Fitness TipsPostnatal

5 Fitness Tips To Get The Most Out Of Your Workouts

By November 3, 2014 No Comments
Prenatal Exercise Active Moms Club

Chicago may deliver another long winter. Unless you’re a penguin and love to play outdoors, you’ll need a plan to stay active through the cold months. Winter is the ideal time to try out new exercise formats and group fitness classes. I’m all for pushing physical limits, increasing cardiovascular endurance, and muscular strength but it’s important to know your limits. Harder and faster is not always better when it comes to exercise, especially if you are a newer mom, or don’t have a consistent fitness routine.

Here are five fitness tips to make the most of your cold weather workouts, and to help you avoid injury.

 

FITNESS TIP #1

Increase core strength to improve body mechanics. A strong core will promote better posture, better walking form, better running form, and overall reduce your risk of injury.  As a mom, your core muscles have undergone a tremendous amount of stress during pregnancy, and have lost some of their integrity due to stretching. It’s imperative for every mom to rebuild core strength post pregnancy. Even if you were in great shape during your pregnancy, the deep abdominal muscles will require strengthen.

Deep Abdominal Muscle Exercise - Active Moms Club

FITNESS TIP #2

Use the 20 Percent Rule. Whether you are just beginning a new exercise routine, or running a half marathon in the spring, it is essential to progress at the right pace to meet your goals and avoid injuries. The 20 percent rule sets a limit on increases in weekly training. This guideline simply states that you should increase your activity no more than 20 percent per week. That includes distance, intensity, weight lifted, and duration of exercise.

For example, if you’re goal is to begin running – outdoor or on a treadmill – start with a run/walk. For the first week you may decide your body can handle a cycle of 4 minutes running/1 minute walking for 30 minutes. Practice this run/walk ratio three times. The next week you would add 45 seconds to your run (increasing workout time to 35 minutes) to follow the 20 Percent Rule. It can be a great motivator for someone just starting to get active as well as for those who are preparing for a specific event.

FITNESS TIP #3

Introduce yourself to your fitness instructor before class begins if you are taking a new group fitness class. Share with the instructor if you are pregnant, a newer mom, have any injuries, or if you are a newbie to the class format. A good instructor will be able to cue modifications that are most fitting for you, and for your fitness level.

FITNESS TIP #4

Listen to your body. Working out harder or faster to achieve a weight loss or fitness goal may only derail your best intention. Don’t ignore aches or pains, when you may be at risk for a more serious injury. If you feel you are doing more than you can safely do, slow down, modify your activity, or rest to accommodate your body’s needs.

FITNESS TIP #5

Have fun! Being active should be fun not a chore. Find an activity that you enjoy doing either by yourself, with a friend or spouse, or in a group. Active Moms’ Club prenatal and postnatal classes provide motivation, and a supportive network of likeminded moms that make exercise enjoyable. You’re more likely to stay active when you’re having fun. And during winter, we all deserve to have some fun!

Share with us your favorite workout.