Picking Back Up with Prenatal Yoga

I did prenatal yoga every week with my first child. I loved it and there was as a studio not too far from my house with a St Vincent employee discount. It was a great set up and I was so thankful for an amazing teacher. It was such a wonderful experience. I really loved that commitment that I made to myself and William at the time. I wanted to continue that with my second pregnancy. It is different when it comes to finding time and money to do that activity with baby #2. Life is so crazy busy and with a toddler, I have had to make arrangements for William in the evenings so that I could attend a yoga class. That is one of the main reasons that I think make it so hard for moms with multiple children to be able to continue their prenatal yoga practice.

I have now reached my third trimester and I am at 35 weeks and we are about 5 weeks away from meeting Baby Busenburg #2. These last few weeks are definitely the most uncomfortable and I have been working to re-prioritize my yoga practice. It is worth it to have that 75 minutes a week to stretch, realign and re-center myself. I went to my first class back in awhile last week and it was amazing. I felt so much better after the class. I am so thankful for a husband who is willing to help me with William so that I can take that time and go to the yoga studio. I did my initial Prenatal Yoga post back in 2016, the last time I was pregnant. If you want to check it out - CLICK HERE and you can read through some great reasons for our prenatal yoga can prepare you for labor and delivery.

Even if you haven’t practiced yoga before and you are now pregnant, enrolling in a yoga class can be super helpful. There are so many benefits that prenatal yoga provides throughout each trimester of pregnancy.

First Trimester (for some more information - CLICK HERE)

  • It can be tough at times to want to get up and do anything. When you first find out you are pregnant often there is a lot of nausea, vomiting and just overall exhaustion.

  • If you are feeling poorly a nice, smooth motion can sometimes help you calm down and feel better. Doing something like prenatal yoga is a great way to help take your focus on your “bad feelings” and instead focus on your practice.

  • If you are exhausted feel free to take breaks and even modify positions as they feel good.

Second Trimester

  • This trimester is great because you start to feel better and tend to have more energy. This is the perfect time to work on some strength training during your yoga practice. Plus, at this time your belly isn’t that big yet so it is not uncomfortable to be in certain positions.

  • Some strength training exercises can involve squats to help your legs and pelvic floor. Doing stretching is also helpful to manage any hip pain and increase in the hormone release of relaxin. This strength training is helpful for labor.

Third Trimester

  • As you reach this trimester, mommy and baby are growing and this shifts your center of gravity. That can make things more uncomfortable.

  • Focusing on meditation and pain management is helpful when it comes to anticipating labor. Focusing on centering yourself is helpful as you work through that labor process.

  • More relaxin is released and again this causes mom to be more uncomfortable and doing stretches/some strength training to help with other movements and relieve some stress.

It can be tough to make time for prenatal yoga or really any yoga practice. It get more complicated when you have children to think about or other work responsibilities. I wanted to encourage you to take some time for yourself. It is worth the time and investment in helping you feel better. Make a short term goal for yourself and work towards that goal. If you are interested in trying to find some prenatal classes, check out the list of some locations around the Indianapolis area.  

Prenatalal Yoga Locations around Indianapolis

 

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Summer Time Weight Loss Strategies

I was asked to be on WTHR and talk about Summer Time Weight Loss Strategies. I know I had already posted on some of my experiences about this topic the other week. I thought since I took the time to put together some information for that TV segment I would share those tips and tricks with you all. 

Summer time is a great opportunity to work on losing some extra weight. The days are long, the weather is warmer and people often have some time off of work. If weight loss has been one of your goals during this year and you haven't hit those goals then take a moment and read through some of these strategies that I am going to share with you. 

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Weight Loss Strategies

  • Get outside. One of the best things about summer is the longer days and the warmer weather. You can often find lots of different types of activities that get you moving outside. Any type of activity that you can do outside can count towards burning calories. Everything from mowing the lawn, washing the car, playing with your kids at the park and even walking your dog. Most of us sit at our jobs and we don’t get in that goal of 10,000 steps per day. If you are able to walk to the library or the grocery store near you, take advantage of that opportunity to get in more steps. If you want to do something more demanding take your family with you on a bike ride or on a run. There are also lots of summer activities like swimming and hiking that you can do outdoors and that is physically challenging.
  • Drink wisely. During the summer, we enjoy nice cold beverages. It is important to be aware of what is in your favorite cool drink. If you drink alcohol there are calories in that beer (154 calories/can) or wine (125 calories/5oz) and if you prefer a mixed, sugary drink there are quite a few calories hidden in there as well (455 calories/8oz for a margarita). Work to minimize the number of calories you are getting from your drinks. Make sure that you are getting enough water. Your body is made up of 60% of water and staying hydrated during the summer time is extremely important. Carry a water bottle with you or have a container of water with you at your desk throughout the day.

  • Pick fresh foods. The summer time is when most fruits/vegetables are in season. That means that you can purchase fresh produce at a much cheaper price compared with in the winter time. Stock up on these nutritiously dense fruits and vegetables throughout the summer. These produce items are also low in calories and high in vitamins/minerals which helps keep your body functioning well. You can get these fresh items from your local grocery store or Farmer’s Market. You can even grow them in your backyard. That is a great way to incorporate exercise, saving money and learning where your food comes from! If you purchase or grow extra of these produce items you can freeze or can them for the winter.

  • Get plenty of rest. With the longer days during the summer time we often want to do more things and end up getting less sleep. Sleeping is the one time your body gets to relax, rebuild and recharge for the next day. Don’t short yourself the amount of time you sleep. Try to get to bed at a decent time and aim for 6-8 hours of sleep per night. When it comes to weight loss, getting adequate rest will help your body lose weight.

  • Avoid late night snacks. If you are getting adequate sleep and going to bed earlier you are often able to avoid late night snacking. This is such a stumbling block for people and often people end up eating empty calories. If you want to decrease your calorie intake to lose weight, you have to stop eating by 8pm at night. That cut off will help empower you to avoid eating unhealthy things late at night. Often people have cravings for unhealthy food items and over eat during this late night time. If you work hard to go to bed earlier, that will often help to eliminate this temptation.

Losing weight this summer is something that you can totally do! There are so many ways that you can make a healthy lifestyle change. Aim for making small changes and stick with those changes to help ensure that you are successful. 

Geist Half Marathon Recap

I wanted to do a blog post about the first half marathon that I have post baby. I know I waited longer than I thought I would to get back to competitively running, but being a Mom is tiring. It took me awhile to find a groove and balance my schedule with training runs. I wanted to have fun and enjoy running so I am glad that I didn't rush back to sign up for a long distance race. 

So this time around, training for a half marathon was way different. It is a lot harder to get in the mileage when you bring your little one with you on runs. Just because it is physically harder. Pushing a stroller, while running, is not a joke. That is some serious upper body strength. Honestly, I enjoy it most of the time, but as William has gotten bigger, it is not getting easier. 

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Thankfully I continued with my Planet Fitness membership so that allows me a chance to fit in a baby-free run right after work for about 30 minutes. I was able to do that when the weather wasn't as nice outside or if I didn't have time to fit in a long run that day. It is not my favorite thing, but I was glad for the option. That is a worthwhile $10 per month. 

I didn't do as much strength training this time around either. That is so hard to fit in. I was doing good to get in a run throughout the week. I was averaging 20 miles a week or less. There were several weeks where I was about 30 miles. So not intense training, but still enjoyable. 

I have thought about training for another marathon, but I don't know if I can set aside the amount of time to train. That is such a big commitment and I don't know if now is the right time. I would love to do another marathon and try to do it well and possibly qualify for Boston. That would be a stretch, but totally worth the effort. That is on my bucket list for some day! I will eventually race and qualify for Boston. 

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Race Recap 

  • Up until the morning of the race, I was positive that it was going to rain. There was a 50-80% chance of rain all day on Saturday. It wasn't until the morning of, at 5am when I got up that I saw there was 0% chance until 11am. That was a huge relief for me. I have never raced in the pouring rain before. I was quite nervous and I reached out to a couple of seasoned running friends who passed along some great words of wisdom. There was also a article shared on Very Well Fit's website that was fantastic about running in the rain. I was totally prepared - I had extra shoes, socks, trash bags, a hat, light clothes, a jacket, and lots of Vaseline to prevent chaffing. Thankfully I didn't have use any of those items and I was so thankful. 
  • The race route itself was quite hilly. I knew that it would be, but I was also nervous about my limited training area not having any hills. I have been running on the Monon trail which is super flat. But I did train while pushing a stroller, so I think that helped prepare me for working hard to get up and down all the hills. 
  • The race day itself turned out to be overcast, cool and it was a little humid. It made for very good running weather. I was thoughtful for limited sunshine so that it was super hot outside. 
  • I listened to music while running all 13 miles and thankfully the playlist I made lasted right up to the finish line. I was thankful I didn't have to mess with my phone while running. 
  • I carried my water with me along with some salt stick and Huma gels. I ended up just taking 1 Huma gel and 1 salt stick. I was moving quick enough that I took both around the 40-45 minute mark or about 6-7 miles. That was good enough to get me through to the end of the race. 
  • My pre-race breakfast included cereal and a banana. I drank lots of water ahead of time and I even got in my bathroom stop prior to the race. I really like to be able to have a bowel movement before running. To help make this possible I eat a salad the night before. I know some runners think that is crazy, but it works for me. I am use to eating lots of vegetables and normally it is just want I need to help get me going in the morning. I also ran from the parking lot, a 1/2 mile to the start line. That helped to get things moving as well. 
  • Overall I felt great running. I really loved racing again. I had miss that feeling and challenge that you feel competing. I wasn't trying to win, but I just wanted to run my best race. I ended up placing 2nd in my age division (the 25-30 year old group). I finish in 1hr and 47 minutes. I felt good about my pace ~8 minute/mile. For my first race back post baby, I thought this went really well. 
  • The only thing that I didn't love about the route for this course was the fact that course looped back over the same roads on the way out and back. That was the only bad thing. I understand why they had to do that because of the reservoir and limited roads crossing the water. I really enjoy races where you don't double-back over the course you have already run, but that was fine. It was fun to see the huge houses and there were some people along the route cheering us on. If you want to run in a small-ish race with some hills, this is the course for you! 
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Half Marathon Training

It is that time of year again. The weather is warming up and the spring marathons and half marathons are starting. Before I had William I ran 1 marathon and then lots of half marathons. I really like the half marathon distance, because I could train, but it wasn't nearly as stressful or take up as much time as training for a marathon. That 13.1 miles is such a great distance. 

I haven't competed in a half marathon or even run 13.1 miles since before I was pregnant. That race as back in October of 2015. I then got pregnant and realized I was pregnant in spring of 2016. At that point in time, I did not feel well enough to run 13.1 miles for fun. It would have been torture. I didn't sign up to run any races in 2016. I continued to run and work out at the gym until the week William was born (December 23, 2016). I took 6 weeks off running completely after William was born. I started back running and even did some PT to help with my pelvic floor. Through out 2017 I didn't run competitively in any half marathon races. I did ran a couple 5Ks and other < 6 mile races at the end of 2017. Now in 2018, I made the goal to run 2 half marathons (one in the spring and one in the fall). I want to get back into competitively running, but at this point in time I don't have the time to train for a full marathon. So that half marathon distance seems like the perfect compromise. 

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Finding time to fit in long runs can be challenging. Thankful, William does really well in the running stroller. He has logged lots of miles in that stroller. He is a great running buddy. The timing of runs can be tough. Sometimes during the week, I just fit in 30 minutes on the treadmill at the gym before picking up William, because that is all the time I have to give to training. On the weekends is when I fit in long runs. I prefer doing my long runs outside. I will fit in a long run on either Saturday or Sunday and then try to pair a recovery run on the other day. That doesn't always happen though. 

I have been trying really hard not to push myself too much. I enjoy running and it is a stress reliever. It is easy though to get caught up in the mileage and if you can't hit that distance one day you can really beat yourself up over it. There is so much that goes into me getting out and running. I have to take William with me and keep him occupied and then of course run. But I also have to try to get my work done quickly that day to fit in that run. I have been trying not to over think it or stress too much about it. It is suppose to be fun and that is important. 

Training schedule - If you have run a half marathon before then you have probably tried to follow a training schedule. I really liked this article from Runner's World about training and fueling for a half marathon. I haven't followed a strict schedule to prepare for this half marathon. I have run 9 half marathons, 1 marathon and countless 5K-6 mile races. I know how often I need to run during the week (4 days a week is a magic number for me) and then I need to do at least one long run (> 6miles). Before the half marathon, I need to do at least one 10 mile run. I have also have to stretch out and try to do yoga at least 1 time per week. This all worked well prior to having a baby, so we will see how it goes post-baby. I have been running with a running stroller, so I feel like also includes some strength training in with those runs. 

Having a goal and working towards accomplishing it provides such satisfaction. I know that if I put in the miles (>20 miles per week) then I can get out there on race day and do well. I will keep you all posted on things go. My race is the Geist Half Marathon on May 19th. I have never ran on this course before, I know that there are lots of hills, so it will be a challenge. But I am looking forward to it! 

Races

Confession time ... I haven't run in an official race since before William was born. It has been 10 1/2 months. I know ... that is crazy. I love running and I have been running since I got the all clear from my OB back in February, but I haven't run in an official, timed race from Thanksgiving of 2016. Whoa! Crazy right?! Believe me, I had high hopes. I wanted to run a half marathon in the spring, but that didn't happen because I couldn't find the time to train and I didn't feel like I was back to myself 100%. After getting from pelvic floor therapy, I feel like I am back to my pre-baby self and I thought about a fall half marathon. Will that time has come and gone. I wasn't able to get in enough mileage to run 13.1 miles in a healthy way. So here we are in November and it is almost time for Thanksgiving and the Drumstick Dash again. I have actually three races that I am signed up for in the next month. None of them are half marathons, but it is a start. They will be official races that are timed and needless to say ... I am so excited! 

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  1. SCOUTStrong 5K - November 11th at Camp Belzer in Indianapolis. I have been on the planning committee for this 5K for the past 2 years. Last year I ran in it pregnant. William did a great job (tagging along with me). It was a fun, beautiful fall course. Ran through the woods and this year it will go into Fort Benjamin Harrison. 
  2. Drumstick Dash - November 21st in Broad Ripple. This is one of my favorite races every year. I have done this with my Mom for the past 4 years and this year will be #5! It is such a fun tradition and I love to feeling of being at the start line with SO many people. We have got to "move our feet, so others can eat!" Each year we have family do this with us and this year there will be 7 of us (William included). 
  3. Hot Cider 5K - December 6th in downtown Indianapolis. I signed up to run this with a girlfriend, because there was going to be a fun thermal shirt and hot cider. Yes, please! I have done several races around the canal area downtown and it is fun. 

Goals for 2018 include running another half marathon. I think this upcoming year, I will bite the bullet and run the Indianapolis Mini Marathon. I know ... insert gasp here ... I have run LOTS of half marathons, but never the Indy Mini. I am thinking what better way to get back in the half marathon running habit then starting off with the biggest half marathon race in the country! I will have to start training in January of 2018. Should be a fun journey! 

Fit Life

In the craziness of life sometimes finding time to exercise is tough. Not only is a tough at times it feels impossible. There is no way between the meal preparation, laundry, dishes, dog walking and working if there time to lace up your tennis shoes and fit in a work out. 

Well I wanted to provide some encouragement for you. Living a healthy life = making healthy choices each and every day. This could be an overwhelming statement or you can look at as an opportunity to have a "do over." If you had a really rough week at work and lacked the motivation to exercise then focus on trying to make time the next day. For example, I had a crazy week at work last week. There were 100 NICU babies in our unit and I have several meetings. I was very stressed and totally lacked any motivation to work out. I decided that the next day was a new day and I needed to make some time for my own health. I took the next evening to fit in a short run and combined that with running to the grocery store and picking up some essentials. I knew that if I wanted to decrease the amount of stress I was feeling I needed a short run and I had to go to the grocery anyways so combining those two activities was perfect. It was not a super long, intense exercise session, but it was just what I needed. 

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That is the perfect example of living a healthy lifestyle. It comes down to the decisions you make each day. It it your perspective/outlook of making that priority. I knew that for my own outlook on life I needed to take that time for myself and obtain some endorphins. Endorphins are amazing when it comes to changing your outlook on life and making you feeling instantly better. 

I wanted to share this article with you that I came across in the New York Times. It talks about the health of parents and how that influences their children. I learned this in school, but it was great to have some more research in the media talking about parents' health and how it relates to their child's health. So we know that overweight mothers lead to larger babies and than can translate to larger children later in life. Father's weight can have an impact on the environment the child grows up in and can lead to having an overweight child. If you want a link to this article - CLICK HERE. 

I just wanted to share that with you to encourage you to stick with making those healthy choices. It is so important for your own health, but also for your children. You owe it to yourself and your child to offer plenty of fruit/vegetables with meals, exercise regularly and demonstrate those healthy habits in your home. I know it is tough and with the craziness of the work week, but each day you have that chance to make healthy choices. You can do it! 

Postpartum Body

Can we just talk about your body after you have a baby ... it is crazy the changes that it goes through. It takes 9 months to grow huge and serve as a home for this tiny human and then all of a sudden the baby is born and your body starts shifting/changing. I have been amazed at how quickly things started to shift back to normal, but then also how long it took for other things to return to "normal." Then can I just also say ... what is normal now? I don't feel like things will be exactly like they were before, but it is a work in progress. 

So just to give you a timeline, William is 5 months and 3 weeks now and I feel like my body is finally starting to be like the "old Anna." I can fit into some of my pre-pregnancy pants again (not all of them, but some of them). I consider that progress. 

I have noticed some things that weren't changing back quick enough for me. For example, I realized that my pelvic floor was a mess. Now you may be wondering, pelvic floor, what is that? Well women, this is very important for you, especially after having a baby because you want everything to tighten up and shift back into place appropriately and having a strong pelvic floor helps accomplish that goal. 

I decided to seek out a Women's Health Physical Therapist, because I needed to address my pelvic floor issues and that would also help with my weak abdominal muscles. After your body has stretched out to accommodate a baby, it needs some help to regain that strength. If your abdominal wall and pelvic floor is weak it can have a negative impact on lots of things - difficulty moving/twisting, issues with urination, pain with sex and abdominal diastasis. Now what is abdominal diastasis? 

Getting physical therapy to target this area is important in helping to fix these issues. I found a great therapist - I googled women's health physical therapist in Indianapolis - and just get up an appointment with Katrina. She has been great and the therapy has made a world of difference for me. My abdominal diastasis was 2cm in the upper abs, 3cm around my belly button and then 2cm in my lower abs. After a month and a half of therapy I have gotten that distance down to 1cm on the top, 2cm in the middle and 1cm at the bottom. I feel stronger, my posture is improved and I feel like my stomach is more flat. 

I have also learned how better to do a kegel and how to relax my pelvic floor. Believe it or not, you can carry stress in your pelvic floor muscles and learning how to relax can be an important skill. That was part of my struggle and learning to relax has been so helpful in the integrity of that muscle. 

I had to share this article that I found on the Today Show website, because I was so excited to finally see some information about pelvic floor health. CLICK HERE for the article.

So I am sure that this is WAY more than you wanted to know about me, but I think it is important for women to know and understand there bodies. This is even more important after having a baby. Your postpartum body is different and if there are imbalances or issues that you are experiencing there is help out there. There are great therapist that specialize in women's health issues and can help you feel confident and embrace this Mom-version of yourself! 

Safety while Running

I had the opportunity to attend a running safety seminar at Athletic Annex off of 86th Street in Indianapolis this past week. It was an evening program that was put on by Run Safer a business owned by Todd Williams (Olympic runner and Jiu Jitsu Black Belt. It was a great program and I am glad that I took the time to go. Lots of the things I was already aware of, but it was a great reminder and he had some wonderful tips on how to defend yourself, physically, from an attacker. WTHR did a segment on the event and I thought it was a nice summary of the program - CLICK HERE FOR THEIR VIDEO. 

If you want to watch the talk that Athletic Annex sponsored check out the video below! 

There was some great take away points from Todd's talk that I wanted to make sure to share. Always remember to be aware of your surrounds.This can make all the difference. I think lots of time attacks happen because people are not aware of what is happening around them. If you are running with headphones, keep the volume down so that you can hear what is happening around you.

I liked the idea of running in a group or at least having someone aware of your running plans. Sometimes you don't have anyone to run with and just making sure that you have someone who is looking out for you at home can be helpful. There are apps/devices that you can use that can track your location, but if you don't have that, then make sure you are telling someone about your route and how long you will be gone.

If you see some thing suspicious or makes you feel uncomfortable, report it. I think this a huge take away. If you run often, you have sense/feeling about things and sometimes things just don't feel right. So make sure that if you see some that makes you uncomfortable, call 911 and report that. This not only protects yourself but can always help to make sure a safer community.

The last take away that I learned was about physically defending yourself. Use your legs (if you are knocked to the ground) and make sure that you strike vulnerable locations on the body (Head, neck, eyes, nose, and groin). Use your legs, elbows and hands. Be in a prepared stance and make sure you are facing your attacker to give you a better chance in a physical fight.

Being aware of how to protect yourself is important for men and women. It also gives you confidence when you have a plan so that you aren't caught off guard if something were to happen. Hopefully this is helpful and has got you thinking about what you would do if you find yourself in a dangerous situation. I think having a plan helps to make sure that you are safe while you are out running. Stay safe!

Fueling Your Fitness

This past week I had the opportunity to talk to a group at Endurance House in Zionsville about nutrition. Endurance House had a 5K running group that were gearing up for the Zionsville 5K in June. The leader for the running group, Sarah Hill-Abel, was a friend from Lafayette. I had met her and worked with her at Tri-N-Run up in Lafayette for several years. Both her and I had moved to the greater Indianapolis area and I was excited to work with her again when she reached out to me a month ago. 

Since this running group was new to the whole running scene, I wanted to just touch on some of the basics of exercise and nutrition. 

  • Discussed Healthy Snacks
    • Find snacks that you enjoy that pair a carbohydrate with a protein. This will help keep you feeling more full and will help to rebuild some of that muscle you broke down while exercise. It is best to have this protein after a work out and stick with carbohydrates prior to exercising. 
    • Bring your meal/snacks with you on the go (to work, while running errands, etc). This helps ensure that you are reaching for a healthy option. It removes the temptation to stop by the drive through or picking out something unhealthy from the grocery store. 
    • Have something to eat prior to working out. If it is in the morning, make that food item something light that you can easily tolerated (banana, granola bar, smoothie). Then add in some protein after the work out to help keep you feeling satisfied through lunch. 
  • How to Stay Hydrated
    • Make sure that you have water with you. Water is going to be the best thing to use for refueling for any exercise  taking < 60 minutes. Water is great because your body can easily use it and it is refreshing. 
    • If you are working out for > 60 minutes, then you can consider a sport beverage. This will provide carbohydrate and electrolytes, which are necessary to replenish after a long work out. 
    • There is water in foods that count as well. So drinking to thirst is a good way to know if you are hydrated. Don't stress about a "magical" 8 glasses as a day. Instead focus on making sure that you aren't feeling thirsty. 
  • Fueling for Exercise
    • Eating 3 meals a day with snacks is important and necessary when you are working out. We want to make sure that you are fueled properly so that you can complete the activity you want to do (running, walking, biking, etc). 
    • Making these meals/snacks healthier is key. Find ways to work in plenty of fruits and vegetables. Remember to fill your plate with at least 3 food groups to keep variety in your diet. 
    • You will quickly learn if there are foods that you need to avoid prior to exercising. If you eat and then wait 2-3 hours before exercising that is normally enough time to cause any GI distress.

We had a great time talking about nutrition and hearing what this woman do currently to help them make healthier choices. Lots of time, being healthier and setting yourself up for success looks different for different people/families. If you hate cooking, then maybe you look to purchase pre-made food items from Whole Foods that have fresh vegetables already in those meal items. Maybe your buy your veggies cut up, because you know you would never spend the time doing that. Whatever helps you be successful in your diet journey, that is the key. Figure out what that is and try to make those chances so that you can be properly fueled for life and your upcoming run. 

How Much Water Do You Really Need?

I am sure that you have heard that you need to drink 8 glasses of water a day. But is that true?! Is there is something special about 8 glasses? Not 6 or 9 glasses a day, but 8. Who came up with that recommendation anyway?

That is what I want to talk about today ... what your body actually needs to keep you hydrated. Your body is made up of ~60% water. For babies, their body composition is about 75% water and decreases to 65% by their first birth day. Your body relies on this water and it is necessary for your survival.

Water does lots of things for you ... 

  • Utilized by the brain to manufacture hormones and neurotransmitters. 
  • Forms saliva to help you digest your food.
  • Keeps your mucousal membranes moist (eyes, nose, throat).
  • Helps to regulate your body temperature through your breathing and sweating.
  • Helps to rid your body of waste, through your urine. 
  • Lubricates your joints.
  • Helps deliver oxygen all over your body.

This list can keep going. As you can see this element is vital to your body working appropriately. Did you know that women actually have less water in their bodies compared with men. People who have more fatty tissue have less water in their bodies compared to their less fat counter parts. Now does this mean that we need differing amounts of water per day? YES! It does ... unfortunately we do not all need the same amount of water per day. 

Sadly there is no straight forward recommendation about how much water we each need every day. Instead,  you will have to do a little self-reflection. Do you feel thirsty? If so, that is a great indicator that your body is in need of water. I know it sounds simple, but making sure that you always drink water when you feel thirsty will be an easy way to make sure that you stay hydrated. Now if you are wondering if you are getting enough water, then take a moment and observe the color of your urine. Again, not glamorous, but it is effective. There is a great chart (CLICK HERE) to compare the color of your urine to your hydration status. Another easy way to know if you are drinking enough, is to track how often you use the restroom. Most well-hydrated people use the restroom 7-8 times per day that is about every 3 hours. Sometimes that can increase to 10 times per day or be as low as 4 times per day.  That is why noticing what color your urine is will help evaluate if you are appropriately hydrated. The handout mentioned previously, also includes some signs/symptoms of dehydration. One way to prevent dehydration, is carrying water with you where ever you go. Find a water bottle that you love and take it with you. You can fill it up with water, lemonade, tea, whatever is your favorite beverage and make sure it goes with you when you leave the house. This will help ensure that when you feel thirsty you will have a way to easily quench that thirst and avoid dehydration. 

As you can see, that 8 glasses of water per day recommendation may not hold true for everyone. It is a great goal to make sure that you are carrying around a water bottle and staying hydrated throughout the day. Make sure that you are using the bathroom on a regular  basis and taking note of your urine color. I know it is not glamorous, but it is worth it to make sure that your body's fluid needs are being met. This allows your body to function at its top potential. Now grab a glass of your favorite drink and bottoms up! 

Hitting the Pavement Again

I am back running! I couldn't be more excited. I got the go ahead from my OB that I could resume my regular exercise routine. It had been 6 weeks since I had been able out for a run and let me tell you it was kind of an adjustment getting back out there. I headed out on a Saturday morning run ... my favorite time to run! I love it because it is normal peaceful outside and I can come home and make a nice warm breakfast. This past Saturday was kind of cold and I thought about not going out, but then I saw a lady run past my house with her dog ... I was like "if she is out there running, I can too!" So I laced up my shoes and headed out. It was glorious.

It was also hard to get back out there, literally I was sore afterwards. My abs have been through quite a bit - having a baby, being pulled apart to make room for said baby and then the whole trying to go back to the way they were after baby was born. So being out there and running ended up being quite the ab work out. My hamstring was quite tight as well. I didn't realize that those ~3 miles would feel so long, but I did it and I was proud of myself. 

The weather ended up being kind of nice this past week and headed out again for another run, but this time brought William with me in the BOB jogging stroller. It was fun to get to bring him along and he did great in the stroller. I absolutely loved the BOB stroller as well. It worked great and I could easily control it as I ran. It did end up making the run a little harder. I found that it turned into a work out for my upper and lower body. I am sure that William and I will log lots of miles on that stroller. 

Besides just sharing with you my experience at hitting the pavement again after having a baby, I wanted to encourage you get out there, set a goal for yourself and make it happen. What are obstacles that are standing in your way of accomplishing your goal? Is it something like time, lack of self confidence or putting your family's needs above your own? It is important to take a look at what obstacles are keeping you from your goal. Take those obstacles and come up with ways to move them. If the obstacle is time, then schedule time to work out and meet your goal. If it is self confidence, then find a gym or park where you can exercise and feel comfortable without a lot of people around. If it family obligations, then talk to your loved ones and schedule "you" time where you can focus on what you want to accomplishment. For me, I want to go to the gym 2-3 times per week and lift weights, use the elliptical and treadmill. If the weather is nice, I want to get outside and run on weekends and maybe one night a week. I also want to go through and do the 31 days of Yoga with Adriene on YouTube. I love yoga and I want to be able to do that in the evenings after work and before bed.

Well good luck to you as you set your fitness goals and work on accomplishing them. I will keep you posted on how my return to running is going and how well I accomplishing my own goals. 

Food & Nutrition Magazine Article - The Stone Soup

I was excited to share this with you all, because I thought it was neat. I have been asked to write up/share some blog posts that I had up on RDAnna.com. There is a magazine that is run through The Academy of Nutrition & Dietetics called Food & Nutrition Magazine. This is a lovely print magazine and I absolutely love reading through it whenever it arrives at my house. They have a blog called The Stone Soup, which is a great compilation of posts from RDs all over the country. I had been talking with them for awhile about posting something, but it took me forever to get around to it. 

Well I submitted a couple of options for them about various nutrition topics and they chose one about endurance nutrition/running. I just had to share this with you! I was so excited to have this wonderful opportunity. If you want to read my article on the Food & Nutrition website then CLICK HERE.

I also had a great shout out on Twitter from @foodnutrimag and I was excited about that as well. Any time something that I write or share has the chance to reach a wider audience, I can't help but get excited! 

Running Through The Heat

I recently shared an article on RD Anna's Facebook page about training/exercising outside in the heat. And I thought this would be a great topic to focus on for a blog post. I have heard this so many times ... "It is too hot to be outside! Oh the humidity is terrible and I can't be outdoors." Yes, there is a time and place that some times it can be dangerous to be outside, but nine times out of the ten that is not the case. If you take a few steps to be prepared and smart about it, exercising outdoors in the heat can have great health benefits. 

  1. Make sure the check the weather. There are times when the news stations/weather outlets will issue heat alerts for high humidity or extreme heat indexes. If this is case, then consider running inside or doing some other form of cross training that day. 
  2. Stay in the shade. This seems like a no-brainer, but it can make a world of difference. Being in the shade can help to keep you cooler for longer versus running outside in the direct sun. On a hot day the asphalt can increase in temperature upwards of 160 degrees Fahrenheit. 
  3. Leave early. When you anticipate hot weather that day, plan your run in the early morning. This should be before the sun rise to help ensure that you are aiming for the coolest part of the day.
  4. Shorten your distance. Rearrange your route that you are running shorter loops and either passing a water fountain or a place where you could cool off. That way you are ensuring that you aren't getting stuck out in the middle of nowhere in a dangerous situation.
  5. Change your goal. Think about running based on effort versus just strictly based on distance or time. Sometimes with the heat, you are expending tons more energy while running and you are are working harder. This means, it is ok to run less in terms of distance or time, because your body is working just as hard due to the increased temperature.
  6. Hydrate! This is key. Before you even leave for your run, drink water. During your run plan to drink plenty of water and after your run, replenish your depleted water stores. On really hot days, using a product like Gaterade, Powerade, Skratch, etc can be a helpful tool to help replace electrolytes that you have lost sweating.
  7. Changes in blood/sweat. Your body is working differently in the heat and your more blood to rushing to the surface of your skin to help cool you off. This means that there is less blood going to your muscles and vital organs. This can be dangerous if you aren't staying hydrated and maybe even slowing down your pace to let your body keep up with the cooling process. 
  8. Heart is pumping harder. When you exercise in the heat, your heart is pumping even harder to get the blood circulating throughout your body and going to the surface of your skin. With this increased strain on your heart, this could lead to possible issues if you are not staying hydrated and aware of how you are feeling while exercising. The increased heat, increases the work load on the heart and makes your 8 minute per mile pace feel more like a 6 minute per mile pace. There is no shame in slowing down your pace, due to the heat, to help take some of that increased stress off your heart.

So the key to remember to know your limits. As a runner, you know your body and what you are capable of. You are familiar with feelings that your body has when running and you can identify if it is unsafe for you to keep running. Be smart about your outdoor running the heat, but don't use that increased temperature as just an excuse either. 

Getting Back Into A Healthy Routine

It is the middle of August and school is back in swing. The summer is officially wrapping up. That means that fall is just around the corner. Now is a great time to get back in healthy lifestyle habits. Over the summer we are all on crazy schedules, between vacation time, traveling, eating delicious fried foods at your local fair and going to cook outs, we all need to get our health plan re-prioritized. I love the summer festivities as much as the next person, but some times it is nice to get back in a healthy routine. 

So where do you start? What do you start thinking about first? Let's begin with food ... what you choose to put in your mouth. 

  1. Make the choice to bring a healthy lunch to work. Believe or not this is huge. Eating out can be such a stumbling block to your health. Take the extra time to plan some easy, healthy lunches to take with you to work. If you are stuck and can't think of anything new then CLICK HERE for some great ideas. You can prepare these foods ahead of time and then pack them up so they are easy to grab when you head out the door.
  2. Pack healthy snacks for the day. Most of us all get hungry between meals and that is perfectly normally. We should be eating 3 meals a day with 1-2 snacks. So picking healthy snack options is so important. Something that provides fiber, nutritional value and some protein will help keep you filling full until your next meal. For some good healthy snack ideas, CLICK HERE.
  3. Meal plan during the week and schedule your grocery shopping. In order to be able to put together healthy lunches and snacks for the week you need to take some time to head to the grocery store. Always make out a list of things that you need and stick to that list. This will help ensure that you are choosing healthy options and that you are not spending too much money. For some good tips to navigating the grocery store, check out this post from earlier in the year - Navigating the grocery store in a healthy way.
  4. Only have healthy foods on your counters. This might not seem like a big deal, but what you have visible in your kitchen will have a huge influence on what you end up eating. For example, I had some delicious, candied popcorn out on my counter from a party last week and every time I walked past that popcorn I would eat some. It got to the point that I had to put the left-overs into the cabinet so that they were out of sight out of mind. Needless to say, after moving that popcorn my strong desire to eat it ALL quickly faded. Set yourself up for success and have healthy food items within easy reach if you are hungry.

What you eat is of course important, but your physical activity has a huge role to play in your overall health as well. 

  1. Schedule your work out time. If you want to start a new habit, then you need to set a time to practice that new habit. This applies to working out. Pick a time each day that you are going to do some intentional exercise. It doesn't have to be the exact some time everyday (if you schedule is varied), but you need to plan at the beginning of the day to exercise at a certain time. If it is helpful, set an alarm or a reminder in your phone to encourage you to get up and exercise. 
  2. Find some time of special class/activity that you really enjoy. I think this is important. Find a class or some type of activity that you enjoy and pay to participate. I have taken up prenatal yoga classes and every Tuesday night I spend 1.5 hours at the yoga studio doing yoga and it is awesome. I look forward to those classes each week and it is such a treat to get to take that time for myself. If could be a class at a gym, spinning at a studio or even joining a running group in your local community. 
  3. Get some new work out clothes/shoes and get invested. When you spend a little money on something you are just a little more invested. Go ahead and get that new pair of running shoes and then schedule regular times to run. Find a running buddy and enjoy this social time in your new running shoes/outfit. Also signing up for a race can provide great motivation in helping to ensure that you are actually training and getting ready for the event. So whatever it is you decide to do, get invested! 

So I have something fun for you ... a GIVEWAY! Take a couple minutes and fill out the form below. I have a gift card to Marsh Supermarket for you (this give away is not sponsored by or associated with Marsh). Write out 2 goals that you have for yourself to help make your health a priority. I want to encourage you to set goals and then work on accomplishing them! Good luck and I am excited to get lots of entries!

Enter to Win a $25 Gift Card from Marsh

Name *
Name
Write out 2 goals that you have for yourself to make your health a priority.

Fit Bloggin' Conference 2016

I had the opportunity to attend the Fit Bloggin' Conference in downtown Indianapolis this past weekend. It was a great event! I am so glad that I took the time to go and it kind of pushed me outside my comfort zone. 

I attended the conference from Friday through Saturday. There were great speakers talking about their own weight loss journeys, books they had written, TV shows they had been on, research they have been doing and tips for becoming a consistent blogger. I have attended a variety of conferences over the years, but most of them relating to nutrition/feeding conferences and so this was the first time I had actually attended a conference about something else. It was great to have a chance to meet people from all over the country and get to learn about how they organized their blogs/social media presence. I was encouraged to take the effort and become more consistent with my own blogging. I try to blog every week, but I am going to work to make sure that my blog comes out at the same time each week. I also was encouraged that my platform looks great and may not have as many readers as I would love. I am working on that and had some great ideas of search engine optimization. 

It was great to be able to just listen and observe the people that I met. I have never been in the situation of trying to lose a large amount of weight, so I found it so good to be able to listen and have a better understanding of how to work with these individuals. I also was encouraged to continue to serve as that dietitian professional in my community as a resource of scientific evidence and hopefully provide a clear, and helpful message in regards to nutrition. 

Favorite Parts/Memories: 

  1. Attending the fitness sessions each day. I had the chance to attend a total of 4 fitness classes that were offered over the 2 day conference. They were great and I loved everything that I learned. From using Valslides for the first time from Valerie Waters, to learning about the application Swork It, doing Zumba and attending a session hosted by Lifetime Fitness. It was great! I was so sore afterwards, but it was a ton of fun. 
  2. I enjoyed the breakout sessions and being able to listen to a great discussion lead by David Garcia who has the website Keep It Up David. To learning how to become a consistent blogger forever by Nellie and getting to learn from her and her blog Brooklyn Active Mama.  I also learned so much about search engine optimization from Jessica Woodbury and her blog Don't Mind the Mess.  I also loved being able to meet fellow dietitian Dawn Jackson Blatner and get to speak a little bit with her. She has done was amazing things on TV and has a great website/instagram account - check her out!

Overall it was a great experience and Fit Bloggin' did a great job hosting this event. I was hoping to meet even more people, but due to some airline issues some speakers/attendees were unable to come. I am so glad that I had to chance to attend and for being made to feel right at home in a brand new environment for me. If you are a blogger and work in the fitness arena and want to attend next year, I definitely recommend it! 

Prenatal Yoga

So as you probably now know my husband, Chas and I are expecting our first child in December. It was been a crazy ride so far, but as I head into my 2nd trimester it is wonderful to start feeling better and more like myself. 

I would say that I am a very active person. I enjoy running and doing yoga. I am sure you can tell from my blog that I enjoy being active and can not sit still for too long. With the start of this pregnancy I really struggled with feeling exhausted, nauseated a lot of the time and just lacking that normal vigor for life that I possess. Now I feel like I have come through that and am on the other side. I am starting to feel better and more like my normal self again. 

I have been getting back to running, which has been fantastic and I have made the commitment that I want to regularly attend prenatal yoga classes. For all of you who are pregnant, this definitely pertains to you! I am a strong believer in balance of one's self physically. I think that yoga really helps to accomplish that. You should never do just one type of activity or motion repeatedly so added variety and balance to our routine is important. I know I can tell a huge difference in my own body's alignment when I sit a desk all day or on the coach. I can feel it in my back and doing yoga helps to stretch and strengthen my body.

So maybe you are pregnant and we have never done yoga or you aren't conceived this could be something that could help you.

  • Your body needs and gets more support - With pregnancy your body changes A LOT. Even in ways that you can't see. Your body releases a hormone, called relaxin and this makes your ligaments more stretchy. It is help with labor in the future, but this hormone is released early in pregnancy (~10 weeks). This can cause some pain or movement into joints. Your body requires more support now with pregnancy and doing exercises that promote balance and support will be helpful. Learning safe ways to stretch, strengthen and support your body will be helpful as your body continues to change over the next 9 months to support your growing baby.

  • Strengthening important muscle groups - Prenatal yoga helps to strengthen your pelvic floor, hips and abdominal muscles which will be stretched and pulled in the labor process. The key to keep these muscle group toned - meaning a proper balance between the length/strength of the muscle. This will help with supporting your growing baby, laboring for multiple hours and for recovery afterwards.

  • Better prepared for labor and delivery - Yoga teaches mindfulness, proper breathing and a sense of relaxing. This is helpful in the labor process, because we all want to tense up, be slightly afraid and this will make labor more difficult. Using techniques learned in yoga to do cleansing breathes and to stay calm will help with the flow and even the duration of labor.

  • Connectedness with your baby - Taking the time out of your busy schedule for yourself and your baby helps with feeling connected to this little one growing inside of you. This is also a place to meet other mothers and have a sense of camaraderie with those in class with you. During the class there is lots of mindfulness towards your baby and taking a moment to think about them.

  • Healthier overall pregnancy - Research is showing that mothers do practice yoga tend to have less preterm infants and have a lower chance of having a low birth weight infant. Yoga counts as a form of physical activity and we know that maintaining your physical fitness during your pregnancy leads to better outcomes for yourself and your child.

Hopefully some of these benefits to doing prenatal yoga have started you thinking about maybe joining a class in your local area and becoming more physically fit. I know that participating in prenatal yoga classes (that last over an hour) helps to calm me down after a stressful day, my whole body feels better and I have a much more positive outlook on life. 

Exciting Announcement

If you are friends with me on Facebook than you probably already saw this announcement from yesterday, but if not I thought I would share it via my blog as well. 

Our family will be growing, come December of 2016. My husband, Chas and I are expecting our first "human child" in December. Haha we totally count our little chihuahua Einstein as our first puppy child. He is going to make a great "big brother." We are very excited and eager for this exciting next chapter in our lives. It was quite the surprise, but we believe that God's timing is perfect and we are eager for this next adventure. So stay tuned for lots of nutrition information about pregnancy, I'll be trying out some prenatal yoga as well and working to stay in shape throughout this pregnancy. 

Photo credit to Chas for this amazing picture that we took yesterday. He did a great job editing it and putting it together! 

FitBloggin Conference

I am super excited to be able to attend the 2016 FitBloggin Conference in Indianapolis this summer. I didn't know much about this event until I was contacted by an acquaintance at the American Heart Association of Indianapolis. He reached out to me and told me about the event and thought that I might like to attend. He was right! I think it looked like a great event and something I love to be able to go to!

I had to share with you some of the topics at the conference that I am excited to attend: 

  • How to Influence Your Community to Achieve Fitness & Health — Hear from a panel of successful writers, bloggers, social media users, and fitness professionals about the central tenet of why FitBloggin’ exists – how to influence your community to achieve their fitness and health goals. Moderated by Roni Noone, founder of FitBloggin’. 
  • Be a Consistent Blogger…Forever (Blogging & Social Media Track) — Ten fool-proof tips and tricks to be the consistent blogger you have always wanted to be. Posting more often is the key to growth, so learn how to never lose your “blogging mojo.” SPEAKER: Schnelle Acevedo 
  • Super Simple SEO (Blogging & Social Media Track) — Session will cover the basics of how the Google algorithm works, why blogs are gaining more search traffic than ever, and actionable steps to gain traffic for your posts through search. SPEAKER: Jessica Woodbury
  • Fitness for the Minority Population — Explore how the culture of minority populations affects their beliefs and practices on healthy living, diet, and exercise. We’ll also discuss how to communicate with minority communities. MODERATOR: Shera Strange 

I have a passion for fitness & health and being able to communicate with people via social media about health and wellness. Being able to attend this conference is such a fun opportunity for me. I was able to apply for a scholarship to attend and I was picked! I really didn't think that would happen, but thankfully I was able to get most of the registration fee covered and I am super excited to attend the conference and soak up as much information about fitness blogging as possible. 

If you have a blog and enjoy fitness, you should mark July 21-24th on your calendar and set side some time to attend the FitBloggin Conference in downtown Indianapolis! Of course I will be blogging about the event and taking lots of pictures so you will have to stay tuned! 

No matter how slow ... you are out there running!

I read a great article from Women's Running about the pace at which you run. I shared it on my Facebook Page and I thought it was good enough of a topic that I should write up a blog post about it. As many of you may know, I love to run. It was been a thing that I have enjoyed since I was a small child. It is just a part of who I am. I totally understand that those feelings (of enjoyment, delight, eager anticipation) may not be shared by you. In fact you may HATE running. The only time you might run is when you are running away from something that is going to kill you. That is ok. I am not offended that you may not LOVE one of my favorite pass times. I am not going to judge you. I will take some time and encourage you to find something that you enjoy doing that gets you moving, and keeps you active. Find whatever that is and set a goal for yourself and go after it! 

Now maybe a few of you reading this don't loathe running and you have always wanted to complete a race. You probably know lots of people who have run in races, gotten medals, and you think to yourself "if they can do it, surely I can too!" You are totally right! Starting with something do-able like a 5K (3.1 miles). You can run or walk and that is the best race distance to start off with if you are dipping your toe into the this new world of running. In fact the 5K is the most popular race distance! In the USA there have been 8.3 million 5K finishers. 58% of those finishers were women and 42% were men. Isn't that amazing?! If there are 8.3 million people able to run 3.1 miles ... guess what ... you can to! 

Now you might also be thinking "I am so slow, everyone will be passing me." If so, then so what! It doesn't matter. You are out there working hard, sweaty and moving yourself toward a goal. That is the important part and how long it takes you, means nothing. Lots of people feel self conscious when they run. That is totally normally and with time that feeling will slowly go away. Most of the time people, are not watching you and if they are, you should be proud of yourself that you are out there running as they sit in your car and just drive by. 

If you need some encouragement make sure to check out the Women's Running article about why running slow doesn't matter. It always makes me sad when people talk about running and then follow it up with the comment "well I am just slow" or they put themselves down. We need to stop doing that and take pride in the fact that we are out there exercising and trying to be the best versions of ourselves. If you need a training program help you accomplish your goal of running 3.1 miles then check out the Couch to 5K app on your smart phone. This is a great program to tell you exactly what to do to get yourself in shape to run in a safe way. So grab a buddy (a person or a dog), pick a goal and get yourself outside and moving! 

Monday Motivation

I am not sure how your Monday has been, but I wanted to share with you some Monday Motivation to help keep you on track with your health goals.

We are going to jump right in. So have you been hitting your physical activity goals? Back up, wait a minute. Do you have a fitness goal? Everyone should. Whatever your goal is for yourself .... walk 20 minutes per day, strength train 3 days a week, run outside at least 3 days a week .... whatever that goal is for yourself, you should be moving toward it. 

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Now that we have established, you should never skip a Monday work out here is why ... you are setting your week up for success. On Monday, you have the opportunity to set the tone for your week. 

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Whatever your favorite form of exercise is ... do that! I got myself to the gym today. I was so proud of myself. I hadn't been in about 3 weeks due to being busy, gone on Spring Break, taking a class, evening activities, but today I told myself I had to go. It was gross and cold outside, so I got dressed in my work out gear, headed to the gym and lifted weights for 40 minutes. It was great, because I felt how much strength I had lost over those previous 3 weeks. I normally do 15 repetitions and 3 sets of each exercise - I was dying. That was good motivation to plan another day this week to spend some more time lifting weights to help build strength for my half marathon in May.

Get started today! There is still time to fit in some form of physical activity. I sat ALL day at work charting on babies and making phone calls. My afternoon has entailed as much movement as possible - walking the dog for 30 minutes, doing 40 minutes of lifting at the gym, standing in the kitchen to cook for 30 minutes and doing 30 minutes of yoga. Find ways to move more and meet those fitness goals that you have set for yourself!