Monday, March 17, 2014

Mom & Baby Spin and Strength

"How does that work?" you ask?

First, we set up the room for safety. This class is for pre-mobile babies only. This keeps all babies safe from the flywheel, equipment and each other.  Some babies are on a mat in front of mom while others might be sleeping in their car seats or strollers.  Moms do not hold babies while spinning.

Next, we structure class for maximum baby happiness because we all know the following equation:

Happy baby = Awesome workout for mom

This means we do intervals of spinning and strength training.  In other words, we are on the bike for a song and off the bike for a song.  When mom is off her bike it is easier for her to attend to her babies needs.  That said, if baby needs mom during a spin interval, mom can come off her bike, scoop baby up and do the alternative exercise provided by her instructor.  

We spend the last 15 minutes on the mat doing core work and stretching.  By this point, many babies want to be included in the exercises.

It works!!  In fact it works so well that class often gets sold out.  We have a maximum number of bikes at each facility so be sure to register early and avoid disappointment.

Find a class

Saturday, March 8, 2014

The New PARmed-X for Pregnancy Form
An updated PARmed-X for Pregnancy form was quietly released by The Canadian Society of Exercsie Physiology (CSEP) late 2013.  A big thanks to Dr. Michelle Mottola for her contribution to the process.

The most notable difference between the 2003 form and the 2013 form is the new target heart rate chart for cardiovascular exercise during pregnancy.   It now considers previous activity level and high BMI.  The data is based on peak exercise tests in medically pre-screened low risk women who were pregnant (Mottola et al. 2006; Davenport et al. 2008).

Something else you will notice is that it doesn't include women in their 40s.  We asked the author, Dr. Michelle Mottola and she explained that this is due to lack of research on cardiovascular exercise with women in their 40s. This does not mean that women in their 40's should not exercise.   If a pregnant woman in her 40s is healthy and has no pregnancy complications, her healthcare provider will likely encourage her to exercise regularly. 

Download a copy of the new form here.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Finding Your Post-Baby Fitness Groove

By Callie Camp, Dee Clarke and Melanie Osmack of Fit 4 Two®

One of the most common questions asked by our prenatal fitness clients is ‘When can I start exercising after I’ve had my baby?’ While the answer will vary from woman to woman, here are the main points to consider when planning an active lifestyle with a brand new babe.


Body Readiness
Most women will still look and feel five months pregnant in the first few weeks after giving birth - don’t panic! If you’ve had a uncomplicated vaginal birth, you might be up for a slow stroll around the neighborhood within the week. If you experienced a Caesarean birth or a more traumatic vaginal birth, it will take you longer to get out and about. Remember to check in with your healthcare provider. The SOGC (Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada) recommends obtaining medical approval at your 6-week post surgery assessment before resuming exercise. In all cases, the SOGC recommends that your lochia (post partum bleeding) should be complete or minimal, which may occur anywhere between 2 weeks to 2 months postpartum.

Let Fatigue Be Your Guide
The first month or so as a new mama can be extremely exhausting and overwhelming. It's called “the 4th trimester” for a reason! Getting proper rest is crucial to exercising safely. Without it, we depress our immune systems, feel clumsy and uncoordinated, and put ourselves at risk of injury or sickness. Aim for 8 hours of accumulated sleep, if you connect all your naps together. Listen to your body.

Listen to your joints
Ten months of pregnancy, childbirth and physical demands of parenting can lead to joint issues.  Common complaints include are sore wrists, shoulders, pelvis and back.  If you are experiencing any joint pain, see your healthcare provider before resuming exercise.  

Check in with your Core
Some women will have no problems reconnecting to their core postpartum whereas others may feel like they are beginning from square one. Just like each pregnancy is unique, so is each postpartum recovery. Focus on rehabilitating from the inside out. Rehabilitation of the pelvic floor and abdominal muscles is important for re-developing the strong core stability needed for parenting a new baby. It also reduces incontinence, prevents lower back ache and improves self-esteem. Avoid high impact exercise to give the pelvic floor a chance to recover.

Regardless of whether you have a vaginal or Caesarean birth, most women have some degree of diastasis recti (aka abdominal separation). It is not painful, so you may not know you even have it. It’s important to have your healthcare provider assess you in order to determine which core exercises are most beneficial and which ones could make your condition worse.

A certified pre and postnatal fitness specialist can then recommend appropriate exercises to help heal a diastasis.

Finding it difficult to stay disciplined with your pelvic floor exercises on your own? There's an app for that! Check out the Fit 4 Two-approved Pelvic Floor Trainer App. Enjoy both visual and audio routines at your fingertips to keep it easy and motivating!

Getting Your Ducks in a Row

Even the most serious athletes can be caught up in the newborn triathlon of ‘Eat, Sleep & Poop’, making establishing a regular fitness routine quite a challenge. Having your diaper bag packed, water bottle and yoga mat placed by the door the night before your workout can make your mornings go much smoother.

You’re in Good Company
Finding childcare in order to exercise can be a huge obstacle on your path to fitness. Attending a postnatal baby-friendly fitness class with other new moms allows you to get a workout while attending to baby’s needs. It also gives you a reason to get out of the house and a way to connect with other like-minded moms. Be patient with yourself and your baby. It took 9 months to grow your baby, getting back into shape won’t happen over night.

Ready to try a Fit 4 Two class?  Contact your local Fit 4 Two Instructor for a pass to try a FREE class.