Archive for the ‘kids’ Tag

Kids Reactivation

The kids have been in camp for the past week: gymnastics camp. All day from 8:30 until 4:00 they have been moving their bodies. Rest periods are built in, but still that is a lot of physical activity. One child woke up with a sore leg that she refused to walk on (she could still crawl and hop, so I knew the injury wasn’t ultra serious, most likely an overtireFront supportd body). The other complained of a sore back from picking up a springboard the previous day in camp. Both kids requested ReactivationFeeling better post-Reactivation, they completed the full week of camp.

I am very fortunate that I met Andy Langberg, the founder and developer of Reactivation, when I was dealing with major pain issues in my body. I am thrilled that I was able to take the marvelous training in Reactivation Level I, followed immediately with the Level 2 training in 2014. When a body is pushed physically, even when just keeping a body active, injury or excess stress to the body can occur. Extra care is sometimes needed. Reactivation is an amazing form of extra care. Aiding a body to heal itself, giving just a bit of energy to change the vibration of a body; it’s a marvelous thing. As my son asked as I worked on him, “It’s sort of like magic?”

Yes, it is.

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Bikercise

I had planned to write more about the Fitbit this week, but this past Saturday I ended up going for a bit more of a sprint than I intended on doing. My daughter and I were running late for her ballet class mainly because I was trying to do too many things. She took her bike which allows us to get to class on time. Last wAnalupe bikeeek she was just remembering how to bike, and I had a pleasant jog keeping up with her. Now she remembers how to ride her bike. She can bike fast! Luckily I knew I would be jogging a little so I had worn my back pack instead of a shoulder bag, and I had on my sneakers, but it was not a jog; it was a sprint. Longer sprints than I’ve been doing when I do my wave workouts.

Unfortunately with the busy morning and the too many things to do, I forgot to put on my Fitbit HR so I have no idea what my heart rate went up to, but pretty high I would guess as I was breathing hard. I also forgot the bike lock and my daughter’s ballet shoes. Too many things to do, not enough time being in the present.

This summer it will be a huge challenge to keep up with both my kids when they are on their bikes and I will be wearing my running sneakers a lot. Or I’ll just have to learn to bike in NYC, which is not high on my list of things I wish to learn.

Relaxation

Last night was a fun evening that reminded me of previous nights, where dinner was interrupted with a cartwheel competition, or just a “look at what I can do” moment of physical activity. My husband was finishing preparing dinner as my daugRelaxationhter began doing her moves. She showed how she now does her arch (wheel for us yoga folks) based on what she had learned in gymnastics class that day. A large, full, energized wheel, that after holding it for an extended amount of time left her tired. So, I showed her how to relax her body fully in Savasana. From there I recalled the relaxation assists that I had learned over the years and performed a few on her. She loved it, the feeling of caring from her mother, but also the wave like motion from the thoracic into the cervical spine with a very gentle traction of the head, and working from the other end, a gentle traction of the spine. In my work I have recently not been performing these sorts of hands on assists with my clients very often as the cause of the body being tight is a decrease in stability and the worst thing for that is for an outside force to create further instability. However, watching her as she melted and the deep relaxation that she was able to attain, it was beautiful to see and a reminder that relaxation is an important skill to learn at any age.

Waves Next to Waves

My newest workout consists of intervals, but not traditional intervals where a short burst of cardio activity is used to elevate the heart rate followed by a conditioning exercise where the heart rate only partially recovers. In these intervals I want my heart rate to reach close to maximum and then have a full recovery between before I begin the next interval. This means standing, or preferably sitting, catching my breath followed by a bit of yogic breathing to slow the heart rate. I do a total of 5 or 6 intervals. The idea is to create a wave with my heart rate: crests and troughs.

Beach in Santa Marta, ColombiaThis past week while the Northeast and my home in Brooklyn was enduring an arctic blast, I had the luxury of spending some time on a beach, creating waves next to waves. The kids mainly wanted to spend the days in the pool, but I convinced my daughter to join me one morning for a walk to the beach with the intention of a bit of exercise. We arrived, took off our sandals and set our goals: I would sprint down to a red tent on the beach and back, she would sprint a shorter distance to the unused volleyball post and back. I took off at a sprint while she stood with our sandals, bag of towels, and her doll that had joined us and was taking a nap. It was wonderful: the sound of the waves, the bright sun, the feel of the sand under my bare feet but also the extra focus and attention that was required to choose the best path so as not twist an ankle on the loosely packed, damp sand, very different than running on a treadmill in the depths of winter. I raced back to my daughter sufficiently winded to conclude that the distance I selected took about a minute round trip. As I recovered my daughter took off on her sprint, down to the pole and back. She was ready for me to go as soon as she returned, but I wisely listened to my body and we talked and rested a bit first and then I ran again. We continued this process until I had completed five sprints and my daughter four; that was more than enough for her little legs, and it was getting hot.

I enjoyed the sprints on the beach with my daughter as it is always wonderful to have company while exercising. In addition we both discovered that cartwheels are fun to do on the sand and looking at the ocean while upside down in a handstand is quite disorienting.

Workout run with kids!

I planned to do a run around Ft Greene with just my eldest, he’s seven. I figured if I paced him we would manage two loops. My youngest insisted on getting out of the apartment too, so I decided to give it a try. It was actually a very successful run. Just over one lap completed but the (almost) 4 year old ran pretty much the whole way. She collected a few treasures along the way, flowers, a pine cone, a branch of a tree, but she ran a lot. The eldest walked more because the pace was slow, but he also sprinted bits. I had a super slow jog, jogging in place at times just to keep my heart rate up a bit, but it still was exercise as I’m in the getting-back-into-shape-post-injury phase. Did a set of pushups after the loop while the kids snacked on the Climbing Tree.  Did the second set of pushups after playing “Try to catch me” with the eldest in the playground. It’s nearly impossible to catch him around the playscape. He’s quick and agile and impossible to trick.

Guidelines for running with kids:

1) bring snacks. We brought a banana and an apple. Light fruit good for continuing exercise after consumption.

2)Make sure water is available. The water fountains are turned on so we did not need to carry any.

3) Be flexible.

Eventually the kids will be bigger and the good habits started already. Halfway through the loop I was wondering why I hadn’t started my eldest when he was 4, I should have but at that point in my life I just wanted to exercise by myself for that 20-30 minutes of alone time.

I have a new accessory: a giant boot.

I'm supposed to be wearing it, but as we were baking cookies (with lots of flour) I took a break and the kids tried out the boot. Hopefully my son will never need one!

I’m supposed to be wearing it, but as we were baking cookies (with lots of flour) I took a break and the kids tried out the boot. Hopefully my son will never need one!

Nothing like a stress fracture to slow an active person down. Actually, I wasn’t letting the fracture slow me down, at least not enough, so it’s a good thing I’m lugging this boot around now. Its impossible to walk really fast in this boot. Slow I go, and now my bone will heal. Meanwhile the boot throws my hips out of alignment and “hello” to back pain. Add a lift to balance the hips. Immediate pain on the bottom of my non-injured foot. Try a lift with arch support. Removed that within five minutes, no sense in creating a new injury.

Solutions:

1) sit and not move for three to six weeks.

2) stretch as much as possible.

3) keep doing other exercises to balance my hips and stabilize my torso.

Solution number one, although ideal in many ways, is completely unrealistic. Solution two is something I can do for a few minutes morning and night, and occasionally in between. Solution three is essential even if the dishes haven’t been washed or the kids are not in bed yet.

Of course, 3 to six weeks of non impact cardio, that is a problem. Bike would be the best thing, but I have children and when can I get down to the gym? It’s so much easier to just do 50 jumping jacks then toss a load of laundry in the wash, do another 50, wash some dishes, do some push-ups, more jumping jacks, referee the kids, more jacks, and then find a few minutes at the end of the day to do a few more. Combined with walking kids to various places that makes for good activity, but 30 minutes straight, in a gym on a bike? Impossible, or at least highly unlikely! Hop on one foot? I’ll have to give that a try.

The good news:

1) The kids will get better at doing things for themselves.

2) I have a dance background and strengthening feet is something I can do! This fracture will not reoccur; my feet will become as strong as they used to be when I danced.

Ah, traveling! What a Pleasure!

Okay, not true, but what a difference it makes when there are no children traveling with me. Traveling with my children isn’t difficult, but it does require a constant focus, constant vigilance, constant monitoring of them and how they affect the people around them. It’s not a walk in the park. But without kids! Wow! I read most of a book before I even got on the airplane. But then I closed it and decided I wanted to walk, I was tired of sitting and again, not on the airplane yet where I would be stuck sitting for over 7 hours plus boarding and debarking. Not how I like to be: stationary. I took a little stroll past the shops, through security, saw my gate and kept on walking. I wasn’t hungry as I began this stroll, still wasn’t hungry at the end, but I was incomprehensibly craving chocolate!

Does the picture or the text make you crave something sweet or chocolaty?

Does the picture or the text make you crave something sweet or chocolaty?

So much food and especially candy to buy in an airport, a giant bag of M&M’s, Hershey’s, Godiva, giant muffins, and pastries, anything a tired girl could possibly want! Hard to find anything that qualified as nutritious, at least that isn’t what jumped out at me as I strolled. It was all those other things and they are conveniently located, not just once but twice, three times, in one wing of the terminal. Just in case you change your mind and decide you really do want that party sized pack of peanut M&M’S before you board your flight. The opportunity to purchase those or any other party sized pack of candy you want will present itself without your need to backtrack. You can eat them while you fly, after all you can’t go running while stuck on an airplane, might as well eat.

Once I arrived at my destination food continued to be of interest, not that the fast food is quite so abundant, or as obvious in a foreign country, but all the different foods to eat, different wines and beer to sample. Both very good wine and beer can be found easily in Prague. I couldn’t cook in my hotel room and well, it was vacation; I didn’t want to cook or wash dishes, or shop for groceries. Eating in restaurants, the temptation to try the new and have an appetizer too, and a desert. Yummy! Just one more bite, after all it is vacation and a once in a lifetime experience, and I’m walking all day exploring the sites.

(Tip: When traveling with a companion or when eating out anywhere, it’s a good idea to split the entrees, the appetizers, and the desert if you really want one. But remember restaurant food tends to be richer than what you would cook for yourself, so go easy and enjoy!)

On one of those walks (by myself, no kids, no husband, just me and my flashbacks to backpacking around Europe when I was 21) I found a walking path, described in the NY Times travel section, definitely something I wouldn’t have been reading when I was 21. The path in Prague, was a former railroad bed, now paved over into an ultra smooth bike and walking path. I finally found the path around 10:00 am, more or less as without my iPhone I had no idea what time it was as I haven’t worn a watch in over six years. The path was rather empty, passed two individuals, then I took a detour up 105 steps, straight up, rather good exercise. I do believe walking stairs is some of the best exercise possible and it can be done on any stairs. I took a look at the view and then walked back down the stairs to continue along the path, where a young mother went zooming past rollerblading pushing a stroller while her white golden retriever loped at her side. What fabulous exercise and so much more fun than running and pushing a stroller. My rollerblades were placed in storage very quickly after arriving in NYC, too many bumps, too much traffic, lets face it too scary and the wrist protectors and knee protectors were just plain ugly. Maybe with the increase in bike paths and in NYC there will be an increase in the activity?

Why I Need To Be More (in shape that is)

I don’t like to tell my kids that I can’t do something because I am tired, or aching, or any other excuse, yet in the past year (or two) I have been saying this more and more. The worst thing is for my three year old to start imitating me saying “I can’t do that, my back hurts” or ” I can’t, my leg hurts” or “I’m too tired” when she is perfect health and just woke from a nap. Definitely not the example I wish to set! I need to have all my parts working again. Yes, I would be happy to lose 5 pounds to get back to my pre-children weight, but its the quality of life issue. Even more important is the example I set for my children. I want to be able to play with my children, to be their horse, their slide, tunnel, or bridge, or to take them for a ride on my airplane legs, to allow them to stand on my shoulders and do back flips to the floor! It’s fun to play with them in a physical manner and they still need the physical closeness with their mother. That is the best motivation to give my body the extra time and attention it needs to become strong again.