Tag Archive | "working out during pregnancy"

Yoga Is A Perect Fit For New Moms

Weight gain is a normal and even healthy part of every pregnancy. However, no woman wants to look like they did while they were still carrying their child after they have given birth. While losing this excess weight is one of the top goals for most individuals following their pregnancy, it can be extremely difficult to work off.

This is where yoga comes in. The practice can be a powerful method for helping to eliminate that pregnancy-related tummy, and it may even help women deal with some of the stress associated with being a new mom along the way.

The first thing women should look for when they are considering taking yoga after their pregnancy is a class that is specially designed for women who just gave birth. There are actually many of these specialized classes all across the country. Using this type of resource can reassure individuals that the workout will be strenuous but not more than they can handle in their current physical state.

Even after a new mom has found one of these classes, it is important for her to recognize her limits and not push too far. Many highly driven individuals may set an ambitious weight loss goal and stop at nothing to reach it. However, pushing too hard too fast may result in a significant shock to the body and actually make achieving these goals more difficult.

Sticking to a plan and taking things one step at a time is how new moms may be able to achieve their goals. Many yoga poses target a person’s core area, either directly or indirectly. When practiced over time, these exercises may have a major impact on reducing that tummy and helping women get back to their pre-pregnancy weight.

However, the benefits of practicing yoga after giving birth do not stop at losing weight. An equally important element of yoga is its stress-relieving ability, which may come as a particular benefit to new mothers who are likely not able to sleep through the night and are dealing with other situations that may result in stress.

Especially for women who have given birth to their first child, the demands of breastfeeding, changing diapers and dealing with a crying baby in the middle of the night can seem overwhelming. This may stand in their way of achieving their weight loss goals. However, yoga can help women de-stress while burning extra calories.

Have You Tried Yoga?

This guest post is from Shar Ray at Dahn Yoga

Dahn Yoga is one of the largest yoga and tai chi companies in the world with its own unique style and brand of yoga. Dahn Yoga is rooted in the rich history of an ancient Asian mind-body practice, Sun Do, and in the wisdom of the Chun Bu Kyung.

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The Home Stretch

Let’s just get this out in the open: being 38 weeks pregnant is just a little burdensome.  My bundle of joy is a couple of weeks (if not sooner) from making his grand entrance, but until that day comes I am saddled with a gyrating medicine ball in my stomach.  A basic task like getting out of bed has become a spectacle from which my husband derives far too much amusement.  I am like a turtle on her back, rolling from side to side until gravity finally pulls me over the side of the bed.  Of course, with each of these side-to-side movements it is very likely that I am affecting the tides.  My husband swears I am a beautiful, graceful woman, but I find it hard to believe him, especially while he chuckles at my attempts to get out of bed.

Plus, for the past several weeks I have found that I wake up each morning with swollen and sore knuckles on both of my hands.  When did I grow these sausage fingers making it impossible for me to wear my wedding ring?  Fortunately, my Amazing, Saint of a Spouse, provides excellent hand massages that have helped alleviate the swelling and pain (in return for the hand massages I am contractually obligated to refer to my husband as my Amazing, Saint of a Spouse…you can figure out the unintentional acronym for yourself).

Working out has become more difficult in this last month, but I’m still dragging my weary bones to the gym each day.  You would think lugging around a 10 pound medicine ball in my belly would be workout enough.  It’s not.  Walking, biking, and the elliptical are still my go-to workouts.  I’ve added some swimming (mostly kicking around with a kick board) because of the gorgeous weather we’ve been having in January.  My goal each day is to just move around for an hour or so.  I don’t worry about how fast I walk or how far I bike.  I’m moving around, and that’s good enough.  Plus, Baby Ralphie seems to be as fond of exercise as his mama, as he never seems to sit still in there.  That’s got to count as part of my workout, right?

However, the most difficult challenge from the past month has been my inability to get a full-night’s sleep.  In fact, most of this blog posting has been made in the wee hours of the morning while my husband, excuse me, my Amazing, Saint of a Spouse, snores peacefully at my side.  I’ve been told this is to better prepare me for the challenge’s of getting up every couple of hours to feed, but at this point I think it is more to drive home the point about how easy he has it during this process.

So, at this point, being pregnant has lost some of the luster and magic that it held when I first found out.  This blog would make it seem that I am tired of being pregnant because of some pains, or being perpetually tired, or of dealing with petty annoyances, but in reality, I just cannot wait for my Little Ralphie to get here.  The happiest day of my life is so very close and my excitement makes the daily waiting that much more difficult.

I hope anyone who has read my occasional postings has enjoyed them as this is most likely my last blog post.  I hope to pop in every couple of months to give y’all some updates on Little Ralphie (including his actual name) and my experiences in getting back into shape for some volleyball.  Thank you for your time and I hope you had a good time joining me for this ride.

Katie Lindquist Jameson, Pro Beach Volleyball Player, Teacher, and Fit Mama To Be

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The Final Lap (Working Out in the 3rd Trimester)

34 weeks down and 6 to go. Am I still working out? Absolutely! Do my workouts look the same as they did early on in the pregnancy? Are you kidding me? I’m the Fit Mama 2 Be, not Superwoman.

You may recall (my dedicated readers) that for the first few months of this pregnancy I was still playing volleyball, running, sprinting, lifting, and carrying on as any hardcore fitness fanatic. Well, times they have a changed. As my waistline has expanded, my workouts have become more and more pregnancy appropriate. In the beginning, I would actually tame some of my workouts down, but it was all mental. Despite what the doctor said, I didn’t want to push Baby Ralphie too hard. I mean, he was no bigger than a roly-poly…how much could his little lungs and heart handle? Well, now that little roly-poly is about a 4 pound, 17 inch long pineapple and it’s no longer me telling myself not to push too hard. My belly does the speaking these days. And it’s constantly telling my legs to slow down, take a break, and sometimes trying to convince them not to go to the gym (don’t worry…my legs don’t listen when the belly says that).

So, what am I doing to workout in these final weeks? Well, a little bit of everything, but a lot less of it. I still do a stride (treadmill) class twice a week, but I walk the whole time (sometimes more slowly than I’d like to admit) and I don’t do all the inclines (I’ll walk at a 6% incline while the rest of the class is running at 10%). The only problem with stride class is that sometimes the little sucker is doing a headstand right on my bladder, and I find myself walking more often to the bathroom than up the imaginary hill. It’s quite annoying. I’m also still going to boot camp, but I modify when necessary (karaoke and footwork stuff to half court instead of full, lighter weights, more breaks). The elliptical is still my favorite machine. I hop on it for 20-30 minutes before every workout. I highly recommend this machine to all you fellow mamas-to-be. There is little to no impact on your joints, meaning you can’t feel the extra weight you’re carrying as much. And I’ve continued lifting. Lifting actually still feels pretty good, but I could do without the funny looks from others in the gym. Although I don’t do it, I would also suggest swimming. It’s simply too cold for me to jump in that pool, no matter how much people tell me it’s heated and it’ll feel good. No thank you.

Any of you reading this who happen not to be pregnant, I’d just like to remind you to appreciate some of the little things that you may take for granted. These are just some of the things I’ve been missing lately. I hope you’re enjoying them for me.
1. Deep breaths. Only those who have been pregnant will know what I mean.
2. A good hard sweat during a workout. Sometimes walking just doesn’t cut it.
3. Chai tea. I’m sick of faking my energy in the morning. Gimme the hard stuff!
4. Sleeping on my back. It’s funny how my ears are sore in the mornings.
5. Sushi!!!! No explanation necessary.

Well, friends, it’s time to say good-bye. Hopefully I’ll be writing one more time at the beginning of February before Baby Ralphie decides to make his appearance. We’ve been given due dates by different doctors, nurses, and ultrasound technicians ranging from February 4th to February 18th, so we really have no idea when to expect him. One thing’s for certain, he’s already keeping us on our toes!

Katie Lindquist Jameson, Pro Beach Volleyball Player, Teacher, and Fit Mama To Be

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Fetus Don’t Fail Me Now: To Workout or Not to Workout

Welcome to blog #2 in my series of 7 on being fit and healthy during pregnancy.  I figure there is only a predetermined amount of time I can call myself the Fit Mama-to-be.  Eventually Little Ralphie is going to pop out and I’ll have to think of another title (plus another name for the kid).  Until then…

Working out…  It’s always been a daily staple in my schedule.  Whether I was going to the gym at 5 AM before work, heading to the beach after work for practice, or doing some sort of boot camp class, I have always made it a priority in my life.  However, by being pregnant I was faced with the great dilemma: To workout or not to workout (Will Shakespeare’s pregnant wife said this I believe).  So, in keeping with my militant attitude toward working out, this past summer I woke up every morning and headed to the beach to practice, to the gym to lift weights and do some cardio, or to YogaWorks to get my zen on (and a killer workout, by the way!).  Granted, being a teacher with the summer off definitely helped, but now that school’s back in session I still make sure the gym or some other activity is scheduled into each afternoon.

Being a 32 year old first time mama, I’ve had a lot of friends who have already gone through this pregnancy thing.  I kept hearing about taking it easy and keeping their heart rates below a certain point (valid medical concern or convenient excuse for lazy pregnant mamas around the world?  You be the judge).  While some people may think that being told not to work out would be a blessing, I was pretty disappointed.  What would I do without my daily dose of endorphins? Walking and stretching aren’t exactly my idea of a workout.  Well, I was completely relieved when my doctor told me that the heart rate thing was old science and it had never been proven*.  He informed me that whatever I had been doing previous to getting pregnant, whatever my body was used to, I could continue doing.  I even played in 4 AVP tournaments while pregnant… diving on my belly on several occasions (this scared me every time, but Little Ralphie appears to be no worse for wear).  I was playing terribly, which I’d like to attribute to the kidney bean sized baby dwelling in my belly, but playing nonetheless.

*  Quick footnote here: please, please, please always check with an actual physician to make sure working out during your pregnancy is right for your body.  All situations are different.

Why stay fit during pregnancy?
I’ve heard of people (professional volleyball players included) who view pregnancy as a 10 month period where they have free range to eat whatever they’d like, not workout, and not worry about it.  “I’m eating for 2,” they’d say.  Tsk, tsk (picture your mother-in-law wagging her finger disapprovingly).  That little fetus only needs about 300 extra calories a day, about the equivalent of a cup of yogurt and an apple, so that excuse gets blown out of the water.  “I will lose the weight after.”  Well, studies show that the more weight you gain during pregnancy, the harder it will be and the longer it will take to lose that weight.  Plus, gaining too much puts you at risk of developing gestational diabetes, which adds a whole slew of complications.

I know, I know, it can be hard to motivate to get moving, especially when that 5 ounce fetus is weighing you down like a two ton anchor, but we must see the big picture.  That hour of working out will save us untold amounts of pain and agony later on.  For me, the idea of an easy labor is all the drive I need to get off my couch.  From what I’ve read, women who are in shape have an easier time pushing their little suckers out.  Also, I’ve heard that labor really really hurts.  So, if there is any way I can shorten that process, I’m jumping on it.  At least, that’s my plan.  Little Ralphie will probably be working on his own agenda.

So, pregnant ladies of the world, let’s shake our groove thangs and belly bumps, waddle to the park, or roll to the gym and get movin’!!

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Katie Lindquist Jameson, Pro Beach Volleyball Player, Teacher, and Fit Mama To Be

Photo credits:
pregnant woman running-  dailymail.co.uk
pregnant woman exercising- scrapetv.com
pregnant woman lifting weights- inmagine.com
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