physiquality blog: exercise during the 4th trimester, or how moms can start exercising after birth

I barely remember the bleary-eyed days after my son was born. It was almost a week between when my labor started and we brought the baby home from the hospital, and it took a solid two weeks after that to start feeling human again. Sleep deprivation is no joke.

But the one thing that was guaranteed to help me feel better was walking. I knew that it would help me improve my health, even after a C-section, and since we were in a walkable neighborhood, I could walk to Starbucks for coffee, or Trader Joe’s for a snack. It helped me to escape the house even for a few minutes to join the land of the living again.

There are days when I still struggle to exercise on a regular basis, but I am thankful that I was able to create a semi-regular fitness regimen in the first few months after our son was born. Yes, it helps to shed the baby weight, but the more important part is to create those exercise habits for a healthy lifestyle for the long term.

Exercise during the 4th trimester, or how moms can start exercising after birth

with advice from Ann Cowlin, MA, CSM, CCE

Being a new parent is tough. There are lots of sleepless nights, and a new baby in the house that can’t quite tell you what she needs — to eat, to sleep, to poop. Perchance all three.

While new moms often focus exclusively on their babies, it’s good to remember that moms are recuperating from birth and need to focus on their own health and wellness as well. Think of it as the oxygen mask rule on an airplane: You have to put on your own oxygen mask before putting one on your child. In other words, you have to be healthy yourself in order to be the best parent to your kids.

Read the full entry at physiquality.com!

physiquality blog: how to prepare for sports tryouts

Athletes (and that includes those that try out for cheerleading and dance teams) often need to tryout or audition every year to stay on the team. For some kids, this can cause a great deal of stress or anxiety as they try to make sure they can continue to do a sport that they love.

I remember auditioning for drill team every spring. It was nauseating. (Granted, as a dancer, I grew accustomed to being judged for teams and roles throughout high school. Which may explain why I only weighed 105 pounds at graduation — dancers often cut their meals at the first sign of such evaluation.) Perhaps I would have been better prepared if I had taken some of this advice when preparing for those tryouts.

How to prepare for sports tryouts

with advice from Mark Salandra, CSCS, and Foothills Sports Medicine Physical Therapy

While we’re closing in on peak summer vacation time, some athletes are already preparing for fall sports and team tryouts. Here are some tips to keep in mind when you hope to make the team.

  1. Train your body.

This may seem obvious, but it doesn’t mean that you need to only play the sport for which you’re trying out. Certified strength and conditioning coach Mark Salandra advises athletes to think about what skills might be tested during the tryout beyond sports-specific movements. “Strength training and agility training are great ways to prepare your body for any type of tryout,” says Mark, the founder of StrengthCondition.com (one of Physiquality’s partner programs).

Read the full entry at physiquality.com!

physiquality blog: working toward a better body

In revamping this post (it was originally “work out like a model,” which isn’t easy to relate to physical therapy and general wellness), I may have been speaking for myself, as well as my family back in the Midwest, when I wrote about the weather. Friends in Kansas City have had 10 snow days at this point of the year. My sister-in-law in Chicago has had multiple days with highs hovering around 10 degrees.

Dallas may not have been as bad as either of those, but I have done my fair share of hibernating during our first winter here. And now I need to find a way to shed some of the weight gained in the last few months. Luckily, I found some advice on that very subject. Read on for more information…

Working toward a better body

Working toward a better body

As spring break approaches, many of us are starting to realize how much we have hibernated during this overly cold and snowy winter. Trapped inside our homes, we may have been eating more and working out less.

With the prospect of spring break trips and summer weather on the horizon, here are some ways to shed those winter pounds and to shape up your physique.

Read the full entry at physiquality.com!

physiquality blog: four signs you should STOP working out

When a new year begins, it’s a natural time to start new habits, particularly ones related to your health. You may or may not have eaten or drank your way through the holidays, and the lack of social events in January is a good time to start eating better, drinking less (alcohol) and moving more.

However, at any fitness level, there are ways your body is telling you that your activity is too much and that you need to stop. Immediately. (I know this from personal experience — I’ve had to walk out of two different dance classes due to a sharp, stabbing pain that eventually led to joint repairs and orthopedic surgery.) These are not signs to “rub some dirt on it” and get back to exercising. They are your body’s way of telling you to sit down and possibly call your doctor or physical therapist to see what is causing the symptom.

Four signs you should STOP working out

with advice from Mitch Kaye, PT

January often brings resolutions of better health and exercising more. After a month (or 6 weeks) of indulging, hectic holiday plans, and falling off the wellness wagon, it makes sense to try to improve your health through exercise. But there are times when you should listen to your body and stop exercising.

Despite the mantra “no pain, no gain,” if your body hurts, it’s trying to tell you something. Here are four things to be aware of when working out.

Read the full entry at physiquality.com!

physiquality blog: how often should I exercise?

Like many people, exercise has been a challenge to fit into my schedule as I’ve grown older and have more commitments in my calendar. If you’ve ever wondered how frequently you should be exercising in order to stay healthy, you’re probably not alone. (And you’re probably not exercising enough.) Read on to see what our strength and conditioning expert had to say about workout frequency and your health.

How often should I exercise?

with advice from Mark Salandra, CSCS

As the weather begins to get colder, many of us may be retreating indoors and not walking around as much. If you didn’t exercise regularly when it was warm outside, you’re probably moving less now that it’s not.

The recommendations from the U.S. government (through the Department of Health and Human Services) focus on aerobic exercise and strength training. They include 150 minutes a week of moderate aerobic activity, or 75 minutes a week of high intensity training, plus strength training at least a couple of times a week.

Read the full entry at physiquality.com!

physiquality blog: strength training for kids and adolescents

Strength training for kids and adolescents

with advice from Mark Salandra, CSCS

When most of us think about strength training, we think of oversized bodybuilders with rippling muscles, like Arnold Schwarzenegger (during the 1970s, not as the governor of California). Or the guy from the Planet Fitness commercial that lifts things up and puts them down.

Done in moderation, however, strength training can benefit people of all ages, including children and adolescents, says Mark Salandra, a certified strength and conditioning specialist and the founder of StrengthCondition.com (a Physiquality partner program).

Read the full entry at physiquality.com!

physiquality blog: walk more, be healthier

I will admit that since I became a mother, I have focused more on convenience and less on movement. Most shopping is done online (with the exception of the groceries). I work from home, so my commute is up a flight of stairs, and I have noticed (thank you, Apple watch) that I do not move enough during the day. At least in New York, I could walk everywhere. Moving to a more suburban environment means that the only place within walking distance was a BBQ truck, and that closed more than a year ago.

So what’s a mom to do? I’ve written about this for a long time — walk. Even just walking 30 minutes a day can improve your cardiovascular health and help you lose weight. The reality is that it’s still winter here, and as I look out my window I see wet streets and melting snow. But I’m promising myself that as soon as our weather is less brutal, I’ll be walking more every day.

Walk more, be healthier

with advice from Libbie Chen, PT, DPT and Polar

Technology has made a lot of things easier. If you need to buy something, order it online. If you need to get somewhere, just drive your car.

What this also means is that Americans are walking and moving less. This is one of many factors leading to the ever-increasing waistlines in our country. And even if you haven’t been gaining weight, moving less can contribute to heart disease and other health issues.

Read the full entry at physiquality.com!

physiquality blog: five ways to beat fatigue and have more energy

The holidays can be hard. Even the New York Times has acknowledged that the increased activity in December, plus the quantity of time spent with family, can lead to fatigue. And while you may want to turn to alcohol and coffee to get you through this, studies have shown that both can actually make you feel more tired. Which will not help you when you’re stuck in a corner with Cousin Al.

So if you’re looking for ways to gain more energy for your upcoming holiday calendar, take a look at what I’ve put together at the pqBlog.

Five ways to beat fatigue and have more energy

Winter is coming. As December begins, so does the holiday whirl. Office parties. Family get-togethers. Late nights spent trying to put together toys that have instructions written in a foreign language.

It can be easy to get overwhelmed, and feeling tired will make it more difficult to get through the month. So here are five ways to beat some of that fatigue, giving you more energy to face whatever is on your calendar.

Read the full entry at physiquality.com!

physiquality blog: fueling your workout

The balance of nutrition and exercise is always difficult as it depends on a variety of factors. Height. Weight. Gender. Fitness level. Length of activity. And so on.

But I do think there are some misperceptions about the ability to eat more food or less healthy food if one is working out regularly. (Kind of like the saying that “eating for two” while pregnant gives women carte blanche to eat whatever they want. Only if they want to live on a treadmill while breastfeeding after the baby comes.)

This is especially true if one’s goal is to lose weight — it is nearly impossible to lose weight through exercise alone. As someone who has been struggling to lose weight for several years now, this post speaks to me personally. Perhaps it is time to practice what I write.

Fueling your workout

with advice from Angela Mader
and AlterG

You’ve made a commitment to get healthy and lose weight.

Great!

You’ve trimmed unhealthy foods that have lots of sugar and trans fats from your diet and added in more fruits and vegetables, and you’re doing 150 minutes of moderate exercise every week, but you’re not seeing any weight loss.

Not so great.

Angela Mader, the creator of the fitbook™ (a Physiquality partner program), recommends taking a look at what you’re eating before workouts to make sure that you’re eating the best foods to energize you and maximize your results. As she explains it, “food is fuel. It might be time to take a look under the hood to make sure you’re properly fueling (and re-fueling) your body to optimize burning fat while gaining lean muscle.”

Read the full entry at physiquality.com!

physiquality blog: working out while on the road

While meant to be a break from your regular routine, travel can sometimes add stress to it instead. If you’ve finally gotten into a daily or weekly workout regimen, or started losing weight after months of gaining, you don’t want to lose that momentum during summer vacation.

I have found that when I’ve been able to work out while traveling, I’ve become more relaxed. If the point of vacation is to make time for yourself and your family, shouldn’t part of that be focusing on your better health? We spoke to some members and partner vendors who had some great tips for ensuring that your fitness isn’t forgotten, wherever you go.

Working out while on the road

with advice from Richard Baudry, PT, DPT, OCS,
Yousef Ghandour, PT, MOMT, FAAOMPT, and Brian Klaus

With Memorial Day behind us and Independence Day quickly approaching, many of us have plans to travel in the next couple of months. If you’ve been trying to stick to an exercise regimen, here are some ideas for how to continue working out when you leave your regular routine behind.

“Exercise that doesn’t require bulky equipment or a lot of space is best while traveling,” advises Brian Klaus, the Vice President of Stretchwell, Inc. (a PTPN preferred vendor that offers a variety of progressive resistance products). Why take up space in your luggage with heavy weights or bulky equipment?

Read the full entry at physiquality.com!