Archive for the ‘exercise’ Category

Safe Pregnancy Exercise Tips you simply must know to keep you and your growing baby safe

Sunday, April 2nd, 2017

sitting slip legged over fb copyAdjusting exercises as your pregnancy progresses: If you’re using light weights or body weight exercises you may find it more comfortable to sit down to support your lower back rather than stand. Slow your pace right down and focus on form over number of repetitions. As your pregnancy progresses, swap high impact exercise such as jogging or jumping to lower impact options, for example walking and swimming.

Avoid jerky movements: Your ligaments and joints are more relaxed and loose, so take extra care when picking up weights, twisting and moving throughout training sessions and avoid fast sudden movements or sudden changes in direction.

Do not exercise lying flat on your back after the first trimester: Lying flat on your back squashes the major vessel that supplies your baby with oxygenated blood.

Abdominal exercises: Engaging and working your abdominal muscles is important to help support your lower back and prevent/relieve back pain. If at any stage you develop a gap of more than 2 cm or 2 finger width down the midline of your abdomen, stop any crunching exercises and focus on tightening and relaxing exercises.

Stay cool: Wear cool clothing, stay well hydrated and avoid exercising in hot or humid conditions.

Pace yourself: You should still be able to speak normally and carry out a conversation during exercise. Never exercise to fatigue or exhaustion as this can divert blood flow away from your uterus, baby and placenta. Focus on quality of exercise rather than quantity of exercise.

Gear up: You may need to buy a new pair of joggers if your feet become swollen and puffy closer to your due date. Wear a well fitting supportive bra to help reduce breast trauma, you may need to buy a bigger size when your breasts start to produce milk. You may want to consider wearing a belly belt to provide extra abdominal support.

Rise slowly: Pregnancy hormones can place you at risk of random spells of low blood pressure as blood rushes to your feet when you stand, leaving you feeling faint and dizzy, so take your time when rising from the floor.

Eat just before and directly after exercise: Very low blood sugar levels can affect your baby, so make sure you eat before and directly after you exercise and carry a snack around with you. NEVER exercise if you are hungry.

Pelvic floor exercises: Remember to squeeze your way through 3 sets of 10 kegal exercises. Hold each lift for as long as you can.

The safest way to exercise though your pregnancy is to have an exercise regime specifically tailored to your pregnancy. Our Registered Midwife and Personal Trainer will design you, your very own customised Pregnancy Program safely customised to how many weeks pregnant, any pregnancy related complications or discomforts you may be experiencing, degree of stomach muscle separation, pelvic floor weakness, previous pregnancy history and more....

How much weight gain is healthy for your pregnancy

Wednesday, February 22nd, 2017

measuring baby bump copyHow much weight gain is right for you?

During your first trimester of pregnancy your baby will only weigh approximately 5g. The weight you gain in the first half of pregnancy is mostly maternal weight (blood, fat, fluid), as your body prepares and adapts itself to pregnancy. The weight you gain during the second half of your pregnancy is mostly from the growth and development of your baby.

Weight gain in the first trimester should be around 0.2-2kg but the amount of weight gain which is recommended for women in pregnancy varies from one individual to another individual depending on what their weight was before pregnancy. Women who are overweight do not need to gain as much weight gain compared with women who are considered normal weight or underweight.

So here are the recommended weight gain guidelines for pregnancy that we are referring to. These guidelines have been created and designed by medical professionals and now these weight gain guidelines are recognised world wide and are followed by medical professionals all around the world. Keep in mind that different organisations have slightly different weight gain recommendations but they are all very similar. These guidelines are based on what your weight was just before you conceived. This weight is then used to calculate your prenatal Body Mass Index (BMI). This pre pregnancy BMI reading is then used to determine your recommended weight gain for your BMI during pregnancy to promote healthy straight forward pregnancy and a healthy happy baby. Putting on too much weight or not putting on enough weight can lead to a problematic pregnancy and can impact on your baby’s health.

 

Use this formula to calculate you BMI just before you were pregnant

(Please note this formula is in metric, if you are using imperial measure use pounds instead of kilos and inches instead of metres.)

Your weight divided by your height squared.

Weight/height in metres  (squared)

scales- stepping onto scales, feet view copy

EG: If my weight is 60kg and my height is 164cm

Weight kg /height(2)

60kg/1.64cm (2)

60/ (1.64*1.64)

60/ (2.6896)

BMI= 22.3

 

BMI TABLE

PRENATAL BMITOTAL WEIGHT GAINRATES OF WEIGHT GAIN DURING SECOND & THIRD TRIMESTERS
RANGE - kgRANGE - lbsMEAN RANGE - kg/weekMEAN RANGE - lbs/week
Underweight(Less than 18.5 kg/m2)12.5-18 28-400.51 (0.44-0.58)1(1-1.3)
Normal Weight18.5-25.9 kg/m211.5-1625-350.42(0.35-0.5)1(0.8-1)
Overweight25-29.9 kg/m27-11.5 15-250.28(0.23-0.33)0.6(0.5-0.7)
Obese/Greater than 30 kg/m25-911-200.22(0.17-0.27)0.5(0.4-0.6)

These figures are based on the assumption that weight gain in the first trimester is 0.5-2kg or 1.1 -4.4Ibs.

Twin pregnancy:

If you are carrying twins your total pregnancy weight gain will be higher than the above figures, averaging 15-22kg or 33-48.4 Ibs.

Our Registered Midwife and Personal Trainer will design you, your very own customised Pregnancy Program  to help you control and manage healthy pregnancy weight gain. Your program is safely customised to how many weeks pregnant; any pregnancy related complications or discomforts you may be experiencing; degree of stomach muscle separation; pelvic floor weakness, previous pregnancy history and more....Your program comes with your very own personal nutritional guide.

Caesarean section and your abdominals

Monday, December 19th, 2016

Common concerns after caesarean sections (C/S)

Screen Shot 2014-06-15 at 7.44.42 amAbdominal weakness

You’re probably shocked at how much strength you have lost in your abs! Women who had a decent amount of abdominal strength and tone before pregnancy are often surprised and frustrated at how much abdominal strength they have lost as a combined result of pregnancy and surgery and often find that they struggle to perform even 1 sit up after a C/S.

Caesarean section “pouch”

This is the odd looking abdominal indent which sometimes occurs as a result of the abdomen C/S incision.

Pulling feeling

The horrible feeling that your insides are being pulled apart when you try and stretch your upper body upwards and stand up straight. As a result women often walk curled over in a question mark position until they learn to trust their body won’t ping apart!

Unsure of what ab exercises are safe to restart and how long after your C/S is safe to start training abs again

This is unfortunately where many women go wrong or receive the wrong advice which can lead to improper healing, unnecessary trauma and unsatisfactory results. As long as you have received clearance to exercise again from your health professional then you can safely start to reintroduce ab exercises into your exercise routine. BUT, which ab exercises are safe and appropriate for after your  C/S? read on…….

The do’s and don’ts of abdominal exercise after your caesarean section

You have just had major abdominal surgery and you need time to mend and heal. After a few days your wound may look healed on the outside but everything is still healing on the inside. After a caesarean section you firstly need to focus strengthening your inner abdominal muscles which are called your “transverse muscles”  before you start to work on your outer 6 pack muscles which are called your “rectus abdominal” muscles.

AVOID: Ab exercises to avoid that use your 6 pack muscles include sit ups, crunches and any other abdominal muscle exercise that involves the forward crunching motion. These exercises can do more damage than good if your body has not had efficient amount of time to heal and regained strength in your inner core. Refer to FACT sheet Rectus diastasis for more information.

SAFE: Ab exercises that work your inner transverse muscles but limit the excessive use of your outer 6 pack muscles include plank, side plank and dish holds.

Concerned about your C/S pouch?

After caesarean section some women are concerned about what looks like a “pouch” resulting from the incision made during the operation. This pouch is most probably fatty tissue damage and inflammation. As time goes by swelling will subside so will the overhang, this may take up to 6 months to settle down. After 6 months normally the swelling has gone down and you are left with only the scar.

The most effective way to accelerate post pregnancy weight loss is to have an exercise regime tailored to your body type and your post pregnancy needs. this includes whether you are breastfeeding, your delivery experience, condition of your abdominal muscles and other post pregnancy requirements. Our Registered Midwife and Personal Trainer will design you, your very own customised Post Pregnancy Body Revamp Program to kick start pregnancy weight loss, lose baby weight, tone up and trim down.

Mindset

Sunday, January 18th, 2015

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Believe in Yourself

Believing you can achieve something can be the difference between success and failure. If you believe in yourself and believe that you can achieve your goals then you are setting yourself up for success.  Your mind is one of the most powerful possessions you own and you can achieve anything when you believe in yourself so keep telling yourself that you WILL succeed you WILL reach your goals, dig deep and find the belief inside of you.

 

 

Screen Shot 2013-08-25 at 5.13.24 PMThink Positive

Look where your life is right now. You have no doubt made choices and decisions along the way that have led you to unhealthy lifestyle choices. There would have been times when you have spoken down to yourself, felt degraded and possibly been embarrassed by yourself. Thinking and speaking negatively will only make things worse. LOSE THE NEGATIVE THOUGHTS! Start thinking and speaking positive words out loud and surround yourself with positivity. Remove yourself from negative friends and family, hanging around people who are negative will bring you down. This is about your transformation and thinking POSITIVELY. Use positive affirmations such as “I will do this”, “I will reach my goal weight” instead of “I can become healthy” and “I can reach my goal weight”. You need to take control and tell yourself that you will achieve your goals and you will become a better version of yourself. Write down a list of your positive affirmations to help you achieve your goals. Stick these next to your goal list and read them each day.

Screen Shot 2013-08-25 at 5.34.40 PMExcuses

Excuses, excuses, excuses! The truth is, we are all very busy these days for many different reasons. Your story is probably very similar to other women who wish to lose weight and get fit and healthy for pregnancy. Unfortunately though, the one thing that tends to be put to one side is our health. We don’t eat right because it takes time to prepare so we grab things on the go because it is easier. We don’t have time to get to the gym or go for a run because we have other commitments that supposedly need to come first. We are living in countries where the numbers of women (and men!) who are overweight or obese  is high, far too high, this puts a huge strain on the female reproductive cycle and ability to conceive. Many women are struggling to become pregnant and are diagnosed with pregnancy health problems that are simply due to carrying excess weight and making poor lifestyle choices which can be prevented by weight loss, exercise and eating healthy. This is your time to kick those old lifestyle habits and work on becoming a new and improved healthier you to help you conceive easier, experience a healthy pregnancy and straightforward labour.

Some women may feel embarrassed and self conscious about the way they look which often comes hand in hand with feeling down, lacking energy or motivation and prevents us from living life to the full which is a vicious circle to try and dig yourself out of. We’re not the only ones who are suffering, others around us are also feeling our pain and struggles. Simple things like trying to keep up with friends and family can become a struggle.

The only person that can make the change happen is YOU. You are in control of all your decisions in life. To transform into a healthier version of yourself ready for pregnancy, you need to tell yourself that you do have the time to workout and you do have the time to eat clean and healthy. Everyday tell yourself  that no matter what gets in your way, you will eat clean and healthy and you will get your workout in. There may be days/weeks when you simply cannot exercise for whatever reason, we all have times when things don’t go to plan but try and get back on track as soon as possible, refocus on your goals and reset you mind before you continue with your program. Even if you only have 30 minutes to train, take full advantage of every minute available to you and do the best you can, 30 minutes is better than nothing at all.  Healthy lifestyle choices can boost and improve your fertility, your ability to conceive more easily and the overall health of your pregnancy.

Discreetly fit

Saturday, December 20th, 2014

Effect of Pregnancy on your pelvic floor muscles

incontinenece copy 2

During pregnancy your pelvic floor area is placed under stress which weakens your pelvic floor muscles and the surrounding support muscles and ligaments. The pressure exerted by  your growing belly as well as the pregnancy hormone relaxin, which is produced to help stretch and relax your pelvis for childbirth contribute to the weakening of your pelvic floor muscles. So, you need to focus on engaging and strengthening your pelvic floor regularly to help prevent continence problems and problems down below after your delivery. Studies suggest that pelvic floor exercises strengthen the pelvic floor muscles which gives you more strength and control to push in labour. You may already be experiencing some degree of urinary incontinence, but don’t worry, you're not alone! Working on your pelvic floor muscles will help strengthen these muscles. In most cases incontinence can be totally reversed after you deliver baby.

Finding your pelvic floor muscles

Engaging your pelvic floor- Tighten the muscles that you would use to stop the flow of urine, feel your pelvic floor muscles lift and engage. Engaging your pelvic floor muscles also switches on your trans abdominal muscles.

Exercises

Once you have found your pelvic floor muscle you can perform pelvic floor exercises randomly throughout the day and people won’t even know you are doing them! You can do them standing, sitting, lying…….Start with 10 repetitions and hold them for 2-3 seconds. As your pelvic muscles strengthen hold the squeeze for up to 5-10 seconds, challenge yourself further each time.

Our Registered Midwife, Clinical Nurse and Personal Trainer will design you, your very own 12 week exercise program and nutritional program customised to your pre pregnancy, pregnancy or post pregnancy needs .... Check out our programs here

HELP! I’m gaining weight not losing weight!

Sunday, November 30th, 2014

Take a deep breath and don't stress!!! scales with help copy

There are a couple of things to take into consideration before you start to worry here. Firstly remember that muscle weighs more than fat, which means that 1kg of muscle is more compact and smaller in size than 1kg of fat. So you may be gaining weight and losing size! I suggest you go by what the mirror and your clothes are telling you. If you are gaining weight but your clothes are looser and the mirror is showing off a trimmer you, then ditch the scales and listen to what your body is trying to tell you!

Let’s not forget about our menstrual cycle, your body weight can fluctuate up to 2-3 kg during your period so don’t fret if you are heavier during this time. After your period you’ll find your body rids itself of this excess fluid retention and you will lose the weight associated with this.

Another factor to consider is your salt intake. If you have over indulged in salt your body often holds extra water contributing to the extra weight displayed on your scales.

Are you weighing yourself at the same time on the same day each week? This can make a massive difference! The most accurate and reliable time to weigh yourself is first thing in the morning, nude and after you have gone to the bathroom.

Scales are not always the most accurate way of measuring and tracking your weight loss progress. This is why we recommend you take body measurements or even have your body fat tested as these are the more reliable methods to track your progress. Just remember that if your clothes are feeling looser but you are gaining weight then you're heading in the right direction and also remember that the mirror doesn’t lie so look in the mirror and if you like what you see I would ignore the scales.

Don’t worry if you plateau or gain weight on certain weeks, consistence is the key to weight loss.

The beauty of our customised Peak Pregnancy Fitness Programs is that we design your program to fit in with your lifestyle to help you keep focused and motivated to reach your weight loss goals. You have the flexibility to exercise when you like and where you like, knowing you have unlimited online coaching, exercise demonstration videos, advice and support from the comfort of your own home.

Is exercise during pregnancy safe?

Saturday, November 15th, 2014

Your ever changing pregnant body adapts and changes to the demands of pregnancy so enabling you to continue to safely exercise throughout your pregnancy journey, with Peak Pregnancy guidance.

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Your cardiovascular system which incorporates your cardiac output, maximal heart rate and resting heart rate, continues to adapt and change as your pregnancy progresses. Your maximum heart rate lowers and your resting heart rate increases.

Your blood volume nearly doubles and your heart pumps nearly twice the amount of blood through your system, new blood vessels form in the uterus and your maximal heart rate is lowered.

In low risk pregnancies hormonal changes induced by exercise are short term and are quickly reversed. These hormones epinephrine and norepinephrine rise slightly during exercise but the placenta gets rid of these hormones quickly and efficiently. Studies have shown these elevated hormone levels to be non-threatening to your baby.

As your pregnancy progresses and your belly pushes up on your respiratory system your ribcage expands and you begin to take deeper breaths enabling you to take in plenty of oxygen keeping your baby happy.

During your workouts a small amount amount of blood flow is redirected to your muscles so there can be a slight decrease in blood flow to your baby but your baby has safe effective coping mechanisms to deal with this temporary reduced amount of oxygenated blood flow. Remember how I keep reminding you to not exercise until fatigue and keep your workouts focused on quality not quantity! This is because excessive prolonged strenuous fatiguing exercise could restrict the blood flow to the uterus by more than 50% as the stress hormones epinephrine and norepinephrine rise excessively constricting blood vessels. We however design your program especially for pregnancy and by keeping your workouts at a moderate intensity will keep you safe and your baby happy.

The safest way to exercise through your pregnancy is to have an exercise regime specifically tailored to your pregnancy. Our Registered Midwife and Personal Trainer will design you, your very own customised Pregnancy Program safely customised to how many weeks pregnant, any pregnancy related complications or discomforts you may be experiencing, degree of stomach muscle separation, pelvic floor weakness, previous pregnancy history and more....

Best time of day to exercise

Friday, November 7th, 2014

Screen Shot 2014-08-16 at 1.53.52 pmSo when exactly is the best time to exercise?

The answer to this very common question depends on what you are training for. The optimal time to train during the course of the day will differ depending whether are training for pre or post pregnancy weight loss versus developing muscle tone versus putting on muscle mass, or maybe you are just training to improve your health and fitness or to maintain a healthy active pregnancy. Once you have pin pointed the reason behind why you exercise then you can begin to explore the optimal time of day to train to reach your fitness goals. There is plenty of ongoing research currently being undertaken on this topic, the answer to the question, "When is the best time for exercise?" varies dramatically depending on your training goals. SO far research has suggested the following.... but remember whatever time of day best fits into your lifestlye then this is better than nothing at all! 

 AFTERNOON TRAINING

The optimal time to train to avoid injuries is when your body temperature is at its warmest and your muscles and ligaments are warmed up and ready to go, research suggests this is best between 4-5pm. Your body is at its coolest first thing in the morning when you wake up

Strength training is best midday to afternoon when you output is 5% greater. Your anaerobic output from short sharp bursts of exercise, for example High Intensity training or sprinting are best in the afternoon.

Your aerobic output which is your endurance type exercise such as a jog or swim is also greater in the afternoon

MORNING TRAINING

Research suggests that morning exercisers are more consistent and regular with their exercise. So even though your body may not be at it's prime, you are more likely to maintain an active healthy lifestyle than afternoon exercisers.

Morning exercise can give you an instant rush of energy and set your mind for the day which means you are more likely to eat more healthy and nutritious foods throughout the day.

Some studies have begun to favour morning exercise as the best time of the day if your aim is weight loss. Exercising on an empty stomach in a fasted state tends to burn a greater percentage of fat for fuel rather than relying on carbohydrates from food.

Studies are also beginning to show that morning exercise can help lower your blood pressure as well as reduce stress and improve sleep which, can also continue to helping with weight loss.

EVENING TRAINING

Does evening exercise affect your sleep and keep you awake? Well there are no studies that support this statement so if evening exercise works for you then stick with it!

The best part of evening workouts is that exercise relieves stress, that was accumulated during a hard days work.

The take-home message is that most women are exercising for weight loss and improve tone. The key is to exercise whenever you can fit it in around your daily lifestyle. Exercise is beneficial regardless of what time of day you manage to fit in a training session.

The beauty of our customised Peak Pregnancy Fitness Programs is that we design your program to fit in with your personal lifestyle. You have the flexibility to exercise when you like and where you like, knowing you have unlimited online coaching, exercise demonstration videos, advice and support from the comfort of your own home.