Archive for the 'Postnatal Wellness' Category
Before I begin to review some examples of the benefits of cross training, let’s first define what Cross Training is.
Cross Training refers to training your muscles in a variety of ways to improve overall performance. So whether you are pregnant or a new mom, cross training is ideal so you can “train” for the various activities ahead.
So, what are the benefits of Cross Training and why should we incorporate them into a fitness program?
First and foremost, cross training reduces the risk of injury and this is music to any (especially a new) moms ears. If you consistently perform the same routine on a regular basis, you are basically working the same muscle groups over and over. As a result, you are actually adding more “stress” on the muscles which can result in repetitive strain or overuse. By Cross Training, you can reduce the amount of stress that can occur on a specific muscle group because by doing different activities, you use muscles in a slightly different way.
You’ve done it! You ran the marathon of your life and now you want to get back into shape. WHAT????
What the hell am I talking about? How could you have run a marathon and need to get back into shape? I’m talking about the marathon of GIVING BIRTH. Whether it was vaginal or c-section and even if you were in tip top shape, you will probably still need to do some work to get back to they way you were (or even better).
Most women are carrying a bit of extra weight around before getting pregnant. Add pregnancy, then delivery to the mix and you could be carrying a lot more weight around in the end.
It is suggested that lactating women consume an extra 300-500 calories to provide an adequate amount of milk to their babies. That can be done easily with a few thought out snacks (listed below). If you are overweight you may not need to add the extra calories to your diet. If you are underweight you need to aim for the higher end. In general, however, you should aim for between 1800-2200 calories per day. The main thing is to consume nutritious foods and stay away from empty calories: Read the rest of this entry »
So if you have a mummy tummy, a pooch or roundness right around your belly button that’s bigger at night than in the morning, there is a pretty good chance it’s more than just those wings and beer you had last night. The most common cause of this post-delivery belly is a condition called diastasis recti, or in lay mans terms, separation of the rectus abdominis.
If you have been reading my blog for a while, you know I am more than just a personal trainer, but more an educator when it comes to what happens to your body both during pregnancy and postpartum. I am basically here to tell you the sh*t no one else does so you can feel confident knowing what you can and can not do when it comes to fitness pre and post.
So for all of you who may know (or not know, but suspect) that you do have diastasis recti, know this; you are very NORMAL as this affects approximately 85% of FIRST pregnancies. Some physiotherapists, however, would say it’s more like 95% because if your abdominals have separated at all, that’s a diastasis. I mean, before, your abdominals weren’t separated, right? (or were they?) Read the rest of this entry »
I have been an avid fitness runner for 14 years. During both of my pregnancies I stopped running the first time because I was overcautious, and the second time because it caused bleeding at 14 weeks. We runners tend to be hyperactive A-type personalities who are a bit obsessive about the sport. We can’t wait to get back to running after baby!
Recovering from my first pregnancy I hit the streets again after 6 weeks. I remember my hips killing me but I trained through it. I shudder to think of the state of my postnatal body returning to the sport before it was ready, but still I trained up to my first half marathon at 3 years postpartum.
Every year spring offers us the chance for a new beginning. A time to plant seeds and see what grows. After a long, dreary and sometimes sluggish winter, spring is a fabulous time to clean up parts of our lives, and our diets are no exception.
People are always asking me what my thoughts are on nutritional ‘detoxing’. It certainly is a term you are hearing more of, and it makes me wonder how many people are using it and selling it as the next weight loss fad.
With popularity comes a lot of misconceptions, so I’m here to clear up a few facts for you this spring. See if you know which of these statements are true and which are false.
1. You have to go on a detoxification program in order for your body to detoxify.
False. Your body was built to detoxify. Our liver is our master detoxifier, filtering external toxins such as air pollution, food additives, caffeine, nicotine, alcohol and industrial toxins; and internal toxins such as the by-products of metabolism. Your body is detoxifying 24/7.
2. Your liver needs specific nutrients to detoxify properly.
True. There are two phases of detoxification in the liver and each phase needs a handful of different nutrients as co-factors for chemical processes. B vitamins, folic acid, antioxidants, vitamin E, vitamin C, amino acids, selenium and zinc are just a few needed for each pathway.
3. Since our bodies are detoxifying all the time, we don’t need to do seasonal cleanses.
False. In theory, we shouldn’t need to do anything special, but unfortunately our bodies have never been under such stress as we are in today’s world. Thousands of new chemicals are introduced into our environments, food and beauty products each year. We overburden our liver with these toxins and heavy diets full of processed food. There are numerous studies showing our high levels of toxicity in our blood which means our bodies have more than they can handle. If our bodies cannot detoxify and eliminate effectively, these toxins will re-circulate.
4. Cleansing involves fasting and starvation.
False. Fasts and starvation diets don’t provide the nutrients and fiber you need to cleanse efficiently. Most people feel ill on a low calorie, nutrient poor diet, while cleansing is supposed to make you feel energized, happy and clear headed. While short term fasting can rest your digestive system, it is not recommended unless you are experienced at cleanses, have a strong disposition with no pre existing health problems.
Tips for Safe and Effective Cleansing
1. Start with your diet. Increase your supply of antioxidant and fiber rich fruits and vegetables, including lots of raw vegetables. Remove processed foods and other sources of artificial ingredients and additives, and lighten your load on heavy or hard to digest foods such as red meat.
2. Clean up your environment. Check your ingredient list on your cleaning products and beauty products you use daily. These chemicals bi-pass liver detoxification by going directly through your skin into your blood. Are these daily products adding to your toxic load?
3. Open the ‘doors of elimination’. Your ‘doors of elimination’ need to be open in order to ensure toxins are being removed from your body and not being re-absorbed. Your doors include:
a. Bowels. Your liver dumps all your wastes into your bowels to be removed from your body. If your bowels aren’t moving properly (1-3 times a day), some of these toxins could be re-absorbed and re-circulate in your body. Ensure you are eating 30-40 grams of fiber a day from plant foods, or take a natural fiber supplement such as psyllium husk to help move things along. This is always important, but especially during a cleanse.
b. Lungs. Deep breathing and exercise helps remove toxins through your lungs efficiently.
c. Skin. Being your largest organ, a lot of waste is eliminated through your skin. Sweating daily, skin dry brushing and not clogging your pores with lotions and products will help you detoxify much more thoroughly.
d. Lymphatic system. Many toxins are stored in your lymphatic fluid which are eventually dumped into your spleen and bowel for removal. Ensure your lymphatic fluid is moving through movement, exercise and massaging the lymph nodes.
e. Urinary System. Drink lots of pure water until your urine is clear and odourless.
4. Make a sacrifice. Not in biblical terms, but modern terms. Give up at least one thing you feel may becoming a vice, something that may be making you feel sluggish or you could do without temporarily. Coffee, bread, sugar, alcohol, processed foods and or red meat are good options.
5. Support with supplements. Taking a high quality multivitamin and mineral supplement along with digestive support supplements such as probiotics and fiber can ensure you are getting the detoxification support nutrients and eliminating properly.
6. Re-introduce slowly. This is a fantastic and affordable way to test for allergies and sensitivities. Re-introduce any eliminated foods one at a time and watch to see how you feel and react. Take 1-2 days for each suspected food.
Cleansing does not have to be complicated, expensive, or extreme. It is always a good idea to be educated and supported when doing cleanses for the first time. If you have further questions or want to make sure you are doing a cleanse safely and correctly, seek the guidance of a health professional such as a nutritionist or naturopathic doctor
Kerri Cooper BSc., CNP is a Holistic Nutritionist and a nutrition educator. She has a special interest working with women throughout their reproductive years, advising them on issues related to fertility, pre-conception detoxification, pre and post-natal nutrition and breastfeeding.
And you know exactly what I am referring to.
If you’re a new mom, there comes a point when you give up trying to “keep up” and give in to reality. Your life has changed, permanently. And it’s not going to get any easier either. This is true. There must be a way to cope.
If you are more of a veteran like myself, you have come to this conclusion probably years ago, but just accepted that craziness is the new norm and everyone yells at their kids trying to get them out the door for school, don’t they?
Well not anymore and at least not this mom. Read the rest of this entry »
Here are 3 scenario’s that I’m sure you know very well.
- A coworker sits at the same desk, looks out the same window and uses the same shoulder to hold the phone while they tap away at their keyboard.
- A Busy mom doing laundry then cooking dinner all while hitching that hip up to hold the little one at the same time.
- Your hard core gym goer loves to work their glutes & biceps but never leaves time to stretch.
It makes me giggle sometimes when a client will comment on how “good” I look or how “full of energy” I am. Hey…don’t forget, looks can be deceiving but then I do have a few secrets up my sleeve.
Like every mom on the planet, my days are filled with schedules, routines and lack there of. As much as I try my best to prepare, life still throws me curve balls to keep me on my toes. Having said that, if something does come up out of the blue, I try my best not to panic because we all know what that does; it only creates more panic and the domino’s begin to roll…
Now although we would love to control the way the universe works, there are somethings that we just need to put out there and let things fall where they may. However, we DO have a choice on how good and energetic we feel so we are better prepared for nature’s surprises. Read the rest of this entry »