Listen to Your Body: Returning to Fitness After a Break

Getting back into something you once used to do can feel even harder than starting it in the first place! Especially when it comes to fitness. The popular advice is to take it slow, but can easing your way back in still yield the results you want? Here, Lisa talks about how she approached her workout routine after her second daughter was born and what she learned about listening to her body. 

Back Into the Swing of Things

"You can do it, mom!"

“You can do it, mom!”

Before my second daughter was born, I was still as active as possible, but had reduced the weight I was lifting in my classes, and modified certain exercises for safety and comfort during my pregnancy. After she was born and I was cleared for activity again, I made sure to take it easy. The last thing I needed was to injure myself and have a newborn and 2.5 year old who still needed me no matter how I felt.

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Work Your Strong: Two Tales of Assertive Women on the Job

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A lot of what our “Own Your Strong” mantra encompasses is confidence, in every area of your life. It’s one thing to be confident on the dance floor, in the gym, or in your hobbies, but many women struggle with confidence at work. Whether it’s something positive but risky like asking for a raise, or uncomfortable and scary like confronting a conflict, standing up for yourself at work takes a little extra dose of Strong.

Here, Bethany and Jackie share their tales of finding the confidence to do just that. We hope these inspire you to be Strong at work in whatever way you need to. Share your own stories in the comments!

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Weight Lifting and Baby Lifting: How my fitness journey helped me in motherhood

curry_weightbabylifting_07Babies love and need to be carried and held. A lot.

Most of the time, moms need to do other things while holding their babies. When I became a mom, I realized very quickly that all these new activities and motions I was doing, mostly while holding a growing baby, were taking a toll on my body.

My body didn’t necessarily react well. I had constant aches and pains. Inflamed tendon from rocking with one foot too much. Hip and lower back pain from always carrying my daughter on the same side, with poor posture. Crick in my neck from looking down at her during feedings. I had mom friends who were experiencing similar things, and even requiring medical attention – ranging from chiropractors to cortisone shots!

I learned pretty quickly that I needed to use better techniques, and try to use both sides of my body as equally as possible to prevent discomfort and injury.

Post-partum, I got back to the gym. I was looking forward to getting back in shape, and trying new classes that I wasn’t comfortable trying while pregnant. I started taking some of the Les Mills classes – Body Pump and GRIT, specifically. These classes kicked my butt and got me in fantastic shape. I also began attending Fit Mommies, a boot camp style class that I could bring my daughter along to and let her play while I exercised.

In these classes, I learned lots of great weight lifting form and techniques from the instructors that helped me to lift weight not only effectively, but safely.

One day, I noticed myself using weight lifting techniques to lift my child. My body had learned how to lift properly, and subconsciously applied itself. Weight lifting had trained my body to lift weights – and now I needed to apply that training to lifting different weights.

Since that realization, I have been making a conscious effort to use proper technique as much as possible with my favorite little weights. It’s even more important today – since I now have two “weights” that occasionally both want me to carry them at the same time. But because of the strength I gained and the techniques I learned, I can safely bend down and pick up my toddler while holding my baby on the other side.

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Making Metabolic Conditioning Less Scary: Q&A with Two MetCon Champs

Five years ago, I decided to set a new year’s resolution every year that pushed me outside my comfort zone. It started with trying Zumba and performing in a pole showcase and has only grown from there. I recently had a baby and am getting ready to start training for some races this summer.

My resolution this year is to try Metabolic Conditioning (“MetCon”). What is Metabolic Conditioning? High intensity circuit training using total body, compound exercises and very short recovery intervals. It is a method of training that involves a very high work rate, using exercises designed to burn more calories during your workout and maximize calories burned after your workout.

I’ve heard it’s intense but can really improve endurance and overall fitness. That being said, I’m a little intimidated! It’s been ten months since I did high intensity exercise, so I asked some experienced MetConners, Heather and Verona, to give me the lowdown. Continue reading

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Snowed In? Burned Out? Date Nights You Can Do at Home

If you’re anything like me, you can easily get into a comfortable rut of doing the same activities (or not really any) with your partner. Particularly during the winter, it can be more difficult to find or think of activities to do as a date or as quality time together. This can be especially challenging if you have children and would have to find a sitter before you go out.

Here are a few ideas for date nights IN – no going out in the cold, or hiring a sitter!

Dinner and a Movie

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Pick, prepare, and share a nice out-of-the-ordinary dinner together, and pair it with a tasty dessert! As simple as a box of brownie mix, or technical as a homemade lemon meringue pie… whatever challenge you two are up for. And if it doesn’t turn out like the recipe photo on Pinterest, at least you had fun.

For your movie, there are lots of options! RedBox, Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu, your DVD collection, or the library’s picks… Find something you want to see, and then make it a theater experience. Pop some popcorn, and turn all the lights off.

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15 Gift Ideas to Own Your Strong

Do you hear what I hear?

Do you hear what I hear?

I hear another round of GIFT IDEAS!!! I’ve browsed high and low to bring you a few of my favorite things, and can’t wait to share them with you! From techies, to foodies, to athletes, and bookworms, there’s a little something for everyone.

2016OYSGiftGuide

1) Contigo Stainless Steel Travel Mug – This mug is perfect for on-the-go. You can open it effortlessly with one hand, it’ll keep your beverage hot for up to 5 hours, it’s spill proof, and just look at that color ombre!

2) Marble Noise Isolating Headphones – Giant headphones are all the rage. So if you’re going to walk around looking like a DJ, might as well be a stylish one. The chic and gorgeous marble design on this pair will have you bopping to the beat and strutting down the street.

3) No Show Socks – Just because you can’t see them in your shoes, doesn’t mean your socks shouldn’t be adorable.

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5 Creative Ways to Decorate with Holiday Ornaments

Are you the type of person who has a decorating “theme” each holiday season? Changing out your bulbs and tree swag to match the scheme of the year?

90% of the time, I am NOT one of those people. 100% of the time I WISH I was one of those people!!! Especially as I walk through Hobby Lobby and their HOLIDAY FAIRY WORLD SPECTACULAR available every color and pattern your imagination could possibly handle.

I tend to put things pretty much in the same place year to year, and my color scheme has never swayed far from the traditional red and gold. Recently, though, I was gifted almost 200 ornaments from a relative who said I should take them “Just in case you want to mix things up!” And not just any ornaments, oh no, these babies are pink, blue, lime green, purple, and completely covered in glitter….

…basically ME, in Christmas bulb form.

Needless to say, I was ecstatic to start decorating. The only problem? No way were all of these going to fit on our tree. So from my home to yours, I now present 5 holiday ornament ideas NOT on your tree!

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