SAN JOSE MERCURY NEWS – 9/27/11
Total Gym®, a recognized leader in personal home fitness, is pleased to announce that mom blogger Virginia Higgins of That Bald Chick is the winner of the “Total Gym Total Mom Challenge.” On her 8-week journey, Higgins lost over 11 pounds and 8 inches working out on the Total Gym XLS®, the ultimate functional training machine.
“I won a new and improved body, improved health, increased energy and a better self-image,” said Higgins, whose husband also lost 9 pounds using Total Gym XLS. “I won a reduced risk of developing chronic health conditions- ones that run strongly in my family. My kids also won a Mommy who can now chase them up and down the block while they ride their bicycles … and can play with them without losing her breath!”
Higgins won a new Total Gym XLS plus an additional Total Gym XLS to give away on her blog as well as $150 to spend on herself.
With September traditionally being one of the top birthing months (U.S. Census Bureau), many new moms find themselves with a precious bundle of joy but also unwanted baby weight. Total Gym Master Trainer Elizabeth Leeds, a San Diego-based physical therapist specializing in women’s health and mom to a 2-year-old, offers 5 tried and true tips for new moms to lose the extra pounds:
- Train smart. For new moms, “training smart” means not working out when you are completely fatigued in order to avoid injury, Leeds advises. On days when you are more fatigued, Leeds suggest turning the intensity level down a notch, for example, by lowering the Total Gym incline resistance level to focus on stretching versus strengthening. When your energy is higher, ramp up the exercise intensity to challenge the body and improve muscle strength and endurance. The end result is a stronger body that assists in preventing injuries while doing everyday tasks like lifting and carrying your child.
- Focus on building abdominal strength. New moms often think if they do hundreds of abdominal crunches they’ll get their strong, flat tummy back, not so says Leeds. During pregnancy, the abdominal and pelvic floor muscles lengthen to accommodate the growing fetus. Length changes in the abdominal muscles may correspond with a decrease in strength, so performing crunches or planks on the floor may be too challenging for some, says Leeds. The Total Gym incline allows for a gradual progression of abdominal training. Remember: less is more to ensure proper form when performing ab exercises post-partum.
- Target the postural muscles. Much of the new mom lifestyle is spent bending forward for feeding, changing diapers or playing with baby. This can lead to a rounding of the shoulders and upper back, arching of the low back or flattened and/or loss of strength in the abdominals. These changes add greater stress on the spine, increasing the risk of injury while performing daily activities. The Total Gym targets not only these weakened postural muscles but also allows for lengthening of any tight muscles. Pilates training is also effective for strengthening postural and core muscles. The end result … a more upright and strong body with a longer, leaner look.
- Add cardio for best weight loss results. In addition to strength training, Leeds advises new moms take advantage of getting outside with baby by walking or jogging with a stroller to burn calories. Strength training builds muscle, which helps boost your metabolism. Combine that with cardiovascular activity and you’ll be one calorie-burning machine!
- Squeeze in exercise throughout the day. As a new mom, finding time for you is often last on the priority list, much less finding 60 minutes a day to exercise, says Leeds. She suggests starting with 10 minutes of exercise once or a few times a day. The Total Gym allows for a full-body functional strength workout in just 10 minutes. The ability to move your body from one position to the next within seconds makes it easy to train the whole body in less time. Functional training allows you to work more than one body part at a time, making workouts even more efficient and effective!
“Try this new fitness program one to three times a week with a day of rest between workouts to give your muscles time to recuperate,” said Leeds.
Leeds advises new moms consult their healthcare provider or a women’s health specialist prior to beginning a fitness program post-partum. If women experience symptoms such as leaking or abdominal or pelvic discomfort, it may indicate a need for more specialized treatment.