Day: November 30, 2018

Get Fit, Baby!: How To Keep Working Out While Pregnant

Get Fit, Baby!: How To Keep Working Out While Pregnant

Did you get some exciting news about a baby bump recently? Working out while pregnant is both important and totally possible. Here’s what you need to know.

There are so many benefits that come along with working out while pregnant.

When you make an effort to exercise when you’re expecting, you’ll pack on fewer pounds throughout the course of your pregnancy. You’ll also reduce back pain, constipation, and some of the other side effects of being pregnant. And you might even make your labor and delivery go more smoothly in the end!

But despite the numerous benefits of working out while pregnant, there are many women who choose not to do it for any number of reasons. Some struggle to muster up the strength and energy for exercise, while others complain about not having enough time to do it.

Don’t let these things stop you from working out while pregnant! Take a look at some tips below that will help you create and maintain a workout regimen over the next 9 months.

Start as Soon as You Find Out You’re Pregnant

Did you just find out that you’re pregnant?

Congratulations! There is almost nothing more exciting than finding out that you’re going to be welcoming a new baby into the world.

But before you start celebrating too much, you should commit–right here and right now–to working out while pregnant.

We know that you’re going to have a million and one other things going on in your life soon. From researching which crib would be right for your baby to picking out a pediatrician, there is so much to do!

But the truth is that working out while pregnant is one of the most important things that you’re going to do in the coming months. It’ll be good for both you and your baby and will help your pregnancy go much better than it would otherwise.

So rather than putting off exercise or ignoring it altogether, use the adrenaline boost that you got from your positive pregnancy test to start up a workout routine. It’ll be well worth the time and effort you put into it.

Create Specific Workout Goals

After you’ve made a commitment to working out while pregnant, the next step should be to come up with a list of specific workout goals for yourself. These goals will help keep you on track once you actually start exercising on a regular basis.

Everyone’s goals are obviously going to be a little bit different. But in general, your goals should serve as a guide for you as you move forward in your pregnancy.

Here are some sample workout goals that might work for you:

  • Exercise for about 30 minutes at least 3 times every week
  • Keep weight loss to a minimum throughout pregnancy
  • Use working out as a reason to eat healthier while pregnant
  • Stay in constant contact with the doctor about working out
  • Monitor how workouts are benefitting both mom and baby

The key is coming up with goals that are attainable. It’ll allow you to stay committed to working out while pregnant, even when times get tough and you don’t necessarily feel like doing it.

Learn About the Exercises That Will Benefit You

Once you have your pregnancy workout goals in place, it’ll be time for you to officially start working out while pregnant. But before you do, you should take the time to learn about the different types of exercises that will benefit you the most.

The good news is that there are lots of workout options for you to choose from when you’re pregnant. Here are just some of the choices:

  • Walking, which can elevate your heart rate and provide you with an upper-body workout if you get into the habit of moving your arms when you walk
  • Running, which can elevate your heart rate even more than walking and work out many major muscle groups
  • Swimming, which can work out your entire body without putting too much of a strain on your legs, your back, or the other areas that will bother you during pregnancy
  • Weight training, which will make your muscles stronger and prepare them for the later stages of pregnancy
  • Yoga, which will help you with balance and strength and bring your blood pressure down

Regardless of which first-trimester workout you choose, you should avoid twisting your midsection at any point and ease your way into working out. You usually don’t want to work out for any more than 20 to 30 minutes at a time, and you also don’t want to push yourself outside of your comfort zone at any point.

Avoid Certain Exercises During Pregnancy

While all of the exercises that we just mentioned are great for those in their first trimester and, in most cases, even beyond, there are some exercises you’ll want to avoid at all costs. They could put you and your baby into harm’s way if you aren’t careful.

Steer clear of any exercises that call for you to:

  • Hold your breath for long periods of time
  • Lift weights that are too heavy
  • Lie on your stomach
  • Stand still for extended periods of time
  • Push yourself too hard

The last thing you want to do is turn working out while pregnant into a bad thing. By avoiding some exercises that could be dangerous, you’ll keep yourself and your baby safe at all times.

Come Up With and Stick to a Workout Schedule

No matter what type of exercise you choose to do during your pregnancy, it’s important for you to create a workout schedule…and stick to it!

If you don’t have a clear-cut schedule in place, you’re going to be tempted to cheat from time to time and skip out on your workouts. This will turn into a habit before long and result in you not getting enough exercise.

Sit down and map out your days, weeks, and even months so that you know when you need to work out. You’re more likely to start working out while pregnant when you have a schedule in place.

Consider Using a Workout Challenge to Stay Motivated

Are you the type of person who has a hard time staying motivated when you work out? If the benefits of working out while pregnant aren’t enough to motivate you, there is something else you can try to give yourself the encouragement you need.

Our 9-Week Workout Challenge is a great option for any woman who wants to start working out while pregnant. You’ll get direct access to a fitness coach who will customize a workout plan to your specific needs.

This is especially helpful for pregnant women who don’t know where to start when it comes to working out. You can work with a trainer both during your pregnancy and after it to keep yourself in great shape.

Make Sure You’re Getting the Right Nutrients

Eating right during pregnancy is just as important as working out. You and your baby need a long list of nutrients on an almost daily basis. During the second and third trimesters, you’ll also need to take in a lot more calories than you usually do.

Rather than just eating whatever you want while pregnant, you should look to eat certain types of foods that are loaded with the nutrients you need. Your diet should include:

  • Dairy products, which are a great source of calcium and protein
  • Legumes, which will provide you with everything from fiber and protein to iron and calcium
  • Salmon, which is loaded with omega-3 fatty acids
  • Eggs, which are jampacked with protein, fat, and more minerals and vitamins than we can possibly list here!
  • Lean meat, which contains iron, choline, and protein

There are also lots of other foods to incorporate into your diet, including certain berries, avocados, whole grains, and more.

Drink a Lot of Water, Too

Under normal circumstances, it’s important for pregnant women to drink plenty of water on a daily basis. It’ll help you avoid dehydration, which can cause constipation, tiredness, anxiety, and more.

But hydration will become even more of a concern when you’re working out while pregnant. You’re going to be losing fluids as you exercise, and those fluids will need to be replenished.

It’s good to bring along lots of water with you during a workout. Sip on it early and often to keep the fluids flowing through your body.

Stop Working Out While Pregnant If You Don’t Feel Good

Although working out while pregnant is something you should definitely consider doing, there is absolutely no reason for you to overexert yourself in the process. Your No. 1 goal should be to maintain your body and keep your baby healthy, not to set a new personal best while running a mile or learn dozens of new yoga poses.

If, at any point, you don’t feel good while you’re working out while pregnant, you should 100 percent stop and put your exercise plans on hold. Even though it might mean missing a day or two of exercise, you’re much better off taking that approach than trying to do too much.

Speak With Your Doctor About Exercising

When you first find out that you’re pregnant, your doctor is going to give you all kinds of advice as far as what you should and shouldn’t do during pregnancy.

Your doctor will tell you what to eat, how much sleep to get, and more. Your doctor should also speak with you about exercising and recommend some workouts that you can do.

If they don’t, don’t be afraid to stop them and tell them that you would like to start working out while pregnant. They will likely encourage you to do it and give you some tips about exercising throughout your pregnancy.

You should also continue to speak with your doctor as you move closer and closer to your due date. There are some exercises that are perfectly fine for those women in their first trimester but dangerous for those in their third.

By keeping an open line of communication with your doctor, you’ll be able to find out which exercises will be best as you move along. Your doctor will know what you’ll be able to do best based on your body type, your goals, and any concerns they might have about your pregnancy.

Commit to Continuing to Work Out After Your Baby’s Birth

At the end of all this, working out while pregnant should allow you to give birth to a beautiful baby that is completely healthy. It should also make your pregnancy a whole a lot easier across the board.

But maybe above all else, it should give you all the motivation you need to continue working out long after your baby is born. By establishing a workout routine while you’re pregnant, you can set yourself up for long-term fitness success.

This will begin to pay off right away when it comes to trying to lose the weight you put on during pregnancy. Most women put on somewhere between 15 and 40 pounds when they’re pregnant and struggle to take it back off. But you’ll be in a good position to do it if you continue working out.

You’ll also be able to keep yourself healthier overall for the sake of your baby. Now that you have someone who depends on you, you need to take your health even more seriously than you ever did before. Working out will make that a reality.

Working Out While Pregnant Is Totally Possible

Working out while pregnant might sound like it’s going to be too difficult to do at the beginning. You might even laugh it off and think that you’re not cut out for the challenge.

But once you start doing it, you’ll begin to see the benefits of it almost right away. You’ll feel better and have more energy at your disposal. You’ll also get good reports back from your doctor during your various visits.

Consider how working out while pregnant could help you before you brush it off. It’s entirely possible and will become a part of your normal pregnancy routine once you give it a shot.

Do you need help getting started? Contact us to see how our fitness challenge could work for you.

The Office Workout: 8 Fun Office Fitness Tips To Get You Moving At Work

The Office Workout: 8 Fun Office Fitness Tips To Get You Moving

If you have a sedentary job, it’s hard to shed the weight no matter how hard you work out at home. Here are some fun office fitness tips to try at work.

One out of every three of adults is overweight. 30% of children are also overweight.

But it’s not just about obesity rates. Being overweight can lead to other physical health problems like diabetes, heart problems, and even some cancer. And those are just a few of the health issues those extra pounds have on our bodies.

Many people find it hard to find time to fit in exercise. And they often spend eight hours at work being sedentary. That’s why it’s time to incorporate office fitness into your place of business.

Adopting the office workout will help you save costs, help your employees, and boost overall morale. To learn more, keep reading. We’re sharing with you eight ideas for the office workout your employees will love.

Why Office Fitness is So Important

While it may seem counter-productive to incorporating exercises to do while sitting at a desk, the opposite is true. You’ll find you can increase productivity and save a lot of money just by encouraging your employees to exercise while at work.

Let’s take a look at some of the reasons why.

Obesity is Expensive

Office fitness is becoming more popular as businesses struggle under the expensive ramifications of obesity. An obese male employee can cost you anywhere from $322 to $6,087 in a loss of productivity.

For females, the estimates range from $797 to $6,694. These ranges aren’t for the entire duration of that employee working for you. These estimates are based on how much money you’ll lose per person per year thanks to health issues associated with obesity.

Mental Health Issues and Obesity

If that weren’t enough, being overweight also has mental health issues associated with it. Depression, low self-esteem, and eating disorders are not uncommon struggles associated with obesity.

This leads to a lowering of your office morale when employees are struggles with mental health issues. And, more losses in productivity.

Office Workout Suggestions

Not everyone is physically capable of doing the same workout. Since people are at different levels in their skills, agility, and health, it’s best to incorporate several different exercises at work so everyone can pick their favorite.

Here are eight suggestions with varying degrees of difficulty.

1. A Walking Meeting

Despite our technological advances, sometimes it’s best to have a face-to-face meeting with someone. But that doesn’t mean you need to be sitting down to do it.

Instead, ask if you can do a walk and talk. Not only will you get exercise, you’ll also find that walking helps stimulate your thinking. It’s a good chance you’ll be more productive while walking than you would during a sit-down meeting.

Also, it’s harder for you to be distracted when you’re taking a walk with someone. There’s less of a chance you’ll scroll through Facebook or check your e-mail while you’re walking.

Instead, you’ll be focused on the person you’re walking with. You might even find you look forward to these meetings since your senses will most likely be heightened just by walking around outside.

2. Work Out With Your Colleagues

It’s easy to quit and become lazy when there’s no one holding you accountable. But when you’re in a group, everyone tends to look out for one another.

Groups also help motivate one another. And in one study, it showed that 95% of people who began a weight-loss program with friends stuck with the program to completion.

You’ll also get a better rate at a local gym if you get a group to sign up. You can also hire a yoga instructor (or another type of instructor) to come to your work and give everyone a good workout.

Look if there are any exercise clubs at your office. If there aren’t any, consider starting your own.

It doesn’t need to be fancy or complicated. You can start a walking club that walks three times a week after work.

Or, you can get some co-workers to join an intramural club with you. There are intramural clubs for almost every ability.

Basketball, baseball, and even kickball clubs are all over the place. You can easily find one by doing a quick Google check. Type in “adult (your sport here) leagues in (your city).

You don’t need to work out every day, but even meeting a group once a week to exercise will improve your overall health. Also, it’s a good way to get to know your co-workers on a more personal level.

3. Swap Your Chair With a Stability Ball

Good posture is important to the health of your body. Having a strong core means that you are less prone to injuries and you get a better overall workout.

But it’s not like you can do a sit-up while in your office. At least, not without getting some funny looks.

However, you can invest in a stability ball to get in your abdominal exercises at work. By swapping your chair for a stability ball, you now can sit and work while getting a great workout.

The stability ball forces your body to keep finding its balance. As a result, it slowly strengthens your core muscles.

Better posture can also lead to fewer employees calling out sick due to back problems. This is great since lower back problems cost employers $34,600 per 100 employees annually.

You may find you also are more able to focus when using a stability ball.

4. Use a Height-Adjustable Desk

Many people are beginning to use what’s known as an exercise desk to help them burn more calories. It’s also known as a height-adjustable or standing desk.

The premise is that standing burns more calories and is healthier for you than sitting for eight hours a day, five days a week is. Which, is mostly true.

Especially if you experience back pain. Standing can help reduce that pain as you’re less likely to slump while standing than you would if you’re sitting in regular office chair.

However, before going from sitting eight hours per day to standing for eight hours, your body needs time to adjust. Start slowly and build your way up.

Ensure you are wearing comfortable shoes made for standing long periods of time. Standing in six-inch Jimmy Choos isn’t going to do your feet or back any favors. You also may wish to sit and stand at specific intervals for best results.

But since studies show that you burn more calories while reducing your risk of certain cancers, stroke, heart disease, it’s worth trying this one out.

5. Take a Break Every Hour With Chair Exercises

All work and no play isn’t good for anyone. Even when you’re at work, taking breaks is highly beneficial.

A five-minute break will help you elevate both your physical and your mental health. You’ll also find you’re more able to make better decisions when you take a few breaks throughout the day.

A break will restore your productivity, motivation, and creativity levels. You’ll also find you can focus better when you give your body and mind a break every once in a while.

Lastly, taking a break can actually help you learn. Use your best judgment as to when and how often to take a break. But at least once or twice a day, use your break to get in some exercise.

There are plenty of different ways to get exercise without leaving your office. Try an under desk workout.

Swivel your chair to work on your abdominals. There are even exercises to do while sitting. You can easily stretch your neck, roll your ankles, and even tone your butt without ever leaving your chair.

6. Get Creative

You don’t need a personal trainer just to get a workout. Just moving your body will do the trick.

Here are a few exercises you can easily do at work. They’re fun, simple, and a good way to get your body moving.

Cardio

For extra cardio try dancing in your seat every once in a while. This is especially great to do if you just had something great happen at work and are looking to celebrate. Wiggling in your chair along to music, even if it’s in your head, burns calories and gets you moving.

Calves

While you’re waiting for the copier or printer to finish, kill time by working on your calves. Simply stand with your feet shoulder-length apart in one place and go from standing flat on your feet to being on your tip toes.

Continue repeating these movements until your calves start burning. Or, just do 12-15 reps.

Stapler Curl for Biceps

Your stapler has the ability to act as a hand weight. And you can do this one while sitting or standing.

Grab your favorite stapler in one hand with your palm facing up. Beginning at your thighs, bend your elbow and curl your arm towards your chest.

Pause for a few seconds and then lower the stapler back to your thighs. You can do this for 12-15 reps or until your biceps begin to burn. Don’t forget to switch and do an equal amount of reps on both arms.

And if someone stole your stapler or it doesn’t weigh enough for you to get a decent workout, try using a filled water bottle or anything else you can find in your office that fits in your hand but is weighted. You can also bring in canned food for this.

Workout Your Shoulders

Building up tension in your shoulders is a common workplace occurrence. Between gaping at your computer all day long and sitting in your chair, it’s bound to happen every once in a while.

Now you have something you can do to ease that tension. Roll back your shoulders until the blades are as close together as possible.

Pretend you’re holding a pencil between your scapulas. You can always use a real pencil to do this. Hold your position (with or without the pencil) for 5-10 seconds and then release.

Do this 12-15 times for best results.

Pull in Your Core

It doesn’t matter where you are or whether you’re sitting, standing or lying down, you can always work on your core. The best part is, no one ever has to know.

Start by taking a deep breath then tighten the stomach muscles by bringing them in towards your spine while you exhale. Squeeze your abs for 5-10 seconds and then release.

Repeat these steps 12-15 times each session.

7. Take the Long Way Home

There are lots of ways you can sneak in extra exercise without heading to the gym. You just need to adjust your travel routine a little bit.

Instead of taking the elevator, opt to use the stairs. While you may not want to walk up 14 flights of stairs, you’ll still get plenty of benefits by walking down them.

If there’s a long way to get somewhere, take it for the extra steps you’ll have to walk. Avoid using the phone if you can walk over to see a co-worker in person.

If you take public transportation to get to work, get off a few stops early and walk the rest of the way. Do the same on your way home. Just make sure you wear comfortable walking shoes.

You can also choose to reduce your carbon footprint by walking the entire way or biking to work. Not only will you help the planet, and get exercise, you’ll find that you rarely get home grumpy anymore.

That’s because your physical commute will have physical and mental benefits to help you work through your day’s problems so you can leave them behind you as you walk in to greet your family.

8. Replace Pacing With Sitting While on the Phone

When you do have to have a phone conversation with someone, don’t just sit there and talk. Instead, use it as another opportunity to get some exercise.

Stand up and pace around your desk or office. Every extra step you take counts. It also adds up over time.

And your back and neck muscles will thank you for the opportunity to stand up and stretch. You don’t need to incorporate formal exercise into your routine, you just need to move more.

Even unconsciously fidgeting helps burn some calories. And again, moving around helps you stay alert, awake, and focused. You may find you no longer need an afternoon coffee to get you past the afternoon slump because you’ve replaced it with a few extra exercises.

Transform Your Body and Mind

Life is extremely difficult when you don’t have your health. And there are so many things you can do to get and stay healthy.

Adopting an office fitness program is one step in the right direction. Another step is taking our nine-week challenge.

In just nine weeks you’ll see a dramatic difference in yourself. Learn more about how it works today!

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