On: Core Exercises with a Baby

Exercises that can be done with a baby are enormously popular with my patients. Mommies and Daddies alike are pressed for time, and certainly every minute with your baby is valuable. These core stability exercises can be done easily in the home, and are a ton of fun for the kiddo as well. Infants who demonstrate good head control, generally after 3 months of age, are appropriate for participation. If your child is over 3 months of age and cannot yet lift their head off the floor and turn it from side to side from the face down position are not yet ready for these exercises.

Baby Squats

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Stand with feet shoulder width apart. Hold baby close to your chest, and draw your abdominals in gently toward your spine, and contract your pelvic floor. Bend knees about 45 degrees, keeping your back straight, and no allowing your knees to flex over your toes. Pause, then slowly return back to standing position. Ideally your little one would stay facing you, but mine is a ham and if there is a camera around he wants to face it and give a bit of a show.

Repeat 10x

Standing Chest Press. 

 

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Stand with feet shoulder width apart. Grasp baby gently around the rib cage, under the arms, at your chest level close to your body. (Baby should be facing you, mine is interested in the camera). Gently draw in your abdominals, contract your pelvic floor muscles, and press baby straight up and outward in a slight diagonal. Pause, then gently bring baby back to your chest.

Repeat 10x.

Supine Baby Chest Press

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Lay on your back with your knees bent and feet planted shoulder width apart. Gently grasp baby around the ribcage under the arms. Gently draw abdominals in towards your spine, and contract the pelvic floor muscles. Press baby straight up towards the ceiling. Make some sort of airplane sound while you are at it. Gently lower baby back down with control.

Repeat 10x.

Baby Tricep Push-Ups

 

 

 

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Lay baby on his back, and align yourself over the top of him in plank position with wrists under shoulders, back flat, and feet together. Keep your elbows in towards your ribcage and lower down towards baby. (Commence with kisses or raspberries on the baby’s tummy, it’s really all about the kiddo here, let’s be honest), then carefully raise back up. Note in the 1st picture that my scapula (shoulder blades) are winging away from my back-that is not what you want, and is due to a little injury of mine. Lift through your chest and keep scapula adhered to your back throughout the duration of the exercise.

Repeat 10x.

There you have it, as promised so long ago, and intro Baby core exercise program! Again, these are just as effective for Dads as they are for Moms, and allow for growth in strength as your baby gets bigger.

Enjoy, and make your day great!

Amanda

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On: The Rogue Half-Marathon-Race Review

I had the pleasure of running the Rogue Half Marathon as a pacer for the 1:50 finish time. This Southern Oregon run begins in the small but growing town of Talent, and ends at the Jackson County Fairgrounds in Central Point. It follows the Bear Creek Trail and is one of the flattest race courses I have ever run. There are small rolling hills, but the paved trail remains predominantly flat-an excellent course if you are looking for a PR.

In it’s fourth year, the race runs smoothly, and is well tended with volunteers at water and aid stations, and several police officers and security volunteers providing a safe experience for runners.  At the finish line a variety of booths await, and the Expo center is filled with beer and chili in dual celebration of the county harvest and beer festival.

All in all, it is a charming little run, and will certainly provide an optimal environment for PR.

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Make your day great,

Amanda

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On: Fall Running Gear

It’s fall, and it’s time for a gear update, so here is what I’m running in these days:

Balega Socks: I’ve ran in them for about 3 years now and my feet have never been happier.

Product Details
Balega Women’s Enduro 4 No Show (Small, Coral)

 

Prana Poppy running shorts-still a fan of the fit and lightweight material
prAna Women’s Poppy Shorts, Medium, Charcoal

Prana Capri pants for the cooler mornings and evenings
prAna Women’s Audrey Knicker (Charcoal Heather, Small)

My favorite method of tracking pace, time, mileage, and heart rate: The Garmin Forerunner 210 does it all!
Garmin Forerunner 210 GPS-Enabled Sport Watch with Heart Rate Monitor

My best friend on runs!

 

 

And a little extra help from the Brooks Pure Connect
Brooks Women’s PureConnect 3 Lightweight Running Shoes, Color: White/Poppy/Midnight, Size: 8.5

What are you running in this fall?

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On: Gluten Free Cava Pear Crisp

My mother in law does an amazing job of making gluten free desserts for me, and most recently made me a gluten free peach crumble crisp. My in-laws are awesome scandinavian people with no food allergies so the effort that goes into making dishes for the celiac, lactose intolerant, portuguese girl (myself) is always highly appreciated. The peach dish sparked the inspiration for the cava infused pear crisp that I made as a treat for my husband and myself last night.

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Ingredients:

The inside:

1 cup Cava (or other sparkling white wine)

2 pears cut into small cubes

1 tbs. honey (heated for easy distribution)

The crust:

1.5 cups coconut flour

1 tbs coconut oil

1/2 cup organic granulated sugar

Directions:

Pre-heat oven to 420 degrees fahrenheit

Place cubed pears into a medium sized corning ware dish (or other bakeware). Drizzle cava and honey over the pears.

In a medium bowl, combine sugar, coconut flour, and coconut oil and mix with a large wooden spoon until chunky and evenly mixed.

Evenly spread crust mix over pear mix.

Bake for 45-55 minutes, until top is golden brown. Remove and allow to cool, serve warm, perhaps with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or dairy free substitute.

Serves 4. Or 2 with adults in the evening and 2 adults again in the morning for breakfast. If that is your thing.

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Enjoy!

Amanda

 

 

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On: Why Physical Activity is Important for Women with Breast Cancer

A recent study in the medical journal Cancer found that two thirds of patients with breast cancer reported lower than recommended levels of physical activity. In a study of 1,735 patients diagnosed with invasive breast cancer, 35% of them met the current standard of 150 minutes of moderate intensity exercise per week. The study investigated racial differences in physical activity and found that African American women were less likely to meet national physical activity guidelines after diagnosis than their Caucasian counterparts. The researchers concluded that “despite compelling evidence demonstrating the effects of physical activity after a diagnosis of breast cancer, it is clear that more work needs to be done to promote physical activity in patients with breast cancer, especially African American women.”

Research indicates that physical activity after a diagnosis of breast cancer may be beneficial in improving quality of life, reducing fatigue, and enhancing energy. According to the National Cancer Institute, both reduced physical activity and the side effects of treatment have been linked to weight gain after a breast cancer diagnosis. One study found that women who exercised 3 to 5 hours per week at an average exertion after a diagnosis of breast cancer had improved survival rates compared with more sedentary women. The benefit was particularly pronounced in women with hormone responsive tumors. Another study found that a home-based physical activity program had a beneficial effect on the fitness and psychological well-being of previously sedentary women who had completed treatment for early-stage through stage II breast cancer.  For more information on the benefits of exercise for individuals with breast cancer visit:

http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/factsheet/prevention/physicalactivity

If you, or someone you know has been diagnosed with breast cancer, a physical therapist specializing in women’s Health or oncology is highly beneficial in creating a safe, individualized exercise program during and after breast cancer treatment. Stay tuned for Breast Cancer appropriate Pilates exercises.

Make your day great,

Amanda

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On: Why myofascial rolling with a self massage device is beneficial

Great news for those who do not have time or money for regularly scheduled massages: self massage devices such as “The Stick”have been shown in a recent study to reduce post workout soreness and pain.

Investigators in this study published in The International Journal of Sports Physical Therapy examined the effectiveness of the inexpensive massage tool on reducing hamstring muscle soreness after a high intensity exercise. More specifically, this study sought to investigate the acute (short term) effect of massage with the Theraband Roller Massager on delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS).

Theraband massage roller

DOMS, the syndrome that leaves runners walking like the Tinman after a demanding run is a common phenomenon following new exercises or overtraining. Muscle pain and stiffness are experienced often 24-48 hours following the workout, and can be alleviated with ice, stretching, and massage.

Researchers in this study found that participants that utilized the roller massager experienced significantly lower levels of pain and stiffness than those receiving no treatment. We may extrapolate that foam rolling the legs may deliver similar benefits.

All things considered, self massage techniques have been show to reduce muscle pain and stiffness, and should allow runners to be ready to workout quicker with less discomfort. This however should not be utilized as a replacement for treatment from a qualified health care provider. If pain does not significantly reduce in 48 hours and involves a joint, seek attention from a physician and or physical therapist for proper diagnosis and treatment of the ailment.

The Theraband roller can be found here:
Thera-Band Standard Roller Massager

The Stick may be found here:
The Stick Travel Stick, 17-Inch

Reference:

Jay K, Sundstrup E, Sondergaard S, et al. Specific and cross over effects of massage for muscle soreness: a randomized controlled trial. Int J Sports Phys Ther. 2014;9(1)

Take care, and make your day great!

Amanda

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On: Gluten Free Pasta with Chicken and Portobello Mushrooms

Following in my usual course of easy prep and quick cook time, this little recipe is a gem. I bought a Costco pack of portobello mushrooms and it was a race against the clock for my husband and I to eat them, thus they found a happy home in a bed of noodles snuggled with lean chicken breast, olive oil, and garlic. Enjoy!

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Ingredients:

2-3 Portobello mushrooms, sliced

2 cups (dry) Gluten free noodles ( I used Goldbaums brown rice noodles this time)

2 lean chicken breasts, cut into 1″ cubes

1/3 cup Extra virgin olive oil (EVOO), and 2 tbs. for cooking the chicken

2 cloves garlic

1/2 tsp. black pepper

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Directions:

Heat 2 tbs. EVOO in a large pan on medium heat, add garlic and sautee for 3-5 min. Meanwhile, cook gluten free pasta according to package instructions.

Add chicken to the pan with garlic and EVOO and cook thoroughly. Once the chicken has cooked, add sliced mushrooms and cook evenly for 5-7 minutes.

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Once the noodles have cooked, strain and add contents of chicken/ mushroom pan. Add 1/3 cup EVOO and pepper according to taste.

Serves 4

Enjoy, and make your day great!

Amanda

 

 

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