Friday, 30 January 2015

BOSU Workout

Today, I have a new BOSU workout for you! It is a great full body workout that will get your heart rate up. One of the many benefits of using a BOSU is that your core is engaged the entire workout to keep your balance and stability! This is great for prenatal and postpartum exercise as well, especially when "regular" abdominal exercises become a little too much for your growing belly.

Also, find below a delicious and nutritious recipe!

Full Body BOSU 


All exercises are completed using the BOSU (except bicycles)!
(blue side is less challenging, black side is more challenging)

Step-Ups - one foot is in centre of blue or black side (depending on your level), step other leg through to touch foot beside balancing foot. Step bent leg back onto the floor. Repeat all reps before switching sides.
Squats - plant both feet, shoulder width apart, on blue or black side (depending on stability). Bend knees to lower booty back and behind. Keep your knees over your ankles and chest high. Return to standing. Repeat.
Burpies - black side up. Place hands on handles as you jump/step feet back into plank. Return to standing on floor and repeat.

Weighted Squats - same as squats above, with dumbbells or other weight in between palms in front of chest.
Push-Ups - black side up. Place hands on handles with a straight line from shoulder to hips (if knees on floor) or to ankles (if toes on floor). Lower chest towards BOSU, then press back up. Repeat.
Weighted Lunges - one foot on either blue or black side and one on floor, with a big step back. Dumbbell or weight in between palms, in front of chest. Bend knees to lower body towards floor keeping front knee above ankle. Press back to starting position. Repeat all reps on one side before switching.
Army Crawl - blue side up. Place forearms in centre of BOSU. Press off on arm and place hand on mat beside BOSU. Do the same with other arm. Then return to forearms on BOSU, one at a time (think "up-up-down-down"). Repeat.
Single Leg Knee Raise - one foot is in centre of blue or black side (depending on your level), step other leg through to a forward knee raise (balancing on BOSU foot). Step bent leg back onto the floor. Repeat all reps before switching sides.
Rocking Plank - black side up. Place hands on handles and extend legs into high plank position (can also be performed from knees). Press down with one hand to "rock" BOSU to that side while maintaining a tight core. Rock to other side. Repeat.
Crunches - blue side up. Lie so BOSU is curved into the small of back. Crunch up by bringing rib cage towards hip bones. Lower slowly. Repeat.
Bicycles - *only exercise not using BOSU* Lie flat on back with shoulder blades and bent knees off floor. Hands by the ears, rotate body to bring right elbow to left knee while twisting. Then, left elbow to right knee. Repeat.
Plank - black side up. Place hands on handles and extend legs into high plank (can also be done from knees). With straight arms, keep your core tight and hold.

**Postpartum with Diastasis Recti (abdominal separation) and Pregnancy >16 weeks gestation**
- perform push-ups, army crawl, rocking plank, and plank from knees. Use extra caution and focus on engaging your core. 
- do not perform crunches and bicycles the way described here. There are modifications. 


Monday, 26 January 2015

Sports Bra While Breastfeeding ... How important is a good one?

Imagine pulling out an old pair of running shoes, dusting them off, putting them on, and heading out for a run on a beautiful sunny day. They are tight. Way too tight. Despite the gorgeous scenery, you will most likely not enjoy your run and end up with blisters on your painful feet. 

It can be argued that a proper fitting sports bra is nearly as important as proper fitting running shoes for physical activity. You wouldn't wear shoes that are too tight. Why would you try to squeeze into an uncomfortable sports bra?! Pregnancy causes breasts to enlarge, preparing for lactation. Beginning a new exercise routine after having a baby will be enough of a challenge on it's own; by enjoying the luxuries of a well fitting and comfortable sports bra, your workout will feel like a dream (or at least you will be well on your way)!

Poorly fitting sports bras can cause some major issues for lactating women. Besides being uncomfortable, bras that are too tight can cause clogged ducts, which can lead to mastitis (breast infection). Bras that are too loose will not be supportive enough to contain your breastfeeding bosoms. Starting at around the 30 week mark, you should start to be able to shop for a sports bra that will work for you throughout the rest of your pregnancy and well into breastfeeding. If you continue to have breast changes, shop accordingly. 

There are many brands of sports bras, with even more styles. Two brands that have a great selection of front strap clip and front zip options (think easy access!) are Victoria's Secret and Moving Comfort. Having a front closure sports bra is very convenient for nursing moms. This way, you can continue to feed on demand before, during, or after your workout. Just wipe your breast with a cloth and warm water and you are ready to nurse your baby!


Tuesday, 13 January 2015

Exciting Announcement!

Prenatal and Postpartum Fitness Seminar & Workshops 

Fitness is a journey, not a destination. As with all journeys, there are twists and turns, hills and valleys. Sometimes we know how to steer through these changes and sometimes we need to stop and ask for directions. 

Pregnancy is a beautiful time with many changes to the female body. Exercise while pregnant and during the postpartum period are very important and have many benefits. However, it is important for mom and baby that exercise is done safely and efficiently. 

Join Kellie to learn about safe, efficient, and beneficial fitness during and after pregnancy!

Please note - you do not have to be pregnant, nor a mother to attend either session. 

Monday, 12 January 2015

At Home HIIT

Alright, it's time for some at home cardio!! Getting to the gym to use cardio machines is not always an option and in this country, indoor workout alternatives are usually welcomed. High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) is a workout technique where maximal effort is made through intense exercise, followed by recovery periods. HIIT burns calories through keeping the heart rate high and has also a high Excess Post-exercise Oxygen Consumption (EPOC) which continues to burn calories even long after your workout is complete!!

Let's go...

At Home HIIT

set your timer for 45 seconds per exercise, followed by 15 seconds rest
repeat for 2-3 sets

high knees
jumping jacks
push-up rotations (full push-up, then open into side plank. alternate sides)
wall sit
side plank pulses (alternate 1/2 way through)
mountain climbers
triceps dips
reverse crunches

Prenatal Version

if you have any medical condition that your doctor or midwife is following closely, or you are on any medications while pregnant, please consult your health care provider before doing any physical activity

set your timer for 45 seconds per exercise, followed by 15 seconds rest
repeat for 2-3 sets

walking high knees

cat-cow from all-fours
walking jacks
push-up from knees, on incline, or standing with hands on wall*
plank from forearms and knees or toes*
walk-out burpies*
wall sit
side plank (alternate 1/2 way through)
mountain climbers (stepping, not running)
triceps dips
seated ab curls (sitting cross legged, round spine and hug baby in. Exhale while stretching spine and pressing chest towards ceiling)

*if you have been told you have diastasis recti, do not perform these exercises


Loving Your Body

As some of my followers might already know, I am huge fan of Tone It Up ... Two inspirational women, based out of California, who through their website, workouts, nutrition plan, and other social media, empower other women to feel and look amazing. Although I have followed Tone It Up (TIU) since 2010 and purchased their nutrition plan in 2012, it was only this summer that I became involved in their online community. I had been missing out. Big time! This online community of supportive women from around the globe is truly one of a kind. TIU members "check-in" with collages of their meals, workouts, and other inspirations and of course, being social media, other members "like" and comment while supporting and encouraging one another. 

The current TIU series is called "Love Your Body". It is a six week challenge between New Years and Valentines Day where TIU encourages the team to commit to a lifestyle change that will make them feel and look fabulous ...

Join thousands of women for the next 6 weeks for the most inspiring and motivating fitness challenge of the year. Get ready to discover a side of you that you never knew existed, a strength deep inside you that is ready to drive you to your dreams and goals and to Love Your Body for Valentine’s Day. 

So, I decided to jump on board and take my social media check-ins up a notch. Increase my accountability to others in the community and push myself physically for 45 days in hopes of seeing some great changes! I started "following" other #TIUmoms and we even created our own #TIULYBmamas to be able to encourage other women facing similar daily challenges and in similar stages of life. The support has been overwhelming. Although we have public accounts in order to check-in to the community, we feel that it is a safe place to share what is going on in our lives; both positive and negative.

As mentioned in their description, the TIU Love Your Body series is more than looking great, it is about feeling great in your own body. About loving your body. Last week I took some time to really evaluate what this meant to me and this is what I came up with...

She is the reason I fell back in love with my body. Before we became pregnant with Baby B, I was running three to four mornings per week, strength training four to five times per week, and practicing yoga regularly. I was in great shape, however, always yearned for more. Tears fill my eyes each time I think about the evening we learned we were pregnant. From that moment, I developed a new love for my body. In the months that followed, I watched my body change daily to support this beautiful life inside me. I weighed more than I ever have and at the same time was more in love with my body that I ever have been. She has taught me the incredible feats my physical body is capable of. She has also taught me that my emotional body can love more than I ever thought imaginable. I fell in love with my body again on the day B was born. In the weeks after, I was amazed that my body could grow such an amazing little person and now nourish her little body and mind through milk, touch, and love. Simply by being the happy baby that she is, she encourages me each day to support and accept the continuing changes of my physical body. She cheers me on as I run and sweat with her playing by my side. She reminds me to nurture my emotional body in the way she smiles at me and loves me for who I am right now. I can never thank her enough for all of these things she has put my body through and how they have taught me to love and cherish my body every day.

I thought that my TIU account would be a great way to get these words out and possibly inspire a few other Moms going through similar changes in their body and mindset. I was absolutely blown away when TIU picked this post as a winner for the Love Your Body series check-in. I was humbled and honoured by the thousands of women who "liked" and the hundreds of women who commented on this post.

Although they might let us down sometimes and not always be capable of what we expect them to do, our bodies are amazing. We need to love them. Through this love, we will find a new appreciation for all they have done for us and continue to do.