Wednesday, January 25, 2012

“Mom & Baby Spin and Strength? How does THAT work?!”

Mom & Baby Spin and Strength?  How does THAT work?!” asked a former participant when she saw one of my Facebook posts.  I have been getting that question a lot lately.

The Vancouver Parks Board Recently came and took some photos of our new class at the Creekside Community Centre and I’ll be posting them as soon as I get my hands on them.  In the meantime, I’ll try to illustrate.

Imagine 10 bikes set up side by side.  In front of each bike is some space, a yoga mat, and some weights.  Most babes are chilling on said yoga mats or still sleeping in their strollers on the side.  We warm up then go into intervals of spinning and strength training.  The music leads the way. 

If a baby needs mom during cardio, mom gets off the bike and does some low impact cardio holding her baby.  I should note that this is pretty rare.  I think the babes get mesmerized by the whir of the bikes.  If a baby needs mom during strength, we help mom to incorporate baby.

Class ends with a weave of core and stretch and then we say goodbye.  Moms leave with a smile because they got in an excellent full body workout.  I love teaching this class and am happy to say that it is now available in Surrey, Richmond in Vancouver.  Two more Vancouver locations will be added spring 2012.  We will keep you posted.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Are you Ready for Fit 4 Two Bootcamp?

What is a Bootcamp?
Bootcamps vary in their formats but generally speaking you can expect high intensity drills that challenge your cardio, strength, endurance, agility, balance and more. They usually expect you to commit to 2-3 days a week for 4 weeks or more and encourage fellow bootcampers to cheer each other on.  At Fit 4 Two we offer two types of bootcamps: Mom & Baby Bootcamp (Indoors) and Stroller Bootcamp (outdoors).

Are you ready for a Fit 4 Two Bootcamp?
If you have already eased back into exercise and have been exercising (cardio and strength) regularly for 6 weeks, you should be ready to give it a go.  Just be sure to listen to your body and consider the following….

Get the gear
A well-fitting sports bra or very supportive nursing bra is a must!  Bootcamps are impact in nature and you need support.  Footwear is also important.  If you haven’t bought new cross trainers since giving birth, we recommend you do.  The athletic shoes you wore during your pregnancy likely have a lot of miles on them.  We recommend cross-trainers vs running shoes because lateral drills make your ankles more susceptible to injury.  On that note….

Loosey Goosey
Don’t forget that most postpartum women still have the pregnancy hormone relaxin flowing through their bodies softening ligaments and making joint injuries more common.  Breastfeeding women may continue to experience the effects of relaxin even longer.  Take care during quick stop and start activities.

Remember that by the time you feel thirsty – you are already dehydrated.  Drink ½ a water bottle before, a full one during and another ½ after exercise.  This is even more important if you are breastfeeding.

Hot & Cold
Warming up and cooling down is VERY IMPORTANT at bootcamps.  These classes are more intense and usually include a lot of agility drills.  You do NOT want a pulled hamstring or a rolled ankle.

Listen to your Body
Even if you have been exercising postpartum for a while, you need to listen to your body.  Life is different now.  You may still be breastfeeding, sleep is unpredictable, caring for your baby puts strain on your body etc.  If something does not feel right, tell your instructor.

Have fun
Some women love bootcamp style classes.  Others prefer a typical fitness class.  If you try a bootcamp and don’t like it, talk to your instructor about switching back into Fit 4 Two Mom and Baby Fitness or Stroller Fitness.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Meal Planning - Reduce Stress and Eat Healthier

Meal planning is the ideal way to make sure you are getting variety in your diet.  It helps you avoid eating processed foods and eating out.  It saves time and money...and reduces stress in the home. 

I often post about meal planning but the feedback I get is that people don't really know where to start.  I recommend focusing on dinners.  To make it even easier, I have included my weekly meal plan for January.

Things to note: We are not vegetarians.  My meals plans are a compromise between my children and I.  Mondays and Tuesdays are out busiest after school days so heating up homemade soup and putting taco ingredients on the table as doable in less than 15 minutes.  Extra Monday soup and Thursday chili will be for my lunches.  I shop Fridays but do pick up some fresh bread for Monday soup night.  We are not fruit at dinner kind of people.  We eat it as snacks throughout the day.

Sunday Dinner
Roast Chicken
Roasted veggies
(make stock and Monday soup)

Monday Dinner
Chicken and veggie soup
Yummy bread

Tuesday Dinner
Taco Tuesday with shredded chicken, lettuce, cheese, salsa

Wednesday Dinner
Couscous (use chicken stock)
Steamed broccoli

Thursday Dinner
Crock pot chili

Friday Dinner
Chicken strips
French fries
Veggie plate

Saturday Dinner
White fish
White sauce
Veggie plate