Burn fat and lose your mummy tummy in your living room

Just last week, I posted a cool workout that I’ve been doing at home around Lacie’s sleeps.

I always thought it would be tough working out with a baby, but it’s actually not too bad. You just have to be über flexible with your time and fit them when baby is sleeping. Some days I won’t get a chance to do my circuit but I don’t stress too much, baby comes first and there’s always tomorrow. If I haven’t had a chance then there’s going to be a genuine reason. I don’t like not sticking to my plans!

When planning my workouts I’ve found these top tips from Chrissi Delapperal, Virgin Active Personal Training Manager and Mum of One very useful. It certainly helps me to fit exercise in when I can around Lacie.

1. Treat your house as your multi-level gym, and combine everyday tasks with a workout. For example, when you’re vacuum cleaning you could lunge instead of walk, and when wiping coving you could incorporate squats

2. Be imaginative and turn your favourite TV program into a workout. For example, every time a favourite character appears or a certain word is said, challenge yourself to do ten tricep dips on the sofa

3. Train your core muscles by balancing on one foot, or on a swiss ball, whilst teeth brushing, ironing, cooking or on the phone

I’ve also found that walking with a baby carrier is a great workout. Lacie loves being this close to me and carrying all her weight really gets your heart rate up, and I also have to really use my core muscles to help with my balance and posture. The only thing is, that having all that weight at the front of your body can make you feel like you are leaning forwards, so make sure you suck your belly button in as you walk and stand up straight like you have a piece of string attached to the top of your head and someone is pulling you up.

One of my favourite carriers so far is the Baby Bjorn One. I can use it for Lacie as a newborn (at least 3.5kg and 53cm) and until she is approximately 3 years old (max. 15kg or 100cm). When she is older I can carry her on my back too, which is perfect for weekend walks with my husband, one of our favourite past-times.

This is me on Mother’s Day, we walked for around two hours and Lacie slept the whole way. She really does love being in the fresh air. She definitely takes after me!

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http://www.babybjorn.co.uk/products/baby-carriers/one/baby-carrier-one/; RRP: £119.99

 

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New Mum home workouts. How to shape up after a baby

As you all know, I’m a real gym bunny. I worked out throughout my whole pregnancy and was even in my local Virgin Active the very morning I was induced. It’s certainly helped me whip back into shape since having Lacie, although I do still have a lot of work to do. My muscle tone just completely disappeared during pregnancy, despite lifting weights four times a week!

That said, Lacie is now eight weeks and although I’m not ready to leave her in the gym creche just yet, I have been sneaking in some short home workouts whilst she sleeps. Just 30 minutes here and there is enough to get those endorphins flowing and make me feel happy that I’m starting to work towards my goals again.

Here’s just one workout I’ve been doing in my lounge. I always thought I would hate working out at home but actually I’ve been really enjoying it. I simply put on a TV programme that I’ve been itching to watch, grab my dumbbells and resistance band and off I go.
It’s true that your priorities really do change once you have a beautiful baby – it’s no longer about you. However, it is important that you do take some time out and with home workouts that means you still get to spend time with your baby, whilst doing something positive for yourself.

As Chrissi Delapperal, a Personal Training Manager at Virgin Active and mum of one says, “The pressure of being a ‘super mum’ whilst trying to balance various commitments with family life means that exercise can fall way down on our priority list.”

Here’s Chrissi’s top six exercises that could be done at home in the living room, kitchen or bedroom – it’s a great workout and will wake up those muscles again. Enjoy 🙂

1. Tricep dips x 15
“Tricep dips will make you look at your sofa or armchair in a totally new light, as they make the perfect apparatus for tricep dips. Sit on the edge of the seat, with hands resting either side of your hips, fingers forward. Lift up your body and shuffle your feet away from the sofa. Now bend your elbows, gently lowering your hips towards the floor, hold for two seconds, and raise body up again.

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2. Push ups x 10
“Use your sofa to perfect the art of the push up. Start with incline pushups, with your hands on the seat and feet on the floor. This makes pushups easier and is a great way to get used to this type of exercise. Once you feel you have mastered the move, you can graduate to decline pushups with your feet on the seat and hands on the floor. Be careful to keep your back straight, and don’t let your hips sag.

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3. Bicep curls  x 15
“You can grab any piece of kitchen equipment to do some quick and easy bicep curls. Use a tin can, bottle or saucepan – whatever feels the right weight for you. Standing with legs shoulder-width apart, hold your chosen weight by your side with your palm facing away from you. Bend your arm at the elbow and bring the weight up to your shoulder.
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4. Squats x 15
“Squats are a brilliant exercise to master, they work your bum, legs and core. Stand with feet shoulder-width apart and slowly bend your knees, lowering your body. Squat down as low as you can, keeping your head and chest high and shoulders relaxed. Hold for a second and then straighten legs to stand up.”

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5. Stomach crunches x 10
“Doing stomach crunches on your mattress will actually force those abs to work harder to stabilise yourself. Lying on your back, bend your knees and put your hands behind your head. Use your abs (NOT your neck muscles) to lift your torso off the bed, and release.

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6. Star jumps x 15
“Jump out of bed and start your day with some star jumps. This childhood throwback will not only put a smile on your face, it will also work A LOT of muscles, including your quadriceps, hamstrings, gluts, abs, biceps, triceps, and obliques. Standing with feet shoulder-width apart, bend your knees into a squat position and jump vertically as high as you can. While jumping, extend legs and arms out to your sides, into a star shape. Land with arms by your sides and knees bent.

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I tend to do these moves as a circuit, starting with the first move and then doing the second move as soon as I can after I’ve finished all 15 reps. I’ll then work through the 6 moves, rest for two to three minutes and repeat the circuit again. If Lacie sleeps long enough I’ll do three circuits before having a quick stretch and a recovery snack of an apple with almond butter or a Slender Blend Protein smoothie with a banana. I’ll aim to do this every other day and walk on the other days.

As always, please check with your doctor before exercising. I had to wait eight weeks until I was physically and mentally ready to exercise again. I really didn’t want to sabotage my recovery so make sure you listen to your body.

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38 Weeks Pregnant – Walking to Induce Labor

As you will already know – I’ve stayed REALLY active during my pregnancy. I’ve tried to go to the gym five to six times a week mixing resistance, stretching and cardio work. It’s definitely kept the weight gain under control and made me feel good inside and out. It really worries me seeing some pregnant women hardly able to walk with aches and pains all over their body. I know everyone is different and I am very lucky to not of suffered from any of this but I do think my exercise has helped this. Lots of people have questioned me in the gym saying ‘Are you sure you should be here?’ Of course I should. I know my limits and would never put myself or my baby in any danger. I think it would probably be more dangerous for me to stop training to be honest. I’ve been training for so long and my body physically and mentally relishes on it.

That said, since turning nine months pregnant, I know alternate my gym sessions with an hour walk – gym one day, walk the other. I can’t tell you how much I miss running so getting outdoors for a walk feels so good! I just stick my iPod on and go.

So what are the benefits of walking in late pregnancy?
Well apparently walking is a wonderful and natural way to induce labor at the end of pregnancy, infact the swaying motion of your hips may ease your baby’s head into your pelvis, giving you a leg up on labor.

Walking also utilises gravity to help  pull the baby down, which places gentle pressure on the cervix and encourages it to dilate. The rocking motion will also move the baby into the correct position for birth while helping to strengthen any contractions you may be having – and help them to become more regular.

Walking up and down the stairs can also be a great way to get some extra walking in, especially if you are worried about leaving the house. The action of lifting your lefts as you climb up can help the baby descent into the correct position for birth and put gentle pressure on the cervix in order to start the dilating process. Try walking on uneven surfaces, such as placing one foot on the curb and one foot on the street to. This can help rock the baby lower and encourage the cervix to dilate. Just be careful you don’t trip so hang on to your partner’s arm for safety,especially if you’ve noticed your balance has deteriorated since being pregnant. 

So make sure you keep active. I’m due for a walk tomorrow – it’s a 5km loop that takes me about an hour. Who’s with me? Just make sure you take your phone, some water, wear a sports bra and listen to your body. This isn’t the time to be breaking any records.

Have fun out there!

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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!

 

More Relaxing, More walking, More food – But still soooo tired….

As part of my recovery, it’s been lovely to spend some weekends away with my husband.

For our first wedding anniversary, we ventured to one of favourite places in England – Bovey Castle.

It’s a Country house hotel on Dartmoor in Devon and surrounded by the most gorgeous green landscape – you can’t hear or see a car for miles when peering out your bedroom window.

Although I did use the gym here – which is pretty tiny but all the same still a gym, we also swam in the pool which overlooks the ground, ate at The Edwardian Grill, and went for a two hour country walk through the windy lanes. It was lush – not a car in sight!

I also had the most amazing massage at the SUNDÃRI Spa – an Abhyanga massage, a gentle but firm whole body massage from head to toe using warm medicated oils.

The massage is done in a soft rhythmic way and was a deeply relaxing, rejuvenating experience which definitely helped my stress, anxiety and exhaustion levels.

Even though the massage and the whole weekend was supposed to be targeting my exhaustion levels, I couldn’t understand why I kept falling asleep. Perhaps it was because i was in a nice and relaxed environment – or perhaps it was because something else! I had most certainly cut down on my exercises sessions and intensity, I was sleeping MUCH, MUCH more – so much so I had at least three naps that whole weekend and couldn’t sit around the pool because it was far too warm and making me feel faint and sick.  Something was up, so I investigated. For once I wasn’t disappointed with the results…..

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