A bit of a practise Workshop @ Crossfit Bold

“Do something everyday that scares you”

– A little saying I try to follow, and defiantly fulfilled last night as I ventured South-west to meet up with Harri, her intern Marlo and a blooming group of pregnant ladies all keen to keep up crossfitting during their pregnancy’s.

I have delivered workshops before but they have either been exercise and movement driven and or with the help of Andrew, Kate or Steven.

This was the first time for me sitting in front of an audience discussing the benefits of continued training, how to look at adaptions and scales and what special consideration would be needed. All by myself.

If I said I was cool calm and collected I would be a cheat, as in fact I was a total bag of nerves.

Despite having an order and plan, under the spotlight it all went a bit freestyle-e. I think my brain had a bit of a panic so my mouth took over for a while. Once I had relaxed though, things started to feel a bit more chilled and into my mo-jo.

I still have a bit of work to do! No matter I know now that I need to work on speaking under pressure and keeping to the plan.

It’s all a learning curve.

I hope the ladies found the information useful. It was a great help for me to sit in front of them and has given me tones of food for thought and things I need to work on and develop.

Thanks again Crossfit Bold.

 

Watch this space for further information on future Crossfit Pregnancy Workshops!

 

Sally Dixey is a Crossfit London Personal Trainer in Bethnal Green

Making Time for Mummy

While I was pregnant I had very romantic ideas of motherhood. Imagine me skipping through London Fields holding my baby’s hand. A writhe of flowers in my hair, wearing a long flowing white dress.

Boy was I wrong.

The day I have time to skip through the park like Little House on the Prairie is the day pigs fly!

The reality is that as a mother your day is one big juggling act.

Starting early and not finishing till late, often waking in the night to attend to your darling(s).

I don’t think I am wrong in stating that 90% of what we do during the day is for others.

Is it no wonder that you struggle to make time to exercise?!

Exercise and fitness has got to be in the top 5 of things you wish you had time for but don’t. We all want to get back to our pre-pregnancy weight, Right?

I do understand, I get that same feeling of guilt when I try to do something for myself.

A little voice is tutting, reminding me of all the wonderful chores I could be doing…

mountains of washing, cooking, cleaning, sterilising, nurturing, trips to the park, trips to baby groups, nappy changes, feeding, burping, birthday parties to take them to, doctors appointments, cuddling, comforting, encouraging, the list is infinitely endless!

What happens when you finally come up for air and want to do something for yourself? -the excuses. And this list is equally endless!

Harsh I know but how many times have you said “I will have some me time when…

– they start to walk, are out of nappies, at nursery, when they are at school, after I give them dinner, when they go to bed!”

Even harsher is the reality that now you are a mother you will never have time, there will always be something or someone to look after.

Is there a solution?

Simply you have to get better at saying No and making the same effort for yourself just like you do for others.

Ask yourself would I make a better mother/wife/partner if I had 30 minutes to spend on me?

What a fantastic role model you make when your child watches you being active/reading for pleasure!

Could you say no/put off something till later?

Do you really need to hoover/tidy/iron everyday?

Can you ask for help?

An example of how I fit exercise in without living in a gym is probably using the most understated and cheap piece of kit.

Wait for it….. A skipping rope.

Everyday I take Snoop out into the park he is either sleeping or taking the world in, either way while he is tucked up in his pram I will pick points to stop and bust out a few minutes of skips.

This has dual purpose of entertaining Snoop and also setting a great example. Everyone is a winner.

And because I take him out to the park anyway it’s not going to get in the way of my busy life.

Ladies I hope this has inspired you to look at what you can change in your everyday life, to give back a bit of time and remember who you were before a Mum.

Tell me your stories, how did you reclaim your 30 minutes and how did you use it.

 

Sally Dixey is a Crossfit London Personal Trainer in Bethnal Green

 

 

Pelvic Floor 101

If I were to ask a room full of people ‘what are kegal exercises?’ I’m sure it would be all the women’s hands that would shoot up.

For those of you who don’t know, kegals are pelvic floor exercises that women are advised to do during their pregnancy to help avoid embarrassing ‘leaks’.

Embarrassing leaks are not confined to women who have had children, cosmetic companies spend a lot of money targeting women in general, which sweeps under the table the fact that men can suffer too. So although this is a pregnancy focussed health and fitness blog the below holistic approach could apply to anyone.

The pelvic floor (or pelvic diaphragm) consists of muscle and tissue that covers the area below your hips, keeping lots of your important bits separate. It also has important functions during childbirth helping the fetus navigate through the pelvic girdle i.e. helping contain the baby until the head is ready to engage.

So what right?

Well when I first had my first few mid-wife appointments I was told I should be doing my kegals if I wanted to say fit “down there”. This never seemed right to me and I never bothered doing them. I felt that I would be much better served by performing squats regularly and working on posture and body awareness.

Whilst pregnant I had no problems with those embarrassing leaks I was warned about and have no issues presently so for me,  I am glad I did not waste time with kegals.

I have since read a great article which further confirms my doubts regarding kegals.

According to recent research published by Rehab Management, pelvic floor incontinence has been linked to postural alignment and weak glutes. Interestingly the act of squeezing and releasing the pelvic floor (the simplest way to explain kegals) adds to the tightness of the muscle and neglects the length. Over time you tighten the muscle and by doing this reduce optimal length-tension relationship. When the pelvic floor is not functioning adequately the result is an inability to control your urge to ‘go’ or the frequency with which you need to do so, and at worse cause infection.

From a training perspective a shortened pelvic floor are key factors in stress incontinence (imagine sneezing or laughing and a bit of wee coming out! That’s stress incontinence) and is a worry when added intra-abdominal pressure is increased. I was starting to put together a picture of someone who cannot control their lower back, bad posture and a weak bottom, frantically doing their kegals without success.

The research continued to highlight a holistic approach to pelvic floor health looking closely at posture and core strength rather than isolating the muscle itself. As a CrossFitter this makes perfect sense as to we get strong by working the whole body as one unit.

Where does this leave me with kegals? In a healthy active pregnant lady I wouldn’t prescribe them.

I would look at the bigger picture, addressing posture and body awareness to the developing changes in her body. I would recommend squats regularly both with weighted resistance and without. My response is simply squats over kegals – they provide a much better and more natural way for the pelvic floor to do its job the way nature intended.

Please be aware that past 37 weeks pregnant deep squats are not advised as they can cause an early rupture of the membranes (early sign of labour).

 

Sally Dixey is a Personal Trainer @ Crossfit London in Bethnal Green

 

3 concerns for a Pregnant Crossfitter/Exerciser -Signs and prevention

I have made a big point of the advantages of training and exercise during pregnancy so let’s have a look at what signs mean you should probably rest or need to slow down.

The major concerns for a pregnant athlete are dehydration, hyperthermia, and hypoglycaemia.

Dehydration is an easy one to answer as it is just as important not pregnant. A simple test is to take a look at the colour of you urine. The darker it is the less hydrated you are. During pregnancy you want to try and keep it as close to clear as possible.

Hyperthermia is a greater concern during your first trimester when the foetus has trouble regulating temperature and can easily get over heated from an exercising mother. The good thing is that ladies who are well trained before pregnancy are better able to dissipate temperature then others. That doesn’t mean you can totally disregard the point. Some athletes will take their temperature before a workout and just finishing a workout to gauge more accurately temperature change.

There are different forms of hyperthermia but the three types most common for a pregnant exerciser to watch out for are heat cramps, heat exhaustion and heat syncope.

Heat exhaustion is where the body is starting to over heat possibly from exercising, watch out for cold clammy skin. You may feel one or all of -giddy, thirsty, nauseated, weak and sweating profusely (although I don’t think sweating is a good sign as I sweat loads anyway)

Heat cramps are a painful muscle spasm in the arms legs or abdomen, usually after strenuous exercise or activity. Heat cramps are usually a lack of salt in the body.

Heat syncope is a sudden dizziness experienced after exercising in heat.The pulse is weak but the heart rate is rapid. Body temperature is normal. Skin is pale and sweaty but cool and moist to touch

If you find yourself or a client suffering from hyperthermia you must –

  • get them out of the sun into a cool area or room.
  • get fluids into the body, fruit juice or water.
  • take a cool shower or bath or sponge down body.
  • lie down and rest in a cool place

Hypoglycemia again is a concern for a general population as well as pregnant ladies. You will find though that with changing blood pressure and increased blood volume this will be more sensitive for the pregnant ladies. You may feel light headed or unsteady on you feet, a quick look back at when your last meal or snack was should help distinguish hypoglycemia from a possibly more serious sign on the below list. Ensure that meals are regular and snacks are readily at hand post workout, should ensure you keep this at bay.

If any of the below symptoms occur you need to stop, cool down and replenish your body. I would also advice you check out your symptoms with your doctor as it could be an early warning sign.

Difficulty walking

Contractions

Unusual absence of foetal movement (note that during exercise baby is usually quiet)

Vaginal bleeding

Faintness

Shortness of breath

Pain

Dizziness

 

Sally Dixey is a Crossfit London Personal Trainer in Bethnal Green

 

Whooping Cough is back!

In light of the recent increases in Whooping Cough and the alarming rise in deaths this year, does the debate of vaccines need to be addressed again.

How safe is it to have a vaccine during pregnancy? and how does parents decision to refuse vaccinating there babies affect the number of cases?

The ultimate question is -Should vaccines be made mandatory? Would this save lifes?

I can totally understand the need for reassurance where vaccinating during pregnancy is concerned. Think back to the anti-sickness jab given in the 60’s which caused birth defects.

Worrying I know but the NHS website assures you that it is safe and if anything will help protect your baby in the first few weeks after birth before they have the Whooping Cough jab. I think it is really important that if you do have any worries that you do ask as many questions to your mid-wife and doctor.

I did that very thing when it came to Snoop’s MMR vaccine.

I had read a book and heard from a few friends who have nephews and nieces that aren’t vaccinated and quiet naturally my curiosity was roused.

The book I read was The Truth about Children’s Health by Robert Bernardini, M.S.

I have to say on  reading the chapter on vaccines, the content was quiet scary. I am talking about the language they used and the emotions they were trying to evoke in the reader.

In the space of 1 hour -the length of time it took to read the chapter, I had switched from being fine with vaccines to OMG.

This prompted me to speak to my doctor.

The first question she asked was how old the book was?????

It was nearly 10 years old.

She then asked me what hard facts and evidence was in the book???????

Thinking first I realised there was no real hard evidence at all, just anecdotal.

The doctor directed me to a site with an article on vaccine safety.

What I read made sense to me, more so then the book.

I have always believed that to vaccinate your child is to protect them and now I had looked further into it I was sure I was doing the right thing.

Of the millions of children vaccinated I don’t doubt some might have a funny reaction -a fever, crankyness, soreness at the site of the jab -That far out weighed the risk of Snoop getting Mumps or Whooping Cough.

As far as the book is concerned I know they are trying to inform parents but in my opinion they are scare mongering parents and blaming all of society’s issues on bad vaccines, from anti-social behavior to the increase in the prison population. It’s all down to vaccines????? I am not so sure.

Millions of children in third world countries are fighting for vaccines while parents in the West turn them down.

You can never ask too many questions so if you are in any doubt your best place to start is asking your doctor.

Do I think vaccines should be mandatory?

No I don’t think they should as it is a parents right to choose.

Do I believe in the vaccines?

Yes of-course I do, and after asking the right questions and looking into the facts I believe I made the right choice to protect my son.

 

Sally Dixey is a personal trainer with Crossfit London in Bethnal Green