Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Exercises to help with hip and back pain during pregnancy

This is great if done as a circuit, but can also be done one exercise at a time. Make sure you grab a chair or stand next to a counter if you feel like you might need something to hold onto during any of the exercises.

Alternating Leg Lifts-
Start standing with feet hips width apart. Lift your right knee straight up. Lower back to the floor and repeat on the other  side. Keep alternating legs for 30-60seconds.

Side Leg Lifts-
Start with feet together and lift leg straight to the side. Repeat on one side 20 times, then switch to the other leg.

Start in the standing position with feet hips width apart. Squat down until your thighs are parallel with the floor, making sure to keep your knees behind your toes.  Either hold for 30-60 seconds, or do 20 repetitions.

Advanced Warrior-
Starting in standing position, with feet hip distance apart, or closer. Bend forward at the hip extending one leg back and your arms straight in front of you. Come back to standing position and repeat 15-20 times.

Donkey Kicks-
Start with knees under your hips and arms under your shoulders. Pull one knee forward flexing your abdominal muscles, then kick back flexing buttocks and low back. Repeat 20 times on both sides.

Flexing Transverse Abdominis-
Start standing or sitting, whichever is most comfortable. Relax your abdomen completely before pulling your belly button back towards your spine. Make sure to support your belly with your hands to support your muscles. You should feel a deep flex in your entire core including your transverse abdominis, obliques and abdominis recti. Make sure you keep breathing, keeping breath in your chest. Hold for as long as you can, and repeat 15-20 times.

Stretches for hip and back pain associated with pregnancy

Forward Bend-
Hold for 30 seconds, and roll your spine back into standing position one vertabrae at a time. Repeat as many times as you would like.

Low Lunge Stretch-
Make sure when you are in this position that your knee stays in alignment with your ankle. Hold for 30 seconds and repeat on the other side. Repeat on both sides as many times as you like.

Pigeon Pose-
To get into this position, lunge forward and lower your rear knee to the floor. Next, lower your front knee to the floor keeping your foot to the inside and your shin forward. Hold for 30 seconds and repeat on other side. Repeat as many times as you like.

Butterfly Pose.
Sit on the ground, put your feet together in front of you and pull them into your body. Push your knees down if you are not feeling enough of a stretch. Hold for 30 seconds and repeat as many times as you like.

Cow Pose-
Start with your knees directly under your hips, and your arms directly under your shoulders. Extend your stomach towards the floor. Hold breifly, and move into the next pose.

Cat Pose-
From Cow Pose roll your spine up towards the ceiling, tightening your abdominal muscles. Hold breifly and repeat the two poses for about one minute.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Burn the FAT, not the MUSCLE!

There are many things that can help you lose weight, but have you ever thought about what you’re losing? Many people don’t realize that weight is not equal to fat. Many diet and exercise fads make you lose muscle mass and water weight, as well as body fat. Let’s identify the types of things that WILL burn FAT and stop you from losing muscle mass; building muscle, cardiovascular exercise, and healthy eating habits.

Building muscle is essential for burning fat. One pound of muscle burns 60 calories a day. Imagine if you gained 5lbs of muscle, that’s 300 extra calories burned each day. That is an extra pound of fat burned about every 10 days! Some great ways to build muscle are weight lifting, bodyweight exercise (calisthenics), muscle recovery, and eating enough protein to support your gains. All of these things will help you build muscle, which in turn will help you burn body fat.

Cardiovascular exercise is also necessary for burning fat. For optimal results you want to keep your heart rate in what is called the Fat Burning Zone. The fat burning zone is 220-(your age) x (.75). For example, a 25 year old would take 220-25= 195 x .75= 146. You can have a variance of about 10bmp in either direction and still be in the zone. This means a 25 year old would want to keep their heart rate between 136bpm and 156bpm. Some ways to incorporate cardio into your workouts would be walking, running, biking, swimming, jump rope, kickboxing, high intensity interval training, along with many others. Committing to doing cardiovascular exercise and keeping your heart rate in the fat burning zone will be beneficial to anyone on a quest to burn fat and keep muscle.

Having healthy eating habits is key to building muscle, burning fat, and keeping your body healthy. Eating on a regular schedule throughout the day is very important to increase, and keep your metabolism high. Muscle is fueled by protein. Therefore you should eat enough protein to not only keep the muscle you have now, but fuel the new muscle growth. Unlike carbohydrates and fats, your body is unable to store proteins it does not utilize, so you should increase your protein intake as your muscle mass increases. Great protein sources are poultry, fish, beef, eggs, nuts, beans, and of course protein shakes. You do need more than just protein of course. Carbohydrates are a very important part of your diet. Things such as vegetables, brown rice, oatmeal, whole grains, pasta, sweet potatoes, legumes, etc are staples for many meals. Fruits are a great carbohydrate to eat as a snack between meals. You should also make sure to incorporate some healthy fats, in moderation, into your diet. Healthy fats are necessary for your brain and body to function correctly. Olive oil, fish oil, flax seeds/flax seed oil, nuts, peanut butter, and avocados are easy to add into your diet, and you can even find fish oil and flax seed oils in capsules, which makes it a no brainer way to get your healthy fats. As you can see healthy eating is a big part of building muscle and burning fat and keeping your body healthy overall.

Hopefully you gained some knowledge by reading this article, and are able to incorporate this information into your fat burning regimen.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Bumper Stickers and Window Clings!

 Newly arrived are my bumper stickers and window clings that http://www.buildasign.com/ was generous enough to give to me! I absolutely LOVE the way the bumper stickers came out! They look exactly how I had imagined them. The window clings are great also, though I will probably get them in a bigger size if I decide to get more. Megan from http://www.buildasign.com/ was a pleasure to work with, and was very helpful when I had questions. Thank you so much everyone from http://www.buildasign.com/! You all rock!

Monday, January 3, 2011

Resolution to get healthy the right way!

There are so many people out there that are making resolutions to be healthy and get in shape. I love all the enthusiasm that everyone feels at the beginning of the year, but why does it die down after just a few months of working out and eating healthy? I know it can be hard to get on a program and stick to it, especially if you're doing it all at once. It can be hard to focus on the end result when you hit a plateau or maybe don't see the results you expected.
That is why its so important to sit down, and really think about what your goals are, and plan out how you are going to take the steps to make it a long lasting life change. You can go cold turkey and stop eating poorly, but taking away all the foods you enjoy at one time can be detrimental to your new diet. Instead, start out by taking 1 or 2 things out of your diet each week and replacing them with something healthier, which has a similar texture or taste. Examples of this might be, replacing pudding with yogurt, crackers/chips for crunchy veggies, and using almond/rice cheese instead of regular cheese. Also, try eating more regularly throughout the day. If you normally eat 3 times a day, try eating 4 times a day for a week, and work your way up to 5 or 6 small, healthy meals a day. This makes the transition so much easier and helps you develop a healthy habit, instead of setting yourself up for failure.
As far as working out goes, don't rush into an exercise routine that is going to exhaust you and make you dread going to the gym. Set a schedule for which days you will be working out, and decide what body parts you will be doing on what day. Depending on what your goals are, you will want to learn multiple exercises for each body part. A personal trainer is a great resource to learn exercises on how to build and tone the body of your dreams, though there are some great sources online as well. Start out with weights that you are comfortable doing 10-12 reps with, for 3-5 sets so you can get your form perfected before moving on to heavier weights. Calisthenics are also a great way to introduce your body to exercise since you are using your own body weight. It is very important to warm up with cardio for 5-10 minutes before the workout, and cool down with light stretching after the workout.
I know you can achieve your dreams as long as you are willing to stick to them and make being healthy a lifestyle, not a chore! The best of luck to everyone on their journey!!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Leg Workout

Leg Workout
  • Box Squats- 8-12 reps for 5 sets
  • D-bell Walking Lunges- Up and down long hallway 4 times
  • Leg Press SUPERSET with Leg Extensions- 8-12 reps for 5 sets
  • Stiff Leg Deadlifts- 8-12 reps for 5 sets
  • D-Bell Leg Curls- 12-20 reps for 4 sets
  • Fitball Lying Leg Curls- 12-20 for 4 sets