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Showing posts from 2010

Kate's Guide to Getting the Correct Sports Bra!

I wear an unusual size and it took me years to unlock the secrets to bra fitting (and finding!) I suffered for years in improperly fitting bras, and during exercise I would wear 2 or 3 just to get the support I needed.  Every woman needs support while performing sports; not having proper support means that there is extra stress put on the back during various activities. Even low-impact exercises done without the support of a sports bra can result in strain on the upper back and shoulders that can result in pain or worse- injuries that may develop over time.
Sports bras affect a woman’s posture. Exercising without support can result in slouching to prevent painful bouncing which throws the back and hips out of alignment and impedes form, leading to potential injury.
The most common mistakes are when women wear a bra that is too small in the cup and too loose around the body for example a 38e instead of a 36f. Note: When you go down a band size, go up a cup!
Step 1: Take a ta…

1000 Reps Time Challenge

I did another BodyRock workout today, a time challenge with 10 rounds of set reps of 2 exercises: High Knees (I did this without jump rope) Weighted Squat (I used a 5kg medicine ball which is about 11lbs)
Here is the workout as posted: http://www.bodyrock.tv/2010/12/21/exercise-challenge-drowning-in-your-own-sweat/
What I love about Zuzana's workouts is that they totally KICK my ass in a surprising way! Seriously after Round 2 of this looking at my time I thought I might not make the 10 full rounds, and set a goal to complete, and then have a sub 30:00. I had to rest between every round! These are hard! Here is my time count per round (I stopped the watch for about 2:00 between rounds!) I really made a push towards the end to get in under 30:00 TOTAL TIME: 27:45
Damn! See the pictures- fugly but functional I was working hard for these 1000 reps!I took these myself so bad angles and lighting and stuff, unlike Z's glamorous images so......

Can you beat me with more fashion? lo…

New Website & BodyRock TV Articles

I have been MIA building a website to launch for momentum into 2011. It is part of my "big push" master plan which, according to my wellness approach, applies to every area of my life- from workouts, nutrition, family, business.... I declare 2011 the Year of the Hard Body in every way!
I just surfed onto my website dashboard to see that I have over 2000 webpage views, mostly referred from this blog and BodyRock TV! Amazing! If you wouldn't mind taking a moment to complete my website feedback form when you are there I would greatly appreciate it!
Further to, I have emailed with Zuzana from BodyRock about contribuing pre & postnatal information for adapting her workouts. I have written 2 articles "Prenatal BodyRocking" and "Postnatal BodyRocking" which I hope will appear on her website soon!
I am gaining momentum heading into 2011! I have a modified raw food 7 day cleanse planned, as well as new fitness goals for myself. 2010 was the Year of the Recove…

Family Fitness Inspires New Interests!

Recently I have taken on 2 new activities that are a direct result of my daughter's pursuit of fitness. She was interested in rock climbing so we went and not surprisingly I love it too! We go 2x week now, and although I can't always climb (I have the baby on my own a lot of the time) I have learned to tie the follow figure eight knot: 








and I am planning a belay lesson. I am loving it!
On my search for a facility I found myself at the Oakville YMCA. Wow what a great place! To try out the pool I went swimming lanes one evening and I have rekindled my love of length swimming that I had in my youth. This has helped to inspire me to train for a Summer Try-a-Tri.  I am so excited to have new interests that involve my entire family!

Happy Yule!

Hello and Happy Yule! I just finished my workout and I feel great. Honestly I feel like I could have given another 10% but I was working hard and am likely just being post workout hard on myself- it's easy to be critical when you aren't burning!

I did a Body Rock workout today but I modified it a little bit. Here is the workout as it was posted:
http://www.bodyrock.tv/2010/12/20/major-hot-abs-workout/

Here are my modifications:
- I did side jumps without a rope (my indoor ceilings are low)
- I used a medicine ball instead of a sandbag
- I used 2 chairs instead of a dip station

I rested 2:00 for every 6:00 of intervals (I needed it!)

Here are my scores, can you beat me?

Side Jumps 138/151/142
Dive Bombers with weighted 1 leg half squat 4.5/5/4 I SUCK AT THESE! BLAH!
Airborne Kicks 25/26/27
Side Jumps 138/138/147
Airborne Kicks 27/23/27

+1000 reps. I love it :) You know I am rep obsessed. Doesn't it feel extra good to see a big number in the tally? :) I know the side jum…

Shout Out & New Website

This is a shout out to Zuzana and Freddy from BodyRock TV who have developed such an amazing community of fitness enthusiasts on their website. They profile "BodyRockers" who follow Zuzana's workouts from all over the world, and they were kind enough to post my submission!
Body Rock Team Canada- Kate
I have written before that I consider Zuzana one of my personal trainers and although I have never met her in person she inspires me daily!
Support BodyRock TV and spread the word.
Further to, I have spent the most part of the past 3 days developing a new Website for my personal training services. I have not sent the link to anyone yet (not even my husband) so any blog readers get the "privilege" of the first look! There is a website feedback form and a survey on the Interactives page so please take a moment to complete them if you can!

Family Fitness is an Exercise but not always your best Workout!

Family fitness is an exercise in wellness. It is an investment in the overall health of your family which includes many aspects of wellness such as physical, emotional and social. I always find that it takes incredible mental effort to get the entire family involved in my workouts. To run with the stroller I have to dress the baby for weather, pack supplies, deal with a helmet, and stop to deal with fussiness. Add to that a dog alongside, navigating a leash, picking up poo, slowing down for pees and sniffs, reigning in to pass other pedestrians (especially those with dogs). Going swimming with the kids is a comparable ordeal of planning, packing and executing. Bike rides are slow and involve playground or library pitstops. It certainly is tremendously more difficult than getting dressed, grabbing my own gear and heading quickly out the door on my own workout schedule.
The interruptions involved with family fitness deter the intensity you can achieve with solo training. I certainly cann…

Ab Rehab- Restrictions Review and what you CAN do!

I have gone over the restrictions placed on core work.
I have also written that once a Diastasis Recti is closed within 2 fingerwidths at every point I give the green light to return to plank position, provided you always wear the Tupler Splint. I want to elaborate on 2 points here: There are many safe core exercises you can do during the ab rehab program that will support your efforts. Personally I found the program so challenging that I had nothing left over for other core exercises, but if you do, here are some options for you:Side Plank/Bridge: Any side plank exercise is safe provided your transverse muscle remains engaged. I like to place my free (upper) hand on my abdomen to make sure they do not press forward. You can perform straight bridge hip lifts, knee flex and kicks, leg raises, side elbow crunches, and you can increase difficulty by bridging from elbow to hand.  Table Position- again, ensuring your transverse remains engaged and you are pushing through the heels and liftin…

Whoa Nelly!

Last week I took my 7 year old rock climbing at the YMCA, and I did a little bouldering. I climbed for less than 30 minutes, fairly casually on and off. The next day my calves were screaming. Wow. I was sore. This made me wonder- WTH? Here I am doing regular workouts with 600+ reps and my calves are screaming after a modest climbing session? I recognize that just because a person is fit does not make them able to jump into any sport easily- I understand the concepts of sport specific training- but this somehow screams to me "Plateau!" and I am thrown into re-evaluation.
Serendipitously, (say that 10 times quickly lol) it was Seth's 1st birthday on Saturday and I was thrown into a life busy ergo exercise rest 3 day stint, so I had time to think. How can I shake up my routine, to push myself harder and make more progress? Here are some strategies I am implementing this week: On Sunday I did an exercise challenge.On Monday I went to the 24 hour gym for a drop in session of he…

Ab Rehab! C'mon People!

OK People listen up! I think you are all wonderful and amazing but it is time for an Ab Rehab wakeup call! I now have several of you on Ab Rehab Lite Programs in an attempt to get you back on track. Remember that the goal is to increase by 1 set per day each week, so GET IT DONE!

I have met with several of you recently who are 3-6+ months into this program and have had only modest success- maybe a few inches lost, connective tissue strengthening, a fingerwidth maybe 2 of closure. This is because you aren't doing it! Come on! All the investment you have made, the countless sets you have attempted. Make it worth it! Just GET IT DONE and BE DONE WITH IT! I closed 8 fingerwidths in 16 weeks working 90%. Just get it done ladies. Please. Then it's done. LOL.

Once you are closed to 2 fingerwidths at all 3 locations you can resume all the fun stuff- planks, push ups, pikes- the real core and upper body positions. Know that you are being HELD BACK with a diastasis recti. …

Is your Trainer setting you up for Success?

There are many reasons a personal trainer is a tremendous asset to your program. I recently blogged about it. I myself have what I consider 3 "trainers": Samantha, the CEO of Core Expectations who trained me in the Tupler technique- I consider Sam to be my personal ab rehab trainer. She checks me when I see her to help me gauge my progress, and she motivates me with her constant reminders to pay attention to my core and get my ab rehab sets in.Zuzana from Body Rock TV- Although I have never met Zuzana in person, her blog inspires me with creative exercise combinations and routines, as well as exercise and diet challenges to help keep me on track. Myself- I am my own best client :)OK so everyone can agree that trainers have value. The reality is that most people cannot afford to train frequently with a trainer for an extended period of time. I love the clients with whom I meet every 4-6 weeks to monitor progress, and modify the program for appropriate progression. I also love …

Don't Throw in the Towel too Quickly!

Don't throw the towel in on your day too quickly! Today I woke up, Day 4, cardio planned, feeling less than great. I had a bellyache and felt grumpy and altogether unwell. I am tired from the past 3 days of working out, but I know that tomorrow is a rest day because of my busy schedule, so it's either bust out the cardio or take 2 rest days in a row.
I manage to get motivated to climb on the stationary cycle with no aspiration other than loosening up and getting SOMETHING done. 50 minutes later I completed a great cardio sweat session, clocked some minutes for the week and set myself up for a well deserved rest day tomorrow. Oh ya, and my belly ache was gone; and I wasn't grumpy anymore :) Go figure.

Obsessed with Reps Workout

Today is Day 3 and I planned an upper body focused high rep intermediate exercise workout. I was conceptualizing a hybrid set reps/time challenge of 2 workouts I did in the past week. In planning I grossly overestimated reps, planning 6 rounds of 5 exercises, 20 reps/set. Because 2 exercises were offset, the total reps per round = 140.
After Round 1 I was 10:00 in realizing that with rest I was likely facing a 90 minute difficult strength workout. Ya no chance. I shaved it down to 4 rounds, hoping to complete 3, which I did. Here are my exercises and times: Breakdance PU (Knee to Elbow w/crab twist) 20 reps x 3 2:27/2:30/2:25 = 7:30 60 repsSide Lying Tricep Pushup 20 reps/side x 3 2:03/2:25/2:00 = 6:30 120 repsReverse Pull Up 20 reps x 3 2:00/2:00/1:36 = 5:30 60 reps1 Arm Press Up 20 reps/side 2:00/1:30/1:30 = 5:00 120 repsStar Lunge Jumps 20 reps 2:45/2:45/2:30 = 8:00 60 repsTotal = 420 reps 35:00

Then the baby woke up and another set was out of the question anyway. Not bad for a Day 3…

Saturday Workout

I started this AM with a 4:00 Pre-Breakfast workout: 15:5 x 12, 2 exercises High Knees and Mountain Climbers Max reps = 364 reps in 4:00 wow.
Then I proceeded to a time challenge, 40 reps x 5 exercises, some of which are new to me so extra fun!
Jump Star Raises x 40 7:45, + 2 x 10 = 1:30 x 2 = 3:00, Total 60 reps 10:45 James Bond Lunge x 20/side x 2 = 6:00, Total 80 reps 6:00 Side Crunch x 20/side x 2 = 5:00, Total 80 reps 5:00 Breakdance PU x 20 x 2 = 6:00, Total 40 reps 6:00 Squat Jump Total 40 reps 3:35
Total 664 reps in 35:00. In the bag!

What a Difference a Year Makes!

Here is a picture from today, compared with a picture last November. It has been a long road back to recovery, but I am extremely happy with the results that all my hard work has earned me! I HAVE surpassed my prepregnancy fitness level and so can YOU!

More Food Basics

Here are some more nutritional and simple foods that are quick to cook. These are regular staples around here:
Grilled Salmon <20:00 to cook from frozen. A great first meat for babies, and a delicious nutritious food for family members of all ages!Just be VERY careful of little bones!
Pan Fried/Blackened Tofu. <10:00 to pan fry. A great source of protein and a baby/toddler friendly finger food!
 Beautiful Steamed Sweet Potato cubes & Green Beans. Again, excellent nutritious baby/toddler finger friendly food. Approx 15:00 to steam.

Logged!

My week's Strength & Plyo Challenges. On in between days I rest and/or do cardio.




Stretching- Dynamic vs. Static

Here are some notes on stretching that are important to consider when doing your flexibility programs. Remember that Can Fit Pro recommends stretching 4-7 days/week- more than cardio and strength. Your muscles need to be stretched and lengthened every day to avoid shortening and the discomfort and impairment of the resulting limited range of motion.
Dynamic Stretching: This is stretching that takes a body part through a range of motion. It involves gentle movement which typically mimicks the activities you are preparing for. This is ideal for a warm up program. The body is not yet warm and so can be less flexible to static positions. I always recommend beginning with a full body head-to-toe, followed by any additional stretches to target key areas.

This is a great routine for a wake up stretch.

It is important to be aware of form with dynamic stretching. Do not swing the body through movements, but rather try to lift it through the range of motion with slow, gentle and smooth precision.…

Logged!

Shred It!

It can be a difficult age when your baby has a few teeth and insists on feeding him/herself. There is a limited variety of fresh fruits that are suitable to be chopped and fed to a baby. Apples, pears, peaches, nectarines- these fruits can be too hard, even when steamed. My solution? Shred it!
Shredded fruits and vegetables are easy finger foods for your baby. Carrots, cucumber, zucchini, apples, pears, beets.... you can add to the variety of fresh foods you can offer your baby. Consider it my tip of the day.

Make your Workouts Challenges!

By making your workouts challenges you create mini goals to conquer in a 30-60 minute workout. 

Keep a log sheet on hand and record your reps & sets. Whether you have a time goal, a rep/set goal, or both- this is a fun way to challenge yourself for a quick burn.

Keeping yourself interested in your workouts is an important strategy for success over the long haul! These mini challenges work exceptionally well for me and I use this approach for 90% of my strength workouts.

Family Meal Preparation

I have been discussing family meal preparation with a client and I thought I would offer another example of how I prepare a single meal in various ways to meet the needs of my family members. Here is the first example I offered. I think this one is even simpler.
Tonight's dinner took about 20 minutes to prepare in 3 different manners. I prepared: - chopped raw vegetables - brown rice - pan fried shrimp - steamed broccoli and spinach - a can of corn (cold)

I prepare everything separately and then serve it up accordingly. Here are some of the prepped foods.  I cook everything very dry. We add sauce when we serve up, if at all.











Here is Seth's version (Age 11 months): I added some cold sweet potato I had steamed yesterday and kept in the fridge. I add things to his tray accordingly. Tonight he only ate 2 pieces of shrimp, and refused the spinach and the cucumber mostly. This waste is secondary- I keep offering the foods to define his palette. I gave him shredded cheese, crackers, and…

Ab Rehab Success Hoo Ya!

I have a client on a modified ab rehab program. She began with a large separation of 13 fingerwidths. In 10 weeks she had lost several inches and strengthened her connective tissue significantly, having lost 2 fingerwidths total, down to 11.
For 2 weeks she had no closure. Staying motivated despite this, she worked hard for another 2 weeks and lost 3 full fingerwidths! Now down to only 8 she is well on her way to a 2 finger "across the board" measurement, which gives her the green light to do (supervised & splinted) planks, pushups and all the other fun upper body/core stuff.
Stay motivated folks and take the small bits of progress as they come. Diligence and consistency is the key to closing your diastasis for good!

The Wagon- Deconditioning

It takes approximately 2 weeks for deconditioning to begin. Try to keep a maximum of 14 days break during busy/stressful times when your workouts fall to the wayside; otherwise, you'll be working to recover strengths that you have already worked hard to achieve! Fortunately you have built "muscle memory" so recovery is faster than initial conditioning.
Prenatally it is ESPECIALLY important to maintain conditioning with consistency. Without consistency, exercise prenatally becomes a risk.

Leftovers!

When you prepare meals to be served to meet individual preferences, leftovers are yummy and a  breeze! Here'a chana masala with quinoa and brown rice, leftover. The quinoa & rice can easily be reheated with soy milk, banana, berries, and topped with yogurt for a yummy hot cereal, ready in under 2 minutes. Or it an be eaten with the reheated masala, tossed into a cold salad with chopped vegetables and shrimp, or fried with meat & vegetables. How easy is that, with so many options in such quick time! 


Here's a tip: When you cook make a little extra to have leftovers. Focus on the pasta/grain portion which can be used in a variety of cold salads, cereals and quick mixes. Be sure to store things separately. It's like pre-cooking or meal prep done with absolutely NO extra work!








Take a Day Off for a Mental/Emotional/Social Workout!

Today I was supposed to run at 9AM with my Sunday morning running buddy. With the daylight savings change I even gained an hour of rest yet still woke up at 7AM feeling out of sorts and slightly "off". I had a long day yesterday with an early 8AM training session and then a Core Expectations training team dinner. I didn't see my kids much and I just couldn't get into bustling around this morning, getting ready, waking my husband to watch the baby, hurry out, then work at 10AM. Sigh.
So I messaged my running buddy and took a big fat day off. I played on the floor with my baby, put him back to bed, did a coffee run and woke my husband with a foot rub before heading out to work. Sometimes you just gotta' listen to your heart/gut and prioritize an emotional "workout". Turns out I am still sore anyway, so the 2 days of rest is not a bad thing :)

Diastasis Second Opinion & a Challenge!

Since Feb/March, I have been working hard to close an 11 finger diastasis. I had to date assessed myself as currently Upper 0, Middle 1, Lower 2. I am still incorporating seated exercises and supine isometric pelvic tilts to my workout program.
Yesterday I attended a dinner for my training team at Core Expectations. Samantha checked me because I trust her assessment skills and I wanted a second opinion. She measured me as a shallow 2 all the way down. 
It interests me that 2 qualified trainers can come up with a slightly different measurement. Interestingly when I measured Sam I also came up with a slightly larger measurement than she had given herself. However when we measure a third party, we seem to have the same results.
This begs the question of whether self assessments are inclined to be on the lower side for one reason or another. Perhaps it is anxiousness with our own progress, or perhaps it is due to the physics of the self assessment and the subtle difference in hand position. …

Why have a Personal Trainer?

I think there are a lot of misconceptions about what it means to have a personal trainer. For some, it means having a coach in home or at a gym 2-3x week to help with workouts. For others, it means working with a trainer in home 1-4x month, just for guided creative progression and maintenance of proper form. For other more advanced athletes, it is a coach who provides a progressive program every 4-8 weeks and keeps you on track.
So why have a a personal trainer? Here are the main reasons: Accountability: A trainer will keep you on track. You are accountable for the work (or lack therof) that you do. In order to progress the schedule must be followed. Motivation: A trainer motivates you not only by standing over you through every set, but also through real life insight and dialogue- both from personal experience and client anecdotes. Empathy: A good trainer understands your challenges and supports you through with empathy that can help you overcome the challenges that you face.Creativity…

Exercise Notes

Yesterday was Day 2, post cardio (7.5K run). As I was preparing for my ripping core workout, I mused over my appearance. Zuzana from Body Rock TV is always gorgeous- me, on the other hand, I am a mess when I workout: typically morning pre-shower, no makeup or better yet crusty leftovers from the day before, hair pulled back with a headband to keep it in place during the plyos, abdominal splint with tensor bandage wrapped over top from thorax to hips. O ya- sexy. Fortunately unlike Zuzana I am not working out for an audience- an argument for how the you-are-your-own-home-gym beats the gym entirely as well. Also fortunately I clean up reasonably well, and post workout with muscles pumped, I get purdy fast :)
My workout was interesting and introspective. During plank I could feel my lats supporting my body weight, relieving my anterior delts which really helped with the upper body fatigue. I felt this especially during the Reptile exercise with the alternating side rotations. I set a PB f…

What is "Sugar"? No Sugar 30 Day Challenge

Some of you may be asking "What is sugar?" Are condiments "sugar"? What about gum or Diet Coke?
For the sake of this challenge sugar is sweets. However, I hope that this exercise brings us all more consciousness over the food choices we are making- therefore "sugar" may encompass a broader range of foods- deep fried, salty (chips), etc. I leave that up to you, and I look forward to your feedback.
My tip (hopefully helpful) #1- Every time you think sweet, drink a glass of water.

Lastly, we are now up to 25 people participating in this challenge, and I am already scheming a new challenge for December to help us manage our fitness programs through the Christmas Season.


No Sugar 30 Day Challenge

Here is a challenge I put out on Facebook:
OK People.... Halloween is upon us. 'Tis the season of wee chocolate bars and wee bags of chips, wee bags of cheezies, candy, and more chocolate. Many of us (ahem) have already dug into Halloween stash and have had to buy more. After Sunday there will not only be leftovers, but also piles of loot from our kids who rarely notice when it goes missing, little by little :)

So I have a CHALLENGE to get us through. Are you WITH me? C'mon!
Let's do a NO sugar for 30 days challenge. At the end I will meet all of you at Starbucks for a round of mochas and a celebration of our iron will :) 30 days begins on Sunday, so for the month of November we will be sugar free! The only sweeteners allowed are honey, maple syrup, and natural sugars in fresh food. No added sugar in coffee, no bon bons, ice cream, chocolate, donuts, cake, pie....... c'mon it's only 30 days!

WHO IS WITH ME?
We have 18 people on board, and it is Day 1. You ca…

More on the subject of Rest, and Today's Workout

After a LONG day of rest I planned a great workout for today. Rest days are hard for me, twiddling my thumbs, and I have to keep reminding myself that rest IS as important as working out! I need rest to recover and build the muscles I am working so hard on. I focused yesterday on water intake and researching some new exercises for creative inspiration- but I was cautious not to do too many reps to practice, negating my rest day (I did this last rest day! lol)
Today I am going to have a 2-a-day. Tonight I plan my full core workout with my husband (how fun is that? He pushes me!) so this morning I thought I'd try some of these new exercises to get jump started. 
This is an Upper & Lower Body Weight Workout, 150 reps, with intermediate exercises:
Supine Pull Ups 15 x 3 Single Leg Push Up 8 x 3 Single Leg Lunges 8 x 3 Low Squat Jumps 20 x 3
This took less than 30 minutes with short rests in between sets. I did it circuit style to reduce the rest time required. I felt like I could do more…

Simple & Effective Upper Body Workout No Equipment Required! 30:00

This is an easy-to-do and very effective upper body workout. You can modify reps and form as needed for + or - work.
Push/Press (Upper) Body Weight Workout +200 Reps 3 Circuits of 4 exercises, 8:00, rest 2:00 between circuits = 30:00 Total
Full Push Up x 10 Side Lying Tricep Push Up x 12/side Side Bridge Elbow to Knee Crunch Alternating Sides x 12 Single Arm Press Up to Pike (I have modify this from knees!) x 12/side
Remember to keep your core engaged completely during exercise! This is especially difficult for me on the eccentric phase of the Single Arm Press Up.
It looks easy written down but it was challenging for me. This is Day 3, my last burn before a rest day, and boy I am jello now.
Give it a try and enjoy!

Measures of Progress

Many people look for weight loss as the ultimate reward for exercise. Losing weight takes time, and often beginners need to build the strength to support a cardio program for weight loss. Some mothers who are nursing will "hang on to" weight until months after lactation has ceased completely. We need to consider that there are other benefits of exercise, and we need to pay attention to those results as well, regardless of what the scale says.
Here are some things I expect you to see within the first few months of my program:

- less aches and pains
- increased range-of-motion
- increased strength
- increased energy
- increased sense of well being
- decrease in stress
- improved posture
- a shifting of weight- you may lose inches
These are all great reasons to exercise- stretching, strengthening and building cardiovascular fitness. 
Remember that muscle weights more than fat. As we strengthen weight is shifted to lean muscle mass which burns more calories at rest, speeding up you…

You are another person's goal!

I have had this conversation with a few of my clients recently, regarding our individual levels of fitness. No matter where you find yourself along the continuum of fitness, there is someone out there working to be where you are. There are always people more and less fit than yourself (greater and lessor than yourself- the Desiderata!). So represent and strive for improvements, all the while being humble about your challenges and proud of your accomplishments. Every day that you exercise you are fitter than the day before! It is a series of small steps in your life's work!

Running Form

It is imperative to focus on your form when running in order to improve performance and prevent injury. Here are the things I look for when assessing running form: Keep your back straight and tall, with shoulder girdle anchored- think shoulders "up, back and down".Keep your chin up and upper body still. Your arms are for dynamics not speed/momentum! Do not swing your arms; try to keep forearms parallel to the ground the the wrists relaxed. Do NOT allow your arms to cross your midline in the front- that means do not swing them across your body. This will F&*k your back!Do not lean forward. This can cause shin splints. Conversely, don't lean back and strain your core.Try to land softly mid foot. Avoid heel striking or running on the balls of the feet.Do not stride out. Speed is about turnover, not stride. This can cause shin splints.Keep your transverse as engaged as possible- think abs "tight tight tight"Try to smile and keep your neck, shoulders and jaw rela…

2 Kinds of Sore

There are, in my opinion, 2 types of soreness. The first is from exercise, and the remedy is rest. The second is from stiffening, and that requires exercise. How do you determine the difference? Experience. Here are a couple of examples:
I ran last Sunday for the first time in 3 weeks and my shins are sore. This is a result of mild deconditioning and I am resting for 6 days, with a plan to run again on Sunday. I will slowly rebuild conditioning with increased frequency and distance. Example 1.
Quite often I experience lower back ache and I know I need to stretch out and loosen up. I use a program of targeted dynamic stretching, followed by the stationary bike which loosens my back like nothing else (!), then a static stretching cool, down. Example 2.
So the next time you feel stiff or sore, ask yourself "What KIND of sore is this?" You may be resting unnecessarily and exasperating your aches, or you may be overtraining with the same results.

Working Out with Baby

(subtitled "Making It Work")
So here is my day and how I managed to "make" time for my workout. Does this sound familiar?
I set the alarm for 6AM with ambitious plans for an AM run. I woke at 5:45AM, looked at the clock and thought "No way in hell", reset it for 7AM and went back to sleep.
Wake 7:18AM- overslept. Get my daughter up, she leaves for school at 8:15AM. My amazing husband does her morning routine while I get the baby up and fed.
8:15AM the house is now empty, just the baby and me. While he plays I grab a few minutes on the computer and finish my coffee.
8:50AM Baby goes for nap. Yay. My house is a disaster. The kitchen is a wreck- breakfast mayhem piled on last night's remnants of dirty dishes and mess. *sigh* I veg/work for 30 minutes on the computer.
9:15AM School calls- my 7 year old is in the office. Dammit I might not get my workout in at all! Crisis is under management  and hopefully I don't have to rush  out to pick her up (Grrr) OK …

Protein & Cereals for Baby

I have been emailing with a client who is looking for inspiration regarding sources of protein for her (almost) 9 month old. I was giving her tips, tricks and my favorite recipes for cereals and I thought it was good information to post here. (It is an excerpt from emails, so that explains how it is written):
"OK CEREAL, my favorite topic. I love to cook him hot cereal. Some grains I prepare:
- whole bulgar wheat
- 6 grain cereal
- steel cut oats
- brown rice
- quinoa
- amaranth
(the last 2 are about 30% protein each!)

I cook a small pot of hot cereal every 2-3 days and refrigerate leftovers for easy reheats. When preparing a serving mash in some banana, a tich of soy milk, a tablespoon of dessert tofu, applesauce, whatever. Dollop with yogurt and it's a great meal FULL of protein (several sources too) anytime of day.

Your challenge will likely be the chunky consistency. Try blending it down with some water and formula or rice milk or whatever using a hand blender.
I als…

Ab Rehab Success!

I visited a client on Saturday for an 8 week progress update on her ab rehab. She is working to close a large separation on a small frame, almost 9 months postpartum. While she lost only a total of 1.5 fingerwidths in 8 weeks of dedicated hard work and 24-7 splinting (yes she is sleeping in it!), she lost 3" off her waist and 1" from her naval! Also, her connective tissue is the strongest I have ever felt- so strong in fact that initially I thought she had closed her DR, and only because of our skepticism did I continue checking and rechecking until I could feel the separation.
Success! It works. Have you completed your sets and reps today?

Don't Write Off Your Day!

Say it's 3PM- half way through the day and you are realizing how crappy you've eaten today-overindulged, poor choices, been inactive, overslept, hungover... well tomorrow is a brand new day. No. Begin your active recovery as soon as you find yourself engaging in the self dialogue of defeatism. Have something nutritious to eat to ward off cravings instead of starving to purge over indulgence. Exercise to improve energy, boost esteem and motivation.
Begin now. Just as every day is a brand new day, every moment is a brand new moment. Don't write off the rest of your day any more than you would the rest of your life!

2 Pregnancies & Labors- A comparison with and without exercise, from my own experience.

I wrote this 3 weeks after delivering Seth:
I have now been through 2 pregnancies- the first six and half years ago, and the second this year. It is difficult to compare experiences directly- there are inherent characteristics unique to each. "They say" with your second pregnancy you show sooner, carry lower, deliver faster, etc., but even considering those generalizations, I can draw some distinctive conclusive comparisons based on my degree of fitness, or lack thereof.... With my first pregnancy I made the over cautious and under educated decision to cease all exercise, based on my fear of compromising my condition. I had been a consistent 5-10 K runner for 3 years.

With my 2nd pregnancy, now as a personal trainer, ceasing my exercise routine was simply not an option. I modified my routine accordingly and exercised right up until the day I delivered. I used an adaptive program incorporating cardio, flexibility and strength training.

Here are some observations dur…