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Sunday, February 21, 2016

PJSC podcast #123 Exercise and Health for New Moms

You know, I remember how exhausting it is to have a newborn child, even though it’s been a long time.  I remember vicariously now through my daughter, since now I am a grandfather!  
Those little children take all we have in their early years, especially that first one.  It’s tough to get through, physically and emotionally intact, but it is the most important time in your (and their) young lives!  And so, what to do to remain fit and sane under the stress of sleep deprivation, no time, and lack of exercise?
I think the first thing to understand is to maximize sleep.  I know this is the hardest thing of all to get hold of, but it is also the most crucial- if you don’t get enough sleep, it is WORSE for you than not getting enough exercise and substandard nutrition put together.  I am not kidding here: lack of sleep will make you insulin resistant, primed for fat gain and depression, and put you on the downhill slide faster than anything else.  
When your baby sleeps- you sleep!  Get all that you can, it will help your mood, and if you are happy your baby will only benefit as well.  
And if your baby is asleep and you are awake?  NOW you can fit in a little exercise!  
Rebounders are ideal- just bounce away as your baby snoozes; you will be right there, energized and ready once the little tyke cries his awake signal.  And you can even watch television as you bounce, catching up on the real world news as your lymphatic system is put into overdrive, flushing out the waste products.  Nothing is better for this than rebounding!
Another great “tool” is a kettle bell- they are cheap, they are becoming ubiquitous (Target and Walmart are awash with kettle bells now)- but, they are also incredibly effective for a total body workout.  The only real exercise in my mind for you to do with them is Kettle bell Swings:  Just swing them back between your legs, bending the knees, and then swinging them forwards.  Repeat, 30 - 50 reps is ideal.  Think of it as a total body exercise, that hits everything, but especially the legs, lower back, butt, hips, abs, and upper back- hey, sound good, new moms??

You will ONLY hear this from me, the redoubtable PaleoJay, but isometrics are ideal for new moms, and actually for anyone!  They are the least time sensitive exercise there is, there is no chance of injury, and they have more “bang for the buck” than any other type of exercise!  Here is how to do them:
Standing, gradually flex your calves, then your thighs, your butt, and so on up your body, until you are doing a “most muscular” pose in a bodybuilding contest!  Really- hold that pose for maybe 10 seconds.  
Relax, and then repeat.  3 times is ideal.  This one exercise, done daily, will do more for your total physique, and also your blood pressure and circulatory system than anything else.  And you can do it anywhere, and no one will even know you are doing it if, say, you are gassing up your car, flexing away in front of the pump… If you do it several times daily, you are really accomplishing something great for your body.
Of course, pushups, all sorts of floor stretches, and pull-ups are great.  Just don’t expect too much of yourself, since the baby comes first- you will have more time later to sprint barefoot, and do pushups on your gymnastic rings!

Squeeze in some exercise, you’ll feel SO much better.  SLEEP a LOT!  And, above all, maximize your (and your baby’s) nutrition- cut out GRAINS, vegetable oils, and almost all SUGAR!  
Those are the biggies.  Most of what is the “enemy” in our modern day is self inflicted- 
Low Fat!
High Carb!
Pharmaceutical Drugs!
I know, you’ve been told over and over and over that all of these are great, and you should follow them…

Don’t.  They are all negative, bad, and self serving prescriptions.  

Eat plenty of good, God and Nature made fats, like coconut milk, pastured dairy, pastured meats and eggs!  Get out in the sunshine (no sunscreen chemicals!), just don’t get burned.  Get fresh air on a daily basis, take the little one out in the stroller as much as possible.  Get out in NATURE, let pollen fall on you and your baby, let the peace of the natural world enter into your body and soul.  GARDEN, let your toddler help you in the good, microbiota rich dirt, you will be all the healthier for it.  And, above all?

Stay away from the Medical Clinics and Doctors as much as possible.  

They are great when you are at death’s door…

But worse than useless to regain health.