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Pregnancy Fitness Benefits

posted by Fitness Focus Trainers    |   February 23, 2019 01:07

Pregnancy Fitness Benefits

There is so much information out on the internet these days and a lot of it is dated when it comes to pregnancy health & fitness. I am a personal trainer, instructor & certified in nutrition studies- as well as a mom & currently pregnant with my second child. The following is going to hopefully help you make informed decisions when it comes to your specific pregnancy health & fitness journey. ***The following is not intended to be taken as a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek advice from a physician before starting any kind of nutrition or exercise program.

WHY EXERCISE DURING PREGNANCY?

  1. A healthy baby is top priority, your health is just as importantBUT 
  2. Your mental state is effected positively through exercise (and your partner will thank you)
  3. Your aches and pain can actually find some relief through exercise
  4. Pregnancy is exhausting for most of us, exercise helps with fatigue and sleep
  5. Birthing a baby takes muscle, core strength and endurance
  6. Fat gain during pregnancy can be limited and fat loss after baby will be easier

1. YOUR HEALTH

When that beautiful child comes into this world, it is going to be your responsibility to care for it 24/7; from feeding to changing and rocking to feeding… to feeding… to feeding… to feeding… you get the point. Those of you with children already know what I mean. Your health is going to need to keep up with the lack of sleep and lack of minutes you have for your own physical and nutritional state. When you take the time to exercise during your pregnancy, it gives your body the strength and endurance to keep up with your growing baby. Through all the holding, cleaning, cooking and running around you will do. I am a much better mom when I am in a good mood, have energy for life and joy to my step. My first son was very colicky, had a ton of trouble drinking my breast milk and would not breastfeed well outside the house without a fit. For a good 4-6 hours he would scream inconsolably and my partner and I would take turns holding and rocking him, giving him drops for his stomach and doing everything we could to keep him comfortable. The time I took for myself to exercise and take care of me was so coveted and gave me the drive some days to keep going.

2. MENTAL BOOST

Mood swings are not uncommon among pregnant women. Exercising on a daily basis is going to help you wade through the emotions that come and go, up and down. Endorphins are chemicals that are released in the body when we exercise which makes us FEEL GOOD; they also interact with the receptors in our brain that reduce our perception of pain. During my periods before pregnancy I felt like a storm of emotions, bulldozing it’s way through the week. The world felt like it was ending, my insecurities made their way to the surface and all I wanted to do was hide away and eat a bucket of chocolate fudge crackle ice cream. The day I took on exercise was the day all of those things faded from 100% to 20%. My week turned into maybe two bad days, and I was able to realize the feelings for what they were (a hormonal tornado) instead of reality. This bled into my first pregnancy, which naturally was full of so many hormonal ups and downs. I was full of insecurity and had a hard time dealing with the dump of hormones that would come. Taking a look back I wish I would have had this knowledge going in. After my first pregnancy I threw myself into exercise, maybe a little too vigorously, but it sure helped with my mental state throughout the hormonal changes after baby. This time around I have been able to keep a level head during those changes (alongside proper nutrition, but that I will hold for another time). There are many studies that show exercise helps with not just your hormones and emotions, but in the end managing depression and postnatal depression. http://time.com/4966319/exercise-depression-study/ & https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/08/29/exercise-can-help-new-mothers-manage-postnatal-depression-study/

3. PHYSICAL BOOST

Pregnancy aches and pains are among my least favorite parts of pregnancy. My first pregnancy I didn’t move very much. I worked a desk job and was in the midst of moving into a new home. The puffy water weight was extreme, the weight gain was around 50lbs and my laboring was long. This time around I have kept up my exercise routine, my puffiness is low, but the relaxin hormone released has made my hips very loose and achy. Rolling over in bed, walking, back pain and exercising has all been effected by the pain. However I have found strengthening the muscles around the hips and stretching them out properly has given me so much relief! A lot of pregnancy aches and pain can be attributed to tight or inactive muscles pulling joints out of place. In the end exercising does not aggravate the pain, in fact it helps relieve it! Fancy that. Pair that up with a good chiropractor and massage therapist, and I have been able to continue working out even into this third trimester.

4. EXHAUSTION & EXERCISE

Ahh yes, I’m tired. The biggest issue some face for the lack of motivation to get moving. I’m not going to go on and on here, in the end moving and lifting weight is going to give your body a great sleep. It sounds simple, but it brings muscle fatigue and relieves stress. I wouldn’t recommend exercising within a couple hours before bedtime however, because of the energizing effects it has on your mind. Other factors that can effect your sleep include: nutrition, anemia and apnea; so if you think there is something else going on, I would have a chat with your doctor. If that has given you no answers, then a good nutritionist or registered deitician should be able to help you out. https://www.sleep.org/articles/exercise-affects-sleep/

5. PREGNANCY STRENGTH

When it comes time to push out that baby you are going to want everything working in your favor. Strengthening your body and core is a no brainer, it will only help when it comes time to bring that child into this world. There are so many safe ways to strengthen your body and core that I will talk about at another time.

6. WEIGHT DURING AND AFTER PREGNANCY

First of all I just want you to hear that you have lots of time, time to get back into shape, time to be healthy, time to enjoy the process. Don’t worry about getting your “body back” in record time. Taking the time to exercise and watch your eating during pregnancy will help you gain less fat and help you lose fat when you’re done. Make it easy on yourself for later. Those around you still love you regardless of your weight and if they don’t it might be time to let them go. Take things one step at a time. I’ll post a really good process on how to lose weight properly after baby in another blog. Eat good food, fuel your breastfeeding if that’s what you choose to do, and start tracking what you eat- a lot of this is being mindful of what you’re putting in your body. Lastly find something you enjoy: join a group fitness class, pick up a $20 bike off kijiji, join a dance class, invest in a great stroller for walking or join an outdoors mom & baby walk. Start there, one change at a time, it doesn’t have to happen all at once.

CONCLUSION

Pregnancy is a time to take care of your body and the baby inside.

To read more blogs like this visit https://femaletrainer467632502.wordpress.com/2019/02/21/pregnancy-fitness/.

The Power of the Deadlift

posted by Fitness Focus    |   February 6, 2019 23:34

Deadlifts have become one of the most popular exercises in the weight room.  You've probably noticed more and more people spending a significant amount of time training with Olympic weights in recent years bu more specifically doing deadlifts, and there's a good reason for this.  For such a primitive and simplistic exercise, it carries numerous benefits which can help nearly anybody, no matter what their training goals.

The simplicity of a deadlift is perfectly described in the exercises' name; it's literally the action of lifting dead-weight up off of the floor, usually with a long bar and weights on either side.  Traditionally, you would have seen deadlifts done in one form of competition or another; maybe in a strongman contest or Crossfit type of setting where the goal is to lift as much weight as possible at one time.

But, deadlifts don't always need to always consist of lifting one's maximum amount of weight.  In fact, that can be the most detrimental mistake when performing the exercise. The term quality over quantity is the best rule of thumb in the case of both an average person in the gym or anyone training with a specific purpose; focus on a quality form and technique versus the quantity of weight lifted.

 

While lifting a dead weight off of the floor seems like a simple task, performing a deadlift with proper technique is another story and is essential for 2 reasons. First of all, no matter the amount of weight you're trying to lift, if you're doing it with improper form you will, at some point, injure yourself.  Second, there are numerous benefits to performing a deadlift correctly so you want to make sure it's being done efficiently and effectively.

A Fitness Focus Trainer would definitely the best recommendation to learn how to deadlift for efficiency and effectiveness; but let's dig more into why you should incorporate deadlifting into your workout and what benefits you can expect to see.


Posture

Some general aches and pains we deal with in our normal day to day life can be related directly to our posture.  Tight chest muscles and ribs, lower back soreness; even stiffness in the knees all tie directly to our posture while we're walking, standing or even sitting.  Adding proper deadlifts consistently into your routine can activate and develop and strengthen the muscles around these areas and helps improve posture, ultimately alleviating these common aches and pains.

Reducing the possibility of Injuries

Legs and back have the most and largest muscles out of every body part.  They are also the body parts which are used the most for a majority of your day to day functions such as going up and down stairs carrying objects and balancing.  Weaker muscles in your legs and back means there's a higher likelihood of an injury accompanied by a longer recovery process.    Developing and conditioning the muscles in and around your legs and back are your best bet for avoiding injuries in the first place.

 

Use More Muscle Groups

Deadlifts use more muscles than any other exercise. Core muscles including abs, obliques and lower back are engaged through the entire exercise.  Grip strength improves through the use of hand and forearms.  Upper back and trapezius muscles which tie into the neck. So, if you were only allowed to use one exercise for the rest of your life, your best choice is a deadlift; it incorporates all the major muscles groups which mean less need to target many of the secondary muscles.

If you're convinced about the power of the deadlift, and you want to learn how or to improve your technique on this or any other exercise in and out of the gym contact a trainer trainer today.

The Most Adorable Yoga

posted by Fitness Focus    |   January 21, 2019 22:30

This February we're beyond excited to present to Saskatoon, Puppy Yoga!  This is our first ever time offering this event which we've aptly called Mutts & Mats: Yoga for a New Hope. What could be more enjoyable than a relaxing Yoga class, surrounded by adorable 3-month old puppies? While this class is currently sold out, the initial response has been so overwhelming, we plan to provide this class again in the very near future.

If you've ever been to our gym you've likely met our Gym Dog named Dak.  Having Dak around, and the reception he's gotten from all of our member, we've realized what an admiration you all have for dogs.  We've also realized just how many of you out there all have a furry family member of your own. We figured it was only fitting to combine something as lovable as dogs with something so many of you are so passionate about as Yoga.  And hey, if yoga can be made more popular with the addition of cats or goats, then puppy yoga might just be the best thing ever invented.

Our friends at New Hope Dog Rescue in Saskatoon will be bringing their newest litter of German Shepherd cross puppies to explore and play around the Fitness Focus yoga studio while all the participants find their zen. All proceeds raised by Mutts & Mats will be going to New Hope Dog Rescue, which provides financial aid for emergency surgeries, housing, food and other expenses associated with the process of finding dogs a forever home.

Saskatoon Puppy Yoga Be sure to watch for upcoming announcements for the next available Puppy Yoga Session.

2019 New Years

posted by Fitness Focus    |   January 3, 2019 20:00

 

Hey Saskatoon, have you already lost your New Years ambition to get to the gym?  It's really easy to get excited about starting that training program when you're just starting a new gym membership, or rejuvenating the one you have been ignoring since the summer.  Here are a few tips that can help you keep on track, permanently:

1.   Have a plan!  If you can plan ahead, your ability to stay the course will be that much better and you'll be able to avoid external stresses and time constraints.

2.   Be disciplined! Make sure you do everything from eating, planning, training and resting with consistency. Once you find your groove, anything that deviates from the routine will be your motivation to get back on track.

3.   Stay positive!  All the negative influences over a few days seem to accumulate and cause your drive to workout to completely crumble.  Leave it all behind you. Dwelling on the negative things in life, even on the way to the gym, will make you feel like turning around and going straight home. After that, you'll wind up feeling guilty that you missed your workout, and the negativity continues.

4.   Define your goal!  To simply go to the gym is not a goal. Too often you might find yourself going through the motions and not facing the challenge each day.  Choose where you want to be and what you want to achieve. Otherwise you'll never realize that you've succeeded

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