Posted in MAMA

An Active Pregnancy

Before I got pregnant – or when I very first got pregnant – I was beyond naive. I signed up for a 10K and 1-miler on the same weekend (instead of the Honolulu Marathon, of course) and assumed I’d slowly and happily jog through them with my barely-present bump and continue staying consistently, highly active through the whole 9 months.

By the time this weekend rolled around, I had been vomiting and barely eating for weeks. I was so nauseous in the first trimester I had trouble sleeping at night, didn’t want to socialize, and found most foods aside from bananas and crackers to be inedible. I still technically ‘completed’ these ill-fated digital races, but I half-jogged the one mile and walked the entire 10K. I also threw up several times during the 10K, and only continued because that was typical of any day at that time.

Now that I’m in my second trimester and counting down the days until the third, things have changed. I have a nice round belly that makes it tough to tie my shoes, but said belly is no longer growing and expanding like it was before. I can finally eat tomatoes again, have more energy, and can get through the day pretty normally with an afternoon nap. I can also walk/jog now that my new balance is under control, too.

Here’s a few things that have been incredibly helpful in staying active during my pregnancy.

Let It Go

This is the most important lesson of all. Whatever you thought pregnancy would be like, forget about it. You’re on your own unique journey and your body will be crystal clear on what it can and cannot tolerate. Sure, I’ve watched YouTube videos of women running half marathons or doing deadlifts or whatever else pregnant, but that’s their abilities and experience – not mine. I was an extremely active person before baby, and was almost completely sidelined by the first trimester alone. If that’s what’s right for me and my baby, I’m happy to stay on the bench as long as I need to.

Gym/Lifting Weights

The gym has been my go-to most days. I did some quick research to find safe exercises and even some that help build muscles for labor. My basic routine is a lighter/modified leg day with biceps & triceps and cool-down cardio.

At Home/Park/Wherever Workout

My husband is fairly active, and I’m usually playing soccer or skating right alongside him. Now that those things have been deemed off-limits, I started lugging my yoga mat, kettlebell and dumbbells with him to the park. This can also easily be done at home, at a kid’s soccer practice, or wherever.

Prenatal Yoga

Prenatal yoga is, according to my doctor, one of the best exercises for moms-to-be. It helps stretch out tight hips and uncramp crampy legs, bring some peace and stillness, and help with nausea and balance. Here’s one of my favorite youtube videos with minimal equipment I can do right at home.

Walking/Hiking

Running has been out of the picture for most of my pregnancy. At first, I was sick and dizzy, and then became wobbly and off-balance and plain old tired. Walking has been my best friend. I walk all the time, from taking my dog around the neighborhood to going to the track to taking a (literal) hike. Walking is low impact, keeps the heart pumping, and is gentle enough that I can do it on my worst days – and on those days, it actually makes me feel a lot better.

Important – I’m Not a Doctor

Just a quick note – I am not a doctor, and am sharing what’s worked specifically for me during my pregnancy. I ask my doc all kinds of crazy questions, and those include checking that everything listed above isn’t only safe for pregnancy in general, but for me and my pregnancy, specifically. Be sure to do the same with yours!

Posted in Uncategorized

Motivation Monday: Clean Eating

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Health and fitness experts seem to agree on the mantra that fitness is 80% nutrition and 20% exercise, which makes sense totally sucks. If we work hard in the gym, in the water or on the trails, shouldn’t we be able to dine as we please? After all, exercise makes me ravenous. And I like to have my cake and eat it too.

With the holidays upon us, clean ratings even tougher. It’s not everyday that were surrounded by decadent desserts and savory dishes we’ve been waiting for all year.

Personally, dragging myself to the gym, on a run or into hours-long surf sessions is easy. I love working out, feeling my body push past its limits, and the euphoric feeling that comes after.

Working out makes me feel strong, sexy, happy and healthy. And while I eat pretty good most of the time, I feel like I do deserve a treat now and then – or maybe a little more often that just now and then. (shhh, don’t tell!)

Basically, finding motivation to work out is easy. Finding motivation to eat well, however, is not. Nutrition is always the very hardest part of any fitness program or healthy lifestyle in general. We all get hungry, and end up at a friend’s bbq or driving home late at night with grumbling stomachs and nothing but kale in the fridge. And goddammit, you don’t want any more freaking kale. And that’s when healthy eating goes out the window.

This week’s motivation monday focuses on clean eating, which I consider optimal nutrition at its finest. Whole foods, plant based (for us veg folk) and with as little non-organics and gmo’s as our wallets can handle.

Happy (clean) eating!

Nikki

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Posted in Running

Motivation Monday

Although I love health & fitness, I could always use a little motivation. And that seems to hold true for most – whether we’ve been working out for months or just started on the path to health & happiness. There’s always a new plateau ahead with a coinciding wall to break through. Working out isn’t just physical; it’s a mental and spiritual journey too. And it tests your strength and brings up weaknesses in every aspect of you as a human being.

Since I was a college athlete, having a clear goal or deadline is key. Signing up for races or going to yoga classes with a fitter friend brings out my competitive nature and deep-rooted drive to be the best. Everyone has a different motivating factor – and knowing why you’re fighting for better fitness is pivotal in reaching your goals, whatever they may be.

Here’s a few motivations geared towards running, for my first Motivation Monday post. Right now, my motivation is my very first half-marathon coming up at the end of December. I’m both excited and terrified to conquer that 13.1 mile mark – and, possibly, a little crazy. But training for something makes me push harder, run faster, and feel more accomplished after every little achievement.

What’s your motivation?

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