Workout Mini-Programs for Mommies

From Wendy Novotny, this week’s speaker.

(Psst! You can check out her website at or follow her on Twitter.)


  • Power walk the entire mall one way, then turn around and do it again the other way
  • Stop and do 20 walking lunges
  • Repeat as many times as you can
  • Time yourself for the first two laps, then try to beat your time by at least a second.


  • Walking lunge x 10
  • Step-ups on the park bench (left leg) x 10
  • Step-ups on the park bench (right leg) x 10
  • Push-ups on bench (keep arms wider than shoulders) x 10
  • Tricep dips on bench (weight in palms of hands, bum close to bench, chest proud, shoulders down) x 10
  • Run up the play structure and down the slide x 5 – FAST!
  • Repeat as many times as you can


  • Squats onto the kitchen chair x 10
  • Push-ups from knees (try doing this over your baby and give kisses) x 10
  • Knees up on bottom step (left leg) x 10
  • Knees up on bottom step (right leg) x 10
  • Tricep dips on bottom step x 10
  • Rows with baby or weights or band x 10
  • Plank – hold it for 30 seconds and try to add 5 seconds/week up to 60 seconds total
  • Each time you walk through a doorway, reset your posture – bring your belly button into your spine and give your kegels a clench


  • Every time you’re waiting at a red light, hold your kegels until the light changes to green
  • Keep the backs of your shoulders against the seat

Hope this leaves you informed + inspired… I love knowing that every (tiny) bit counts!

– Lindsay


Wrap-Up: Mommy Bootcamp

I think many of us were nervous about the session today – isn’t bootcamp something intimidating? But I know I came away from it feeling more empowered than overwhelmed. Maybe there’s hope for my midsection yet!

Wendy Novotny is a personal trainer specially trained to work with prenatal and postpartum women, and she was full of useful tips for how to work out despite our crazy mom lives. She identified the key areas that are changed by pregnancy and childbirth – the core (abs and lower back), the abductors (inner thighs), the glutes (butt), and the upper chest and back. They all need to be strengthened up. She emphasized the importance of having good shoes; the hormone relaxin that floods our bodies during pregnancy makes it much easier to sprain an ankle (I know from experience!). She also told us to make sure we have a good sports bra to save on back pain and keep the girls contained. A couple of other exercising tips were to drink a litre of water for every hour of aerobic activity, especially while breastfeeding, and to use the halfway rule; only go half as far as you think you can go based on pre-pregnancy experience. Our bodies have to re-learn how to take in enough oxygen, on top of all the other changes to our womanly physiques.

She gave us three exercise routines to try out – one at home with the stairs and the laundry, one with the stroller at the park or the mall, and a mini-routine for posture and kegels in the car. They’ll be posted in more detail soon.

She finished the session with a rundown on nutrition:

  • Focus on eating whole foods, which are foods that are grown and don’t have nutrition labels
  • Processed foods are more than just fast food
  • When you eat processed foods, read the labels and discard anything that lists sugar (or glucose, or fructose, or corn syrup, or any of those things) as one of the first three ingredients
  • Be aware that milk, yogurt, fruit, and vegetables are all carbs and can spike your blood sugar and be stored as fat
  • Fat isn’t evil
  • Use the 80/20 rule: eat well 80% of the time and cut yourself slack for 20%, whether that is a daily treat or allowing a feast on the weekend
  • Take baby steps and don’t try to overhaul yourself overnight
  • Be hyperaware of emotional eating and try to identify the causes rather than pigging out
  • Use small plates to keep portions in check

A few other tips were to eat within 20 minutes of waking and eat in the king/queen/pauper pattern, where breakfast is the king’s meal containing protien, fat, and carbs, lunch is the queen’s meal that is fairly large but more closely in check, and supper is pauper-sized so that your body can focus on repairing and regenerating overnight. If you’re starved at bedtime, she recommends 1/3 cup of bran buds with milk. She said that eggs for breakfast is one of the best things you can eat. Finally, she gave us a recipe for a breakfast smoothie:

  • 1c milk
  • 1c frozen fruit (not bananas, pineapple, or mango, as they are very high in sugar)
  • 1 heaping tbsp almond butter
  • 1 scoop protein powder (Manitoba Harvest whey powder was her recommendation)
  • water to thin it down

Huge thanks to Wendy for encouraging us to keep our bodies strong and healthy! Feel free to tell us your tips from experience, or share what parts of this session clicked with you.


Coming Up: Mommy Bootcamp

It’s a bird… It’s a plane… It’s Wendy Novotny, personal trainer (and mommy of two) – and she’s coming to rescue us all from the dreaded mommy tummy and show us how to make time for our own health.

Whether you’re looking for ideas to get you started or you just need a little bit of motivation and encouragement to keep going, you won’t want to miss this Thursday’s session!

– Lindsay

Can You Help?

We’ve just updated the new Snack and Devotion Leader sign-up lists here.

You’ll see that we have a bunch of blanks left to fill… If you’re interested in helping out, please let us know!

(And be sure to check out the rest of this website if you’re not quite sure what volunteering for these things means. It’s not scary, we promise!)

– Lindsay

Bethel Moms Online

We’re always looking for ways to stay better connected during the week… If you have a blog – or if you’re active on Facebook or Twitter – we’d love to know about it! Please leave your details in a comment. Thanks!

– Lindsay

Family Fun in January

Looking for some fun ways to get out of the house this month? We’ve collected information on a few different family-friendly events going on in Winnipeg this month… If you know of anything else, please share it in the comments section!

– Lindsay

Jan. 17-23 (FREE)


-Toboggan Slide & Outdoor Pleasure Skating
-Free Family Fun Skate times
-Pancake Breakfast
-Kids Karnival
-Sleigh Rides
-Marshmallow Roast & Fire Pits
-Ronald McDonald Magic Show
-Silent Auction
-Cookie Decorating
-Candy Scramble

For more information:

Friday, January 21
FREE! OPEN from 5-8 pm

Indoor Playground open.
Gym with ride on toys and slides.
Carpeted area with house, trains, sandbox and more.
6:30-8 pm Candy Scramble, Marshmallow Roast & Fire pits. Finish the evening with Fireworks!

Earl Grey C. C.
360 Cockburn St N
$2/child (sibling 6 months and under free)

More information:
Call 452-2074

Saturday, January 22, 2 – 4 p.m.
Sir William Stephenson Public Library

The whole family is invited, and fun is a guarantee. Families travel between multiple stations,
taking part in exciting games and creative activities that promote the playful use of reading, writing, and language skills. Each family receives a “passport” that is stamped after each station is visited and the activity is completed.
Children learn best when they’re having fun, so bring along the whole gang!

Remember, Family Literacy Fun Day is:
• Free, open to all!
• Drop-in (no registration required)!


Westwood Library
Thursday, January 27, 6:30 – 8:30 p.m.

West Kildonan Library
Friday, January 28, 2 – 4 p.m.

Transcona Library
Saturday, January 29, 2 – 4 p.m.

Pembina Trail Library
Saturday, January 29, 2 – 4 p.m.

Millennium Library
Saturday, January 29, 2 – 4 p.m.


January 28-30

Friday 5 pm – 12 midnight
Grill open for supper, Penny BINGO, Child Find ID Clinic, Fireworks at 8:30 pm

Saturday 8:30 am – 1 am
Pancake Breakfast, Refreshment Gardens, Candy Scramble, Kid’s Carnival Activities

Sunday 8:30 am – 3 pm
Pancake Breakfast, Grill open for lunch, Pleasure Skating & Toboggan Slide.

Wrap-Up: A Fun, if Frosty, Return

Kudos to the brave souls who came out in the cold this morning for our first session of 2011! I’m sure I’m not the only one who was happy to be back for coffee, snacks, and talking with fellow moms.

After our introductions and announcements, Sandy led a devotional in which we reflected on the joys and pains of 2010, and then looked forwards at our hopes and worries for 2011. It was a neat way to re-frame the idea of “New Year’s Resolutions,” which a lot of people find pointless since they seem destined to fail. She talked about how the idea of starting from scratch each year is problematic because we always bring our baggage from previous years along with us. By looking back at the positives and negatives from last year, we can be more mindful when considering where the future will take us. And by confronting our worries about the coming year, we can be more honest when it comes to our goals and devise ways of confronting those worries.

We finished in small groups, sharing our joys, pains, hopes, and worries with each other. What did you think of going back over 2010 and framing 2011 this way? For those of you who couldn’t make it out this week, feel free to add your thoughts in the comments.

– Annemarie

Sneak Peek at Winter 2011!

MOMs doesn’t start again until Thursday, but if you’re the type that just had to peel away one corner of the wrapping paper on Christmas Eve, you can check out a sneak peek at all our upcoming sessions by clicking on ‘Winter Schedule’ at the top of this page.

We have some GREAT stuff planned and you’ll get a chance to meet a bunch of fabulous local women – a personal trainer, a yoga instructor, an artist, and the owner-operator of a cupcake shop – who are sure to leave you inspired.

Which session(s) are you most excited about??

– Lindsay

New Year, New Session

Mark your calendars… Our MOMs Winter Session starts on Thursday, January 20.

We have some fabulous speakers and activities coming up, and we’ll be covering everything from cupcakes to wills and estate planning to how you can deal with those last 10 pounds. (We had you at ‘cupcakes,’ didn’t we?)

Can’t wait to see you all soon!

– Lindsay