On more than one occasion I have been accused of having an answer for everything. And I admit it’s true. I have made it my goal as a trainer to have an excuse for every excuse. Some see it as being a smarty pants, I see if as my job to keep mamas moving.
Today I’m tackling hydration. All sorts of excuses come back when this topic comes up. Truthfully though the benefits to being hydrated far outweigh the excuses. When you are hydrated:
Ok, you say. “I’m in” where do I start?
I strongly believe we are more likely to follow through with anything when there is a goal to work toward. For hydration, I prefer a more personalized goal than the traditional 8 glasses per day. Take your body weight in pounds (the real one, not whatever made up number is on your driver’s license) and divide it in half. Drink at least that many ounces per day.
Each time you finish a glass or water bottle write it down to keep an accurate total, you can even use your fit bits water tracker. The Make the Most of your Fitbit post gives more details on this.
Keep moving tip: Take note of the water in the potty. A dark color means you need more water, light color means you are doing great.
How you ask?
Here are a few time methods that have worked for not only me, and have been proven to work by my mom clients. Pick the ones that will work for you.
Keep moving tip: A ball jar is my water glass of choice, for other fun things to do with Ball jars try this Soup in a Jar idea.
A few exceptions
There are a few things that will bump up your need for water. Diuretics, these talk your body into flushing the water out a bit faster. The big one for us moms is coffee, caffeinated soda is another. Drink a cup of coffee? Add a cup of water to your goal.
Sweating during exercise means you need to replace that water. Add 4 -6 ounces of water for every 15 minutes of exercise. Smaller sips during exercise are ideal.
Now that you have both the reasons and a few tips to hydrate, it’s time to commit. Are you ready to hydrate and feel the difference? Comment below with your strategy and goal.
Keep Moving Mama
Originally published in Ardent Magazine Summer 2017
Balance shouldn’t be taken for granted, and it’s not a forgone assumption that you’ll lose your balance as you age. With a conscious effort to improve balance daily and a focus on it in our exercise programs we maintain our overall stability much longer. It’s when we don’t challenge our balance that it will decrease.
Many things can cause our balance to decrease, from a disease, to an inner ear infection, to a balance disorder and even poor posture. If you have noticed a sudden change in balance, it is worth checking in with your doctor. However, in the absence of these things simply adding imbalance into each day can result in large improvements at any age.
There are several ways to improve your balance in your daily life. Moms of young kids can take cues from their littles. Walk the tight rope on the curb, walk across the swinging bridge at the park or ride your bike along side your kids.
I often encourage clients to simply stand on one foot while they brush their teeth. Right foot in the morning, left foot at night. One clients mother did this after her doctors testing concluding that she was prone to falls. After 6 months, her doctor noticed a significant improvement at her return visit and retest. How easy is that?
Your dedicated exercise time can also be changed slightly to include balance improving exercises. Not to mention that we use up to 30% more calories when doing exercises that require stability.
While doing rows or any standing upper body exercise, stand on one foot.
Do exercises that use just one side of the body at a time such as single leg lunges, squats and calf raises.
Use a suspension trainer.
TRX and WOSS are two brands that use suspension systems for portable exercise equipment. These engage the core for stabilization helping to build balance. In an 8 week study of 12 subjects, ages 75 and older training twice per week for 60 minutes on a TRX, improvements were seen in both the Functional Reach Test (FRT) the Timed Up and Go (TUG) test. These tests are used to gage risk of falling in exercise and in medical settings.
Take advantage of uneven surfaces when exercising outdoors. Run on the granite path at Elk Grove park, do your lunges in the grass, try your plies with one foot on the curb.
Mix up the direction during your exercises. Combine squats and lunges in each leg set; a forward lunge, then a side squat, then a reverse lunge, repeating on the other side. Or move to the right for 10 squats, before moving left for the next 10.
Regardless if it’s a postpartum woman in my pilates/yoga class or personal training with a senior with arthritis in the hip, I include balance building exercises in each workout. There’s nothing to lose and everything to gain.
Keep Moving Mama
You know those moments in motherhood when you feel like you've got it all together?
HA! Just kidding, like that happens often, if ever. We are all just doing the best we can to love, feed and nurture our families and ourselves. Roll with it, embrace it and keep moving forward. You are surrounded by other moms doing the same thing.
Keep moving mama!
My family had a waterski boat when I was growing up and we spent most summer weekends on the lake. My mom tells us stories about how we learned to swim in the 6 person jacuzzi in our backyard and just jumped right off the boat into the water and swam.
You could say I have always known how to swim, but never learned technique. Despite that, I have done a few sprint and super sprint triathlons. That was me you saw starting last, with her head above water the whole swim portion, rarely a front crawl mixed in.
So this January, I managed to cause a herniated disk in my back just getting dressed. Yes, really. No great story here! Broken bones, twisted ankles, muscle spasms, strained calf muscles, IT band syndrome, and delivering two babies without medication have nothing on the pain of a this herniated disk situation. WOWZA.
Those first few months, just tying my shoes was near impossible, sitting in a chair or car more than 5 minutes caused pain down my leg and made my left foot numb. My left calf muscle just stopped working causing me to limp when walking. Early every Saturday morning I head out to mark trails for my Keep Moving Mama run/walk team with chalk on the sidewalk. Bending down to write the turn around points brought me to tears on more than one occasion. Pain such as this I have not known before.
A few weeks after the injury, I was referred to physical therapy. Does everyone LOVE physical therapy? They are magicians that figure out what is wrong and retrain your body to move correctly. With weekly treatments and exercises at home, my pain has subsided over the last 3 months. It’s not gone but it’s improving.
On my list of exercises was swimming. With my undeniable addiction to exercise I was losing my mind without running. So into the water I went. At first, just holding a kick board under my chest and kicking for 10 minutes was the limit. Then I built up to swimming on my back that long without the kick board. Then my back allowed me to try a few strokes.
Co-owner of Sunshine Swim Center, Kim Amali, teaches swim clinics for my triathlon teams. Typically, I am with the runners and make it to the pool at the end of the swim clinic. Knowing swimming was my new go to for cardio exercise, I rearranged things to get in the pool with my clients. This was completely eye-opening. Wow, you scoop with your hands? You keep your arms next to you not across your body? That’s how you put on a swim cap?
With this new found knowledge, I’ve started swimming laps. Like a real lap, back and forth and using arms and everything. Turns out, you can really get your heart rate up swimming laps. After not running and doing low impact cardio work, I can tell I’ve lost some of my stamina. But with swimming now in my routine I can see the light.
Truth be told it’s not my favorite exercise ever. It’s like a treadmill without any music or people watching. Capitol B-oring. Running outdoors is and group exercise are more my style. My friend Heather Anders recommended this great waterproof iPod and headphone set that makes a huge difference. With music, I can find my groove. Now when I’m swimming, getting winded and working hard, I’m thinking “I’m awesome, I’m an athlete, I can do this!” I love that feeling more than anything. Exercise is my addiction to the T.
It does not matter what your injury is, there is something you CAN do. Keeping your body working, learning a new skill, challenging yourself to go out of your box will get you through the challenge. Others have faced far greater challenges than this herniated disk, but it’s the challenge I currently face and am taking head on. Hope you do the same with your own challenges.
Keep Moving mama!
You have probably heard of salad in a jar, and maybe even tried it. Layering ingredients in a jar so that they will last for future lunches or any one the go meal is brilliant. This idea takes the same concept to warm, comforting, good for you soup.
These Asian inspired noodle soup bowls heat up in minutes and are totally filling. Layer your tasty ingredients at the bottom of the container, pile in the noodles, top with veggies and seal. When you are set to eat, just add boiling water to the pot and let it sit a few minutes. Crispy veggies in warm soup in minutes. Delish.
Soup In a Jar printable recipe
Makes 3 servings in less than 10 minutes
In a small bowl, stir soy sauce, wasabi paste, siracha sauce and chicken stock together. Pour 1/3 into each of 3 quart size jars.
Layer in tofu, veggies and put on the lid. Keep in the refrigerator up to 5 days.Fill the jar to the top with boiling water, put the lid back on and let sit for 5 minutes. Give it a shake, open and enjoy.
Tip: In quart size jars, the ingredients packed the jars to the top. If you prefer more broth, use a larger jar or make 4 jars.
Recipe adapted from The Londoner’s traveling noodles
Have fun with these, use ingredients you like or have on hand. They are completely flexible. Ball jars are my container of choice, I have a bunch around and they do well with hot liquids. Not to mention they’re just cute. My water glass is a quart jar too, it’s a thing.
When you give it a try let me know what you think, what variations you come up with. #keepmovingmama with your photos on Instagram so we can see your creations too!
Isn't that saying true? Starting is the hardest part?
Often we start too quickly and burn out. Or try to keep up with someone else who started a long time before we did and end up with an injury.
This is something I have found myself saying to clients over and over. Start with what you are physically and mentally able to do well. Stick with it and over time what you're able to do will change and you'll leave that first workout in the dust.
Share your experiences with this in the comments. Love to hear from you.
Keep Moving Mama!
5 ways to mix up your next 5K
If you hang out with runners very long this phrase will come out of your mouth at some point in time. You may start with run walk intervals, build up your distance over time, complete a 5K then another and another. Many runners give a 10K or half marathon a go but decide that’s not the distance they love. Or as the case with many mamas, we want to keep moving but 2-3 hour training runs aren’t going to fit the schedule/mom guilt game plan.
So a 5K it is. Awesome! How do you rock another 5K but continue to challenging yourself? Here are a few ideas to keep you moving:
Mixing up your speed during training or even during an event will give you a good challenge and even get you to the finish line quicker. The control freak part of me says to get out your watch and decide on an exact interval. You can even download a “simple interval timer” to your phone so it will beep when it is time to switch.
30 sec of moving faster every 5 min will get most of our hearts beating fast, if you’re in excellent shape do the 30 sec every 3 min.
Keep moving tip:
Watch idea to much preplanning? Wing it by increasing your speed at every light pole, tree or us competitive gals might pick it up to pass someone in front of us at an event.
Picking an event that has different terrain than you’re used to adds a new dimension of fun. Pick a trail run, an event with a super hilly course, something in an area you’ve never run before.
Keep moving tip: Start a race towards the back of the pack. That way you are bobbing and weaving through the crowd…another change.
Run at a friend’s pace
Bringing a friend along to chat with mixes up the race day experience too. Especially if her pace is different than yours. A walking or slower friend will allow you to talk more and enjoy not pushing your limits for once. A faster friend will challenge you to keep up…while you let her do all the talking so you can focus on breathing and occasionally pretending your shoe is untied.
Completing a destination event is a whole new spin on running. New scenery, surfaces and swag.
Build an event into a trip. Look up an event that’s near your inlaws while visiting or one that’s near that business conference you’re at all week.
OR plan a destination event as a weekend away or a day away with friends. Hang out before and after and chat it up. www.active.com is a great source for events, a quick google search will do it too.
Make a goal
I PR’d today! What the heck is PR and why do I want that? PR is abbreviated for Personal Record….so you’re best time. Making a goal of finishing your next 5K faster than your previous can keep you motivated to push a bit more on race day and during your training.
Aiming for a pace 30 sec to 1 min per mile faster is a challenging but doable goal in a 5K. Ran a 32:51 last time? That’s a 10 minute 34 second per mile pace. Shoot for a 31:16 next time shaving 30 sec off each mile. Check out this pace calculator to crunch some numbers.
Whatever you do, keeping it interesting, fun and engaging will keep you running. That’s the goal after all right? To keep moving.
My mother in law said this to me about having kids. She was so right! Turns out this works for so many other things. Starting a fitness program, deciding to start eating apples for snacks instead of cheese, signing up for a triathlon, making any change for the better. Embrace the moment!
Keep Moving Mama
Post originally written March 2016
For the past 3 years, I have decided that I would complete a half marathon…as a runner. In what seems at times like another life, the one before kids, I walked 2 marathons and one half. Those experiences certainly shaped my approach to challenge and had a huge part in what I do now as a trainer and coach.
However, no matter what anyone else says, pretty much everything, yes everything changes when you have children. That change has never been a negative for me, I relish every part good and bad of parenthood. What a wild ride!
As it relates to fitness, becoming a mom has changed how I approach fitness and my own health. It has driven me to get more effective workouts done in little time, it has made the “pain” of workouts seem minimal, it has driven me to focus fitness for health above how I look and it has taught me to cherish my workout time as my own time.
During and after my long distance walking, what I thought was a knee problem became a factor and in my mind determined that I would not be a runner or do long distances.
In what seems at times like another life, the one before kids, I walked 2 marathons and one half. After taking a break from my own fitness goals and focusing on my kids, I eventually came back around to exercise. I became a group fitness instructor, running coach and personal trainer, operating a fitness business from my home.
However, soon after I started to run an old knee problem reappeared keeping me from running and barely allowing me to walk more than a few miles without pain. Or what I “assumed” was a knee problem.
Once I took the time (aren’t moms notorious for putting themselves last?) to make appointments, research and talk to physical therapists, I discovered an overuse injury called IT band syndrome was causing my pain, not a knee problem.
In order to continue to be active and to continue my fitness career as a personal training and coach, I had to learn some pro-active recovery tools and make a plan. And so my mantra became Keep Moving Mama.
These action items gave my mind and my body something to focus on and helped both recover. It’s my hope that these will help you to pro-actively recover too.
This torture, I mean treatment device helps enormously in recovery of many injuries. Especially overuse injuries. It’s a type of self massage that lengthens muscles by releasing adhesions along the muscle length. Muscles are wrapped in a sort of saran wrap called fascia. Often this sticks to the muscle itself due to a constant rubbing (overuse) or an injury like a fall or simply running into the corner of a coffee table. Foam rolling releases these sticky spots, called adhesions, allowing the muscle to lengthen and move freely. After that release, the whole muscle can move freely again. It can be done before exercise or after or even both.
I wasn’t joking earlier about the torture, this is really not fun. You’ll most likely find adhesions that you didn’t know you had. When you roll over one, you’ll need to stop with pressure on the tender area and practice your breathing till it releases. Then roll over it, come back and do it again. Then continue to another spot. Over time you’ll notice you have less adhesions. Foam rolling also releases delayed onset muscle soreness from tough workouts when done after the exercise. http://www.webmd.com/fitness-exercise/sore-muscles-dont-stop-exercising?page=1
Balance out the weakness
Often injuries are due to an area of weakness. For example, a knee injury called runners knee often improves when the larger leg muscles that support the knee are strengthened. Doing low impact exercises like bridges and leg extensions won’t bother the knee but will build muscle in the legs. Stronger leg muscles in turn support the knee, eliminating runners knee pain.
As a personal trainer, I’ve had many opportunities to help clients recover from injury with this strategy. Sessions can be arranged in Elk Grove, Ca or online workouts are available. Your own personal trainer, physical therapist or doctor may be able to help you determine muscles you can strengthen to support the injured are you have.
Find the exercise you can do. If you can’t run due to an injury, walk, if that’s not happening, ride a bike, do pilates, learn yoga, try a bootcamp, swim.
You hurt your shoulder? Focus on strengthening your lower body while it heals.
You twisted your ankle? When your yoga instructor is doing a balance pose, keep both feet on the ground and just do the arm movement….whatever you do just keep moving.
This not only creates balance in body strength and burns calories, there is no doubt it keeps the mind focused and strong. Keep your mind on the positive, not on what you cannot do.
It may never go away
Some injuries heal and go away, others we learn to live with and we adjust to accommodate. I know I’ll have aching in my hip and leg when I run long distances or run three days a week. So I stick to shorter runs and only run 2 days a week…to avoid this overuse injury flaring up again. If yours is one that’s not going away, determine what activities will not cause further damage. Then decide what you are willing to live with, or if you need to change your activity. And be ok with that.
Taping the area for enough support to allow you to keep moving is mood and activity altering. There are a few different kinesiology therapeutic tape brands out there, I’ve have the best luck with the KT tape brand. It is used with tension and placement to support a variety of injuries. It’s use with plantar fasciitis is covered is shown in my post Home remedies for plantar fasciitis. Visit their website, kttape.com/instructions to watch videos on how to use it for other injuries.
Stopping all exercise due to one injury is simply not an option. Health, weight management and basic self-confidence are so much higher with active recovery than stopping. You will never again be as young as you are today, so embrace what you CAN do.
Last week I completed a 12 mile training run….my longest run ever in preparation for my first half marathon as a runner. The path here has included 7 years of leaning and practicing the tools I’ve described. 3 half marathon tries, training up to 9 miles then finding the pain too difficult.
If I’d quit, not done the foam rolling or walking, not cross trained and stayed positive the outcome would have been quite different. I would still be walking shorter distances and cross training, which is good. But looking forward to tomorrows half marathon, knowing I stuck with it, learned so much about my own body and can help others do the same is just plain AWESOME.
Please share your stories of injury and proactive recovery. I’d love to hear and help if I can.
Keep moving mama
Let it make you feel like a kid….or a badass. Embrace the chance to run in the rain and you won’t be disappointed. There are a few things you can do to prepare and ensure a good experience.
You will get wet
If you run in the rain you will get wet. Plan accordingly with a few dry things back at your car or by the door when you come into the house. Dry socks and a sweatshirt are my two essentials.
Check the temp
Here in California, often it warms up a few degrees when it rains. Not sure the science there but it’s a pattern. You may be plenty warm without the heavy jacket during your workout.
“Honestly, I wear as little as possible when I run in the rain,” admits Sarah Louie, one of my running clients. She recalls running in the rain in just a sports bra for high school cross country training on the secluded trails in the woods. “It was so fun!”
Not too many of us moms are running around in their sports bras, but a light weight shirt is better than a cotton tee that will soak up the water. Cotton yoga pants are a guaranteed problem too. Picking out light weight, wicking materials won’t weigh you down.
That sweat proof hat or visor is of course also waterproof. Wear that to keep the rain off your face. Head sweats is one brand among many, this one’s great.
Your favorite running shoes will be ready for the next run if you dry them after your run in the rain. Stuff them with newspaper, changing the paper every few hours till it’s dry. Newspaper is tougher to find these days, so I have found that lightweight packing paper works great for this too.
Last but not least, just remember that you won’t melt. Have fun running in the rain!
Keep moving mama.