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My Favorite Prenatal Stretches & Poses!

(I posted this over on my pregnancy blog, check it out HERE!)

Overall, I have felt great this pregnancy. Fatigue has been minimal, I haven’t had many achy days and I’ve been able to keep up with my young daughters!

I have noticed my hips feeling tighter and some swelling in my feet over this past week. I think the swelling was from not drinking my normal 3-4 liters of water per day, and in turn retaining fluid…with all the 4th of July busyness, I slacked off big time with staying hydrated and the swelling began!

Anyhow! These have been my favorite, very low-impact, prenatal go-to stretches/poses in the late 2nd trimester & early 3rd trimester! (ZUMBA was my form of cardio before we moved… I went 3 times a week with my sister in law and LOVED it!)

PLANKS. I have always loved various forms of planks, pregnant or not! Be sure you have proper form, and hold a plank for as long as you can. Start at 30 seconds, and try to hold plank pose for a little longer each time. This is GREAT for keeping all of your core strong! Your abs & back need to be supportive for your growing baby.

PIGEON POSE. This deep yoga stretch is AMAZING for releasing tension in the hips and low back.

DEEP SQUAT. This one is also great for opening the hips!

LIZARD POSE. Another one for tight hips. This also gives a good stretch in the legs!

LEGS UP THE WALL. I discovered this one after I noticed my feet were swelling. After drinking a great deal of water, I sat in this one for 20 mins, twice a day. Start with sitting next to a wall. Lay on your back and “sit” on the wall. (Get your booty up against the wall like you’re sitting on it.) Legs go straight up the wall, side-by-side. This gets the feet/ankles elevated and helps any swelling go down.

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Hopefully this is some help to other pregnant women! 🙂

“Baby Bumps & Barbells” by BodyBuilding.com

This is seriously one of THE BEST articles on fitness & pregnancy. I love the meal plan!


Baby Bumps And Barbells: How To Stay Fit When You’re Pregnant
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As long as all is well, there are no complications, and your doctor gives you the go ahead…there is no reason to NOT continue working out as you have before. You will obviously have to modify a few things along the way.

You don’t have to “eat for two”–you only need an extra 300-400 calories per day.

You don’t have to “take it easy” (if the pregnancy is uncomplicated)–you can continue your fitness routine with modifications.

 

My goal is to be as healthy, strong & energetic throughout pregnancy as I can manage. It’s best for the baby, and will make pregnancy & childbirth easier for me!

Fitness and Pregnancy!

As you can see, I have majorly slacked in posting on this blog! I am 9 weeks pregnant with my third child. This is my first pregnancy since I’ve become more dedicated to fitness 3 years ago. I have been homeschooling my oldest (Kindergarden!) and working my home-based business with ItWorks. Life has been busy!

I have learned a lot in the past few weeks about staying fit through pregnancy. This article on Bodybuilding.com is my favorite that I have come across so far. It is certainly worth a read for anyone trying to conceive or mamas who are expecting! For me personally, with the first trimester taking a toll on my energy levels, I have noticed that I need more rest days between workout days. Instead of one or two rest days per week, I am only working out every other day. I have lowered the intensity of my cardio a lot, and kept my strength training the same. Various kinds of push-ups, pull-ups and squats are my strength focus…I’m sticking with the basics to keep my muscle tone!

Diet and Pregnancy – I am obviously not restricting calories or trying to lean out at all. I am ordering my mochas as decaf… and of course making sure I take enough folic acid each day. There were two weeks where I had no appetite for anything remotely “heavy”…all I wanted was cold fruit, veggies and salad! Nothing else settled in my stomach very well. My appetite has since returned though, thank goodness! This Italian girl LOVES food! 😉 I am simply focusing on clean, whole foods (with the exception of mochas of course!) and I’m not paying attention to how many calories per day…just stopping when I am full!

Pilates and Pregnancy – Pilates is an AMAZING form of fitness during pregnancy! There are so many ways to modify each exercise and it is great for the core. I am going to keep my focus on various planks….especially after the 1st trimester is over, I am going to be very careful about avoiding any twisting-type core work, as I don’t want to exaggerate the separation of the rectus abdominis muscles!

Pole Fitness and Pregnancy – I have taken the advice of the lovely Veena at studioveena.com. For the first trimester, I am only doing tricks and inverts that I am 110% solid on, and not learning any new ones. Then for the second trimester, I will stop inverting all together. Third trimester–I’ll be keeping both feet on the floor at all times 😉 No more spinning or lifts until after baby arrives!

I have a blog devoted to this pregnancy, check it out — fitmamaofthree2013.wordpress.com

9 weeks with baby 3

Well, that’s all for now…I hope to post more about my fitness journey throughout pregnancy 🙂

Fit-Tip Friday – Christmas Weekend!

So it is the day before Christmas Eve…are you BUSY yet?! Yeah, I thought so! I dunno about you, but I am not going to have much time for working out, so here is my plan for the weekend:

 

  • Today: 25 Burpees for every hour I am awake.
  • Christmas Eve: 25 Jump Squats for every hour I am awake.
  • Christmas Day: 25 Torso Twists for every hour I am awake (pictured/explained HERE).

 

Now, obviously I’m not gonna excuse myself from Christmas dinners with the family to bust out in a quick workout on the floor, haha. I do 50 in the following hour or something similar. This means if I am awake for 15 hours, I’ll get in 375 of each move in per day. 12 hours is 300, and so on… This is just something I thought of so I can get in SOMETHING while I’m on the go this weekend! Do something similar that works for YOU!

And MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!

Why I hate scales

I constantly see women obsessing over the scales….I just wanted to give a different way to keep track of progress. Everyone is different, of course, but for me personally this is my experience.

I’m 5’2″. Yeah, I’m short 😛 If I don’t workout or eat well, I weigh 110 or so. My waist is 26 inches around, I’m a size 5 and I do not look or feel my most fit/toned. However, if I start up my pilates & pole dance/fitness regularly and eat a CLEAN diet of 1200 calories (or more) per day, this changes. I actually GAIN weight from the muscle I am building–I weigh around 113-116…but my inches go DOWN. My waist is 24 inches & I’m a size 3. So for me, I couldn’t care less about the numbers on the scale!

I measure myself once a month, maybe twice. I do both pilates & pole at home, never stepped foot in a gym! I hate Cardio, but I do it anyway…HIIT, maybe 3-4 times a week.

This has been my experience for 2 1/2 years. I look my best with a 24 inch waist, but I weigh more by 3-6 lbs. Crazy, but its how my body works.

Here is my challenge to you who are frustrated with the scale: ditch it for a week or two. Get a tape measure. Do some pilates. (I recommend Cassey on YouTube, search for “POP PILATES”). watch your size shrink! Isn’t that what we all want, to be smaller & toned? That is always measured in INCHES, not always in pounds. Pilates + Cardio will easily accomplish this. Ditch the scale & try it!!!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Eating Clean – Day 2

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90 days of eating clean thru the holidays. Yes I’m crazy, but I’m excited for what day 90 will bring! I am posting daily on our 90 day challenge blog, http://crankyfitness.tumblr.com …so for the first week we are focusing on cutting out SUGAR! Fruit does not count, nor does honey (in oatcake batter only) or agave nectar (sparingly). Next week, we are totally cutting out ALL flour and beef in addition to no sugar!

We plan on working out an hour per day, pilates & cardio…and pole strength every other day!

Here are a few pictures of some of the things I am eating each day. Breakfasts generally consist of eggs, oatmeal & fruit…I tried to get creative & mixed my oatmeal, eggs & banana together then baked it. Lunches are salads with roma tomatoes and tuna or chicken, with balsamic vinegar. Dinners SHOULD be chicken (or fish) with veggies….this week I’ve had chicken or egg burritos (with rice & tortillas, but we are cutting these out next week.) Snacks are fruit, yogurt, cottage cheese, and nuts.

I’ve been taking my multivitamin (Vitals), Greens & Thermofit (from katsays.itworks.net ) every day. Ohhhh the difference these supplements make!!!

My Pilates Routine (Lower Body)

I do a pilates routine 3-4 times per week & most of it is the 10-20 minute videos from Cassey at Blogilates (workout videos found HERE.)

This doesn’t include any extra cardio I do through the week, any weight/strength training I do throughout the week or any gymnastic-type strength stuff on the pole throughout the week–this is JUST my pilates.

I sort of create my own circuit workout by jump roping between each pilates video. I’ve found that jump roping burns the MOST calories–it cost next to nothing and it’s EFFECTIVE. {{You can find a calorie calculator online to see how much you’d burn by putting in your weight & how many minutes of jump roping. Another way to figure out calories burned is to buy a calorie monitor.}}

Anyway! Here is an example of my Lower Body Pilates workout. During EVERY pilates workout, I do a lot of core work regardless of my upper body/lower body focus. I also always work in some sort of cardio. This particular example below gives me 10 minutes of cardio with jump roping (burning about 100 calories at my weight), and 50 minutes of Pilates, giving me about an hour of a workout total. {{If you DON’T incorporate cardio or cut out processed junk foods from your diet, you won’t ever see all the lovely muscle you build underneath the layer of fat! Cardio & proper diet is a MUST if you want to see your hard work!!!}}

TRY IT! All you need is a little bit of floor space and some motivation! Let me know what you think when you’re alllll done! 😉

Cardio and Jillian, my nemeses!

I can do strength & resistance training aaaalll daaaayy loooong. I love it! I love the burn & building strength!

Cardio, on the other hand, I loathe. My endurance is generally NOT my strong point. But cardio is a VITAL part of staying fit. I’ve been skimping on doing any cardio regularly lately, so I’m going to incorporate Jillian Michaels DVD’s into my workouts. She generally has had a good combination of cardio & strength.

I’m starting 30 Day shred again–doing that DVD for a week, then on September 6th I’m getting her latest DVD (Killer Buns + Thighs) to check it out…as long as it has some decent cardio circuits I’ll do that for 30 days.

I’ll take some before and afters, like I did with 6 week 6 pack…and I’ll review KB&T after I’ve completed it, in the meantime here is a 4 minute preview!

Jillian Michaels 6 Week 6 Pack

I am on Day 3 of this challenge. If I follow thru and do it at least 6 days a week for 6 weeks, then my last day will be Mother’s Day! Ohhh yeah! A *visible* 6 pack would be an AMAZING Mother’s Day gift to myself 🙂 I’ve always had decent tone, but it’s also always been covered up by a layer of fat.

I have taken “before” pictures, and I will take another set of “during” pictures before I do the first day of week 4 (so after 3 full weeks). I’ll also take “after” pictures on Mother’s Day. I will post them all then!

I know diet is a big part of why the human body holds onto fat. I’m still not eating a whole lot of flour, but struggling with cutting out sugar….man I’ve been craving some serious chocolate lately! haha.

The workout itself is great! I have done a lot of pilates over the past 2 years, so knowing proper form has helped a LOT. There isn’t as much cardio as the 30 Day Shred, but just enough to break a sweat for sure! My balance is still lacking some with lunges and side planks, but I’m already feeling some improvement with that!

I’m definitely excited about this DVD!