Fab Fit & Healthy

Me Time During the Holidays

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If your calendar is anything like mine, the month of December is full of fun festivities. But as a mom, I know who will be racing around organizing, planning and transporting kids to all of these activities and, frankly, it just makes me want to lie down and take a big ole nap!

It’s important as the holidays get underway to remember to make a little “me time” for yourself every day. Some of you may be laughing at me right now thinking “yeah, right, every day!?” But I assure you even taking 10 minutes to yourself can help recharge those batteries so you can dart out the door to the next fun thing you have planned.

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Turkey Day Workout

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No turkey trot this year due to lots of cooking and preparations for the yummiest holiday of the year? We’ve come up with some fun yet challenging exercises you “CAN” do to rev up your metabolism before one of the highest calorie days of the year! 

Go to your pantry and grab 2 cans of food, as this is all the equipment you will require for this great little Thanksgiving Day workout!

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The Great Pumpkin Workout from Baby Boot Camp

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October is here, which means everywhere you look you are seeing pumpkin...pumpkin lattes, cookies, cakes, candies, pies...anything and everything is now with pumpkin! So we thought with all the extra calories we might be consuming this month due to pumpkins it would be fun to turn one into our workout equipment! Your little ones can join along in the fun and help you decorate after you are finished with the workout, or you can get a little one for them so they can do a pumpkin workout as well! 

Here are some of our absolute favorite workouts to do with our pumpkins!

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Fall Into Fitness

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The temperatures are cooling, kids are back to school, football has started, the sun is setting earlier...fall is fast approaching! With the start of fall comes hectic & busy schedules between dropping kids off at school, activities, work, appointments, cooking, cleaning and all the other fun daily tasks. These normal daily activities make it sometimes impossible to take time for yourself and fit in a workout. Baby Boot Camp would like to tell you 10 ways to successfully turn your workout into a habit this fall!  These are 10 simple little things you can change or do in your daily routine, which will help getting that workout in a little easier.

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Breastfeeding and Exercise: What You Need to Know

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Is it safe to exercise while breastfeeding? 

Because I have a three month old whom I'm currently breastfeeding and because I am an instructor for stroller fitness classes, I frequently get questions about the impact exercising has on breastfeeding. Unfortunately, with my daughter my milk production does seem to decrease as the months go by, so I'm making sure I'm doing all that I can to keep my milk production. But it is also extremely important for a new mom's mind & body to fit some sort of exercise into their daily routine. 

Us breastfeeding mommas have plenty to worry about: our newborn's sleep patterns, potential food sensitivities, what & when you are eating, timelines for feeding, among many other things but exercising while breastfeeding does not have to be a concern.

According to kellymom.com, a top parenting and breastfeeding resource, moderate exercise has a host of benefits for breastfeeding moms. It improves their cardiovascular fitness, improves blood lipids and insulin profiles, and can help alleviate postpartum depression symptoms. It’s a misconception that exercising while breastfeeding can cause a reduction in a woman’s milk supply. Typical causes of a reduced milk supply have more to do with our hydration (insufficient hydration can cause immediate shifts in milk supply), stress levels (women under high stress produce hormones that can suppress milk supply), and caloric intake (too few calories can suppress milk supply). 

When you are reducing calories to shed pregnancy weight, it is best to do so in small doses while paying close attention to your hydration levels. If your body is not taking in enough calories to sustain your minimum caloric requirement, it will stop producing the milk your baby needs. A general guideline of calories needed to produce breastmilk is 20 calories per ounce you are producing a day. So, if you are feeding your baby 25-30 ounces of milk a day, you will need to consume between 400-600 extra calories on top of your daily minimums (which vary according to your body weight and other metabolic factors). 

A good rule of thumb for breastfeeding moms is to consume at least 2000 calories per day, especially when engaging in an exercise program. That doesn’t give you license to go out and eat donuts and chips. A diet rich in fruits, vegetables, fiber, protein, and healthy fats are essential for your milk production.

When incorporated into a lifestyle that includes increased calories (more food!), proper hydration, and stress reduction techniques, exercise can do you and your new baby a lot of good. Here are three tips for moms returning to exercise with a new baby while breastfeeding:

    • Buy the right bras. You want a good nursing bra that also supports you for moderate movement. When a bra is too tight, it can lead to problems like clogged ducts and mastitis. Buy bras that fit snugly and support you, but are not too tight.
    • If and when possible, try to nurse or pump before you work out. This tip is mainly for your comfort and to help keep your baby happy while you are exercising. 
    • Drink half your body weight in ounces of water each day. You want to drink water before and after exercise, especially on hot days. You will want your urine to look like light lemonade - that is a sign of good hydration. If you consume caffeine, then make sure to add more water to your day to replace any fluid loss. Coffee has a host of benefits, but is also a diuretic and can cause dehydration if it is not consumed with extra water. 

 

Don’t let the myths surrounding exercise and breastfeeding scare you. You are best served by incorporating moderate exercise on most days of the week. It is not only great for you, but it is good for your baby as well! 

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Playground Fitness

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Get Fit at the Playground!

 

With summer here already and the temperatures finally warming up, it’s a great time to get outside with your little ones and enjoy all the parks around Hamilton County! And while you are there playing with your adorable kids, you might as well get in a little workout!

 

I'd like to share some fun ways that you can get fit at your neighborhood playground! 

 

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Cardio Jumps

Standing next to a balance beam or another low ledge, such as the side of a sandbox, then hop sideways over it. Jump back and forth continuously for one minute, landing with knees slightly bent to absorb the impact. If your little one is old enough, you can hold their hands so you can both jump together and make a game out if it!

 

Swing Plank with Push

To work your arms and core muscles, stand about two feet in front of a swing, placing both forearms in the middle of the seat. Slowly lean forward, pushing the swing away from you until body is straight. Hold for three seconds. Next, use arms and abs to bring the swing back in front of you. Have your little one on the swing next to you, so they can have fun as well, while you get a great core and arm workout!

 

Ladder Squat

To work on your hips, thighs and buns, climb halfway up a jungle gym ladder and lightly grasp the handrails. Slowly lower your butt until thighs are parallel to the ground; hold for three seconds, keeping abs engaged and squeezing lower-body muscles. Carefully return to start position. While you are doing this exercise, have your little one on the opposite side of the ladder standing or in their stroller so you can play a fun game of peek-a-boo!

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A Picture Perfect Diet

My weight has been a struggle for me for most of my adult life. In high school, I was lucky. I was tall and thin no matter what I ate. My diet consisted mostly of cheese and ice cream. That ability changed somewhere in my 20s. Stress eating and a general lack of activity took over, and I became overweight. When I started dating my husband I was at my heaviest weight ever. Fortunately, my husband is a generally active guy, and he likes to cook healthy food. He does a great job of making things that are healthy and taste good (I didn’t believe that was a thing before him really – did you know you could add flavor with spices instead of fat?). Increased activity combined with various diet plans (I think I have tried them all) eventually got me to a place where I could be active and maintain a weight I was happy with. Until I got pregnant of course. Having struggled so much to finally reach a good weight, I was terrified to put the weight back on. I didn’t weigh myself once during my pregnancy, but when I did finally weigh a couple of weeks after Jack’s birth, I had about 50 pounds to lose.

That leads us to today. I have lost the baby weight. I did follow the Weight Watchers nursing mom program, which helped me to make sure I ate enough to keep nursing. Before I got pregnant and now that Jack is weaned I use the free Lose It application on my phone and like it. However, all of that takes time, and I was really feeling like I need something very simple and fast to make sure I am continuing to make healthy food choices. 

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With my work schedule and taking care of a toddler (oh my God! I have a toddler!) calorie counting was just too much of a task. A few weeks ago, I was reading something online--and I am not sure where I saw it--but I came across the idea to take pictures of my food before I eat it.

So, I tried it. When I looked at my food through the lens of my camera it was a rather eye opening experience. First I noticed that even though my daily calories were fine (I was still counting them) there was a serious lack of color (i.e. fruits and veggies) in my diet. The first day I had a very boring looking bowl of cereal and a Lean Cuisine for lunch. I think we had a frozen pizza or something for dinner. I may have had a piece of fruit in there somewhere, but not a single vegetable. I wasn’t over-eating, but I wasn’t eating a very healthy diet.

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 The next morning my cereal and milk was replaced by cereal and nonfat Greek yogurt and blueberries. I still had a lean cuisine for lunch, but I added fruits and/or vegetables to every meal and snack. I’ve stopped counting calories; my energy has increased; and I’ve actually lost a few more pounds. And as you can see, I still eat desert on occasion.

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Taking a picture gives me a moment to pause and evaluate what I am putting in my body. In that short pause my brain decides if it is colorful enough and if I feel good about eating it. And although I will obviously not be considering a career in food photography, it has become a pretty quick and easy way to evaluate if I am eating healthy or not. All I have to do is skim through the pictures in my phone, and it gives me a quick visual inventory of how many fruits and vegetables I have eaten. Hopefully, eating a balanced healthy diet, will be a habit that I will be able to pass on to my son.

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Spring Into Fitness

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Spring is finally here…it’s time to get outside and enjoy the sun with your little ones! While you are outside, why not take the opportunity to squeeze in some exercise while you are enjoying the outdoors?! After months of being stuck indoors, it’s wonderful to finally be able to do outdoor activities.

Here are some great suggestions on activities, places and exercises which you can do with your little ones outside this spring!

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Walking Trails

Find a group of moms/parents to go for weekly walks or stroller jogs! Hamilton County has so many wonderful trails so why not organize a group to get together weekly for walks on the Monon or in your neighborhood.    While you are on your walk, a great way to add a little extra strength training is by doing walking lunges!

 

  • Walking Stroller lunges:

    Stand behind your stroller with your hands on the handlebar shoulder-width apart. Lunge forward with one leg, pushing the stroller out in front of you. Your knee should be directly above your ankle and your thigh parallel to the ground. Return to the standing position and lunge with the other leg.

 

Parks

Parks are a fantastic place to take your little ones to get in a little exercise. Not only are they going to love playing on the slides and swings, but there are a lot of ways in which you can incorporate the equipment into an exercise.  During your morning or afternoon at the park, take a few minutes and do “Kiss the Baby Push-ups”.

 

  • Kiss the baby push-ups

    Find a bench and park your baby's stroller safely against the bench with the brake in place. Facing your baby/stroller, place your arms shoulder-width apart on it. Keeping back and abdominals strong, lower your chest to the bench and then press back to the starting position. Keep your body in a straight line. As you are lowering your body, give your little one a quick little smooch or peek-a-boo for some giggles!

 

Backyard

Where is an easier location than your backyard to take your little one to enjoy the beautiful weather? Here are 2 easy & fast exercises you can do in the luxury of your backyard which will get your heart pounding and little ones giggling!

 

  • Peek-a-boo Squats

    Stand behind your stroller with your hands on the handlebar shoulder-width apart. With your feet and knees forward, squat down as if sitting on a chair, keeping your weight in your heels and your knees directly above your ankles. (Be careful not to put weight on the stroller; you don't want it to tip.) Squeeze your rear end and return to the starting position. As you squat down in front of your baby, play a fun game of peek-a-boo so you can hear their adorable baby belly laughs!

  

  • Tickle-Toes Fast Feet

    While outside, park your baby’s stroller with the brake in place. Facing the stroller, use jog in place with “fast feet”, as your are jogging in place, every 10 seconds, jump up and as your land on your feet, tickle your little ones toes! This is sure to loads of laughs out of your little one!

 

Baby Boot Camp-Carmel, Noblesville & Fishers has classes at St. Vincent Fishers Hospital and The Fashion Mall. Your first class is always free, register at www.babybootcamp.com or contact kara.babcock@babybootcamp.com 

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Prenatal Fitness: Fact vs. Fiction

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Being in my 7th month of pregnancy with my baby girl and a Group Fitness Instructor, I often get a lot of questions about exercising during pregnancy and whether or not it's safe for the mom and baby. This pregnancy is my 2nd and has definitely been a lot more difficult this time around with morning sickness and overall lower energy levels. However, the time of day that I feel my best is during my daily stroller fitness class. Getting my heart rate going with the cardio and strength exercises, being active with my little guy, and the support of the other moms make that hour of exercise the best part of the day. With that being said, I thought I'd take this opportunity to clear up the most popular myths about prenatal fitness. 

 

FACT VS. FICTION


Exercise is safe for all pregnant women.

Fiction!

While exercise is safe (and encouraged) for most pregnant women, there are situations when it should be avoided. All pregnant women should check with their medical provider before starting an exercise program.

For those who are able to exercise, there are numerous benefits to prenatal exercise including:

  • Easing the physical discomforts of pregnancy and labor.

  • Fighting the baby blues.

  • Increasing energy.

  • Boosting self-confidence.

  • Setting a positive example for your entire family.

  • Fostering good sleep habits.

  • Decreasing stress.

  • Helping to foster a positive attitude

 

A woman’s heart rate cannot exceed 140 beats per minute (bpm) during pregnancy and breastfeeding

Fiction! 

You should be able to hold a comfortable conversation without feeling breathless. However, make sure that you are increasing your hydration during your workouts and if you start to feel dizzy, out of breath and/or any sort of pain, stop immediately (and check it your doctor).  It's also important to modify your exercises as your pregnancy progresses. For example, if you are in a group fitness class make sure you notify your instructor as soon as you know that you are pregnant so that they can offer you the appropriate modifications thought your pregnancy. 

 

Working on abdominal muscles is a waste of time during pregnancy.

Fiction!

Strengthening your abs and entire core is important during pregnancy. A strong core, abdominals, back, and pelvic floor, aid in the delivery room and also help with birth recovery. Keeping your abs tight while sitting in a chair, driving, and even while watching TV does strengthen your core!

 

Pregnant women are prone to more injuries.

Fact!

Due to the hormone relaxin you are more prone to injuries during pregnancy.  Pregnant women should listen to their bodies during strength training exercises like pushups, squats, and plyometrics. When returning to exercise postpartum, women should wait 6-8 weeks to resume an exercise routine. It takes 16 weeks for the pelvic floor to heal from birth. It's very important to take care of yourself and start slowly back into your routine. 

 

Pregnant women can eat as much as they want.

Fiction!

Although pregnant women should eat more than their pre-baby selves (300 extra calories daily), keep in mind 300 calories isn't as much as you think so make sure you are choosing healthy snacks. 

 

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Quick Tips to be Fit (with Baby!)

Kara—CityMom, Author, and Owner of Baby BootCamp—shares with us some quick tips for fitness with your little one.

As mothers we have all learned that we have to become multi-taskers! On a daily basis, we are trying to make meals, do laundry, wash dishes, all while taking care of our little ones! With all of these daily to-do’s added to the already enormous duties of a mom, it can make it impossible to squeeze in a workout for yourself. Here are a few fun exercises that you can do with your little one while also getting some of your tasks done at home!

WALKING LUNGES with your baby are a great way to work out your legs and glutes. If you need to go from your family room to your kitchen, pick up your little one and do lunges to the next room. You will not only make your little one giggle, but you’ll also be making yourself stronger!

 If your little one is fussy and likes to move around, try doing SQUATS while holding your baby. As an added bonus, they will love the up & down motion.  When you are doing dishes or brushing your teeth, add in some CALF RAISES.

 

And my favorite exercise to do with my little guy is called “Kiss the Baby” AB CRUNCHES.  Have your little one sit on your stomach and crunch up for a kiss.  You can add in peek-a-boo for a few extra giggles.

 

All of these are great ways to stay active at home during these cold winter months when it seems impossible to bundle everyone up to get to the gym.  And you might even have fun while you are doing it!

Get fit with your baby

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