Simple Days

Simple Days

by Erica Lea


My Prenatal Fitness Routine (with Baby #2)

My Prenatal Fitness Routine


When I was pregnant with Helen, I worked out fairly regularly. I think it helped me to get back in shape postpartum.

This time around, I really wanted to work out harder. Last time I was a definitely a major fitness noob. I hated working out. It felt awkward. But I knew it was good for my baby and me, so I pushed through (no pun intended).

In the almost 2.5 years between my pregnancies, I learned to hate exercising less. I completed Lindsay Brin's Postnatal Bootcamp, did a modified version of P90X (I couldn't quite finish it because of an injury), and I completed Jillian Michael's Ripped in 30 during the first few weeks of my pregnancy (I didn't know I was pregnant at the time).

It was amazing how quickly my energy levels dropped almost as soon as I got pregnant. I soon realized, to my disappointment, that I wouldn't be able to work out as intensely as I had planned. It just didn't feel good to work super hard.


I use two DVDs for my workouts:

I aim to do about 20 minutes of exercise 4-5 times a week. I do 2 of the 10-Minute Prenatal Pilates workouts, or 1 of the Prenatal Barre workouts (they are about 20 minutes each). Some days I have very little energy, so I just do some stretching or a light workout.


10 Minutes Solution: Prenatal Pilates

Music: The music is pleasant, nothing to write home about. Some of it has an oriental vibe.
Instructor: The instructor isn't annoying, though she makes a few verbal mistakes (should have been a re-take!). I appreciate how the instructor tells you when to breathe in or out.
Equipment: 1-3 pound weights (I sometimes use 5s), exercise mat, and a pillow.
Workouts: The workouts are pretty easy, which is great for pregnancy. If you are already advanced in fitness, these would most likely be too easy for you. You can make some of the workouts more challenging by adding heavier weights.
The main thing I don't like about these workouts is that some of them aren't "Tummy Safe" - they are either unsafe for a mom with a diastasis recti, or they encourage one. The "Standing Pilates" workout is completely safe. The "Total Body" and "Buns and Thighs" workouts are safe except for a couple of short segments done on your hands and knees (this can be done standing instead). The "Pilates for Flexibility" is also safe - just make sure you're performing the "Calf/Cow" exercise properly. I wouldn't recommend the "Core" workout - some of the moves are safe, but most of them aren't recommended for pregnancy. 

You can read more about how to avoid a diastasis recti during pregnancy HERE, HERE, and HERE.

Suzanne Bowen's Slim & Toned Prenatal Barre

Music: The music has a fun beat, but it's nothing special.
Instructor: Suzanne herself isn't pregnant in this DVD, but there is a lady that is. Suzanne also isn't annoying. It's really nice how she is insistent about working your pelvic floor. I've learned a lot doing the workouts.
Equipment: 1-3 pound weights, exercise mat, chair.
Workouts: This DVD includes 3 workouts and a stretching segment. The 2 cardio/lower body workouts are completely safe. The core workout is mostly safe, except for the segment that has you doing pushups and frontal planks. This is only about 4 minutes of the workout. 
The workouts are challenging, but they still feel good.

One thing to keep in mind about these DVDs is that the instructors aren't dressed the most modestly. This probably wouldn't be a huge issue for most people, but it's something to keep in mind if you are sensitive to that.

So that's what I've been doing to keep fit this pregnancy!

Do you have any favorite workouts/DVDs to recommend? Let me know in the comments!


28 Weeks Pregnancy Update

28 Weeks

I'm in my 3rd Trimester! Woot woot!

Weight this week: 127.2 pounds

Measurement around waist: 30.5"

Measurement around belly: 33.5"

How big is baby? Baby weighs about 2.5 pounds and measures about 14-15 inches long.

Maternity Clothes: When my sisters and I took a trip to the cities, I made a stop at Destination Maternity. I got THREE pairs of jeans there (they were having a buy 2 get 1 free deal). They fit me better and are a lot more comfortable than the maternity jeans I got last time. I guess you get what you pay for!

Movement: The baby is moving quite a bit these days, especially when I sit down or go to bed. It can keep me up at night now! The kicks feel a lot more intense than I remember at this stage last time...

Cravings: Chocolate. Deep, dark chocolate. Also, when we were shopping in Home Depot, I got a craving for Reese's Peanut Butter Cups (I saw them at the checkout). I almost NEVER crave candy.

Aversions: Fast food. Once I start eating it it's not so bad, but the thought of it is gross to me.

Aches/Pains: My hips have been hurting so bad lately, especially when I've been working on our tile floor all day. I need to get into the chiropractor. I've had that bad pain in my side off and on as well, so I scheduled a doctor's appointment with the hope that they'll give me an ultrasound and tell me what's going on. If you think of me on December 1, please pray that my appointment goes well and that I get answers!

Sleep: I was just about to spring for a maternity pillow when I decided to just try shoving a pillow under my belly to support it. It really helped to relieve my back pain. So I might just opt for a wedge pillow.

Fitness: It feels really good to exercise/stretch. But if I know that I'm going to be doing a lot in a day I either opt for an easy workout or skip it.

And that's my 28 week pregnancy update! 

You can compare this week with my 28 week update from last pregnancy HERE.

Weeks 6-28


My November Bucket List

November Bucket List

Here's my list of things I'd really like to do this November!

1. Make a Pumpkin Pie
I love pumpkin pie, and I particularly like pumpkin pie that's made with fresh pumpkin puree. Mmhmm.

2. Make an Advent Calendar
I've never done an advent calendar, but I thought it would be a fun tradition to start with Helen. I want to get it done before December so we can start right away.

3. Knit My Hat
I really need a new (cute) hat that actually covers my ears. I started knitting a hat using the free Mont-Royal pattern.  I'll give more details once I finish it.

4. Start Making Christmas Tree Ornaments
I want to make felt ornaments for our tree this year. I'm hoping to convince Reuben to get our tree the weekend after Thanksgiving, so I'd better get to work!

5. Make a Photo Book
I have a coupon for a free photo book, and it expires at the end of November!

6. Write a List of 10 Things I'm Thankful For
November/Thanksgiving is a great time to think about things that God has done for us. I've felt blessed this year, but I've also had some very big struggles. I think writing a list will help me to remember that I have a lot to be thankful for!

What do you want to accomplish in November?


First Snow

First Snow | October 28, 2015
First Snow | October 28, 2015
First Snow | October 28, 2015
First Snow | October 28, 2015
First Snow | October 28, 2015
First Snow | October 28, 2015
First Snow | October 28, 2015
First Snow | October 28, 2015
First Snow | October 28, 2015
First Snow | October 28, 2015
First Snow | October 28, 2015

Last Wednesday (October 28), we had our first snow! It started out as rain, but transitioned into small, light flakes. It snowed all afternoon and into the evening.

Helen loved it. She went out "snowing" (as she later termed playing out in the snow) with the kids. She asked to sled - not sure how she remembers that snow and sleds go together!

I let her play until her toes got too cold. We're going to have to buy her some warmer snow boots!

Of course the next day the snow was gone. I can't wait until it's here to stay! If it's going to be cold and brown (which is how the first half of November usually is in northern Minnesota), I'd rather just have snow! But I am thankful for these last few days of nice weather.


October Butterfly

October ButterflyOctober Butterfly
October Butterfly
October Butterfly

Last week, when my sister and I were outside watching the kids play in the sand pile, we spotted a butterfly that was just emerging from its cocoon. It seemed like such an odd time for a butterfly to hatch. True, it's been a warm fall, but it still seemed late in the season.

I guess life is like that sometimes. It feels like God puts you in a situation at a strange or uncomfortable time in your life. But He gives us the strength to make it through.

I don't know what happened to that butterfly. I hope it survived.


Rain + Sun

Rain + Sun
Rain + Sun
Rain + Sun
Rain + Sun

I always think it's so odd when it rains and shines at the same time.

A couple of weeks ago, the morning dawned bright and beautiful. Then, out of the blue, it started pouring rain!

I guess life is like that sometimes. Just when something happens that makes you want to burst with joy, something else comes along to ruin it.


24 Weeks

24 WeeksWeight this week: 121.5 pounds

Measurement around waist: 29.5"

Measurement around belly: 32"

How big is baby? Baby weighs about 1 1/3 pounds (Yay! We're into pounds instead of ounces!) and measures about 12 inches long.

Maternity Clothes: I picked up a few shirts from Goodwill the other day. It's fun to have something new to wear.

Movement: Lots of movement these days! It's usually when I sit down or go to bed. I think I've already felt this baby kick my ribs!

Cravings: Apples, apples, and more apples! Especially ones that are just a tad sour. I'm also still loving baked goods and veggies.

Aversions: Still disliking fast food. Ha!

Aches/Pains: I've been having some pain in my right side. Yesterday morning it woke me up at 4:45 and lasted for an hour. At first my midwife and I thought it was round ligament pain, but when I showed my midwife where the pain was located she thought maybe it was uterine pain. If I have another episode of the pain I'm going to schedule a doctor's appointment for an ultrasound, just to rule out another placental abruption or other complications. It may just be a stitch in my side, but I want to be sure!

Sleep: Sometimes I have great sleep, and sometimes it's broken. We're sleeping in Helen's room right now because we're renovating our bedroom. Helen and Reuben are noisy sleepers, so that keeps me up sometimes. And my back hurts really bad sometimes. If I move to the couch, the pain goes away.

Can any of you recommend a good maternity pillow? I'm in the market, but I have no idea which is the best brand.

Fitness: I'm still working out most week days. On days where I feel tired or achy I do lighter exercise or stretching.

Probiotics: I added a probiotic to my supplements: BioKult. I'll probably switch it up with Prescript Assist or another probiotic when I'm done with it.

And that's my 20 week pregnancy update! 

You can compare this week with my 24 week update from last pregnancy HERE.

Progress, Weeks 6-24
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