Hoppy Easter!

happy easter

We celebrated Easter today by having some family and friends over for brunch. My friends Sara is in town from Nebraska, staying with us and helped me cook and get everything ready for our guests. It was a potluck brunch with a crepe bar, a crazy amount of toppings, salmon, monkey bread, fruit salad, bagels, cookies, coffee and mimosas. It was sooooooo good, like so good I don’t even regret the extra 8,000 calories I consumed.

probably should have uncovered the foil-covered crepes for the photo...
probably should have uncovered the foil-covered crepes for the photo…

guests

 
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I really enjoy having people over and hosting parties. It’s the same feeling I got when planning a new theme  in my classroom. I get to plan out the menu, decorate, coordinate everything, send out invites and basically have everything under my control. (mwahahaha)

table

this idea from Pinterest was so easy and cute
this idea from Pinterest was so easy and cute

After the brunch half of us drove to one of the local parks for a 3 mile walk. Our weather has been unbelievable this weekend! It finally feels like spring and I am loving it! It was so sunny we actually had to use sunscreen. Okay, I didn’t actually use sunscreen, but other people did… same thing.

granny white dandelions

this dog LOVES chasing sticks...all sizes
this dog LOVES chasing sticks…all sizes

Then, because we are badasses we all worked out together. Of course, we mostly did this because our friend Bella is a machine, workouts more than anyone I know and looks like a superhero, so when she asks us to workout with her we always say yes. You don’t tell superhero’s no.

workout

Easter day ended with another phenomenal home cooked meal by Sara, a Disney movie, some hair-chalking (more on that soon!) and tummy time with my favorite girl!

So strong! I cannot get enough time with this precious baby.
So strong! I cannot get enough time with this precious baby.

Such a good day.

Cheers!

 

 

Postnatal Workout Update

Alright, we did it. We completed the first 5 weeks of Focus T25, the “alpha” round, as it’s called. I have eaten healthier, not exactly healthy all the time, but healthier. In fact, didn’t eat any chips, except while we were in Texas. But, how can anyone go to the land of Tex-Mex and not eat chips and salsa?! They couldn’t and wouldn’t. Actually, we did a great job sticking to our “get healthy” postnatal workout plan except the time spent in Texas. We were on vacation and visiting family so we may have splurged a little when it came to food aannndd we may have missed a couple of workouts. Woops.

Even after having an entire “cheat week” I am still seeing results and feeling stronger. This T25 business is for real. It is an intense workout with zero breaks and I am still sore almost daily, especially after double days! Speaking of double days I’d like to point out this isn’t exactly a 25 minute workout.. Monday through Thursday is a 25 minute workout with a 2 -3 minute cool down. I guess you could skip the cool down if you are really set on only doing 25 minutes. Then, Fridays are “double days”, meaning you do not one, but two of the 25 minute workouts plus both cool downs. So, Fridays are basically an hour. Again, you could just skip the 2nd workout, but it seems silly to do the program, but not do it full out.

t25

Since we have a newborn there have been some challenges added to our daily workout regimen. Sometimes I squeeze in a workout while Luna naps, sometimes she’s happy to watch us from her oscillating chair and sometimes I have to stop halfway through to tend to her and finish the second half later. We often even hold her during the cool-down or while doing some modifications. “Whatever it takes” and “no excuses” are our mottos lately.

My health is better too. I am down from 16 blood pressure pills after having Luna to only 2 a day, and I will hopefully be down to zero in the next month. Yay me! I also feel 90% back to normal.

We still have about 2 months left (the beta and the gamma rounds), but here’s my progress so far:

sideshot

1month
First picture is 6 weeks postpartum and second picture is 11 weeks postpartum.

I’m 11 weeks postpartum and I’m proud of my progress and hard-work. I’d like to see my abs tone up, but I think that won’t happen until I really cut out the crap in my diet. Can’t wait to see how strong I am at the end of this program. I hope to be 100% feeling normal, off all my blood pressure medicine, happy and healthy!

Cheers!

Staying Strong, and Why You Should Join Me

Our "flex Friday" photo for Shaun T
Our “flex Friday” photo for Shaun T

We are now three weeks into our T25-eat-healthtier-no-chips-post-partum plan. We have not only stayed on the schedule with Shaun T and T25, but we are doing it with friends a few days a week. I have also been making it a point to get outside and take walks when it’s actually sunny and nice out. AND, I have had zero chips! Yay me! I’m not eating completely healthy all the time, but it’s getting better. I’m even making dinner most nights, which is proof that miracles do happen. (And, I’m not talking frozen pizzas either.)

go team!
go team!
Got our own fitness group!
Got our own fitness group!

 

If you are on in the process of trying to get into  habit of exercising, or maybe you’ve just slacked off lately, I’d like to challenge you to get back to it. Find a friend, family member, or significant other to do it with you or at least hold you accountable. It makes a HUGE difference when you have someone who is depending on you, challenging you and motivating you. Set your alarm, get up and get it done. You will be so glad you did, and here’s why!

1. You will be happier. Take it from a person who battles anxiety, panic and her share of depression… those endorphins do wonders for the mind! Anytime you are feeling down, just get up and get your heart rate going. Sweat a little and I guarantee you feel better and happier. Sometimes just stretching or taking a walk can prevent a panic attack for me.

pic20140330182620
Working out with this smiley baby doesn’t hurt either!

2. You will look better. Yeah, yeah, we should work out to have a strong heart, a clear mind and better joints, blah blah blah. You will also have a nice ass, abs, killer legs and cut arms. Seriously, though, exercising gives you confidence and when you are confident and feel good, you look hot. You don’t actually need a six-pack or a cellulite-free bottom to look hot, either.

My body is completely different after having a baby, but I'm super proud of what my body has been through and what it's capable of. I love being strong.
My body is completely different after having a baby, but I’m super proud of what my body has been through and what it’s capable of. I love being strong.

3. You will live longer. For all the reasons listed above…you will be happier, healthier and a better version of yourself. With reduced stress, lower blood pressure and a positive outlook you have a much higher percentage of living longer. So, join me, start a plan, get moving and let me know how you’re feeling!

I want a healthy body so I can keep up with this one once she's mobile!
I want a healthy body so I can keep up with this one once she’s mobile!

I’ll report back in two weeks with our first photos of progress after the first 5 weeks of T25. Happy Saturday!

This was our lovely Saturday morning...a walk around the lake.
This was our lovely Saturday morning…a walk around the lake.

Cheers!

 

 

My Postnatal Workout Plan

Like many new Moms, I’m anxious to get back to my normal body again. I LOVED being pregnant, seriously, it made me feel awesome 99% of the time. I felt so beautiful. My skin was clear, my hair was thick and shiny, my nails were long, my anxiety was gone and I don’t know…there’s just something about carrying around a little life inside of you that makes you feel like a badass. I worked very hard to remain fit and healthy during pregnancy too.

Woop, woop! Still working out! It's not easy, but it's worth it!

I worked out 6 days a week. I even created several “10 Minute Prenatal Workouts” here. I ate mostly healthy and was in a great state of mine. Unfortunately, I still had a very difficult delivery and an awful recovery, but it would have been even worse if I hadn’t been so proactive during the pregnancy. I thought I’d be getting back into fighting shape before now, but who could have foreseen such a traumatic first month? Now, at 6 weeks postpartum, I am released and feeling SO much better!

I’m still battling a few health concerns, but I’ll talk more on that another time. For now, let’s talk exercise! I started doing yoga a few times a week a couple of weeks ago, and I even did one day of Insanity with Husband over the weekend…just to test my cardio and get a feel for it again. It was incredibly hard! Yesterday, I officially started Focus T25 by Sean T.

IMG_20140317_123525
6 weeks postpartum

Focus T25 is an intense workout that is only 25 minutes a day. I LOVE Sean T and have already completed Insanity and Asylum Volumes 1 & 2, so I figure this is the perfect postpartum workout. It’s challenging, but offers modifications, and I can squeeze it in while Luna naps and still have time to shower. I had a little bit of doubt before starting because 25 minutes just seems too short to get in as good of a workout as Insanity, but after only 2 days I’m sold!

IMG_20140317_124011

Six weeks off and all the medication and downtime I’ve had has certainly had its toll. My cardio is horrible! And, holy cow are my legs sore! I love it though, being sore makes me feel like I really did something. I’ve had to do a few modifications, but I don’t think I’ll have to for too long. It’s nice that modifications are even offered.

Husband is doing it with me which helps A LOT. We are very competitive and keep each other motivated. I can’t wait to see our results at the end of the program. (I took pics of him too, but he would be less than happy if I shared them with you.) While Focus T25 will be my main workout, I don’t think it will be the only thing we do. I’m going to try to squeeze in yoga a couple of times a week. Plus, we are just an active family anyways, so hiking, walks around the park and dancing around the house will be happening often, I’m sure.

I’ll update you on our progress every couple of weeks or so. In a couple of days, I’ll be writing about my new healthy eating plan too. I’m going to see how a few changes will affect my anxiety and other health issues over the next few months. Wish me luck!

Cheers!

10 Minutes (or more) Prenatal Yoga

So, I wrote this blog the day before I went unexpectedly into labor. Clearly, I was not able to post it the next day as I had planned. However, I figure I might as well post it now. I just went through the photos and it is laughable how big and pregnant I am..errr was…  Anyways, I think I look like a pregnant cow in these pictures, but I’m sharing them anyways. After all I was 9 months pregnant so I should look big and pregnant. Also, I started doing yoga again about a week ago (yay, for being able to do light workouts!) and I think doing it both before and after delivery have been so helpful, mentally and physically. Enjoy.

prenatal

Alright, I am so close to the end of this pregnancy I can hardly stand it! It sucks not knowing when and basically being told that you could have the baby anywhere between 37 and 41 weeks…that is a HUGE time frame. I am still sticking to my goal and working out 5-6 days a week, but I have got to say that I’m ready to be done with my pregnancy workouts! It is tough stuff at this point.

I’m somehow still pushing through the Asylum Volume 2 with Husband (with LOTS of modifications…I basically run in place, do lots of push-up, squats and planks and just try to keep moving for the full hour). Anyways, but what I much prefer doing, and still squeeze in on our “off days” is prenatal yoga. Now, that I only have a few weeks left (supposedly) I am trying to incorporate more and more yoga to my workouts before the little one arrives.

Need to know why yoga is an awesome exercise for pregnant women (and all people)? There are LOTS of reasons, here’s a few:

Yoga helps you and teaches you to relax, helps you stay fit, teaches you to breathe properly (helpful during labor), improves sleep, decreases anxiety, increases strength, reduces lower back pain, can prevent nausea, lessens the risk of preterm labor, keeps you flexible, improves balance and aids circulation.

Convinced? Then, try some of my favorite yoga poses! Here’s my 10 Minutes (or more) of Prenatal Yoga. 

Hold each pose for a minute!

(Oh, and I took these photos in the nursery before we were even close to being finished, AND I thought it would be cool to look all natural with no makeup and messy hair, but turns out to not look so cool..oh well!)

1. Chair

chair pose

2. Tree

tree pose

3. Traingle

triangle

4. Half-Moon

half moon

5. Warrior 1

warrior1

6. Warrior 2

warrior2

7. Warrior 3

warrior 3

8. Pigeon

pigeon

*You should put your head down over your leg to complete this pose.

9. Cat and Cow

I looked absolutely horrendous in the photos of “cat and cow” so those will not be included. You can click here to see what it should look like.

10. Butterfly

butterfly

Don’t forget to be safe when working out while pregnant!

prenatal exercise

If you liked this “10 Minute Workout”, then be sure to check out 10 Minute Prenatal Ab and Core, 10 Minute Prenatal Arms and 10 Minute Prenatal Booty!

Namaste yall!

*Update: Since having Luna, I’ve created more “10 Minute workouts with a toddler“. Thanks so much for stopping by! Hope you and your new little one can continue exercising and having fun together!

Oh, and Cheers!

Finally A Nice Day!

GarrisonCreek

This past Sunday was GORGEOUS.

 

Like, most of the U.S., Tennessee has been freezing for what feels like an eternity now. The worst part is that it has been in the single digits with zero precipitation. It should be illegal to be that cold with no snow. What’s the point? No one wants to go out in play in dry 7 degree weather, so we have felt as if we are under house arrest. I’ve enjoyed the hot soups, tea and warm fires, but we have felt stir crazy lately.

But, Sunday was nice. Sunday it was sunny, blue clear skies and 55 degrees outside! It felt like summer. It’s amazing how warm 55 can feel after it’s been only 4 degrees. There was no way we were going to waste the day indoors, so we decided a hike was in order and headed off the the Natchez Trace. We found ourselves back on Garrison Creek trail, where Husband and I hiked back in the fall. This time, we found a different section we’d yet to explore.

natchez trace tree

The lookout
The lookout

Since I am now 37 weeks pregnant, enormous and uncomfortable I assumed we would hike about a mile before I got too worn out, or had to pee and then have to go home. I don’t know why I ever considered this a possibility. Did I forget who I was married to? We ended up hiking 3 miles, which really isn’t that bad…if you are not about to have a baby. I tried to be a trooper for the most part, but we did take a break halfway through so I could sit and rest.

37 weeks and 1 day pregnant...20 days to go!
37 weeks and 1 day pregnant…20 days to go!

hiking moss

Towards the end of the hike we came to a creek that we were supposed to cross, but the bridge had been demolished and the water was half-frozen over. Our friends and I decided to stay on our side of the river and follow where the trail should lead, like any logical person would do. Husband, of course, managed to get across the river, not once, but twice because the other bridge at the end of the trail was also demolished.

The first broken bridge.
The first broken bridge.
Belle probably had the best time.
Belle probably had the best time.

spikes

It was such a pretty day. I could feel the sun on my skin and actually enjoy being outdoors. Even some of the plants looked beautiful, which I didn’t expect during the dead of winter. We had a really nice time just walking, chatting and enjoying the scenery. By the end, I was done and hoping I’d somehow convinced Luna she was done too.

Belle was exhausted! She immediately climbed into the carseat and rested the whole way home.
Belle was exhausted! She immediately climbed into the carseat and rested the whole way home.

Back home, Husband and I worked out for another half-hour. I’m doing whatever I can to convince this baby that it’s time to come out and meet us. So far, she still seems happy where she is, but I’m excited to see what the doctor will say today!

Cheers!

10 Minute Prenatal Abs and Core Workout

*Update: Since having Luna, I’ve created more “10 Minute workouts with a toddler“. Thanks so much for stopping by! Hope you and your new little one can continue exercising and having fun together!

As of today I am 35 weeks and 6 days pregnant, or exactly 29 days until my due date! No wonder I am feeling as big as a house, lethargic and uncomfortable. As always, one thing that always helps my body and my mood feel better is a good workout. At almost 9 months pregnant, I need to take it a little easier than the previous months and use lots of modifications. The important thing is to keep moving!

Before being pregnant I was under the impression that a pregnant woman is not able to workout her abs. However, I’ve done my research since then and learned that not only can I still workout my abs and core, but it’s actually very beneficial during the pregnancy. Of course, there are a few rules that should be followed: No crunches, no lying on your back after the first trimester, and if it hurts, (in a bad way) stop.

A few benefits of strong abs and core during pregnancy? Strong abs support the spine which supports the weight of the baby and decreases lower back pain during pregnancy. A strong core aids in labor and delivery and recovery. Remember that working out your core during pregnancy is not about getting a flatter tummy; it’s about working your transverse abdominals and pelvic floor to prepare your body for what is to come during the next 40 weeks.

Like my previous “10 Minute Workout” posts I will not be using any equipment. I want these workouts to be accessible to each of you, no matter where you may be or what you have available. However, I would like to say that having a stability during pregnancy is very very helpful, especially for ab and core exercises.

Here is Hilarie’s “Ten Minute Prenatal Ab and Core Workout”

10 min

Knee Lifts (2 minutes)

I loved this exercise even before becoming pregnant! Stand with feet about shoulder width apart, raise both arms in the air and lift your right knee towards your chest while bringing your elbows down towards your knee. Switch and do the left knee. Repeat these knee lifts to the front for one minute. Remember to tighten your ab muscles (think “hug your baby”…as cheesy as that may sound) as you lift your knees up. NOW, turn your hips slightly out and lift your knee up towards your armpit and elbow down towards your knee for side knee lifts. Switch knees between each lift and repeat for a minute. To modify, try raising your knees half of the way up (this may be necessary once your belly gets too big!). For a challenge, well…I’m a little stumped with this one…maybe add ankle or wrist weights?

knee lift 1

Clearly, my belly is in the way so my knee can't lift straight up.
Clearly, my belly is in the way so my knee can’t lift straight up.

side knee lifts

Planks (2 minutes)

Alright, ladies you should know this one! Get in plank position (push-up position). I use straight arms, but you can plank on your elbows as well. Keep you head, neck, spine and tailbone in a straight line (no saggy bum, or butts in the air!). Now hold for minute! Here’s the fun part… Put your weight on your right elbow; lift your left arm straight up towards the ceiling and turn your plank on it’s side and hold for 30 seconds. Switch and hold the opposite side for 30 seconds. To modify, put those knees down. You will still reap all the core benefits! For a challenge, lift one leg (good luck if you are trying this on the side planks!) Just keep in mind that balance is a little trickier in your third trimester.

plank side plank

Superman (one minute)

Go to your hands in knees, but keep your core tight so there is not too much strain on your lower back. Lift your left arm up and out and your right leg straight out behind you and off the floor. Hold for 5 seconds and switch sides. Continue this motion for one minute. To modify, you can put your foot down when it reaches to the back or only hold each move for 2 or 3 seconds. For a challenge, try the Warrior 3 pose! I don’t recommend this unless you have been doing this since before becoming pregnant. It’s important to have good balance and a strong core during this exercise.

superman warrior 3

Rotational Squats (1 minute)

I love squats, so this is one of my favorite exercises in this routine. Open your legs wide, wider than shoulder width, and squat. Try to keep your back straight, hips tucked under, eyes up and butt back. (Lots to think about!) Squat down to almost 90 degrees; no lower. When you come up rotate, or twist your upper body and arms to one side. Squat down again, come up and rotate to the opposite side. Do for one minute. To modify, skip the rotating, put your hands on your hips and only squat. OR, skip the squats and only rotate from side to side, working those obliques. For a challenge, hold a kettle ball.

squat rotate

Pelvic tilts (1 minute)

This one is a perfect exercise because it’s not strenuous at all, but it strengthens your abs, decreases back pain during pregnancy and labor, improves your posture and makes delivery easier. Just stand straight with your back against a wall. Tilt your hips forward. You’ll know you are doing it right if you are also pressing the small of your back against the wall. Repeat this motion for the next minute. No need to modify or increase this one. But, if it is uncomfortable to stand you can do the same thing on all fours.

pelvic tilts

Incline push-ups (1 minute)

Find a safe and sturdy place for your incline push-ups. You can use steps if you have them, place a few heavy-duty books against the wall, use a sturdy coffee table or just use the wall itself. Get in your push-up/plank position. Keep your head, neck and hips aligned and begin your push-ups. Try them for a minute. If you need a break, go to child’s pose, count to 5 and try it again. To modify, bring your knees down or do the wall push-ups (if you aren’t already). For a challenge, skip the incline altogether you over-achiever!

incline pushups

Switch Lifts (1 minute)

Go to your back, but do not lay flat. Instead, rest back on your elbows. Bend your knees and lift one leg. Switch legs and continue to repeat while also holding your core tight. Do for one minute. Again, there aren’t good modifications or challenges for this, especially if you are in your third trimester. You don’t want to overwork or hurt your abs.

switch lifts both

Leg extensions (1 minute)

Stay down on your back and elbows and keep your knees bent. Tilt both knees to one side and extend them all the way out towards the corner. Switch sides and repeat. Continue for one minute. To modify, only extend halfway. For a challenge, hold the extension for 5 seconds.

legextensions

All done! You did it! Woohoo! Now, don’t forget your cardio! It’s so important to get at least 30 minutes of cardio in a day…but if you are getting in that much even a few days a week in your third trimester then give yourself a pat on the back! If you need an idea for cardio, try swimming! Head to a local gym with a heated pool (unless you are one of those lucky people who live somewhere warm this time of year…hate you by the way) and jump in! Being in the water while pregnant is the best feeling ever! You do not feel pregnant or heavy at all, it’s so so great. Great exercise too.

Also, don’t forget these very important tips while doing any prenatal exercise.

prenatal exercise

Be sure to check out my other 10 Minute Prenatal Workouts: booty and arms. Let me now what you think, and what else you’d like to see!

Cheers!

10 Minute Prenatal Arm Workout

10 min arm workout

*Update: Since having Luna, I’ve created more “10 Minute workouts with a toddler“. Thanks so much for stopping by! Hope you and your new little one can continue exercising and having fun together!

I am now almost 32 weeks pregnant (8 more weeks!) and I am still keeping up with my daily workouts. I’ve got be honest though…it is NOT easy. Everyday I discover a new move I can longer do full-out. I’m learning to modify most exercises and learning to except the fact that I just cannot do what I used to do.

At almost 8 months pregnant I am modifying, taking more breaks, drinking more water and need more rest time after my workouts. I went swimming for about an hour the other day and accidentally took a half-hour nap the second I got home. The energy that came during my second trimester is definitely leaving, and I found myself needing extra encouragement from Husband to keep it up.

The good news is I am still able to workout and it still helps me feel better every single time I do it. Some days the last thing I want to do is push play and hear Shaun T yell at me to “dig deeper”.  I want to stop half-way through and I get angry that it’s SO hard, but afterward I feel awesome! Not only do I feel like a bad-ass for completing the workout, but everything just feels better. I sleep better, eat better, have less back aches and my anxiety is always lessened after a good workout.

I want you to reap these benefits too! Today, I put together a 10-minute arm workout that uses no weights. I love using weights, bands, balls and a myriad of other tools, but I don’t always have these on hand, and I know you most likely don’t either. So, let’s keep it simple and just use our body for some much needed resistance training!

Here’s my 10 Minute Prenatal (or not) Arm Workout:

  1. Push-ups (1 minute)– targets chest, core and upper arms

Let’s get everyone’s least favorite out of the way! Get into a plank pose (keep your tailbone, spine, neck and head in a straight line) and do as many push-ups possible for one minutes. Take breaks when needed or even break it up into 20 or 30 second intervals. Set a goal. Can you do 10 push-ups in one minute? 15 push-ups? 20? To modify, put your knees down OR elevate your upper body. Doing “girl push-ups” (ugh I hate that term) is still a very effective workout. I often have to elevate my upper body by putting my hands on the bottom step in our living room. My acid reflux is so bad during my pregnancy that if I don’t elevate myself everything just comes right back up. For a challenge, try moving push-ups. Open up your right arm and leg to the side and do a wide push-up. Do two to the right, two to the left and repeat!

plank pushups

  1. Planks (2 minutes)– targets arms, triceps, biceps and shoulders

Okay, this is a long plank section, but no worries… you’re strong and tough and I know you can do it! So, get into plank position with straight arms and keep your head back and hips aligned. Now, hold for 30 seconds. Immediately, move down to your elbows, now hold a low-plank for 30 seconds. Right after, switch your weight to your right elbow, turn to your side and raise your left arm straight up towards the ceiling. Keep your hips off the floor and hold for 30 seconds. Switch; do the same on your left side for 30 seconds. To modify, take breaks between the planks or put your knees down. Even in the side-plank you can put one knee down. For a challenge, lift one leg and switch legs for each plank. This can get pretty challenging on the side planks!

elbow plank side plank

  1. Arm Circles (3 minutes)– targets shoulders, biceps, triceps and back

The key to this exercise is to keep your arms straight and keep the movements small. Stand with your legs shoulder-width apart and hold your arms out straight to each side. Do small arm circles to the back for 30 seconds, then to the front for thirty seconds. WITHOUT DROPPING ARMS, pump your arms up for 30 seconds, then down for 30…again these are small movements. Immediately pulse forward for 30 seconds, and then back for 30 seconds. Now, shake it out! To modify, Take a break after each minute, or cut it down to 20 seconds intervals. For a challenge, add small hand weights. Seriously, even holding some canned food will make a big difference with this exercise.

arm circles pulse up pulse down

  1. Tricep dips (1 minute)– triceps, shoulders

Find a chair or short table to support yourself. Sit at the edge of chair and place your hands on the very edge, fingers facing out. Now scoot your bottom off the chair and hold yourself up with straight arms. Do tricep dips by bending your elbows straight back to a 90 degree angle. Do full tricep dips for 30 seconds. Now stay down and pulse for 30 more seconds. To modify, move to the floor. For a challenge, lift one leg for the first half and switch for the second half.

tricep dips

  1. Shoulder-tap push-ups (1 minute)- targets chest, core and upper arms

Get in your plank position and do two shoulder taps (one on each shoulder). Tap your left hand to your right shoulder, then your right hand to your left shoulder and then do one push up. Continue this pattern for one full minute. Hold your core tight and keep your back, tailbone and neck in line. To modify, put your knees down. For a challenge, you can do two push-ups after the shoulder taps, or lift one leg as you do the exercise.

shoulder taps more shoulders

  1. Downward dog (1 minute)- targets shoulders, arms, wrists and core muscles

Start on your hands and knees. Place your hands and feet shoulder width apart. Press up, booty to the sky, keep your arms and legs straight and try to press your heels towards the ground. Hold for one minute. To modify, simply bend your knees or place your hands on a higher surface, like a chair. For a challenge, lift one leg for half the time, then switch.

downwarddog

  1. Stretch (1 minute)

While sitting or standing cross your right arm across you chest and press your elbow. You should feel the stretch in you right shoulder and upper arm. Now lift the same arm over your head, reach you hand down your back, and press your elbow down, stretching your tricep. Repeat on the other side.

stretch arm stretch

Now breathe, you did it!

If you need to get your cardio in for the day try 30 minutes of dancing. Try Zumba, hip-hop class or just turn on some music and dance around your house for half an hour. Need more? Try my 10-minute Prenatal Booty Workout.

Don’t forget to stay safe and follow the 10 Tips for Prenatal Exercise.

prenatal exercise

Alright, what workouts would you like to see next?

Cheers!

10 Minute Prenatal Booty Workout

10 minute

I am happy to say that at 30 weeks pregnant I am still working out 6 days a week and loving the effect it has had  on my changing body. I’m not exactly trying to lose weight, but I’m staying toned and preventing too much weight gain. I sleep better, feel better (emotionally and physically) and keep my anxiety in check by keeping up with my daily workouts. Now that I am getting slightly uncomfortable and less graceful in my pregnancy I’ve had to seriously adjust my workouts. My abilities and energy levels changed on a day-to-day basis now!

Lately I have combined my love for Shaun T’s workouts, Pilates, yoga and dance to create my own prenatal-friendly daily workouts! I typically workout from home and I have very little equipment, so I decided to create workouts that use little space and absolutely no workout tools! If you have weights, bands or balls at home then  feel free to add them in for an extra challenge. THAT’s the great thing about working out at home, you can adjust any workout to your own needs.

Today I will be focusing on glutes, and like one prenatal exercise DVD recently told me “your glutes are you booty muscles!”…just in case you didn’t know. WARNING: I live with very spoiled pets that demand attention at all times. So, they are pictured in almost every photo…little hams! Also, I had attempted something new with my hair in the morning and it ended up looking a little like Shirley Temple. Try not to let it distract you.

Here’s my “10 minute Prenatal Booty Workout”! (Although, I believe this can be used for non-preggo friends too!)

1. Squats (2 minutes) 

Squats are quite possibly my favorite move ever. There are so many different kinds of squats to keep your workout varied, they can be easily modified or enhanced AND it does wonders for that booty. Try 1 minute of regular squats and then one minute of tiny pulses at the bottom. To modify, you can put a resistance ball between your lower back and the wall. For a challenge, add some weights or bands and lift as you squat. Don’t forget to dig deep as you squat and try to get below 90 degrees! If you get bored you can squat with your feet closer together or extra wide.

squats squats2

2. Lunges (2 minutes)

Another classic that’s simple to adjust… Try standing with feet together and alternating squats, right then left. Do these for one minute. After, hold a low lunge on the right side and pulse for 30 seconds. Switch, and try it on the left! To modify, you can hold onto a wall or chair for balance, elevate your front foot or use a smaller range of motion. Doing one leg at a time will be a bit easier too. For a challenge, add those weights or bands and lift as you lunge! You can also try stepping out to the diagonal to mix things up a bit. *Remember to keep your knee directly over your ankle as you lunge. Do NOT let your knee move over your toes.

feet together alternate side lunge

3. Pilates Leg Lifts (2 or 4 minutes)

Woohoo, now you get to lie on your side! Lie on your right side, keep you hips stacked on top of one another, rest your head in your right hand and keep your left hand in front of your belly. Do leg lifts for one minute. Be sure to squeeze your glutes and try to keep your hips from swaying, hold that core! Now, switch to your left side. To modify, you can add a ball or rolled up towel under your armpit for more stability. For a challenge, add on! Circle the leg to the front for 30 seconds AND the back for 30 seconds.

pilates leg lifts stack hips

4. Booty lifts (1 minute)

Lie on your back, bend your knees and let your arms lie flat by your sides. Squeeze your butt and press your belly up. Do full lifts for 30 seconds, then pulse it up for 30 seconds. Be sure to keep your shoulders, hips and knees in line as you lift. To modify, you can use a smaller range of motion or simply take a break. For a challenge, extend one leg and keep lifting, but don’t forget to switch legs half-way through!

booty lifts

belle
Get out of here Belle!

squeeze

5. Leg Extension with a Twist (2 minutes)

Get on all fours, knees directly under hips, and hands directly under shoulders. Bring your right knee in towards the left elbow, then extend back and to the diagonal. Repeat for one minute and of course, switch sides. To modify, skip the twist. Bring your knee straight in and straight back. For a challenge, add an arm lift. Bring your elbow towards you knee and extend your arm out as your leg extends back.

leg extensions extend

Stretch: This stretch requires balancing, so if you are feeling unstable at this point find something to hold onto as you stretch. Stand on your left foot and cross your right foot over your left knee. Bend down, lean forward and feel the stretch in your glutes. Hold for 30 seconds and switch sides.

stretch

BONUS: Plie Squats! If this ten minute workout simply wasn’t enough then add on the plie bonus. Open your legs wide, turn your toes out and bend down to a 90 degree squat. Keep your back up right and arms out straight to the side. Plie squat for 30 seconds. NOW, for a serious challenge, add some pulses. Pulse low for 30 seconds. Lift your left heel and pulse for 30 and lift your right heel and pulse for 30. Finally, lift both heels and pulse for 30 seconds!

bonus right heel both heels

You did it!

woohoo

This ten minute workout is great for your pregnant butt, but don’t forget to get in some cardio today. Walking on the hills around my neighborhood with my little dog is one my favorite ways to get in some cardio and extra gluteal work.

for two

If you are working out and pregnant PLEASE be sure to stay safe and follow my Ten Tips for Prenatal Exercising. Keep it up Mama’s!

prenatal exercise

Let me know what you think of this workout and what future workouts you would like to see.

*Update: Since having Luna, I’ve created more “10 Minute workouts with a toddler“. Thanks so much for stopping by! Hope you and your new little one can continue exercising and having fun together!

Cheers!

Prenatal Workouts

For many years now I have been a very active and health conscious person. I still have my days where I eat like crap and watch too much America’s Next Top Model, but mostly I lead a healthy lifestyle. It all began in high school…partially because of an eating/image disorder and a lot because of my fears and anxieties of dying of heart disease. I had some unhealthy and extreme habits for a while, but after lots of education, practice, training and even a job and teaching certification through the local gym I learned what it truly meant to be fit and healthy.

Now, I’m so thankful to have started healthy habits at a young age because I was healthy when we decided to conceive and can continue my fit lifestyle throughout my pregnancy, which any doctor will tell you is a very good idea. That being said, there are still many precautions I have had to take to keep active during my pregnancy, which leads me  to this post…

I have been a little extreme with my workouts (Beachbody’s Insanity and the Asylum have been my top 2 workouts this pregnancy), but I followed some cardinal prenatal exercise rules before starting these workouts.

1. ALWAYS consult with your doctor before continuing or starting a workout plan. My doctor was happy with my health and encouraged me to continue my regular exercise routine, with caution. He warned me not to work out to fatigue (that’s a challenge) and to always be smart and listen to my body. Throughout the pregnancy I have consulted with him about what I am doing, verified that I am still being safe and got his blessing to keep on keepin’ on. After the “false alarm” a couple of weeks ago I triple checked with the doctor and nurse that my workouts had nothing to do with our hospital visit. Thankfully, they did not.

heartbeat

2. Like the doctor says: Listen to your body! Normally, I will push through my workouts no matter the little aches and pains and fatigue, but not while pregnant. It’s been challenging to change this habit, but I am much more concerned about doing what’s safe and healthy for our baby girl. I have learned to slow down, take breaks, modify and even take a day off or two (gasp!). I actually took two days off of exercising this week because I knew my body needed extra rest and for whatever reason was not up for my normal activity. I did feel guilty, but I certainly don’t regret it.

26 weeks pregnant and just finished the first (modified) day of The Asylum.
26 weeks pregnant and just finished the first (modified) day of The Asylum.

3. Drink A LOT  of water. The week before I found out I was pregnant I was the thirstiest I have ever been, no amount of water could quench my thirst. This pregnancy symptom has stuck with me throughout the whole experience and it turns out there is a good reason for it. Pregnant women don’t necessarily need more water, but need enough water, which most of us typically do not get. If you are working out and pregnant you need even more.

4. Find a supporter. Having someone to workout with or at least hold you accountable is essential. Thankfully, my Husband has become dedicated to working out since we found out about the baby. He encourages me everyday, but is also supportive when I need to take a step back. I’m also participating in a fitness group on Facebook. Two of my friends are Beachbody coaches and they created a group of girls on Facebook to encourage each other to eat healthy, workout  and share success stories. I am not even in the same state as any of them, but it is still really nice to know I have that extra support group.

We often take "Wacky Wednesday" pics to share in our fitness group. This is from our "planking photos" day.
We often take “Wacky Wednesday” pics to share in our fitness group. This is from our “planking photos” day.

5. Make it part of your routine. It’s hard enough when you aren’t pregnant to workout on a regular basis, but it’s SO much harder when you are growing another human! However, if you make it a habit, consider it as necessary as brushing your teeth and stick with it, then it won’t seem quite so difficult. Keep in mind you can break a 30 minute workout into ten minute increments on busy days: a ten minute walk in the morning, ten minutes of yoga after lunch or whatever you can do for ten minutes…it all counts!

6. Think about your baby. Recent studies show that exercising can actually make your newborn healthier, smarter, and easier!

7. Snack on healthy snacks. You’ll need it to keep up your energy and to make up for too many burnt calories. This is tough for me because I LOVE snacking, but in an unhealthy way…I prefer chips and french fries. Right now, I keep soy yogurt, granola, pistachios, and fruit on hand for easy healthy snacks.

8. Don’t overheat. Getting too hot actually causes blood to go away from the uterus to the skin as an attempt to cool off your body. It also raises your blood pressure. So if it’s too hot outside, stay inside and enjoy working out in the AC.

9. MODIFY! The further along you get, the more difficult it is going to be to continue on as normal. At 27 weeks, I am having to modify something new almost every week. The first 4 or 5 months I could do basically every move full-out, but my body just isn’t capable at this point, and that’s okay.

10. Don’t let naysayers get you down. MOST people around you are looking out for you and will give you advice (good and bad) because they love you and want you and your baby to be healthy. However, there will be the occasional few who try to scare you from working out. They may tell you it’s dangerous, you aren’t gaining enough weight or anything else to discourage you. Just remember, if you have the green light from your doctor and you are being safe and listening to your body, then you’re doing the right thing. Just nod and smile to those who don’t understand. I have to say that most of my friends and family have been really supportive, and I am so grateful.

prenatal exercise

Cheers!