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Monthly Archives: September 2010
1

Pregnant, Physically Phit, and Powerful

Kymberly Williams-Evans, MA and Alexandra Williams, MA

Dear Fun and Fit: My wife is incredibly active, and pregnant. She is strong and not the type to consider a walk exercise but the doctor’s advice has been too generic.  “Don’t do more than you can handle” type of answers. What are the best activities for her, activities that are still challenging? She’s at the end of her 1st trimester; has been running, biking, and swimming. She used to do Triathlons. Didn’t do one this weekend because she’s been zapped of energy lately.

Jeremy, Goleta, CA

Kymberly: Good thing you came to us, since we were once fetuses AND pregnant moms. Yup, revel in those credentials! And we have some super specific, non-generic, targeted advice honed from years hours minutes of checking with the real experts. Listen to your body. If an exercise feels good, it probably is; if it feels like too much, it probably is. Seriously! Read this article, The Pregnant Athlete and see for yourself. Show your wife when she is not having any kind of hormone surge. The bottom line, or would this be the “middle line?” — is that a woman who is fit and active prior to pregnancy will have a good sense of her body and therefore be the best judge. In general, she could continue with her activities, reducing intensity when her energy is low and changing position or exercise when she feels uncomfortable. The American College Of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) Guidelines put the kibosh no-no on just a few activities: downhill skiing, contact sports, and scuba diving. Whew! Looks like triathlons are fair game if she wants. What the heck, looks like parasailing is an option. Basically, medical advice is that common sense takes over as MD (Most Decisive).

Alexandra: When your wife hits the 3rd trimester, she will probably not find the swimming too much fun. Not because of the exertion, but because those pregnant-lady swimsuits are so ugly simply lovely.

If she doesn’t mind looking like she’s sporting her own personal life ring in the pool, then she’s active, strong and deluded courageous! Truly, I’d rather give you advice. No matter what, even if she asks and looks oh-so-innocent, you are to say, “You look absolutely fabulous,” as the answer to any question that is even remotely worded like this – “Do you think I look big/huge/large/different/unappealing/unattractive?”!!! And look be sincere!

K: When I was pregnant and teaching 8 group fitness classes a week, the activities I found “best” yet still challenging were buying cute outfits that were gender neutral; holding myself back from snapping at my husband for good no reason; and avoiding hot tubs. No, no, not because the heat was too high for the developing baby, but because I kept displacing too much water.

Physically phit moms: When you were pregnant, what did “active” mean to you? And what did you do with your maternity swimsuit?

Photo credits: Creative Commons

11

Spot Reducing – A Zap-O-Matic Myth

Kymberly Williams-Evans, MA and Alexandra Williams, MA

Dear Fun and Fit: So … is there no spot reducing? as in can’t just do certain areas, right? like it has to be holistic?

Annie, New York

Vintage fat jiggler

Kymberly: Holy holistic, AnnGirl, no spot reducing? Dang it, and I was just about to shake my booty into toned, tight, tushy status. Maybe just another butt squeeze and I’ll zap the fat that may or may not be present, but only my undergarments know for sure. Please, please, please may I have some spot reducing? How about just some reducing … of this persistent myth?

Alexandra: The only spot reducing that works involves a dry cleaner. Otherwise you’d see millions of women shaking their bellies, right?

K: I am the first (well maybe not, but I beat Alexandra to it) to tell you that you can make certain areas look groovier and more holistic through strength training. But any overlying fat would still need to be nuked through overall, whole body, calorically burning cardio for the lean, green, muscle machine to show through. Oh gotta go. My vintage belly fat vibrating machine just arrived.

A: Annie, I do have some good news. You can just do certain areas. Only work the parts below your hair.

 

 

 

 

 

Zapping kid on bike

Zap!

 

Put a big clip on your hair so it can hold still while the rest of you moves. And don’t forget that holistic means body, mind and spirit. So tone your body, tune your spirit and tame your mind!

Readers: Have you tried to spot-reduce? How’d that work out for ya?

Photo credits: Creative Commons

13

How Do I Cure Shin Splints from Running?

Dear Fun and Fit: Please help my poor shins! It’s been years since I ran so much and forgot to take care so as NOT to get shin splints. 🙁   Sherry Atlanta, Georgia

Kymberly: Last time I got a plea like this it involved Nigeria and sending money to a dethroned prince. I am prepared to send you good advice at half the price. Yes, for a definition of shin splints, check out this link. Even better, if you want to understand the causes and treatments, try the solutions in our posts on the subject of shin splints:

 

Then send money to me, but preferably more than the dollar or two you stashed in your running shoes.

Alexandra: I’ll give you free advice if you promise to make sense of the complete lyrics to Ice Ice Baby. It would seem you increased the duration a wee bit too enthusiastically (and maybe overpronated).ICE for shin splints
1. Ice the shin.

2. When your shins feel better (not while you are still in pain), strengthen the muscle (anterior tibialis). You can do this with toe (up) taps. By this I mean, don’t focus on tapping your toes on the floor; focus on lifting the toes up. This will hurt a lot if you do it before you are feeling better. For expert tapping hints, have Savion Glover come over and make-out with help you.
3. Dozens of Pairs of Running ShoesGet some inserts for your shoes, especially if you’re going to be the bad girl of fitness and run before you’re all healed. And consider new shoes as yours may be worn out and no longer supporting your foot, ankle, leg and high sense of fashion.
4. Become at one with the simple word “stretch.” As in, “Oh, I just ran for 72 miles (or 2 – but it would feel like 72 to me). Maybe now I should stretch out my shins by pointing my toe and holding for at least 15 seconds.”

K: 5. Stretch your calf – the muscle buddy to your shin (aka agonist and antagonist muscle pair in high-falootin’ circles.) A lot of shin splint trauma comes from an imbalance between the strong, tight, shortened, strong, bossy Alexandra calf and the comparably petite, underloved, underdeveloped, underworked, weak anterior tib. Reduce the pull on the shin from the calf by lengthening the calf with mucho stretching.
If you run again–and we hope you do, someone has to–try to stay on surfaces that absorb impact, such as asphalt, tracks, grass, cardio equipment. Avoid surfaces that have no springback or cushion such as CONCRETE. Translation – sidewalks! Even the best shoes and strongest shins cannot overcome the jarring effect of concrete pounding. Even the strongest of twins cannot overcome the jarring effects of my sister whining when she has to run (for cover).

Readers: What are your tricks to prevent or cure shin splints? Are you secretly harboring any Vanilla Ice recordings?

Photo credits: Creative Commons and Photobucket

Kymberly Williams-Evans, MA and Alexandra Williams, MA