Monday, February 29, 2016

5 Ways to LEAP to Health and Fitness

It's Leap Day! Sometimes I wonder how the idea for what to do with those 6 extra hours per year came about... must have been a very creative astronomer! (Edited: I got too curious and looked it up: Julius Caesar's astronomer, Sosigenes, gets credit for the idea.)

Here are five ways to use this special day to make progress toward your health and fitness goals.

#1 Try a new group exercise class! Leap Day doesn't come around very often, make it a great day by trying something new. Need ideas? Here are reviews of piloxing, doonya, clubbercise, and bokwa!

#2 Take a class with a new instructor! Not quite ready for a new format? Change things up with a different teacher to get different choreography and moves.

#3 Go the extra mile! Push yourself to do 10 extra squats or stay on the treadmill for a few more minutes.

#4 Treat yourself! Use the extra day to get a pedicure, take a bath, or have some quiet time.

#5 Get some ZZZs! What better way to use extra time than to catch up on much needed sleep?

Happy Leap Day!

Sunday, February 14, 2016

A Valentine from The Z Beat!

Happy Love Day! It's super fun to see all of the Valentine's-themed master classes, jams, and fundraisers posted on Facebook. Hope you're all having a great time today!

I wrote you a little poem.


Roses are red,
It's Valentine's Day,
Let's celebrate,
With a giveaway!

(Yes, that's a sideways photo. New mom status = lower standards when you can't get something to work. Sorry!)

Here's your chance to win an adorable Zumba drawstring bag, a hot pink, flowy ladies' Z-wear shirt (size Marvelous, but will fit Spicys and Lovelys too), and a bottle of Love Fury perfume. Perfect way to treat yourself!

To enter: Share a link to The Z Beat on your Facebook page (to this post or another one you like!) and TAG ME in the post (find me on Facebook here). Don't forget to tag me so I can enter you!!

One entry per person, and the giveaway closes at 11:59pm on Friday, February 19th. Good luck!!

Monday, February 8, 2016

Stuff on my Mind: Health and Fitness as a New Mom

I've been focused on eating right, maintaining a healthy weight, and being an athlete and fitness instructor for many years. But, I must say, being a new mom puts all of these things in a very different context! Here are a few thoughts.

Resting: I had never been to a hospital as a patient before (I know, lucky me!) and never had a major illness, broken bone, or anything else. So, I was actually surprised by the amount of recovery time I needed after having a baby. Not because anything out of the ordinary happened, but because I'm so used to being super active and pushing myself... ya know, when you're running a half marathon you have to push yourself beyond your comfort zone in those last few miles. It might be tough, you might have to ignore some aches and pains. But, this was different. I had to force myself to put my feet up, take it slow, let other people help. It was so hard! Not to mention, now I feel like I'm making up for lost time, which leads me to my next thought...

What are you supposed to make of things
like this? Does the world expect my
flubby belly to get flat again? How soon?

Getting back into shape: Ayiyiyi. I felt great throughout pregnancy - kept jogging for the first six months and taught Zumba up until 7 months-ish. I took group ex classes up until a week before I was due, and was walking on the treadmill the day I went into labor.

After taking 2 or 3 weeks to recover after labor, I found working out tougher than I expected! I was trying to start slow (again, not my style but the thought of injuring myself scared me straight)... but I had no choice but to start slow because everything was harder than it used to be. I began walking slowly on the treadmill. At 4 1/2 weeks post partum, I ran my first mile - it was sloooow but felt like a big milestone.

Eating/weight loss: Despite staying active and eating mostly healthy food during pregnancy, I gained a whole lotta weight. I didn't have high blood pressure, gestational diabetes, or anything else to worry about. But, now I have a real project ahead of me, as I'd like to lose most if not all of what I gained. This is another place where it's hard to know how hard to push yourself... on one hand, people say not to rush it and that nursing will melt the extra weight off. On the other hand, it feels like that could be an excuse to eat whatever you want and maintain lousy habits. And, how long do you go like that until you decide it's time to reign it in?

Making a plan: I have to do what's right for me, which at the moment is tracking what I eat while allowing myself extra calories to ensure I can continue to nurse my baby. I'm trying to exercise three days a week, and I can't believe how challenging it is to make time for just that (very jealous of people in warmer climates... taking the baby for walks isn't an option in NY in February!). I don't have any strict goals or deadlines, because I don't need that kind of pressure. And, I'm going to do all of this while enjoying my little girl and putting her first.

To those of you who've had a baby, did you have a post partum plan for getting back to yourself? How'd it go?