KIND Snacks Review and Anniversary Giveaway Information

Well, it’s our anniversary month and we’ve been lucky enough to be “kinded” by KIND snacks – they sent a super delicious and nutritious gift box to our office!  And, that’s not all – they’ve offered to give YOU a gift too.  Next week, you’ll get even more details about our amazing Fit Mom Anniversary Giveaway.  We have the nice folks at KIND, as well as some friends (from Maclaren, Zensah, GNC, and more!) stopping by to party with us and give prizes to you!

But back to the deliciousness.  It is hard to choose a favorite, but let’s try.  KIND Peanut Butter Dark Chocolate + Protein inspired a fight, but we broke it up with the Dark Chocolate Cherry Cashew + Antioxidants (for our dark chocolate lover) and Peanut Butter & Strawberry (for our peanut butter lover).  All three are totally scrumptious and nutritious.  There are tons of superfoods, like blueberry and pomegranate and coconut and almonds.  Wait, did we mention dark chocolate?  And, you can feel good about your choices to indulge because, as they say, KIND bars are made of ingredients you can see and pronounce!

We especially like the gorgeous presentation.  This gift box feels like a real treat to open, and is beautiful to display.   We recommend this for any occasion or none at all – just to show your love and appreciation to someone.   We know you probably can’t wait until April 21 to get your hands on some, so you’ll be relieved to know you can find them online at KINDsnacks.com  or your local store.

 

Be sure to check back with us on April 21nd  through April 25th for your chance to win some KIND bars and a total grand prize valued over $600!

Thanks KIND – we love you, your delicious food, and your socially conscious programs.  Now go out there and be KIND to each other!

 

How to Beat Pregnancy Cravings

Cravings are a well known symptom of pregnancy (particularly odd cravings), and a lot of women feel like it’s a losing battle, but it doesn’t have to be! Here are top five tips to beat pregnancy cravings from Heather Montgomery. Learn more about Healther on Twitter (@HeathersLG), or ThroughHeathersLookingGlass.com

beat pregnancy cravings 1.) Water: A lot of times, we are dehydrated and don’t know it. Especially as mamas-to-be, we need to be chugging water like it’s our job anyway. Sometimes hunger and cravings are really just thirst in disguise, so drink up, wait a few minutes, and see if you kicked your craving for now.

2.) Go for a walk: Sitting in the kitchen staring at the refrigerator thinking about how badly you want that fudge brownie ice cream is not going to make standing strong any easier. Get outside, go for a walk, remove yourself from the situation and the temptation. Hopefully in no time you will forget you even wanted a snack.

beat pregnancy cravings  3.) Don’t keep it in the house: If I have candy and junk in my pantry, I am going to eat it. Fact of life. My willpower isn’t great, so I save myself the trouble and just don’t buy the stuff. I am way too lazy to go to the store when a craving hits, so as long as it isn’t in my house, I am generally safe.

4.) Eat something else: If you truly are hungry, try eating something healthy to see if it makes your cravings go away. It may just hit the spot!

Veggies, anyone?

5.) Give in…just a little: I don’t believe in deprivation, and see nothing wrong with giving in to your cravings in moderation if you can handle having unhealthy things in your house without going overboard. Sometimes just a bite of chocolate or a scoop of ice cream will satisfy!

beat pregnancy cravings

This post is brought to you by For Two Fitness®. For Two Fitness® is the premier maternity fitness apparel brand, proudly made in the USA and available worldwide. Visit our site to explore our maternity fitness apparel and purchase for you or a loved one today.

5 Tips For How To Tackle Weights With a Baby Bump

tackling weights with a baby bump

We love these tips from Jennifer about how to tackle weights with a baby bump! 

My name is Jennifer and I am a special education teacher. I am in my 4th year of teaching and have had the opportunity to teach both general education and special education within those 4 years. My wonderful husband and I are expecting our first baby in September and are anxiously waiting to find out the gender at my next appointment! We are split 50/50 between the two of us, I think the baby’s a girl and he is 100% confident that we’re having a boy; we’ll see who was right in a few weeks. Throughout my pregnancy, I have been able to keep a healthy workout routine and continue to exercise 5-6 days a week. I haven’t made too many changes to my workouts except for adding more cardio. I read that cardio is great for delivery so a couple more miles throughout the week doesn’t seem so bad. I love being active and keeping myself fit is something I plan on continuing throughout the rest of my pregnancy and life.

Tip #1. Don’t try to be the hulk. I have noticed that throughout my pregnancy, 17 weeks today (YAY!) that on some days I am stronger than others. I know my max weight that I can lift for different exercises and I try not to increase that weight. If I’m feeling extra strong that day, I will do another set or add on reps. I’m scared to increase my weight because of maintaining my balance, getting light-headed, which happens to me often, or and pulling something that might hurt the baby.

tackling weights with a baby bump

Tip # 2. Breathe and rest. In case you haven’t already experienced being light headed, well let me just tell you that it’s not something to brag about! It happens to me often especially when I stand up too quickly or don’t give myself enough time to rest between sets. I force myself to count to 30 in my head and take deep breaths before I stand up. This simple trick makes me feel better and gives me that extra time between sets that my body needs.

Tip # 3. Feeling uncomfortable, STOP.  I’m not sure about you, but I can’t do planks anymore and actually haven’t been able to do them for a while. Whenever I would try to do them I would get these uncomfortable pains throughout my abdomen that didn’t feel quite right. I had to stop doing planks and decreased the amount of ab exercises that I was doing.

Tip # 4. Drink that H2O! You will definitely hear me saying that water is your best friend! A helpful tip that I was told and feel the need to pass on, was to drink water before, during, and after workouts. I don’t fill up on water and then head straight to the gym, but I do make a conscious effort to drink some before hand. In addition to taking longer breaks between sets, I sip on water as much as possible while resting. After my workout I drink a protein shake with water and that helps keep me hydrated and gives me a quick dose of nutrients that my body needs to help my muscles recover.

Tip # 5. Enjoy yourself. Remember that working out should be something fun and an outlet to take your mind off of things. Enjoy your workout and be happy with yourself for burning some calories! I was once told to, “never regret a workout because its always better than not going.”

This post is brought to you by For Two Fitness®. For Two Fitness® is the premier maternity fitness apparel brand, proudly made in the USA and available worldwide. Visit our site to explore our maternity fitness apparel and purchase for you or a loved one today.

For Two Fitness Behind the Scenes: Anniversary Edition

Everyone loves a party, right?

We are so excited for our anniversary coming up next month, so we are celebrating all April long!  As the founder of For Two Fitness®, I’d like to share a personal journey with you.

When I was pregnant with my first, I had a problem, and I realized early on that I was not alone in this experience…

My belly bump was growing and outgrowing clothing too quickly, putting a hurting on my budget (wasn’t I supposed to be saving for the baby, after all?). But I had nothing to wear to the gym, and I was feeling a little less-than-motivated with my little pooch and my morning sickness.

And as the pooch got bigger, I started to have all kinds of self-doubts, when what I should have been doing was shouting with joy from the rooftops (Yay! I’m having a baby!).

I shopped around…a LOT. Everything I could wear just wasn’t real performance apparel, and none of my pre-pregnancy gym clothes fit well.  My options certainly weren’t cute or flattering.   Bummer!

for two fitness anniversary celebration

But then, my genius husband said, “why don’t we make some?”

With our own investment of a few thousand dollars and months of prototypes later, we were ready to launch! I had already had my baby.

We had an introductory line with a single item (you know it – the super popular Racerback Tank) in a single color (everyone’s favorite staple – black!), on a tiny self-designed website with no traffic and no marketing budget. We were entirely self-funded and owner-operated out of a tiny apartment in LA.  My best friend was our first paying customer.

For Two Fitness Founder, Marjorie.

Enjoying the the beach in Santa Monica, CA, where For Two Fitness was born

Today, we offer a full designer collection of high performance garments, including tanks, tees, capris, pants, shorts, jackets, and hoodies. We have tons of major media press, awesome customer praise, celebrity connections, and customers across the globe as far and wide as South Africa, Hong Kong, and New Zealand. Although we’ve grown considerably, we stay true to our family-owned values, and strive to delight every customer with our apparel and our service by bringing joy, and sharing in the celebration of creating life.

It’s been an amazing journey, and along the way, we created something unexpected – a tremendous community of talented and supportive women, all dedicated to personal health and the wellbeing of their babies! That’s why we really mean it when we say “you are dedicated to the health of your pregnancy, and we are dedicated to YOU!” You and and your inspirational emails and amazing physical achievements and blow-our-minds social media posts are the heart of our company, and the reason we keep striving and thriving.

Thank you for making us the number one maternity fitness apparel company. Please stay tuned to celebrate with us this month. We have some fabulous friends coming too – giveaway partners including KIND bars, GNC, Zensah, Baby K’tan, and Maclaren are going to party with us for an event you are not going to want to miss!

PS – this post is the first is a series of “Behind the Scenes” posts, intended to share the inner workings of our company with you – our inspiration!  Look for a post each month written by a founder or chief officer, and get a sneak peak inside scoop on all things maternity fitness and fashion design.

Top 5 Pilates Mat Exercises to do While Pregnant

pilates while pregnant

Curious about the best pilates mat exercises to do while pregnant? Read this great fit mom  guest blog from Tricia. Tricia is in her 24th week with her first baby! It’s a boy! When Tricia isn’t teaching Pilates she is reading a fabulous book or creating new Vegetarian recipes with her fiancé. For more from Tricia check her out at www.triciakirkwood.com. Find her on twitter @triciakirkwood, instagram @sunshinefitbytricia, facebook @triciakirkwood.

Pilates Mat exercises are a great way to keep your core strong throughout your pregnancy. Most of the exercises target your abdominals, low back, and pelvic floor. Strengthening these areas with Pilates can make pregnancy and delivery easier helping to cope with your increase of weight, reducing back pain while stabilizing your hips and pelvis, strengthens your pelvic floor, supporting your uterus, increases your balance, and using your breath to relax and control your movements.

As a fitness professional and a pilates student, these are my top 4 Tips when performing the exercises below:

  1. Perform a Kegel with each repetition. Kegel exercises strengthen your pubococcygeus or your PC muscles. These are the muscles that help you start and stop urinating.  They will also help with an easier birth.
  2. Contract your Transverse Abdominals. Transverse abdominals are the deepest layer of your ab muscles and are under the baby. These muscles act like a corset that wrap around the body to cinch you in. During labor these muscles will help you push.
  3. To ensure good posture and proper alignment during all the movements; keep your shoulders relaxed away from your ears, a flat, straight back, hips and shoulders aligned
  4. Think one breath, one movement and try to breathe for counts of 5-7 seconds.

The 5 Pilates Mat Exercises:

1. The Clam- Strengthen your hips and gluteus. Lie on your side and bend your knees to a 45-degree angle. Lift your feet about one inch off the floor. Keeping your toes touching, Exhale, raise your top knee about 4- 6 inches, then inhale, lower to return to start. Perform 20 on each side.

2. Cat/Cow- Strengthens and stretches the lower back and low abdominals. Position your self on your hands and knees. Hands should be shoulder width apart; knees should be hip width apart. Find a flat back. Inhale, drop your naval towards the floor letting your low back arch slightly, exhale pull navel to spine to curl lower back under.

3. Side Lying Knee to Chest Kick Outs- Strengthens outer gluteus/hip. Helps to stabilize hips and low back. Lying on your side with your head supported, bend your bottom leg on the floor for support and balance. Then, raise your top leg on a 45-degree angle toward the ceiling. Extend through the toes, inhale, bend the knee toward your chest, exhale extend the leg on the 45-degree angle, flexing the foot.

4. Forearm Plank- Strengthens the core muscles, upper body, and lower body. Position your self on your forearms and knees. Then extend one leg back at a time finding the plank. The plank can be modified by staying on the knees, with a straight line from shoulders to knees. Hold the position for 30=90 seconds taking deep breaths.

5. Side Kneeling Leg Lifts- Strengthens the core muscles, outer hips and gluteus, upper body, and balance. Come to a side balance with right knee on the floor and right hand on the floor, they should be in line with each other. Extend your left leg with toe pointed and touching the floor. Place your left hand on your hip. Inhale to prepare. Exhale lift the lift leg to the height of your hip, inhale to lower.

If you’ve never done Pilates exercises before, start out slow. Check out your local gym and studios to see if they offer a Prenatal Pilates class or invest in a Prenatal Pilates exercise video that you can do at home. Prenatal classes focus on the needs of pregnant women as they move through each trimester.

This post is brought to you by For Two Fitness®. For Two Fitness® is the premier maternity fitness apparel brand, proudly made in the USA and available worldwide. Visit our site to explore our maternity fitness apparel and purchase for you or a loved one today.

 

5 Tips to Help You Lose the Baby Weight Once and For All

Read Monica’s great tips about how to lose the baby weight! When Monica isn’t working out and spending time with her family she is managing her restaurant Pasión Latin Fusion and taking online courses.  Monica’s book “7 Habits of a Healthy, Happy Mom” will be available this spring!  For more of Monica check her out on www.MomsWearHeels.com and www.MonicaBencomo.com.    You can also follow her on Instagram (@fitmom118#) and Facebook!

Have you ever wondered how all the Hollywood moms have their babies and then are seemingly skinny the next day?  All of us mommies from time to time experience that rushed sense wondering, “Am I ever going to fit in my old skinny jeans?”  Well, wonder no more, moms!  I am here to give you the unfiltered truth as to how I lost all 45 pounds postpartum with these simple tricks and tips.

Tip 1: Do NOT be in a race!  Slow and steady really does win the race here (this is especially true if you are breastfeeding).  If you lose your baby weight too fast, you will risk jeopardizing not only your milk supply, but your skin’s elasticity.  Losing weight at an expedited rate can and will cause your skin to hang loose after weight is lost or even causes stretch marks to appear more on your body.

Tip 2:  Supplement at least one meal with a healthy smoothie.  When I had my son, I still received all the necessary vitamins and minerals to be healthy and energetic by drinking my green smoothies twice a day.  Once your baby is eating (or drinking) foods other than milk, you can give her some as well!  Check out my video here of how to make a green smoothie for mom and baby. http://momswearheels.com/?p=676

Tip 3: Once your doctor or midwife gives you clearance to exercise—get outside! Nothing is worse than catching a case of cabin fever postpartum.  Make it a point to get you and the baby outdoors.  My midwife cleared me to workout 6 weeks postpartum, and I bundled up my son and I and we took walks and soon upgraded to jogs.  Here is a compilation of my favorite workouts for outdoors you can do with your stroller.

If it is too cold in your area, do workout videos at home while baby rocks or sleeps!  There are plenty of free and awesome workout videos on YouTube.

Tip 4: Join a fitness community to stay updated.  I joined Instagram when I was about 6 months postpartum and followed all fit mom enthusiasts!  It was incredibly comforting and inspiring to witness other mamas so dedicated to healthy living despite having 1, 2, 3, or 4 kids!  I post on my Instagram daily: this not only helps to motivate others but also helps me stay accountable by posting progress photos.

Tip 5: Set a tangible goal.  I started training for a fitness competition once my weight really started to drop about 4 months postpartum.  What this did was motivate me more than ever by seeing a date on the calendar for which I had to be prepared!  My figure competition is this June 1st—wish me luck!  And he—if the stage isn’t for you, try signing up for a 5k race.  This will motivate you to get out and jog with your stroller!

Remember, losing your weight postpartum is a journey, not a race!  Follow these tips and tools to stay motivated and you will wake up one day seeing a brand new figure!

This post is brought to you by For Two Fitness®. For Two Fitness® is the premier maternity fitness apparel brand, proudly made in the USA and available worldwide. Visit our site to explore our maternity fitness apparel and purchase for you or a loved one today.

I Never Thought I Could Run Further Than a 5K

Hi fellow moms! I’m Bethany and I have one 4 year old daughter and am pregnant with my second child due in June. I just ran my first half marathon before finding out I was pregnant, and plan to stay fit through this pregnancy. I blog over at Gluten Free Running Mama (www.gfrunningmama.com) about living gluten free as a runner and a mom. I live in the Midwest and currently am a substitute teacher, enjoying the adventures that working in a different school every day brings.

I never thought I could run further than a 5K, but then I ran an 8K and thought “I can do this! And I can run a half marathon!” So I signed up and started training. And then I realized I needed to come up with a nutrition plan since I had recently gone gluten-free. My husband was always carb-loading before a big race, but it’s a little more complicated if you are doing it gluten-free. I needed an alternative to the normal spaghetti and bread meal. At this point in my training, I had yet to find a gluten-free noodle that I liked, and carbs never made me feel that great anyways.

I found that I could run well after eating some chicken and rice. Just plain rice, no seasoning, just rice. A potato went well with this meal, with some cheese and sour cream. This is what worked for me. I ate A LOT of chicken and rice leading up to my race. In fact, after getting sick from something I ate, I vowed to only eat the same things that I knew were safe, until the race!

I love to run in the morning, after eating something really simple and easy. I found Larabars were gluten free and there are a TON of flavors. I started trying those out and they worked well for me! I sometimes paired it with a banana if I had a longer run. Another thing I found I liked was greek yogurt, with cocao nibs in it. I found this brand while on vacation, at a health food store, and now I order them on Amazon. I mix in a bunch with my yogurt and it’s just sweet enough, and the yogurt has a lot of protein in it to help me stay fueled.

When it came to nutrition while running, I also had to figure things out before my runs were long enough to need fuel. My husband is a big fan of the liquid gel fuel packs that you can easily eat while on the run. I tried one that was gluten free, but it was too sugary for me! And something in it did not like me and I got sick. So I had to find different ways to fuel while running.

I started researching gluten free fueling options and found Jelly Belly Sport Beans. Luckily, I live by a Jelly Belly factory so I tried a few flavors and found one I liked. I started eating half a bag before running, and then at the others as I ran. I just folded up the bag and kept them in my fuel belt.

I also wanted a more natural form of fuel so I threw a few dried fruit in my fuel belt and those worked out well for me too. I like raspberry, but I also tried strawberry too. Fruit pouches are another fun thing to try. They are easy to eat on the run, and are a more natural form of fuel. They are pretty large, but once it’s empty, it folds up pretty small.

For some reason when I started running, I chewed gum. So I needed to find an alternative and GLEE gum is gluten free and was good, so I stuck with that for a while. I don’t need it for every run anymore; I just bring it in case I’m struggling. That little extra flavor helps my run sometimes.

In all the running groups I’m in, everyone has their own nutritional plan for running, so I think it’s pretty much trial and error for everyone. Just make sure you try things out before race day, just in case the result is not good!

This post is brought to you by For Two Fitness®. For Two Fitness® is the premier maternity fitness apparel brand, proudly made in the USA and available worldwide. Visit our site to explore our maternity fitness apparel and purchase for you or a loved one today.

Post-Baby Workout Ideas – Under 1 Hour Each

Read these great tips from fit mom, Emma, with great post-baby workout ideas — under 1 hour each!

Gyms have gotten us so accustomed to one-hour workouts. At my gym, every Les Mills format class is exactly 60 minutes. As moms, who has 60 minutes a day for a sweat sesh unless you are up at 4AM (and your baby isn’t?!).

Here’s my certainly cute, but not the best workout buddy!

Many moms I know don’t workout because they feel anything less than an hour is not a workout. If you are one of those moms, let me kindly change your opinion with these workouts!

Workout 1- Tabata

Tabata was actually founded by a Japanese scientist looking to compare moderate versus intense interval training programs. His findings… do this workout!

Any exercise can be incorporated into the Tabata training. However the basic outline of the Tabata training method are as follows:

  • * 2 exercises that you will be alternating between for 4 minutes total
  • * Complete the first exercise for 20 seconds, followed by a 10 second break
  • * Complete the second exercise for 20 seconds, followed by a 10 second break
  • * Repeat the same sequence until you have completed 4 rounds of each exercise, or 4 minutes of work

There are many iPhone apps or online Tabata Timers out there for free so you don’t have to be a slave to the watch. I prefer partnering a strength exercise with a cardio one for each round.

Sample Tabata

1st exercise- jumping jacks 2nd exercise- push-ups

Get creative with exercises or just google some strength and cardio moves. It won’t take a unique new move to do the trick, TRUST ME!

The 4 x 4 Workout

This workout makes you think, but it also keeps things interesting. Here’s the breakdown:

  • * Complete 4 reps of exercise 1 followed immediately by 4 reps of exercise 2
  • * Alternate back and forth for 1 minute
  • * After 1 minute, complete 1 minute of cardio
  • * Repeat step one for another minute, followed by another minute of cardio
  • * Try as many partner exercises as you have time to do!

I try to choose exercise with similar starting/ending positions so the transition can be fast!

Sample 4 x 4 Workout

  • Exercise 1- mountain climbers
  • Exercise 2 – frog jumps Cardio – alternating lunge jumps
  • 5 Minute Rounds

Everybody has 5 minutes, right!? As you can tell, I love alternating exercises. That way you can give it a quick blast, quick rest and then back at it. Here are the basics of this workout:

  • * Exercise 1 for 30 seconds
  • * Exercise 2 for 30 seconds
  • * Keep alternating until you’ve reached 4 minutes total
  • * 1 minute of suicide sprints

Make sure you do this one outside or in a long hallway!

Sample 5 Minute Workout

Exercise 1- Supine flutters

Exercise 2 – Prone flutters

I hope you are able to try these quickies at some point so you can see THEY ARE EFFECTIVE and THEY ARE NOT EASY! Kids napping for 20 more minutes? Get in a 5 minute warm-up, crank one of these out and you can even shower after!

How to Train Your Abs and Improve Your Posture While Driving

posture

Need help with your posture? Read these tips from fit mom ambassador, Heather about how to improve your posture. 

Heather Valentine is a National Academy of Sports Nutrition Certified Personal Trainer and Nutritionist who believes in building your best body from the inside out.  For more fitness tips and clean, paleo and vegan friendly recipes visit Heather’s website and blog One Fit Mother and be sure to follow her on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest.

I’ve been thinking a lot about my posture lately. Yours too…and guess what? We’ve got problems. I know this without even looking at you because the majority of us – especially moms- spend our time doing things that put our bodies out of optimal alignment. We sit. Then we plant our weight on our tailbones instead of our sits bones. We drive. And we simply don’t walk enough. As women, we wreak even more havoc on our posture by doing crazy things like having babies and slouching our tired bodies over newborns. Then we graduate to the forward pull of the blessed Bjorn while chasing around other kidlets a third of our size. And then, eventually, we start wearing heels again.

That’s just life, right? Yes and no… being aware of how we stand and move can prevent problems that poor posture causes in our bodies. The obvious being joint pain. Over time the compression from our lack of alignment can cause chronic pain in the back, hips, shoulders, knees and ankles. Slouching in front of a computer or the wheel of a car will eventually lead to reduced flexibility and compromised muscles. And this, dear reader, absolutely limits your ability to burn fat and build strength. Have no fear! Proper alignment can be corrected and trained. And a bonus for moms with abdominal separation (Diastasis Recti) – proper posture greatly improves this condition by reducing the high pressure in your abdomen!

“Okay, Okay, I get it Heather. So how do I stand?” I’m so glad you asked!! Proper alignment involves stacking the three main cavities of the body – thoracic (upper back), abdominal and pelvic – neatly on top of each other with spaces between these masses so to speak. A vertical line should link all axes of the body. Your shoulders should be back and drawn down without your ribs thrusting out. No Superhero chest. Your lower abdominals should be drawn in without your butt being tucked under or clenched which pushes your pelvis forward. And I’m just gonna throw this out there, your knees should not be bent. Check yourself out in a mirror and then try the corrections. Chances are you will find it is harder to maintain this alignment than expected. If you are really intrigued and want to further your self study, this article explains how to analyze your alignment through photographs. It’s taking selfies to a whole new level…

Anyway, the start of a new week in SoCal equals an abundance of driving and it got me thinking. What better place to work on posture improvements than waiting at traffic lights, marveling at others’ driving skill sets and listening to “mom, mom, mom, mom…” over and over? Try these 3 quick and easy steps each time you get in the car this week to see and feel the difference in your posture by date night Saturday.

1. Sit in the driver’s seat of your car. Sit up straight and tall and create space between your masses by lifting your ribcage out of your pelvis. Now extend through the crown of your head. Think of a string pulling the top of your head to the roof of your car. Pull your shoulder blades down towards your hips and back towards your spine. Make sure your head is centered over your body and not out in front. These actions should get you sitting on the fleshy part of your butt (sits bones) thus relieving unnecessary pressure from your tailbone.

2. Take a deep breath and pull your bellybutton in tight towards your spine as you exhale and hold it. Lock those lower abs in and don’t let them go. From here just breathe normally. You should feel your abdominals working as you breathe from this position! This might feel strange at first. So, if your breath feels shallow, go deep. As you draw in air imagine filling your lungs while expanding your ribs sideways. And slow down your breath! Ahhh. Side effects of this type of breathing can be more oxygen flow to your brain and feeling calmer while you are out in the thick of your day.

3. This is your new strong and beautiful core….your literal pillar. Your vertical structure of steel used to support your frame. From here adjust your seat and mirrors. Your shoulders should stay in their sockets and your arms should move around your pillar instead of using your upper back doing the work. Check your posture as you drive. If you can see out of the mirrors, you have great alignment and your core muscles are activated and working. If you can’t see out of the mirrors, you know you’ve let go and you are back to slouching in your seat.

Congratulations! You are now training your abs using isometrics as well as getting pressure off of joints and organs that don’t need to be bothered. This will help to improve your posture while driving.

Like the way this feels? Test it out every time you sit at your desk or the dinner table. Start thinking about being drawn in with your shoulders back and down when you are walking and running errands. Now, go tackle your week ahead with your beautiful posture and let me know how it goes.

 

How Group Fitness Made My Third Pregnancy My Most Fit

Group Exercise during pregnancy

My name is Michelle and I am a NETA Certified Personal Trainer and Group Fitness Instructor, I am a stay at home mom when I am not in the gym. Read about how group fitness made my third pregnancy my most fit. My husband and I have been married 6 wonderful years. I currently have three little girls. I am passionate about helping women care for their bodies both physically and spiritually. Follow me on the journey of living Fit: my website/blog: www.livefitwomensfitness.com, twitter: @livefitfitness Instagram: @livefitfitness and Facebook page.

After my first pregnancy I felt discouraged and disappointed in myself that I didn’t take better care of my body. A competitor in cross country, track through college and a high school track coach I knew the benefits of staying fit throughout pregnancy.

Maybe it was just that I didn’t have that accountability of a team or others around me when I became pregnant 6 months after my husband and I got married. I decided to make my second pregnancy better and it was but around months 6, 7, and 8 I started to loose focus again. Eating late at night, ditching my exercise routine, and my daily snaking was a little out of control.

Group Exercise during pregnancy

I worked extremely hard to get back into shape after my first daughter was born and the second time around it seemed a little easier. I stayed the course longer and although I lost sight of my goal in the third trimester I saw the benefits of staying fit during most of my pregnancy. It helped me loose the weight and bounce back much quicker the second time around.

When my husband and I found out we were pregnant this third time,I pledged I would make my third pregnancy my most fit. I became a group exercise teacher 7 months before I became pregnant. I continued teaching my classes using the low impact option up until I was around 7 1/2 months pregnant.

The photo above features 2 strength training exercises I did during pregnancy with a resistance band and often use in my group exercise classes.

Here a three ways group fitness helped me make my third pregnancy my most fit:

1. I was held accountable. I went to class even on days that I didn’t feel like working out. When I was sick the first trimester, I felt so much better after I worked out. The accountability of working out with others helped motivate me to stick to my pregnancy workout plan.

Group Exercise during pregnancy

2. I didn’t have to worry about when and what my workout was going to be each week. I truly am a believer in: “setting a plan and working your plan”. When I get up and don’t have a workout plan I end up often pushing it to the back burner. Classes are a set time and it’s easy to pencil them into your schedule and it reduces the stress of trying to figure out what and when you are going to do your workout.

3. Being able to workout with your friends is always the best! I gained fitness tips from other moms, had tons of support, gathered lots of great recipes and always enjoyed my time with my fitness gals at the gym.

If getting to the gym isn’t an option try setting a time at home to workout with a friend or your husband. Congratulations and good luck on your fit pregnancy journeys!

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