Exercise After Childbirth, When is it Safe to Start?

Baby Brooks has just turned 9 months old. I am feeling good about the progress I have made and want to help you too! I have very careful to train correctly and not do too much too soon in an effort to get my body back. I did a lot of research. And what I found, is that in the early stages, what we need more than anything else is REST! Think about what our bodies have just been through. It’s strange to think about childbirth as an injury or trauma. But in many ways that’s what our body has been through. It is an incredible phenomenon isn’t it? There is nothing I am more proud of physically doing more than childbirth. Not the New York City Marathon, Boston Marathon, triathlons, etc. No way. This takes the cake. So hats off to all of you women out there who have been through it or want to go through it!

I am going to spend a lot of time on my blog talking about women’s fitness and how to get where we want to be emotionally and physically post-baby. It is a tough road. But I found ways to make it fun. I want to share them with you.

In the meantime, I want you to take a listen to the interview below about postnatal fitness. When is it time return to which exercises? How can we tell? We don’t want to wheeee ourselves accidentally do we?! We don’t want to make our abs separation and pelvic floor damage worse do we!? Do we need to see a specialist of some sort? So many questions swirling in our minds about getting our body and independence back. But with all the time we need to spend nurturing our bubs, how do we find time to research? How do we find time to put in the effort? I am making this my mission. I am here to help. There is a TON of great content on AnnaKooiman.com in both the fitness and motherhood/baby tabs. Be sure to check them out after you watch the video below! Dr. Jill Gamberg shares her top tips for getting back into fitness after having a baby, the SAFE way.

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Jogging with Baby, What is the Proper Age and Weight?

Jogging, running, jumping, bounding, frolicking, prancing! These are all things I enjoyed for 33 years before having a baby. I have always lived an active lifestyle… from teaching my group exercise classes, to running marathons, to dancing, to simply enjoying the movements themselves. So being pregnant and recovering from childbirth cramped my style (but in the best of ways of course).

I don’t know about all of you strong, sexy, mamas out there… but the way my swollen breastfeeding boobies, separated abs, and weakened pelvic floor were feeling, I didn’t even want to think about jogging, running, jumping, bounding, frolicking, or prancing until about 5 months postpartum. I also didn’t think Brooks had developed enough to be ready for all the jostling a jog/run would entail. I decided not to jog with him until recently.

Brooks is now 9 months old. We started using a BOB jogging stroller a few weeks ago and are absolutely loving it! It is super sporty looking, isn’t it!? Well, that’s because it is super sporty! It’s very aerodynamic compared to my big, everyday stroller. Don’t get me wrong, I love what the everyday stroller offers for cruising around Bondi since it is such a walkable community. But when I want to get my heart rate up for a good jog, the BOB stroller is where it’s at, ya’ll!

Along with trying to decide when it’s time as a mama to go back to running, and figure out when baby is ready for a little extra speed in his stroll, etc… there are so many characteristics to keep in mind when purchasing a jogging stroller. I interviewed a rep from BOB. Take a look!

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Prenatal Fitness - Don't Miss These Great Posts!

Don’t miss these great prenatal fitness posts! I took a bit of a hiatus from fitness posts because they have all been filed under the pregnancy portion of AnnaKooiman.com.

Here are a few of my favorite prenatal fitness posts:

https://www.annakooiman.com/baby-/pregnancy-workout-on-fox-and-friends-with-barrys-bootcamp-in-nyc

https://www.annakooiman.com/baby-/embracing-my-changing-body-connecting-with-baby-practicing-prenatal-yoga

https://www.annakooiman.com/baby-/9-months-pregnant-final-beach-workouts-with-speedo-fitness-club

https://www.annakooiman.com/baby-/battle-ropes-modified-workout-for-month-9-of-pregnancy

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Kooiman Kardio Launches in Sydney, Australia

Kooiman Kardio has launched in Sydney, Australia (Anna Kooiman Group Fitness Class). Kooiman Kardio is a fat blasting cardio workout that fuses hip hop dancing, kickboxing, and athletic drills. The atmosphere is electric and includes a laser show! You will define lean muscles through High Intensity Interval Training. The class is choreographed to the beat of the music but it repeats often enough that even non-dancers catch on and have a great time. You will feel more like you are at a dance club than a fitness club. Anna’s energy is unmatched. Come check it out!! Online version coming soon! Watch this space! AnnaKooiman.com

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Fitness Instead of Prescriptions? What is Lifestyle Medicine?

What is lifestyle medicine? Have you heard of it? If you have, do you know what it is? In short, doctors who practice LIFESTYLE MEDICINE encourage patients to have a healthy and balanced lifestyle which can decrease our need for medical interventions. Our society seems to look for drugs to improve or solve problems. The thing is, we could often prevent these same problems simply by staying active, eating a clean diet, reducing stress, sleeping more, laughing more, and loving more! I sat down with Dr. Jill Gamberg of Double Bay Doctors here in Sydney, Australia to chat about what lifestyle medicine is all about.

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Why Crunches Can Actually Make Mummy Tummy WORSE!

Postnatal crunches can make 'mummy tummy' worse? Eeeeek! What? Can that be correct? I thought sit-ups were part of the recipe for a washboard stomach. Well, that is definitely not the case if you have just given birth to a sweet little bundle of joy that has unfortunately left you with abs separation. I've learned that curling movements and those that load the core too much can exacerbate the problem and leave us with a pot belly. Not the look you are going for long term? Me neither!

First let me say, as new moms I think we should give ourselves a break and love our bodies. We should thank ourselves for growing these adorable little humans! I also hope that if we want a flat tummy again, and are wiling to work for it, we can have it.  

I am in the process of healing my abs separation. You'll see my 4.5 month old baby boy in the video above. I was fortunate to only have about two fingers of abs separation following his birth. The downside was that the separation was quite long and deep. Some women have a lot more. Others less. I have spent a lot of time and energy researching this condition. Diastasis recti is the official name. To get down to basics, according to WebMD,“Diastasis recti” means your belly sticks out because the space between your left and right belly muscles has widened. You might call it a “pooch.” It's very common among pregnant women. About two-thirds of pregnant women have it. 

My healing is going well! I've had a several physical therapy appointments and signed up for the MUTU Mamas online program (which also comes with a lot of literature on the topic and even nutritional tips for recovery). I'm also getting some tips from Tori Clapham the founder of Peaches Pilates. In the video above, Tori and I show you how to tell if you have abs separation and also demonstrate a few exercises she recommends to clients. As always, be sure to consult with your physician. Below you will also find a Q and A to dive a little deeper.

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'TRAINERR' App: Uber Meets Tinder for Personal Training?

I just had a great chat with one of the New Zealand based founders of a new fitness app that bills itself as the Uber meets Tinder for personal training! Did I spike your interest? Nader Luthera tells me the TRAINERR app is currently available in NZ and AUS and his company plans to take this app to the USA soon. It sounds like a great concept. The above YouTube video does a nice job explaining how it works.

If you want an easy way to find and pay a personal trainer this may be the app of the future for you. It will work great if you're in a spontaneous mood and don't wanna leave your hood, you need a consistent trainer before or after work, you wanna find a trainer that will lead you through workouts in your desired setting (ex- specific gym, park, beach), etc.... Luthera says TRAINERR app is great for those scenarios and so many more!

Also... if you're a personal trainer looking to drum up some extra business and want a convenient way to do financial transactions... you oughtta check out the new TRAINERR too. It is very much a start-up... but the faster folks get onboard (personal trainers and clients)... the easier it will be to use the app.

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15 Tips To Make and KEEP Fitness Goals... Advice From Top Trainers

 It's always tough to make and keep fitness goals and resolutions if we don't have a proper plan in place. If you're having a hard time... wait! Don't throw in the towel! Time may get away from us, our co-workers may bring in their leftover holiday goodies, our kids may need extra attention... That's life. Life happens! But don't waste the effort you've made so far. Don't feel like a failure just because you fell off the wagon. Get up!... Let's stand up together... dust our shoulders off... Let's get back on... and try it again. Hit. It. Don't. Quit. It. 

How can we keep our fitness resolutions? For the answers... I have interviewed several top instructors from organizations I have found some my own fitness success. Their advice is awesome. Take a look!

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Pumping Serious Weights While Pregnant: One New Mom's Fitness Story After Sparking an International Controversy

Have you seen this video of an incredibly fit... SUPER pregnant lady... lifting what most would consider a crazy amount of weight? Emily Breeze Ross Watson gained international media attention for her choice to continue Crossfit olympic lifting, rope climbs, box jumps, kettle bell swings, wind sprints, etc. until just days before giving birth. She was in the Daily Mail, Cosmopolitan,  People, we interviewed her on Fox and Friends... It was a massive debate. Was she putting her unborn child in danger? Or was she being a smart mom... staying strong... wanting to set an example for other women to stay fit while pregnant? Breeze was forced to go on the offensive to defend her choice and vowed she was only doing what her doctor deemed was suitable and safe. She says it's true she was lifting 200 pounds just days before her due date... but this was actually a pregnancy modification... she would normally be lifting even more weight.After being both revered and ridiculed for lifting heavy heavy weights during her late stages of pregnancy... Emily Breeze Ross Watson has given birth to an adorable, happy, and healthy little boy called Bly... she has her killer body back... and now she has a platform to help other yummy mummies get their bodies back. 

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Exhale Promises to Make You Booty-licious

If you watch a barre class from afar... some of the movements seem so small... you wonder how the participants could consider these tiny wiggles and raises exercise. But if you are the one taking the class... you know that the small, intentional movements start to B-U-R-N quite quickly! Often your legs, arms, abs, or buns are screaming the next day! At least mine are! While living in New York City I spent a lot of time trying barre classes at different boutique fitness studios... on the hunt for the cream of the crop! One of my favorites is Exhale Spa.

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Soul Cycle: Ride Your Bike Like You Live Your Life

"Ride your bike like you live your life!" It's just one of the many inspirational quotes you'll hear from instructors during Soul Cycle classes. The boutique fitness studio chain has a cult following. And I must admit... I have been bitten by the Soul Cycle bug too. Students ride to the beat of the music by candlelight. Among their fans... instructors have rockstar status... and if ya just take a look... rock hard bodies too! ;-) I'm happily an advocate for em... and have been telling anyone who will listen about the 'tap it back' syndrome I've been suffering from... for several years now! LOL 

Classes are typically 45 minutes long. Most of the time students are in perfect unison... dancing along to the pumping playlists... meticulously designed and choreographed by instructors. Each class also includes one song for a weighted toning section. Students use one to five pound weights and do overhead presses, bicep curls, tricep extensions, rows, etc... Again all choreographed to the beat of the music. It's so much F-U-N!

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Barry's Bootcamp: One Stop Fitness Shop

Barry's Bootcamp has an incredible reputation for drawing celebrities and fitness fanatics through its doors in major cities worldwide. They vow students will burn up to 1,000 calories per class! When living in the Big Apple I would workout quite frequently at Barry's Bootcamp. I started going regularly while getting ready for my Central Park wedding! My favorite time to go? Thursday afternoons at the Chelsea location. Each day trainers run students through workouts targeting a specific muscle group. Thursday is abs day. I found their formulas to be challenging but manageable. 'Barry's' - as its fans like me refer to it - now has more than 25 worldwide locations including Los Angeles, New York City, Chicago, London, and Oslo. It was founded in 1998. Reps tell me today... more than 40,000 people visit their fitness studios every week. 

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5 Fun Ways to Work Off that Christmas Feast

1. Play touch football with the extended family... or round up some neighbors. Wear old yucky clothes.... The more grass stains the better! Ladies... get involved too... and don't go easy on the guys... Go for the knees and take em down! LOL

2. Break out the video games or virtual reality goggles one of your family members had all packaged up nice and perrrrrty under the tree. Tennis, bowling, or my favorite... dancing!! Clap... clap... Criss cross... Hands in the air... Now stomp! LOL 

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Blast Fat in 20 Seconds Flat! Is Tabata for Real?

In a word... Yes! Tabata is for real. And yes you can lose weight 20 seconds at a time. It's become a real fitness buzzword. You've probably seen it on the cover of a lot of magazines lately. So what is it? And why are some folks trying it out... but not reaping the rewards?  

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Want Results? Do Less... and Get More!

"Anna, you need to take a rest day." Can I get an AMEN!?! I love it when trainers say these words! But believe it or not... it's a phrase a lot of hard core athletes need to hear. It was certainly something I needed to be reminded of when I was training for the Boston and New York City marathons. I was burning myself out. 

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You've Heard of the Mile High Club.... How about Mile High RUN Club?!?

You wanna be in the Mile High Club? How about the Mile High Run Club!?! Fortunately... or unfortunately... depending who you ask... the two have nothing to do with each other. But just like the Mile High Club... there's a lot of buzz around Mile High Run Club in New York City too!  It's a running boutique fitness studio. Founder & CEO Debora Warner says some folks come for fun or stress relief... others come to trim down. "Running offers the highest caloric burn of any type of cardio for those who are looking to lose weight. Calories will vary depending on the person and class type, but the minimum number of calories burned in class should be around 500."  

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Anna Kooiman Fitness Philosophy

I am excited to share my passion for fitness with pretty much anyone who will listen! I love group exercise and at one point was teaching up to 10 classes a week under my AFAA (Athletics and Fitness Association of America) certification. 

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