 
I needed to bring my old days of working out to my own home, my new schedule and new way of life. As I trainer I had the knowledge to build training sessions that would get the same workout as at the gym but without the hassle of packing diaper bags, strollers and snacks.

Within months, my at-home workouts, three to four days a week, paired with a healthy diet paid off – I was back to pre-pregnancy shape. During this time I also started my ‘Busy Mums, Little Bums’ program, helping other Mom’s lose the baby weight in the convenience of their own homes.

Now it’s your turn. Find some time when the kids are occupied, put on your workout clothes (pajama pants will do!) and have a water bottle on hand. Note: feel free to stop to wipe a nose, kiss a hurt knee or shush a baby back to sleep.

What you will need:

A timer of some sort (oven, iPhone, stopwatch will work)

What to do:

1. Start by warming up with 10 sets of stairs (up and down is one). Explode up the stairs at a jog or run and walk down holding on to the railing.

2. Start your timer and do 1 minute of each exercise WITH NO stopping. You may slow down, but keep moving! Remember, when it starts getting uncomfortable, those are the reps that count the most. Take a short 15-30 second break between each exercise. Break for 1-2 minutes for water after each set of four exercises.

Lateral Burpees – Okay this is a tough one, but let’s do it first and get it over with. Start with feet shoulder width apart. Squat down like a frog touching the ground on either side of your hands. Jump your feet out to one side and back into the middle. Stand up with a jump, reaching for the ceiling. Repeat on the other side. An easier alternative is burpees, either jump or step your feet out towards the back instead of the side.

Pushups – I know you’re saying, yeah right! But yes, YOU CAN do a pushup. Although a pushup on the ground may not be feasible just yet, try one with your hands raised on a higher surface – the counter, a coffee table, or a stair. Keep these principles in mind – the higher your hands, the easier the pushup and always maintain a straight body from shoulders to heels. Start high and work your way down; in no time you’ll be doing pushups on the ground, with little ones climbing on your back.

Jump Squats – Start with feet a little more than shoulder width apart. Squat down as if sitting in a chair. Explode upwards, jumping as you extend your legs. Land with bent knees going right into your next squat. For an easier alternative, eliminate the jump. When doing squats be sure your knees are always behind your toes, not in front.

Reverse Lunge with Front Kick – Start with feet shoulder width apart. Take a large step backwards, bending both knees into a lunge. Back knee should be an inch above the ground, front knee at ninety degrees, not over your front toes. Bring your back foot forward kicking the air in front and lower down. Repeat on the other leg. Remember to use your arms for balance.

Repeat this four times for a total of 16 minutes of exercise.

3. Cool down with abdominal exercises and/or light stretching.

In order to be successful with working out at home remember to: set goals, write them down and review frequently, record your workouts in a journal to track progress, set time aside and plan your workouts (otherwise there never will be time) and pair exercise with a healthy diet.

Workout in the Park Stony Plain

Jenna of Effectual FitnessAttention DIY Mommy fans in the Stony Plain, Alberta area: I will be offering my annual 10 Week Workout in the Park this June 2015 – a painful, but quick, full body toning, 45 minute workout. The best part is you can bring your little ones with you so no hassle finding childcare.

For more information about at home workouts, in home personal training, or any questions you may have, please contact me via email at effectualfitness(at)live.ca or on Facebook: Effectual Fitness.

If it doesn’t challenge you, it doesn’t change you.

Jenna Hobbs, BPE

effectualfitness(at)live.ca

Photo credit:Hobbs Photography

Health & Beauty

Postpartum Fitness Tips from a Girl Who Hates to Exercise

Hate is a strong word and I really try to avoid it, but I’m going to be honest here: I HATE EXERCISING. I really, really don’t like it at all. My husband asked me the other day as I was whining about a workout: “…but don’t you feel all refreshed and energized after?” My reply? Nope. I don’t. After I exercise I feel exhausted, sweaty, icky and sore. Ironically, today I’m going to share with you my postpartum fitness tips for mamas like me who aren’t fitness buffs. Before you laugh and run away, please stay with me!

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Health & Beauty

9 Favourite Free Healthy Mommy Apps for Body, Mind & Spirit

9 Fave Free Healthy Mommy Apps for Body, Mind & Spirit by The DIY Mommy - my personal favourites that I use almost every day!

On the first week of January this year, I started a “Healthy Mommy Challenge” striving to increase the amount of physical activity I get in a week. I also wanted to lower my intake of processed sugars and flour and eat more raw veggies and fruits.

You know what? I’m doing better than I was in 2012. I’m not doing as well as I would like to do, but I try to go to bed each night with the thought that tomorrow is a new day and a new chance to start fresh again.

I have definitely upped the amount of cardio activity I get in a day with my girls (hooray for slightly warmer winter days the past couple of weeks!), but I’ve only managed one (maybe two) days of strength training. I am going to work on that.

Do you want to know what has really helped me lately on my Healthy Mommy Challenge? It’s a handful of applications I have on my smart phone (it’s an HTC Android). As a busy mama, I rely on this thing for everything and it’s easy to check in with when I’m juggling the kids.

Let me share with you my 9 most favourite essential smart phone apps that I use almost every day to help keep my body, mind and spirit getting on the path to healthy:

  1. Lose it! by FitNow Inc. This is a handy app if you’re wanting to easily keep track of calorie count and exercise. You can access it online or via this great phone app. It has a huge food database, and you can post to social media if you want the accountability of friends to help you stay on track with your diet and exercise goals.
  2. ToDo Today for TeuxDeux. I am an agressive list-maker. If something doesn’t make it to my list, I’ll forget it. This is a very simple app that helps me keep a running list of all of my “to-do’s”. You can even set the items on certain days. When something’s done, you mark it as complete and it’s deleted. Easy!
  3. Daily Cardio Workout FREE. I love this line of apps. This one is a 5-10 minute cardio routine that’s simple and easy to follow. It’s actual videos of real people doing the exercises, and the short routine makes it feasible to do when the kids are up and at ’em.
  4. Pinterest. I can’t get enough of browsing Pinterest on my phone. I thought I could get away with listing this one as a “healthy mind” app because it is chock full of inspiring images and ideas that keep my creative juices flowing! I browse pictures of home decor, DIY, family food recipes, and I also pin a lot of my own tutorials and posts – it’s a blast.
  5. Workout Trainer by Skimble Inc. This app is great because it can setup a nice little workout plan for you over the course of a few weeks (or more). I’ve only used the free routines so far, but for a little bit of cash it looks like there’s some more advanced plans to try too. It can send you reminders on your phone when you’re due for a workout!
  6. Dictionary.com. OK, don’t laugh. I’m a word-a-holic and I like to work on my “brain health” by reading the dictionary from time to time. Sometimes I think I’ve written or said a word completely out of context, and having this app on my phone is a quick way for me to double check if I’m sounding smart or insane.
  7. Daily Ab Workout FREE. This is another app that’s a 5-10 minute workout, but it’s all abdominal exercises. It’s fantastic because it’s also short but sweet, and the videos are easy to follow. It’s another one that’s do-able when the kids are awake and pulling at your shirt sleeves.
  8. YouVersion Bible App.  For spiritual health, I’m making a goal of reading my Bible more often. This app is so amazing because not only can you browse your Bible quickly and easily, but it comes with some great devotionals you can do each day.
  9. Weight Watchers Canada Mobile. Weight Watchers seems to work well for me as an eating plan (I think the points system keeps it simple, which I like). This is a nice app that helps me log things on the go if I’m following the WW plan.

What are your favourite apps that help you create or maintain a healthy lifestyle?

Health & Beauty

HITTING THE SPOT – The Post Baby Bulge: 3 Facts You Need to Know

As part of my Healthy Mommy Challenge, I turned to one of the strongest, most inspirational women of fitness that I know: Andrea Page of FITMOM. Andrea is an expert at post-partum fitness, and she’s sharing some wonderful advice with us today on fitness after baby. Want to strive for a healthier 2013 with me? Visit this post, comment on it, and then chat with me on Twitter, Instagram (use #healthymommy) and Facebook about what you’re doing to be a fit mama. I also encourage you to visit Andrea’s website – I love her workout videos and she even has an online training program! – Christina

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These are awesome! 3 facts you need to know about postpartum fitness and 5 exercises for new moms for post baby buldge.

How should a woman expect to feel 6 weeks after the birth of her baby? It seems to be a common belief that a new mom should not expect to feel good about her body, 6 weeks or even 6 months after her baby arrives. I however, after having trained hundreds of expecting and new mothers over the last 10 years, have yet to meet a mom that doesn’t want to slip back into her skinny jeans and feel great, inside and out at the earliest possible opportunity.

It’s disturbing how many moms report feeling like they have aged 10 years,  just one year removed from the birth of their child. Although the most important question to this phenomenon is “why”, my focus today is to help you understand how to start getting back into those Parasucos as soon as possible.

As a new mother who strives to achieve a fit and healthy mind, body and soul, here are 3 simple facts you should know before you get started.

  1. Spot Training Won’t Lose your Baby Bulge
    Spot training (focusing on and fixing one specific area of your body) does not burn the baby fat around your belly. Sorry ladies, 50 sit-ups at the crack of dawn and again just before bed simply won’t cut it. The most effective way to burn that baby bulge is a combination of eating consistent and frequent small healthy meals, interval training and spot training.
  2. Abdominal Separation is a “CORE” concern
    Most people have heard of abdominal separation but very few address it properly prior to engaging in exercise. Get checked for abdominal separation by a trained professional and seek out a pre/postnatal fitness specialist who knows core restorative protocols.
  3. Don’t Forget to Watch Y & RR
    Yield to rest and recover. Like the soap opera, too many women experience feelings of guilt and drama about yielding to rest and recover, but in actual fact, we are betraying ourselves, just like Jack and Nicky. Resting is very specific. It means napping in the day and early to bed at night. Recovering can also be achieved through passive activity like meditation where your mind is quieted or reading. Although going out with the girls or watching the real Y & R is great for an escape, it does not constitute true rest and recovery. The fact is sleep deprivation has been proven to hinder weight loss.

The FITMOM 5: Five Must Do Exercises for New Moms

  1. Wall Sit
    How: Lean your back against a wall and lower yourself until you have your legs are bent at a 90 degree angle.
    Reps: 3 intervals of 30-60 seconds.
    Benefits: A great stabilizing exercise that targets your abdominals and lower large muscles with very low risk of injury.
  2. Side Plank
    How: Lie down on one side of your body with your bottom leg bent for beginner or straight for advanced. Lift your hip off the ground and hold for 30 -60 seconds.
    Reps: 3 intervals per side of 30-60 seconds.
    Benefits: Widely considered one of the most important core exercises for postpartum women. It engages all of the stabilizing core muscles including the pelvic floor.
  3. Flys
    How: Stand with your feet shoulder width apart. Bend the knees slightly and lean forward at the hips to 45 degrees, keeping core firmly engaged. Create length through your spine and extend your arms, holding 1–5 lbs weights outwards and parallel above your thighs. Extend your arms (elbows slightly bent) out to the side (like a cross) and focus on clinching your shoulder blades together.
    Reps: 2 sets of 20 repetitions
    Benefits: This exercise helps improve posture and strengthens large back muscles to combat middle and upper back strain from pregnancy posture, baby wearing and baby holding postpartum.
  4. Curtsy Lunges
    How: From a standing position, extend one leg back as far as you can with the knee slight bent in a lunge position. Then lower down similar to a traditional ladies curtsy.
    Reps: 2 sets of 20 repetitions for each side.
    Benefits: A great low impact exercise to strengthen and shape calves, quads and gluts. A much better option than a traditional lunge for women recovering from pubic symphysis.
  5. Speed Skater
    How: From a standing position, bend over at the hips to 45 degrees. Extend one leg as far as you can to the side. Squat with body weight centered over the stabilizing leg with knee slightly bent. As you elevate from the squatting position, also elevate the extended leg as high as you can off the floor.
    Reps: 2 sets of 20 repetitions for each side.
    Benefits: An exercise that both requires and helps restore balance. This assists the stabilizing hip muscles will support the realignment of your hips as we all know, it’s a common fact that women’s hips widen during pregnancy.

Adrea Page, FITMOMAndrea Page is founder of FITMOM (fitmomfitness.com) , fitness personality and expert , DVD producer and author.

Throughout her career, Andrea has been deemed an International expert on Prenatal and Postnatal fitness, been sought after by the media for expert knowledge, written hundreds of articles and developed alongside other experts the curriculum that is the “FITMOM” Coach Certification.

Within motherhood, business and the relationships of working with over 30,000 woman who are mothers Andrea has shared her insights in the great works of others like Mom Inc, Death By Rubber Ducky, Toxic Baby Documentary, The Mom Show, Entertainment Tonight, Chatelaine, Active Woman Magazine, CTVS Success Stories with Sandy Rinaldo.

You may have also seen Andrea as she MC’d the event that lobbied the government to ban bisphenol A, MC,ing for Health Minister Tony Clement as he launched a healthy pregnancy awareness campaign along side Dr Andre Lalond SOGC Executive Vice President.

Professional Services

Andrea provides:

  • Private and group training, consulting and online education.
  • Business Coaching
  • Mentorship
  • Writing contracts
  • Speaking engagements
  • Advocacy

 UPCOMING

  • Book in progress
  • Fitmom DVD series B
  • International Certification Model
  • Fitmom Signature Active Baby wearing carrier
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