Fitness at your best! A workout routine is something that should be a part of every woman’s daily schedule. Whether you are lifting weights for an hour a day, or walking for just 10 minutes each morning, make sure you get the most out of your workout. Crystal Gaynor works with Identity to help readers make their fitness routine ‘Crystal Clear.’
Dear Cathy: The safest way to start is by consulting with your health care provider. Once you’re cleared to exercise, start slowly and safely. The American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology recommends light to moderate exercise for 30 minutes a day, along with low-impact aerobics and swimming. The elliptical machine and in-door stationary bike are also great choices, but use light resistance and pay close attention to how you feel. Light weight-training can be incorporated into your program, but consider hiring a Personal Trainer that specializes in Pre & Postnatal Fitness. If any unusual spotting, bleeding, or dizziness occurs, consult your physician immediately.
How do you get out of a fitness funk? What are some easy steps to get back into exercising? – Skylar M. 27/Summit, NJ
Dear Skylar: Everyone gets into a fitness funk from time to time, and something as simple as changing your spot on the floor can change your workout perspective. If you always stand in the back, try standing in the front. If you normally take Spin classes, try a Boot Camp class. Or if you only do Pilates, check out a Zumba class. Try working out with a friend whose workout is entirely different from your norm. Remember fitness should be fun and a small change can make a big difference. So mix it up and keep it moving!
Which is better, Yoga or Pilates? – Tiffany K. 34/New York, NY
Dear Tiffany: As a certified Pilates instructor, I get asked this question all the time. Yoga and Pilates are both mind-body and total body disciplines. They both incorporate elements of flexibility, body strength, core strength, and flow of moment. The primary difference is that Yoga is a spiritually based practice that uses exercise for a deeper spiritual connection. Pilates is only 100 years old and focuses on the awareness of the breath, and alignment of the spine, while strengthening the core (or abdominal muscles) of the body. Both Yoga and Pilates are beneficial and make a great addition to any fitness program.
Why does my lower back hurt when I do planks? – Adrianna T. 47/Hartford, CT
Dear Adrianna: Planks are a stabilization exercise and are a great way to strengthen your core and torso stability. When performed incorrectly, however, may experience some back pain. Follow these instructions for the perfect plank.
First, kneel down on your forearms and knees.
Secondly, while keeping the torso completely straight, extend the right leg back to the ball of the foot, then the left leg out to the ball of the foot. Now your body is in a full-planked position.
Pay close attention to your lower back. Make sure that it does not slump or dip and make sure your butt is not in the air. Aim for a straight line from the ear to the ankle. Your line of vision should be aimed at the floor.
Finally, hold this position for 10 seconds and work up to 60 seconds. Breathe normally and while exhaling, pull the navel into the spine. Finally, you’ll achieve pain-free planks!
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