Nap Time Fitness: 15 minute total body workout

We will start with my favorite picture from this week…

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Today’s nap time workout was tough! Another Pinterest find.
I’m posting on my phone so no link to the actual work out.
The work out was called 5-4-3-2-1.
5- minutes cardio
4- one minute lunges, one minute mountain climbers…for four minutes.
3- 15 push-ups, 10 tricep dips…for three minutes.
2- 30 seconds squats, 30 seconds jump squats…for two minutes
1- plank for one minute.

It was a great workout! I was sweaty, and I know I’m going to feel those tricep dips in the morning!

Nap Time Fitness: Abs and Yoga

So….Thursday was rolling around, and I was STILL super sore from my Tuesday workout. Those deadlifts did a number on my hamstrings, as I knew (and hoped) they would. Since Im still getting back into shape, I figured I would take a different tack for my Thursday work out. Ha, who am¬†I kidding, I know it’s good to work those muscles again, but my hammies were just so damn sore.

I one again consulted my Pinterest page. Speaking of Pinterest, is it possible to edit the name of your boards? I tend to Pinterest on my phone, and my boards are full of typos that happened at 3am.

I decided to work my abs with this work out from Pumps n’ Iron.

I thought it would be no problem to do at as written.

20 seconds of each exercise, back to back, with 30 seconds of rest between. Ha, freaking, Ha.

I started with 20 seconds, and quickly backed down to 10. I suppose I should recall that I not only was pregnant for 41 weeks, but also had a c-section, which is major abdominal surgery. I forget that it’s a pretty big deal, because my recovery was so easy, and I had no side affects.

My upper abdominals are pretttrong. I went in to pregnancy with strong abs, and worked them the best I could, but pregnancy is pregnancy, my lower abs are shot. Surprisingly, I’m not sore in my abs this morning, my lats are sore. I plan to do this workout again, as planks are the best post pregnancy workout.

After my very, very tough plank workout, I did this Yoga sequence. It felt so, so good to stretch, especially my hammies. Prior to pregnancy I was doing Yoga 2x per week, and I would love to add it back in.

I’m proud of myself for meeting one of my month four goals this week! Hopefully I can keep it up.

 

Pregnancy: What Workout?

 

Isn't this a classic picture?

Again, sorry I’ve been so absent around here. I guess my promise is posting will be sporadic at worst, and less sporadic at best. ūüôā

I’ve settled into a routine here in Wyoming. A daily routine, but not so much a real workout routine. As you know, prior to moving I was still training with kettlebells 2x a week. Well, I haven’t been doing any kettlebells since moving here. I only own a 35 pounder, and while I know that would be ok to swing, and I’m comfortable with my technique, I’m not sure of the prudence of doing my swings/other things with out someone else around. Just to be safe. The dog can’t really call 911.

I have been regularly walking, at least 5 times per week, for at least 20 minutes, which seems to be the most I can do before I get some serious round ligament pain on the top of my belly. At this point, I’m not exercising to lose weight, but exercising to keep some modicum of fitness for delivery and beyond. I have also been doing Prenatal Yoga at least once per week, sometimes two.¬† Last week I subbed out prenatal yoga for prenatal pilates. I found a prenatal pilates video on youtube. The pilates was quite a bit harder than Yoga, which made me realize I have been skimping out on my favorite thing: strength training!

I finally got my butt in gear this morning, after a LOOOONG night of tossing and turning due to extreme hip pain. I know that some hip pain is inevitable in late pregnancy, but it made me think about the dis-service I am doing to myself by not getting in some regular strength training.

So, I created the following “circuit” for myself. It’s pretty easy, and again tailored for what I can do in my living room, with only my body weight.

Allison’s¬†32 Week Circuit

March in place:30 seconds

Diagonal arm/leg balance: 10 seconds each side, repeat each side 2x

March in place: 30 seconds

20 pregnancy burpees

Plank: 20 seconds

Downdog: 30 seconds

Malasana Squat: 30 seconds

Repeat 2-3x

Today I repeated 2.5 times. I did the whole thing twice, and then on the 3 time around I only did 1 diagonal arm/leg balance on each leg, 10 burpees, and for plank I did 40 seconds, but I put my kneees down.

It’s not going to win any fitness awards, but it helped me move my body in a way that I haven’t been diligent about doing. I picked exercises that I know are ok/good for pregnancy and birth. Birth….birth is on my mind these days.¬† A LOT.

Wyoming: She’ll leave you high and dry.

Rock Springs, the town I live in in Wyoming, is located at 6338 feet.¬† Higher than a mile, and the highest elevation I have ever resided at (other than summer camp in the Sierra’s). The elevation here, is deceiving though. It’s a high plains desert, and doesn’t feel like places you associate with high elevation, like the mountains.

I live in that green section that you see, with that “mountain”¬†view out my bedroom window. This is only half the town, but it¬†gives you an idea of the topography. Brown. Good thing I was born and raised in the high mountain desert, or this might be quite the shock¬†for me.

Last week I was in Reno for my baby shower, thrown by my mother, and a family friend came up to¬†me and told me to make sure I was drinking enough water. I thought she was just¬†giving me advice,¬†because I am pregnant and people are compelled to give you advice and ask you how¬†your are feeling every second of every day. But then she started talking about elevation changes. She is a Labor and Delivery nurse, and said she¬†sees with some amount of frequency, people who come to Reno/Tahoe for a final vacation before the baby comes and end up in early labor due to the¬†elevation and lack of hydration. I wasn’t too worried about myself, having previously been living at an elevation of 2,516ft and Reno is located at 4,505, and I was only there for a few days, but it did get me thinking about the jump to¬†almost 6400 feet.

Hydration is crucial all the time, not just in pregnancy, and I’m sure the hospital here in Rock Springs sees plenty of dehydration cases in visitors and newcomers. But, it’s even more crucial in pregnancy, and at 30 weeks, I really don’t want to go into labor just yet.

I was talking to my best friend about elevation and exercise on the phone, the day after I arrived here in Wyoming. She is currently in Afghanistan and training for a half marathon in Scotland. She said, after the 3000 feet in Afghanistan, that her race in Scotland should be pretty easy. I mentioned the elevation here, and how that combined with my increased blood volume, and extra weight strapped around my stomach, working out felt hard and that these days even a 20-30 minute walk was enough exercise for me.

Four days later this showed up on my doorstep…

 

A Camelbak hydration pack! Inside the pack was a note from my friend about staying hydrated etc. A perfect “welcome to wyoming” gift. I am sort of a gear-nerd, so I was excited to see the padded straps, sternum strap, and all the pockets in which I could carry my keys and phone etc. I have been holding a 24 ounce water bottle in my hand during my walks, and this is going to make it so much easier, have you ever tried holding a nalgene with thick winter gloves on? Not so easy.

I’m excited to get out for my walk with the dog this morning, in fact, that is what I am off too next. It is a balmy 18 degrees outside, but no wind! Gotta take advantage of the still air while I can.

 

Pregnancy: heavy lifting

As I’ve talked about before, when I got pregnant I was doing the following as my exercise routine: walk dog 5-7 days a week, kettlebell training 2 days per week, yoga practice 2 days per week.

Post pregnancy the workout schedule has changed quite a bit, between my dog moving WITH my husband to Wyoming, and standard Yoga becoming uncomfortable and hard almost immediately.

Now, I exercise 3-4 times per week (less this past week though, as I’ve had a nasty cold that lingered FOREVER. But, I have always, always made kettlebell my priority. The class I take is taught bootcamp style, so it’s really a total body workout, cardio and strength all rolled into one.

I'm the one in the pink...obviously

People in my life, always seem surprised that I have continued with Kettlebell. I think it’s because every SINGLE piece of conventional literature says that women shouldn’t particpate in heavy lifting while pregnant. But, heavy lifting is all relative right? And don’t get me wrong, during my first trimester? My weights were lighter, and I never increased my weight or lifted the heavy heavy heavy stuff, even during my 2nd trimester.¬† So, I sometimes wonder, what does that conventional literature consider heavy? The heaviest weight I have used, while pregnant was a 24kg kettlebell to do deadlifts, which is only 52 pounds. When I think of heavy lifting, I think of 215 pound barbells.

But, I digress. My point is, I have continued with kettlebell and while I’ve made no great strides in the cut of my muscles (infact, my muscles all seem to be hiding under a new layer of fat, I am blaming this on the reintroduction to processed carbs during pregnancy), I still feel strong.¬† And that is important to me, because labor? Labor is the hardest workout of your life.

You want me to what??

As soon as I got pregnant, I started reading pregnancy books. My favorite book has been Expecting 411: Clear Answers & Smart Advice for Your Pregnancy.  I found this book to be most comprehsensive, and very, very easy to read. And down to earth. Realistic, but with out scare tactics.

One thing that the authors made abundantly clear, was the importance of exercise during pregnancy. Of course they stressed that a pregnant woman should not START a new regime while pregnant, and should always get exercise cleared by her doctor, etc. In this book, exercise was pretty much listed as the cure for most of the common pregnancy ailments. Tired? Exercise.  Morning Sickness? Exercise. Feeling Bloated? Exercise.

I experienced a decent amount of morning sickness my first tri-mester, and there were some days when all I could manage was walking my dog 1/2 a mile. Eventually, the morning sickness passed, and I was able to exercise more normally again. I say more normally, because let me tell you….pregnancy exercise is so, so different than pre-pregnancy. I recognize that every woman is different, and please, please don’t take my advice on any of this. Please consult your doctor if you are pregnant and interested in exercising.

Prior to getting pregnant my exercise schedule looked a little like this:

Monday-early morning walk with dog, 1 hour kettlebell class at noon

Tuesday-early morning walk with dog, 1 hour yoga class at noon

Wednesday- early morning walk with dog, 1 hour kettlebell class at noon

Thursday-early morning walk with dog, 1 hour yoga class at noon.

Friday- early morning walk with dog

Saturday-long walk with dog

Sunday-rest.

Now? It does¬†NOT look like that. First and foremost, my dog moved with my husband to Wyoming, and it’s REALLY hard¬†to motivate oneself for a 5:30 am walk without the dog’s well being as an incentive. Secondly, every week is different. Sometimes I am tired, sometimes I am just lazy. But¬†I always try to keep in mind that a)exercise is good, and b) rest is also good. It is about finding the balance.

I decided, that my goal for my pregnancy is to work out 4x per week. Two kettlebell classes per week, and then two other sessions, either yoga, or walking. When my husband moved, we let our gym membership lapse, so gym-going is out.  To help me achieve this goal, I created a little exercise chart, with the weeks of my pregnancy on it (as opposed to the weeks done by month) and then seven blank boxes. I fill out a box every time I do a work out. Sorta like a kids chore chart, only minus the yellow stars. Hmm..maybe I should start using yellow stars.

It’s worked pretty well, and I’m happy to report that¬†I USUALLY get 3 or 4¬†workouts in.

So, how is exercise different? Well it’s harder. You have more blood volume when you a pregnant, so everything is harder (at least for me) and I am much quicker to get out of breath. I have made a few modifications to my kettlebell workouts, of course the standard rules for ab work and laying on my back, but also, no jumping (mostly because it makes me have to pee), and no lifting heavy heavy weights. I am sure some people would still consider my workout to be too strenuous, or that I use weights are too heavy, but they work for me, and I have ZERO problem scaling or slowing down when I feel like I need to.

Example: Here with the workout  I did today:

5 minute warm up

10 Kettlebell Windmills on each side. 8kg kettlebell in each hand (the rest of the class did Turkish Get Ups)

20 London Soldiers (marching with straight legs, bringing leg up to parallel, and opposite hand down to leg)

30 Kettlebell Swings. 16kg kettlebell.

20 Bicep Curls. 2 8kg kettlebells

20 Squat Presses. Two 8kg kettlebells

1 lap around the room lunges with no weight.

30 bicep curls with exercise band

30 tricep extensions with exercise bands

30 second plank on each side.

The rest of the class was able to go 2 or more times through. I only made it through the whole cycle 1.5 times. I had to pee, I had to take drink breaks, and it was just plain tough.

The hardest part about pregnant exericse for me, isn’t the physical challenge (im sure that will come as my belly gets bigger), it’s the inability to perform at the level that I am used to, and dealing with the frustrations that brings about.

But, I am going to keep at it, as long as it’s safe for me. Cause exercise is never a bad thing.