Category Archives: Fit Tips

3 Must-Do Exercises for the Pregnant Woman

Good morning everyone!

How’s the week been so far? Hopefully not too painful getting back into the grind after the Holidays. This week is actually going by pretty quick in our household. It has been SO cold (especially compared to Los Angeles) this week and all I want to do is bundle up and stay inside. This morning it was 25 degrees, brrr!! Paisley is not impressed.

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Today I wanted to share my favorite exercises for the pregnant lady! Of course there are many more exercises that are beneficial to do, but these are the three I feel like should be incorporated into every program!

Pregnancy Exercises

LUNGES

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Why? Lots of picking up, reaching, and setting down the baby. And don’t forget about groceries and all those other household chores forcing you to bend forward! We don’t want to cause a back issue, so keeping those legs and glutes strong is important. Lunges can be performed stationary, stepping, walking, or even lateral and posterior.

ROWS

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Why? Holding, feeding, and reaching into your babies crib is inevitably going to force you into a more “kyphotic” (rounded/forward) posture position, which lengthens and weakens your posture muscles. (Lame!) Any type of rowing exercise (or scapular strengthening) fights against this. Rows can be performed in sitting, standing or in the bent over position. When you are rowing, really focus on pinching your shoulder blades- not hunching your shoulders up towards your ears. For more exercise ideas to improve your posture, visit this article. 

ABDOMINAL DRAWS

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For the pregnant woman you may modify this exercise by performing it sitting or elevated with a bolster behind your head and torso so that you are not completely supine.

Why? The bellies are stretching, thus lengthening and weakening your abdominal muscles. Plus the added weight gain and new posture position your body is adjusting to can make it tough to activate your core muscles correctly.

For more detail about how to perform this exercise (it can be a little tricky), check out a past Fit Girl article for a greater explanation.

Once you have this movement down, add in supine marching (alternate lifting your legs) while maintaining that abdominal draw/brace. Your back should not arch and you should feel a subtle awareness in your lower abdominals below your belly button.

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Well there you have it folks! I hope that was a little informative for your Thursday 🙂

What is everyone up to this weekend?

Do you perform any of these exercises on a regular basis? 

Later! ~Marielle

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My YogaWorks Classes

This was one of the first weekends this month that we have been in town so it was nice to take it easy and not do much. We did make the trek up to Malibu and it was a perfect day of sitting outside and sipping some wine.

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I also spent lots of time lounging around with this girl.

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I realized I haven’t updated lately on the half marathon training. Well, it’s definitely creeping up on us and is just over a month out…yikes! Today we ran 7 miles and will ramp up to 10 in the next 2 weeks. Today was a slow run for me, but I’m just happy to get the miles in and try not to worry about my pace so much. I’m shooting for running under a 10 min. mile so finishing under 2 hours 10 minutes would be great!

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Disclosure: I received a free six-month trial of MyYogaWorks in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

I recently had the opportunity to try out MyYogaWorks online yoga classes. It’s funny, I was thinking a few weeks ago that I need to get back on the yoga-train and received an email asking if I wanted to try out the online site! Must have been meant to be!

There are many times during the week that I don’t feel like driving to a yoga studio and dealing with parking, getting there earlier to get a spot, and doing a class that isn’t tailored to what I specifically want to do. Nothing beats the convenience of online classes, I can just pull up my ipad and get going.

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The classes are broken up into beginner, intermediate, and advanced. I like this model because as I go on, I know I can switch things up and progress. I’m not extremely experienced with yoga so I have only done some beginner classes. They range from 5 min – 90 min which is super easy to squeeze into a busy day.

They also make it super-easy in the search function to choose the time you want, the purpose you want to focus on and the body parts you want to target.  There are 20 different categories so there is something for everyone. So far I have taken classes focusing on energizing, stress reduction, stretch, and calming. The instructors are very specific and the pace of each class was just right for me- not too fast, not too slow. They also show modifications for all the poses, which is especially helpful for me 🙂

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I really like that there are different instructors throughout the site.  Some workout videos can get boring after listening to the same instructor and the same cueing over and over again.

The site also has a “Journey Series” that are a sequence of videos with a specific focus like yoga for runners (I need to try this one for sure), nap time yoga for moms, surfing and roadtrip yoga. Love it all!

The price is extremely reasonable, $15/month after a 14 day free trial. And you lucky blog readers can use this code: bloggermonth and receive a free one month trail! You can get started here. 

I’m pretty happy I have this subscription for 6 months so that I can try out everything this site has to offer….seriously it seems to have something for everyone!

The only complaint I have is that there isn’t any music playing in the background and I’m a music dependent exerciser. So I turned on my Pandora radio as I went through the workouts and that easily solved the problem.

 Have you tried online yoga classes? What do you think? 

Thanks for reading as always! 

 

Sneaking Exercise At Work

Those long days at the office sitting hours on end can take a toll on our pretty little bodies. I know after I sit for awhile, my body feels stiff and I get pretty antsy. This is why it’s tough for me to sit through a 3+ hour movie. 😉

In an ideal world, we’d all be able to take breaks every half an hour and take a spin or yoga class mid-day. But in reality, many people log in 7+ hours of sitting and only taking bathroom breaks. YIKES!

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My philosophy has always been that doing something is better than nothing, so, here are my 4 favorite exercises you can sneak in at work!

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Abdominal Squeezes With Leg Lift

Brace your abs as if someone is going to sock you in the stomach but you can breath normally. While maintaining the abdominal brace, march your legs up and down (alternating sides). As you lift, think of your abdominal as being in charge of the movement and you brace your abs more with each lift. Perform 20 lifts on each leg.

Shoulder Blade Squeezes

While sitting tall and shoulders are relaxed, bring your shoulders back and squeeze your shoulder blades together. The motion is “IN and DOWN,” not up. Make sure your upper shoulders are relaxed. Hold the squeeze for 5 seconds and repeat 30 times. This is a good reset for your posture muscles.

Triceps Dips 

Scoot your booty forward until it’s off your chair and hold onto your chair with your arms straight at your sides. If you are on a rolling chair, make sure you have a good grip on your chair before you begin. Slowly bend your elbows straight behind you and straighten. Repeat 20 repetitions.

Single Leg Squats

Every time you need to sit down or stand up, try doing so on one leg. Make sure you brace your hands on your desk top for support. Try getting in 20 on each leg throughout your day!

Are there any exercises you try to sneak in while at the office? 

Please share in the comments below! 

A Half Marathon in 11 Weeks

Alright you guys, I bit the bullet and signed up for a Half Marathon  coming up on August 2nd, eeek! I would like to do one a little farther out, but our summer is already filling up, so this was the best option. And hey, it’s in Huntington Beach so it can’t be that bad!

I’ve done a lot of halves in the past (over 10), but it’s been more than 2 years since my last one….crazy how time flies. Even though I haven’t been training for a race, I still run regularly 3x a week up to 5 miles.  So, giving myself 11 weeks to train seems like a do-able challenge. (If it was my first half ever, I’d definitely give myself more time!)

I wanted to share my tentative training plan, and will update on how it’s going. A lot of training programs I’ve seen, suggest running 4-5 days a week. But I know my body responds much better with 3 days of running and 1-2 days of strength.  So, take my training program with a grain of salt as everyone is different! And if it’s your first race, I’d suggest training 14-16 weeks.

On my strength days I plan on doing a barre class/DVD & some at home circuits. I will also add in some sprints and intervals during some of my 3 mile runs.

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I finished week 1 of the training today and feel pretty good. I can tell my legs are not in running shape yet, but I made it through the 6 miles today at a 9:45 pace. Hopefully I can keep up that pace with the longer runs.

 How much time do you give yourself when training for a race? Do you follow a training program? 

 

Vega Sport

Hello Blogger People!

I hope everyone is having a great start to the week. It’s going to be a hot one today in LA, I think it’s already up to 85 degrees and it’s not even 9am. Wish I could be at the beach and not at work!

As a Sweat Pink ambassador for Fit Approach ,I have the opportunity to participate in product reviews. I always choose products to review that I’m curious about and think my readers might be interested in as well. So, I jumped at the chance to try out a Vega Sport product.

I’m a big snacker and during the week I am constantly on the run, so I like having something easy to grab that satisfies me until I can eat a real meal.

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Their products offer plant-based, gluten-free, non-GMO, and nothing artificial. Read more about their guiding principles. 

I was given a box of chocolate coconut almond energy bars. The bars contain 27g carbs from whole food ingredients, high and low glycemic carbohydrates for immediate and sustained energy, as well as 1g Omega 3

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Honestly, I can be turned off when hearing that the ingredients are all natural, gluten free etc….that usually means they don’t have much flavor.  But , these were pretty yummy and perfect to throw in my purse when I knew I’d be out and about.

They have more products available such as pre-workout drinks, recovery drinks, performance protein, and endurance gel. 2353-FuelYourBetter-800x800-v5

 

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Check out The Vega Blog if you are interested!

What are your go-to snacks on a busy day? 

How to Fit Exercise into Your Schedule

I’ve been asked this question a lot recently so I thought I’d dedicate a blog post to it.

There are so many things that get in the way of working out: work, family, a social life, and catching up on your favorite reality show. (one cheer for the housewives). Exercise is a priority for me so I always save time for it, but this is something that I constantly work at. Below are some of my tips!

You Don’t Need 1 Hour to Workout. There are many times when I only have a 15-30 minute window to exercise. And we can always spare 20 minutes of our day. Doing something is better than nothing. The fitness world knows how busy our lives are, so there are many sources for quick workouts. I’ve shared a few of my routines here. Squeeze in a workout wherever you are (in a hotel room, at home, at a park). Check out this article about the 7 Minute Workout!

Find Something You Like. This is a no brainer- if you hate running, you aren’t likely to do it. There are so many options so anyone can find their niche whether it biking, hiking, swimming, dancing, paddle boarding, yoga, Pilates, boot camp, barre, trx or cross fit classes. Be realistic about finding something you enjoy.

Schedule It. Plan ahead and put it in your calender. I like that a lot of the barre classes make you sign up for class before you attend, that way it’s already factored into my day. Remember it’s your body and it should be a priority.

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How do you fit exercise into your weekly routine?  Please share in the comments below!

Happy Saturday to you all from us and Paisley!

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What Workouts Should I Be Doing?

Fitness fads almost seem like fashion trends to me and something is either “in” or “out” each season. With this constant shift of new workouts coming and going, it can be a little overwhelming as to what you should be doing.

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I love that fact that there is now so many options! Anyone can find something that suits them. I like to switch up my routine when I can, so I wanted to briefly review some current fit trends I’ve seen popping up lately, in hopes to inspire you all to try something new!

Cross Fit These gyms are everywhere and continue to expand. Currently just over 2,000 crossfits nationwide. They do a WOD (Workout of the Day) that involves combinations of body weight exercises, olympic lifts (power cleans) and plyometric jumps. In each WOD, they are either trying to complete as many repetitions as possible or a certain number of exercises as fast as you can.  Basically they involve short bursts of high intensity activity with rests in between.

Tabata Another high intensity type of workout, this involves alternating 20 seconds of intense effort with 10 seconds of rest for 4 minutes.  High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) is all the rage and research shows it’s the best at improving your strength, speed, and endurance. You can use this same format with any type of exercise you like: dancing, running, biking, or weight training.

TRX  This workout utilizes Body weight suspension training . The idea is that it trains and challenges the entire body, not just one isolated muscle or joint. Even professional baseball players, UFC fighters and Olympic athletes use TRX training in their workout regime.

At-home workouts With the rise of healthy living bloggers (yay!) and our online obsession there is no reason to skip a workout. Sites like Tone It Up, Blogilates, Warrior Fit, and Physique 57  all have a huge library of workouts. And didn’t forget the Nike Club Training App straight from your phone!

My take: Do something! Doesn’t matter if it’s a workout class or just going on a hike. being active any way is the best way to help to keep your body (and mind) healthy, And do what fits into your goals. If you are not happy with how you feel after your workouts, then switch it up!

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I’m sure they are some more “trends” I haven’t named, so please share in the comments below!

What’s your take on fitness trends?

Thanks for stopping by and reading!