Wednesday, November 27, 2013

30-Day Push-up Challenge

Push-ups are hard, especially for most women because it focuses on muscles that we are traditional weak in. Most instructors give women the girly push-up modifications. Those are perfectly acceptable but I would like to challenge those out there who want to do them like a man and do it better.

For December, I would like to challenge ladies to do the 30- day push-up challenge, which is coincidentally the hardest month to stay on track especially with the onslaught of Christmas parties, dinners, and treats. SO, I challenge you to get on the floor and empower yourself with a push-up.

Anatomy of a Push-up

Although push-ups target your pectoral muscles (chest) and triceps (flappy back arm bits), they greatly strengthen your stabilizing abdominal muscles such as your transverse abdominis (your corset that gives you the six pack), and rectus abdmonis. You will notice difference in your shoulders, back, and gluteus maximus (butt).
*Full push-ups are not advisable if you have shoulder problems, wrist pain, and lower back pain.

For those who have never attempted a push-up or given up after 2 or 3, start with the modifications (1-4) in week 1 and 2. Once you get stronger and can do 10-12 \ with ease, challenge yourself with the harder progressions. For those who are stronger, try the harder progressions, if you can do 8-10 repetitions without your hip collapsing, that is where you should begin. I have included planks to further engage your core. But if you find that too be too much, just do the push-ups.

Progressions (from Easiest to Most challenging)

  1. Wall push-up
  2. Inclined Push-ups
  3. Bent Knee Push-ups
  4. Plank- 10 sec-hold-Push down
  5. Push-up
  6. Stability Ball Push-ups
  7. Decline Push-ups
    • On Bench
    • On Ball
  8. One leg Push-ups 

Saturday, June 8, 2013

A sudden death...a comedy

iTouch 2nd,Genration 16G, of Astoria New York passed away on May 16, 2013.

She was born on December 25, 2008 to K Ryan. From the moment she arrived, she brought much joy to her family. She had quite a capacity for music, and although she liked all music, she favored Keane mostly.

Itouch 2 was quite the library for books and constantly downloaded new books for K to read on the train to and from work. She often kept K busy with the new fitness apps to make sure she stayed ahead of the game.

During downtime, she often kept K entertained with games such as Angry Bird but unfortunately K was never quite good at it and abandoned it quite quickly. But iTouch 2 never gave up and always tried to offer new games.

At times, she kept photo albums for K to look at and often helped her pick up a new hairstyle to show the hair stylist. But all this came to an abrupt end in the hands of an 8-month old baby. iTouch was drowned in saliva and although she fought a mighty fight, her frail body could no longer take the water and other sticky substance coming from this small force of nature.

There were failed attempts to resuscitate her by way of submersion in Rice and Silica Gel Packets, but to no avail.

Her funereal services will be held this weekend in a black bin in Sandyford, Ireland. She requested it be a private ceremony by only family members. She is survived by MacBook Pro.  


Dear Readers, 

I apologize for being MIA but being a full-time mom is hard work! As much as it is rewarding, it has many challenging moments. It is truly amazing how much energy a baby has!!! I wish I could borrow some of that energy on many days. 

I plan to start writing again in the near future. But for now, I am collecting ideas, recipes, and fitness workouts with you mummies in mind. Find me on FB for short recipe inspirations. Link 
Until then, keep well and be happy.


Thursday, March 7, 2013

Back Pain and Care

Its another day as a mum, you go to pick up a sock you dropped on its way to the hamper. You stand up and Aw…ouch! Everything in your back just went very taut. Alas, back pain has found its way into your life. 80% of people will experience back pain sometime in their life. Much is attributed to our occupation; a desk job. But for us mummies, most of it has to do with carrying your baby. Strain typically occurs in the area above the pelvis ,which has been overstretched from pregnancy.
 As the babies grow stronger and heavier, it causes more strain on our backs, especially if you are not lifting them correctly. See below for instruction on lifting technique.
Here are a few tips on how to mind your back while caring for your precious bundle.
(Please note: If your back pain is accompanied by loss of sensation in your legs, weakness in the legs, changes in bowels and/or bladder habits, or increased pain with coughing or sneezing, then you should consult a doctor.)

·      Begin exercising soon after delivery to restore muscle tone to the abdominal and back muscles. While the baby is napping, take 10 minutes to do stretching exercises on the floor each day. This will help restore hip and back flexibility. See below for exercises and illustrations.
·      Do not stretch your arms out to pick up the baby. Bring the baby close to your chest before lifting. Try activating your core muscles. Avoid twisting your body, especially if the baby is at arms length, as it will cause undue strain to your back.
·      To pick up a child from the floor, bend at your knees (at least hip distance apart). Do not, I repeat, do not try to bend at your waist because as your child gets heavier, this will cause undue strain to your back, making it more susceptible to back pain. Squat down, draw your belly button towards your spine, stick your butt back, and lift with your legs.
·      Remove the high chair tray when you are trying to put the baby in or out of the high chair.
·      When lifting the baby up out of the crib, put the crib side down and pull the child toward you. Do not bend over the crib side and lift the baby over the top.
·      Consider using a baby carrier like the Stokke or Ergo to carry the baby when you are walking. Those two carriers are best for you and your baby. (I purchased the Stokke because it offered great support for the baby as well as me)
·      Do not carry a child on your hip; this overloads the back muscles, and if done for prolonged periods can cause unbalance in your hips.
·      To avoid upper back pain from breastfeeding, bring the baby to your breast, rather than bending over the baby. While you are nursing, sit in an upright chair rather than a soft couch where your posture can slump. Alternatively, you can use the pregnancy pillow
·      Do not stand outside the car and try to place the child in the car seat. Kneel on the back seat as you place the baby into the car seat.

Lifting Technique
  1. A baby requires lots of lifting and carrying. By using your legs, one of the most powerful muscles of your body instead of your back, you will protect your spine and lift with more strength and ease.
  2. With spine in neutral, engage your lower abdominals while squeezing your lower cheeks together
  3. Stand close to your baby, with legs shoulder distance apart, bend at the hips, and stick your butt back
  4. Hold baby close, lean back slightly, squeeze butt, putting weight in your heels straighten your knees

With practice, it will get easier to lift this way and hopefully prevent you from any back pain

Upper Back Stretch
  1. Clasp hands in front of your waist, and raise them over-head
  2. Keeping head neutral, relax your shoulders and breathe. 
  3. Count to 10 and repeat 5xs. 

This should be done after a diaper change or anything your shoulders are rolled forward.

Back Extension:
  1. Lay face down, legs extended, with hand under your shoulders in a push up ready position
  2. Straighten your elbows as far as you body will allow, make sure lower body is relaxed(pelvis, butt, legs)
  3. Check your body alignment and make sure shoulders are relaxed as well and away from your ears. Breathe out, relax the lower back and breathe in.  Hold that pose for 2 seconds, and come back down to laying pose.
  4. Repeat 10 times. This exercise can be done 6-8times throughout the day.

Standing Extension:
  1. Stand upright with feet about hip distance apart
  2. Place hands on the small of your back with fingertips pointing to your spine
  3. Arch backwards, bending at the waist as far as you can without discomfort(knees must stay straight)
  4. Hold for 3 seconds and slowly come back up.
  5. Repeat 5 times, each time trying to bend a little further (Most effective when done in conjunction with seated flexion)

Seated Flexion
  1. Sitting at the edge of a chair, arms rested between your legs, bend at the hips, and touch the floor with your hands
  2. Return to seated position and repeat 5-6 times. Once in the morning and once at night.

Treat Your Own Back. McKenzie, Robin.