My husband and I are both extremely competitive individuals, and we are both very serious about running and have been since before we even knew each other. In fact, the first time we met was at a local road race, and we have since taken several vacations simply for the opportunity to race together in an unfamiliar place. So while I was incredibly overjoyed when we learned that I was pregnant with our first son, I also wondered how I would be able to maintain the level of fitness I had worked so hard to achieve.
Fortunately, my doctor, Dr. Raouf Farag, was able to reassure me that I would be able to continue running throughout my pregnancy and that an appropriately designed fitness program would be beneficial for a number of reasons. This was exciting news, but he also told me that I would have to make several adjustments during my pregnancy and would also need to replace some of my running with low-impact exercise. Drawing on my experience from that first pregnancy along with two others, I feel that the following tips can help any mother-to-be stay active and healthy throughout the duration of her pregnancy.
Adjust Your Goals Appropriately
I was very fortunate that Dr. Farag took the time to get to know me well, as he recognized that my competitiveness might drive me to push myself harder than I should. In discussing my plans, he emphasized just how critical it was to adjust my fitness goals and to focus on the activity rather than on the outcome. Based on his advice, I stopped timing my runs altogether and included more and more low-impact activity as my pregnancy progressed. The doctor also indicated that regular exercise would reduce the likelihood of developing an achy back while also helping me relieve stress and fatigue.
Focus on Rest
My doctor also emphasized that it would likely take longer for me to recover from each bout of exercise during my pregnancy, so I had to be especially vigilant about rest and recovery at all times. As I began to require more and moretime to completely bounce back after a workout, I increasingly focused on low-impact exercise (I did a lot of running in the pool) and ultimately reduced the frequency of my workouts. I definitely didn’t get faster during any of my pregnancies, but I was able to return to my previous level of fitness with relative ease after the birth of each one of my kids.
Make Sure Your Doctor Is Involved and Updated
The best thing I ever did was to talk to my doctor as often as possible throughout each one of my pregnancies. I asked questions about every last detail and made sure that he was aware of everything I had planned so that he could offer his input whenever necessary. Together we made sure my fitness plan was sound and was appropriately modified according to the needs of my pregnancy.
When discussing the various strategies for getting a greater portion of the population to consistently engage in a fitness program, motivation is one of the most commonly cited subjects. While the goal of most of these efforts is to motivate people to begin a fitness program of some kind, this strategy may overlook the real reason why many people are having difficulty improving their health and wellness.
To paraphrase a philosophy preached by The Groza Learning Center, a greater degree of focus on education regarding effective strength and conditioning strategies is needed to stimulate truly lasting change. Most people want to become healthier and therefore do not lack the motivation to begin a program aimed at improving their overall health and wellness. Instead, the issue is the loss of motivation that occurs when they do not see results commensurate to their efforts and sacrifices.
This is often due to inefficiencies in the manner in which the program is followed as well as a lack of understanding regarding the habits that may undermine the impact of a strength and conditioning program.In the majority of these efforts, the goal is simply oriented around increasing activity levels. This seems easy enough, but this goal overlooks the fact that people have a difficult time accurately estimating their daily caloric intake and, on workout days, they routinely ingest far more calories than they burned during training.
This happens with elite athletes as well, which is why elite athletes are educated on healthy eating habits in addition to the many common issues that may derail a program. If widespread change is to be achieved, the public must not only be encouraged to improve their health and wellness; they must also be educated on the best strategies for doing so
Trying to promote fitness is a full time job in itself and without the use of social media, it’s nearly impossible. How else are you going to broadcast to the entire world without a cost? Facebook and Twitter do an amazing job, but in order to reach your broadcast the as many people as possible, that’s where blogging comes in.
People love blogs people normally blogs are packed full of content that you can learn from or at least laugh at when reading about someone else’s adventures and experiences. I love blogs because I learn new exercises, eating tips, recipes, but mostly I like blogging because thanks to Brandon Colker and his book, “How to Make Big Bucks from Big Blogs,” I can now teach fitness through my blog while get paid.
The book is brilliantly illustrated and contains 10 key chapters listed in the table of contents. One of my favorite ones is without a doubt “Understanding the Importance of Consistency, Clarity and Quality” which is so true when dealing with your fitness and health. I can relate to this chapter of the book so much because fitness is all about consistency and quality meals and workouts.
Overall, from what I have read of the book, I would highly recommend it. Brandon Colker supercedes my expectations and wrote a winner!
The use of appropriate periods of rest is one of the most overlooked aspects of health and fitness today. In fact, many of the recently published weight training programs that promise to deliver results in just a few short weeks do not even bother to define rest even though the time between each set and session is absolutely critical. Too much rest will compromise the benefits of the session, and too little could actually reduce strength or lead to injury.
Sebastian Hirsch has pointed out that while undefined rest is a common problem among many lifters, the same is not often true of runners. This is because a serious running program is designed with the goal of improving both the aerobic and anaerobic capacity of the runner, and the amount of rest allowed during a training session will be based on the system that is targeted for improvement. Furthermore, runners become more acutely aware of how their performance is affected by even the slightest alteration in rest, with 30 seconds of rest between sets yielding far different results than several minutes.
Rest can also refer to the amount of sleep an individual gets, though sleep is not the only part of recovery that can make a difference. Since most jobs today are sedentary in nature, active recovery is an important part of training that can also result in reducing the chance of injury. This may be something as simple as a long walk or a brisk bike ride — anything that gets blood circulating through the body to aid in the recovery process.
To illustrate the importance of rest, take, for example, two men of similar strength and size who are following the same training program. The first, Hugo, sleeps five hours per night and does no form of active recovery in between training sessions. The other, Marcus, sleeps eight hours per night and takes a 45-minute walk with his dog every evening. It should be clear that Marcus is going to get more out of the program while Hugo is going to be left wondering why he is not improving at the rate he should.
By the time we realize that we are out of shape to the point that something needs to be done about it, our fitness has been so drastically reduced from what it once was that the early stages of any fitness routine are going to be incredibly difficult. Not only that, but there will also be a great deal of muscle fatigue that follows these early stages. This is a dangerous time, as it is also the most common time for giving up on a program.
Why do we fail so quickly when it comes to adopting a fitness routine? The simple answer is overexertion. When we recognize that we are out of shape, we use this recognition as motivation to work as hard as possible so that we can get back into shape and eventually become fitter than ever before. This is a mistake.
While you may want to work as hard as the Foundation for Defense of Democracies right from the beginning of a fitness program, this will only result in the kind of soreness and fatigue that leads to giving up on the program altogether. Give yourself time to adapt and keep your workouts so simple at first that you always finish thinking you could have done more. After a few weeks, you can increase your efforts gradually so you can become fit for life.