How To Safely Return To Exercise After Pregnancy

How To Safely Return To Exercise After Pregnancy

Most mums will already be planning on how to shed the baby weight even before the baby has arrived which in turn can lead to unsafe exercise and extreme ways of showing the world that you can ‘bounce back’ quickly.

Nope. Nope times two. Wrong.

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Okay, sit down, we need to chat. You just grew a human so give yourself a huge pat on the back and be proud of what you have achieved. Don’t be so hard on yourself after your body has done so much for you!

Now, to the fitness side. Although we are all different and pregnancy is a completely unique experience to each and every woman – there’s a way to get back into the world of fitness and do it safely. Listen up!

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Okay, you’ve had your baby and it’s all joyous and overwhelming! Firstly, enjoy this. In the most cliché way possible – it genuinely doesn’t last forever. Take it in that newborn smell, feel the love and have all the cuddles – all while doing pelvic floor exercises.

Yes, this is the first exercise you can do to start getting your body back to your version of normal and feeling more human. Not long after, ease in slowly with short walks (even if they are around the lounge room!) and concentrate on nourishing your body with good food.

Before you know it, your six-week check-up comes along and you’ve been cleared for exercise. Please, please and I’ll say it again, please don’t instantly take this as an indication to run a marathon the next week or lift the heaviest weights you can find.

It’s still all a process. You have to remember that growing a human usually takes nine months with extreme changes to your body so you have it give it time.

Don’t decide to exercise just to get your body back. Do it for ‘you time’, for your mental health, to relieve stress or to help boost your energy levels. Having a newborn is very hard work – slow and steady wins the race!

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It’s so important to not overdo it. Even if you’re feeling great after having your little bub, allow your body to heal and recover. Pregnancy hormones can affect your joints and ligaments for up to six months after birth which leads to a higher risk of injury.
You also may have back pain, issues with your bladder (pelvic floor exercises as stated above ladiessssss!) and even separated abdominal muscles.

Start off with low impact exercise, walking, swimming, yoga/pilates which will all help to strengthen up elements of your body that may have become weaker.

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The most important tip of all is to find someone that knows what your fitness routine should be based on for your individual circumstances. There are so many gyms, PTs and fitness groups that don’t understand how much your exercises need to be changed in order to accommodate your changing body.

That’s why I highly recommend Emma and her team at Step Into Life Mornington, who understand these changes and can help you make a customised plan on what you should be doing and how to do it the safest way possible. You can also bring your gorgeous little babe down to the park when you train which not only allows you the freedom to start your fitness journey after birth but so many cuddles for us! Haha.

Get in contact with Emma today to find out more or trial 3 FREE classes.

It’s so vital for our mothers to nurture themselves back to health in a positive and loving way, honouring where they’re at. So, if you know anyone who could benefit from this information, please share it.

Heartfelt thanks, Julie xx

PS. Same applies to those recovering from injuries or returning to exercise after a break.

 

4 Things that can block weight loss

4 Things that can block weight loss

I see, hear, feel and totally get the frustration and challenges that go along with trying to arrive at your ideal weight. On the surface, eating a balanced diet and exercising sounds so simple, yet it’s not always that easy to arrive at your destination.

This is because being overweight is not about gluttony or laziness, but rather a complex interplay between your biology, environment and behavioural patterns.[1]

Lisa was one of those stories.

She’d struggled for over 15 years to shift the extra kilos that kept stacking on around her waist, hips, arms and bum.

Lisa had starved herself until she couldn’t do it anymore then flipped to bingeing. She’s tried turning up the exercise dial but it was hard to budge and get momentum.

Dejected she spiraled into the I give up and who cares until she was now a borderline diabetic with close to 25kg to lose.

That’s when she saw me.

We negotiated a plan that suited Lisa, found what was sabotaging her success, then worked consistently testing, measuring and refining until we found what really worked for Lisa.

Four months later and Lisa’s a different person, both in body and mind.

She is now 70kg, exercises daily and loves it. Has 100% more self-confidence, is more active, feels freer and more engaged with her family and life. It has been 7 years now and still maintaining her 70kg target weight.

Do you want to find your path to weight loss success, just like Lisa?

 

Let’s explore 4 factors that can prevent you from making your weight loss goals real.

 

#1 Your metabolic set-point

Unknown to many, is your weight is under unconscious control; just like blood pressure, blood sugar regulation, pH and body temperature. Your body weight remains quite stable (unhealthy weight or a healthy weight) due to your metabolic ‘set-point’.

That is, your body will adjust your energy expenditure and appetite to restore fat mass back to its set-point;[2,3] despite your best efforts.

But don’t lose hope there’s ways to reset this set point so you can lose and maintain your weight long term. Pivotal to this are small changes done consistently but it’s slightly different for everyone. Hence no one size fits all generalised how to. Click here to book in to create a plan to change your metabolic set point.

 

#2 Stress

Stress is a big barrier to weight loss, especially chronic stress. Under stress, your body releases cortisol that redirects glucose to your muscles, but causes your blood glucose levels to fall. This can trigger cravings for calorie rich foods that lead to weight gain and hinder weight loss. Emotional eating is also closely associated with stress. During periods of stress and emotional turmoil, you’ll tend to feel hungrier, with a preference for ‘hyper-palatable’ foods (high in fat, sugar, flavours and food additives), and you guessed it, weight gain.[4] This is where help and guidance from a naturopath can help you build mental and emotional resilience, which may just one of your answers to losing those extra kilos.

 

#3 Sleep

Poor sleep quality and/or quantity can stifle your weight loss by reducing your metabolic rate, increasing cravings and turn down appetite regulation. Research has found poor sleep to be associated with an increase in weight, waist and waist-to-hip ratio; and can also drive up your metabolic set-point. [5] Poor sleep also affects your energy balance, affecting what you eat, how much you eat, as well as your willpower and motivation to exercise. If a good night’s sleep is something you dream of, talk to me and I’ll help you restore healthy sleep patterns.

 

#4 Inflammation

Often missed, inflammation can be a silent barrier to weight loss.  Inflammation can increase blood glucose levels that triggers weight gain, whilst excess stored fat produces inflammation in your body. Reducing your body fat can lower levels of inflammation significantly. However, the toxins stored in your fat cells are liberated during weight loss and dial up inflammation, once again impeding your weight loss. That’s where as a naturopath I can help you dial down your inflammation through clearing these excess toxins with a tailored clinical detoxification program to get you back on track again. Click here to book in for your tailored Detox program.

 

Don’t do it alone

Losing weight is not always easy and everyone will face their own challenges at some point. Seeking the help of a naturopath who specialises in weight loss can make sure you’re channeling your energy in the right direction and provides solutions when you hit a plateau or fall off the wagon. Click here to book in to get a helping hand on your weight loss journey today.

Big hugs Julie X

 

Adapted with permission from Metagenics Australia

[1] Bray GA, Heisel WE, Afshin A, Jensen MD, Dietz WH, Long M, et al. The science of obesity management: an Endocrine Society Scientific Statement. Endocr Rev. 2018 Apr 1;39(2):79-132. doi: 10.1210/er.2017-00253.

[2] Schwartz MW, Seeley RJ, Zeltser LM, Drewnowski A, Ravussin E, Redman LM, et al. Obesity pathogenesis: an endocrine society scientific statement. Endocr Rev. 2017 Aug 1;38(4):267-296. doi: 10.1210/er.2017-00111.

[3] Speakman JR, Levitsky DA, Allison DB, Bray MS, de Castro JM, Clegg DJ, et al. Set-points, settling points and some alternative models: theoretical options to understand how genes and environments combine to regulate body adiposity. Dis Model Mech. 2011 Nov;4(6):733-45. doi: 10.1242/dmm.008698.

[4] Raman J, Smith E, Hay P. The clinical obesity maintenance model: an integration of psychological constructs including mood, emotional regulation, disordered overeating, habitual cluster behaviours, health literacy and cognitive function. J Obes. 2013;2013:240128. doi:10.1155/2013/240128.

[5] Taheri S, Lin L, Austin D, Young T, Mignot E. Short sleep duration is associated with reduced leptin, elevated ghrelin, and increased body mass index. PLoS Med. 2004 Dec;1(3):e62. doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.0010062.

 

Over 40 & feeling frumpy? Try these 3 quick things to get an instant pick-me-up.

Over 40 & feeling frumpy? Try these 3 quick things to get an instant pick-me-up.

In my experience far too many women are over 40 & feeling frumpy and they’ve thrown in the proverbial towel on losing weight and getting their mojo back as the hormonal chaos of menopause approaches.

Amanda pulled herself up the stairs to my office huffing and puffing as she went. She’d tipped the 100kg mark on the scales as her 46th birthday approached and was filled with shame. “How did I get here?” she said, “it’s the heaviest I’ve ever been”. I’ve tried eating healthier like I’ve done before but nothing’s happening . My body’s not dropping anything and I’m getting scared, I can’t stay here. I look like my mum and I swore I’d never do that to myself. Things have got to change. I need your help Julie, I can’t do this alone. I’ve had a few hot surges, especially at night and my period’s all over the place and heavy.

I’m here to say not on my watch ladies! It’s all so fixable.

Here are 3 quick things to give you an instant pick me up and lose the feeling frumpy.

 

Hack #1 Real wholesome colourful foods.

It’s super simple ladies mainly plant based foods with a small amount of protein (beans, tofu, fish, chicken, lamb, beef, eggs…) and leave out all the fillers, numbers, artificial things, sugar and excess salt.

Stop listening to the hype and noise in the media that’s confusing the hell out of everyone. In real terms it’s a palm size piece of meat and three handfuls of a colourful array of vegetables, steamed or raw. Now, repeat often.

Remember the learning is in the doing. Start simple and improve over time. Model to your children to pass down great habits.

Real energy will soar with consistency, so no need for endless coffees, teas – one per day should be plenty.

Blood sugar levels will plummet and so will your waist line, fluid retention and feeling frumpy.

 

Hack #2 Move daily

This is Be Fit Foods co-founder Kate Save’s hot tip.

“Get out of bed and move every day and you’ll feel better and have more energy. Your energy is locked in your cells and moving releases that energy and sets you up for a better day with better decision making.” I’d have to agree 110% with this one.

Schedule a minimum of 20 minutes a day to oxygenate your cells and clear out the waste. Walk, jog, cycle, swim, kayak, pilates, yoga, weights, dance….the possibilities are endless.

Set yourself up for a great day, don’t just hope for one.

It’s hard to be feeling frumpy when you’re bouncing with energy and kissing goodbye to the kilos.

 

Hack #3 Technology detox

Schedule in tech free time each day. To make sure you’re using technology it’s not using you. It wears you out all the swiping, liking and over comparing. Get in and get out.

I’m a big advocate for putting on an alarm one hour before bed (ideally 9pm), heralding fill myself up time – having a bath, reading a book, meditating, stretching, journaling or watching the stars.

Practice the art of being present – warm water caressing your body, cold air dancing on your face. It benefits you and everybody around you. You’ll have a great night sleep and dial down your stress barometer, which blocks weight loss, messes with your mood and gets you feeling frumpy.

Did you know being present hones your listening and empathy skills, vital for building and maintaining trust in relationships? And we all know better relationships equal a better life.

 

Do I hear you say, god that’s so simple. Is that all you have to do? Yes it is, the hard thing is being consistent. But the results are enormous and they’re long lasting because you’ve changed what you do everyday. Change your patterns, change your life.

Hope that’s got you started on your journey from feeling frumpy to fabulous! It’s never too late.

Click here to book online if you need help with losing your feeling frumpy dilemma. 

Looking after Yourself Before Sh*t Hits the Fan

Looking after Yourself Before Sh*t Hits the Fan

Looking after Yourself Before the Sh*t Hits the Fan. Protect Your Greatest Asset.

Going through, been through or even heading towards a tough time in your life? You know it’s guaranteed. Your greatest asset will always be YOURSELF. Yes, we often miss this one. Looking after Yourself is key!

When the word asset comes to mind, material possessions parade like a slideshow in your head, rarely do you think or treat yourself in this way.

I always say, “your body is the only thing you arrive in and leave with and when it wears out so do you. So, treat it like the gift it is.”

There is no time for disrespecting your greatest asset.

When you’re on track, you’re in a great state so you make great decisions. You’re balanced, centred, full of energy, optimistic, strong and courageous. Sure, there’ll be times of holy sh*t what will I do now, but you’ll be better equipped to deal with them.

How have you been treating your greatest asset lately?

Have you been feeding it crappy fuel and bunny hopping down the road, getting frustrated by it’s bad performance? Think of this next time you put something in your mouth.

For many, including mwah a health crisis can be a turning point in your life. I know mine was.

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