How would you feel if I told you, that you could do a 15 minute workout anywhere at any time at any stage of your fitness journey that could burn a large amount of calories and did not require equipment?
Well the training method called HIIT offers you exactly all of that.
Hiit Style training is a great introduction if your looking to come back into fitness or it’s a great challenge if you’re a seasoned exerciser.
Here are the benefits of Hiit Style Training –
I have put them in order of what I know are the biggest concerns mum's have when thinking about Hiit Style training -
1 – I’m not fit enough to do Hiit
Perfect for all fitness levels.
If you’re a mum and you're just thinking about where to start with the whole exercising thing as you want to start feeling good again, Hiit training can help. You start with a 15 minute workout and you will notice in a short amount of time you can increase the length of these.
HIIT workouts offer experienced or fit gym goers a new challenge, and beginners a quicker way to see results. You are constantly pushing yourself out of your comfort zone with the shortened rest phases.
2- I don’t want to train at a gym
You can do it anywhere
HIIT is such a simple concept of work phase and rest phase, you can take it anywhere with you – to the kids park, the gym floor, the beach, your lounge room or a hotel room on holiday. And you can choose the exercises that you have enough space to complete!
3 - I have no time to think about exercising even though I know I should
HIIT is great if you have a limited amount of time to work out. You don’t need to spend hours in the gym to reap the benefits of regular exercise and Hiit helps play a huge part in this.
- 4. I don’t own any equipment
No equipment required
HIIT workouts are so great as no equipment is required. All you need is a little bit of space. HIIT workouts can focus just your own body weight, so any workout that gets your heart rate up quickly such as plyometric, high knees, and jumping jacks can be implemented into a HIIT workout. particular muscle group – and of course if you have any injures regressions of all movements are available and still great to use.
5.. Will this help me lose this baby weight
Burns calories and helps with fat loss
The harder you exercise the harder your body has to work to fire up those muscles. Hiit is challenging for the body as you are pushing yourself through each working phase.
6 . I am more interested in making sure I can run with my kids
Great for cardio conditioning
During the high intensity periods (working phase) of exercise, HIIT takes you into an anaerobic training zone (where your body's demand for oxygen exceeds the oxygen supply available).
With consistent training in this zone, you will be able to out run your kids and be able to show them up in no time.
Article written by Cass Wilson, Mum of two who runs and co-owns HIIT That Group Fitness in Perth.
She is on a mission to help women to take better care of their bodies, and give them the confidence to get stronger both physically and mentally as their embark on their journey as a new mum. She has a special interest in pre and postnatal woman and is passionate about educating them on how to lift weights and exercise correctly,
Kirsty Palmer is a Personal Trainer and Nutrition coach. She also balances this with her beautiful 9 month old little boy.
Her passion is helping others and if you follow her on social media you will see she has quite an army of woman who are inspired by her greatness.
“Seeing the change in someone throughout their fitness journey is incredible. Not just physically, but also emotionally. They have become more confident, more optimistic, healthier and stronger in all aspects of their life.
Working with all different skill sets and fitness levels I am always working for my clients. Doing everything I can to teach them how to live and love a healthier life.
My aim is to encourage many females to love their body - feel confident in their own skin - and to enjoy the life they have by moving their body daily and feeling their body with nourishing foods!”
She is Owner and Personal Trainer of Kirsty Palmer Fitness, has coached at Team Des Fitness In Birmingham UK as well as being the author of 2 Exercise Ebooks based for gym and at home workouts.
We caught up with her recently to discuss all things pregnancy and beyond:
1.How did your exercise regime change in your pregnancy?
My weights dropped and reps increased.
I had to ensure my heart rate didn't over work through the roof like normal, so listening to my body whilst training and not pushing like crazy was a must!
I was also so tired so some days I listened to my body and had a rest day instead of working out. Don't beat yourself up, its only a season!
2.If there was a change, why? Energy, not sure about what to do etc
My energy levels were so up and down throughout my pregnancy, some days I woke up and felt like I could run a marathon and others I just wanted to sleep. Pregnancy really taught me to listen to my body and rest when I needed to.
3.What exercises did you do in your pregnancy?
Exactly what I was doing pre pregnancy as that is what my body was use to. I preferred going on the stationary bike than walking. And did mini resistance/body weighted circuits when my energy levels where high! my aim was to try move my body daily, even if it was a walk around the block, just to get outdoors and be in the fresh air!
4.Number one top training tip for mums to be?
Don't start exercising crazy and doing different movements if your body is not use to it or you have never done it before just because you want to be healthy as you have found out you are pregnant.
If you want to exercise start with walking And light cycling on the bike. Remember the stress from exercise you go through your baby does to.
5.Did you breastfeed?
Yes, and still breastfeeding - 9 months in and going strong.
6.If so, do you think your active pursuits effected your supply?
Ive never had a crazily high supply from the beginning, it's always been just enough. So I had to ease my way back into exercise and still to this day I manage 3-4 sessions per week and I am okay still to this day.
7.How did you balance feeding and exercise?? - tips
Sometimes I don't know half the things I have been able to balance out. Especially being a single mum. But for me exercise makes me feel better, and I honestly can't live without it. Its been my form of me time. I have been demand feeding from day one so once I feed Elijah I know I have a good hour to workout from home, or even when he sleeps, I do a quick workout. Every day is different. So I just go with the flow and how I am feeling!
Head to www.kirstypalmer.com to find out more about this inspiring mumma.
Do not dwell in the past, do not dream of the future, concentrate the mind on the present moment.
This captures the essence of mindfulness: bringing our attention to the present moment – the only moment we can ever be sure of.
Plus, at least one study has shown that mindfulness training can help reduce symptoms of postpartum depression. According to Gannon, meditation can also help new mothers navigate feelings of uncertainty, cope with the stress of parenting, and even increase lactogenesis (a fancy word for “produce milk”) in mothers who are breastfeeding.
Both mindfulness and nature help bring a sense of calm to you when you need it most.
“Nature meditation can help you cultivate a loving connection with yourself, the earth, and the entire web of life,” according to Buddhist meditation teacher Mark Coleman of Awake in the Wild. Through techniques like sights, sounds, and stories, we can help our children harness the calming aspects of nature during bedtime, dinnertime, car rides, and other moments throughout their day.
The best part is that nature meditation does not always have to be performed outdoors; from visualizations to nature sound apps, there are so many ways to experience mindfulness using nature even from inside the comfort of your home.
A simple activity combines meditation, breathing techniques and paying attention to the present moment to help you notice the way you think, feel and act.- though it has so many benefits.
Walking through nature with the family can get you all to explore the beauty of nature. Your could collect and examine autumn leaves, or feel the sand beneath the toes during a walk on the beach- really taking note of the trees shape, type, size etc forces your brain to stop and be present rather than drifting off into 1000 thoughts. After taking the walk and truly being present with the energy in nature brings you back lighter/freer and less anxious/stressed.
3 other ideas from soul and spirit magazine:
Find your ‘nature sit spot’
Find a quiet spot where you won’t be disturbed for 20-30 minutes. Remain still. What can you see in front of you? What can you see in your peripheral vision? What can you hear? What can you feel on your skin? What can you smell? Bring your awareness to each of your senses in turn. What do you notice over 20-30 minutes? How did things change? Come back and repeat the exercise at different times, on different days, at different times of year. Did you notice any changes? Any regular animals visiting?
Bring your attention to your breathing. Where do you feel the air coming in and out of your body? Rest your awareness there. Is your mind wandering? Just kindly bring it back to your breathing. Remind yourself that trees release the oxygen we inhale and absorb the carbon dioxide we exhale. As we breathe, we are borrowing air before returning it to nature.
Touch the earth
Stand, sit or lie in your garden, in a forest, in the park, by the sea or up a mountain. Bring your awareness to the parts of your body which are in contact with the ground. What do they feel like? Can you feel the ground supporting you? How does it make you feel?
While you are breastfeeding you should drink extra water, but you don’t need to overdo it. Hydration while breastfeeding should follow the commonsense “in and out” principles of hydration: If you use more fluid, you must take more in.
“Lactation involves specific physiological responses of the mother and requires both an increased supply of nutrients and water (IoM, 1991).
Breast milk contains, on average, 87% water (EFSA, 2010), water content varies depending on the time of day. During a single breastfeeding episode, foremilk (the milk obtained at the beginning of breastfeeding) has higher water content and keeps the infant hydrated, whereas hindmilk (milk released near the end of breastfeeding) contains two to three times more fat than foremilk (Riordan and Wambach, 2009).
Since breast milk is produced using maternal body water, a milk volume of 750 mL/d at 87% of water equals a significant extra water loss for the mother, compared to the daily normal losses. Maintaining water balance can therefore be challenging for lactating women.”
Surprisingly enough if you consume more water your breast milk production does not necessarily increase(like my mother told me) instead the maternal health suffers and becomes at risk of dehydration.
Here’s how to get the right amount of water to maintain hydration while breastfeeding:
- Drink enough water to quench your thirst plus a bit more, since thirst is not a completely reliable indicator of fluid needs.
- Carry a water bottle with you in your diaper bag like this one from @realactivemovement
I get in the habit of drinking a glass of water every time I breastfeed, plus a couple more each day. Try to keep with the principle of when baby drinks, mother drinks. Mums who train also need more water due to replacing the extra bit from sweating it out as well!
I have been using essential oils daily to support my family for over two years now. It’s funny really, I cannot imagine my live without them. Then have supported each and every one of us in so many ways and I am so grateful to have these amber bottles of mother nature in our life.
If you google the word “mindfulness” then the word “mediation” is usually featured in the same paragraph or post. However, personally I think there are other ways to practice mindfulness too. According to Russ Harris, author of The Happiness Trap, “mindfulness involves bringing consciously awareness to you’re here and now experience with openness, curiosity and flexibility…”
I love using essential oils to connect with myself on a deeper level. They are the gift from mother nature, that can help support our emotions and we love to use them in a way to support us in how we want to feel and let go off in that moment.
Here are some examples of how you can use essential oils to support your mindfulness practice. Please note I am only talking on behalf of my practise:
Diffuse Essential Oils – When I first wake, I love to diffuse citrus oils like Wild Orange or Lemon or Lime with Peppermint. It allows me to focus on what needs to be done to start my day. I love writing a list of the days tasks I need to get done and then putting it aside to later time in the day. I feel my mind is fresh when I first wake. I continue to diffuse essential oils throughout the day depending on what I want to feel. I love using the resource EMOTIONS & ESSENTIAL OILS – A Reference Guide for Emotional Healing to help find oils that are suitable for my mood and both positive and negative emotional support.
Drinking Water – Whenever I have or make a glass of water, I take time to be practice gratitude and mindfulness. I tune into the moment. I listen and focus on the water trickling into the glass, I pick my favourite essential oil from my shelf, inhale some from the amber bottle first and then add the drop to the glass. I try take my mind off whatever I am focusing on at the time and bring it to that moment. It calms my mind so much, it’s so simple to do. Plus, so many people in the world are without this luxury, so practicing this daily helps you to feel gratitude for it. You can also do a similar practice when washing your hands too.
Taking a few deep breathes in and out –Sounds simple right? It is, but most of us don’t do it enough. I love to apply 1-2 drops of essential oil on my finger-tips, rub my hands together and cup my nose. Then take a few deep breathes in and out. I love the dōTERRA Balance and Lavender Peace blend for this practice. Wild Orange and Peppermint are great for a focus reset and gives you uplifting vibes.
Moving your body – Getting outside in mother nature or out of the house to the gym can support all those good endorphins. When working out, practicing yoga, Pilates or just walking, most of the time our mind is focusing on being present in that moment due to the fact you have to focus on what you are doing, eg lifting up weights, walking to your destination, pushing a little harder on your run. I love using essential oils to motivate me to work out. Peppermint, pink pepper, ginger, lemon, black pepper and cinnamon bark are all essential oils I call “mother natures preworkout.” Place a drop under your tongue or in a veggie cap or on your inner ankles to give you an energy boost.
Gratitude Journal – I place a drop of Frankincense over my heart and write in this book daily. I write 5 things I am grateful for, some days its little things and others in big things.
Create a roller bottle filled with your favourite essential oils – apply to your pulse points and over your heart.
Want more from Alice – www.instagram.com/aliceinessentialoilland
Join her tribe - https://www.mydoterra.com/aliceinhealthyland/#/
Written by Joanne Shepherd for bodyandsoul.com.au
Can’t find the time to exercise? Make your newborn, baby or toddler, part of your routine, says this mum and personal trainer.
One of the hardest things when you become a new mum is making time for you. Actually, in a way, it’s one of the more important things because if you don’t look after yourself then the rest doesn't function very well.
When you’re a brand new mum it’s important to get fresh air and get the main body systems working. It helps to increase the rate of postnatal recovery, improves muscle tone, circulation, digestion, mood, sleep patterns and so much more.
Once your doctor has cleared you to exercise there are a range of options. The opportunities are endless so depending on the age of your children here are some other ways to fit in some exercise with your little ones in tow.
Putting the baby in the stroller and doing a bench to bench workout
At your local park or equivalent, complete an exercise then walk to the next park bench and complete a set of the next exercise. An example could be as simple as the following: static lunge whilst holding the pram (10 each leg), Bear crawl across 10m up and back, incline push-up, sprint, tricep push up, squat pulse, mountain climbers. (At each bench perform 10 -15 reps).
Make the most out of your baby carrier
Most newborns love the Baby carrier. I remember days where the baby was strapped to me 24/7 which made it hard to get anything done. But by placing them in the carrier you can still do a workout. It is a great way to ease back into exercise and can be done anywhere or anytime. Examples of exercises that you can perform are walking lunges, sumo squats, torso twist and punch, the chair dip, hip-raisers, wall sit, standing donkey kick (leg raiser).
Postpartum the most important thing is to listen to your body, work from inside out and focus on core, pelvic tilts and Kegel exercises.
As the baby starts to become more aware of the surroundings and enjoy the time outside there are a number of extra options that you can include into your daily workout schedule. Setting a positive and healthy example from the beginning is so important. Remember monkey see monkey do!
You don’t need gym equipment to get you started - the stroller is a great option! You can include sit ups by keeping feet on the stroller and doing peek a boo, plank/reach and tap on either side of the stroller, side and back leg lift, squats to calf raisers, lunges, one leg flute bridge/lift, push-ups, knee lifts, back leg lift to front leg crunch.
A mat is another option where the little one can have tummy time or lay on their back kicking about while you perform a sequence of exercises. They particularly like the push up and planks as you can make it into a game. It is also a great bonding time as you have no other distractions and focus the attention on them (it also takes the pain of the exercise away.)
Examples of mat exercises are leg lifts, baby weight bridge hip thrusters, Russian twist with baby, superman, side plank, extended leg lift. Some higher intensity options include burpees, reverse crunch or high knees. Yoga and Pilates is also another good mat option to include the little one in.
As children grow into the next stage they like to mimic and feel part of the workout. This is great bonding time and is also demonstrating a positive and healthy role model.
A partner workout
This is a great way to get them to burn off some additional energy. Doing exercises like squat jumps, incline push-ups, burpees, sit up hi 10’s, plank and feet taps. Your child may even have some creative ideas of their own! Anything to get the body moving.
Park and playground equipment offer great exercise options including: pull ups on the monkey bars or leg hangs and lifts. The slide is a good tricep dip option. You can use a curved ladder to do incline push-ups or hanging row. The swing can be used to do a plank tuck or Bulgarian split squat.
The options are truly endless, but the benefits from working out with kids gives you the well-deserved time for you, great bonding time (they pick up on the positive vibes from you doing something for yourself), you are setting a positive lifelong example and it can benefit their muscular and motor skills at the same time. Realistically it is ourselves who put the barriers up to exercising once we have children. Remember ‘the first step is often the hardest’ and ‘where there is a will there is a way’.
Joanne Shepherd is a personal trainer and founder of Mummactiv
After the oxytocin wears off….
Let’s be real for a second. Let’s stop and reflect on what you’ve done. YOU GREW A HUMAN! So to me, you are in fact a Superhero! Whether you home or hospital birthed, whether your baby came out through the sunroof or not, whether you breast or bottle feed, your baby is here and earthside because of you. When was the last time you gave yourself a pat on the back for that?
From the shitty nappies and vomiting, to PND and sleep schools, to bizarre mothers groups and unsolicited parenting advice, mothering is a right of passage that stretches not just your belly but your soul to grow.
The oxytocin wears off, the delivery of home made meals and new baby gifts stop. You’re neck deep in forever washing and sleepless nights and right there perhaps some doubt about your life direction comes up. You stare in the mirror potentially at this new body you judge and loathe, resenting the biological privilege that just railroaded life as you knew it. And that’s the moment, right there where you can catch yourself, and the negative self talk. Where you connect and redirect with you again (just like you will with your toddler in the years to come, thanks Dr Dan Siegel!) because this is where it gets better.
Yes your pelvic floor will recover, yes they will in fact one day sleep through the night. Yes you will enjoy sex again, wear white, and even another babe if you choose to do so. You’ll be stronger, fitter, wiser and more full of love than ever before.
As a Mother you are the embodiment of grace under pressure. Alongside congratulating yourself for carrying and delivering your babe, celebrate the fact that you are keeping your babe alive! You’ve acquired new skills like being able to pick things up off the floor with the big toe hook and flick method and you now have this quiet understanding of women in a new way that you may not have experienced before.
This babe of yours took time to grow and it takes time for the body to recover and that’s ok. Thank your body. Be kind to her. Love her and celebrate her. The older, wiser me would go back to tell the young new Mum me exactly this today.
CATCH YOURSELF in the now. Be present to the sweetness and stillness of every moment, chaotic, wild and wonderful. Simply feel your feet on ground beneath you and become the witness to the sensations and flow of your breath. Inhale. Exhale. Repeat.
Affirm and say…
I AM AMAZING.
I AM LOVED, HELD AND SUPPORTED.
I AM AN INCREDIBLE MOTHER.
I AM ENOUGH JUST AS I AM.
And remember the great mothering Mantra, this too shall pass.
Laura is a Mother, Lover, Seeker and Yogini. She wears lycra as part her living! She is SAMA Studio’s Founder and Principal teacher, facilitating Yoga classes, retreats, workshops and Yoga Teacher Training. Find and follow her on the below links or catch her teaching at Ekam Yoga Festival this year:
First introduced to Yoga around 10 years of age and has fond childhood memories of chanting the Gayatri Mantra, meditating, gazing at paintings of Hindu deities and playfully hanging upside down.
By 2007 Laura was a regular student of Yoga. In 2008 her interest in Buddhist philosophy and mindfulness practices led her to taking vows with HH 14th Dalai Lama. Teaching Yoga has been her full-time profession since 2013. She is a Yoga Australia Level 2 registered teacher.
Laura’s motivation to share the gifts the practice brings with others is in service to cultivating and strengthening a greater sense of Kula –Community of Heart. Having experienced first-hand the support a Yoga practice offers in times of trauma, illness and injury, Laura hopes to inspire and connect students to the wisdom and intelligence of their own bodies moving. To feel and know the resiliency and courage of one’s own Spirit.
Known for helping students connect to the intelligence of alignment, she progressively builds students to meet their edges – be it in a flow, alignment or restoration class. She shares in a fun and light-hearted fashion, without skipping the particulars, weaving mythological storytelling and philosophy throughout.
Perinatal (During pregnancy) and Postnatal (New baby) stress has been found to have associations with adverse maternal and infant outcomes.
Mindfulness training may offer a safe and acceptable strategy to support perinatal and postnatal mental health. Mental health is a serious illness that affects up to one in five expecting or new Mums and one in ten expecting or new Dads...It is never a failure or a weakness to ask/seek help. Sometimes post or prenatal mental illness can hit you like a tonne of bricks- out of the blue and for no reason.
“Mindfulness exercises are ways of paying attention to the present moment, using techniques like meditation, breathing, and yoga. Training helps people to become more aware of their thoughts, feelings, and body sensations so that instead of being overwhelmed by them, theyâre better able to manage them. Practising mindfulness can give more insight into emotions, boost attention and concentration, and improve relationships.”
“Mindfulness meditation has been shown to affect how the brain works and even its structure. People undertaking mindfulness training have shown increased activity in the area of the brain associated with positive emotion – the pre-frontal cortex – which is generally less active in people who are depressed.
Many studies have shown changes in brain wave activity during meditation and researchers have found that areas of the brain linked to emotional regulation are larger in people who have meditated regularly for five years or more. The evidence for different types of mindfulness is promising and research has grown in recent years.
Mindfulness is a strategy and there are many resources out there for men or woman who might be struggling with their Mental health. PANDA (Perinatal Anxiety and Depression Association) is one such organisation who can help: PANDA’s National Perinatal Anxiety & Depression Helpline
1300 726 306 9am – 7.30pm Mon – Fri (AEST/AEDT)
Or ask us a question via email at firstname.lastname@example.org and one of the Helpline team members will get back to you during Helpline hours. Their website www.panda.org.au also has a wealth of information.
Taking time to nurture your own development isn't selfish. The well-being of mothers impacts the well-being of children and families in powerful and far reaching ways. We cannot pour from an empty cup.
Motherhood and stress, understanding your triggers and learning to respond rather than react. In mothering we are faced with screaming kids, tantrums, constant want for your attention, demands of breastfeeding etc. Mindfulness of emotions and getting clear on your values is extremely helpful to identify what is going on first rather than reacting. If we do become reactive to the external triggers/stress one of the ways to help yourself is to change the scenery.
Karen Holmes explains it well in relation to Mums.
Mindfulness is probably the most scientifically investigated form of meditation to date, and to put it simply – it involves ‘training our attention’. Through this, we learn to focus on those things that are most useful and most helpful in our lives, allowing us to live more consciously and fully.
Given that a lot of mothering is done in automatic pilot mode, where we are literally multi-tasking the day away, living more mindfully can help us get on top of negative or worried thinking patterns – those pesky ‘what if…?’ scenarios.
A simple and quick mindfulness meditation:
Sit comfortably, preferably with your back firmly against a chair.
Place your feet on the floor and connect or root yourself with the floor.
Close your eyes, make sure your jaw is soft, and drop your chin a little.
Feel your breath and notice your belly rising and falling.
When you feel your thoughts wandering, simply notice this and return to the breath.
When you’re ready, lift your chin and open your eyes.
Bring your awareness slowly back to your surroundings.
Notice how you feel.