Posts

4 Simple Pelvic Floor Exercises for New Moms & All Moms

Hey Mamas,

Pregnancy f—, I mean, messes, your body.

One thing many of us don’t hear enough about, until it’s too late, is the importance of pelvic floor exercises.

The pelvic floor muscles hold the pelvic organs in place, we’re talking bladder, rectum and uterus. You can feel the pelvic floor muscles in action if you squeeze as if your preventing yourself from urinating. Click here for a good visual.

Now, that you know what they are, you’re next thoughts might be, is a weak pelvic floor causing:

  • pain during sexual activity
  • week bladder, aka urinary incontinence
  • constipation
  • lower back pain

At one point or another, I could have checked off all of the above. After countless visits to gastroenterologist, rheumatologist, chiropractor and a slew of tests, I finally found salvation with a pelvic floor specialized physical therapist at Duffy & Bracken.

If you are pregnant, talk to your doctor about pelvic floor exercises you can do during your pregnancy. The more you do while you are pregnant, the better off you’ll be once the baby is out. (Did you know in France physical therapy is part of post-natal care?!!

now, here are some pelvic floor exercises I do, that have greatly improves all – ALL – of my symptoms.

Pelvic Floor Exercises: BRIDEPelvic Floor Exercises bridgePelvic Floor Exercises bridge

While lying on your back, tighten your lower abdominal (as if you are about to poop or the feeling of bringing your belly button into floor below you), squeeze your buttocks and then raise your buttocks off the floor to create a bridge with your body.

Hold for 2 seconds and release. Repeat 20 times.

Pelvic Floor Exercises: BRIDGE WITH LEG EXTENSIONPelvic Floor Exercises bridgePelvic Floor Exercises bridge

Stay in raised bridge, as explained above, continue to squeeze your buttocks. The, press your left heel firming into the floor and extend your right leg fully. Make sure to continue squeezing your butt, so that you’re not engaging your lower back.

Hold for 2-seconds. Return your leg to the ground and repeat with the opposite leg. Repeat 10 times on each leg.

If you’re just starting out, you should fully lower the bridge and rest. Work up to a point where you can do a few leg extensions without lowering the bridge or sacrificing form and that good squeeze.

Pelvic Floor Exercises: MODIFIED PLANK ON ELBOWS

Pelvic Floor Exercises modified plankLay face down on the mat and push yourself into a plank. Make sure your elbows are directly under your shoulder blades. Keep your pelvis tucked in. You should feel mostly glutes, core and upper shoulders working.

Neutralize the neck and spine by looking at a spot on the floor about a foot beyond the hands. Your head should be in line with your back.

Hold the position for 20 seconds. As you get more comfortable with the move, hold your plank for as long as possible without compromising form or breath.

Pelvic Floor Exercises: BIRD DOG

Pelvic Floor Exercises Bird DogPelvic Floor Exercises Bird DogBegin on all fours with your hands directly under your shoulders and your knees directly under your hips. Pull your abs in to your spine. (Imagine someone pulling your belly button from the inside.)

Keeping your back and pelvis stable, reach your right arm forward and left leg back. Don’t allow the pelvis to rock side to side as you move your leg behind you. Focus on not letting the rib cage sag toward the floor.

Reach through your left heel to engage the muscles in the back of the leg and your butt. Return to the starting position, placing your hand and knee on the floor.

Do the same movement on the other side. Repeat 10 times on each side.

Pamela Pekerman signautre

Wellness Trends 2017

3 Wellness Trends for 2017 That Are Easy and Worth Trying

 

 

Hey Mamas,

Me again, blog post number two for the week.

Today, I’m sharing 3 Wellness Trends for 2017, that are really worth embracing.

I learned about these trends through my own wellness evolution over the past year, as well as attending an amazing 2017 Wellness Trends event hosted by Well+Good.

wellness_trends_2017_7

 

Gotta be honest – I’m not a “wellness expert” or “fit fab mom” or “health coach”. I’m just a gal trying to figure out the best way to live a cleaner, greener, healthier, and more spiritually-sane life. I’ve selected the below three “trends” (FYI I hat this word) because they are easy to implement, make sense, and could make your life a little brighter and better.

Wellness Trends #1 – Anti-Bootcamp Fitness + Body Recovery

We’ve become obsessed with high-intensity workouts and bootcamp exercise classes that leave us gasping for air. I was never into that craze, even though you do see amazing results.  Particularly, after the birth of my son, David, in 2014, I needed to find workouts that didn’t tax my back. That’s when I discovered Fluidity, a barre/pilates-inspired workout that uses your own body weight to delicately sculpt and tone the body, while also helping improve pelvic floor muscles and improve core strength. If you live in NY and LA, you can find Fluidiy classes in a gym. I actually have the Fluidity system at home, and I’ve never owned any exercise machine. Well worth the investment.wellness_trends_2017_8

You’ll also want to invest in a great foam roller. It’s a pre and post exercise essential, to loosen up muscles, prevent injuries, as well as sooth the body at the end of a long day of hustling kids, work, home and all. Check out Instagram for my favorite night-time foam rolling pose for total body de-stressing. My physical therapist calls this move “The Jesus”.wellness_trends_2017_1

Wellness Trends #2 – Collagen Boosting Suppliments

This one is kind-of funny. I’ve actually be on-trend, with collagen, my whole life, thanks to my grandmother!

Every time grandma nudged me to eat bone-broth (in Russian we call is boulon) because it would cure everything, she was right! Bone broth is a natural, age-old, proven way to increase your intake of collagen.

What’s so special about collagen?

Collagen is the most abundant protein in the body – it’s what keeps your joints from squeaking, your skin from sagging, and your hair from shedding. Yup, it’s that amazing. But, sadly, we produce less of it, as we age.

Enter Vital Proteins, my new beauty BFF – no joke! My insta-stories can attest to my love for this NO-GMO powdered collagen, sourced from the best grass-fed beef or wild-caught fish. One or two scoops a day will really help you as you cross into your 30s, 40s and beyond.

wellness_trends_2017_4

Sharing my collagen beauty smoothie on Good Day Philly with Karen Hepp

wellness_trends_2017_5

Sharing my collagen beauty smoothie with Autria Godfrey on Good Morning Washington

wellness_trends_2017_6

Collagen Beauty Drink        ——     1 Scoop Vital Proteins Collagen Beauty Greens, 6oz Almond Milk, 2oz Coconut Milk, 1tsp Almond Paste, 1tsp Raw Honey, 1tsp Matcha.  Blend & beautify

Sometimes I make smoothies, even cookies, using Vital Protein’s Collagen Beauty Greens or Collagen Peptides with Vanilla & Coconut Water. Other times, I pop a scoop into my water or tea. (Check packaging to see which can go into cold vs hot mixtures).

PS I still make my chicken (sometimes beef) bone broths for the family. It’s delicious and easy. Click for recipe, and please don’t buy stock!

Wellness Trends #3 – Crystals and Chakras

Ya, so this one is new for me. I’ve gotten into essential oils, chakra meditations (thank you YouTube) and, yes, even crystal power.

Here’s how I look at it – if something makes you happy, and it’s not causing harm to your or anyone else, why not do it!?

That’s why I’ve placed Rose Quartz, the stone of self-love (selected at Well+Good’s Wellness Trends event from Luke Simon of La Vie En Rainbow)  near my bandstand, purchased numerous stone bracelets that speak to me (and then I google the meaning, to much delight — I always pick what I’m seeking/praying for) and try to do a Chakra mediation every so often.

wellness_trends_2017_2

wellness_trends_2017_3

Here’s to YOUR Health

May 2017 bestow upon you all the brightness and beauty you seek. And, may you have many reasons to smile.

Remember, a happy mom, means a happy family.

If all else fails, there should ALWAYS be a bottle of Rose on standby.

Always Be Your Best You Pamela Pekerman

Pregnancy Exercise Tips & Preventing Leg Swelling with Fitness Expert Leah Keller

I’ve been extremely MIA on this blog, in the third trimester of my pregnancy. Once I wobbled into month six, the fatigue hit me like a ton of bricks. Now, with about twenty days left to go, a serge of energy has washed over my body. If you haven’t been following me on twitter (one of the few things I have managed to maintain), then we have a LOT of catching up to do.

Several weeks ago, I had the pleasure of being introduced to Leah Keller, an expert in pre- and postnatal fitness with a proven track record of restoring clients to fitness levels that surpass their pre-baby shape. “Sign me up,” I told my friend Anna, who handles Leah’s PR. If you’re not in NYC, have no fear. This Mother’s Day, Leah is launching The Dia Method(tm), a home exercise system that equips every mom to embrace the best body of her life.
Leah Keller, Pre- and Postnatal Fitness Expert

With access to such a wonderful fitness guru, I had to pick her brain on what we belly bump babes can do to maintain our sexy figures during pregnancy. You’ll notice, many questions revolve around my personal pet peeve – leg cramps and swelling!

Pamela Pekerman: My motto is Never Surrender, so I’ve been very conscious to avoid swelling by eating plenty of potassium rich foods and also staying active. What exercises tips do you preach for pregnant women to help prevent leg swelling?
Leah Keller: Moderate cardio is essential. It can be as simple as a brisk, 30-minute walk six days a week. If you have access to a pool, alternate brisk walking days with 30-minutes of swimming. Frequent, moderate cardiovascular exercise does wonders for circulation and blood flow. **

PP:How about all-over body water retention?

LK:Water retention during pregnancy is usually a sign of inadequate protein and, as counter-intuitive as this sounds, inadequate consumption of salts and water. This all relates to albumin synthesis in the liver and how it changes during pregnancy. If a pregnant woman is retaining water, I recommend consuming 80-120 grams of protein per day, adding one cup of salty (not low-sodium) soup broth to the daily diet, and drinking more water. **

If pregnant, but not retaining water, continue to salt food to taste (trust your body to tell you how much salt it needs and monitor your protein consumption for a few days. If you’re consistently eating under 80 grams, add a little more protein to the diet as a preventative measure. And, continue drinking plenty of water. **

PP:Is there exercise we can do in the last month?

LK:During the final month of pregnancy, many of my clients feel great continuing with the workouts we performed together all along. This typically includes resistance training, moderate cardio, and light stretching. However, every pregnancy is different, so please listen to your body, consult your doctor, and adjust accordingly. If something doesn’t feel right, don’t do it. **

PP:What exercise should women avoid, especially in the third trimester?

LK:I’m not a fan of jogging during pregnancy because of hormone-induced joint laxity, which increases the risk of a sudden fall, but also because it strains the uterine ligaments. The impact of running or jumping combined with the weight of the uterus (during 3rd trimester, estimate 13 lbs. for baby + placenta + amniotic fluid, etc.) will easily overstretch the uterine ligaments. This dramatically increases your risk of uterine prolapse, a condition I would do everything in my power to avoid.

PP:Any other tips to help with pesky pregnancy issues woman may encounter?

LK:Elevating the legs for 10 minutes a day is helpful, especially after work or after a lot of standing. For severe leg swelling, compression tights help dramatically. **

PP:I’ve actually tested those out, myself. Preggers by Theraform is a great option to help with swelling and improve circulation. What else?
LK:Well, many of my clients also notice improvement when they soak in a warm (not hot) bath with Epsom salt for 10 minutes about twice a week. Magnesium from the Epsom salt absorbs through the skin to relax leg muscles and banish those excruciating calf cramps. **
PP:Please share your top exercises every pregnant woman should be doing to help stay fit and sexy throughout her pregnancy.
LK:First, Core Compressions, which is a foundational exercise of The Dia Method. Sit upright, either on the floor with your legs crossed or on a chair with your feet flat on the ground. Keep the spine lengthened and perfectly still. Rest both hands on your belly, upper and lower.
The Dia Method, by Leah Keller

Exhale as you tighten your abdominal muscles toward the spine. Repeatedly pulse the abdominal muscles tight to tighter, tight to tighter, exhaling with each slow and controlled squeeze. Close your eyes, and envision hugging your baby to the spine with each exhalation. This is a deep, subtle movement – yet powerfully effective. Start with 5 minutes a day. After one week, work up to 10 minutes a day (either 10 minutes all at once or 5 minutes twice a day). You are powerfully strengthening your core to keep you and your baby safe during pregnancy, labor with strength and bounce back fast. My second recommendation is Kegels. Work that pelvic floor! Lastly, do moderate cardio.**

PP: What are some great Kegel exercises to keep it right downstairs?

LK:During pregnancy, the muscle release is as important as the squeeze when it comes to Kegels. Always be sure that you’re completely opening and relaxing the pelvic floor between each muscle contraction. I recommend my clients perform 2-3 minutes a day of each kind of Kegel:

  • Elevator KegelsSlowly draw your entire pelvic floor up and in, holding it as high and tight as you can (feels like you’re trying not to pee your pants) for 10 seconds. Then slowly release and relax completely. Imagine yourself opening like a flower. Then repeat, squeezing your pelvic floor closed and up, up, up inside you. Hold for 10 seconds. Then soften, release, lower and open completely. Perform 10 elevator Kegels daily (about 2-3 minutes) to strengthen the endurance muscle fibers.
  • Sprint KegelsThese are power moves, working the fast-twitch muscle fibers in your pelvic floor. Squeeze as hard as you can, drawing quickly up and in. Then release completely. (Note: never bulge your pelvic floor forcefully downward.) Always draw ‘up & in’ when engaging the muscle and then simply allow it to relax and fall open between squeezes. Aim for 50 sprint Kegels (2-3 minutes) each day. **

PP:How can exercise aid in sleep disorders during pregnancy? And, what specifically would you recommend?

LK:No matter what you do, sleep can be frustratingly elusive during pregnancy, especially towards the end, as it’s virtually impossible to find a truly comfortable position and you’re getting up several times a night to empty your bladder. That said healthy activity during the day improves sleep quality. Exercise can help your body settle into biorhythms that help you fall asleep more easily and rest more deeply. I recommend working out early in the day, anytime up until about 4:00 pm. A very light workout can be fine later in the day, but avoid vigorous workouts that rev up your energy as bedtime draws near. Incorporating the following into your weekly routine: moderate cardiovascular exercise, resistance training that targets the postural imbalances of pregnancy, and light stretching. Perform core compressions and Kegels daily. **
** Consult your doctor before starting any exercises. The above is not meant to substitute instructions from your doctor/obg-yn.