How I’m Exercising During this Pregnancy

The fitness aspect of this blog has really been lacking lately, and I miss it!  I miss writing about half marathon training, strength training, all things running, and lessons I learn from yoga that help with my running.  I just kind of miss running right now!

But it’s all fine and good – I obviously wouldn’t trade anything about this pregnancy for a single run – I’m just looking forward to challenging myself in that aspect of fitness in the future.

pregnancy workout

Today I thought I’d share what I am doing for workouts during this pregnancy.

I’m clearly not running – not that I think running during pregnancy is bad, it’s just that I don’t think it’s right for me.  My body (cycle, hormones, etc.) was sensitive to it before getting pregnant, so I’m not willing to risk anything by running now.

I’m also not trying any workouts that are brand new to me.  I fear doing anything that could throw me off balance or challenge me so much that I push too hard (I tend to be really competitive with myself).

That’s the thing about fitness during pregnancy though…every single woman is different, so she needs to listen to her body and choose whatever is right for her and her baby.

I’m doing something active each day, and I try to pay attention to how I’m feeling that day to guide what workout I choose.  I’m also more aware of how I feel during workouts – no more trying to zone out during cardio, I try to pay close attention to how my body is responding.

Here are the workouts I’m currently doing during this pregnancy:

  • Walking – lots of walking.  This is my go-to.  I enjoy it, I can really get moving and work up a bit of a sweat if I want, and I know that it’s just really beneficial for my body and this growing baby.
  • Strength Training.  I do 1-2 strength workouts a week, just right in my living room while watching tv or listening to music.  I often do workouts like this one….squats, lunges, push-ups (on my knees because that’s just how I roll these days), bicep curls, tricep kickbacks, (short-lived) side planks, etc.
  • Yoga.  I’ve been to a couple prenatal yoga classes at our gym, and I often do some yoga at home.  I don’t do anything fancy or even do it for very long, but I’ve found that I get really tight really quickly lately, particularly in my hip flexors, so I do some sort of stretching every day.
  • Cardio on the Stationary Bike and the Elliptical.  These are in our apartment’s fitness room, so I sometimes hop on these machines for a day’s workout.  I don’t go nearly as intensely as I did pre-pregnancy, but they always make me sweat a bit and they’re a nice change-up from walking.

The thing with pregnancy though is that things are (literally) changing every day, so I’m trying to be sensitive to those changes and just go with the flow in terms of adjusting my routines.  So far, so good.

*****

If you’ve ever been pregnant, what did you do for movement during that time?

If you’ve never been pregnant and are curious, what questions do you have about working out when pregnant? 

I’m no fitness expert but I can answer about my own my experiences so far.

Link Love #5

I have a lot of links piled up in my “to share” bookmark.  I need to be better about doing these posts more often!

Link Love - www.itsprogression.com

Hopefully you can find at least one link below that’s interesting to you today:

–> Preventing Cold and Flu, Naturally  (Dr. Pragati Gusmano)

–> Need an Energy Boost?  Try These Tips  (Jennifer Williams)

–> Your Acne Isn’t Your Fault (Brianne Grebil)
really interesting perspective on it

–> 10 Things Not to Say to a Pregnant Woman (The Lunchbox Diaries)
funny read

–> 6 Brain-Boosting Foods that should be in Every Kitchen (Lisa Wimberger)

–> Why Food and Exercise Shouldn’t Touch  (Lindsay’s List)
a.men.

–> This Guy used his Olive Garden Pasta Pass for a Good Cause (TakePart)

–> To the Trader Joe’s Employee who Noticed my Family in the Parking Lot (The Mighty)
a great reminder that our actions really do impact others.

–> 5 Strength-Training Myths Everyone Needs to Stop Believing (Grace Hughes)

–> How do you know if a Desire or Dream is really from God?  (Holley Gerth)

*****

an incredible commercial

Jesse and I saw this commercial recently and both of us couldn’t believe how completely spot on it was.  We both responded with “wow…” after intently watching it.

Rewind the Future – Stop the Cycle

thoughts?

*****

workout log: 5/4 – 5/10

Sunday, May 4th
this arms & abs workout (the planks and mountain climbers felt the toughest!)

arms & abs living room workout

and a 30-minute Walk with Zida

Monday, May 5th
10-minute Walk
4-mile Run (34:27)
10-minute Walk

Tuesday, May 6th
12 reps of each exercise, 3 times through the set, no rests – LOVED this workout!

beach booty workout

{source}

followed by a 35-minute Walk with Zida-girl

Wednesday, May 7th
45-minute Walk in the morning
30-minute Walk in the evening

Thursday, May 8th
10-minute Walk
3-mile Run (26:28)
10-minute Walk
planks

Friday, May 9th
rest day

Saturday, May 10th
Hit & Run 5k!!

hit & run 5k group scott spencer jesse danica.jpg

it was a ton of fun – I’ll share a bit more about it after the weekend!

workout log: 3/30 – 4/5

This week was pretty good as far as workouts go.  There was a good mix and I did what I could with my schedule.  Even on the days I didn’t have a dedicated workout, I was busy and moving, and that’s really what matters!

Sunday, March 30th
a run/walk with Jesse – we covered about 2 miles running and 1 mile walking (total of 35 minutes)
plus another 25 minutes of Walking with Zida

Springtime Run (Jesse and Danica)

Monday, March 31st
10-minute Walk
1-mile Run (9:00)
5-minute Walk
1-mile Run (8:35)
30 minutes Elliptical intervals

Tuesday, April 1st
this workout, 3 times through:

arms & abs living room workout

Wednesday, April 2nd
rest day, but I don’t know that I sat down for more than 30 minutes between 7am and 9pm – busy day!

Thursday, April 3rd
10-minute Walk
3-mile Run (26:20)
10-minute Walk

Friday, April 4th
rest day

Saturday, April 5th
an hour long Walk with Zida, Jesse, & J’s brother
this core workout:

Core Burner - itsprogression.com

 

Share Yours: A Workout You'd Love to Try

Remember when I brought this “Share Yours” idea to the blog a (long) while back?  I kind of forgot about it…oops!  Today though, it’s back, and I plan to make it more of a regular/series around here.

I think trying new (to you) forms of physical activity is really important – it helps us find movement that we truly enjoy doing!

I love to do my at-home yoga video, at times I love to run and lift weights, and I always enjoy going for walks.  But there are workouts that I’ve never tried before (and would like to), plus some I just need to incorporate more regularly.

SHARE YOURS! Workouts to try and do more often.jpg

Workouts I would love to try:

–>Crossfit

I laugh at the whole “it’s a cult” comment people make about it (I’ve made it myself before ;) but that comment is probably because nearly everyone that tries it loves it!  And every person I know of that does Crossfit regularly looks so strong – I want that!  If it weren’t so expensive I would’ve been to a box (the name for Crossfit gyms) years ago.

–>Swimming

So I know how to swim, but I haven’t actually made swimming laps a regular part of my exercise regimen before.  It’s a challenging full body workout, and I need to get over the little fear I have and just go for it!

Workouts I would like to incorporate more often:

–>Tennis

I played tennis in my childhood and all through high school – #1 singles, baby!  That sounds better than I was, and about 85% of my high school didn’t even know a tennis team existed, but it was SO much fun.  Jesse and I only played one pitiful time last summer and we’ve promised that’ll be different this year.

–>Dancing

There’s an awesome dance fitness class at our gym called “Hip Hop Groove” that I adore.  My work schedule for this winter/spring hasn’t allowed me to make it to more than one class, but I plan to change that come May.  It’s too fun (and tough) to miss out on.

–>Kickboxing

There was an awesome kickboxing class offered weekly at fitness center at college, which I went to a lot because I loved it.  Since then I really haven’t even checked out the kickboxing class at our gym, so I’d like to make a point of doing that!

*****

Share Yours!

Share Yours: A Workout You’d Love to Try

Remember when I brought this “Share Yours” idea to the blog a (long) while back?  I kind of forgot about it…oops!  Today though, it’s back, and I plan to make it more of a regular/series around here.

I think trying new (to you) forms of physical activity is really important – it helps us find movement that we truly enjoy doing!

I love to do my at-home yoga video, at times I love to run and lift weights, and I always enjoy going for walks.  But there are workouts that I’ve never tried before (and would like to), plus some I just need to incorporate more regularly.

SHARE YOURS! Workouts to try and do more often.jpg

Workouts I would love to try:

–>Crossfit

I laugh at the whole “it’s a cult” comment people make about it (I’ve made it myself before ;) but that comment is probably because nearly everyone that tries it loves it!  And every person I know of that does Crossfit regularly looks so strong – I want that!  If it weren’t so expensive I would’ve been to a box (the name for Crossfit gyms) years ago.

–>Swimming

So I know how to swim, but I haven’t actually made swimming laps a regular part of my exercise regimen before.  It’s a challenging full body workout, and I need to get over the little fear I have and just go for it!

Workouts I would like to incorporate more often:

–>Tennis

I played tennis in my childhood and all through high school – #1 singles, baby!  That sounds better than I was, and about 85% of my high school didn’t even know a tennis team existed, but it was SO much fun.  Jesse and I only played one pitiful time last summer and we’ve promised that’ll be different this year.

–>Dancing

There’s an awesome dance fitness class at our gym called “Hip Hop Groove” that I adore.  My work schedule for this winter/spring hasn’t allowed me to make it to more than one class, but I plan to change that come May.  It’s too fun (and tough) to miss out on.

–>Kickboxing

There was an awesome kickboxing class offered weekly at fitness center at college, which I went to a lot because I loved it.  Since then I really haven’t even checked out the kickboxing class at our gym, so I’d like to make a point of doing that!

*****

Share Yours!

All about Fats – which ones to eat and which ones to avoid

It’s really pretty unfortunate that a description for an overweight person (“fat”) is the same word as a nutrient we need for good health, isn’t it?  I think it causes a lot of confusion for people – it used to for me!

Remember that whole “low-fat/fat-free” phase we went through in the 90s?  I guess it’s still lingering today, but everything from peanut butter to milk got its natural fat replaced with sugar, salt, or something else.  Around the same time as the fat-free craze occurred, our country’s obesity rates skyrocketed.  I don’t think those two are directly tied together, but I do think the low-fat diet push only made things worse.

beware of fat-free and low-fat labels

{source}

Fats have received a long bout of negative press, but as we now know, there really is value in the consumption of healthy fats.  There’s a difference though – not all fats are created equal!

Today I’m discussing these 4 kinds of fat:
trans fats, saturated fats, polyunsaturated fats, and monounsaturated fats.

fried food

{source}

At all costs, stay away from trans fat.   It causes plaque buildup in the arteries, which significantly increases risk of heart disease and stroke.  Many studies also show that trans fat increases risk for depression and certain cancers.

Trans Fat can be found in:

  • fried foods – french fries, chicken nuggets, donuts, fried meats (many things from fast food restaurants) – basically whatever is fried in hydrogenated oils  *many restaurants are catching on to this and are reducing the amount of trans fats in their products, but even a tiny bit (as stated below) wreaks havoc on your health
  • solid fats – stick margarine, vegetable shortenings
  • many commercial baked goods – muffins, cookies, crackers, cakes, pizza dough, pie crusts, ready-made frosting
  • some snack foods – candy, microwaved popcorn bags, some tortilla chips
  • and even some peanut butters

22 Worst Foods for Trans Fat

Be on the lookout for the ingredient “partially hydrogenated oil” and avoid it!  <–the FDA allows the label “trans-fat free” if there’s less than 1g of trans fat per serving in a product, but even half a gram of trans fat can leave your heart with a significantly increased risk of problems.

coconut oil - organic

Saturated fats have health benefits, in moderation.

This isn’t a type of fat you necessarily want to consume in excess (overdoing it increases risk of heart disease), but it’s one to make a regular part of your diet.  Some people do well eating most of these foods listed below daily, some people don’t – meaning that some have an intolerance to dairy or ethical/environmental reasons not to eat animal products – you have to find what is best for you.

Saturated fats include:

  • extra virgin coconut oil
  • palm oil (though there’s controversy surrounding this one, so please do your research before deciding if its best for you – I personally don’t seek it out but don’t worry about eating a bit of it)
  • organic butter
  • organic grass-fed chicken
  • organic eggs
  • organic whole-fat dairy products
  • organic high-fat cuts of meat – beef, lamb, pork

avocado

{source}

Monounsaturated Fats are generally considered heart-healthy and can be consumed daily.

These fats raise good HDL and lower LDL cholesterol levels.  They aid in healthy digestion, weightloss, and weight management.

Monounsatuarated Fats include:

  • olives and extra virgin olive oil
  • avocados
  • sesame seed oil
  • nuts and seeds: walnuts, almonds, Brazil nuts, cashews, pistachios, hazelnuts, sunflower seeds, pecans, pumpkin seeds (pepitas), macadamia nuts, tahini, sesame seeds
  • nut and seed butters, made from any of the nuts/seeds listed above (be sure to read the ingredients – the list should only include the nut or seed and maybe salt)
  • fish, particularly halibut, sablefish, and mackerel

Chia Seeds

{source}

Polyunsaturated Fats are similar to monounsaturated fats in that they’re considered heart-healthy and regular consumption is encouraged.  Polyunsaturated Fats contain healthy omega fats.

These fats raise good HDL and lower LDL cholesterol, plus are considered anti-inflammatory (due to the omega fats) which are associated with lower risk of many diseases/illnesses and prevention of early death.

Polyunsatuarated Fats include:

  • flaxseeds and flaxseed oil
  • chia seeds
  • walnuts
  • hemp seeds
  • sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, and sesame seeds
  • some leafy green vegetables
  • fish, particularly salmon, trout, tuna, mackeral, herring, sardines, tilapia

When someone refers to “healthy fats,” they’re talking about these last three groups – polyunsaturated, monounsaturated, and saturated.

While healthy fats vital for a healthy life, remember that, like anything, too much of a good thing can become a bad thing.  It’s often recommended that 20-35% of an adult’s daily diet is healthy fats.  Use your common sense and eat the amount your body thrives off of!

All About Fats - which ones to eat & which ones to avoid.jpg

Healthy Fats are essential for:

  • vitamin absorption

  • immune system function

  • proper nerve activity

  • the healthy regeneration and growth of cells

  • optimal brain function

  • healthy weight management

Healthy Fats:

  • reduct inflammation (relieve joint pain and reduce symptoms of arthritis, lupus, etc.)

  • stimulate metabolism

  • lower risk of cancers, especially breast and prostate cancer

  • help protect against mental illnesses, such as Alzheimer’s and depression

  • aid in natural fertility

  • boost your mood

  • provide satiation

  • produce natural energy

And there you have it!  If you stuck it out to the end, bravo, friend!  That was a lot of information.  But I hope this helps clear up any confusion about fats, and encourages you to make healthy fats a priority in your diet!

*****

What are your favorite healthy fats?

What advice do you have for someone who wants to include more healthy fats into their diet?

workout log: 2/16 – 2/22

Sunday, February 16th

morning:
upper body strength training workout
evening:
25-minute Walk
3-mile Run (26:30)
20-minute Walk
about 10 minutes of Core work

Monday, February 17th
Jillian Michaels’ Yoga Meltdown Video (level 1) 35 minutes

Tuesday, February 18th
10-minute warm-up Walk
3-mile Run (25:32)
10-minute cool-down Walk

Wednesday, February 19th
this upper body workout:

Upper Body & Core Strength Circuit Workout

followed by a 20-minute Walk with Zida outside

Thursday, February 20th
15-minute Walk
4-mile Run (32:55 … miles 2 and 3 were sprint/jog intervals)
15-minute Walk

Friday, February 21st
this lower body workout:

my go-to Lower Body Workout - itsprogression.com

Saturday, February 22nd
rest day

How a Gluten-free Diet is going for Me so far.

In my last vlog update, I shared that I was experimenting with a gluten-free diet.

I was really hesitant to do this trial, mainly because I get frustrated by people who go on a gluten-free diet just because it’s “trendy,” plus I just love bread a whole lot.

After having no real results from other major dietary changes I made, I decided to give this trial at least 30 days to see how I felt.

My goal was to see if gluten was triggering my breakouts and/or negatively affecting my menstrual cycle.

salad topped with veggie burgers

I’ve now done about 40 days of gluten-free eating.

Here are my thoughts on it so far:

  • it’s been a lot easier than I’d anticipated.
  • I feel really good!  Plenty of energy, and my diet easily contains more fruits and veggies since that place of wheat/bread is out.
  • the only time it was hard or frustrating was when I went out to eat (some restaurants are certainly better than others when it comes to providing gluten-free options) and when we stayed at someone else’s house.  I didn’t want to be *that person* who has to be really picky about what they eat, but I also couldn’t just give in if I wanted this trial to really be effective.
  • I got a very small taste (no pun intended) of what it’s like for a person with Celiac’s (or a major gluten-intolerance or sensitivity).
  • There’s been no improvement in my complexion.  womp womp :(
  • It may be helping my body regain a menstrual cycle – I got my period about 17 days into the trial, after an absence of 8 months – but it’s very possible that was coincidental.
  • Because being gluten-free may be aiding in my hormonal regulation/menstrual cycle, I’m going to stay on it until I’ve hit at least 60 days.  Once I get to that mark, I plan to reintroduce it (slowly) and see how my body reacts.

I will say too that when (if) I do go back to including some gluten-containing products in my diet, I know I won’t eat them nearly as much as I did.  The more I learn about gluten (in terms of the foods that contain it)  and the quality of those products, the more I feel it’s better to not eat too much of it.  I just keep learning as I go!

*****

 What do you think about gluten?  Healthful, unhealthful, or indifferent?

Do you eat a gluten-free diet?  Is it because of an intolerance or another reason?