Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Week 5 - postpartum - journey back to great shape

Week 5.  Ah…we are almost there!  We are almost to that big milestone of being 6 weeks postpartum.  I really thought I would be back to work teaching martial arts (and cardio kickboxing) this week, after all, I went back after 4 weeks when I had my son…but I just couldn’t bring myself to leave my kiddos yet.  It really is a whole different ball game with 2 kids!  It’s interesting because on one hand, we’re less stressed because we’ve already been through this before, which has left us with an assurance that we know what to do and that we can handle it.  On the other hand, there is definitely no more napping while my little one sleeps because her older brother still is running around and needing my attention.  I’m definitely still learning how to juggle the needs of my 1 month old daughter while still playing, feeding, and snuggling with my (almost) 2 year old son.  So, even though I felt a little guilty deciding not to go back in to our work this week, I just couldn’t do it yet.  And to be honest, all the women I told I would be back after a month had this immediate response: “oh!  That’s not enough time!”…so maybe the one who needs to be easier on me is…me.  (Although I do still like to think of myself as a Super Woman).

This week, we had a lot of events for our business, Kempo Fitness (with United Studios of Self Defense).  Typically I would be working all of these events but since I am still considering myself to be on maternity leave, my wonderful husband got to hold down the fort.  That said, I really couldn’t stay away fully!!  ;)  One of the events was a local art show that we had a booth at.  Since this booth was close to our house I decided to walk down there with both kiddos.  Now, we had decided we didn’t need a double stroller, so I was left with our totally awesome Jeep stroller.  This stroller was built for off-roading, being tough and  easily maneuverable with air tires and even shocks, but it was not built for 2…until I came around.  Oh yes, I walked to our booth 4 times with my daughter safely strapped into her infant seat while my son got to ride perched on the handle bars.  Since I used 1 arm as a seat beat for my son, that left only 1 hand to actually push the stroller…now let me tell you…that is a good arm and core workout!
But since this is not the “workout” route I would recommend to all of you out there, let’s focus on another move. 

Arm Circles

This is a really easy shoulder exercise, one you can do anywhere.  You can do it standing, walking, or even jogging in place.  To get started, lift your arms out to the sides at shoulder level; extend your arms out as far as they can go to activate all of your arm, chest, and upper back muscles.  Pull your belly in to support your lower back as you open your chest and drop your shoulders.  Maintain this position throughout the exercise.

From here, simply draw circles in the air with your arms (rotate from your shoulders, not your elbows or your wrists!).  I like to go out to the sides, then up over head, and finally down in front of body for about 1 minute intervals.  Mix it up by circling forward or backward in varying circle sizes.

This is a gentle way to start toning your upper body while gently staring to exercise your core muscles.

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