Back in 2013 when Debbie and I were super fit and fast, we started mapping some of the best trails to run on Southern Vancouver Island in a series we called “7 Trails to Run Before You Die, Vancouver Island Edition“. Although we’ve been hiking more than running lately (I haven’t run since September 2018 for reasons I’m sure you are aware of), we still map trails and take photos of our adventures.
Yesterday we did a short hike at Devonian Regional Park in Metchosin, located about a 40-minute drive from Victoria. Debbie, being a Metchosinite, has been here many times before but for some reason I’ve never been (well, at least that I can remember) to this little gem of a park.
There are a few trails you can take in the park, but we took the main one down to Taylor Beach. It’s not a very big park, so any route you go I’m sure you’d end up at the beach.
Back when we announced we were expecting a baby boy this September, the first thing most moms said to me (after congratulations, of course) was “Oh no, you’re going to be so uncomfortable in the summer”.
I mean, you’re going to be uncomfortable by your third trimester anyway — but since your basal body temperature is running higher and your heart is beating faster as your body works hard to grow a tiny human, you’re much warmer than normal. And also sweatier. Which when combined with the necessary extra maternal fat you gain when pregnant, means uncomfortable chafing pretty much everywhere.
Knowing I wanted to try to continue exercising for as long as possible, I started to read up on pregnancy exercise tips and the best products to try to help make sweating it out in the summer a little more tolerable. Here’s what I discovered — let me know if any of you pregnant or new moms have anything to add!
Since we returned from our New Zealand honeymoon in February, I’ve been trying to do at least two full-body workouts per week, plus some form of prenatal yoga at least once a week. My body definitely feels less achy when I maintain this routine, so even though sometimes I feel so exhausted I’d rather just crash on the couch, I try to do at least 15 minutes of something a few times a week.
It’s well known there are so many benefits to exercising throughout pregnancy, and if you were quite active before getting pregnant you can still continue your workout regime with some modifications to keep your body and baby safe. Since I cut out all exercise aside from yoga and walking before getting pregnant, my prenatal workout routine (shared below) is rather light compared to what it used to be, and that’s okay.
I’ve noticed as my belly gets bigger I need to modify things a bit more (lunges aren’t feeling so great now and I’m being careful with how I engage my core as I’m noticing some ab separation already), but otherwise I’m hoping to keep this up right until delivery.
Prenatal Full Body Workout
A few tips/things to keep in mind:
Make sure you are cleared by your doctor before doing any prenatal exercise.
Use a wider stance (feet hip-width or slightly farther apart, toes slightly pointed outward) than before you were pregnant during standing exercises to help you stay balanced.
Use a chair or other prop for balance if needed.
Ensure you maintain proper form (knees not tracking over toes when bending, keep your core engaged for a nice straight back) – if you can’t, don’t do they exercise.
Obviously avoid any exercises on your stomach, crunches, and extreme twists.
I can usually do this routine in 15-20 minutes, as I kind of power through without breaks and only use 5-8 lb dumbbells so it acts as my cardio routine as well. I also usually do an extend yoga stretch at the end, making sure to hold long side-stretch poses now that baby’s feet are constantly up in my ribs (ouch).
Let me know if you try the above workout or if you have any other favourite prenatal workouts to suggest!
I don’t even want to think about how much I’ve spent just to be somewhat comfortable during this pregnancy, especially now that I’m in my third trimester.
It seems like every few weeks I’m back on Amazon or the Thyme Maternity website looking for deals because I’ve outgrown yet another piece of clothing, or am dealing with yet another new pregnancy discomfort, such as itchy skin or chafing.
With about 10 weeks to go until baby is here, I think I finally have everything I need to get through the summer: lots of flowy dresses, a swim suit, pregnancy-friendly sunscreen, three new pair of sandals in a half size bigger in preparation for swollen feet, maternity tank tops, and a rose gold silicone ring so I can take off my wedding rings before they get stuck.
Since I stalked several blogs and Instagram feeds along with asking my mommy friends what pregnancy must-haves I should get, I thought I would share some of my mostly made-in-Canada pregnancy favs that have been helping to keep me comfortable since the second trimester.
After having an extremely anxiety-ridden first trimester, I have to say the second trimester really is as good as most women say it is.
While I still have a week or two to go until I’m officially in the third trimester, I thought I should check in here because I said I would. It’s not that I have been too busy to write, I just honestly haven’t felt like it.
When we got back from New Zealand in February I started a new role at work as a Workplace Health Advisor (I’m working on a mental health and early invention/return to work program among other things), so I think most of the energy I devoted to writing about health and wellness on my blog has been diverted to my day job, which is a great thing. The extra pay has also meant I haven’t had to take writing or fitness side jobs anymore, so I have more free time at home to do whatever I want to do before baby comes.
If you follow me on Instagram, you may have seen this post from a few days ago:
Yes, we’re expecting! And it’s been part of the reason why I’ve been fairly quiet on here and on social media.
After struggling with infertility for several years until I discovered the root cause in September of last year, I was readying myself for another long struggle of actually trying to get pregnant. First of all, couples only have a 20-25% chance of conceiving each month; about 1 in 6 couples in Canada struggle with infertility; and miscarriages happen to about 1 in 4 women who do get pregnant. Not fantastic odds, so I was doing everything I could to hopefully swing those odds into our favour.
I kind of disappeared (again) after new years, but for a good reason. My hubby and I took of to New Zealand for three weeks for honeymoon number two and had the most amazing time. We stayed with my family in the North Island for most of our trip, and rented a camper van to drive almost 2,500 kms around the South Island for a week. We saw so much of the country that it was almost exhausting, but we have a hard time just lying around doing nothing on vacation anyway so we wouldn’t have done it any other way!
Now that we’re back to real life, I figured I should either get back to writing regularly, start teaching yoga or maybe take on training clients again. Even though I’m fully recovered from hypothalamic amennorhea now and have started to ease back into exercise after almost three months off, I’m not ready to jump back into that world completely… BUT, luckily, my bestie Janine had a great idea for me to work on in the meantime — make all the hundreds of training plans I’ve created over the past four years available for download!
Welcome to another edition of my annual non-New Year’s resolution blog post, where I list my top three goals for the year to come. I always used to have one fitness-related, one professional, and one personal goal for the year to come, but plan to change things up this year since fitness in the traditional sense is no longer a priority for me. Oh how I’ve changed in 2018!
I started publicly sharing my goals back in 2012 as a way to keep myself accountable, but also so I could look back and see where I was at the time fitness-wise, professionally and personally.
December has always been a stressful month for me. And not because of busy parking lots, crowded malls and draining bank accounts (well, that’s always stressful no matter the time of year) — but because of all the family get-togethers where delicious seasonal food would be served, all the Christmas activities that filled my calendar that would take away from gym or run time, and all the tempting treats that were brought into the office at work.
Yes, all of those wonderful seasonal things that most people love about this time of year would stress me out. And I feel sad that it has been like that for so long for me — how many Christmas activities and family events I was never fully present for or experiencing because I was so worried about how many miles I needed to run to burn off X amount of calories to “be healthy”. Ugh. (more…)
Yesterday afternoon I taught my first 75-minute foundations yoga class to complete my 250-hour yoga teacher training program at MokShana Yoga Center. I only made a few minor cuing mistakes and ended up coming up short on time (which meant students got an extra long savasana!), but overall Ida (the studio owner) said it was a great class and said I seemed very comfortable teaching. Yay! (more…)