Post Christmas Detox

Ahhh….it’s been a while. I finished my 21 day detox at the end of November and carried on with the eating well and exercising most days. I even kept it up over Xmas with a few little treats thrown in Xmas Eve and Xmas Day.
Boxing Day was full of treats too, so I had a three-day detox planned for the 27th and beyond – and then BAM! I got a nasty sickness bug that night, which saw me laid up for a day in a half in bed, feeling so, so poorly.

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Not feeling (or looking my best!!)

Thankfully I’m all better now, but any exercise plan has been put on hold for a few days as I’m weak from not eating for a day or so, and I’ve pulled something in my neck when being sick for hours on end (nice!!!).

So instead of telling you what I’ve not been doing, I’m going to tell you what I’m going to do!

For the next few days I’m going to ease myself back gently into the gym. Some light cardio and bodyweight stuff with a rest day on New Years Day. Then come Monday, I’ll be starting another 21-day challenge.

To help me do this, I’ve got my brand new Gym Boss Timer…yay! Some brand new Bamboo Fitness Leggings and top (They are so soft, yet eco-friendly, breathable and anti-bacterial), a brand new iPod with my fav tunes, and a brand new programme from BearWolf, a new online personal training service, which allows you to train with a personal trainer from where ever you are.

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I know, I know, I’m a PT myself, but sometimes us PT’s to be accountable to others too. It’s nice to be given a programme that challenges me and makes me work in the gym differently to what we like to do. Scott, at Bearwolf, also makes me check in all my workouts and my daily nutrition macros (like calories, protein, fats and carbs) as well as send him my starting weight, measurements and photos. It really is like having a PT, but means I can workout in my own time around Lacie, and in my own gym, with my own entertainment and own motivation. If I don’t check in, I get a cheeky phone call or text to ask how I’m doing…

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So, as of Monday, I will be doing five workouts a week (one a recovery 30 minute walk/jog) and checking in with Scott after each session using their online tracking and monitoring service. If I’m not sure of any of the exercises, then I can easily refer back to the BearWolf exercise library, and I can communicate with Scott, or any of the other PTs via my dashboard, which has a messaging service – when Scott send me a message I get an email notification. It really is all very high-tech but super easy to use. I love that I have to check in with my progress; it’s great seeing your numbers in black and white and seeing that you beat last week’s weight or reps. It definitely keeps me motivated.

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So that’s my plan. Keep an eye out for an overview of some of my workouts, and my food diaries. I’ll even share some of my secrets with you – I’m only human. I do get cravings too, and although sometimes I give in, there are a few things I do to fight them off! I’m looking forward to getting stuck in….who’s with me?

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Aptaclub Quiz – We answer all your pregnancy nutrition questions.

Thanks to everyone that entered the Nutribullet and Babybullet kit competition with Aptaclub. We selected one lucky winner last week and she has been notified – she is obviously estatic. The Nutribullet and Babybullet are both TOP products that can help you and your baby eat really healthily, even when time is tight!

For those who did enter the survey and answered all the questions on the questionnaire, you will probably agree, they were a little tough. They even got me thinking – which is great. You can’t know everything!

So here are the answers. I hope you find all the information really handy. It’s so hard to know what to eat and what not to eat when you are pregnant – and if you are anything like me, you will be questionning everything that passes your lips!

Q1: How many extra calories do you need during pregnancy?
Answer: D (It depends on your stage of pregnancy). While your diet needs to be nutrient rich enough to support two people, you don’t need to eat enough for two. Through most of your pregnancy your calorie intake should be the same as it was before you were pregnant, but once you reach the third trimester (from 27 weeks) you will need around an extra 200 calories a day.

Q2: Which supplement(s) are recommended during pregnancy? 
Answer: B (Folic Acid) & D (Vitamin D). Experts recommend you should take supplements of folic acid and vitamin D during pregnancy, as you are unlikely to get enough from diet alone. The best source of vitamin D is the sun, but in the UK deficiency is not uncommon. Multi vitamins designed for pregnancy will contain the right levels of these two nutrients, plus many more. You should not take supplements containing vitamin A while you are pregnant.

Q3:  Iron is an essential nutrient for you and your baby’s health, but if your iron level was adequate prior to conception, how much do you need every day?
Answer: B (14.8 mg – the same as before you were pregnant) – perhaps surprisingly, if your iron stores were adequate when you conceived then your recommended intake remains the same during pregnancy. However, it is a critical nutrient, supporting your baby’s brain and muscle development, as well as your own health and immune system, so make sure you get enough.

Q4:  The best source of vitamin D is the sun, but it is also present in a few foods. Select the food(s) containing vitamin D from the list below.
Answer: A (salmon) & D (Mushrooms) – Oily fish, particularly wild salmon is the best food source of vitamin D, but it is also found in smaller quantities in mushrooms, especially shiitake, and eggs. In the UK deficiency is not uncommon, so a supplement is recommended during pregnancy.

Q5:  Omega 3 is an essential fatty acid that is important to the healthy development of your baby during pregnancy and beyond. What role does it play? Select all that apply.
Answer: All of the above. The evidence supporting the importance of Omega 3 to early life nutrition is growing all the time. The only way to get omega 3 is through diet and oily fish is the best source.

Q6:  Calcium is an essential nutrient to build your developing baby’s bones and teeth, as well supporting your own bone health. But which of these good sources of calcium are safe to eat in pregnancy? Select all that apply.
Answer: A (cheddar), B(Stilton) & C(Mozzarella) – all of these cheeses are safe to eat in pregnancy. You need to be cautious with soft and/or mould ripened cheese such as Camembert, because they may contain listeria. They can still be eaten, but only if they cooked thoroughly.

Q7:  Vitamin A is stored by our bodies in our fat cells and liver. How much vitamin A do you need per day when pregnant?
Answer: C (1000 mcg – you need more than usual to support your growing baby) – you may be surprised to discover that your requirements for vitamin A actually go up during pregnancy, although you do have to be very careful not to have too much! Vitamin A is essential to your baby’s eye development, but a well balanced diet should provide all that you need. Avoid liver and supplements containing vitamin A, such cod liver oil, because the levels could be too high.

Q8: The long terms benefits of Omega 3 to future health are still being studied. What are the potential benefits to your baby? Select all that apply.
Answer: All of the above. The evidence to support the importance of Omega 3 on long-term health is growing all the time. The only way to get omega 3 is through diet and oily fish is the best source.

Q9:  Nutrient-dense fish and seafood are excellent sources of vitamins and minerals.  But which of these are safe to eat in pregnancy? Select all that apply.
Answer: All of the above – prawns and mussels are safe to eat in pregnancy as long as they are thoroughly cooked.  Fresh tuna should also be well cooked and limited to two portions a week, because of mercury levels.

Q10:  Iodine is essential to thyroid health and also supports your baby’s brain development. Pregnant women need 250ug a day. But which foods are good sources? Select all that apply.
Answer: A (Prawns) & B (Milk) – milk and dairy are good sources of iodine, as are prawns and white fish.  Vegans may want to consider talking to a health care professional about iodine supplements.

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My First Trimester Workout

Although, I’m in my second trimester now, I’m aware that I never shared my workout with you during my first Trimester.

Now, this was a strange time for me because some days I woke up incredibly tired and sick that I had to say in bed, and other days I just thought, do you know what the gym will probably make me feel better. Mostly it did, but there was times when I caught myself running to the toilets mid-workout, esecaily if my blood sugar levels got too low. The trick was to eat before my morning workouts – which I have never done in my life, but this definately helped the sickness.

Warm up
I always warmed up with;

Glute bridges with knee squeeze to engage my glutes, inner thighs and core.
x 15 reps
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Bird dogs to engage my core and back.
x 20
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Potty Squats to work my thighs, glutes, hamstrings, core and upper back
x 20 reps
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I then moved on to my main workout which consisted of an upper body and lower body circuit.

Lower body (I love working my lower body) was; 
Resistance band Tube Walking
X 60 seconds (10 to the right, then switch to the left)
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Exercise Ball Squats with inner thigh squeeze
x 60 seconds
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Walking Lunges
x 60 seconds
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I did this lower body circuit three times before moving onto my upper body circuit.

Box Press Ups
x 15 reps
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Single Arm Rows
x 15 each arm
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Lateral Raises
x 15
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Again I did this circuit three times before doing 20 minutes of uphill walking or cardio on the bike or cross trainer.

To finish my workout I did Side planks x 30 seconds on each side with a leg raise. 
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Before embarking on any fitness plan during pregnancy PLEASE, PLEASE don’t forget to get the all clear from your doctor and midwife, drink enough water, make sure you don’t over-heat and don’t let your heart rate go too high. You should be able to hold a conversation comfortably!

Using my qualifications, I can also help devise a workout to meet your goals. These moves suit my body and I have been woking out for years, and years. What ever you do, listen to your body and don’t do anything that feels uncomfortable!

 

Swim – Your Bump Will Love It…..

Although I’m not usually a fan, (I like the dry!) I’ve found that swimming is a relaxing, invigorating exercise when pregnant. It’s low-impact, and keeps pregnant women healthy without putting strain on the joints or legs.

One thing I have had to get over is how I look in a swim suit. All my old bikini’s look ridiculous with a bump and my tankini doesn’t quite cover it so I’ve had to find a good-fitting, comfortable swimsuit to wear that doesn’t offend anyone!

One tankini I have fallen in love with is from the Anita Maternity Swimwear range.

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The pretty maternity two-piece has adjustable straps, a supportive and padded bust area and ruching around the tummy. It comes in lots of colours too.

Now, not being quite confident with my expanding chest, I did however find that the design was pretty low cut, but thats fine because I wore a supportive halter neck sports bra underneath. There’s nothing worse than keep having to re-cover and re-adjust yourself mid-stroke. This just gave me that extra security and once in the water no-one would know any different.

So what do I do in the pool – except from swimming? Well after speaking to a coach at my pool, I’ve been doing pool running and breast stroke but stopped doing the front crawl.

Unlike the crawl, breaststroke doesn’t require the torso to twist, which can be both uncomfortable and harmful to the back. Also, as pregnancy often drives the shoulders and spine to round, and pushes the pelvis out of position, breaststroke can help counteract this, as it gently encourages the body to remain properly aligned.

As for backstroke – my favourite – the jury is still out.
As we know, after the first trimester, women are advised not to lie on their backs for fear that the pressure of gravity will compress a major vein in the chest and impede blood flow. Some experts advise pregnant women against doing the backstroke for this reason. However, the water can minimises the effect of gravity on your stomach, so you should safely be able to carry on doing backstroke while pregnant. All I suggest is that you keep an eye on this as your bump grows and stop at the first sign of discomfort or dizziness.
Enjoy the water ladies – I know your bump will. It feels so good for it to be supported – and hidden under the water, well away from those impending eyes as you lift weights in the gym. This is time for just you, your bump and the water.

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Exercising during your First Trimester – 0-12 weeks

Finding out I was pregnant was one of the happiest days of my life. But deep down I wasn’t looking forward to expanding. My body is my work and I sort of felt like I’d be losing my identity. I’m a real gym bunny!

I wasn’t going to be silly though and restrict my calories or go mad in the gym. A healthy bump equals a healthy baby after all.

I popped into see Gideon at KX gym, who gave me a safe exercise programme to follow (I will share this in a later post). It was here that I also decided I wanted to do my pre-natal exercise course too. If I was going to carry on working out then I wanted to know that I was doing it safely & effectively.

During the first trimester lots of changes are happening.

Firstly, your blood vessels increase dramatically but there isn’t enough blood to fill them, which causes something called Vascular Underfill. This is why people tend to feel sick, dizzy and tired. Their blood pressure will also drop.

I also noticed that my heart rate was high. I always wear my Polar FT60 when working out and straight away noticed that my HR was 10-15 Beats per minute higher than normal. This is basically to accommodate the bigger blood vessels, which don’t have enough blood in them so your heart has to work extra hard to pump this blood through these expanded vessels.

Don’t worry there are some benefits! The excess progesterone pumping through the body is said to improve lung function! You may feel you are over-breathing though. I noticed this in the simplest of tasks like walking up the stairs. I felt so unfit! Don’t worry, you aren’t, it’s just your body adjusting.

Lastly increased insulin resistance (when your body’s cells cannot take in glucose so it ends up circulating round the blood stream and causes fat storage) can result in excess fat storage but as pregnant women we know and expect this. During the whole pregnancy you’re going to put on around 24 – 33 pounds, so there’s no hiding from weight gain!

So there you have it. These are all the things you need to look out for and be aware of when exercising during the First Trimester.

One other thing that is absolutely vital is that you make sure you don’t overheat when exercising. It can damage the baby and cause abnormalities.

I was so lucky that  I only had the odd day of extreme tiredness and sickness so didn’t miss too many sessions. Most importantIy I DID listen to my body and sleep in when I needed to or just stay at home and have a big nutritious breakfast. That is the secret when pregnant. You need to listen to what your body and baby is telling you and go with it.

Pregnancy most certainly isn’t the time to reach peak fitness or break records, it’s literally for maintaining what you already have and making your pregnancy and birth that little but easier.

Please contact me if you have any questions or need some advice – I’ve been through this trimester and come through the other side so will happily help others who need some support or advice.

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* Thank you to Premier Training International for allowing me to learn all about Pre & Post-natal exercise through their Award in Designing Pre & Post natal exercise programs course