We throw off the lie of perfection and cling to our identity in God as we strive to be whole, healthy, and fit. Our goal is wholeness, not perfection.

Posts tagged ‘low impact’

Gratitude Gained From a Twin Pregnancy

These are things that I took for granted (I think we all do) before carrying twins for 37 weeks and 1 day.  I had similar experiences with my first (singleton) pregnancy, but twins brought on my appreciation earlier.  I am listing these in no particular order.  No “Top 5” or “Top 10” list.  Who would want to read something titled “The Top 7” anyway?

Breathing

At first it was only difficult to breathe when I was sitting at my desk at work.  It turns out that when I thought the boys were going from Downward Dog to Child’s Pose at the same time, I was actually experiencing contractions.  I just figured they were really into synchronized yoga.  These contractions were most intense when I was at work, so I had to alternate between sitting down and standing – not doing either for more than 10 minutes at a time.  Then it came to the point where lying on my back, unless my upper body was elevated, became excruciatingly uncomfortable.  And trying to breathe during the last two weeks was just a joke.

Sleeping

I didn’t sleep much during the last trimester with our son back in 2007.  Carrying twins brought on sleepless nights much earlier.  Initially it was from having to use the restroom multiple times throughout the night.  Later it was from discomfort and pain.  The only upshot is that I didn’t feel sleep deprived the first few weeks of the boys’ lives – my body simply didn’t know any better.

Eating

Heartburn took all the joy out of eating.  Well, not all of it.  All things cow tasted yummy. I’m not a red meat eater, but the protein requirements for carrying multiples is crazy high and my body constantly craved it. Unfortunately, regardless of what I ate I had horrible heartburn.  Tums, which worked during my first pregnancy, were no match for heartburn brought on by carrying twins.  My OB said it was like bringing a slingshot to a gun fight.  So he suggested I try Zantac, and if that didn’t work I’d have to get a bazooka (can’t remember which prescription antacid).

Driving

First it was the difficulty breathing while sitting issue.  Then my belly forced me to move my seat back.  For the average woman that’s not a big deal.  But I’m 5’1″ and need to sit as close to the pedals as possible.  While I was on bed rest I had to be driven to my OB appointments.  Being chauffeured around town sounds much more glamorous than it actually is.  Especially when your chauffeur doesn’t drive the way you do.  By the time I drove myself it had been a month since I had been able to.  I was so excited.  I felt like the parking attendants who took Mr. Frye’s car for a joyride in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.

Getting Dressed 

It’s the little things in life that I truly started to appreciate around the five month mark.  Putting on my clothes – especially undergarments and shoes – made me feel like I was the main act in a Cirque de Sole production.  What little sense of balance I had left was tested every time I had to change clothes.  And I’d never been so grateful for having a set of stairs in my house, as they were the perfect assistant for putting on my socks and shoes.

Bathing

Think “Getting Dressed” but in a wet and cramped environment.  Joy.

Moving

I was very disappointed when I was told that teaching dance fitness classes three to five times a week was out of the question.  Something about increased blood volume from carrying twins.  I figured I would still be able to teach PiYo Strength (now PiYo Live) well into the pregnancy since it’s low impact.  But I underestimated how exhausted I was going to be, and waking up early enough to teach 5:30 classes just wasn’t gonna happen.  I taught my last fitness class in early August.

The next time I moved with the intent to exercise was in October, at a REFIT Revolution instructor training.  In those two short months I went from being able to move freely to not so much. As a group fitness instructor I’ve offered many different modifications but at only twelve weeks pregnant, I needed more than I had ever offered my class participants.  I gained a new appreciation for participants who need modifications and I’m a better instructor for it.

Fast forward another two months to the last time I exercised before giving birth in March.  It was in December using a REFIT Revolution DVD.  I took modifying to a whole new level. For most of the routines all I could do was “side step touch”, but the music was upbeat (as always), so it was a great workout for my soul.

By the time I was put on bed rest in February, it was a struggle to get off the couch and walk to the restroom.  I reminisced about the day when all I could do was “side step touch”.  Joni Mitchell’s Big Yellow Taxi song comes to mind.  Now, 21 weeks postpartum, I am slowly returning to being fit, and I don’t take my progress for granted.  No matter how small or slow it may be.

 

So what about you?  Have you experienced something that helped you appreciate the little things?

Quick PiYo Home Workout Review: Week 1

Why a quick review you ask?  Because I spent THREE days writing out a thoughtful review of week one and subsequently lost it.  I’m not feelin’ a whole lot of love for WordPress right now.  ***Update: WP angels helped me find my drafts through their Live Chat feature*** But I digress…

Alignment: The Fundamentals (42 minute workout time) focuses on proper form.  I almost skipped it since I am a PiYo Live (formerly known as PiYo Strength) instructor.  Glad I didn’t skip it though, because there were moves I haven’t seen yet and therefore needed to learn and others I needed to practice.  If you’re new to Pilates, Yoga, recovering from an injury (or in my case, pregnancy) I recommend you do Alignment for a few days before moving on to the actual workouts.

Define: Lower Body (21 minute workout time) focuses on the lower body but incorporates enough upper body strengthening that you’ll be wondering why your arms hurt if it’s a lower body workout.  There are LOTS of lunges in this workout, but my thighs are already tightening up, so I guess I should be happy about that.  My core is in desperate need of strengthening, so I have a love hate relationship with the Warrior Three pose in this workout.  Here’s a clean pic I found:

Warrior Three

I am not yet able to bring my leg up that high, but Chalene Johnson keeps reminding us throughout the workouts that PiYo is all about improving.  Which is awesome because on Tuesday I needed to use a chair to balance but by Friday I was able to do it sans chair.

Define: Upper Body (19 minute workout time) incorporates a ridiculous number of tricep push-ups.  I never thought I’d be so happy to do ab work as I was the first time I did this workout, because it’s the only relief we’re given between all the push-ups.  This workout does not have a warm-up, so I used the warm-up in the Lower Body workout and switched back over to Upper Body.  The challenging move in this workout is the Kick Through.  I’m able to do it when we’re just putting weight on the outside hip, but not when the leg kicks through and out.  Chalene makes it look easy:

PiYo Kick Through

Sweat (37 minute workout time) is aptly named.  It is flows like a PiYo Live class, except it does not include a cool down with static stretching.  I felt fairly confident going into this workout, after having completed the Define sections.  I figured that if there was only one challenging move in each of those workouts then I’d be good to go.  Wrong.  This workout brought its own challenges – THREE of them.  The Lower Body section of this workout incorporates a lot of balancing moves.  The most challenging for me being the Runner’s Balance.  It looks like this, but you’re hinged forward, balancing on the support leg in more of a squat and the foot of the raised leg is pushes back.

Runners Balance

The next challenging move were the sumo squats.  My ligaments and joints don’t play well together since having the twins, so I had to continuously adjust my stance in order to put as little pressure as possible on my right knee.  I modified a lot when it came to the sumo squat section, especially the burpees.  I skipped them entirely and chose instead to modify with Michele Park.  I plan on writing Michele a love letter soon, because her modifications have gotten me through this first week of PiYo.

The last, and most difficult, move for me is complicated to explain and I can’t find a picture of it anywhere.  So, I’ll do my best to describe it and then update this post at a later time with a picture of me attempting it.  Here’s the sequence of the move: Plank –> Right knee to right elbow –> Extend right leg straight out.


Tips for the PiYo Home Workout – Week 1

1) Take a PiYo Live class if you can OR…

2) Find a Fit Club that is going to showcase a PiYo workout from the DVD set

3) Modify, modify, modify

4) Challenge yourself when you’re ready

5) Remember that Define: Upper Body does NOT have a warm-up so use the one from Lower Body


Disclosure: I am an Independent Team Beachbody Coach.  What’s that mean?  I’m a Beachbody customer who likes some of the programs enough to share my experience with other people.  By doing so I help them on their journey to better health.  And occasionally I get a “Thank you” check from Beachbody for doing it.

 

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