Tips for getting back into exercise Post-Pregnancy

I’m not Supermum!

Do you wish you could put on a cape and lipstick in the morning, turn into a Supermum, click your fingers and everything just be ‘done’?

We might wish this… but the reality is we can’t. We have to accept what we have, be thankful for it…and just get on with our days.

Some days are great- everyone gets dressed by themselves, there is no food on the other side of the room, we get out the door and in the car with no screams, tantrums or fights. Then on other days shit hits the fan- nothing seems to go right, and it seems like we achieve nothing but changing nappies the whole day. Guess what? I hear you!

I’m Miranda- a Mum of 3, a Wife and a part-owner of Activ8 Health & Fitness.  I love to support, motivate and train people into greater strength, fitness and wellbeing- and I especially love getting Mums back into an exercise regimen and gaining back that time to themselves.

My biggest tip for Post-Natal Mums getting back into exercise and thinking about their health and fitness is NOT TO RUSH.

Accept this:

  • Your body has just carried a baby for 9 months
  • You have just pushed a baby out and are still recovering 3-12months on
  • Your body is now a completely different body than it was 9 months ago.
  • Pre Baby Body? The best thing to do is forget about it and start from what you now have.
  • We are now breastfeeding, having sleepless nights, carrying a baby around, have less time, have different hormones in our bodies and now a full-on MUM!

Alright, now we have accepted our beautiful new bodies, it’s time to feel more confident in them. It’s time to thank them for what they have done and been through and move on to stronger, fitter and more confident days.

Post-Natal Weeks:

0-2 weeks

Depending on what kind of pregnancy, birth and what number child this is- listen to your body and do what feels right. You may like to do nothing and just be at home. Or start going for some short walks to get out in the fresh air and get the body moving. Pelvic Floor Strengthening can start now- Pelvic Floor Program completed 3 days per week.

2-8 weeks

Short Walks, Pelvic Floor Programme 5 days/ week

8- 12 weeks

Depending on your birth, your pelvic floor, your baby, your time and how you are feeling. You can start to get into longer walks and an exercise regimen.

3x weekly walks

1-2x Body Weight Training

12 Weeks onwards:

Listening to your body is the best thing. If you feel more energy, have more time and are ready to get back into an exercise regimen, then go for it! Start off with light weights and build up to heavier as the weeks go on.

Recommendation:

1-3x Body weight and light weight training to strengthen Pelvic Floor, Lower back, upper body and posture.

2-3x Walking outside

3x Stretching in evenings

Continue on with Pelvic Floor Strengthening Exercises

 

If you want to join a group, learn how to do exercises correctly and feel supported along the way please get in touch to join our Mums Club for Post-Natal exercise. This is run every Tuesday at 9.15am and Thursday at 10am with Fully Qualified Pelvic-Floor Certified Personal Trainers- Bubbles and Miranda.

 

Book now for your free trial: Contact

 

Mirandas 3 Tips for the day before your race

I love this day… you have done the hard yards, now you get to sit back, relax and eat carbs!

Tip One: Hydrate

Our bodies are over 60% water, and most of us wake up dehydrated. To get hydrated we need to wake up the day before your race and start drinking water from the get-go.  Drink 500ml on wake up. Then fill your drinkbottle and sip away all day.  A good rule of thumb is .03ml/ kg of bodyweight. Sipping away all day means your bodies cells can slowly absorb the water, if we forget and then skull 1L at the end of the day, we are most likely going to wee it all out. Try and have a slightly larger drink around 3 or 4pm, and then not too much past 7pm so you are not awake going to the toilet.

If you hydrate the day before, this means you do not have to be up all night drinking water and going to the toilet, nor going to the toilet througout the race. On Race Day morning, you will simply need to top hydration levels up- and then keep them topped up during the day as you sweat.

Just Water? Drink just water the day before. But on Race Day make sure you are putting back the electrolytes you are losing. When we sweat- we loss sodium, potassium and magnesium- make sure you have some good electrolytes to add this back in and to prevent cramping.

No coffee or alcohol:  (Oh I know Im a party pooper!) Coffee can have a mild diuretic effect, which compromises your efforts to stay hydrated. If you do have to have that morning coffee, make sure you are fully hydrated and have eaten some fats beforehand- this slows the down the adrenaline spike and prevents dehydration. Alcohol- no need to explain.

Top foods to eat the day before your race to top up  electrolyte levels:

Banana for potassium, Magnesium spray or pill for Magnesium, Adding a good quality Salt to all your meals the day before for Sodium levels.

Tip Two: Eat a variety of Carbs, Proteins and Fats

Just like hydrating- we need to top up energy stores for the following day as well. Depending on how long your race is, and how much food you can eat on the race- we want to eat good quality food and nutrients the day before. Every cell in our body needs energy to function. The better the energy, the better it will function.

Prepare your breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks. Try not to eat anything too abnormal – stick to the healthy foods you know your body likes. Carbohydrates, Fats and Protein all have a different role in our body- and are all essential for optimal energy. You can’t eat too much on the day before- when we eat too much, it simply gets stored as Gycogen in our muscles, or Fat in our bodies- and this is good! We want that stored energy for when our blood sugars are depleted during the race. Remember to chew your food well to aid digestion.

High energy foods the day before:

Porridge, Milk and Brown Sugar

Fruit Salad, Yoghurt and Granola

Eggs and Bacon on Toast

Bliss Balls

Banana and Peanut butter

Fruit and Nuts

Sandwhich

Lasagne

Pasta with meat

Loaded Salad with rice, cous cous, quinoa

Steak, stirfry and Kumara Chips

Chicken, Broccoli and Rice

Tip 3: Stretch and Relax

This is a great day to enjoy your body! You have put in all the training (or not!), and there is nothing more you can do. Make sure you have prepared all your gear and know your Race Plan…then sit back, stretch and relax.

Doing some light stretches will help relieve tight muscles and get them loosened up for the next day. I like to use bands, foam roller or the spikey ball for my stretches and then lie on the Shakti Mat to increase blood flow, decrease tight muscles and increase relaxation.

I hope this helps the day before your race. Remember to share it with any friends or team mates doing the race with you!

Here are some past blogs of ours on Running and events that you also might be interested in:

Top 5 training tips ‘when you have not trained enough for a half marathon’

Top 5 training tips for Marathon Preparation

Does the Wild Kiwi beat Matt 2018?

Wellbeing Tips: Part Two

“24 hours of Smart, Intentional choices- starting with the first 20 minutes of your day can change your life.”  Aubrey Marcus

This all starts with the simple decisions you make in your daily choices and daily habits. Sleep, Nutrition, Movement, the way you react to Stress, Hydration, Time Out, The Breathe and Connections all have a major impact on your daily life, your mind, your body and your WELLBEING.

Today we are going to look into the last four on that list. (Please see prior blog for the first four!)

Hydration:

60% of our body is made up of water- our bodies cells rely on it to work to full capacity. We are starving for it every morning- but we tend to not listen to these signals and reach for a cup of coffee- which dehydrates us even more.

The first step of your morning should be to drink water- How much? It’s different for everyone but approx 500ml – better too much than too little. Whats even better than water? Add some minerals.  Our body needs electrolytes and water to get the optimal balance right for cells to perform and hyrdation to be the best. Try adding just over half a teaspoon of salt and 1/4 lemon to your morning water to get a mineral cocktail. If you get cramp often- look into magnesium supplementation as well.

What about my coffee? We need to hydrate before having coffee. When you consume caffiene this lets off a ripple effect in your body- namely increases adrenaline and cortisol- yes- these are your stress hormones. If you are an already high stressed, high aniety and highly strung person- this coffee is doing you no favours. By saving it for later in the day when you are hydrated and can have it with some healthy fats- this will decrease the negative effects it has on your body.

Hydration Rule of Thumb: Drink  .03ml x your body weight per day.  Small amounts often.
Time out:

Our bodies were made to live in our PNS nervous system (Relax, Restore, Repair), and sometimes go into our SNS nervous system (Fight or Flight response). Due to our busy and stressed lifestyles now- we tend to live more in our SNS then our PNS…and this is causing major problems to our health. Yes- we need more down time. Our body, our mind and our wellbeing all crave the drop of stress hormones and the increase in happy hormones…. and we need to promote this DAILY.

What is one thing you can do every day that you know relaxes you? Try and build a habit to do this daily. Waiting for your long weekend away or the next school holidays is not going to cut it. We need to be doing more things we love to do EVERY day. So put your phone in a different room, switch off, relax- and enjoy the benefits!

Here are some suggestions to get your body from the SNS system to the PNS system:

  • Laughing and Playing
  • Taking a bath
  • Deep Breathing
  • Listening to music
  • Connecting with friends
  • Hugging
  • Walking in nature
  • Reading

I am sure you will know what makes you feel calm and what makes you feel happy- now how can you implement them into your life daily?

The Breathe

How we breathe sends signals to our brain on whether we are in a stressed or calm state. We can literally change the state we are in within 90 seconds through the breathe. When we are stressed we tend to take short, sharp breathes and our chest rises and falls. We want to send signals to our brain to relax- to this we need to take big, deep, belly breathes. Practise this when lying down- put your hand on your belly and watch it rise and fall when you inhale and exhale.

Try doing this method of Dr Libbys to really slow down your breathe:

“Inhale for 10 counts, hold for 10 counts and exhale for 10 counts. Get in a comfortable position for between 5-10 minutes. You can extend the count of exhalations to 15 the more you practise.”

Dr Libby describes The breathe perfectly in her blog:

https://www.drlibby.com/health-wellbeing/breathe-yourself-calm/

Try adding The Breathe into every hour of your life- slowing down the fast pace we live in.

Connections

It’s time to get back to real-life connections. We feel like we are connected to many people, many friends and many lives- as we see their updates or as I like to call it their ‘highlight reel’ on their social media. But what really makes the impact on your wellbeing is being connected to friends, family members, your community, your neighbour, your partner… and every person who adds to your life! We get a dopamine hit every time we have a positive conversation or a good expereince- when we are surrounded by people that we enjoy or love- we are more likely to get these dopamine hits, which are amazing for our health.

Try to unplug and reconnect. This might be a phone call to an old friend, a conversation with your partner or flatmate, or it may just be connecting with yourself. Try and do this everynight- to forget about your working day, your adult self and your worries. Be present with yourself and whoever you are with- so you can reconnect back to yourself and what is important to you.

If you want to make your life better- you need to start with each day at a time. Try and add just one of these tips into your daily life and see if it makes a difference.

Happy Wellbeing!

Miranda xo

Wellbeing Tips: Part One

“To own your life, You have got to own your day.” Aubrey Marcus.

This all starts with the simple decisions you make in your daily choices and daily habits. Sleep, Nutrition, Movement, the way you react to Stress, Hydration, Time Out, The Breathe and Connections all have a major impact on your daily life, your mind, your body and your WELLBEING.

Today I am am going to give you a brief overview of the first 4 choices you have, and how you can make a change to start to own your day. (See next blog for the other four!)

1. Sleep

Sleep boosts your immune system, supports toxin clearance, enhances muscle recovery, increases brain creativity, decreases stress- it does so many things! Lack of sleep has also been linked to an increased risk of respiratory infections and the common cold. Check out this study:

“150 adults were given nasal drops containing rhinovirus (a virus that commonly causes the common cold) and were quarantined and observed for 5 days. Those who slept for less than 7 hours were 3 times more likely to get a cold than those that slept 8 hours. Those with less than 90% sleep efficiency (time asleep/time in bed) were 5 times more likely to get a cold than those with higher sleep efficiency. This means that if you are a restless sleeper you’re more at risk of getting colds.” Shawn Stevenson, Sleep Smarter.

Top 2 things to improve your Sleep Quality?

#1. Have a sleep routine. Same pattern, same time. Wind down. Chill out. Go to bed at the same time each night.

#2 Get some real light.

Sleep in real dark. Our bodies are designed to wake with light and sleep at dark. Get sunlight in your eyes in the morning to help your brain set up your body clock (circadian rhythm). When the sun sets and it gets dark, reduce your exposure to artificial lighting so your brain understands that it’s night time. Dim your lights. If you need to have artificial lighting then block blue light which is from artificial lighting (phones, TVs, computers, LED lights). Blue light signals to your brain that it’s day time. This isn’t the right signal to be sending your brain if you’re looking to go to sleep.

2. Nutrition

We get to choose what we eat every time we go to eat (ha amazing right?)- Let’s make these choices count.

Every cell in our body needs certain chemicals in order to function optimally. That means we need ALOT of nutrients to get the correct minerals and vitamins in order for this to happen. If we are not eating properly and getting these minerals- our energy, our moods, our work, our relationships, our movement, our organs and our overall wellbeing are taking the toll.

We all know what we should be eating – so take ownership of this. ( If not- do some research and find out whats best for you, or get in touch for a Nutrition Consult). Set goals on what you will eat during the day, learn how to make nutritious and tasty salads, sign up to My Food Bag, Order My Plate- there are so many options whether we enjoy cooking or not…. if improving nutrition is your goal, then it’s time to make a start.

Check out some simply recipes here: Activ8 Recipes

3. Movement

I’m not going to harp on here. Regular exercise improves your mental health, your physcial health and your overall wellbeing. We all know it- but how do we do it? We need to get motivated and create daily habits which make us move.

#1 Start small- one day at a time. Set the time and place you will exercise- and stick to it.
#2 Rewards- reward with something you enjoy doing, either at the same time or after your new habit.
#3 Stick to it. Once you start to see results, you will keep going. Willpower will make you start, Habit will keep you going. Make this a habit.

How you move makes your day, When you move makes your day, What type of movement you do makes your day. Find a way to make movement part of your everyday life. If you are already exercising- find a goal that is going to keep you going. Find a goal that is going to make you push yourself to that next level. When we move more- this literally changes your life. Mentally and Physically. We are experts in supporting, motivating and kickstarting you in this process- please get in touch if you want a chat. Get in touch with Miranda

4. React to Stress in a Positive Way

The fight or flight mechanism is your body’s perfect tool for helping you cope with short term stress. It just isn’t useful to stay in this state for long periods. Modern life brings these stressors every day…especially with the pandemic. We have got to find a way to cope.  Find a way DAILY that brings your cortisol levels down. You can’t be in a negative and positive emotion at the same time- when you laugh, play, have fun, do something you love etc- this all decreases your stress levels and is a good mechanism to cope with stress.

Living in a state of high stress and fear just isn’t good for you. Under short periods of stress, cortisol (the body’s stress hormone) is anti-inflammatory and helps boost your immunity. Chronic high cortisol levels don’t boost your immune system at all and produce inflammatory chemicals called cytokines that cause inflammation and compromise the immune system.

Hans Selye, one of the earliest stress researchers has this quote:

“It’s not stress that kills us, it’s our reaction to it
How are you reacting to the current situation?
Are you taking control of your life?
Are you reacting in a way that is helpful to you and those around you?
If you have a purpose, mission statement and know your values for your life – now is the time to check in on them.”

Start by owning your day- then you can own your life!

From Miranda

 

 

 

 

Home Exercise Programme

This is the perfect programme to do if you can’t get to your normal Bootcamp, training or Gym workout. It is a general programme- so if you have any injuries or individual requirements- please get in touch for a more personalised programme.

You will need:

20% Motivation
Edge of a chair, bed- for triceps dips
A drinkbottle
Mat or towel

REPEAT 3X:
20 SQUATS
20 BACKWARD LUNGES
20 SQUAT PULSES

REPEAT 2X:
20 PRESS UPS
20 RENEGADE ROW
20 TRICEPS DIPS

REPEAT 1X:
20 BURPEES
20 SQUAT JUMPS
20 BASIC SIT UPS OR COMBINATION CRUNCHES

STRETCH

To find out how to do each execrise or for more explanation please get in touch:

Contact Us

Energy Balls

  • 3/4 cup of nutbutter…..or any nuts blended to a paste
  • 1/2 cup sweetner- dates, raw honey, maple syrup
  • 1 cup sunflower seeds or sesame seeds
  • 1/4 cup cocoa
  • 3/4 cup shredded coconut

Blend ingredients all together and make into round balls…roll in coconut. Put in fridge for 30min.

 

These energy balls are perfect with a cup of tea, to curb your afternoon sugar cravings or as s imple post-workout snack.

Home Workout during Lockdown

AMRAP 19 minutes

Complete each exercise 19 times, then repeat- do as many sets as you can within 19 minutes

Home Workout- 20 minutes

 

 

Immunity Boosting Recipes

Research over the past two decades has revealed that gut health is critical to overall health, and an unhealthy gut can contribute to a wide range of diseases as well as lower immunity.

Right now- Immunity is everything. We need to do all that we can to improve our Gut health, mental health and physcial health. So why not make some yummy recipes that are not only tasty- but are going to be good for the whole families immunity!

Be Pure Gut Healing Gummies

https://www.bepure.co.nz/blogs/news/gut-healing-gummies-recipe

Nadia Lims Winter Sunshine Tonic

https://nadialim.com/my-winter-sunshine-tonic/

Be Pure Homemade Bone Broth

https://www.bepure.co.nz/blogs/news/homemade-bone-broth-recipe

Activ8s Full Strength Smoothie

Immunity Boosting Protein Smoothie

 

How to boost Immunity

Immunity! Health! De-Stress! Supplements! Vitamins!

These are huge topics right now- and there is nothing new, but we are just more aware of these things at present.

So I want to keep it simple and let you know some basic things you can do to improve your Immunity right now.

1. Increase your immune- boosting nutrients

Try to make vegetables the main part of your meal, the more colourful your plate can be the better it is for you. The more varied vegetables, fruits and foods you can eat- the more nutrients you are going to get.

2. Zinc Intake

Most New Zealanders are deficient in Zinc due to our soil lacking this key nutrient. Eat oysters, nuts, seeds, fish, red meat and wholegrains. I also recommend a Zinc supplement to get your levels up to normal.

3. Vitamin C

As we head into Winter and aim to fight off viruses, colds and germs around it is essential we up our Vitamin C intake. Citrus fruit is great, but the following foods have more Vitamin C then oranges: Kiwifruit, Capsicum, Brussel sprouts and Chia Seeds- so snack on these raw to get the most out of them. Vitamin C powder or tablet is also a good idea to give kids to top them up, as well as yourself when feeling run down.

4. Vitamin A

These vitamins support the health of our respiratory tract and sinuses. Orange and Yellow vegetables are high in carotenes and Vitamin A- think pumpkin, oranges, carrott, squash and kumara.  The following also contain Vitamin A: Green leafy veges, egg yolk and salmon.

5. Take a multi-vitamin

If you are looking to increase your nutrient intake I recommend taking a high strength, high quality multi-vitamin to pick up those nutrients that we are either lacking in NZ soils, not consuming or low in. I recommend Be Pure supplements due to their quality, trusting products.

6. Exercise!

Continuing your exercise regimen is essential to keeping up your Immunity. To put it simply- when you exercise this puts stress on your body- your body then builds an immune response to this, enabling it to then have increased immunity when colds, flus and viruses hit.

If you would like to know more about our packages and how we can support your physical and mental health please get in touch Contact

Check out some of our nutritious recipes to support your health Recipes

 

 

Chocolate Protein Balls

5 T smooth Peanut Butter (I use Pics Peanut Butter)

1 serving Go Good Chocolate Whey Protein Powder (from Activ8)

2 T maple syrup or honey

1/2 vanilla extract or paste

2 t cacao powder

2 T rolled oats (optional if wanting gluten free)

2 t chia seeds

 

Blend together until well combined.

Shape into mini balls as a sweet treat, or larger balls for a post-workout snack.

I love this recipe- it is full of nutrients, sweet and satisfying. It is high in energy so make sure you only enjoy 1-2 per day if weight loss is a goal.

 

For a free sample of our Go Good Protein please pop into Activ8- you can then make this recipe or try it with one of our smoothie recipes.  Smoothies