Fitness During a Second Pregnancy

Fitness during a second pregnancy

So your pregnant, for the second time. You have one child to care for, and another one on the way. How do you maintain your fitness during a second pregnancy? Read Molly’s tips below!

Hi! My name is Molly and I have a one and a half year old son and a daughter due this fall. I am also a PhD student at Purdue and blog about my fitness and life experiences at joggingwithjack.com. Working and studying at a desk, I especially appreciate the time I make for body movement, and am fortunate to lead others in their pursuit of fitness and health as a an indoor cycle and TRX instructor.

Fitness during pregnancy is arguably more important than fitness at any time during your life. Many doctors claim that staying fit during pregnancy can lead to an easier delivery and quicker recover. Sign me up! Despite changes in my body and waffling energy levels during my first pregnancy, I was very focused on staying as much “like me” as possible and making fitness a priority. 

A second pregnancy is different in many ways. Mainly, I am not as hyper-focused on myself and on being pregnant. I feel so much love for this baby, but often forget that I’m pregnant until I feel a kick. I can only image how much different third pregnancies and beyond feel!

Fitness during a second pregnancy

With a toddler who demands as much attention as I will give him, I have fewer opportunities for downtime. I have found that making fitness a priority first thing in the morning makes me consistent and gives me more energy throughout the day. Sure, the 5:30 am wake-ups can be rough, but being able to start the day with some time of my own feels like a treat. I also take advantage of as much family active time as possible. My husband, son and I love to go for runs together (love that jogging stroller!), bring the TRX to the park to mix playtime with fitness time, and take the little one on the back of our bikes for evening bike rides. We all get some outside time and are showing our son that fitness is a fun part of our lives.

That being said, prenatal fitness the second (or third or fourth) time around might requires some adjustments. Here are my recommendations to make your fitness journey successful:

  1. Make your fitness a priority and set dates with yourself to meet your goals. Let your partner know about your goals so that you can get support as needed.
  2. Choose fitness activities that you enjoy and are a treat to yourself. If you’re going to be away from adorable little faces, it might as well be for something really fun.
  3. Involve your family. It might be easier to bring your little people along rather than arranging for outside care, plus they will likely have a great time sweating with you.
  4. Don’t be afraid to modify your activities as your body changes and your energy fluctuates – even if you didn’t have to the first time around. Runs starting to feel wonky the second trimester? Try an indoor cycle class for your cardio.
  5. Don’t look to set any new goals. This is good maintenance time until delivery or “race day”.

Happy and healthy pregnancy, fitness mamas!

Ab Exercises During Pregnancy

Ab Exercises During Pregnancy

Are you sure that it will be helpful to do ab exercises during pregnancy, but not certain which moves are safe? Read these great tips from Kimberly about ab exercises during pregnancy.

The hands on the lower back, the belly pressed forward, the grimace on the face. The pregnancy pose would be cliché if it weren’t so true.

The additional weight, change in posture, hormones and muscle separation can cause lower back pain – sometimes severe – in moms-to-be. While it could be easy to chalk it up as just another pregnancy symptom (like going to the bathroom umpteen times at night), the pain can be eased – if not prevented.

How?

Regular exercise, especially moves to strengthen the trunk of the body. Beginning while trying to conceive and continuing as pregnancy allows, core-specific work can improve strength and support the lower back. The bonus? The focus on the core can help make labor easier and help the body bounce back after birth.

Here are five exercises to try during any state of pre-pregnancy and pregnancy:

Bird dog. This exercise activates the transverse abdominis, the inner muscle of the core, and helps stabilize the low back. It’s performed on all fours, with wrists underneath shoulders and knees underneath hips. Extend one arm out and lift the opposite leg. Hold for seven to eight seconds and return to starting. Switch sides. Be sure to tighten the core to keep the hips stable. Try to do two sets of 12 to 15 reps (per side).

Side plank. A side plank works the obliques, which are on the side of the trunk. Lie on your side with your forearm on the ground and elbow underneath the shoulder. Lift the hips to create a straight line. Hold for 30 seconds. Repeat three times on each side. Plank. Once in the second trimester, pregnant women cannot lie in the supine position, which is the starting point for many ab exercises. The plank allows women to continue building muscular endurance for as long as they are comfortable. With forearms on the ground, palms flat on the ground and elbows underneath shoulders, lift the hips and create a neutral spine. Hold for 30 seconds. Repeat three times.

Supported leg extension. With the spine supported on a Bosu trainer or similar equipment, pregnant women can modify more traditional exercises. The single leg extension helps engage the muscles of the lower trunk that we often forget about. In a v-position, start with feet flat on the ground. Lift one leg up and extend toward the wall. Return to starting and repeat on the other side. Try to do two sets of 12 to 15 reps (per side).

Kneeling woodchop. The woodchop is a standard ab exercise but by kneeling, one can feel a bit more stable. Kneel down. Hold a medicine ball at the starting point above the left shoulder, high and behind you, keeping the torso facing forward. Slowly, bring the medicine ball down and across your body to the right, to your right hip. Do not rotate your torso and keep your chest, hips and head facing forward. Keep the medicine ball relatively close to your body. Hold this end position briefly before returning to your starting position. Try to do two sets of 12 to 15 reps (per side).

Kimberly Truesdell is an ACE certified personal trainer and group fitness instructor. Please consult a medical doctor before beginning any exercise program. If you choose to do any of the workouts featured in this post, you do so at your own risk.

Getting back into shape after a C-section

Did you have a c-section? Are you unsure about how to get back into shape after having a c-section? Read fit mom, Chelsea’s, tips below. Chelsea is a runner and mom to 1.5 little boys. She blogs about both at theologyandgeometry.com.

Getting back into shape after a C-section:

Getting back into shape after a c-section. Like many first-time moms, I spent the weeks leading up to my son’s due date reading about labor and delivery and wondering what his birth would be like. And like many first-time moms, I wanted it to be the most “natural” experience possible. Labor would be brief and uncomplicated; he’d just slide right out. There would be smiles and cuddles and instant bonding. Angels would sing.

I was certainly not going to be one of those women who had a C-section, especially not a scheduled C-section. But then all of a sudden, at 34 weeks pregnant, I was. My little guy was in a breech position and other factors made my doctor feel it was unwise to try to turn him. And so, without (much) further ado, I found myself on an operating room table mid-afternoon one Monday in December 2012 while my baby was being born just like Julius Caesar.

Another part of my first-time -mom fantasy was that, sure I’d be a little sore and tired after delivery, but I’d be able to resume running within a few weeks of my son’s birth. I made a training plan for a 10k in March. And then I got out of bed for the first time after the operation. Do you know how hard it is to brush your teeth when, even with high-octane pain medication, you can’t move anything between your shoulders and knees? Instead of spitting, I just sort of dribbled toothpaste in the vicinity of the sink. Walking and even sitting upright during the first 18 hours after surgery were incredibly painful and exhausting. I tossed the 10k training plan in the trash.    

But then a funny thing happened – something I never believed would happen as I lay in the hospital bed, unable to reach a cup of water one inch out of my grasp. I got better. A few weeks after my delivery, I was able to go for a short walk again. Then I started run-walking and finally actually running. I made it to the starting line of that 10k in March and even ran a 1/2 marathon personal record later in November.    

Getting back into shape after a c-section.

While, everyone’s recovery is different, if you find your well-made labor and delivery plans being scrapped in favor of a date with a scalpel, fear not. Regaining and even improving fitness after a C-section is possible.

Here are a few things that helped me when I was making my comeback:

  1. Respect the fact that, in addition to brining a new human being into existence, you just had major abdominal surgery. Repeat after me, “major abdominal surgery.” You aren’t a wimp for taking pain medication. You aren’t lazy for taking 6 weeks or 8 weeks or more to recover. Keep this fact in mind when you are framing your accomplishments as you get back into shape. It may be frustrating to only be able to run a mile, but to say, “I went out and ran a mile this morning only 8 weeks after I had major abdominal surgery,” sounds pretty impressive.  
  2. Listen to your doctor. On the other hand, with all the upheaval having a new baby brings, it can be tempting to try to rush back into your old fitness routine too quickly in an attempt to feel “normal” again. However, not allowing yourself the proper recovery time after delivery can derail your fitness goals and – at worst – do serious damage to baby making parts you might want to use again in the future. A uterus is a terrible thing to waste.    
  3. As soon as you get the okay, start doing abdominal/core exercises. In the words of my operative report, “…the underlying rectus muscles were dissected off bluntly and with Mayo scissors”. That probably means my days as a belly button model for anyone other than my son (“Mommy’s bee-bo!) are over, but – leaving that aside – strong ab muscles are so important for good posture and stability. Focusing on core work early and often can help prevent aches, pains and injuries later on as you add intensity and miles.
  4. Find a good coach or training plan. Once I got the okay to run again, I started with a couch-to-5k style training plan that incorporated lots of walking and run-walk intervals and built up to 3 miles of continuous running after several weeks. In the midst of the fog of living with a newborn, it was helpful to not have to think about what I was going to do as a workout on any particular day. Plus, using a training plan encouraged me to include more variety in my workouts (cross training, strength workouts, interval training) than I normally would.      
  5. Don’t be afraid to push yourself. There is going to come a day when you are ready to workout hard again. Go for it! (Unless your doctor says otherwise.) Have faith that your ability to push your limits and make progress. It may take some time to get back into shape again, but you can do it!

5 Favorite Snacks Under 300 Calories

5 healthy snacks under 300 caloriesWe love these 5 favorite snacks under 300 calories from fit mom ambassador Tiara. As an outdoor enthusiast, Tahoe is the perfect playground for Tiara to combine work with play. When she isn’t enjoying the great outdoors or crossfitting you can find her blogging about Tahoe, healthy living and DIY projects. Tiara is expecting her first baby, January 2015.

Growing up my mom told us over and over “you are what you eat.” It wasn’t until my mid-twenties when I realized what it really meant. Being fit isn’t just about working out, it’s about what you eat too.

I eat clean 90% of the time and workout 6-8 times a week. I’m now pregnant and my goal to maintain these healthy habits throughout my pregnancy. Like many, when I became pregnant my appetite increased and I found myself continuously hungry and snacking throughout the day.

Trying not to go overboard I started eating more fruit and maybe a slice of sprouted bread in the morning. During my first appointment my doctor advised me not to eat more than an extra 300 calories a day. Basically a small snack. Of course my mind wondered – bowl of cereal, ice cream, french fries, etc. Clearly there are a number of snacks to keep us pregnant ladies going, but I’m sticking to healthy treats. Below are my five favorite snacks under 300 calories.

5 favorite snacks under 300 calories

1. Kind Bars

Hands down these are my favorite bars! Each bar is around 200 calories making them the perfect afternoon snack. Enjoy a bar alone or with a piece of fruit. You’ll never get tired with 22 bars to choose from. My personal favorites include: Almond & Apricot, Dark Chocolate Nuts & Sea Salt, Pomegranate Blueberry Pistachio and Peanut Butter Dark Chocolate.

2. Homemade Chai Seed Pudding

Ice Cream is my weakness and this is a healthy alterative. I know, I know – it’s not the same. Well guess what this pudding is tasty and will save you calories while curbing your sweet tooth. I prefer to make mine with coconut milk, but almond milk is just as good. Add fruit and nuts to give it a little something extra. Around 200-300 calories depending on vanilla/chocolate, coconut/almond milk and additional toppings.

5 favorite snacks under 300 calories

3. Fresh Fruit

I just can’t get enough fruit these days – all berries, mango, cherries, pears, grapes etc. Calories depend on type of fruit and amount. Example: 10 medium strawberries = about 40 calories vs. 1 medium banana = about 105 calories

4. Apple or Banana with Peanut/Almond Butter

Who doesn’t love a bowl of sliced apples with peanut butter? The healthier option is Almond butter, but it might not sound good all of the time. With two tablespoons of peanut butter this snack is just under the 300 calorie mark.

5. Green Smoothie

Typically I start my day off with a green smoothie, but they make a delicious afternoon snack too. There are a number of different recipes to try I suggest checking out Pinterest or purchasing a smoothie book. A clean green smoothie is about 180 calories, but will depend on ingredients and serving size.

Happy snacking.

 

Ambassador Spotlight: Leslie Brinkley

Leslie

We are honored to have some amazing For Two Fitness Fit Mom Ambassadors. Over the next few months, we will be featuring several of these ladies in an “Ambassador Spotlight” post so you can get to know them too! 

Meet Leslie Brinkley.

What is the theme of your blog?

Healthy Living / Healthy Eating / New Mom Life & Everything in Between

How many kiddos do you have?

One – my son, Brooks was born this past January

What do you do for a living?

Stay at home momma / Freelance Writer / Blogger

What is your favorite fit pregnancy or postpartum workout?

Spinning!

What is your favorite food?

Tacos!

Do you have any hobbies?

Traveling / Running / Shopping

Where is your favorite vacation destination?

Greece – we went there on our honeymoon & it was amazing

What other interesting facts would you like to share with our readers?

I am a reality TV show junkie, I’m obsessed with Instagram, love to shop {for great deals} and look forward to a glass of wine at the end of the day!

 

Ambassador Spotlight: Sarah Waninger

We are honored to have some amazing For Two Fitness Fit Mom Ambassadors. Over the next few months, we will be featuring several of these ladies in an “Ambassador Spotlight” post so you can get to know them too!

Meet Sarah Waninger from Creating a Better Tomorrow.

Sarah W

Creating a Better Tomorrow – make each day a bit better than the day before and know that each day is a clean slate. We can all make our lives the best by focusing on our health, fitness, and overall balance in life.

How many kiddos do you have?

Two — newborn twins

What do you do for a living?

Currently accountant and will be transitioning into full time mom this summer

What is your favorite fit pregnancy or postpartum workout?

I love walking! Even with twins and being a bit larger/higher risk, walking has done wonders for me physically and emotionally.

What is your favorite food?

I love cantaloupe, pregnant or not!

Do you have any hobbies?

I love gardening – both flowers and vegetables! So amazing to see God take a seed and with just a little love the seed grows into something so beautiful or delicious ☺

Where is your favorite vacation destination?

I loved our honeymoon for oh so many reasons. We don’t take many ‘big’ vacations, so I will go with our honeymoon destination of Jamaica. Our goal is to be able to go again around our 10 year anniversary.

What other interesting facts would you like to share with our readers?

Before becoming pregnant, I completed 2 marathons and 7 half marathons in 9 years!

Working Out in the Morning

working out in the morning.

working out in the morning.

Do you enjoy working out in the morning. Is it sometimes a struggle to wake up to start working out in the morning? Read these great tips from our fit mom ambassador and friend, Kaella. She details her top tips for working out in the morning. 

Before I had my son I would go to the gym after work. I had no evening commitments and my husband didn’t mind eating supper a little later. While on a year of maternity leave, I also exercised basically whenever I felt like it. I usually planned my workouts around nap time or we’d go together with the running stroller. Now, that I’m back working full-time, and have to pick up my little guy at daycare, it doesn’t work like that anymore. Running after supper isn’t usually an option either as I usually have a belly full of food and want to spend time with my family. London goes to bed later than most toddlers (9:30 on a good day) so that doesn’t leave much time to workout before I crawl into bed myself.

I started moving my workouts to morning in January of this year when I began training for the NYC Half Marathon. My weekly mileage ranged from 20-40 miles a week and I was determined to stick to a training plan. I began setting my alarm between 5-5:30am to get in the mileage before London woke up. I was running early seven days a week.

It wasn’t easy at the start but quickly became my new normal. Your body takes awhile to get used to it but then it just becomes part of your routine.

These days I workout (most) Tuesday and Thursday mornings before work and around 7:30am on Saturday and Sundays.

TIPS FOR GETTING UP AND WORKING OUT AT THE CRACK OF DAWN:

1. Sleep In Your Workout Clothes. I change into my workout clothes before I crawl into bed. This may sound silly but the house is still sleeping (or trying to go back to sleep) so I don’t want to worry about trying to find my shorts, shirt and socks in the dark. If you want to sleep in something else (or lack thereof) you can also lay out you outfit the day before and leave it in the bathroom to get changed in the morning.

2. Prepare Your Fuel And Technology. I don’t eat before my early morning runs (except my long runs on Saturdays) but I do like to eat something during my 5+ mile runs and within half an hour of finishing. The night before I fill my water bottle and place my Vega gels or Shot Blocks and a banana on the kitchen counter. If I’m running on the treadmill (I always run inside if it’s dark or icy) I also lay out my Ipad and headphones so I have something to keep me entertained. I also make sure to plug in my phone so it’s charged for the morning as I track all my runs with Nike+.

3. Make A Plan. Even if I’m not training for a specific race I always plan my runs a week in advance. Sunday night I’ll look at our schedule for the week and figure out when I’m going to run and for how long. I keep a copy of my plan in my phone and have a glance at it before bed. This way, I know exactly what I’m doing the next day (the less thinking about 5am the better!).

4. Get Your Family On Board. I am the deepest sleeper and actually don’t hear the alarm when it goes off. Thankfully, my husband hears it and wakes me up. He also takes care of London if he wakes up before I finish. I push my weekend runs back so I can eat something first. He helps by making him breakfast, getting London dressed and entertaining him while I’m gone. 

5. Don’t Do It Alone. Sometimes workouts are easier when we have someone pushing us out the door. If you usually run by yourself, try to recruit a friend to meet you in the morning. Or, find a running group that meets early. You’ll be less likely to skip your run if you know people are waiting for you.

6. Create A Mantra. Getting up early is tough some days but, most of the time, if I tell my husband to shut off the alarm I regret it later. Having an early morning power phrase that will get your butt out of bed is crucial for those first few transition weeks and those mornings you may want to stay in your comfortable, warm bed. For me, they are:

“If you don’t run now, you won’t have time to run later and you always feel better after you run.” “If you run now, you can take London to the park tonight.” “Run a mile and see how you feel. If you want to stop, stop.”  

I never want to stop once I’ve started! What time of day do you usually work out? Morning exercisers how do you motivate yourself to get out of bed early? Anything I missed?

 

Ambassador Spotlight: Maria Campbell

Maria Campbell

We are honored to have some amazing For Two Fitness Fit Mom Ambassadors. Over the next few months, we will be featuring several of these ladies in an “Ambassador Spotlight” post so you can get to know them too! 

Meet Maria Campbell!

What is the theme of your blog?

Tidbits from my life, the kitchen and everything in between.

How many kiddos do you have?

I have one daughter who will be two in August.

What do you do for a living?

I am a crew communications specialist in the Air National Guard.

What is your favorite fit pregnancy or postpartum workout?

While I was pregnant, I did a lot of zumba and kickboxing. My favorite postpartum workout was, and still is barre workouts. I credit getting my abs back in shape to taking classes at Barre Bee Fit.

What is your favorite food?

That’s a tough one, because I love all sorts of different foods. If I had to choose I’d say PIZZA! There are so many different varieties of pizza to choose from.

Do you have any hobbies? 

Running! I have just signed up for my second marathon! I will be training for the Chicago marathon starting in June. This will be my second year in a row running the Chicago Marathon and I’m determined to beat my time!

Where is your favorite vacation destination?

I LOVE to travel and have had the opportunity to visit some very fun and interesting places. But my favorite “go-to” travel destination is Chicago. It’s about a two-hour drive from where I live. It’s the perfect city for a girls weekend, a mini getaway with the husband, or a perfect day trip with the family.

What other interesting facts would you like to share with our readers?

I met my husband in the military. He’s in Security Forces. While we are both in the Air Force full-time, we are lucky that will never have to worry about moving around to different bases, we will stay put in Milwaukee, WI. The first race I ever signed up for was a 10k. I fell in love with running shortly after I moved to Chicago. My then boyfriend (now husband) had just deployed to Afghanistan and I needed an outlet to clear my head. Running is the best way to explore a new city!

Ambassador Spotlight: Alyssa Serchia

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We are honored to have some amazing For Two Fitness Fit Mom Ambassadors. Over the next few months, we will be featuring several of these ladies in an “Ambassador Spotlight” post so you can get to know them too! 

Meet Alyssa Serchia

What is the theme of your blog?

The Fit Life of a Football Coach’s Wife

How many kiddos do you have?

1 one on the way!

What do you do for a living?

Personal Trainer, exercise instructor

What is your favorite fit pregnancy or postpartum workout?

I have felt my best while pregnant when I’m working out consistently. I love walks, elliptical and lifting weights. I have also loved trying out new workouts on YouTube for prenatal yoga and Pilates.

What is your favorite food?

Don’t ask a pregnant girl her favorite food!! I could go on all day! Lately I’ve been obsessed with Mexican, fresh fruits and gluten free bagels with cream cheese!

Do you have any hobbies?

Cooking and crafts! I love spending time in the kitchen, and when I’m not cooking or baking I like to scrapbook, paint and do other DIY projects around the house.

Where is your favorite vacation destination?

Any island! I’ve enjoyed amazing vacations in Hawaii and in the Caribbean. If it involves salt water, sand and sun, I’m one happy girl!

What other interesting facts would you like to share with our readers?

I am a college football coach’s wife – so we have a crazy life sometimes! It’s always inspiring to be a part of a team environment, even when my competitive sports days are over! I want women everywhere to be inspired to take care of themselves and achieve goals they never thought they could!

Ambassador Spotlight: Heather Montgomery

Heather MontgomeryWe are honored to have some amazing For Two Fitness Fit Mom Ambassadors. Over the next few months, we will be featuring several of these ladies in an “Ambassador Spotlight” post so you can get to know them too! 

Meet Heather Montgomery!

What is the theme of your blog?

Lifestyle, fitness, family

How many kiddos do you have?

One on the way! A baby girl due Sept. 30th

What do you do for a living?

Blog, and am also a travel agent (booking mainly Disney vacations)

What is your favorite fit pregnancy or postpartum workout?

I love to run, and love good yoga stretches!

What is your favorite food?

I have a sweet tooth, anything chocolate! I also will eat pretty much anything if you put cheese on top of it.

Do you have any hobbies?

Running, traveling, blogging, spending time with my family.

Where is your favorite vacation destination?

Disney World! I also love Disney cruises, and “racecations”.

What other interesting facts would you like to share with our readers?

I have been blogging since November of 2009, and love the opportunities it has allowed me. I can’t wait to welcome out first child this fall, and then get back into racing shape. I have a lot of races I am eyeing for early 2015!