Tuesday, February 8, 2011
As a new mom myself, I know there are a number of factors holding us back from fitting exercise into our lives post-partum. These are real and legitimate issues- not laziness or lack of desire. Most new moms I know would love an opportunity to get out of the house and take some time for themselves. Some roadblocks to exercise for new moms are:
-guilt for leaving the baby while mom goes to exercise
-who to leave the baby with, often times a paid babysitter while mom exercises feels like a luxury that cannot be afforded
-a fussy baby, or a baby who becomes sick and mom can't leave
-being completely exhausted from the effort it takes to raise a baby, if mom has any time to herself it seems as though resting or chores that need to be done take top priority.
-low back and neck pain from carrying the baby everywhere can prevent new moms from exercising because they don't want to hurt themselves more
-working moms already feel the guilt of leaving the baby all day, and find it hard to justify leaving for a longer period of time to fit exercise into their day
-more than one little kid in the house can make exercising nearly impossible!
Benefits to Moms
My class, Mommy with Baby Pilates, offers a fantastic solution to moms facing any of these dilemmas. In this class, moms do pilates while their babies play or sit next to them on the floor. There are other styles of teaching where the baby is included in each exercise. From my own experience as a mom and a pilates instructor, that method doesn't usually work well for mom or baby. Changing positions and the uncertainty of what's going on can make for a fussy baby. Trying to maneuver a baby AND exercise at the same time does little to improve mom's core or the proper form necessary to benefit from pilates.
Therefore, the majority of exercises done in my class are sans baby. Of course, moms stop working out whenever necessary to take care of a fussy baby, which is completely fine. No one gets annoyed when a baby starts to cry- we've all been there! Its a very supportive and welcoming environment!
The class itself is 45 minutes, and there are reasons for this. The extra 15 minutes in the hour are great for settling into the classroom, and for packing up, changing the baby, nursing, etc before we all leave. 45 minutes is a good length of time to exercise, and just the right amount of time a baby can tolerate being in the class!
Wednesday, February 2, 2011
I will compile them in a blog post, and we'll have a nice list of great teaching cues to work with and learn from each other. If you have your own blog site or studio, please send me links in your email so I can include them in the post.
Thanks! Looking forward to hearing from everyone....
UPDATE! Thanks so much to all the pilates teachers (from around the world!) who have emailed me their favorite teaching cues! There's still room for more, so send them my way! I will have the post written in a few weeks, so there's still plenty of time. Read more!
The following post was guest-written by my pilates student- and my friend- Heather Buehl.
I am delighted to write for Heads Up On Your Body. About 2 years ago, I was 15 pounds overweight, in an unsatisfying career, and had very low energy. By making step-by-step, easy to incorporate changes that were right for my body and lifestyle, I was able to achieve my goal – to live a happy healthy life full of authenticity! My own health journey left me inspired to help others achieve their goals – and to achieve happiness. Happiness, to me, is internal and external contentment. Only you can measure what that is for you. I look forward to chatting with you through Elaine’s blog and sharing some food for thought (no pun intended – ha-ha!) around health and lifestyle.
As a health coach, I believe in bio-individuality. No one diet is right for everyone because our bodies, lives and needs are very different. Believing this, I still cannot help but state this study just doesn’t sit right with me. I feel torn because I don’t want to draw any more attention to this study, but my fear is that the media will distort it and people will listen. Prime example is the news reporter in the ABC video clip. She states that people feel if they are eating healthy food, then they can eat more of it, but consequently gain weight. She goes on to say how important calorie restriction is. I feel the body does need to be treated like a laboratory and certain foods whether healthy or not, do need to be tested by an individual for as the saying goes, “One person’s feast is another person’s poison.” But dieting is only a temporary fix. Where is the quality in this diet? Sure Professor Haub lost 27 pounds in 10 weeks, but what other parts of his health were affected? Let’s face it, putting on weight or developing health conditions like high cholesterol or diabetes, does not happen overnight. Why do we expect weight loss or living happy, healthy lives to happen overnight? Read on, there’s more.
Mentioned repeatedly throughout both links were statements not recommending this diet long term. There was also uncertainty as to the effects of doing this diet long term. Haub’s bad cholesterol levels did decrease by 20% while his good cholesterol did increase by 20%. But as stated by a dietitian within the CNN article, any significant weight reduction will improve certain health markers, like cholesterol, but not all. Should Haub have stayed on this diet long term, I have no doubt in my mind that nutritional deficiencies and cravings would start to outweigh the initial benefits he saw.
Ninety percent of the time, eat whole foods that are right for your body. Include exercise. Live true to who you are. Ten percent of your life can include a Twinkie. This helps people sustain a long term healthy weight and life.
On his Facebook page, Professor Haub remarks that his family threw away fruits and vegetables due to spoilage. He feels this demonstrates people could save so much money if they bought extended shelf life, packaged foods – like Twinkies. He feels these types of foods would be more realistic for those living remotely. All I can comment on here is be empowered to take control of your health and your life. Grow a garden or visit a local farmer or farmer’s market for fresh food. Buy less vegetables and fruits initially to see how much your family is eating and note what your family seems to enjoy the most. Then shop accordingly.
Oh, but then there is the argument that this diet may help people fit into social situations. It may seem that eating any food at a party is liberating as long as you stay within the allotted daily caloric intake. I would imagine the effect would be quite the opposite. I don’t want to be worried about whether I have gone over the caloric limit or embarrass myself by asking the hostess if he used full fat or low fat sour cream in a dip. Let’s look at the party as your 10%. Maybe you can bring a dish of your own and expose your friends and family to something new and healthy. Live authentically; there is nothing wrong with honoring your body and eating well. We are not meant to be carbon copies of one another.
In United States, Americans look for quick fixes to their problems. Yes, losing weight is an awesome thing, perhaps calorie counting helps to do that. I truly believe if you are to lose weight and keep it off, a lifestyle change needs to happen. Eating healthy has to become part of your life. The foods we put into our body become every cell, thought, and feeling we have – that is some powerful stuff when you truly stop to think about it. ALL areas of our life need to be in balance though too. Weight is not just put on because we eat poorly. An unsatisfying career, a difficult relationship, low self-esteem can put weight on your bones too. So ask yourself, have short term fixes worked for you in the past? Or are you ready to make that change that will give you vibrancy? Dr. David Katz says, "One of the things I hope people recognize is that the diets we choose need to be more than just losing weight as fast as possible. We also want to find health and it's combining those two goals that should dictate the kinds of diets we try and the kinds we professionals recommend.”
Heather is a board certified health coach. She studied at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition in NYC. Read more!