Monday, February 20, 2017
Staying Mindful While Vacationing
By: Alison Doak
Now that winter is here to stay, many of us are bee-lining to warmer climates for a quick getaway. I just returned from six days at an all-inclusive resort in Mexico. You may be picturing an all-day eating frenzy, fast flowing cocktails, and lazy days. But really, I found that I was able to strike the right balance. Some of the keys (for me anyway), include: moving my body, starting with a healthy breakfast, and seeking out all the veggies I can find. I find that on vacation, there isn’t a lot of snacking between meals, which really helps. It’s important to stay hydrated too, so alternate a glass of water between cocktails and carry a large water bottle while basking in the sun.
Exercise: Many vacationers don’t even pack their sneakers, because they are “on vacation”. Don’t exercise as a punishment - do it because it feels good, helps you sleep, keeps you regular, or makes you feel confident. Don’t wait until the afternoon, someone will serve you a cocktail at happy hour, and all of your good intentions will fly out the window! Maybe you like a hotel gym. Perhaps the hotel offers fun classes – I tried water aerobics! A walk or jog on the beach may be what you’re after. My fabulous coach, Cheryl Chandler, gave me a couple of 20 minute HIIT workouts, which I actually did on my vacation! They were intense, but quick, leaving me plenty of time to get to the omelet station and then the beach.
Food: Most resorts offer some kind of buffet breakfast. I suggest a veggie-packed omelet with a healthy dose of tropical fruit on the side. You may find yogurts, dried fruits, and nuts as well. We even indulged in some tasty green juices. Fuel yourself well so that you aren’t looking to snack between meals. At lunch, aim for a salad with a fun protein like local shrimp, native fish, or chicken. Jazz it up with fruit, nuts, salsas, or guacamole. At dinner, choose fish or a local specialty… and really savor it. Skip the bread basket so that you can enjoy the main course without overdoing it. Share a dessert, or order a couple for a large group to share.
Take these tips and get out of dodge :o)
Sunday, February 05, 2017
The Benefits of Prenatal Yoga
Many moms, especially those who exercise on a regular basis, think prenatal yoga is a little slow. “That’s for when I’m too big to move,” they say to themselves. The truth is that prenatal yoga offers plenty of benefits to all pregnant women, regardless of how many weeks they are along, how they’re feeling, or whether they can still go for a jog or do a burpee. If you’re maintaining a more rigorous exercise schedule, that’s great! You can still get a ton of benefits from a prenatal yoga class.
I recommend prenatal yoga for all moms-to-be because:
It’s safe. The movements in prenatal yoga are designed to be safe for all pregnant moms, no matter how far along you are. You’re also encouraged to be responsive to your breath, and to take breaks whenever you need them. Prenatal yoga teachers are also able to offer modifications if you have special considerations during your pregnancy.
It’s good for your body AND your mind. First-time moms may have a lot on their minds during pregnancy. Second, third, and fourth-time moms may have their hands full taking care of other kids at home. All moms are trying to do their best for themselves and their babies, and this can place moms under significant pressure. Prenatal yoga helps your mind relax while you do something good for your body. You’ll leave class feeling calm, peaceful, and de-stressed, both in body and mind!
It brings you into a community of other pregnant women. When you’re pregnant, your body is constantly changing, and you may not always comprehend the changes, why they’re happening, or how they are affecting you. One of the best parts about prenatal yoga is that you’re in class with other moms-to-be, and you get to talk to them after class. Just the other day, I overheard one student giving another advice on some discomfort she had been feeling, telling her that it was perfectly normal and her doctor could offer additional advice. Getting to share this time with others who understand what you’re going through is a beautiful, healthy way to experience pregnancy!
It gives you a chance to connect with your baby. Life doesn’t stop just because you’re pregnant. Prenatal yoga gives you the chance to slow down and acknowledge that there is incredible transformation going on inside your body. It’s an opportunity to pause, connect with your baby, and acknowledge that by doing something good for yourself, you’re doing something good for your baby, too.
Interested in trying prenatal yoga? Class is every Thursday from 6:00-6:50 pm in Studio 1. $15 for members and non-members.
Sunday, January 22, 2017
Health in Your Hands
By: Ann Marie Boylan
Do you feel in control of your health? The tendency at the start of a new year is to look ahead, set goals, and make resolutions about your future. Maybe you fell short on reaching some fitness and wellness goals last year because of work, kids, unexpected events, and life. Perhaps you find yourself once again setting the same goals you had from the previous year. You cross your fingers and hope that this year will be different. At Fitness Unlimited, it can and will be different because, your “Health is in Your Hands.”
While in college, I took a class called “Health in Your Hands,” which influenced me to this day. Dr. Virgillio, the professor, drilled into us the importance of taking personal ownership and getting rid of excuses for what we did or didn’t do. She wanted us to understand that it was up to each of us to do our due diligence when it came to all aspects of our lives - nutrition, exercise and wellness, preventative care, and overall mental health, among others. “Health in Your Hands” changed forever the way I look at setting goals and achieving results, and I hope that some of the principles can help you reach your goals.
There are many different variables to a successful fitness and wellness program, but the most important one is the power of decision. When you are 100% committed to a goal, almost anything is possible. You decide how to fit in exercise and prepare meals. You may decide to get up earlier, get home later, or not attend every social event. You realize that no one can do this for you and that there is no quick fix. You understand that you are not going to just wake up with results; you are going to have to work for them. When you are faced with setbacks, you fight through them and get back on track. What you decide to do everyday matters more than what you do once in awhile.
Once you have committed to the decision to put your “Health in Your Hands,” you need to have a plan in place that will get you results. Whether you decide to enlist the help of a professional or do it on your own, we have every resource accessible to you at Fitness Unlimited. Our programs work, our classes work, and our trainers are highly educated and experienced to provide you with the best plan to meet your health and fitness needs and achieve your goals. However, we cannot make the decision for you and we cannot do the work for you. But we can administer the best program with the highest level of enthusiasm and dedication to the member who is ready, committed, and decides to get the job done.
Make 2017 the year that you decide to put your Health in Your Hands, and the Fitness Unlimited Professionals will get you there with education, motivation, inspiration, and perspiration!
“But Oz never did give nothing to the Tin Man
Sunday, January 15, 2017
Creating & Keeping Healthy Resolutions
There are countless clichés surrounding New Year’s resolutions. Cynics begrudge them, while the overzealous jump in so deep they can’t possibly stick with them. So what’s a reasonable gal to do?
Ignore everyone else and do what’s right for you, right now. For many of us – this IS a great time of year to refocus. Whether you indulged too much over the holidays, are new to exercise, or have other goals - do it for yourself.
It’s easy to get carried away with lofty goals and commit to grueling workouts. But can you maintain this? The key is to be optimistic but not unrealistic. Enter more clichés: it’s a marathon, not a sprint! You CAN train for a road race. You CAN lose the weight. You CAN get strong. But it’s not going to happen overnight. When you first begin to work toward a goal your energy is high and so is your motivation. But if the results don’t come quickly, many people give up and return to their old habits, perpetuating the vicious cycle of: resolution -> frustration-> old behaviors -> guilt -> more resolutions.
So don’t set yourself up for disappointment by tackling too much at once. Pick two or three specific things to focus on. Be mindful in creating your goals for 2017. Maybe you’d like to lose weight once and for all. But instead of the weight, focus on the behaviors that will get you there. You need to eat well and move more to lose weight, and you need strategies that will allow you to do this! You need to make these behaviors habitual. In other words, you need to find a way to do them each and every day.
Behavior change takes time, especially if you are learning new things. Don’t be afraid to seek help. Try a new class and use what you learn there. Hire a trainer for help creating a fitness plan. Come see me for specific food and meal planning strategies that will work with your lifestyle and can last a lifetime.
Self-care is so important, and many women neglect this while busily working jobs and caring for others. If this is the time for you, embrace it. We are here to help.
Happy New Year,
Alison Doak MS, RDN, LDN
Tuesday, January 03, 2017
Do you have a 2017 new year's resolution?? Not sure how to actually reach your goals? Check out our professional suggestions below to help you take action TODAY so that you begin moving towards your goals sooner rather than later.
Still need help figuring out how to reach your goals?! Click here to email our General Manager, Beth to better understand what services are right for you!
Saturday, November 05, 2016
“Give me a diet, and I will eat whatever you tell me."
Dozens of women knock on our doors pleading for a manual, a script for what they should eat each day. This is understandable; people are busy, overwhelmed with work responsibilities, home life, and other demands. Sometimes it is easier to have someone tell you what to do. But this approach fails to consider several important things: your lifestyle, budget, medical history, and food preferences, to name a few. The most delectable of meal plans will sit untouched if the recipes are too challenging, too expensive, or simply don’t appeal. And without your medical history in mind, a meal plan may undermine your health goals.
What works for one person may not work for the next!
Our dietitian will take the time to get to know you, and from there, will work with you to create goals and strategies that fit your lifestyle. We teach our clients how to make good decisions and build their own meal plans. Many would like to lose weight. Some struggle with medical conditions like anemia, high blood pressure, IBS, osteoporosis, or high cholesterol. Others are struggling to feed their families well because they are so busy. Still others lack confidence in the kitchen and simply need some guidance. And while each client brings unique challenges to the table, we have identified some common themes and plenty of strategies to address them.
Rather than diets, we encourage behavior changes that will last a lifetime. Start with one or two behaviors and focus on those until they become second nature. When those become a habit, choose a few more.
Use the following checklist to help identify if there are areas you can improve upon (answering yes or no):
Take note of your responses, and identify TWO things that you can take action on right away. If there are more than a few, maybe you need a little bit of help!
Our Registered Dietitian, Alison Doak, works with women and children on all of the above challenges, and much more. Alison serves members and non-members alike, and accepts most major Health Insurance plans.
By: Alison Doak, MS, RDN, LDN
*This was originally published in the Milton Times, October 2016.
Sunday, August 07, 2016
Away for the summer? Vacationing down the Cape? Looking to exercise outdoors? Try this total body workout when you can't make it to the gym to burn calories and build strength. You don't need any equipment and it can be done at home or at the beach!
Perform each exercise for 45 seconds with 15 sec rest in between and repeat twice:
Sunday, July 17, 2016
Tuesday, July 05, 2016
First of all, a BIG SHOUT OUT for Lauren Gendreau for working so hard over the last few years and becoming super healthy - you are a true inspiration! And a BIG THANK YOU for all of her hard work at Fitness Unlimited and for being an amazing person to work with and be around - Lauren we already miss you but we know that you're going to do great in Denver and wish you all the best, you deserve it!
Here's Lauren's Story:
My weight was something I used to just brush off by trying to avoid scales, mirrors, crowed places, etc. However you can't ignore how your body feels and at 20 years old and 250 pounds I had hit the point where I couldn't ignore it any longer.
I had a panic attack December 2012 which my doctor informed me was a result of being severely overweight and that I was on my way to a heart attack if I didn't do anything to change it. This event scared me enough to cause me to start changing my eating habits. I went from eating out constantly and drinking soda with almost every meal to cutting back on sugars, monitoring my food intake and light exercising.
The need to change my lifestyle really hit home the day I started classes at Suffolk University. Things as simple as waking the campus and looking at other young girls who seemed to fit in while I stood out drove me to make some serious changes. It can be tough to exercise a 250 pound body so I start with walking a mile a day. That led to longer more aggressive walks, and eventually running.
After losing 50 pounds I hit a wall and decided I needed help, that is where Fitness Unlimited came in. I joined in June 2013 and engaged one-on-one fitness training with Ann Marie. I can truly say that Ann Marie changed my life. She challenged me to believe in my body and to push myself beyond my limits. After working with her for 5 months that last 60 pounds was melting off and I realized by true physical capabilities. I have continued to train with her for the last 3 years and have seen my goals change from weight loss to getting faster running times and eventually increasing strength.
It honestly amazes me how your body can change with persistence, diligence, and some motivation and guidance from people who truly care about your wellbeing.
I am stronger, more confident and happier than ever. I am so lucky to have been a member and employee at Fitness Unlimited, I am so grateful to have met you all!
Monday, May 30, 2016
Memorial Day Weekend marks an exciting time of the year - the unofficial beginning of the summer! We know the summer can be a busy time for many members, making it hard to get to the gym on a regular schedule. However, why not prioritize staying healthy while having fun this summer?
Here are 7 ways for you to stay fit and healthy throughout the summer:
Summer can be both enjoyable and healthy - it doesn't have to be one or another. So be sure to prioritize your health and wellness this summer, so when September rolls around you can look back without regret and with a lot of good memories.
Friday, January 08, 2016
You can achieve your goals
...the professionals at Fitness Unlimited can help!
Have a question for your dietitian or trainer? Click here
Friday, November 06, 2015
When I first heard about barre classes in the fitness industry I automatically pictured myself back at the ballet barre in pink tights and a black leotard doing plies and tendus to classical music. Though I personally LOVE ballet I know that the majority of the fitness population would not be jumping up and down to partake in such a workout. So then I was left wondering how it has become one of the top crazes in the fitness world today. I decided to try my first barre class about 4 years ago and I can honestly say that even with a BFA in Dance Performance I had no idea what I was getting myself into!
Luckily, I didn’t show up in my leotard and tights as the class is formatted nothing like a traditional ballet barre class. So if you’ve been putting off trying a class because you have no coordination or dance skills then you can drop the excuses and head to the barre. No tutus are required and I guarantee you will get one the most effective, challenging but doable workouts you’ve ever experienced.
So what should you expect in a barre class? A barre class consists of a high energy fusion of barre exercises, sculpting and Pilates set to music that makes you want to move. The program is designed to create a uniquely lean, firm, sculpted body by combining the muscle-shaping principles of isometrics, the body-elongating practice of dance conditioning, the science of physical therapy and the intense pace of interval training into a powerful exercise format that quickly and safely reshapes and elongates muscles. That sounds like the perfect formula for all of those “problem areas” every woman hates!
Most barre classes follow the same basic structure: You’ll start with a mat-based warm-up full of planks and push-ups, do a series of arm exercises, and continue at the bar with a lower-body section to work your thighs and glutes. Finally, you’ll finish with a series of core-focused moves at the bar or a short session on the mat. Though the exercises will change from class to class you can always rest assure that you will leave feeling like you just challenged every muscle in your body to the max in just 50 minutes.
So why should you take a barre class at Fitness Unlimited? Majority of barre studios allow upwards of 15-20 students in their classes. Here at Fitness Unlimited we only allow a maximum of 8 students in each class to guarantee a safe, intimate workout environment. You can count on your instructor offering personal attention to every movement you perform to guarantee the best results and to prevent injury as they are all certified and very well educated across multiple fields of fitness. Expect to receive detailed instruction on how to effectively target those “problem areas” to ensure that you will get the most benefit from that workout. Aside from the quality of instruction, here at Fitness Unlimited we offer our barre classes at a reasonably low rate of just $15 per class. Barre studios in the area charge anywhere from $18-$25 per class.
So why not give us a try? Break out your grippy socks and meet us at the barre. We guarantee that you will not leave disappointed…just sore! If you don’t believe me check out some of our students testimonials.
I cannot say enough about barre classes at fitness unlimited! I’ve become obsessed, and part of the reason is because I’ve seen such great results so quickly. I’ve been doing barre for about 1 year now, and the results for my body are astounding. I want everyone to know in the past year I’ve lost 48 pounds, I went from a size 14 to a size 6-8 (which is perfect for my body), my journey and the results I have obtained would not be possible without Fitness Unlimited’s amazing instructors and barre classes. I DO not go to the gym 7 days a week, my job as a nurse does not allow for it as I am working 12 hours shifts (which really means 14-15 hour days, no time for the gym on those days). So I make the most of my days off, making barre classes 2-3 times a week part of my routine.
I remember my first barre class and how the following morning I was so sore I winced walking up stairs, and I thought "this is crazy, why would anyone do this" I figured I’d give it one more try because women at work were raving about barre, after the second class I did not have that pain, so if you're thinking of trying barre KEEP WITH IT, give it at least 2 times I promise that pain isn’t after every class once you get going.
The results you get with barre are what women look for...I’m talking tone and inches like you wouldn’t believe. All women’s problem spots- arms, thighs, butt, the dreaded "back fat" from your bra line, midsection, legs, it takes care of it all in such an amazing way. Barre 2-3 times per week has made me so confident, no more searching through your closet trying clothes on and off because of "problem" areas, when you put clothes on, they just look good. Barre has even made me feel like a millions bucks in a bathing suit as well as naked! When I look in the mirror for the first time since I was in my teens, I like what I see, actually I think I may like my new body even more then my teenage body!
The barre instructors at fitness unlimited are all amazing. I’ve taken classes with Tina, Danielle, Alison, Natalie, Michaela, Sara Lyn, and Lisa. All of them are equally as amazing and knowledgeable regarding barre technique, injury prevention, and motivation. With all of the instructors being so amazing, it makes it easy to squeeze in barre classes no matter what time of day or what day in the week (there literally isn’t a bad class!). When I first started I had gym phobia, was overweight and extremely self-conscious about "pushing" myself from a fitness stand point. I could not do a push up, a sit up, and I didn’t even know what a plank was. All of the instructors were so supportive, giving good advice, offering modifications if needed, discreetly correcting my form. I’ve kept with it and even after 1 year, I still find the classes challenging, and STILL continue to see results. No matter what your age or fitness status, do not be intimidated to try out some barre, the results are well worth it - Leah (Fitness Unlimited Member)
I have been taking Barre since it was first offered at the club and love it. All of the instructors are knowledgeable and are constantly learning new techniques which makes for an exciting class. It is a low impact work out with amazing results. I have noticed an increase in my endurance and leg strength. My arms are definitely more toned and I love that every class we do a plank and push up series. I would definitely recommend Barre to anyone that has not yet tried it. - Erin (Fitness Unlimited Member)
I have enjoyed taking barre classes at Fitness Unlimited for the last two years after I had my second daughter. It is an incredible workout that combines ballet, yoga, and Pilates at the barre and on the mat. The music is great too! I love how the teacher targets each muscle to the point that it burns, and then directs you to do a deep stretch to lengthen it out. Barre has also strengthen my core and muscle definition. - Kate (Fitness Unlimited Member)
Monday, July 20, 2015
You’ve spent 9 months growing a tiny human and you are wondering how this HUGE belly is ever going to return to that pre-baby stomach you worked so hard to maintain through diet and exercise. You can’t wait to start doing crunches after giving birth to get that flat tummy back before summer starts! Well, hear is a piece of advice ladies...check yourself before you wreck yourself!
Yes, I know it’s a cheesy verse from an Ice Cube 90’s song but it is totally relevant. After delivering my daughter, Penelope, in April of 2014 I realized about 6-7 weeks postpartum that I most likely had a minor case of diastasis recti. What is diastasis recti? Diastasis recti is a fairly common condition of pregnancy and postpartum in which the right and left halves of rectus abdominis muscle spread apart at the body's mid line fascia. This can happen for various reasons. Though my core was strong prior to and during pregnancy, I have a petite build which puts me at a higher risk to develop diastasis recti. A mid line of more than 2 to 2.5 finger-widths, or 2 centimeters, is considered problematic. My separation was just about 2 fingers, maybe a little less. Diastasis recti can occur anytime in the last half of pregnancy but is most commonly seen after pregnancy when the abdominal wall is lax and the thinner mid line tissue no longer provides adequate support for the torso and internal organs. It tends to be more visible when doing core work in flexion. The first time I tried to do an abdominal exercise in flexion I noticed my stomach protruding down the center. This is a red flag that your rectus still has a separation.
As a pilates instructor I am trained to recognize this condition. Unfortunately, most OBs do not check for diastasis recti at your postpartum check-up unless you ask them to therefore most cases go undiagnosed. When I tried to do basic stabilizing exercises postpartum (at about 6-7 weeks after my OB gave the OK to resume regular activity) I knew something was off. Obviously my stomach was nowhere near ready to handle even moderate abdominal work yet but I could tell that the stability throughout my entire core and pelvis was weak. I had a friend and colleague confirm my diagnosis. So now what? Unfortunately, flurries of misconception swirl around diastasis recti and abdominal exercise during and after pregnancy in general. If you were to research the condition you would find a broad range of contradictory opinions and advice about how to recondition your abdominal wall and how to restore the midline after childbirth. For example a common piece of advice is to do a lot of "crunches" which can actually worsen the abdominal separation.
So what’s the best way to recondition your abdominal wall? My advice is less is more! Instead of killing yourself with tons of ab exercises, keep it simple. Avoid flexion and focus on exercises that force you to use your transverse abdominis muscle. Your TA is the key to closing the gap! Consulting a physical therapist or fitness professional can be helpful. As a pilates instructor it was certainly a challenge having to back off of my usual abdominal work. Fortunately pilates is a great method of rehabilitation so I was still able to use the same principles with slight modifications to challenge my TA safely and effectively. By 14 weeks postpartum my separation decreased to 1 finger width. Woohoo! I continue to keep it simple with my abdominal work to ensure that my transverse stays strong. If I feel I can’t perform an exercise properly then I make a modification. At the end of the day it just matters that my core is being challenged and not whether I can hold a 2 minute plank!
If you think you may have diastasis recti consult your doctor or a fitness professional. Always inform your instructor if you have diastasis recti so they can make proper modifications. It’s never too late to rebuild the strength in your transverse and get rid of the dreaded “mummy tummy!” Even if you have a strong core before pregnancy you still may end up with this condition so be proactive and check for it before you start any core strengthening postpartum. If you learn the proper rehabilitative exercises you WILL get that pre-baby belly back!
Thursday, June 18, 2015
Have you ever wondered what your Pilates instructor meant when she talked about the “Pilates Principles” during class? This blog entry by Kara Griffin from mindbodygreen.com gives a quick but vivid view on how you can apply these principles to everyday life. Check it out!
The 6 Pilates Principles are in place to guide the student through a Pilates workout in the most effective way. The hope is that the exercises are done in a manner that will allow the student to carry these principles off the mat. But why can’t this also work in reverse? Whether you’ve never done Pilates before or you’ve had trouble applying these concepts to your practice, let’s think of them in more relatable term- your everyday life.
Breath & Centering
Breath is used in Pilates to send oxygen to your working muscles and to engage the core, but on a more basic level breathing is, of course, essential for life. It’s one of the things we’re born knowing how to do, but it doesn’t necessarily mean that we know how to do it correctly. Respiration is an automatic cycle, but think of the involuntary ways your body tells you to focus on your breath more—yawns, sighs, lip trills, humphs. The list goes on. Even in a non-aerobic state, your body needs deep inhalation to send oxygen to every cell and then deep exhalation to release toxins. Start your morning with some deep breathing in bed, take a deep breath break at your work desk, or have a side “deep breath” while you’re cooking dinner. Close your eyes when you do so, and your mind will feel more centered and grounded. All your little cells with thank you, and you’ll be pleased that you took a few moments during the day to just breathe.
Concentration & Precision
In Pilates, concentration is used to give full attention to your muscles while they perform the technique of the exercise at hand; it is in place to rid yourself of distractions. When you give your real world tasks and activities your full concentration they will be accomplished with more efficiency and precision, leaving your To Do list smaller and smaller. This can mean simply turning off your phone or logging off a social media site, and the items you check off your list will be done to the best of your ability. This principle is true for your relationships, too. Don’t be afraid to tell a friend or co-worker, “I’m busy right this moment, but I can give you my full attention in a moment.” When the time comes for you to interact, they’ll be thankful to have you fully present and engaged, and you will carry out what is asked of you to a tee.
Control & Fluidity
Nobody likes a control freak, so think of applying this principle only to yourself. Just as control is used in Pilates to find stability that then allows another part of the body full mobility, the same is true for your life. If your personal life at home is organized and under control you’ll have more freedom to do what you want in your free time. You’ll be able to flow from one part of your day to the next with ease knowing that you have a strong foundation to stand on. Finding the time to control the constant aspects of life like work, money, personal care and home upkeep can actually allow for more spontaneity and fun!
Monday, May 11, 2015
Did you ever wonder why some people seem naturally thin without effort? You probably attribute this to their genetics; maybe they were born with a fast metabolism, or blessed with a small appetite - and while that may be true in part, the major factor can be described in one word: habit. These people have adapted to a way of life that puts them in balance, meaning they are regularly consuming the number of calories they need to expend through their normal daily activities and exercise. You too can stay in balance by simply adapting some of your habits based on the following tips.
Friday, April 24, 2015
This month my husband and I celebrated our daughter's first birthday. Seems like yesterday we brought her home from the hospital. I was fortunate enough to have an easy and enjoyable pregnancy followed by what I would describe as a pretty great labor and delivery. Our daughter, Penelope Gray, is what people might call an "easy baby" and my husband and I are grateful every day for that! The more challenging area for me this past year has been recovering from the aftermath of growing this tiny, adorable human. Mothers try to tell you but you just don't get it until you are in it!
My labor and delivery was in my eyes "perfect" and I wouldn't change a thing about it...not like I could anyways. I went into labor 2 days before my due date. I was able to do most of my laboring at home and once admitted I delivered my daughter within 2 hours without any medication. I thank my Pilates and fitness background for helping me manage my labor pains (back labor by the way) and keeping me calm during the process. Deep breathing was KEY and so was having my husband's hand to squeeze to death during every contraction. Thanks honey! What I didn't realize was during my delivery I tore the labrum in my right hip. A hip labral tear involves the ring of cartilage, called the labrum that follows the outside rim of the socket of your hip joint. The labrum acts like a rubber seal to help hold the ball at the top of your thighbone securely within your hip socket. Labral tears are unfortunately becoming more common in the delivery process. The most successful way to repair a labral tear is through surgery which I wanted nothing to do with because of the likelihood that another tear could result from any future childbirths. I wasn't aware of the injury until I came home from the hospital; the decreased range of motion and pain when I moved it in certain directions was alarming. This discovery was discouraging considering my full time job requires me to be active and in motion all day long. Even worse, as a dancer losing any range of motion or stability was a little devastating.
What's next? Once I figured out why my hip hurt the next step was figuring out how to keep active without re-aggravating the injury. When a joint is not stabilizing properly the surrounding muscles try to take over; that is exactly what was happening to me. The result was extremely tight hips and glutes that caused chronic low back pain. I decided to see a physical therapist and it's the best choice I've ever made. What was the exercise program suggested by my pt? Less is more!
Before pregnancy I enjoyed doing Pilates, sprints on the treadmill, barre and strength training. I was eager to get back after delivering my daughter but the truth was my body was different, I needed to train differently and that's OK! I had to turn the intensity back a notch in my classes, demonstrate minimally and nix sprinting all together; though it doesn't directly aggravate my labral tear it tightens my already tight hips and glutes so I have terrible low back pain after...no thank you! Instead I walk a TON! I have to stretch and foam roll daily and perform small very BASIC stabilizing exercises for my hips and core. It took about 7 months post-delivery to regain most of my mobility back. After all I now have a daughter who requires all of my time and attention outside of work so finding time to rehab my injury takes some creativity. Penelope's favorite toy is my foam roller. The great news is I still take/teach Pilates, barre and Tribe Team Training classes weekly. I've even added in yoga and I feel just as strong if not stronger than I did pre-pregnancy. I still have to be cautious with certain exercises but the key for me to working through this injury is to listen to my body in the state it is in TODAY. It doesn't matter what my body could do 2 years ago; when I don't listen to my body I end up limping around the club because I have severe groin pain and then have to ice and rest for a couple of days. SO I use that as my reminder...the injury will never go away but that doesn't mean I can't stay active. I just might have to do a little less than I did before and that's OK because less stress on the injury means more mobility.
So happy first birthday to my daughter, Penelope and happy one year anniversary to my body surviving childbirth! It wasn't an easy recovery but worth every moment I get to spend with my little girl : )
Up next, Part 2: My realization that I had Diastasis Recti...a pilates instructor's worst nightmare!
Friday, March 06, 2015
As you go about your day you feel fit and confident. You are proud of your progress and what you have accomplished. You have survived the longest winter in history and lived to tell about it. Your family and friends wonder how come you look so darn good after shedding all of those winter layers. You know that it hasn't been easy but you have pushed yourself to stay consistent one week at a time. You have challenged yourself and that has been the key to your success.
You do not have to imagine this you can make this a reality. Winter is the time to put in the work to improve your strength, energy, eating and mood. Spring is coming and yes you will be able to wear a t-shirt soon. This week is the week to start and I have the answer!
I will be teaching Tribe Life on Wednesdays and Fridays from 5:30 - 6:20 AM in March. There will be a try before you buy, FREE trial held on Wednesday, March 4 and Friday, March 6. This will give you a chance to check it out and see if it is something that you would like to commit to doing. Stop by or call the front desk to sign up, 617-698-0260.
With the Tribe Life Program, no two workouts are ever the same and they are progressive. You will start with the basics in week one, continuously learn new exercises until the final two weeks of each session where no new exercises will be introduced but the challenge of the workouts will be at their peak. In addition, there is a closed facebook page and nutrition tips provided by our dietitian.
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