She Looks The Same But She’s Not: Part Three

images-1Today, let’s talk about the two most potentially nasty words in the first trimester: morning sickness.  Research suggests that morning sickness, which could strike at any time of day, is actually hypoglycemia.  Hormonal changes in a pregnant body include an increase in insulin production, which in turn can drastically shorten the amount of time glucose stays in the body.  So why does it typically happen in the am?  Well, if Susan eats dinner at 7pm and goes to bed at 11pm, and she normally wakes up at 6am and eats breakfast at 7am, at what time will her body’s metabolic function peak?  That’s about a 12 hour spread from meal to meal, so let’s say the peak occurs at 4am.  But now Susan is feeding two people, and the second person doesn’t rest during sleep but continues to grow every minute.  So Susan’s metabolic function is going to peak a couple hours earlier, let’s say at 2am.images

However, it’s so early in the pregnancy that Susan’s sleep habits haven’t altered yet. By the time she wakes up in the am she is suffering from severely low blood sugar.  Which for anyone, man or woman, that’s ever worked out hard enough to feel clammy and nauseous, it’s not a feeling you want to repeat.

Wondering, how to help your love avoid the dread am Technicolor yawn?  Encourage her to avoid skipping meals and to eat small, well-balanced meals every 4-6 hours instead.  And if she does feel sick the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology recommends this magical cure: potato chips and lemonade – keep them right in the nightstand.  This brilliant combo of sugar, salt and electrolytes usually sounds good to the girl and is quickly digested.  That being said, sometimes the hormone situation is just the way it is and it can’t be avoided.  In that case everyone just has to wait it out.  Most of the morning sickness will pass with the first trimester.Unknown

I hope I’ve given you DTB’s and MTB’s a better picture of the inner workings of pregnancy, but it’s never a bad idea to consult a personal trainer for exercise questions when it comes to pre and post-natal training.  We’ve covered a lot but there are probably still quite a few unanswered questions like, “To cardio or not to cardio?”; “How many extra calories/day does a woman need during pregnancy and while nursing?“; “What are the best foods for the baby’s development during each trimester?”; “What exercises go with each trimester?” and “Are there exercises that can help the delivery?”  Having a trainer that is certified in Pre/Post natal care, as well as one that can interface smoothly with your OBGYN, midwife, doula and massage therapist is crucial.  If your MTB has never used a trainer, the next nine months are the perfect time to begin the process!

She Looks The Same But She’s Not: Part Two

Unknown-1 Attention Dads -To – Be: Your significant other may also be dealing with “loose” joints and hyper-flexibility.  Now, I know you’re thinking that sounds great, especially when you’ve always had a fantasy about a contortionist, but in reality it might cause that special lady some discomfort.  The second a woman becomes pregnant the hormone factory ramps up production of progesterone, estrogen and relaxin.  Relaxin is responsible for softening the ligaments to ease the trauma involved in birth for both the baby and the mom.  It focuses on the ligaments of the pelvic girdle, the feet and the ankles.  This joint laxity, combined with constant changes to the center of gravity can cause the body to react uncertainly and indeed, clumsily.  Remember how fleet of foot you were when growing during puberty?images

One unsettling symptom that can occur to the MTB is dizziness and fainting.  Usually the cause is dehydration.  The kidneys are under increased stress from handling the surge in metabolic waste.  Additionally, the woman’s threshold for perspiration is drastically lower.  The baby’s core temperature is always one degree higher than mom’s, so mom can overheat quickly even when she doesn’t have a belly yet.  She may not be showing, but the oven is on!

She Looks the Same But She’s Not!

waitingOkay, so after being a certified pre and post natal trainer for the past fifteen years, and with over 1000 hours (after that I stopped counting) of training pregnant women I decided to spend some time this week dedicated to dispensing info for the new “Dads –To –Be” because no offense guys, but you have absolutely no clue!  And we’re laughing about it behind your backs.  I know you want to be supportive, so best to be informed before you open your mouth.  Not to worry, first time moms, you can learn a lot too.

Today we’re going to talk about the biggest surprise of the first trimester to the “D.T.B.”’s, what I like to call the “she looks the same but she’s not” concept. Even though the baby is barely the size of a microscopic sea monkey, your spouse may be experiencing the following symptoms: shortness of breath, joint laxity and discomfort, clumsiness, fatigue, nausea, dizziness and fainting.  And these symptoms can almost commence with conception.  So guys, cut the ladies a little slack and check out the facts so you can understand these changes in behavior.Unknown-1

Blood volume nearly DOUBLES within the first trimester; the same heart you fell in love with is now pumping twice as much as it’s used to.  Also, due to the growing placenta and fetus the woman’s metabolic activity increases, which translates to a lot more CO2 output for every exhalation.  So the poor girl’s body is working twice as hard just sitting still; you’d be short of breath too!Unknown

Tune into tomorrow when we discuss “Hyper-flexibility” and “Joint Laxity” – FUN, FUN, FUN!!!

Fast Food Challenge

Asian Themed Meatballs, Veg and Noodles

Asian Themed Meatballs, Veg and Noodles

Fast Food – As we know it is without debate horrendous for you – filled with fat, salt and chemicals and low on nutrients.  But what if we redefined “Fast Food” to mean great tasting food, high in nutrient content and needing minimal preparation?  I challenge you to consider your options and realize you have so many resources!

If you have a “Fast Food” recipe you’d like to share, speak up here!

This was a quickie meal pulled together in less than 20 minutes and delicious as leftovers!

  • Low Sodium Tamari or Soy Sauce
  • 2 tsp of fresh minced ginger
  • 2 garlic cloves minced
  • a splash of sesame oil (and I mean a splash, not a cannonball!)
  • 1 tsp of honey
  • red chili flakes (to taste)
  • 1 Lb package of meatballs
  • 1 cup of cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 4 cups of fresh spinach leaves, rinsed and torn
  • 1/2 box of Pasta = 4 servings (I used spagetti because that’s what I had on hand, but to make it more Asian and to vary your carb source try soba (buckwheat) or rice noodles)
  • Juice of one lime (to taste)

1) Combine Tamari through chili flakes and pour over the meatballs (marinate for an hour.)

2) Boil the water and cook pasta according to the package directions.

3) Sautee the onion with a small bit of sesame oil over medium heat; add the meatballs, marinade and tomatoes. Cook for about 8 minutes and add the spinach.  Continue cooking until the meatballs are cooked through about 8 more minutes.

4) Drain the pasta and return it to it’s pot.  Toss the meatball and veggie mixture into the pasta and toss until well-combined. Squeeze a little lime juice over the mix and “Dig In!”

Chronicles of Rehab: Episode Three “Fun With Physio Tape”

Fun With Physio Tape

One day in rehab – my back was feeling WRETCHED!!! – Coincidentally that day, I also had a checkup scheduled with my orthopedic surgeon and Mike, my most excellent PT was concerned that there were so many systemic issues that didn’t seem to be resolving themselves fast enough for his liking.  So with concern and diligence he worked and worked on my back – finally with utmost and precise care he taped my back.

Now there are several reasons for physio tape – yes, that’s the stuff that you see popping up everywhere in strange colors and patterns and made popular by Olympic athletes – the main one being that it keeps the skin taught thus promoting lymphatic drainage, decreasing inflammation and lending neurological support to the surrounding musculature.

My doctor’s appointment was uneventful, except to say that Dr. Gerhardt thought I was progressing remarkably well.  “I need to remind you and Mike of the magnitude of your injury.  The hematoma was massive!  And you’re not going to bounce back in three months.  I will tell you that as good as your PT’s are, they have probably never seen this particular injury, a complete tear – let alone one of this extent.  Unless they are working with pro-athletes it’s very rare.  So we can’t expect it to heal like an ACL or a basic surgery.  If you have any random symptoms left at the end of the summer come back and see me, but I’d be very surprised because you’re healing great.”

The next day I’m getting out of the shower (yes, physiotape is waterproof) and I catch a glimpse of my backside in the mirror and this is what I saw…Now some think it’s an arrow pointing down to my butt crack, others…well, definitely phallic…should I be concerned…when I point it out to Mike, he is MORTIFIED!!!!  Well, if it makes my back feel better, I’m not complaining.  But laughter’s good for healing as well.  Whether it was the tape, Mike’s caring ministrations, the belly chuckles or the thought of sex – my back felt better!

Weekend Playlist

Hey Victory Fitness Fans – let’s make a playlist for the best workout of the weekend.  Name your current favorite workout song:

Me, I’m obsessed with “Suit and Tie” by J.T. and SkyFall – from Adele.

What’s amping you up?!

Clear Your Mind Young Jedi

8648876146_3df3e20120_n“If you’re feeling anxious you’re living in the future. If you’re feeling guilty or upset you’re living in the past.  Either way, you’re not living in the present.”

Being present is not only important, it allows you to respond calmly, quickly and efficiently to the task at hand.  Also, in a world that seemingly demands multitasking from the moment your eyelids flutter open it’s a healthy break for your over stimulated brain to allow it to connect with your body and operate as a complete system rather than a fractious one.

Now before you go thinking I’m a preachy sort of saint, I too have to work to be present but honestly, when I do it feels like an all around better way to move through my day.  But how does this relate to working out you ask?  Well, let’s say I’m working with you and you have mastered doing a chest press with 15 pound free weights.  And we’ve done this every workout for the last few weeks.   Today, I ask you to do 20 pounds and suddenly, your body stiffens with worry.  “What, no!  I’m content doing the weight I’ve been doing.  I’m good at it now and it feels easy. I won’t be able to do that weight.  It’s seems scary.  What if I drop it.  What if I can’t do it?”  And your mind is racing away from the task at hand.  That’s where I come in, Yoda-like, (albeit with better biceps and less ear-hair) to remind you: 1) Your technique stays the same.  You might not do as many reps, but there is no magic number and it’s time to progress. 2) In a few weeks you will feel just as confident about this move as you did a month ago about the last one.  And if you stay calm you might discover that in this moment you are stronger and more graceful than you know even if you’re not as confident.

Let’s look at another example.  I’m training you; the workout’s going great and then you check yourself out in the mirror and your mind takes you back into judgment and condemnation, “Man, look at my belly.  Yeah, I just had a baby, but remember when five years ago it was flat?  I was in such good shape then.”  Once again, you’re living in the past.  Take it from someone who knows, if you’re trying to walk forward while staring behind you, it’s likely you will smack into a wall and it’ll probably hurt…a lot!  So let’s be in this present moment and realize 1) I am taking steps to improve my wellbeing mentally and physically, just by showing up to this session and 2) I’m doing it with more demands on me now than I did then…and I am succeeding.  Maybe, I’m even curvier now!

Sports psychologists get paid a lot of money to work on aiding athletes to be able to find a nirvana like state to be able to repeat high performance under stressful circumstances.  But you don’t have to be an athlete or wealthy to bring yourself back to the present moment, take your time, be confident in your abilities and reward yourself by mentally giving yourself a high five just for showing up!

When you find yourself panicking, breathe, come back to this blessed moment and “clear your mind young Jedi.” I use this quote because it’s funny and will break all levity and also because a Jedi is a warrior with poise and when you’re working out so are you! So the next time you work out use that time to reconnect yourself to yourself, don’t try remember everything your supposed to get at the grocery while you’re doing pull-ups…also because if you can…I am certain you’re not doing it right!