A Feel Good Guide For Our PREGGO Ms Fits

Working out, staying healthy, feeling your best, are all things we love, so I was thrilled when holistic health coach, Pilates & Barre instructor and new mama-to-be, Meagan Fitzgerald, shared with us some great tips on navigating health and  fitness through her pregnancy:

As a fitness instructor, I am very active, and while I feel great now at 37 weeks pregnant, that wasn’t always the case! A major part of my job is to motivate students. Whether it’s a one-on-one client or a room full of 70 people it takes lots of energy! Any woman is sure to feel a change in energy while pregnant and whether you’re at a desk job or maybe a full-time mom of another little one, you are sure to feel the effects of hormonal changes, increased weight and trouble sleeping.

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I am far from an expert on the topic, but here are some tips that have helped me have a healthy and happy pregnancy:

1: Fuel your body with real food! In the beginning it can be especially difficult to find foods that sound appetizing, but if you can stay close to a real/whole food diet, I promise it will pay off. Are you craving sweets? Have oatmeal with fruit and cinnamon. Maybe toast with almond butter and jam would do the trick too. Need more savory options? Eggs with avocado toast would be filling and packed with nutrients. Can’t eat anything (that was me until 20 weeks)?!? Maybe some organic popcorn would help? Think whole foods…real foods, as much as possible.

2: Remember a craving is still a craving. This might sound harsh but as a Holistic Health Coach, I don’t believe pregnancy is a free pass to eat whatever you want. Just because you are craving a jelly donut (as I did for about 6 months straight!), doesn’t mean you should eat the donut. Unless you’re craving something that is going to fuel your body and the growth of your baby, try to skip it. Of course if you want to have dessert after dinner, go for it and enjoy it. A couple squares of dark chocolate will satisfy any sweet craving and it’s full of antioxidants so it’s good for you! Don’t deprive yourself, but also be mindful about what you’re putting into your body. Want pizza for dinner? Ok, have a slice or two with veggies and add a salad. Easy-peasy! Extra sugar, fatty fried foods and large heavy meals will still make you feel like crap just like they did pre-pregnancy.

3. Treat your self! If budget allows, invest in a good body scrub, moisturizer and maybe some cream for your belly to help your skin stay hydrated and prevent stretch marks. This is my all-time favorite body scrub from Beautycounter. Full disclosure: I am a consultant for Beautycounter, BUT I truly believe in this mission and love the product! A good body scrub will get rid of dead skin, making your “pregnancy glow” even brighter, plus increase circulation and help with swelling. Use a thick moisturize that smells good and feels great on your skin. We spend most of the day uncomfortable for a million different reasons, here’s one way to relax and do something good for yourself!

4: It’s safe to workout, in fact it’s GOOD for you! A number of women have told me they didn’t workout once while pregnant, and sometimes, used it as an excuse to skip it all together. If you are having a healthy pregnancy and feel up to it then please stay active! Not only will this help your body recover after baby, but it will help you feel more like yourself. No, you cannot do all the same exercises you did before, but safely raising your heart-rate, breaking a sweat and keeping toned arms, legs and booty is great for you mentally, and of course physically. Research shows that maintaining a healthy weight is helpful in preventing many complications, can aid in delivery and will help you bounce back once your little babe has arrived.

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5: SLEEP! This is the hardest one for me. I’ve always been a bad sleeper, but once I got pregnant, forget it. Between feeling nauseous, uncomfortable, anxious, the five trips to the bathroom per night, I found it impossible to fall and stay asleep. I told a good friend about this and she sent me my new best friend…the Snoogle! This weird worm shaped pillow helped me find a comfortable position, stay in it and actually fall asleep! Find a solution that works for you, even if it takes up half the bed, your partner will hopefully understand.

6. Massage, Acupuncture, Mani, Pedi! Again, if your budget allows, I highly recommend taking the time to get a prenatal massage to ease those aching muscles and acupuncture to help with everything from nausea, to sleep, to indigestion and energy. A mani/pedi is a great way to sneak in a quick, relaxing massage, plus painted nails look pretty, so it’s a win/win! Even better if you can stick to a non-toxic brand like Zoya or RGB.

Wishing you a healthy pregnancy and sending lots of love as you go through this amazing time in your life!

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Meagan teaches  Pilates, Barre and sculpt classes at Equinox, Yogaworks and Asana Charlestown.  She also has her 500 hr comprehensive Pilates apparatus certification where she teaches private clients. She works with private clients to achieve their goals through in home training and as a Holistic Health Coach. Meagan’s goal is to motivate her clients and empower them to feel their best through healthy eating and exercise.  You can find her  and her schedule at thrivewellpilates.com and on Instagram @meg_thrivebody”

What is the Ideal Exercise?

I get asked this question all of the time…

My answer is, “barre, obviously…” No, but in all seriousness, I do feel that the type of barre classes I teach do come pretty close to hitting the three key components of fitness that I believe are necessary to being fit and healthy. The goal is also to keep people healthy in order to complete every day activities: Cardiovascular health, resistance training and flexibility.
How you combine these three components may vary depending on your health and fitness goals, the time you have, and the intensity at which you workout. So after being asked this question “what is the best workout,” I decided to do more research to support my answer that barre comes pretty close.
We all are always looking to find the “perfect workout” that helps us reach our goals as fast as possible. It is important in this quest that we think about how we can be exercising as “smartly” and effectively as possible, as well as staying in that balance between over-exercising and what is good for our bodies. For example, for runners, a recent finding published in an article in the Journal of Physiology showed that just three 30 minute sessions of SIT (spring interval training) were as effective as five hours worth of steady-state exercise. That is a huge time saver! However, the study also shows that doing too much SIT and too intensely, becoming over demanding on your body, can actually slow your progress. So finding the balance is key, and determining that balance can take some time – which requires the ability to pay attention to your body. My gauge for myself, is post workout. I want to feel challenged, but still energized and not depleted, and eventually want to see results (sooner rather than later). If you have a workout that you love, but seems to wipe you out, look for ways to cut down the intensity and duration, or reduce the number of times per week you do it.

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Now getting back to the barre and why it’s a great full body workout that checks off my three boxes: Cardiovascular workouts, resistance and strength training, as well as flexibility. It is the combination of these focus areas that really make barre so effective and why so many of my students have seen such big transformations.
Cardio: Cardiovascular fitness is really defined as any activity that increases your heart rate. Do you get in a cardio workout in class? Yes! Think thigh work. Bring your mind to the end of the third set and you will know, oh yes, my heart has been pumping. The intensity at which you complete this is very individual (another thing to love about barre). If you are pushing yourself harder each class, you are going to feel that increase in heart rate. We are also bringing our heart rate up during our warms-ups, planks, push-ups, seat work and back dancing. And, as a Spokersperson for the American Stroke Association, I am also a huge fan of getting the heart pumping because it helps keep your heart healthy and reduces your risk of developing certain types of cardiovascular diseases.
Strength and Resistance Training: Big yes! If you have taken my class you know it doesn’t take a lot of heavy weights to really work and sculpt your arm muscles. Think of how heavy 2 or 3 pound weights start to feel after 3-5 minutes of targeted arm work. Or our tricep-dips that never seem to get easier and effectively tone the back of the arms. I use resistance bands and ones own body weight throughout my classes to add in strength and resistance training. The barre has long been known for improving muscle tone and increasing lean muscles. Lean muscle helps keep our metabolism going strong. Individuals with more lean muscles have a higher resting metabolic rate, meaning you burn more calories. And that’s always a great thing!
Flexibility: There is a lot of stretching in my barre classes. Stretching not only feels good but also is important for reducing risk of injury, for joint health and to maintain the ability to move through your joints’ full range of motion. According to the American College of Sports Medicine, flexibility is critical for improving overall performance and reducing your risk of injury while doing any activity, from strenuous (lifting a heavy box), to the mundane (bending down to tie your shoe). I also think stretching and maintaining your body’s flexibility keeps you feeling and looking youthful.
According to the American Council on Exercise, staying limber alleviates stress, improves your coordination and balance, and can protect you from postural issues, particularly if you are already only doing cardio and resistance training exercises. There are so many important reasons and benefits to stretching. And it is important to point out because stretching often gets less attention when we are focusing on our fitness goals. If you have been taking my class you know that I use the method of strengthen, then stretch. We work a muscle group and then we stretch it right after. And for all the above reasons, I often advise my students to focus as much attention on the stretching portion of class as the strengthening.

There is one more important factor not listed above, and it’s the “happiness” factor. One thing that seems to top all the reasons one chooses one particular workout over another is because you love it and it makes you feel great. The reasons a person loves one workout over another can vary greatly and maybe hits other “check boxes” that are important for them personally: being in a group, learning a new skill, rehabilitating a particular injury, etc. So, if it’s not barre you love, no worries. You can find many ways to incorporate the cardiovascular training, strength training and stretching into your fitness routine. And if you do love my “ideal workout,” then great, I will see you at the barre!

Dare to Bare

This post has been on tap for the past couple of weeks… just waiting for that perfect moment to bare itself. And now that we’ve turned the clocks ahead and it’s officially spring (in my opinion), I wanted to share with you one of my all-time favorite trends.

Remember watching Dirty Dancing? I bet. Remember the dancing, the romantic story line, that jump in the water? The first time I ever saw Dirty Dancing I remember how much I became obsessed with Penny Johnson’s off the shoulder top. I’m serious. It has always been my most favorite look. There’s something so sexy about showing off those shoulders, even if everything else is covered up.

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I mean, how amazing is this top?? This trend bared its loveliness a couple of seasons ago, came out to play last summer; but this year, boy is its game strong and I couldn’t be happier!

Last summer in my off the shoulder top

Last summer in my off the shoulder top

 

To get your OTS game on point, here are a few of this season’s cutest looks. From cropped to flowy, dresses to beach cover ups, there is no wrong way to show off those shoulders!

Happy Shopping! Happy Spring!

A Peek Into Spring Fashion

With spring right around the corner, we cannot wait to see what has finally sprung. And to get a preview of what our favorite designer, Daniela Corte has been busy creating all winter, we ran up to her studio last night for her Spring/Summer launch party. And, boom! Color, color, everywhere!

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With the help of Daniela’s good friend and interior designer Elizabeth Georgantas, they turned Daniela’s studio into a Palm Beach paradise. A delicious vignette of pinks and greens, palm leaves, the delightfully set gold bar cart with matching confections, it was perfection!

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Interior Designer, Elizabeth Georgantas; Designer, Daniela Corte; and Revolution Juice founder, Heather Costa, all in Corte’s designs

We were met by the cutest three blondes in town boppin’ around the studio being dressed by Daniela and her studio manager and right hand woman, Kerri Walsh. TV personality and Champy founder, Jenny Johnson and her Pantene perfect hair (she curled it herself) were bouncing around, trying on one boldly colorful dress after the other. And cute-as-could-be style blogger twin sisters, Ashley and Katie Hess both hands full with Daniela’s creations.

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The Party of Two bloggers, Katie and Ashley Hess with Champy founder Jenny Johnson

 

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How gorgeous is this dress?

We had only arrived in the evening, but the studio was a buzz all day long with style seekers who couldn’t wait to see the new collection. To get everyone’s juices flowing (pun intended), Daniela’s good friend and founder of Revolution Juice, Heather Costa brought her organic yumminess for all to enjoy.

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Daniela Corte with Jenny Johnson in all Daniela Corte designs

And in the evening hours, our favorite bubbly was there to greet us. Pop open that Champy and cheers to Daniela’s newest collection that you guys have to go see for yourselves!

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Beautiful Kerri Walsh

Happy spring Ms Fits!

 

Daniela Corte @danielacorte

PEG Property & Designs @pegpropertiesdesign

Revolution Juice @revolutionjuice

Champy @drinkchampy

The Party of Two @thepartyoftwo

All photos from event by the talented Lisa Richov @lisarichov 

 

Check out our favorite looks from the S/S 2016 Look Book….

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