Category Archives: Stroller Strides

Get that Body Back®

On Monday I’m headed out to Danbury, CT and getting certified to teach Body Back®, another Stroller Strides program designed by Lisa Druxman.  This is a results-based workout designed specifically for moms. Whether you just had a baby or had a baby twenty years ago, it will help any mom get her body back. Most importantly, it will help moms unlock their personal possibilities in an inspiring and powerful environment.

It’s different from Stroller Strides because it’s done without the babies and you sign up for an 8 week session, meet 2x a week and follow a meal plan designed for you.

I am really excited to be able to offer this program to Brooklyn moms. Because I NEED it. Really, I need someone to give me a Body Back class. I feel fine and can see how I’ll eventually get rid of this belly (10 months up, 1o months down is my new mantra) but I’m ready to get back out there, find my groove and rejoin the world of the living.

ready, set, go!

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Filed under Brooklyn, fitness, Stroller Strides

The road to recovery

Okay, so my new years resolution of keeping up with this blog failed. But I was finding it next to impossible to write anything of any use about fitness or health at 30+ weeks pregnant, when all I wanted to do was sit on my butt, eat and watch old 90210 reruns. But here we are. 3 weeks postpartum and it’s time for me to get back on that horse. Time to get back outside, time to introduce my new baby to the world of Prospect Park and exercise, time to start clean eating and clean living and refocusing my attention on my self, my family and my business.

It’s been a roller coaster couple of weeks. The lead up to the birth was an exercise in frustration, discomfort and boredom. And these past few weeks following the birth have been an exhausting hormonal fiesta of baby love. I’ve been amazed at how easy it’s been to forget the exhaustion, the engorgement, the feeling of being nothing more than a baby feeding machine. But at least now I know how fleeting this time is, and how important it is to live in the moment and be as present as possible for not only the new baby but the whole family.

I don’t know what’s more exhausting, the fluctuating hormones or the sleeplessness. There have been a few days where crying seems to be the easiest thing to do. Days when I feel like the worst mom in the world because I have to focus so much attention on the new baby and Harry is getting the shaft. I went from spending all the time in the world with Harry and now we get fleeting moments of together time. And while he’s being a champ, I can tell he’s frustrated and confused. And I know it’ll work itself out and the hormones will equalize, but some days it’s hard to imagine how…and when.

The plan is to use this blog as a path to recovery. Today starts the Get Fit Challenge with Stroller Strides, we’re challenging moms to see what changes they can make in their body, lifestyle, eating habits and while I can’t join in on classes yet, I can start making changes in my life. I can write down what I eat, I can get out and go for a walk every day, practice plank, squats, kegels, I can go to bed earlier and drink more water and find the joy in spending time with my children and my husband.

And hopefully this will help alleviate my stress and nerves about how much life will change with these two kids and how I’m ever going to leave the house with these two children and my sanity again.

 

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Filed under Balance, fitness, motherhood, Stroller Strides

Shoving, not shovelling, to get out

There was a lot of talk this past week about the streets not being plowed of all the snow and now that the snow is mostly cleared and piled into big grayish frozen mounds on the corners comes the real challenge. How to get those $%&* strollers across the streets.

As New Yorkers, we pride ourselves on our ability to get where we need to go without having to get in our cars to get there. And then we get hit by Snowtorious BIG. If you’re a person who doesn’t have to worry about being bound to a wheelchair or push a stroller then  all this snow is a really annoying inconvenience, but if you are one of these wheel dependent types, you’re basically at the mercy of the  goodness of people who shovel their walks. Apparently, this goodness doesn’t apply to certain churches or schools on major thoroughfares in Park Slope (and I guess nobody is responsible for crosswalks). And woe is the person who might happen to be pregnant and trying to get somewhere while pushing a stroller (yes, I’m talking about me). Somebody actually HONKED at me today while I was trying to push my stroller through the sludge in the street for taking too long. Why don’t you get out of your car and honk at me…

Anyway, this all leads me to, one more amazing reason why there is Strength in Motherhood. And I mean literal STRENGTH. By having a strong core and back, we can carry those kids of ours over the mounds of snow and leave those cumbersome strollers behind. It’s going to be a long winter moms, and possibly not the end of the snow. Come on out to Stroller Strides and let’s work to get that core strong enough to carry those kids up the Slope and back again.

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Our bodies after babies

I haven’t posted anything this week…how did it get to be Thursday? How did it get to be the end of November? How did it get to be the end of the year? Sheesh. Recently, I was sitting in my car outside the entrance to the park while Harry was pretend driving – perhaps one the most fun activities ever, who needs the park, we have a steering wheel, and this dad walked by walking his two dogs. I know he was a dad, because he stopped and said wistfully, oh, I remember when my boys were that little and loved to drive the car. I just dropped them off at school and …  At this time I was trying desperately to coax el Senor out of the car and this nice guys dogs were a great lure. We continued talking and I was probably moaning about how endless the days seemed right now and he said “with kids, long days, short years.” Golly, as soon as he said it, it seemed to be the truest thing I’ve heard in ages – H isn’t even 2 yet and I can already feel how fast time is flying.

Anyway – that wasn’t the point of this post. Here’s a GREAT article from Lisa Druxman, founding mom of Stroller Strides about post natal exercise and how our bodies change so dramatically post pregnancy and what we need to do differently (aside from everything) with our workouts.

My Body After Baby.

Whether you like it or not, your life will change after having a baby. Beyond that, your workout should change as well! Being a mom is simply not good on your body. As a mom, you have a weight (the baby) that you carry around everywhere you go. You’re sleep deprived, recovering from pregnancy and labor and doing all kinds of mommy movements that you have not done before. This combination can lead to all kinds of aches and pains and progressively poor posture. By teaching you how to move through motherhood and working out to address these new challenges, you will be stronger, healthier and happier.

Why is my workout from before pregnancy not ok now?

Postural Changes
– Many changes have happened to your body during pregnancy. The weight of your uterus, your baby and your growing breasts have probably pulled your posture out of alignment. Your hips have probably tilted forward (an anterior pelvic tilt) and your shoulders are probably rounded. Almost 80% of women complain of back pain during or after pregnancy. Much of that pain comes from this postural mal-alignment. Your workout should focus on strengthening your back muscles to pull and stretching your chest and hip flexors.

Your Pelvic Floor – The weight of the baby and uterus and childbirth have probably weakened your pelvic floor muscles. That is why kegels and other pelvic floor exercises are not only important during pregnancy but throughout your life after having a baby.

Your Tummy – Are your abs ever going to look the same again? Not without targeted work. You have lost great strength in your abs during pregnancy. And, most moms experience as diastesis (a separation of their abdominal wall). It’s important to find exercises that “knit” these muscles back together. Jumping in to your old ab workout may exacerbate the problem.

Why do I feel worse now than when I was pregnant?
There are many reasons for not feeling good after having a baby. Postpartum depression, a feeling of being overwhelmed and lack of sleep are just a few that you may think of. However, many of the movements of motherhood cause your body not to feel good.

  • Pushing Stroller – Most moms hunch over when pushing a stroller. It’s important to use good posture and form.
  • Carrying Baby – Make sure to balance baby on both sides. Holding baby on the hip and with one arm can cause muscular imbalances.
  • Nursing / Feeding – Bring baby up to you using pillow / nursing props and a proper chair. Hunching over to baby will give you back and posture problems.
  • Carrying car seat – Unfortunately, these indispensable items also wreak  havoc on our bodies. Hold your car seat carrier like a laundry basket whenever possible so that your body is balanced. If you hold it with one arm, be careful to keep spine in neutral alignment.
  • Front Pack Carrier – Worn correctly, this can be a great workout. Worn incorrectly it can be a postural pain. Keep spine in neutral and abs pulled in. Make sure to pull shoulders back and not round forward.

As excited as new moms are about the birth of their baby, they also can’t believe the body that’s been left behind. Our round, voluptuous body seemed beautiful while pregnant and seems like bread dough after labor. What makes matters worse is that new moms 1) don’t have time to do traditional exercise and 2) shouldn’t be dieting. Your body has undergone a tremendous amount during pregnancy, so the last thing you should do is deprive it of precious nutrients. But yes, there is hope. A general rule of thumb for the postnatal mom is that if it feels good, it’s ok to do. If you have an increase in bleeding or feel depleted from the workout, then you have probably done too much. The more you move, the more calories you burn. It’s consistency that counts; not where you do it. Try to be active in whatever you do. Your workouts may change with motherhood, but it’s now when you need it most.

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Filed under fitness, mom stuff, Prospect Park, Stroller Strides

Skinny Legs

Okay, sometimes I would lie in bed in the morning or on the couch at night with my legs up against the wall and say, man, I wish my legs looked like this all the time, they look really good upside down… when going against gravity.

I’m not the only one who’s ever done this right?

But here’s the thing. Since starting Stroller Strides, my legs look…better? Okay, I still don’t have those killer running legs that I am SO envious of and I have come to terms with the fact that they will never be long (you know that awful ice breaker question, if you could change one thing about yourself what would it be, or worse, if you had to have plastic surgery what would you have done? A: Longer calves and calf implants) and with the onslaught of pregnancy  and swollen everything, I am ready for them to get all puffed out. BUT, I have results of my effort. Leaner legs y’all.

Exercise works. I know this is an obvious statement. But for all the bazillions of classes I have taken in my life and pooped out of and the thousands of dollars I have spent on said classes and memberships and trainers, it’s taken motherhood to get me to focus on this one aspect of my life that has been so elusive. I swear every goal list I have ever made in my life of what I want to achieve has included, eat better, drink less, get fit. HA! Motherhood (and pregnancy) have forced my hand.

Last night I was watching the second half of Biggest Loser (yeah, that’s right, I watch the second half of Biggest Loser, I’d watch the whole thing, but Glee totally interferes) and one of the ladies said something along the lines of it doesn’t matter how hard you work out, if you don’t want to make the change and hold it in your heart and mind, you’re never going to see a difference. That is SO TRUE.

Dieting and exercise are so easy to fake or fall off from and we spend so much time giving and giving of ourselves – to our family and friends and community that it’s so easy to forget to take care of ourselves. Especially being new moms, when going to the gym before or after work was just something you did, and now it’s a challenge to find the time or energy to shower daily – it’s that much more important that we find the time to take the time for us. To make that change in our hearts and minds – to be strong for our kids and our partner and everyone and thing that asks of us each and every day.

I am NOT claiming I’m living my ideal life. Or that motherhood is the end all be all answer to what I’ve been looking for – I guess I’m just surprised (pleasantly) that it’s taken this road of having children for me to achieve so many things including the beginnings of those ideal upside down skinny legs. For the record, they’re not really skinny, they’re more toned and sort of lean?

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Strength in Motherhood

Someone on fb recently posted “Why do you run?” I think it’s a Nike question. Last night, my Stroller Strides running group met. We had to run a total of 2 miles, broken up into 4 1/2 mile runs with 2 minute walks in between.

Before I started Stroller Strides, I didn’t run. I think there was a brief moment several years back when I pretended to run and one day ran almost 3 miles, but something happened…probably a hangover…and it just fizzled out (remember I said I’m exceptionally good at starting things).

I never in a bazillion years thought I would be running at 4 1/2 months pregnant. But last night as I was huffing and puffing down the road in the dark I thought about the question, why do I run? I am running because I want to be strong for my kids. Strong enough to continue to lift Harry even when I’m 9 months pg, strong enough to make it through this pregnancy while raising a toddler and to be able to deliver this baby without the use of any medical intervention. But I don’t just mean physical strength. There’s the mental strength that’s required to manage a family and home and business and take care of myself and my little fetus. And the emotional strength that I have to maintain to keep a happy husband and child and family and friends.

Last night while running I thought about all of this. I mean, I first thought, why am I doing this? I actually have free rein to go lie on the couch and eat those little chocolate covered ice cream things (which are no longer called bon bons, but will forever in my heart be bon bons). But that is not the kind of pregnancy I am going to have.

There is an undefinable strength in motherhood. One that I am just figuring out and its power is awesome. It allows me to do things I never thought I would do (all poop cleaning aside) and I am constantly amazed by the things that I find myself doing, when two years ago, I excelled at debauchery and lying on the couch (of which I remain a proud expert).

If I can do it, so can you. So…why do you run?

PS – While running, I also thought about how if I move my arms really fast while running my super slow pg pace, it makes me look like Tom Cruise.

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