Tag Archives: Fit Pregnancy

Don’t Call it a Comeback!

So, I haven’t been exercising at my optimum level since about April or June of last year.  Although, I did continue a pretty good routine of running, weight lifting, core work, and spin through September, when I was about six months pregnant.  After that, I transitioned into very light running, the eliptical, yoga, and light core work.  For month number nine, however, I kind of fell off the exercise wagon.  Workouts were few and far between.  Actually, they were pretty much nonexistent.  I probably stretched a little – does that count?

Now, I’m about 6 weeks post-Baby Girl’s birthday and I need something to train for to get back in the swing of things.  I’ve been walking and doing a little bit of core work but nothing strenuous so far.  I’ll throw in a short jog with my walks just so I know my legs still work but I wouldn’t call it running.  I also do lunges and squats with Baby Girl in the Moby – which really made my legs sore – yes!  I’ll start playing soccer in the beginning of March but I really need a goal – something to train for. 

A friend of mine with a 3 month old just enjoyed a weekend of cross country skiing and ice climbing with her husband and baby in Colorado.  A new mama who is fit and not afraid to jump right in!  Inspiring!

So, my dear readers, this is where you come in.  Right now my best idea is the GoRuck Challenge in April.  My husband says I’d be crazy to do that at this time and he’s probably right – I would have to sign a Death Waiver . . . maybe next year.  So, please tell me, what should I train for?  I’ve got a few requirements:  the event must be in NM, it doesn’t have to be a race, it can’t be rock climbing (I’m just not into that right now), and it must be sometime in April, May, or June.  So, what’s it gonna be?  I’d love to hear your ideas :)

It’s never too soon (or too late)  to be a M.I.L.F.!!!  (That is, a Mother Inspiring Lifelong Fitness!)

Post image for Are you a MILF?

~R

P.S.  I promise to get back to you soon with a post-Blissborn labor and delivery wrap-up!

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3.1 miles and a turkey dinner later

The weather was absolutely perfect for the 11th annual Turkey Trek!  The sun warmed me up, the skies were clear, and there wasn’t any wind.  Over 1300 runners and walkers particpated this year.  This included the stroller derby contingent, happy walkers, casual runners, and elite racers.  Not to be forgotten are the many race organizers and cheerful supporters.

Alas, the perspective on this photo reveals my start position - pretty much at the back of the pack :)

I think the one mile Fun Run for the kids was conducted twice:  once soon after the 5K was over and then again at the scheduled time of 10:45am.  Other than this little hiccup, the morning appeared to be a success.

Approaching the turnaround at Mountain and 12th Street.

Granted, I’m not responsible for preparing a Thanksgiving feast, but it was still a great way to jumpstart my metabolism for the day.  I must say it was especially fun this year because of so much of my family that paricipated in race:  husband, sisters, nieces, in-laws, and cousins from out of town.  I definitely recommend this for next year!

~R

Blissborn Class Update

A few weeks ago I wrote about the birth education/preparation class that I’m taking, BlissBorn.  Today, I’ll let you know what the classes were like and in the new year I’ll get back to you with how everything turns out.

So we took five one-hour classes over five weeks.  I learned how to quickly enter a state of deep mental and physical relaxation (hypnosis).  In just a few moments I can dial down my chatty conscious mind and allow my reptilian brain (subconscious) to take over.  I’ve got about six weeks to continue practicing the techniques that I learned before the real deal requires me to use them.

Simple tools for hypnosis

One of the most fascinating parts of the course was the fourth class where we learned some pain control techniques.  Not surprisingly, this is the most anticipated class.  As part of the class, I placed a clothespin on a somewhat sensitive area (my earlobe) and experienced the discomfort out of hypnosis and then again after going into hypnosis.  What a difference!  Neither was outright painful but I was much more attuned to the discomfort out of hypnosis.  Under hypnosis, I pretty much forgot all about the clothespin pinching my earlobe.  This particular class was definitely a confidence booster.

Listening to the hypnosis tracks on my mp3 player.

One of my favorite classes was the session on fear.  With this class we identified and spelled out our fears about pregnancy and childbirth and learned to transform them into peace, relaxation, and comfort.  We were guided with specific instructions to identify our fears, talk about them with our partner, develop a strategy to deal with them and transform them into positive affirmations, and then use hypnosis to imprint these positive thoughts onto our minds.  This provided an excellent opportunity to really think about the things that made me nervous or worrisome, talk about them with T, and then work through them.  This class gave me more confidence in my ability to handle the unexpected situations that can arise during childbirth.  Basically, I feel less panicky and more prepared.

Best of all, this class has given T an important and defined role for labor and delivery.  Before the class, T was sure that his main job would be make sure I had a steady supply of ice chips.  No joke.  Frankly, I wasn’t really sure what I wanted him to do either.  Now, he feels much more confident in his role in supporting me and talking with the medical staff.  Better yet, we have a mutual understanding and agreement about our entire birth plan.  T still jokes about the ice chips, but thankfully, now it’s just a joke :)

What things did you or your partner do to prepare for labor and childbirth?  I’d love to hear all about the classes you may have taken or some of the books that you enjoyed (or hated) reading!

~R

Delivery Room: Bliss or Chaos?

This week I began taking a childbirth education class (there are many to choose from).  It’s not Lamaze and it’s not the Bradley Method.  I’ve signed up for Blissborn.  Essentially, Blissborn will teach me to use the natural state of hypnotic focus (deep mental and physical relaxation) to control my own mind and body to create the birthing experience that I desire.

Blissborn workbook and dvd

When it came time to think about delivery and what I wanted, I wasn’t really sure at first.  I knew what I didn’t want:  a panicked state of emotion and screaming in pain and anguish.  Basically, I don’t want to be freaking out and I don’t want to be angry and yelling at T.  I wanted a plan, but what exactly?

I investigated water birthing:  it looks calm, peaceful, gentle for mom and baby, and Lovelace Women’s Hospital recently opened a natural birthing center with options for water births.  However, I wasn’t so sure that I wanted to forgo an epidural or try something that my doctor may not have ever done before.  Then my cousin, an obstetrician, mentioned that one of the most calm deliveries she’d ever seen was with a woman who used hypnobirthing.

I looked up the concept and was sold.  There appear to be about three major hypnobirthing classes available:  HypnoBirthing, BlissBorn, and HypnoBabies.  After researching classes in Albuquerque, I settled on Blissborn.  It’s comprehensive childbirth education with the goals of educating women to be prepared and empowered, shortening labor, reducing interventions and complications, reducing fear, and increasing confidence.  It doesn’t zonk (is this a word?) you out so that you don’t know what’s going on and there are no brass timepieces swinging back and forth (much to T’s dismay).  Rather, you learn to relax and control your mind to make childbirth quicker, safer, and more comfortable.

Oh yeah, another cool note on Blissborn is that the founders live and work right here in Albuquerque!  Although I’m not taking the class directly from the founders, my class is being taught by Ryan Chambers at Inspired Birth and Families on 4th Street in the north valley.

I plan to update you along the way and come January, I’ll let you know if it worked for me!

~R

Keeping Fit as the Belly Expands

I knew before I became pregnant that I wanted to continue exercising throughout my pregnancy.  The consensus is that it’s beneficial for mom and baby.  Sounds straightforward enough, but when I started really trying to investigate exactly what type of exercises I could do and how intensely I should workout I wasn’t finding what I wanted.  I found many suggestions to begin yoga.  “Okay,” I thought, “I’ve done yoga before and it can be very challenging, so this could be good.”  Then when I would read about the sequences of poses that were suggested by various books I was really turned off.  They looked to be mostly resting poses where this silly sketched pregnant lady is propped up with pillows and blankets and just lying there.  It wasn’t “exercise” as I had envisioned.  (Caveat:  check out my post about prenatal yoga at Hot Yoga Downtown.)

Already bummed that I would have to take a break from soccer, I was looking for something more along the lines of running, spin, and weight lifting.  Instead I read that I should “try the elliptical,” “try walking,” “don’t let your heart rate exceed 140 BPM,” and “stop doing abdominal exercises.”  As someone who shuns the elliptical in favor of running and stair-climbing, likes to see her heart rate reach 180 in spin class, and cherishes her core-focused workouts, this did not sit well and so I had to look harder.  I know I need to adjust, but are walking and yoga really all there is?  The health of my baby and me are my number one concern but does this mean cardio and maintaining muscle mass are out of the question?  I think not.

Elite Runners: Paula Radcliff and Kara Goucher

 At first, I read about Kara Goucher and Paula Radcliff (professional runners) in Runners’ World running throughout their pregnancies and using gravity defying running machines.  While I was inspired, I was quite intimidated and, oh yeah, running isn’t my job.  Little by little I uncovered some gems of inspiration like this blog by a gym in Richmond, California that is packed full of inspiring pregnant (1st, 2nd, and 3rd trimester) women working out with kettle bells.  I also found these blog posts (and this one) about pregnant women keeping fit by weight lifting, water running, swimming, and kayaking.  My friend also gave me a handy instructional book for trainers about working with pregnant women.  I love that it’s written from the perspective of a trainer with information about the “why” and “how” and not just “do this move, not this one, then do this move, etc.”

With all of this in mind, I’ve taken up spin again at the YMCA in my neighborhood.  It feels so good to get some cardio I can’t believe it!  Although I can still jog, my pace is so slow it’s sort of frustrating, hence, spin.  I like that I can hop on a spin bike and still pump out sprints and hill climbs.  Also, I continue to enjoy the strength workouts that we have our JV soccer team do during practice.  At this point, I can still do most of them.  (Of course, I’ve consulted with my OB regarding my workouts.)

So I guess I didn’t find the magic book, “Rebecca:  Here is Your Guide to the Kinds of Exercise You Would Like Throughout Your Pregnancy,” instead I’m writing it as I go, drawing upon the experiences of many different women.  Based on how I’ve progressed so far, I’m sure I’ll need to continue adapting and adjusting my workouts as I get closer to my due date.

 Lastly, I will keep this mama in mind when it’s time to start working out after I have my baby (if the video in that link doesn’t encourage you to get moving I don’t know what will!).

~R