Energising Super Salad!
If you're lacking in energy and feeling a little sluggish, it's time to pull out this big gun of a salad recipe! Ditch the high sugar drink and chocolate bars for this colourful, nutrient-rich mix of vitamins and minerals straight from the garden!
Don't forget to let us know your thoughts on how it tastes and how you felt afterwards by leaving a comment below, or, on our FB page!
For the Salad:
2 Handfuls of Baby spinach
2 Handfuls of Rocket
250g Punnet of Cherry Tomatoes
½ Ripe Pineapple cut into bite size segments
½ Spanish onion diced
½ Red Capsicum Diced
1 cup shredded Purple Cabbage
1 large Carrot peeled and sliced
1 Lebanese Cucumber sliced
1 Red Chilli deseeded and finely diced
For the Dressing:
1 tsp. Fish sauce
1/3 cup sweet chilli sauce
Juice of 3 fresh limes
Throw it all together and enjoy! Don't forget to let us know your thoughts on how it tastes and how you felt afterwards by leaving a comment below, or, on our FB page!
At Go Mum! we talk a lot about the seriousness of pelvic floor weakness/dysfunction and communicating the importance of addressing such issues before returning to high impact exercise like running and so on. However, what's important to remember is that amongst all this serious body talk, as women we really do love an opportunity to socialise, have fun and share our journeys with each other.....And that's exactly what Go Mum! group classes provide (in conjunction with all the serious stuff!). We thought it might be nice for you to meet some of our Go Mum! mums and hear what they have to say about life, love, kids, and their Go Mum! experiences.
How many kids do you have, and what are their ages?
I have 2 kids; Eva who is 3 and Luxton who is 10 months
What do you like best about being a Mum?
Bedtime! Just kidding! My favourite part at the moment would have to be when Eva turns spontaneously to me and says "I love you Mum"....there's nothing quite like being your child's universe!
Were you nervous about getting back into exercise after having a baby? If so, why?
Yes definitely, I was nervous about juggling two kids, time commitments and how uncoordinated I'd become after having two children!
How long have you been training with GoMum! Group Fitness?
Nearly 6 months of group classes and 3 months personal training.
Before starting with GoMum! what level of understanding did you have about the importance of core & pelvic floor strength for pre and post-natal women?
Probably a 3 out of 10. I knew it was important, but I didn't know how to exercise and strengthen it!
What do you enjoy most about training with GoMum! Group Fitness?
There's a lot to love! It's an incredibly welcoming environment not just for mums but for children too. Each week we're challenged with a variety of exercises that can be tailored to our post natal recovery. I've made some fantastic friends chatting to the other mums who regularly attend and our kids love playing together or copying our moves during class!
What exercises do you least enjoy & why?
Mountain Climbers! For some reason the combination of required upper body strength and cardio action just does not work for me! My coordination has improved tenfold since working with Christine, but these are my pet hate!
What are your main fitness/well being goals for 2016?
I'd like to return to running this year and complete a 5km run.
Do you have any tips or tricks for other mums who might be struggling to get back into some sort of exercise regime post-pregnancy?
Do it for you! It's hard to find the energy, motivation, or time with a Bub, especially when you're sleep deprived. But it's so important for our babies that mum looks after herself too. You never regret a workout once it's done!
As a mum, what are you most grateful for?
Coffee! And of course the opportunity to love two wonderful little people and watch them grow.
By Kate Boucher - Physiotherapist
It’s a topic constantly doing the rounds on traditional and social media; fuelled by the continuous procession of celebrities promoting their support for a certain approach, there are many opinions (informed or otherwise) which are often conflicting and confusing. So, where do I stand on the topic?
As a registered physiotherapist with a keen interested in women’s health and a mother of 3, I am often asked for advice by women who are either planning pregnancy, expecting, or in the early post-partum phase. I find the majority of the confusion centres around what type of exercise is safe – both for the mother and for the baby; and as a fit mummy myself, many ladies feel comfortable chatting with me about their personal wish to stay as fit as possible during pregnancy and beyond.
Exercise is also an extremely important and healthy tool some women use to relieve stress and clear their heads. Sometimes, women are almost ashamed to admit their need to continue with high levels of exercise, feeling that they should no longer be concerned with their own desires, but should be focused on the needs of their baby. (Moderate) exercise during pregnancy has in fact been found to improve the overall life-long physical and mental health of the mother when compared to those who do not exercise. How much? The recommended amount is 150 minutes of moderate exercise per week or 70 minutes of higher intensity, or a combination of both. There are no clear guidelines for upper limits, perhaps because not many pregnant women put their hands up to be tested to the limit while carrying a child.
My message: it’s ok (and actually quite normal) to want to continue with exercise you enjoy, but I do caution women to take care in certain areas:
1. EASE INTO IT. Don’t attempt to embark on a fitness frenzy when you find out you are pregnant: if you weren’t already doing vigorous exercise, you shouldn’t start now. It is safe though to begin with moderate exercise like walking, swimming, aqua-aerobics (recent studies have found it is safe for women to exercise in pools up to 33degC) cycling, gentle resistance exercise, gentle yoga…..the list is endless!
2. PRECAUTIONS. If you already enjoy higher intensity exercise, please continue! Personally I recommend the following modifications: STOP running and STOP sit-ups (I will address these later), EASE OFF on heavy weights (unless you are an elite athlete): the hormones circulating in your body are causing your ligaments to become lax, meaning that your joints are no longer as stable. High loads through your joints put them at risk without the full support of static stabilisers (ligaments); and STOP doing loaded exercise through an uneven pelvis: ie I do not recommend weighted lunges, step ups or any other exercise where both feet are not loaded evenly, again because of the lax ligament issue
3. BODY TEMPERATURE. Avoid raising your body temp too high – listen to your body, if you feel as though you are overheating, you very well might be. And NO EXERCISE when ill/feverish.
4. HEART RATE. Avoid raising your heart rate more that 75% of max (which is 220bpm minus your age). Your heart is already working at an increased intensity to pump around the 25% increase in blood volume (by end of gestation). Your other organs have similarly increased their output, so you can no longer push yourself to the point of exhaustion.
5. RISKY SITUATIONS. Avoid/take care in any exercises which put you at risk of falling/being struck. Also remember your balance and centre of gravity change as your tummy grows – give yourself a little extra slack – you might not be as nimble as you were without your bump!
6. LYING ON YOUR BACK. Avoid lying on your back in the 2nd half of the pregnancy as this can slow the return of blood to your heart.
Now, let me get to running and sit-ups! These are two that cause most of the controversy in the media. Many health professionals will have different views but I do not recommend either exercise (unless you are an elite athlete) and here are my reasons:
The other topic I discuss with women is their motivation behind wanting to exercise at high intensity. What are their personal goals around doing so? And, will modifying their fitness goals for a relatively short period of time actually be detrimental to their life long fitness? In my experience, most women who are fit before falling pregnant, very quickly return to this level of fitness after the baby is born. Muscle memory is very strong and when you combine this with being highly motivated to keep yourself fit, you have the perfect recipe for the long term health of both you and your baby, at whatever fitness level you desire.
Kate Boucher is a physiotherapist with over 13 years’ experience and mother of 3. She is a strong believer in a comprehensive, integrated approach to health. Kate enjoys working with mothers both pre and postnatally – whether it be to treat back and pelvic pain and instability or in addressing pelvic floor and core strength. She also understands the desire some have to return to high level sport and exercise and has intricate knowledge in establishing safe pathways for these goals to be reached.
By Carrie Gurr – Health Enthusiast
Just in time for Valentine’s Day (although no excuse is necessary), this smoothie contains so much goodness, it’s hard to believe it can actually taste amazing and look the part too! A lot of people don’t have the time, or the inclination, to get too creative when it comes to out-of-the-ordinary smoothies and juices, so this is why the Red Velvet smoothie is so great – all ingredients can be thrown together in your blender, Thermomix or food processor – choose your weapon of choice and enjoy a wholesome drink which will satisfy your sweet tooth, fill you up and keep you going whatever you and your loved ones are up to this Valentine’s Day.
It wouldn’t be a Valentine’s Day treat unless it contains some chocolatey goodness, right? This recipe calls for raw cacao powder which can taste quite bitter to some, so feel free to add extra, or use less, to suit your taste. And don’t be scared by the inclusion of beetroot! The cacao, milk and other ingredients help balance out that earthy taste; besides, beetroot is an excellent tonic for the liver and provides iron, magnesium, folate, potassium as well as nitrates which are excellent for muscle energy!
Enjoy this flavoursome treat whilst giving your body and mind a helping hand!
Ingredients (serves 1):
1/2 beetroot peeled and chopped
1/2 avocado (if available – substitute with banana if desired)
1 tablespoon raw cacao powder
1 teaspoon chia seeds
1/2 cup almond milk
1 cup coconut water
1 handful of ice (if desired)
2 teaspoons honey
Blend until smooth, and all there is left to do is enjoy!
Is this a keeper? We’d love to hear your feedback!
By Fiona Rogers - Women's Health Physiotherapist
As women’s health physios, we are often asked “when can I return to high impact exercise? “ Expectations of the media, celebrities and social media would suggest that new mums can do no right – everyone is telling you how you should do every thing from birthing your baby to what you should look like afterwards!
Many women feel they have to do high impact workouts in order to build up a sweat, get fit, burn fat and lose baby weight. However, high impact exercise is a common cause of Stress Urinary Incontinence (SUI), or wetting yourself when you exercise/cough/sneeze), particularly in post natal women.
Interestingly, one of the main independent risk factors for SUI after having a baby is BMI, or body mass index – the amount of fat your body carries. Postnatal depression is also common, and SUI can be one of the triggers. So it totally makes sense that we exercise after having a baby; but does that leave us between a rock and a hard place?
Lets start with when can I return to exercise?
It is generally advised to continue with low impact activities until you have fully recovered from the birth. Remembering that giving birth has been likened to an extreme sport with the possibilities of similar injuries such as stress fractures (of the pubic bone) and muscle tears (deep layer of pelvic floor muscles from the pubic bone) much like a hamstring tear. Your pelvic floor muscles stretch up to 3 times their normal length during birth, and the fascial or elastic tissue stretches too. If you load these lengthened tissues too early, you will damage them further. As soon as you feel comfortable after giving birth you can do gentle activities like walking. Swimming is ideal once you have stopped bleeding and activities that keep you supported like an exercise bike will reduce pressure on the pelvic floor tissues. You will be fatigued in the early months making you more prone to injury. If breastfeeding, your oestrogen levels will remain low, and your tissues remain less elastic until levels return to normal. We are, however, resilient and built to give birth but you need to be aware of your individual risk factors. Some women are ready to return to higher impact exercise very early whilst others are best advised to never return to those higher levels like running .
When can I progress?
An assessment by an experienced women’s health physiotherapist, once you have been given the all clear by your obstetrician, is the best way to determine your level of readiness for the next step up in exercise. They will check your pelvic floor muscle bulk and strength; co-ordination with the other core muscles; whether you have signs of prolapse or diastasis and your general mobility and fitness. Signs that you may be ready include: Once you are doing low impact with no side effects, no leakage and no sense of heaviness in the vagina and you should be able to breathe easily through exercise and hold a pelvic floor contraction against load e.g. lifting
What is high impact exercise?
High impact is exercise that increases intra-abdominal pressure via impact or resistance against the hard surface of the ground when you land. It is greater when two feet leave the ground together - running, jumping, skipping are examples. This pressure needs to be contained within the abdomen by the co-ordinated action of the core muscles – the pelvic floor, diaphragm, deep abdominal and multifidus. A question you should ask of yourself is "Do I really need to do high impact exercise?” Think about what it is you are trying to achieve and if it can be done with a modified, lower impact routine?
Risks of doing high impact exercise too early
Risk factors for prolapse and incontinence
Signs your current exercise is too high impact for you
There are no hard and fast rules as to when you can include high impact activity. Remember – be your own role model, listen to your body, assess your risk factors and do what is best for you.
Am J Obstet Gynecol. 2015 Aug;213(2):188.e1-188.e11. Evaluating maternal recovery from labor and delivery: bone and levator ani injuries.
Miller JM Low LK, Zielinski R, Smith AR, DeLancey JO, Brandon C
Pelvic Floor First website
© Fiona Rogers (BPhty GD ExSpSc APAM) is a women’s health physiotherapist on the Sunshine Coast in Queensland. She also owns the website www.pelvicfloorexercise.com.au which is full of devices and resources for regaining your pelvic floor health. Fiona is passionate about educating women on how best to look after their pelvic floor because you only get one and it has to last a lifetime.
At Go Mum! we are constantly learning and seeking out the best women's health advice and local practitioners. In this blog you will find articles from women's health practitioners that are passionate and experienced in their fields. We hope you enjoy the blog and encourage you to support these local businesses.