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I was excited to see this article from NPR posted on the page of my Friends over at GroupExPro titled “Stand up, Walk Around, Even for 20 minutes”
 

It builds on a few conversations I have been having both around the blogosphere and IRL (I had to throw in the “in real life” slang there, since I am soo geeky) about the difference between ‘Health’ and ‘Fitness’.
 

A fitness friend posed the question. “Are 15 minute workouts worth it?”
 

She received a slew of responses from “yes, as a busy mom, sometimes its all I can do” to “No, people are fooling themselves if they think 15 minutes do anything”
 

I freely admit that the former avid exerciser in me often will skip a workout if I can’t make it a long enough one. But the problem with that mentality, is that over the last 4 years, I have skipped more workouts than I have done…
 

I have had to change my attitude about what it means to be healthy and now fall firmly in the any-exercise-is-good-for-you camp.
 

I strongly suggest you go and read the NPR article, but here are my favorite points.

     

  • Research shows that people who stand up for every 20 minutes of sitting have a lower rate of diabetes than people who sit for the full workday.
  • Walking may be the single best exercise on the planet
  • Warm up prior to exercise, but don’t stretch, it sends a signal to your brain your muscles is about to be damaged. But warming up the tissue with a warm up IS important.
  • You can become healthy with much lower time and intensity of exercise than it takes to become fit
  • Chocolate milk is a great recovery drink!

 
 

Lets change our attitudes about what it means to be fit and lets focus on getting healthy!  Now, if you’ll excuse me…I am going for a walk!

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Hummus and avocado on a rice cake makes a great afternoon snack!

My husband and I have been working very hard (and pretty successfully!) to loss some of our post-baby weight.  I call it post baby weight, because most of the extra weight that we both gained was not during my pregnancy, but in the year after our second daughter was born.
 
 

As I mentioned in last weeks Fit Tip Friday post, Cauliflower Pizza Crust, we had become too reliant on take out, sugar and caffeine to fuel our days with two young children.
 
 

I noticed that a big part of my healthy eating breakdown would come during this late afternoon time.  I’d get the kids down for a nap, and I’d be ready for a snack, or a treat.  I found myself always raiding the candy stash, making my self a second vanilla latte or toasting up a big piece of sour dough bread smothered in cheese (or lets face it, sometimes all three).
 
 

I realized that a big part of this afternoon snack was  just the habit I had gotten into.  By thinking of some healthier options ahead of time, I find that I make better choices when I get to that time of the day.
 
 

One of my current favorites now is  a brown rice cake, with roasted garlic hummus (1 TBSP) and slices of avocado (about 1 oz).
 
 

This snack comes in at about 135 calories, 6.5 grams of fat, 2.5 grams of protein and 22 grams of carbs.  In addition it is packed full of healthy fats and over 20 vitamins.  The protein and the fat help you feel full and sated.
 
 

I have found so much of cleaning up my diet is just rethinking the way I normally do things!
 
 

What are your go-to healthy snacks??

We are busy getting ready for my daughter’s FIRST birthday here in the BUMP Life household.  But not to leave you hanging for a FRIDAY FIT TIP, you are in for a treat!

 

My friend, Caroline Jordan , has put together an AMAZING ab workout video.  Its only about 7 minutes long, and I guarantee you are going to feel it!  So give it a try today and check out her site and her other videos, she’s got some great suggestions!

 

And I’ll post party pictures later this week!!

 

Caroline Jordan Fitness: Medicine Ball Abs

Last week’s Friday Fit Tip was all about multitasking.  I told you about my client who was finding time for fitness by doing her abdominal exercises sitting on her son’s bedroom floor while he falls asleep at night.  Brilliant!

So we thought we’d show you the four exercises that she does at night.


Seated Abdominal Series

Exercise #1: Heel Lifts

Starting position for all of the exercises in the series

Sit reclining back just until you feel some tension on your abs, but no back strain.  Pull your belly button into your spine, don’t let your abs push out.  Balance on heels.  Hold arms out straight in front of you (keep shoulders down).

Lift one leg up at a time. Maintain stability in your core though out the exercise.

Lift one heel at a time while maintaining core stability

Exercise #2: Seated twists

Start from the same reclined position, rotate to the side

Start in the same position as above.  Twist upper body moving hands(like you’re holding a ball) from hip to hip.

Maintain the recline and rotate to the other side

Exercise #3:  Arms Over Head

Draw your abs in!

Begin again from the reclined position.  Abs engaged.  Start with arms straight out in front of you and slowly raise them over your head and return to the starting position.  Your body does not move.

Bring arms over head slowly.

Exercise #4:  Triceps Dips

Still maintain abdominal engagement, even during arm exercises

Sit in same reclined position, abs still engaged.  Put hands on floor behind you, fingers pointing towards your body.  Bend your elbows and lower your upper body down.  Pull your abs in and push back to start position with your hands.

Lower your body down, keep belly button drawn in to spine

Do as many repetition of the above exercises as you can while maintaining good form and keeping peace in your house.  If you do 10 of each, or 30 of each, you’ll be fitting in fitness into your busy life!  You can do these exercises anywhere, any time.  As part of your kids bedtime routines, while you watch TV, on vacation or first thing in the morning.  The most important part is that you do them!

*special thanks to my lovely client, Amanda,  for being my model (and my inspiration for this post!)

Its a little late in the day for our Friday Fit Tip….but its still Friday!!  And if I have learned one thing while being a parent, sometimes you just have to fit things in where you can!

 

Which is perfect for todays fit tip.

 

Today’s tip actually comes from one of my personal training clients.  She is trying to teach her 3.5 year old to fall asleep more independently, as he had gotten used to her lying down with him at night until he falls asleep.

 

She made a deal with him that she would sit on the floor next to his bed while he falls asleep and guess what she does while she is sitting there????

 

AB EXERCISES!!!!

 

She goes through a seated ab series that we do in our workout*, it takes about 5-10 minutes.  If he is not asleep, she does a few stretches.

 

He now says at night, “mommy, stay and do your exercises until I fall asleep”

 

She told me that in just a week of doing these exercises every night, she feels stronger and can do more repetitions.

 

I was so proud…

 

So fitness really is where you find it.  Where can you find 5 minutes for yourself and your health?  I know I’ll be re-examining my daily routine too!

 

(**Stay tuned and I’ll post the ab routine that she does at night!)

Happy Sunday Everyone!

 

Since many of us are busy this afternoon watching either

a) football

b) commercials

c) kids; so others can watch football

 

…I’ll keep this wrap up quick!

 

GREAT week on BUMP Life!

 

 

 

  • Wednesday, I bought myself flowers to cheer up a blah day.  Lots of you chimed in that wine is your go-to cheer booster!

 

 

  • My son thinks today is all about eating “snacks.” So if your day is filled with snacks today, make sure to follow our Friday Fit Tip and do ONE healthy thing today!

 

 

I am really looking forward to next week!  Stay tuned to see what we have coming up!

 

 

Have a WODNERFUL evening

 

-megan

 

 

Take your kids out for a bike ride today and you'll both get a little extra activity

I find the days I am busy are the days I make the unhealthiest choices.  I tend to make “convenient” food choices and skip activity.

 

But as I often advise my clients, small choices add up (both positively and negatively).  And you don’t have to have a perfect day every day to be healthy.

 

So my FIT TIP FRIDAY suggestion is make ONE extra healthy choice today.

 

Here are some ideas:

  1. Run around with your kids at the park instead of watching from a bench
  2. Have some carrots with hummus as an afternoon snack instead of pirate’s booty
  3. Have 1 glass of wine with dinner instead of two
  4. Skip dessert
  5. Do 10 squats and 10 push-ups while watching TV tonight
  6. Ask them not to bring chips to the table
  7. Have an apple sliced with peanut butter
  8. Eat a larger portion of veggies and a smaller portion of the rest of your meal
  9. Commit to drinking 8 glasses of water today
  10.  Hard boil some eggs to have on hand this week…when you are busy again

 

It might be that large vanilla latte, not the baby, causing the extra weight

Ok, Ok, I know it is Saturday, not Friday, but cut a busy mom some slack!

I received this question from a fitness friend of mine who has a few clients who told her they want to lose the “baby weight”.  She wanted to know if;

“…there such a thing as “baby weight” vs. just “weight” to get off?
Weight, regardless is hard to lose, but does “baby weight” have more issues? “

GREAT question.  I think “baby weight” is all in the definition.  Are we talking about weight that was gained during pregnancy or weight that was gained from the demanding first few months of motherhood when mom is sleep deprived, stressed out, not exercising and doing a lot of ‘convenience’ eating?  Sometimes these two overlap and get confusing.

Here is my answer back to her:

Baby Age:

How old are the babies (that caused this baby weight)?  If they are under a year (or more so under 6 months) and especially if the moms are still breastfeeding, then I would consider that ‘pregnancy weight.’ The average mom gains around 30 lbs during pregnancy and it  is made up of the weight of the baby, placenta, increased cellular fluid, increase breast tissue, increased blood column, and some increase fat.  In fact, increase in blood volume alone accounts for about 4 pounds and increase breast tissue is 2 pounds!

Breast Feeding:

Also, breast feeding is a big contributor to weight loss.  Although very calorically expensive (some say breast feeding is the best weight loss system…never the case for me), your body tends to store between 5-10 lbs of weight (read: fat) while you are feeding a baby to make sure that if there is a famine or your tribe is not able to kill a buffalo, you will still be able to feed your child. No one has told our bodies about Whole Foods, and that, really, its ok to ditch that security weight.

Hormones:

Also, weight around pregnancy is very hormonally driven, just like gaining weight at puberty and menopause is common. When hormones start to regulate, the weight some times does too.  Experts say hormones after pregnancy can stay out of balance for 6-18months.  *If you are doing EVERYTHING right and still not able to lose weight, you should have your hormone levels checked.

Too Much Take-out:

Now if your clients are, like me, a year or more out, no longer breastfeeding and survived on too much take-out, and vanilla lattes in those early months, the extra weight is probably just that, extra weight.

For most of your group, its probably the latter.  What tends to happen is in the few weeks following birth, the ‘extra’ weight IS pregnancy weight, extra fluid, blood volume etc.  But as those factors start to regulate (and come down), mom’s habits are taking over.  She is probably sleep deprived and eating extra carbs, sugar and caffeine  for that energy boost.  She is also probably eating that creamy noodle casserole the neighbor brought over, or asks her husband to pick up something on his way home, since the baby cries from 4pm to 10pm straight and there is no way to make a healthy dinner during the witching hours (that wasn’t just me, right??)

Bone Structure: 

One more thing. Remember that bone structure can actually change during pregnancy. And sometimes the expanded hips or rib cage don’t go all they way back to pre-pregnancy size. So if you have ladies that are back or close to back to pre pregnancy weight *number* but not fitting in their old clothes, this could be the culprit. They may need to adjust what size clothes they wear or what style jeans they buy to accommodate their new “mommy” bodies.

A year after my first son was born, I was totally confused why my old jeans were too tight, but the size up were too big.  A lovely sales lady brought me some different styles to try and low and behold…they fit!  Shocker, that I no longer wore the style jeans I had worn since college, right??

Be Realistic:

The best suggestion for either group is common sense eating and realistic, appropriate  exercise.

I think the biggest thing for moms is helping them make realistic choices that fit with their new, crazy, lifestyle. And for those under a year (or heck for all moms) cutting themselves some slack.  Being healthy and taking care of that new little life is the most important thing and the weight will follow.  But maybe I should get that latte habit in check?

So if you find you are still struggling with “baby weight”, take these things in to consideration.  And I’d love to hear what YOUR struggles are, fitness or otherwise, and I’ll feature my answers in an upcoming post.

There is just something about music that makes most things more fun and challenging tasks easier to accomplish.

One of my new years resolutions is “to become a runner” and I am off to a pretty good start.

(I am using the Cool Running, Couch to 5k program, if you are interested! And they have an awesome iPhone app that will actually give you coached commands OVER your music.  So while Im striding to Party Rock Anthem, a lovely british voice tells me I have 15 more seconds to run.)

But I would not be having near as much success without my music….LOUD.  So if you are looking for a new playlist for your workouts, or maybe just while you clean the house.

Here’s my current favorite playlist (Click here to link to the iMix on iTunes)

Rolling In the Deep: Adele

Moves Like Jagger: Maroon 5

Party Rock Anthem (feat. Lauren Bennett & GoonRock): LMFAO

I Kissed a Girl:  Katy Perry

Right Round: Flo Rida

Maneater:  Nelly Furtado

Forget You:  Cee Lo Green

Apologize (Ti-mo vs. Stefan Rio Club Mix):  De-Grees vs. The Real Booty Babes

Bad Romance:  Lady GaGa

LoveGame (Chew Fu Ghettohouse Fix) [feat. Marilyn Manson]: Lady GaGa

Girlfriend:  Avril Lavigne

The Way I Are (feat. Keri Hilson & D.O.E.): Timbaland

Raise Your Glass: P!nk

Hollaback Girl: Gwen Stefani

What are your favorites?  Lets make a Bump Fitness Volume 2 with your suggestions!

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day.

Yeah, Yeah, we all know that right?

But despite being a personal trainer with a degree in nutrition, I’ll admit to skipping breakfast.  On any given morning, I am either leaving the house at 5am under a shroud of silence to ensure my family stays asleep for a few more hours or hustling and bustling about to get everyone else fed, dressed and entertained.

It not that I don’t like breakfast, or don’t have anything in the house, but by the time I think of myself, I often settle for a Latte, maybe a banana. OR a pastry from the coffee shop.

As part of my New Years Resolution, I committed to put my own heath first more often and breakfast seemed like a good place to start. I operate better when I have a plan, so I made a list of quick, healthy breakfasts on a sticky note and put it on my fridge;

Hard boiled eggs on the weekends

A hard boiled egg and a piece of sprouted wheat toast with butter: The easiest to peel recipe I have found is to cover the eggs with cold water, bring to a boil, then turn of off the heat for 10-12 minutes.  The secret ingredient is to add a heaping tablespoon of salt to the water while you’re boiling the eggs, makes them super easy to peel.

 

Are you on team "chunky" or "creamy"?

Apple slices with peanut butter: This is also a great snack for after a workout or when you need a ‘treat’ but are trying to avoid sugar

 

 

A whole wheat tortilla with almond butter and banana slices rolled up: This is another easy one to take in the car.

 

All packed in my bag and ready to go

A high quality meal replacement bar  and an orange: This is my go to early  morning breakfast.  I can actually put it in my bag the night before, no hassle in the morning!  My favorite brand of bar is the “Kind” brand.  I love the almond/coconut!

 

 

 

 

 

Steel cut oatmeal with almonds and raisins: Wait, you say, steel cut oatmeal takes 30 minutes to cook?  Yes, but you can make a big batch over the weekend and just reheat it during the week.  You can even make it in the crockpot overnight.

Frozen or fresh berries and yogurt are easy!

 

Greek yogurt with berries: Even frozen berries work great.

 


Green Smoothie:  We did some great recipes for green smoothies here, here, here and here.  But when I am really in a hurry, my favorite recipe is;

½ banana

a handful of frozen spinach

almond milk

water

ice

protein powder or scoop of nut butter (optional)

 

This is a special treat!

Now I have no excuses to not eat a healthy breakfast and I can save the pastry for a doughnut date with my 3 year old!

What is your favorite quick, healthy breakfast? 

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About Bump Life

Bump Life is a place to support moms and families across all aspects of our lives. A place for tips, expert advice, parenting resources and entertainment. A great place to come for information, support or just a break from our crazy lives. From fitness to finance, from diaper bags to diaper duty, for everything bump, babies and beyond, you'll find it all here at BUMP Life!