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Health, Fitness and Parenthood

Sarah D.
SARAH D.
Personal Trainer & Holistic Health Coach
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Join YouTube fitness guru Sarah Dussault from Sarah Fit to talk about ways of incorporating healthy eating and exercise into your busy lives as parents.

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Ask Sarah, our Personal Trainer & Holistic Health Coach !

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SARAH ADDED A NEW COMMENT!
Diastasis
KATIE, PARENT OF 3 YEAR OLD, 11 MONTH OLD

Hi Sarah,

I have diastasis recti. I am doing exercises to minimize the gap, but I'm not sure what other exercises are okay given that i have diastasis. Is running a bad idea with diastasis recti? What about cycling? Any thoughts on which exercises would be best? I *really* don't want to aggravate the diastasis as I have a herniated disk in my lower back as well...

Thanks,
K

Sarah
SARAH

Hi Kat,

Sorry to hear but it is possible to bounce back! My friend Sara Haley got one with her 2nd baby and is pregnant with her third right now. She has a ton of information on them on her YouTube channel - she is a well known national prenatal/postpartum fitness expert. Anything she does in her videos will have modifications and this is a routine she does daily for hers- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GGdlqC18hqA

There are a lot of "experts" out there who do NOT know what they are talking about but I trust Sara and her expertise on this topic. Here is another video showing exercises that you may already know - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GGdlqC18hqA

Sara has other workouts on her channel and DVD's that are not catered to a diastasis recti but will have have modifications or are totally fine to do!

As far as cycling and running go, I'm confident you are fine with those as long as you are not doing any "crunching movement". I'm not sure how far out your are from labor so these recommendations may change if you are a new mom.

KATIE

Hi Sarah,

Sorry for the delay, but thanks for your response. Sara's video is great!

Best, Kat

SARAH ADDED A NEW COMMENT!
Barre, Soul Cycle, Orange Theory?
KASEY, PARENT OF 6 YEAR OLD, 4 YEAR OLD

Hi! I'm interested in losing weight and toning up. I have played sports most of my life and I get bored easily. I keep hearing about all these classes like Barre, Soul Cycle, Orange Theory. I would only be able to go 2 or 3X a week maximum. Which do you recommend?

Sarah
SARAH

Hi Kasey!

So, my whole philosophy is that YOU need to like the workout in order to do it and then see results. That being said, all are good. If you want results, out of the three you listed, my pick would be Orange Theory. I used to work at Barry's Bootcamp before Tommy and it's sort of similar in that you do cardio and strength training in one class. Barre is light or no weights, high rep. Soul is all cardio (I've never been sore in my upper body from a spin class) and Orange Theory will combine the two.

I do enjoy all three kinds of workouts but if time is limited, go with the workout that gives you the best of both worlds. Try Barry's or any bootcamp for that matter for the fastest results.

Sarah

KASEY

Thank you! Unfortunately I live in Baltimore and they don't have a Barry's Bootcamp yet, but I will give Orange Theory a shot.

SARAH ADDED A NEW COMMENT!
Our Q&A is now over.
TINYHOOD, PARENT OF 4 YEAR OLD

Thank you, Sarah! Sarah has great workout videos on her YouTube channel and tips for healthy eating, staying fit and more on her blog. Check out her profile for more info!

Sarah
SARAH

Thanks guys, I just wrote this post to address a few of these questions a little more in-depth as well! Hope this helps. http://sarahfit.com/frequently-asked-questions-by-moms-about-exercise/

SARAH ADDED A NEW COMMENT!
HIIT Workout Video?
BECKY, PARENT OF 6 YEAR OLD, 4 YEAR OLD, 21 MONTH OLD, 21 MONTH OLD

Hi Sarah! Do you have any videos of HIIT workouts that I can do at home with just simple weights? I looked through your list but I was having trouble finding one like that.

Thanks!

Sarah
SARAH

Hi Becky, I do a lot of bodyweight workouts in my free videos but you can add weights to any of the lower body moves if you want. I actually have a library of workouts videos that are about to launch that are all HIIT workouts some with weights but they aren't ready yet to share. Here are some of the workouts from the series that are currently available -

http://sarahfit.com/my-hiit-workout-for-fast-results/ - Here is a workout but not in video

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J7eZKMsqSNY - You can add weights to the squat

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ut1d3nkSA9g - You again can add weights to lower body moves

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2RbhvB0DDkU - arm workout with weights but not HIIT

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wXj5f6sDuuU - another arm workout with weights but not HIIT

I didn't realize I didn't have any HIIT workouts with Dumbbells yet but we do have one coming next Tuesday on my YouTube channel!

BECKY

Awesome I look forward to the HIIT ones too!

SARAH ADDED A NEW COMMENT!
Best workout in 30 minutes or less
JEN, PARENT OF 4 YEAR OLD, 2 YEAR OLD

I have two kids, 16 months apart, and life is hectic. I try to squeeze in a workout whenever I can but am wondering what's going to get me the best results? I usually have 30 minutes in the morning before everyone wakes up. Thanks!

Sarah
SARAH

Hi Jen, I hear you.

While I first and foremost suggest that you need to find something that you enjoy doing, otherwise you won't do anything at all.

That being said, for the fastest results in the least amount of time, I am a HUGE fan of HIIT workouts. Things that are high intensity. The workouts don't have to be long either. Twenty minutes is more than enough as long as you are working hard. So if you can do this, awesome however...

If you live in the city, this might be tough in an older building where the floors may creek and jumping is tough. Here is a quiet cardio workout that's only 5 minutes you can do at home - https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLtZ3FLBpeAnBwxUMUP5-ngMpBA_Zwuts2 - I would suggest buying a pair of dumbbells for strength exercises like lunges that don't make noise and will get your heart rate up with any jumping, push ups, mountain climbers are all great ways to challenge yourself in a short amount of time. If you don't mind running outside in the cold, try this running workout that is quick and will only take 30 minutes to really challenge your body. http://sarahfit.com/my-favorite-cardio-interval-workout/

This question gave me a good idea for an upcoming blog post!

JEN

Great ideas! Thanks so much!!

SARAH ADDED A NEW COMMENT!
Working out after vaginal delivery
R, PARENT OF 2 YEAR OLD

Hi, I'm 3 weeks post uncomplicated vaginal delivery and eager to start an exercise routine to work towards achieving my pre-pregnancy weight and to tone my post pregnancy belly. Which exercises do you recommend and when can I start them? I have been walking daily since the day after I delivered and have gradually built it up to about 30-40 mins a day. I used to exercise regularly before and during my pregnancy, (running, elliptical, aerobics, tennis pre-pregnancy and just walking later in pregnancy)
Thank you!

Sarah
SARAH

I was just like you! I started on the elliptical about 3.5 weeks postpartum. It gave me such an endorphin high that rivaled finishing a marathon!

I started with Pilates and Spinning because they had childcare for little ones. Both are low impact. At home, strength training is so effective. I also agreed to run a half marathon which I did not enjoy training for at all and wouldn't recommend a commitment so soon after delivering (I ran the race 16 weeks pp).

>Barre workouts are great as well. I wasn't able to do these as much but they have online programs like Barre3 you can subscribe to. I've also linked to some postpartum home workouts as well here in the thread. Most exercises like lunges, squats, upper body stuff can be done without modifications. You have watch the ab exercises so soon post partum. Instructors may be able to give modifications or just do workouts at home.

http://sarahfit.com/video-postpartum-ab-workout-7-minutes/
http://sarahfit.com/5-ab-exercises-to-do-post-pregnancy/

This nap time workout has safe moves - http://sarahfit.com/a-workout-to-do-during-nap-time/

And this workout features things you can do with your baby if you choose! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k3GlQeIDrhA

Side note that you may not care to hear but I did not look like my prepregnancy body until 9 months when my son was eating more solids. I think there is this unrealistic idea that you can bounce back really fast - and you can - but you'll have to really watch what you eat, something I didn't care to do because I was starving while nursing. That being said, I exercises 5 times a week and got really strong so by the time the extra fat went away and my abs tightened up I was back to my "old abs".

R

Thank you so much! This is super helpful :)

SARAH ADDED A NEW COMMENT!
Low energy
KATRINA, PARENT OF 5 YEAR OLD, 3 YEAR OLD

I have 2 girls 20 months apart. Chasing a toddler and an
11 month old, i am exhausted. But I am nearing my breastfeeding journey and see the weight creeping back on and know I need to exercise but have no energy and go to bed soon after the girls. What are some easy, quick workouts I can do?

I just was watching some of your videos and they are super cute.
Thanks for taking questions!

Sarah
SARAH

SO my question for you is when do you have the most energy and potential of time to workout?

If weight is something you are worried about, I am a firm believer that weight loss happens in the kitchen. Working out can only help you so far - one cookie equals a 30 minute run. I don't believe in working off treats or earning them but if you are concerned, focus more on what you put in your body because it's easy to negate those calories in 1 minute.

As for workouts that are quick, I would suggest HIIT as I've been saying in this thread. HIIT stands for high intensity. It will get your heart rate up to burn more calories even after you stop exercising.

I have a ton of quick and "easy" workouts to do at home. There are tons more on YouTube.

First, I would suggest doing your workout in the morning. You don't need more than 20 minutes if you can work hard for 20 minutes. I've linked to a ton of workouts in this chat from short 5 minute workouts to longer ones. This is one of my favorites that's tough -

http://sarahfit.com/my-hiit-workout-for-fast-results/

Have a cup of coffee and then try this tomorrow!

KATRINA

Yes i Am managing food intake too
Thanks! I willcheck it out
Morning is best so i will shoot for then
I wish i drank coffee! :)

SARAH ADDED A NEW COMMENT!
Gaining Weight in the Third Trimester
DIVYA, PARENT OF 5 YEAR OLD, 2 YEAR OLD

Hi Sarah -- any tips on specific foods to help gain weight in the third trimester? I had no trouble gaining in the recommended range with my son but between running around after a preschooler, getting sick a bunch over the holidays, and feeling fuller both more quickly and for longer periods of time (e.g., I want to eat less at lunch but still feel kind of full at dinner), I am quite behind with baby #2. I've been trying to incorporate more full fat dairy, more protein, and an afternoon snack; any other suggestions? Thank you in advance...the thought of gaining 15-20 lbs in 10 weeks is quite daunting!

Sarah
SARAH

Hi Divya,

I would talk to your doctor first. If they are concerned they will let you know. The range of weight gain is a recommendation.

Based on your pre pregnancy weight, here is a breakdown of recommended weight gain:

25-35 pounds if you were a healthy weight before pregnancy, with a BMI of 18.5-24.9.
28-40 pounds if you were underweight before pregnancy with a BMI of less than 18.5.
15-25 pounds if you were overweight before pregnancy with a BMI of 25-29.9.
11-20 pounds if you were obese before pregnancy with a BMI of over 30.

If your baby is measuring fine, don't worry. I would definitely make sure that you are eating enough calories. You really only need an extra 200-400 calories for the baby. That is a serving or two of nut butter which I can easily eat with a spoon in 5 minutes.

You can add in a smoothie, have an apple with almond butter, or crackers with hummus as an afternoon snack if you are nervous about calories.

If you feel great and the doctors are not worried, don't worry. Towards the end, it's common to gain a pound a week so don't worry too much. I shared this post about how much weight you really should gain when you're pregnant if you want more info - http://sarahfit.com/comparing-your-weight-gain-in-pregnancy/

SARAH ADDED A NEW COMMENT!
Best workouts if I don't want to lose weight
MAIA, PARENT OF 10 YEAR OLD, 6 YEAR OLD

Hi! I don't need to lose weight (actually wouldn't mind gaining a bit), but I want to be stronger and less jiggly. I live in NYC so I walk a ton (miles a day to and from schools for my kids), and have a membership to the local Y where I could take classes. Or I could do something at home. Historically I have not exercised much at all--although I did run a 5K this fall (a big deal for me, although I've done nothing since!). I would love your thoughts on the best plan for me. Thank you so much!

Sarah
SARAH

Hi maia,

I'd need to know what your goals are to best recommend something. Do you want to build muscle, look toned or just reap one of the many benefits of exercise from increased energy to reducing risk of certain cancers?

Yoga is great for flexibility, I love barre classes, Pilates and good old fashioned strength training. To be honest, working out typically will not lead to weight loss unless you focus on diet so if you would like to gain weight I would suggest eating more clean calories and strength training to build up some lean muscle mass!

Maia
MAIA

Hi again Sarah! Thanks for your thoughts! Mostly I am looking for the health benefits--both long- and short-term. Secondary to that, I would like to look better in a bikini:).

DEE

That's my issue. I just have belly fat. I lost more weight than i gained after delivery but got jiggly and the belly stayed around. Possibly more bloat than fat

Maia
MAIA

My belly is actually mysteriously flat. But my butt is not a pretty sight--flat, cellulite-ridden, saggy….

DEE

My butt perked up. Lol. That was the biggest suprise.

Sarah
SARAH

I would recommend doing strength training for sure! SQUATS and LUNGES will be your best friend. I am a firm believer that weights DO NOT cause women to bulk up. For me, it is the opposite. I lose extra body fat and I get defined. If you don't have fat to lose then you'll just sculpt some awesome muscles. If you want to workout at home, there are so many online videos that are free that I love. Here are some of my favorites:

http://sarahfit.com/top-youtube-workout-videos-to-do-at-home/

If you want to leave the house and go to a gym, try a barre class, bootcamp or Pilates. Don't be afraid to lift a little weight :)

SARAH ADDED A NEW COMMENT!
Vitamins while breastfeeding
DEE

My hair is breaking and i want time take extra biotin/hair skin nail vitamins. Are there foods that are better than the gummies? Are they safe to take? EBF x 3mo

Sarah
SARAH

I am a huge fan of New Chapter post natal vitamins, Garden of Eden, Megafood and SmartyPants! All are available online and Whole Foods.