Postpartum Posture

I’m pretty sure most Mum’s will agree. During those first few months after labour, along with fluctating hormones and a roller-coaster of emotions, many women experience equally fluctuating physical sensations. Strange and quirky feelings of ‘whats that running down my..’ and ‘ouf whats that cramp’ can leave you feeling achy and yes, sometimes even irritated.

At 7 months postpartum, I’m finally beginning to ‘feel like myself’ again. However, the process of pregnancy, along with carrying around a newborn and running after a toddler have definitely had an affect on my posture. 

If you’ve been following StrongLikeMum for a while, you’ll know i’m passionate about building stable foundations and as a woman’s posture is greatly impacted during pregnancy, it’s important to regain a correct stance after birth. Along with suitable exercises, there are some lifestyle changes which can also help regain a balanced core. 

So here are a few tips that helped get me back on track (pun intended). 

1. Nurse with support 

I detailed my experience with breastfeeding in a recent blog post, however this isn’t about how it made me feel. This tip is all about  physical support when nursing. Alongside finding a comfortable chair to nurse in, try using a pillow or cushion to keep your back straight but also comfortable. Try switching your breastfeeding position regularly during the feed and perhaps even nurse your baby whilst standing and moving around.

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2. Get the lift 

After giving birth the hormones in your body change and due to the increase in prolactin ( a hormone that helps you produce breastmilk) and the increase in blood flow, your breast will grow even larger then they were during pregnancy. Although this might be welcome news to some, trustee, the joy of finally having a decent cup size is short-lived and after a while the weight of your increased bust can take it’s toll on your posture. So alongside supporting your back whilst nursing, it’s important to continually support your breast throughout the day.


3.  Stretch it out 

Nursing a baby, carrying a toddler and lifting bags, can all cause stiffness in your neck and back. So stretching these areas regularly is key to releasing tensions and assisting proper posture. But don’t forget about other muscles groups such as Hamstrings and Glutes. You’ll be surprised at how a kinetic chain can be impacted by a shift in gravity such a during pregnancy.  

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4. Pelvic floor 

Working your pelvic floor is important throughout life. However particular focus is placed on this muscle group during pregnancy. The Pelvic Floor is a key component to supporting your body throughout pregnancy, as well as afterwards. After baby has arrived the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynocologists suggests that you can begin working on these exercises as soon as you feel able. Regaining a strong pelvic floor after pregnancy will assist with maintaining a strong core and therefore will encourage correct posture. 


5. Sit Straight 

Alongside standing and walking, your posture when sitting is important. In a world where technology is a part of every day life, the upper back and shoulders often suffer from tightness due to leaning over and ‘hunching’. Be sure to take regular brakes from working or reading and remember to stretch problem areas on a daily basis. 


Join me over on Instagram where I recently shared some of my favourite release exercises and will be sharing more tips on postnatal exercise soon! Til then, wish me luck!!! Ezra’s getting more teeth and sleep has been thin on the ground in our house!


xx Shakira xx

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Breastfeeding: The Beautiful, The Bad and The Balance

Breastfeeding: The Beautiful, The Bad and The Balance

I’LL BE HONEST, I’VE ALWAYS CONSIDERED MYSELF ONE OF THOSE MUMS THAT DOESN’T ENJOY BREASTFEEDING. I’VE BEEN FAIRLY OUTSPOKEN IN THE PAST ABOUT HOW EXHAUSTING I FIND BOTH THE PHYSICAL AND EMOTIONAL DEMANDS, HOWEVER I RECENTLY WENT THROUGH A WEEK WHERE MY MILK SUPPLY REDUCED CONSIDERABLY AND AT ONLY 7 WEEKS POSTPARTUM WITH MY SECOND CHILD, I REALISED HOW MUCH I WOULD MISS IT IF I WASN'T ABLE TO CONTINUE. HAVE I BEEN TAKING IT ALL FOR GRANTED? OR IS BREASTFEEDING REALLY JUST OUTDATED AND OVER-RATED?


Pregnancy Self-Defence

Pregnancy Self-Defence

Prenatal women are being encouraged to love their bodies and celebrate it's incredible strength and natural ability during the trimesters. Staying active during this time is being embraced, with many women approaching labour feeling confident and strong. However, as much as being pregnant certainly does NOT mean being powerless, it's important to remember that when it comes to being a target of assault, a pregnant woman could still be considered 'vulnerable'. 

StrongLikeMum teamed up with the incredible Eve Torres-Gracie, Head Instructor at Gracie Women Empowered self-defense program, 3x WWE Divas Champion, actress, wife and mother! 

Prenatal Smoothie Ingredients

Prenatal Smoothie Ingredients

Getting a healthy balance of nutrients, vitamins and minerals is always important especially during pregnancy. Smoothies are brilliant as they can be adapted to meet all increased fluid and nutrient needs, prevent any unwanted symptoms and cure a sweet craving all at the same time! 

But not just any ingredients will do the trick and what you put into your smoothie to get the correct balance is so important!

Running During Pregnancy

Running During Pregnancy

If you’re active pre-pregnancy, chances are you’ll be hoping to continue an active lifestyle during the three trimesters. Once the morning sickness wears off ( woooohoooo)! you may find you have enough energy to lace up rather the rest up. But how to adapt your training during this time? 

Here’s a few things you can expect from running when you’re expecting. 

Running on empty? Here's 5 Energy Boosting Tips!

Running on empty? Here's 5 Energy Boosting Tips!

Ever feel like you’re running on empty? I certainly have days like that... where you wake up and from the minute your feet touch the floor you feel like you’re chasing your tail. There just aren’t enough hours to get everything done, but in the same moment time drags and you feel exhausted and slow? 

Well, I’ve had enough of those days and earlier this year made it my focus to find 5 ‘set me free’ tricks to combat this! 

I hope they help you like they have me!! 

5 tips to Pre-Race Prep

I’m running 10km tomorrow. That’s the longest I’ve ever run in my life. People usually stare at me in disbelief when I say this as I'm generally considered a 'runner', but running events aren't all the same... and I promise, I am NOT a natural long distance runner. 

In my opinion, long distance runners are a little crazy. Why draw out the uncomfortable ache of running for hours when you could be done in seconds? 

Anyway, somehow I find myself on the eve of what I consider to be a marathon. 

Now, I can't say how real long distance athlete's prepare but here are my five MUST DO activities before race day! 

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1. Mentally Prepare

As a sprinter, many people think you're lazy. While long distance runners can be seen going endlessly round the track, you’ll often find sprint groups huddled indoors resting for 10-15 minutes after a quick 300 sprint. 

But this ‘lazy’ nature is not why I put 'mentally prepare' at the top of the list. Ok ok, I’ll admit it, physically preparing for a 10km scares me and although serious endurance athletes will of course train for an event I decided to skip that stage this time and just ‘wing it’… ( tune in tomorrow to see how that goes)! 

Anyway, mentally preparing for a race is so important! Getting yourself in a positive mindset. Replace nerves with anticipation and excitement! Enjoy the thrill of testing your physical abilities. Know that you’ll give it the best you’ve got and that’s the perfect amount! 

RELAXED RUNNING is hammered in to you as a sprinter and I plan to adopt that mindset for tomorrows adventure too! 

 

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2. Muscular Prep

I’ve talked about foam rolling before on this blog and that is key before race day. To put it plainly tight muscles won’t perform efficiently so get out your foam roller! For more reason’s on why and HOW check out my previous post here

My second tip for physical prep is all about Human Tecar. This is my go-to pre-race treatment. They have a great sports massage cream but if that’s not for you then grab a bottle of Arnica oil ( oil, not cream) and gently massage those tights spots in your quads or calves! 

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3. Actually Prepare

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The ‘boring’ bit as far as I’m concerned! But honestly nothing kills race-day like panicking about a lost train ticket or missing sports kit! Get it all laid out the day before. I write list's of all the food I’ll need to take and prep everything in the fridge. Remember to pack your race kit and water bottle, as well as planning out your travel journey and give yourself plenty of time!

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4. Nutrition Tips

 

 

Carb loading. You’ll here marathn runners talking about this and as it feels like that distance to me I’ll be doing the same. Carbohydrates are crucial for long lasting energy so make sure to maintain a healthy diet pre-race day! Similarly, lean protein and healthy fibre is also key!

In addition, don’t forget to HYDRATE! Dry mouth is a bugger for 400 meters let alone 10km!

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5. A Proper playlist

 

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Now some people choose not to run to music but I generally don’t associate with them. They’re crazy. For me Music is a motivator so spend some time planning out a killer playlist for the event. And if music isn't your thing maybe download a good podcast ( or perhaps a Harry Potter audio tape… which is definitely not on my playlist… ahem….. I wonder what happens after Dolorous Umbrage ban's Potter from quidditch)…..

 

Well that's it, my 5 top tips for pre-race prep. Let me caviet this all by reiterating that I've never actually run a 10km before, so follow this advice at your own risk. 😂😳

I'll let you know tomorrow how it goes. 

Skip Ropes | Not Breakfast

Skip Ropes | Not Breakfast

We’ve all had those mornings where we’ve been sooooooo rushed off our feet that the idea of sitting down for a bowl of cereal is far from our minds. It’s 2017 and that means everything is  ‘on demand’ or ‘instant’ and breakfast just doesn’t seem to fit the mould!

People seem eager to slim down but amongst the diets fads and protein shakes no one seems to be stating the obvious; Eat well and exercise more. 

Family Fun

Family Fun

‘Playing’ is a word often associated with kids but did you know that according to leading psychiatrists, Playtime is just as crucial for adults as it is for children! Dr Stuart Brown is quoted as saying ‘Nothing light’s up the brain like play’! and it seem’s he’s not alone. Einstein in his own words stated that ‘Play is the highest form of research’ and, if historical theory’s are correct, there's a reason that Archimedes shouted ‘Eureka’ in his bath, not the laboratory! 

#FTSummit, Munich with Adidas UK

#FTSummit, Munich with Adidas UK

One of the best things about working with Adidas, since joining the team earlier this year, is undoubtably the incredible people I get to meet along the way. I’m drawn to creativity and as the Adidas hashtag suggest’s, everyone embracing this brand is #heretocreate! This weekend was all about creation and I can't wait to share the event with you now! 

 

Foam Rolling Facts

Foam Rolling Facts

Foam Rolling and I have a love/hate relationship. I know it's good for me and I secretly love the benefits but I also moan about it a lot. 😂 

If I'm honest though, It is a really great tool and crucial for anyone active. Whether you're working-out a lot, jogging, walking or just generally looking to get a little more active, this is a must have. Here's a few tips on how to get started and Why you should be foam rolling regularly... 

The StrongLikeMum Method

The StrongLikeMum Method

Yey, it’s here! I’m so excited to FINALLY be writing a blog post on my new site! This is a big deal for me because, although I’ve been masquerading as a blogger for about a year now... (whispers quietly)...I have never actually written a personal blog post! 😳 Don't get me wrong I've been writing articles for years, but now it's official, I have my own personal blog! So welcome to The StrongLikeMum Method.