Abs After Baby : The Right Way

Today is the day friends!

I have received so many questions over the last few months from fellow mommies about what workout they can do for their abdominals after baby and because of that I thought it only made sense to put together a little mini-series that really focuses on CORRECT abdominal excercises to help tighten and tone that belly while protecting your core muscles from permanent damage.

I don’t think ab separation is talked about enough along with the fact that just because you are cleared for physical activity (usually around the 6 week postpartum mark), it can take MONTHS for your abs to actually come back together. For instance, I was cleared for fitness at 6 weeks pp, but I still had very slight diastisis recti until about 4 months pp. What is diastisis recti? Click here for a brief overview.

Diastisis recti can happen in anyone. Men and babies can have it, but it is true that it is very common in females because we have babies. Our abs have to separate to accommodate our growing baby and everything surrounding them. If dealt with properly, ab separation will not be a long term issue. It’s pretty awesome how the body can stretch and distort that much and then come back together. However, the wrong kind of workouts too fast can lead to permanent damage. Those muscles could rip and not only will you carry what looks like a 4 month pooch permanately but the only way to fix it at that point would be surgically. Sometimes, the muscles rip just from multiple pregnancies and pregnancies close together. However, getting ahead of the game and making sure to have a strong core and strong body before pregnancy, during, and–properly–after can lower your risk for permanent damage.

Over the next couple weeks, I will be posting abdominal/core excercises that anyone can do. Pregnant, not pregnant, or postpartum. Why do I say abs AND core? Well, having a toned stomach isn’t solely based on abdominal work. Our core is all the musceles surrounding our spinal column. That includes the back muscles. Proper posture that comes from a strong back actually aids in keeping our stomach tight and toned. Spinal health is just as important as that six pack ladies. You don’t just lift weights on only the left arm and not the right, RIGHT? Same with the abs. We work the front AND the back.  Basically, with all the questions about what to do post pregnant know that any workout I feature over the next few weeks is #PPaproved. When you see that hashtag you know it’s okay for postpartum mommas. I will specify or talk about a modification if it is not.

NOTE* If ANYTHING hurts or does not feel good-modify! IF modifying and it still hurts-wait and don’t do it! You will get there eventually–I PROMISE!

Many people rush the process after baby. This is not healthy. We should be of the mindset of being healthy, not skinny. If your perspective is focused on health, then you will wait and go slow and be patient with the process. Period. Risking long term and permanent damage is NOT worth trying to get back into those skinny jeans. Even if you are super fit before and during pregnancy, it still took 10 months for your body to change and a accommodate a life. This means you need to give it the same, if not more patience and time, to heal completely. You owe it to yourself and your future. You only have one body and the choice is yours whether it will sustain you and keep you healthy for life or whether it will quit on you before it should.  After almost 5.5 months post partum I was finally able to do my first crow pose in yoga. It was worth the wait because I knew my body was healed and ready. It was a super exciting moment for me! God made our bodies to be able to handle pregnancy and birth and he made it able to come all back together. Your body will never be the “same” after baby, but that doesn’t mean you can’t be fit or that it can’t be better. I am and feel in better shape post baby than ever before. Changes after baby aren’t always drastic, but your body still changed nonetheless. I am in love with the changes my body took on. For me, my hips got a little curvier. My pant size didn’t change, but I just feel more feminine in them! 🙂

Let’s change our perspectives, let’s be patient, let’s love ourselves in every moment of our journey. The human body is amazing–let’s treat it as such.

*Don’t forget that abs are made in the kitchen, too. Workouts and nutrition go hand in hand and actually, nutrition is about 70-80%. The right foods work with your body to help build and maintain lean muscle. *

Follow my Instagram—-> @stayatfitmom. This is where you will find all my posts on Abs after Baby and so much more.

 

Photo Apr 12, 2 27 16 PM

Have a great day beautiful and remember:

Stay fit. Stay Healthy. Inside-Out.

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Toning up your Soul ☮ {the spiritual side of lunges}

As many of you know I am a huge fitness and health fanatic! I follow a community and trainers called Tone It Up. They have inspired me to be even healthier than I already was from the inside–out. Everything works together, challenging your body physically, but also through meditation and challenging your body to be still. I do believe in meditation. I’m not new age or anything, but the Lord talks about meditating on Him and on the word. Yoga is one thing I absolutely love. As you meditate and you find that still place beside still waters, not only are you challenging your organs, muscles, joints, and Central Nervous System to “rest”, but you are able to hear clearly what the Lord wants for your life. That is my passion…to bring that to other people.  This post was the word of the Lord for me last August 2012 and I found it hidden in some Facebook notes today. I saw it on the TIU blog from a lady who is the founder of Tiny Devotions (a Mala bead company) and affiliated with the founders of Tone it Up so I take no credit for this post, but thought maybe it would speak to some of you as it did me. Have a wonderful day!

P.S. Be on the lookout for some quick, easy, and healthy recipes for your weeknights. 🙂

 

 

Toning up your Soul ☮

{the spiritual side of lunges}

 

What I was most surprised and impressed about after hanging out with my girls K and K for a day was not their beautiful faces and rockin’ hard bodies (I was expecting that). It was actually their inner beauty and their rockin’ souls.

Karena and Katrina are the real deal and you can tell by peeking into their lives for a few hours or even by watching one of their youtube videos that they are world class manifestors. {the make it happen, live your dreams kind of gals}

I really should not have been surprised because Karena and Katrina radiate love, inspiration, light, joy, peace and give so much to the universe that all of the energy they put out comes back to them in the form of their most amazing TIU community. They manifested you and me as TIU members! And, we are aligned with their values and were looking for them – so we manifested them too 😉 A match made in manifestation heaven!

I believe that manifesting begins with the body. Our body is our vehicle here on earth and although we don’t have control over what life throws at us – we have control over what we eat and what we do with our bodies on a day to day basis.

Now, I don’t know much about the anatomical make up of the body {I’ll leave that to K and K}– but I do know about the energetic. We are made of so much energy and much like our muscles and bodies hold stress and strain – they also hold memories – both good and well… not so good {break ups, injuries, negative emotions and traumas}.

How we feel in our bodies affects every other aspect of life. How good to you feel after doing the Beach Babe Workout, drinking a green juice, a protein shake or going for a run. { you feel phenomenal – and are happier, healthier, lighter, more energetic and lively }.

Besides being the founder of Tiny Devotions– {a boho chic mala bead company encouraging people to live inspired and intention based lives} I am also a yoga teacher and have seen amazing correlations in the body that relate to someone’s soul and entire life.

Disclaimer: I’m not going to get all chakra’d on you all but we have energy centers in the body that correlate to different area of our life such as grounding, security, sexuality, power, heart, communication, intuition etc. It’s a whole other post 😉

Check in with yourself – are you breathing? Is there a certain area of your body that feels tense and stressed? It’s likely that this physical tension correlates to a mental, emotional or spiritual tension you are also experiencing.

My beliefs are that what you are feeling in your body is a direct manifestation about where you are at in your life.

If your shoulders are heavy and tense it is likely that you are “carrying the weight of the world” in some area of your life – perhaps taking on too much at work or in a friendship.

If you chest is tight – it is possible that your heart is not open and that you may be shutting yourself down from love – either self-love or love in your relationships.

Every part of your body corresponds energetically to a certain aspect of your life. Many people who feel “stuck” in life are those that don’t exercise. When they start using their body and start feeling their legs work then they can start energetically moving forward.

If we acknowledge that there is an energetic side of our bodies – it empowers us that our workouts are much more then calorie blasting or muscle building sessions – they are the beginnings steps for the recipe of the life that we are creating.

Challenge yourself to set intentions before your work-outs and use them as a time to not only work out your body – but visualize and create a road map for toning up your soul and manifesting your dreams.

In order to manifest, create or attract what you are looking for the first thing you need to do is know what you want.

What do you want?

 

Are you sure that is what you want?

Many people struggle with figuring out this key question – if you are looking for clarity –  do quiet meditative work outs for a while – go walk on the beach, hang out in some yoga poses or simply turn off the music and go for a run in silence. If you have no idea what you want – start with what you don’t want.

One of the first steps in manifesting is usually letting go of what you don’t want and creating space for new and good to come in!

I once had to let go of a broken heart left behind from a previous boyfriend. I made it my mission to let him go – repainted my room, got rid of the clothes that reminded me of him, threw the ring he gave me into the ocean (extreme but affective) and dedicated a yoga class and every exhale during it to letting him go. {and it worked}.

In a matter of days I felt more space and joy then I had felt in a long time and right in front of my eyes I was introduced to a whole group of new friends and found myself unexpectedly in a yoga teacher training living out my dreams.

I had been carrying around so much heartbreak that although nothing changed with time or money  – the space in my mind and heart opened up new opportunities and possibilities in my life.

Ok, so now you know what you want and have let go of the people, things, and beliefs that are standing in the way. Now what?

Now you have to feel it. If you want to be a _________________  have a ___________ or you want to go to ______________ {or whatever else you dream about} you need to feel as though you already have it. You need to talk about it, express it and most importantly take action on it.

A lot of people get stuck because they cannot imagine how what they want could possibly happen. It’s important to not be attached to the how but more importantly know the {why}. Why do you want this? Is it for the betterment of yourself and the world?

The universe conspires to make peoples dreams come true. Unfortunately – we are often the ones in our own way. We don’t believe we are good enough, or believe that it is possible. We often don’t even show up.

When you commit to something – with 108% of your heart and mind and soul then there is no possibility that it won’t happen. {unless of course it is the wrong door and it will lead you to the right door for you}

Set an intention everyday for what you want to achieve – no matter how big or how small – when you live in this way every minute is a living meditation for creating the life of your dreams.

From the words of my man Goethe,

Whatever you can do or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it!

 

 

Do it, Do it now.

– Diana Charabin