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.