Trying to Stay Fit While Pregnant? Get Creative at the Park!

Summer has come to a close, but staying fit in these last weeks of warmth can still be an option…especially if you are at the park with your little ones!  Pregnant?  Even better!  Get creative!


Fitness Tip: If you have children that are not in school that will go to the park with you, use the opportunity in between sets to get in a little cardio and chase them around. They will love it you will burn some extra calories!

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Are you a Crunchy Mom?

I never really considered myself a “Crunchy Mom” until I read this article and realized that most of the things listed were normal occurrences in my daily life.  Sure, I work with pregnant women on a weekly basis, have a 5.5 year old, 15 month old and am 7.5 months pregnant, but all the same.

Crunchy mom creation: Homemade smoothies for the family

My crunchy mom creation: Homemade smoothies for the family

After I read this article, I remembered a conversation that I had with my OBGYN last week where we were talking about summer foods that children eat.  I distinctly remember her saying, “Well most kids eat hotdogs and all that in the summer, so why should I be worried about it?  I mean, do you really check for nitrates in your hotdogs?”  It was all I could do to not gasp in horror and say, “Ummm, yes.  IF my children even approach a hotdog that I MAY consider preparing, it’s usually made with an alternative meat product that is nitrate free and all the other crunchy granola rules regarding processed foods.”  But, I didn’t.  I just smiled and shrugged.

Stirring up organic protein cookie dough for his mama

Anyway, that being said, coconut oil is a household name in my home, baby wearing the norm, and of course the practice of “using our words” and “gentle hands” is routine.  Take a look at the article and see if you happen to be with a Crunchy Mom or are one yourself!

10 Things Guys Married to Crunchy Moms Understand via Still Mommy

10 Ways to Stay Active with Your Kids This Summer

Staying Active with Your Kids This Summer

Summer Fun

The summer is all about enjoying the outdoors, relaxing, and reaping the benefits of all our hardwork through the colder months.  But, it also means SCHOOL IS OUT!
So, how will you keep your kids entertained and stay active at the same time?
1. Run through the sprinklers – TOGETHER
2. Create a scavenger hunt that requires you to walk to find the items.  A metro park is a great place to do this.
3.  Have a family relay race in the yard or at the park.  Make it fun so that the winner receives a fun summer treat or combine with #1.
4.  On rainy days, play make-believe.  Create scenarios where the living room may be a jungle, where you have to crawl down and around different rocks (chairs), trees (lamps), and sneak by animals (stuffed animals) to get to your tent (bed sheets draped over furniture).  
5. Climb on the jungle gym at the park – TOGETHER.  Repeat until you as the adult start to feel sweaty.
6. Plan a bike ride together.  If your children are old enough to ride their own bikes, choose a bike path, metro park or section of your neighborhood where you can all ride safely together.  If you’ve a little one or multiple little ones, invest in a bike buggy and turn your workout into an adventure for your child(ren)!
  
7.  Create workout plans together.  Before doing the workout, have your child(ren) help create the workout.  You will be amazed to see the creativity that they can bring and how much more challenging your workout can be with a little help from your kid(s)!8.  Follow a tv or dvd workout together.  Whether I’m doing kickboxing or a core workout, when my son sees me doing a workout on the tv, all he wants to do is join in.
9.  Have a dance party!  Make a playlist with your little one(s) of your favorite dance songs and and let your bodies wiggle!  Don’t stop dancing until the entire playlist is finished!
10. Play a family sport outside.  Maybe this is as simple as a game of freeze tag, or it’s a larger family affair of holding a softball tournament.  Make it even more fun by grilling out afterward, and picking up the game again when meal time is finished!  

 

Want to Work on Your Butt? Try This Workout:

The Mini-band Butt Workout

This workout is simple but it is not easy.  It is designed to activate muscles that you didn’t know existed and to help shape your body from the inside out.  All you will need is a set of mini bands and a workout mat.  Perform each exercise for 3-4 sets of 12-15 repetitions.
                        
EXERCISE #1:

Clams

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Preparation :
Lying on your side with a mini band placed around the knees, position your body so that your knees are bent at a 90 degree angle and 45 degrees from the hip.

Movement :
Stabilizing the ankles and keeping the feet together, lift the top knee away from the bottom knee working against the resistance of the band. Return the top knee to the bottom knee to repeat the repetitions to finish the set.

 

EXERCISE #2:

Band Walks

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Preparation :
Place a mini band around either your knees or your ankles.

Movement :
If around the ankles, stand upright with the feet hip width apart, and if around the knees, position the body in a proper squat position. Keep the shoulders square, core engaged, and glutes squeezed. Step laterally with one foot with the feet aligned just outside the hips. Step in with the other foot to align the feet with the hips again. Continue walking in the same direction until repetitions are complete. Repeat in the opposite direction to finish the set.

 

EXERCISE #3:

Bridge with Mini Band

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Preparation :

  • Comfortably place tubing around your upper thigh as depicted.
  • Lie flat on your back with your knees bent, feet straight ahead and arms to your side.

 

EXERCISE #4:

Lateral Lunge to Balance

 

Preparation :

  • Begin with both feet shoulder-width apart and hands on hips
  • Movement :
    • Lunge to the side landing on the entire foot, coming to a stabilized position, with mobile foot pointing at a slight angle (to allow for the slight external rotation that must occur when abduction occurs at the hip), and the knee directly over 2nd and 3rd toe.
    • The lunge knee should be bent 90° while the stationary leg is straight.
    • From this position drive off of front foot (heel first) onto back leg.
    • Stand directly up into a balance position with balance leg straight and opposite leg flexed 90° at the hip and knee with foot dorsiflexed.
    • Note: This can be done in all three planes of motion: frontal, sagittal and transverse.
    • Progression: On airex pad or other unstable surface.

Movement :

  • Brace the spine by drawing your abdomen inward.
  • Squeeze glutes and raise pelvis vertically from floor.
  • Maintain glute activity throughout the entire exercise.
  • It is important not to let your back arch at any time during the movement.
  • Use a slow tempo (2 second concentric /2 second isometric /4 second eccentric) while abducting and adducting the hips against the band.
  • Do not allow knees to “jut” forward.
  • To increase glute activity, lift toes up.
  • Maintain a level pelvis throughout the entire exercise.

 

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OPAL Mom™ Newsletter to Launch

OPAL Mom LOGOI want to thank all of my friends and family for the feedback in these past two weeks since the launch of OPAL Mom™!  With all your feedback, I’ve learned more about what it is that other mother’s need and want and have gained new perspectives.  With your help, I’ve decided to launch an official newsletter for OPAL Mom™ that will include all that you’ve requested.

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How to Get in a Workout When You Have Children Around

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                                   photo courtesy of Rx Muscle

 

I first realized that my at-home workout ritual changed for good when my first child became mobile.  I was in my workout space that I had created and was about to begin my workout on a stability ball when I heard him crawl toward the ball, gurgles and all.  After a few attempts at trying to rush through my workout, I decided to get creative.

 Including Your Children In Your Workout

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                        photo courtesy of Baby Fit Sparkpeople

 

While my son was too young to hop on a kiddie treadmill, I decided to make it fun by making him my weights that I lifted.  I would put him in the Ergo Baby Carrier, and do squats, lunges and monster walks with the band.  I would lie on my back and “bench press” him.  For cardio, I would strap him on my back and I would climb stairs at the local park.  I really REALLY got a good workout in then.

Let Them Play!

During in-home personal training sessions, I meet with other mothers who either work from home, are stay-at-home mothers, or like one particular client, is able to work from home 1 day a week.  During this time, her two sons and my daughter are present, but that doesn’t keep us from working out.  Instead, it allows us to connect!

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The children of course play with their own toys, but if one or more expresses an interest in what we are doing, then we include them in the workout.

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My daughter plays (supervised) with safer workout equipment with my client’s son while his mother and I train during a personal training session.

 

Buy Them Their Own Toy Equipment              

 



 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Is your child too young for school but old enough to climb the walls while you workout?  Include them by buying them equipment so that they too can workout.  There is a great line of exercise equipment by Redmon available on Amazon that allows kids to walk on a foam treadmill, lift on a foam bench press, and even ride a stationary bike.   Melissa & Doug also has colorful activity cones on Amazon for fun drills that you can do with your child as well!  These creative toys can get them in the habit of exercising while finding it fun.

For more fun posts from my mommy blog, please visit http://www.opalmom.com!