Posts Tagged ‘exercise’

Pregnancy Fitness Must-Haves

Friday, July 13th, 2012 by by
Baby Bear Hugs Pregnancy Fitness Must Have List

I was working really hard to get in shape/keep in shape after Baby Bear, and I have committed to continue on this path.  I gained too much weight during the pregnancy, and I was so hungry when nursing that I didn’t lose the weight like I would have wanted to.  I DID work out though.  I woke up early every morning before work and either walked the dog for a good 40 minutes or swam at the Evanston YMCA.  Plus, I was like Ken from The Office, eating breakfast and second breakfast at work with some of my coworkers – OY! Our jewelry manufacturers would always bring me sweets that their wives had made, and I had no willpower.

I am continuing to spin, do TRX, and other cardio machine workouts 5 days a week.  I have also taken a trainer to work with me one-on-one in addition to my regular routine to make sure that I am doing the correct positioning.

Not only will working out help you prevent excess weight gain, but it also will ease or prevent back pain and other discomforts, boost your energy level, reduce the risk of gestational diabetes, pregnancy-related high blood pressure, and postpartum depression, plus it will increase stamina and muscle strength, which helps you prepare for labor.  (Mayo Clinic) If you have not been on a fitness routine, talk to your doctor first about starting one.  Prenatal Yoga and Water Aerobics classes are great ways to start if you have not been training in the past.

Here are some wardrobe starters to get you into the spirit.



Stroller Fitness Craze

Monday, May 21st, 2012 by by

~There is a stroller fitness craze amongst new mommies, and I totally understand why.  With all three of my babies, exercising in the outdoors was what worked best for the both of us.  They got some fresh air and scenery, and I got some exercise in.  One of my favorite places for stroller exercising was the zoo.  In both cities that I lived in at the time that my boys were babies, they had huge zoos, so that meant lots of walking for us! Enjoy these stroller exercises with Alaina – she will take your walk/jog to another level!~

Toning Stroller Exercises

Featured Writer: Alaina Holland

1) Marry Me Lunge: glutes, hamstrings, quadriceps, abdominals

Focus: Leg toning. Walk with the stroller in front of you with both hands on the handle bars. Take a giant step about 3 feet out with your right leg forward. Kneel downward and explode up while moving left foot to meet the right foot. Do the same with the left foot forward and alternate legs. Between sets rest by walking the stroller forward for about 30 seconds. Keep your abdominals in tight and make sure to not lock your knees during any part of this exercise.

DO: 3 sets of 6-8* lunges on each leg

REMEMBER: Always keep the front knee behind the front toes and lower straight down. (more…)

5 Reasons to Workout

Thursday, February 23rd, 2012 by by

There are many reasons to workout but here are my five favorite:

Stress release – Exercise helps relieve tension, giving you a natural high through increasing endorphins. Focusing on a situation will only make you more stressed, so instead consider working out.

More energy – It is true that, when you exercise, it gives you more energy. Too tired to get up and do something? It doesn’t take much – go for a walk, do some short burst cardio, or a quick weight lifting routine at home. You will have more energy to get through your day afterwards.

Lose weight – Working out does assist in weight loss for obvious reasons – you are burning some of the calories consumed. Did you know that 70% of your results come from eating and only 30% comes from exercise? Just remember, over-exercising is not the answer to losing weight, better food choices are.

Better sleep – Working out helps relieve stress and gives you more energy to accomplish the multitude of things moms have to deal with daily, so when it is time to go to sleep, you are tired. While you are able to sleep, as much as possible with children in the house, you sleep more soundly.

Confidence – Taking time for yourself is definitely a challenge for most moms. We often feel guilty for leaving our children even if it is just for an hour. Don’t feel guilty for taking that time for you, you deserve it. Working out helps you become stronger physically, have more stamina, and start believing in yourself. You can accomplish your goals, so start today!

These are shockingly obvious but the sooner you start making exercise a habit, the sooner you will reap the benefits. Why do you workout?

Some Suggestions:
HIIT Tips & Suggestions
Exercise for Beginners
Post Exercise Meal/Shake

Project: Get Fit for Baby!!

Thursday, November 3rd, 2011 by by

During the months of May through June, I headed a project with Pro Health Chiropractic and ran our “Move it! Use it! Lose it! to Win It!” contest.  It was modeled after a “Biggest Loser” competition, but tracked not only body composition change, but steps taken and time worked out.  It made me hyper aware of the people that were struggling with a work out program, struggling with weight, as well as those who lead really healthy lifestyles and did well in the contest without changing their normal routine.

As a staff member, I struggled to log my information.  To be honest, I didn’t do more than log what I had already been doing.  I didn’t make a stride to change anything.  I labeled myself as “too busy.”

For a long time, I allowed myself to let go with the hopes of getting pregnant someday and being able to blame it on “baby fat.” Well… that’s not going to happen!  Better figure this out!

With a baby on the way, I started thinking about running around and playing with my toddler and young child.  I started to think about my health and how it would affect the way I could interact with my child.  When I put it into terms of parenting, suddenly something clicked.  I had to change something.  I did not want to be the mommy huffing and puffing around the playground… I want to be running right alongside my kids!

I started by analyzing how I had worked out in the past.  What did I focus on?  What was my inner dialog?  I have been working on visualization and positive self-talk in other areas of my life, mainly in my career.  Now I needed it to cross over into my health and fitness.  WOW!  Did it ever!

First, I had to start a workout routine and stick with it for 6 weeks.  That was my first mini-goal.  I took a workout that I had been given by Dr. Rob almost a year ago and started it again with a few modifications.  I cut it to three days a week from five, and I added in some weight machines that I really wanted to incorporate.  I promised myself that if I could stick to three times per week for six weeks, I would go back to Dr. Rob and ask him for the next step workout.  I wouldn’t go before then.  I had to prove to myself that I would stick with it, and I didn’t want to waste his time.

In the first six week workout period, I focused on my self-talk.   (more…)


It Was Hard…But I Did It!

Monday, September 5th, 2011 by by

After all my talk of doing hard things, I felt like the universe was throwing down the gauntlet when I walked into the gym today.  Part of the workout involved doing box jumps, which are my kryptonite.  Basically, you are jumping up onto a box over and over for as many reps as the workout prescribes.  Today, we were strongly encouraged to add 4″ to 6″ to our jumps.  In my heart, I knew that I’d been working at a lower height than I knew I could do, but for some reason, it takes a lot of self-talk for me to will my body to jump onto the higher box, and I’d been scared to do higher.

Another part of the workout involved a dead lift.  When I consulted with the trainer about what weight I should use, she looked at my previous efforts and said, “Wow, that’s really heavy.  You can do that much?  That’s amazing.”  She didn’t mean to make it sound like doubt, but of course, immediately my safety radar went up.  Maybe I’d written my numbers down wrong?  Maybe my weight that day was a fluke?  But sure enough, as I paged back through my records, I saw that my numbers had been consistent, so I swallowed the doubt and loaded up my bar.

Right before the 3…2…1 countdown began, I got that little sick feeling of fear, but I somehow I turned it off.  As I began, I was happy, because my dead lift weight was just right.  There was running too, but that was no biggie for me either.  But then came the box.  I stood in front of it for a good 30 seconds and willed my feet to move, but they were cemented to the floor.  I had never jumped on the 20″ box in a workout before, even though I knew that I could.  I’d always been too nervous to commit.  Now, I’d committed, but I was stuck.

Pretend this is me.  But female.  And with a shirt on.
And P.S. :  I have no idea who this dude is, but I feel his pain.


On Being Scared

Wednesday, August 24th, 2011 by by

Over the past several months, I’ve been working to get my body back into shape.  As much as it would love to remain a soft baby-making machine, I had to break the news that it was being permanently laid off due to a factory shut-down.  It took the news hard – so hard that it dug its feet in and bear-hugged a good 25 pounds of weight with a death grip.

Always up for a good fight – and determined to wear all those horizontally striped shirts in my closet without consequence – I signed myself up for boot camp at our local gym.  I quickly realized that it’s very hard to complain about something being “hard” when your trainer is a 65 year old guy with a heart condition who can drop down and complete (with perfect form and nary a drop of sweat) the very exercise you are griping about.  Show-off.

I also re-vamped my diet, which prior to this consisted of coffee for breakfast, whatever leftover goody-bag candy I found floating around my car for lunch, a reasonable dinner, and an evening of heavy-duty carb loading.  Sugar is my enemy.  So is dairy, for that matter.  And most grains as well.  Not only has my metabolism slowed, my digestive system has revolted.  Hooray for the 40′s!

The good news is that most of the weight has come off.  The better news is that I’ve discovered that my body is strong, and that I like it.  Don’t let me kid you – the scars of motherhood are still there – but I don’t mind so much, because I discovered that I really don’t care about being skinny as much as I care about being fit.  Big difference.

My friend Kristi (you remember, the traitor who moved to Texas) is the queen of working out.  Before she left, she convinced me to try Crossfit.  I resisted for a long time, because I was scared.  I was scared that I would look stupid or not be able to keep up with everyone else.   (more…)

Making Time

Tuesday, May 24th, 2011 by by

I stared hard at the red digital numbers, trying to will them to move. My feet moved beneath my body like robotic pendulums, hitting the treadmill, seemingly no longer controlled by the conscious part of my brain. Shouldn’t the number have gone up by now? Why hasn’t it gone up? There, finally, it reached 3 miles.

As I slowed the treadmill to a walking pace, I heard a cry in the room above me. Daryl’s with her, I tried to reassure myself. I heard the cries get louder and more frantic. And so ends another night of running, prematurely. Getting off the treadmill, I wobble a bit on the solid ground, then make my way back into reality – the reality that moms have little time for exercise.

I will be the first to admit that I’ve fallen into the “I don’t have time; I’m too tired; the baby was up all night teething and I still have a sink full of dishes to wash” hole. Once you start digging it, it’s hard to pull yourself out! Then, in March, I had a realization. Even though I had made my goal in December of running 3 miles in a half hour, I could no longer do it. And my new goal of running 10k (6.2 miles) hadn’t even been touched. In fact, I was pushing it to finish the 5k at that point. Why? I wasn’t running. Not regularly anyway. Suddenly, I remembered a Nike commercial. Just do it. The only way to be successful in my running goals is to just do it.

Ignore the dishes, ignore the laundry that needs folding, trust that the husband is capable of taking care of the kids for an hour or so, and just do it. The blog post can wait to be written, the email can wait to be responded to, the status can wait to be updated. So just do it!

One of the biggest ways that I’ve been able to fit running into my mommy schedule is that I (more…)


7 days in… 7 days of exercise!

Tuesday, January 11th, 2011 by by

Today is day 7 of this journey if you count the actual days I have been doing it.. and I am proud to say that in those 7 days I have done exercise every day!  I don’t know if I’ve really done enough to make a change, but my heart rate has been getting up & I’ve been breaking a sweat, so surely that means it is all doing SOMETHING?

Today I took Emersyn for a walk – admittedly it is a lot quieter, and a lot faster than when I take Gaby with me!  I had my mp3 player with me, and found that having music made it a lot easier to walk longer – I wasn’t focusing on how much distance i had to walk – I was more interested in singing along (silently… most of the time..) to the songs that were playing.  I also noticed that the pace I was walking, varied on the song – so perhaps i need to load the mp3 player up with a whole bunch of faster paced songs, and then be able to walk faster?

Strangely, I found this morning when I woke up, that rather than thinking “ugh when will I go for my stupid walk?” I was thinking “right, what is the best time to go for my walk” – it didn’t seem like a huge effort, or something that would be absolutely awful to do… I’m really liking this shift in mindset, I just hope it lasts!!!  I walked 3km today, in 35 minutes, and (more…)

Week 1 Check in!

Sunday, October 10th, 2010 by by

So just about a week ago, I made the decision to take better care of myself, eat better, and exercise 5-6 days a week. I figured I would do reports to keep tabs on myself and hope someone out there may keep me honest. ;) The first week went really well, and it hasn’t been as hard as I thought. I have had issues where I have wanted to cheat and have a soda or a treat, but I have held firm on my 1 a day rule. I have to admit that I have enjoyed getting back into exercise despite getting up at 6AM to do it most days. It’s definitely started my day out better, and having it done and behind me makes it so much nicer. I am alternating between running, doing Wii Fit or Wii Active, and the dreaded Jillian Michael’s Shred. She knows how to kick some tail, and I despise putting that one in the DVD player, yet when it’s done I am in awe of how I did so much work in 20 minutes. It’s tough but worth it. Have I lost weight in the week? Maybe a pound. Have I been dreading the 6AM wake up? You bet. Have I been sore? You got it. Has it been worth it? No doubt in my mind. In just a week, I have felt better, been in a better mood, slept better, and today, put on a pair of jeans that were super loose. Just the motivation I need to keep it up! Today will be a test though – going to my sister’s for cake and ice cream, and then tonight is a fund raising dinner for the local Fire Company, and they have the most amazing chocolate cake. Decisions, decisions……I can only pick one……..

Mind vs. Body

Wednesday, July 7th, 2010 by by

My mind and body are in a major battle right now and I honestly have no clue which one will win??

My mind wants to work out and run more mileage.
My body doesn’t agree. My knee is messed up again and doesn’t want me to work out or run more.

My mind wants me to eat junk food.
My body says “Look at me, you don’t want that….”

My mind says get off the computer and do something productive
My body refuses

My mind says get to bed early and get more rest
My body refuses (more…)