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Forget those dumbbells – Use a Cuter Alternative!

Posted on Feb 15, 2014 in Nutrition & Fitness | 0 comments

Forget those dumbbells! Exercises that use your baby as added resistance, (because let’s face it, babies are way cuter than dumbbells)

 Sound familiar? You are trying to sneak a workout in at home while your baby is napping.  But your baby isn’t digging that arrangement and does not want to take a solid nap and is fussy. Not to worry! Time to get creative and incorporate your little one into your workout. Calming fussy babies by using both movement and motion is often effective; so let’s get moving! Here are our top exercises that use your own body weight AND your baby’s weight for added resistance.

Some JFit 360° clients demo these moves below (including Mometeria’s very own Corinne, who has been working hard and looking amazing five months post baby!)

1) The Drool Glute Bridge Lift

- Lie flat on the floor on your back with your hands holding your baby on your lower abs facing you, and your knees bent. Your feet should be placed around shoulder width. This will be your starting position.

- Pushing mainly with your heels, lift your hips off the floor while keeping your back straight. Breathe out as you perform this part of the motion and hold at the top for a second, squeezing your glutes.

- Slowly go back to the starting position as you breathe in.

*Perform 3 sets of 25 reps per set.

droolglute

 

2) The Baby Bop Glute Bridge Hold with Press on Stability Ball

- Get into your glute bridge pose with your upper back and head positioned onto a stability ball (you hold this position, versus raising and lowering like in the glute bridge lifts).

- Hold your baby above you and lift and lower baby. Bring your baby to touch your chest and then raise baby back up.

*Perform 3 sets of 20 reps per set. (A full raise and lower = 1 rep)

 

babybop 3) Traveling Lunge à la Baby

- Hold your baby and stand with your feet hip-width apart.

- Take a giant step forward with your left foot and sink into a lunge so that your front knee is bent 90 degrees.

- Return to standing by bringing your back leg forward to meet your front leg. Repeat, stepping forward with the other leg. Continue alternating.

* Perform 3 sets of 20 reps per set (a right and left leg lunge = 1 rep)

lunge

4) Gaga Goo Bicep Curl

- Place a stool or low chair arm’s length away from you.

- Start from a kneeling position and hold your baby to your chest.

- Extend your baby out in front to you to tap your baby’s feet to the chair/stool, and then raise baby back up to your chest, bending at your elbows.

* Perform 3 sets of 20 reps per set.

gaga

Blog article author: Jen Dehestani, ACSM Certified Personal Trainer at JFit 360°  http://jfit360.com

 

An App That Can Help You Lose Weight?!

Posted on Nov 7, 2013 in Nutrition & Fitness | 0 comments

 

app

Sometimes technology can be a tad bit overwhelming.  There are so many gadgets and gizmos out there to aid us in virtually every aspect of our lives (most of which children under the age of 6 all seem to be able to use better than us adults)!

My favorite technology when it comes to fitness and diet is called MyFitnessPal. You can log in from your computer or add it as an app on your smartphone – and it’s FREE.  Want to lose 5lbs? Plug your stats and weight loss goals into the program and away you go!  The app logs your daily food intake along with exercise to keep you on track, providing you with a net calorie amount.  For added convenience, you can scan in many food items with your phone directly into the food log.  The program also keeps a record of foods you frequently enter, so you don’t have to retype food items in.

It also allows you to connect with your friends who are on MyFitnessPal.  You can comment on your friends’ daily activities and updates (think Facebook newsfeed).  This community feature helps keep you motivated and on track.  If you are a new mom and are breastfeeding you can simply add in “breastfeeding” under your daily food log and, voila . . . it shows up as a negative calorie reading.  Now who doesn’t love that?!  Walk your dog or clean your house today? Add it as an activity into MyFitnessPal and it will factor in the calorie burn.

Technology never looked so good!

Blog article author: Jen Dehestani, ACSM Certified Personal Trainer at JFit 360° http://jfit360.com

 

How To Keep Your Fitness Motivation

Posted on Sep 27, 2013 in Nutrition & Fitness, Uncategorized | 0 comments

Motivation

Let’s face it, we all have those days when we just don’t feel like working out.  Maybe you feel super tired, the kiddos are driving you bananas, it’s a dreary, cold day out, or you feel stressed and you’d rather just go home and veg out in front of the TV. While we all have these days occasionally, the real work comes with how you deal with it and how to keep your health at the forefront of your decision-making. Goal setting can play a big part in mentally overcoming such obstacles.

Make goals unrelated to a scale. Too often we get frustrated that the number on the scale isn’t going down.  We get discouraged and may feel like it’s pointless and give up.  When you begin to fall into a slump it helps to write down a few performance goals to keep inspired. Sign up for a road race, stay 15 minutes longer than usual on the treadmill or up the incline level, or use a heavier set of weights than you normally do.  These goals can be short-term or something that may take a while. The point is that you take baby steps to eventually get you to your end goal.

Involving your family in your goals can help keep motivation levels up.  A charity walk that you and your family can do together, a commitment to a weekly stroller jogging group, meeting up at the mall to walk with a friend and your kids -  whatever it may be, we tend to keep motivation levels up when we have workout buddies and a family who is active with us.

Keep the focus more on taking charge of your fitness and feeling good about your progress, because every bit of activity you do is benefiting your overall health; and THAT is something to smile about and feel proud of!

Blog article author: Jen Dehestani, ACSM Certified Personal Trainer at JFit 360° http://jfit360.com

 

 

 

 

Get Wild for Watermelon!

Posted on Aug 14, 2013 in Nutrition & Fitness | 0 comments

 

watermelon

 

When I think of watermelon I think of summer and all of the fun, beach days, and laughter that go along with it. This juicy fruit is packed full of nutrition, provides great hydration benefits, and is low in fat.

Watermelons are an excellent source of several vitamins: vitamin A, which helps maintain eye health and is an antioxidant; vitamin C, which helps boost the immune system, heal wounds, prevent cell damage, promote healthy teeth and gums; and vitamin B6, which helps brain function and helps convert protein to energy. This power fruit is beneficial to the skin and aids in the regenerative process.

Watermelon has the highest concentrations of lycopene of any fresh fruit or vegetable. Lycopene is a powerful antioxidant hat helps fight heart disease and several types of cancer.   It is also a great source of potassium, which helps muscle and nerve function, helps maintain the body’s proper electrolyte and acid-base balance, and helps lower the risk of high blood pressure.  Watermelon contains the amino acids citrulline and arginine, which can help maintain arteries, blood flow and overall cardiovascular function.

Along with all of these benefits, eating watermelon can aid in reducing weight as 1 cup of diced watermelon has only 46 calories.

 Alone or in a fruit salad are the most common ways many of us eat watermelon. One recipe that combines a touch of salty with the sweetness of the fruit is watermelon mint feta salad.  I make this all the time in the summer and is great at summer BBQs as a side salad or as a dessert option.  I also eat it as a mid-afternoon snack to tide me over until dinner.  This recipe is fast and easy to make:

Watermelon Mint Feta Salad

  • Dice up fresh watermelon into bite-sized chunks (you can buy the pre-sliced kind if you are really short on time)
  • Add a couple of tablespoons of reduced-fat crumbled feta cheese
  • Chop up fresh mint leaves and sprinkle into the salad
  • Shake well in a container and chill in the refrigerator until ready to serve

With so many benefits watermelon offers, we should all add this wonder fruit into our diets on a consistent basis.  There are fresh watermelons galore in the grocery stores throughout the summer so pick one up ASAP and get wild for watermelon!

Blog article author: Jen Dehestani, ACSM Certified Personal Trainer at JFit 360°  http://jfit360.com

 

 

Baby #2: Am I ready?

Posted on Aug 8, 2013 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

CORRINE AND SON-01

Photo2

I have to be honest, I’m a little freaked out about having baby  #2.  Will I be able to handle it?  How is my life going to change?  With just over a month left to go, I thought this would be a perfect opportunity to ask my bff about life with two kids.  Granted, our situations are different in that her kids are only 21 months apart whereas mine will be 3.5 years.   But, I’m sure most of her responses will hold true for me.   See our Q & A below.

Q:  What was the biggest surprise going from one child to two?

A: How much free time I had before!!  I thought I was SOOOOO busy with one.  The realization of how easy I had it with just one was hard to wrap my head around.  You get used to being busier.  It just means that both mom and dad are always busy now.  There are no real breaks…at least in the beginning.

 

Q:  I’ve heard from a lot of friends with two kids that one of the first emotions they had after the arrival of baby #2 was . . . guilt!  Guilty that #1 now has to share everything, most importantly being mommy and daddy’s attention.  Did you feel this?

A: I felt bad because I had a c-section and could not lift my older one for 6 weeks.  She didn’t understand why I could hold her baby sister but not her.  I did not breastfeed my second because of complications with my older daughter breastfeeding (more on that later), but I have heard a lot of older ones have major jealousy issues around the babies being breastfed.  I think GUILT has just become a part of the way I feel and I don’t think it will change any time soon!

 

Q:   How did you prepare #1 for the arrival of her baby sister?

 A:  We got her a baby doll and she got to name it and helped teach her how to care for her.  She was quite young at the time, so we just got her excited about my growing belly and being a big sister.  My daughter LOVES Dora and there is actually an episode about becoming a big sister which she loved!  So if it was cool for Dora to be a big sister it was cool for her too!  I also went on Etsy and found a really cute shirt and had it customized.  Almost 2 years later she is still obsessed with it (so order big so they can wear it for a few years!)

 

Q:   Any final words of wisdom?

 A: Take some time out for yourself.  You can get totally overwhelmed having 2 kids, a husband, a household and even a job to keep up with.  Go get a massage, your nails done, go to the gym, really ANYTHING to treat yourself.  Take a nap if you need to and best best advice is don’t be afraid to ask for help.  Take every ounce of help you can get!

We’ve Lost That Loving Feeling :: Part II

Posted on Aug 5, 2013 in Love Notes | 0 comments

Photo2We are thrilled to welcome back Yael Schonbrun, Ph.D., with Part II of her previous post (which you can read here).  We’d love to hear your thoughts! 

If, like Marnie and Jack, you and your partner have lost that loving feeling, you are not alone! Unhappiness, frustration, or even hopelessness in your marriage in the first months and years after you being to expand your family is very common. Feeling this way does not mean that there is something inherently wrong with your relationship. More likely it means you have too much on your plate, and too few resources to give to maintaining your marriage.

Like Marnie, you might remember that your partner used to be someone you were fond of. At the start of your relationship, you probably spent lots of time getting to know one another and engaging in fun activities together. You likely had the time and energy to shave your legs, shower, make interesting conversation, and staying awake for sex didn’t feel like a chore. Putting time, energy, and care into your relationship was easy because you had sufficient resources to do so.

It is stating the obvious to say that life changes pretty drastically once children enter the picture. Most couples don’t anticipate the level to which the changes can take a toll on your marriage. Many of the things you used to do with your partner may feel far out of reach post-baby. You don’t have time to have fun together, and you both feel worn out and unappreciated by your partner. And as a result, you both become irritable, impatient, or downright angry with one another.

There are several important things to highlight here.

(1) Don’t despair!! If you are willing to dig deep to find some energy to work on your relationship, things can and will get better.

(2) You and your partner are on the SAME team. It isn’t you versus your partner, it’s the two of you against a given problem. This is true even if the problem you face is a difference in your opinions or approaches.

(3) Relationships require care and attention. Don’t assume that your relationship will just “hang in there”. Know that despite your limited energy and time, you CAN find ways to give some tender loving care to your relationship.

(4) Take care of yourself. When you are tired and worn out, everything and everyone will irritate you. If you can figure out how to get some needed sleep and self-care time, you’ll have more resources to give.

(5) Be flexible in your approach. The activities you used to love, and the energy you used to have may be, at least temporarily, out of reach. If you are creative, you can modify activities you used to enjoy and/or find new ones.

I’ll describe a simple exercise I use in couples counseling that is very easy to implement on your own. First, you and your partner need to find a time to check in with one another (you may need to schedule this!). During this time, have a discussion about re-prioritizing taking care of your relationship. You can say something like “I miss how we used to feel so appreciated by one another. I’d love it if we could try to make some effort to do more of that even though I know we are both worn out.” This conversation should include: (1) an agreement to try to DO at least one small caring behavior for one another on a daily basis, and (2) an agreement to look for and ACKNOWLEDGE one another’s caring behaviors. Acknowledgement may be a “thank you”, a hug, or whatever other method of appreciation feels comfortable for the two of you.

If this exercise sounds overly burdensome, try to brainstorm behaviors that are minimally taxing and which won’t make you feel resentful. Also, don’t wait for your partner to start the exercise – just get going!

Here are some examples of small caring behaviors:

  • Sending a text or email in the middle of the day letting your partner know you are thinking of them;
  • Giving your partner a hug or kiss before you leave for the day. Hold onto the hug for at least thirty seconds;
  • Let your partner know how much you appreciate something they have done for you (even if it’s something they should be doing!);
  • Initiate an in-house date night (as in watching TV, having a glass of wine, and/or cuddling on the couch together).

Bigger caring behaviors might include the following:

  • Offering to do a household chore (dishes, kids’ bath, etc.) on a day you know your partner is tired or stressed;
  • Making their favorite dinner or dessert;
  • Scheduling a babysitter for a date night out and making reservations;
  • Making effort to stay awake and get in the mood for sex one night.

The bottom line is to remember to make some time to prioritize your partner and your relationship, and openly appreciate when your partner does the same! Feel free to share ideas of caring behaviors through the comments area, or share challenges to doing this exercise and how you overcame them.

If you want more information about this exercise, or direction to couples’ resources, please email Yael at newtontherapy825@gmail.com, or find more information at newtontherapy.com.