Monday, August 7, 2017

Fitness Training for New Moms

As I told you guys in my "I'm back" post, I recently became a new mom and, while I absolutely love my little guy, I need that "me" time to run and exercise, not only to stay healthy and able to take care of my family, but also to take care of myself.

I was excited when my doctor cleared me to ease back into exercise eight weeks after delivering my son, and I knew it would be more difficult to get my runs in, but I didn't realize just how difficult it would be!  I also work full-time, and when I get home in the evening I want to spend time with him since he is in daycare all day. It has definitely been harder than I thought.

The awesome team over at Cigna put together a great reference guide to help new moms stay active. I can say that I was super excited to read the material and put it to good use as I have had struggles with staying active.   It's even more important now that I'm training for the 2018 Goofy Challenge which will include my first marathon (eeek!!)

Check out this quick video from one of Cigna's health educators, Brittney -

They have also come up with some healthy ways to manage as a new mom.-

Give yourself an “atta girl”
Carrying a baby, going through the birthing process, and adjusting your life around your baby is not easy. Give yourself credit by writing down three things you're grateful for and hang them up where you can see them daily!
Reach out for support
Call on your team of friends, loved ones, etc., to help watch baby so you can schedule in some “me” time. Start small and be realistic, but know that you deserve this.
Reset your mind
Sometimes, moms may not expect the changes a new baby brings. Getting back into your normal routine may seem like a shock, and even disappointing or frustrating. That’s why it’s important to take a step back and reassess your expectations based on your new life.
Tips for successful outcomes
  • Accept where you are and plot out simple, realistic expectations of what you’d like to achieve.
  • Reflect on changing your perspective on how you used to work out, or your previous objectives.
  • It’s about progress, not perfection (there’s no such thing). Jot down a simple list of active things you’d like to plug into your week, your day, etc. Set a minimal time frame, depending on baby’s schedule, of course. This way you won’t feel defeated if the baby wakes up from a nap early and you only get in 10 or 15 minutes of your workout.
  • Define your “why.” Why do you want to be active again? This will help you to clearly define your goals and help you better digest your new circumstances.
Every little bit counts
Maybe you were working out several days a week before or during your pregnancy, but now that just isn’t the case. It’s important to reassess your situation and set new, but realistic goals for yourself. For example:
  • With or without baby, walk for 10-15 minutes at a time. Build on this as you see fit, and be realistic about the support and time you have.
  • Count your blessings and your steps. Put on a pedometer and calculate your steps taken while running around taking care of your baby. You’ll be surprised to see how far you walk in a day – and maybe even motivated to walk more. Wear the pedometer for a week to see how many steps you get in on average. Then set a small goal to progressively increase this – 10,000 steps a day equals about five miles.
Integrate activity with baby
Maybe you aren’t able to set aside alone time just yet, or you want to make some of your time with baby an active opportunity. Check out these three exercises from WebMD’s “Mommy & Baby Workout Tips.”
  • Baby glider: Hold your baby close to your chest and do a forward lunge  (take a big step forward and bend your knee). Don’t let your toes go past your knee. Then return to starting position and lunge with the opposite leg. This will help strengthen your legs, back muscles and core. Repeat 8-10 times on each side.
  • Baby bouncer: Step to the side and do a squat (reach back with your behind as if you’re sitting in a chair, keeping your knees over your ankles). Repeat 8-10 times to each side.
  • Rock-a-baby squats and curls: Stand with your legs shoulder-width apart. Hold your baby tight and close to your chest and squat down, allowing your baby’s feet to touch the floor. As you rise, bring the baby closer to your chest. Repeat 15 times. (Note: You should do this exercise only when your baby is at least 10 to 12 weeks old.)
These tips are super simple and easy to integrate into your day, and I love that some even involve the babe!    I'm really looking forward to adding these to our daily routine a few days a week!  I hope that if you're in the same boat, know that you're not alone and take some of these tips and run with them!  

Until next time,

Information provided to me by Cigna - article written by Brittany Onufrak, MS, CWP Health Advocate, Consumer Health Engagement

Monday, July 31, 2017

Components for a Successful Training Program with Cigna

One of my favorite runDisney race weekends is fast approaching - the Disneyland Half Marathon weekend!

This year the race weekend saw a big change with a Pixar-theme - the medals were just revealed last Monday and the buzz was pretty positive on social media.
Sadly, I won't be participating in this year's Disneyland half marathon race weekend, but I have quite a few friends who are and I look forward to following along on social media that weekend.

The team at Cigna wants everyone who is participating in the Disneyland half marathon weekend to make sure they're prepared for the races and have put together some great tips that will not only help during this race weekend, but for anyone training for a race.

Cross training is a very important part of training for a race.  Getting those runs in is necessary, but you also need to build up your muscle and endurance, and this can be achieved through doing some cross training on your rest days from running.  Once I started working out at Orangetheory Fitness, I noticed a difference in my endurance during my training runs and races.  

Here are a few tips from #CignaHealthCoach Briane Agostinelli, (BS, CEP, CWP, CPPC) about why adding cross training can be beneficial to training for your next race -.

Antonio Williams, (M.S., NASM, P.E.S, Health Engagement Consultant), another #CignaHealthCoach, hits on 3 components that can lead to a successful training program.

I know for me personally, flexibility and speed work are two things I need to get better at doing, especially with my upcoming marathon!

Hopefully with these tips you'll be successful in training for your next race and hit those goals, whether it's to set a PR or finish your first half marathon!

Follow Cigna during the Disneyland Half marathon weekend on social media with the hashtags #CignaRunTogether and #DisneylandHalf.  They'll keep you informed with lots of tips and other fun information!

Until next time,

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Where Have I Been?!?!

Well hello there!

I realize it's been over a year since my last blog can't believe I let it sit idle for so long! BUT - I have a great excuse...

At the end of June 2016, my husband and I found out that we were expecting our first child!  The first (and only) race I ran during my pregnancy was a week later at the 2016 Peachtree Road Race.

Luckily, my pregnancy was pretty real complications...but having hypertension caused my doctors to strongly discourage me from continuing to run and work out during the pregnancy.

Back in January, we headed to Walt Disney World on our "babymoon" (yes, I see some of you rolling your eyes at that term)

We happened to be there during Marathon weekend and spectated the marathon in EPCOT.  It was a lot of fun cheering on the runners and many of my friends during the race, and it validated what I had been thinking about for quite some time...when registration for the 2018 runDisney marathon weekend rolled around, this happened -

Yep...not only did I sign up for my first full marathon, but I'm going for the Goofy Challenge!  I'm crazy excited and scared to death at the same time, but I have some amazingly supportive friends and family and an equally crazy friend who will be by my side every step of both's going to be a tough, but fun journey!

And, on March 4th, we welcomed our son into the world!

I'll be checking in with my training, products I've found to be helpful, and planning our first trip as a family of 3 to Disney World! It's time to dust off the cobwebs and keep you guys in the loop (if anyone even still reads my blog!)

More to come soon!