What I Ate Today: A sort-of recap! {At 29 weeks pregnant}

Pre-pregnancy I maintained my weight on 1800 calories a day.  This is considerably low for the amount of exercise I was managing to push through week to week (3 miles of running a day, heavy weight training a few times a week, physical labor night shift job).  As I work through my pregnancy, I look back and realize I probably could have gotten away with a lot more.  However, seeing as that’s the number I set my goal to everyday and got so used to, it’s the one I’ve chosen to base my pregnant nutrition on.  This means I’m attempting to hit 2100 whole, healthy calories a day.  But it isn’t easy… especially with slow digestion, and I mean SLOW.  Sometimes a girl’s gotta add a couple treats in here and there for fillers!  Or nutrition shakes.  But I’m sort of selective with those.

That being said, I have never found tracking what I eat to be more fun than it has with this baby.  I’m normally, well, easily excitable when it comes to meal planning, anyway – once you’ve lost a substantial amount of weight in life, you change your habits permanently.  My favorite lifestyle change is meal planning and counting calories, because I need that accountability to keep from gaining again.  But man, when it comes to feeding not only your body but somebody else’s, too?  FUN!

I love knowing that I’m trying to hit all my food groups and I love feeling their movement with certain ones.  This baby is active 24/7, but they really like unprocessed protein and homemade baked goods (but who doesn’t, haha).  So far I’ve put on 14 beautiful pounds and I’ve never felt more alive nor more attractive in my life.

So.  Want an intimate look at my diet?  (Can we not call it that, though?  Blech!)

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The Exhausted Mama: Should You Exercise On Little Sleep?

Clock - credit: lusiIf sleep is limited, the risk of injury spikes.  Performance levels will be half of what you’re normally used to, which will either A, disappoint and discourage you, or B, cause you to overexert yourself.

As much as it sucks, especially if you’re pregnant or a sleep-deprived mommy trying to fit in workouts, taking a day to rest is necessary.  It might be a no brainer to some, but for the beginner or the woman who wants to accelerate her fitness/weight loss this is so frustrating!  You’d much rather workout than take the opportunity to nap if it arises.  You’re already seizing extra ways you can exercise and balance everything else, you really don’t have time for this!

But you do.  Believe it or not, tissue repair happens when you’re getting ZZZ’s, so even if you worked out with weights the day before and you wanted to do cardio the next, accepting that chance to nap instead of exercise is still better than logging those burned calories.  This means aiding the process in building toned muscles, which is good!

Think you’re getting enough sleep, even with a crying baby or pregnancy insomnia, but still lack the energy you’re positive you should have?  Ask yourself these two questions, you might be surprised what they reveal to you.

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Workout Outfit Of The Week

Good evening, followers!

It’s been a little while since my last article update, so I thought I’d swing back around with something a little more personal.  Today the weather in Pennsylvania was 64 as a high — and sunny, which was awesome.  I thought I’d dress up my bump in something sporty:

Image

I’m still new to the whole camera phone picture editing thing, but I had fun making it pop!

Shirt: Hello Kitty Tank
Leggings: Gummy Bears || Tights
Tummy Sleeve: Belly Band

Most recent workout routine(s):

  • Interval walking with varied inclines on the treadmill.
  • Every other day cardio, with weight training in between (arms, shoulders, back).
  • I just started toning my glutes, quads and hamstrings again by doing lunges and squats.

Most recent nutrition focus:

  • Proteins
  • Sugars
  • Vegetables

The Tank Top Weather Arms You Want – In 10 Minutes!

Main Image Spring is just 8 days away!  When did that happen?

Probably around the time you realized Christmas and New Year’s were over… the months just fly by, don’t they?

With brighter and fresher days ahead, and all of that notorious outdoors spring cleaning we get ourselves into, the idea of toned arms become more and more appealing to us.

Free weights are a great way to achieve firm, defined muscles in a short amount of time.  Up your protein intake and apply my favorite moves using heavier dumbbells.  Note:  My example pictures are for pregnant women or beginners/novices to follow.  The moves have been modified (one seated) and with lighter weights to ensure safety.  Tweak as you please if you’re postpartum!

Ready to pump some iron with me?  Let’s go! Continue reading

Easy Interval Walking Workout

Footprint

So! You’ve resolved to be active during your pregnancy. That’s great! Now that you’ve come to an agreement with your OB or practitioner on what is safe, you’re ready to get in shape during one of the most exciting times in your life.

Walking is super effective. It’s a convenient way to ensure you’re still logging in some cardio even when you’re having a sluggish day. I want to take you through an example workout that can be adjusted to take up 20-30 minutes of your time. We’re going to be talking about interval walking.

As I am not a health professional, always seek your doctor’s approval before starting any fitness routine and stop immediately if you feel pain, short of breath, or dizzy. Pregnancy is never the time to push yourself further than you feel your body can go! And as always, remember to warm up/cool down.

Intervals in exercise involve a series of high intensity bursts that are interspersed with recovery periods. The point to this easy interval walking workout is to offer you some variety other than just straightforward strolling. Any movement in pregnancy is beneficial, but if you want more bang for your buck and a way to tone those legs, read on!

This workout has been written out for the treadmill – where I live, it’s mostly snowing and the ground is covered in ice from November-March!

BEFORE YOU BEGIN:

Make sure you have a water bottle full of water (no, really?), a good pair of sneaks and a positive attitude. A couple of your favorite tunes might help, as well!

Do some gentle stretching! I prefer shoulder and arm circles, standing leg swings (easy version), sitting in the butterfly position and doing careful roll ups through the spine. To stretch out your calves, do a calf wall stretch.

TO START OUT:

Introduce your body slowly by doing a warm up for 5 minutes. Because everyone is different in terms of height and leg length (for one woman 3.0 MPH might be dragging her feet, for another, she’s pumpin’!), I don’t like to put the MPH pace in my workouts when I share them – especially during pregnancy, because your heartrate and breath should be what you factor in the most during these nine months. Listen to your lungs and pay attention to your breath, and wear a heart rate monitor if you feel at all concerned (the 140 beats per minute limit is kind of old, though, so speak to your practitioner/personal trainer for advice).

The warm up should be enough to wake up those muscles and get you in the groove. I like to compare it to walking the dog, or doing a leisure pace in the park.

THE WORKOUT:

The next step is to pump it up a little! Start walking at a moderate pace for about two minutes — it should be brisk but not in a hurry.

By the end of these two minutes, speed it up to where you’re pumping your arms; (Don’t chicken wing! Elbows at your sides.) like you feel you’re running late for an important date.
Do this for two minutes, then drop back down to the moderate brisk pace for another two minutes.

Ready to go again? Do the ‘running late for an important date’ style for two/three minutes but this time, start increasing your incline. Because all treadmills are different, this could be a percentage or a number. I start mine at 1.5 and move up to 3.0, 3.5, and so on and so forth.

After the 2/3 three minutes of arm pumping and walking at an incline, drop the the incline back down to the original start up point and walk at your moderate pace again. Repeat the above 2-3 times and you’ve got yourself a nice interval workout!

Here’s a better breakdown:

Minutes 0-5: Walk leisurely.
Minutes 5-7: Increase speed to a moderate pace.
Minutes 7-9: Increase speed to arm pumping goodness!
Minutes 9-11: Drop back down to a moderate pace.
Minutes 11-13: Increase speed to arm pumping goodness and add incline!
Minutes 13-15: Drop back down to a moderate pace, and drop your incline.

Repeat the above 2-3 times, and adjust settings/pace as needed! You may also want to change up how many minutes you perform each speed/incline depending on your personal fitness level. Mix it up until you find what is challenging for you.

Enjoy, mammas!

NEXT POST’S TITLE PREVIEW: My Top 10 Pregnancy Superfoods.

God Bless,
Katie