30 Day Health & Fitness Challenge- The Mom Bod! Day 7

corset

Today’s tip may seem odd, but I swear it valuable!

Day 7:
Hold it in! Or to be more accurate and specific, be muscle/body-aware. That means to walk with purpose, don’t just drag your heels, use your leg muscles to get you where you’re going. Walking up a hill? Well squeeze that booty to propel your legs up and forward. Use your stomach muscles as often and as long as possible, as if you’re trying to squeeze into a tight pair of jeans. I always say that at the end of a tropical vacation I often feel like my abs look even better then they did on arrival, despite all the vacation food and drinks I’ve indulged in, and a large part of that is due to constantly using my ab muscles while strutting in my bikini on the beach. (I think the other part is due to an increase in body-confidence, after spending a week in a bikini all day, you end up just accepting yourself as you are). So even when you’re holding it in, those muscles are working!

Bonus:
While you’re standing in line, being aware of your body and engaging your abs, try doing Kegels!

Photo: Ms. Scarlett O’Hara and Mammy in Gone With the Wind

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30 Day Health & Fitness Challenge- The Mom Bod! Day 6

bed
We’re almost done our first week of the 30 Day Challenge of small healthy daily changes, and Day 6 is just as important as Days 1 through 5..

Day 6:
Get more sleep! I know it’s easier said than done, and you may even be telling me off through your screen; I get it, cluster feeding, Wonder Week leaps, teething, colic, upset stomachs, WHO KNOWS WHAT?!?!? and more has been preventing you from getting the sleep you so desperately crave and deserve. But, more than likely you’re burning the candle at both ends and trying to accomplish EVERYTHING until you’re close to passing out, and I’m certain you can go to bed a little earlier, I know I’m definitely guilty of this. Lack of sleep contributes to heighten stress levels, affects your metabolism and can encourage weight gain (or hinder weight loss). Even if you only go to bed 30 minutes earlier, it will help, and you’ll feel better for it in the morning.

Bonus:
Start with going to bed 30 minutes earlier for 5 days, then up it to 45 minutes for another 3-5 days, followed by 60 minutes. Keep adding as much time as you can manage and need, I know in my life I could easily go to bed at least 2 hours earlier, and would still have a full day and get to spend time with my love (who works late).

Bon Nuit!

Photo credit: Pia Ulin

30 Day Health & Fitness Challenge- The Mom Bod! Day 4

Stretch2Hopefully for the past four days, you’ve kept yourself hydrated, taken your vitamins, and got a little exercise. Day 4 is a no brainer to me, it is the perfect complement to all that walking…

Day 4:
Stretch!
It is so important to stretch after a workout or any physical activity, it helps prevent injury and reduces the build up of lactic acid in the muscle which contribute to soreness. So starting today we’re going to make sure we stretch every day after our walk. If you’re anything like me, your hips and hamstrings are still really tight and your back is aching thanks to carrying around that extra weight for so long, followed by hunching over to nurse, put the baby down or even from carrying around your growing bundle of joy when they refuse to be anywhere but in your arms. I find that taking the time out to stretch my quads, hamstrings, calves and hips really helps to reduce my lower back pain.

Bonus Burn:
Stretch before bed, in addition to stretching after your walk. Even if you can only get 5 minutes in, you’ll wake up less stiff, I promise.

Photo Courtesy of: Travis Rigby Photography

30 Day Health & Fitness Challenge- The Mom Bod! Day 3

ShoesAnd just like that Day 3 is here, I’ve stuck with both minor adjustments from both Day 1 and Day 2 and am ready to impose a little activity on us. These mom bods won’t re-shape themselves! (And if yours will or has, congrats! You’ve won the genetic lottery!)

Day 3:
Get moving! Or to put it simply, go on a 30 min walk daily. You can go alone, if you need some alone time, or strap your baby in the stroller and take them sight-seeing. Unless it’s nap time, make sure you interact with your little one and point out everything you see on your walk, it’ll help keep things interesting for both of you.

Bonus Burn:
Put that baby carrier to use and strap, buckle, or sling that baby to you! The extra weight will add an extra challenge to your body and muscles.

Post-Baby Health Challenge Day 2

vitaminsToday is Day 2 of my attempts to get a little healthier and leaner, 8 months after having Phoenix… One small change a day, one day at a time!

I’m going to keep Day 2 as easy and manageable as Day 1:

Day 2
Take your vitamins! This is important for everyone, but especially for Breastfeeding moms, because let’s be honest, we don’t always get the appropriate nutrition everyday (nutrition? What’s that? You ask… Stick around, we’ll get there!) and our little mini-me’s get all of their nutrition from us! Really makes you reconsider having that empty-calorie-bagel and coffee for breakfast, lunch and dinner, huh?

So take a multi-vitamin, or your pre/post natal vitamin and whatever else you’re deficient in. Some of my favourites include Vitamin D, Calcium, Zinc and Magnesium, and Omega 3. Also while you’re at it make sure you’re giving your baby their daily dose of Vitamin D!

Post-Baby Body & Health Challenge, Day 1 – The Mom Bod

workoutIt’s been 8 months since Phoenix was born, and I still have 15 pounds of baby weight left (not to mention the 5 or 10 or 15 additional pounds I didn’t want before I was pregnant!), so it’s time to do something about it! I’d like to think that with my calorie-deficient eating habits (horrible, I know), stroller pushing, steady nursing (hello cluster feeding!), occasional yoga and constant carrying of a 20 lb tank (also known as “my baby”) the weight would just fall off…. and yet!

So I’ve decided to do something about it, one day at a time.

I’m proposing a month-long challenge, to myself and whoever else would like to come along, to get healthier and fitter and even a little thinner with simple daily adjustments.

Today is Day 1.
And today’s health tip is to drink a glass of water upon waking, before every meal and snack– essentially before anything goes in my mouth, and with every meal. It’s simple, easy and rather satisfying. Most people confuse thirst for hunger, so this may help stave off cravings and mindless eating, also getting sufficient water intake improves your skin, hair, and pretty much everything else in your body!

So cheers! I’m already 4 glasses in… and have barely eaten breakfast, although I’ll save that issue for another day.