No Equipment Workout

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As someone who used to be a “cardio queen” I have realized over the years just how important strength training is for my health and well-being. While I am not in weight-loss mode, I am trying to ensure that I make a safe return to fitness post-baby and one of the keys that many people have recommended is to take things slow and prioritize strength training.

While we were in Vermont I turned to body-weight workouts since I did not have any weights and the gorgeous weather made me want to spend all my time outside, not in a gym. The below workout allowed me to accomplish two things at one time: strength and jogging. I am slowly beginning to build my jogging base following pregnancy and per the recommendation of many, am taking an interval approach. This week I am only jogging 60-90 seconds at a time and therefore thought that would make a perfect cardio portion for this quick, do-anywhere workout.

Depending on your fitness level, you make this workout easier or more challenging by adjusting the jog to a walk, power walk or sprint. The strength portions of the circuit can also be modified easily, depending on your ability. I did this 27-minute circuit three times while we were in Vermont and really enjoyed it. The focus on time versus reps allowed me to push myself a bit more than I would have otherwise and also allowed me to see improvements each time I did the workout. This workout is perfect for people of all abilities since it’s based on time and bodyweight, not number of repetitions or a certain pound weight. Quality over quantity, like many things in life, is most important for this workout.

No Equipment Workout

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Post-Baby Workouts

Walking with Katie

Now that five weeks have passed since giving birth, I’ve started to crave a daily workout. While I am still sticking with my plan of waiting six weeks before working out, that doesn’t mean that I can’t start doing some research in advance. While my daily walks with Katie have provided me with fresh air and endorphins, I’d like to focus on regaining strength over the next few months.

One of the things you will not see on this blog is a body after baby series where I detail my weight and measurements. I’ve thought a lot about how I want to share my journey with you all and one of the most important things is that I’m a healthy role model. It takes nine months to gain the weight and therefore I fully expect and recognize that it will take at least that long to lose the weight. Moreover, I am not focused on the number on a scale. Instead, I want to focus on building strength and, eventually, my running speed and endurance. Workouts will be different this time around as I no longer have the luxury to workout as often as I’d like, nor as long as I’d like. Yesterday, while pushing our daughters in their strollers, my friend Elizabeth and I discussed workouts after baby. Since she is a month ahead of me, she has already started working out again and shared her perspective during our walk. Throughout life, our priorities change. Right now, my priority is to spend as much time with Bo and Katie as possible. His work schedule means that the precious early morning, evening and weekend hours are the only time we have as a family of three. The last thing I want to do at this point is head out of the house for a workout.

Therefore, I am currently researching two types of post-baby workout options to enjoy during the 13 weeks remaining in my maternity leave.

    • Workouts that I can do at home while Katie is napping.
    • Workouts in our neighborhood that I can do during the day with Katie.

Yesterday I asked for advice on Instastories and after receiving so many replies as well as requests to share the information with you all, I wanted to make the same request in today’s post while also sharing the feedback I’ve received thus far. Please keep in mind that these are reader recommendations. I have not tried any of these workouts yet and therefore can’t vouch for them. In addition, if you are pregnant or postpartum, please remember to check with your OB-GYN before beginning any workouts.  The below are listed in no particular order and any comments or details provided are the ones that people left when they responded to my request for postpartum workout suggestions.

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Your turn – What are your favorite post-baby workouts?

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Baby Diamond–Weeks 24 through 29 & A Giveaway

 

bump pic

Happy Thursday! Today I have a bump update and giveaway for you guys. As you can tell from the picture below, now that I have entered the third trimester, I am definitely starting to look and feel very pregnant. There is no denying that I am expecting! In fact, each morning this week passengers on the subway have kindly offered their seats which has been such a sweet and appreciated gesture.

This past month of pregnancy was a whirlwind including some travel, some pain and a wonderful weekend with some of my closest friends and family celebrating Baby Girl Diamond. I want to do a separate post highlighting the wonderful shower as it was such a special day. So, for now, let’s focus on some of the feelings, cravings and thoughts around the past few weeks of pregnancy.  Don’t forget to enter the giveaway at the end of the post, especially if you live near NYC!

Baby Size: Over the past few weeks Baby Girl Diamond has grown and progressed from an eggplant, to a papaya and now a butternut squash.  At 29 weeks she is approxiamately 2.5 pounds and 15 inches in length! She’s doubled in size since week 24 which explains why my bump is growing so rapidly. The above picture was taken two weeks ago during a photo session with the lovely Alexis, and I feel as if I’ve already grown a great deal in just these two weeks.

Weight Gained: As of last week’s appointment I had gained 17 pounds. Even though both my doctor and I are comfortable with this healthy amount of weight gain, it is definitely starting to make me feel a bit awkward as I’ve reached the point where I can feel the burden of carrying the extra weight. By the time I go to bed each night, my legs and feet are swollen and my lower back has started to ache a bit. Based on advice from fellow mothers, I’ve started elevating my feet more often, asking Bo for nightly foot massages and taking more baths.

ashley stretch

Workouts: As I shared earlier this month, I’ve decided to take a break from running. Since I stopped running, about 75% of my pubic pain went away overnight which has allowed me to continue working out six days a week. While many people keep telling me to slow down, I feel best when I workout, especially in the mornings. Now more than ever before the workouts give me an extra boost of energy. Over the past month I’ve been able to maintain my habit of two Orangetheory Park Slope workouts, 1-2 Pilates classes at A-Line Pilates, 1 barre class at XTend Barre, 1-2 swimming workouts at our YMCA and 1 long walk each week. Now that I am in the third trimester, I am being very careful to work with instructors before class to get the modifications needed to stay safe and healthy. I can definitely feel the positive effects of these workouts as I’ve been able to increase the weight that I lift at Orangetheory during pregnancy and am finding each of these workouts to become easier with time, even while I am becoming larger and more awkward.

Cravings: While I’m still constantly thirsty and craving fruit,  some of my other cravings have defintely started to resemble those of a sterotypical pregnant woman. Each night I find myself enjoying a small bowl of ice cream or frozen yogurt. I also craved turkey burgers this week as well as gummy or fruit flavored candy.

Food Aversions: Similar to last month, I’m not having strong aversions except to food that typically induces heart burn as I’m still fighting daily heartburn.

Symptoms: As I mentioned earlier in the post, I just feel large. Even though I know I still have another eleven weeks of growth, I’ve started to feel very awkward and pregnant these past few weeks. I’ve had leg and foot cramps a few times the past week and, depending on where she’s positioned, I feel like my stomach is stretched to it’s edge especially after eating or if I have to go the bathroom. It’s a crazy feeling! I am starting to force myself to slow down a bit, making fewer evening commitments and plans as I grow more tired each week.

Sleep: After a few weeks of frustration with the Snoogle, I switched to using multiple pillows to support my body. I sleep with a long, king sized pillow behind my backside, one pillow under my head, wrap my arms around another pillow and put a fourth between my knees. I’m not sure why, but this has allowed me to sleep far better than the Snoogle as of late. Now, getting in and out of all these pillows is quite a different story. It’s hilarious to watch especially in the middle of the night when I wake up to go to the bathroom.

Wearing: As the belly continues to grow, I’ve found it impossible to wear pre-pregnancy size bottoms, even stretchy workout pants. Luckily, I had one pair of large Nike tights and a few pairs of Brooks bottoms which were previoiusly too large. These have become my go-to workout bottoms while I’ve been living in my Seraphine clothing at work. 

Other Random Thoughts: I can’t believe that in just 11 or 12 weeks we will FINALLY get to meet Baby Girl Diamond. It feels like pregnancy has flown by, but at the same time we are so excited to meet her and can’t wait. It’s crazy to type those words as I still feel like we have SO much to do these next few weeks. Bo and I finally got our act together and made a shared list in Wunderlist so we could keep track of the things we have to do. Here are just a few of the things on our list:

  • Interview and decide on a pediatrician
  • Finish the nursery (install new light/fan, touch-up paint, finish book shelves and hanging art)
  • Organize closets and cabinets in kitchen and upstairs to make room for everything
  • Work with our insurance to order the breast pump
  • Wash all her clothing and organize in drawers/closet
  • Take Baby CPR and car seat class
  • Decide if we’re going to do a maternity photo shoot

Giveaway Time

Now, for any of my readers who are based in the New York Area, I have a great giveaway – free family ticket to the New York Baby Show.

ny baby show

The 2017 New York Baby Show, on May 20 & 21 at Pier 94 will once again be the largest show for new and expectant parents in the country. Now in its 7th year, no other event provides a better experience for thousands of expectant and new families from New York and neighboring counties, seeking a family-friendly jamboree of top brands, great speakers and seminars, big giveaways, and lots of learning, support, bonding, and fun as you make your way into parenthood. I am giving away tickets for you and your family to experience the show. Normal ticket price is $30 per family (for 2 adults and up to 4 children), and $20 per individual. Click here to enter!

Images courtesy of www.alexisdamen.com

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