Simple Calorie Calculator

Figuring out how many calories you should be consuming for fat loss can be confusing and overwhelming! There are a lot of crazy calculations out there.

I want to make it simple for you because it does NOT need to be complicated.

I’m going to give you 3 SIMPLE options.

I do have to admit, the title of this article is a tad deceiving because I don’t have a fancy app in this article to do all the work for you. ¨̮

You will have to do some calculations and math.

It really isn’t too bad.

Before we get into it, I want you to keep in mind that these calculations are not for FAST or rapid fat loss.

I rarely prescribe rapid fat loss for my clients.

It isn’t sustainable and often times can create a poor relationship with food.

These options will be more moderate and sustainable for you.

A sustainable calorie deficit will create sustainable fat loss.

Kick those crash diets to the curb!

With these calculations, you should lose about 0.5lb-1lb per week.

Keep this in mind if you get frustrated that you aren’t losing weight more quickly.

Okay, let’s get started!

What’s your ideal body weight?

Before we get into the calculations, you need to figure out your ideal body weight.

This should be a weight that you feel most comfortable at. If you’re currently 160 lbs and have an ideal body weight of 120 lbs and you’ve never been 120 lbs (since junior high), I’d recommend you rethink it.

Choose a realistic number where you truly feel you will be your best self at.

Also, keep in mind that this number can change over time. You may decide you’re more comfortable at a higher weigh. This is just a baseline to get you started.


Take your goal body weight and multiply it by 12.


Nancy currently weighs 150 lbs but wants to weight 135 lbs.

135 x 12 = 1620 calories

That’s it. Pretty simple!


Track your current diet for the next 2 weeks. Be accurate and be meticulous.

Once you have 14 days worth of calories, add them up and divide by 14.

Once you have that number, subtract 500.


Week 1 Average – 2400

Week 2 Average – 2200

14 Day Average = 2300

2300 – 500 = 1800

This method is probably the most accurate since you’re actually taking an average of what you’re currently eating.


  1. Take your current body weight and multiply by 15
  2. Subtract that by 500-700


Nancy currently weighs 160 lbs.

(160 x 15) – 500 = 1900

This method can be a bit more conservative, but it’s is a good starting point without cutting calories too low, too quickly.

If you find that you aren’t losing at least 0.5 lbs per week, you can try increasing activity and reducing the calories by 100.

What’s next?

Now that you have your daily calorie goal, what should you do now?

In order to see the most progress, aim for 80-90% consistency with your daily calorie goal.

You do not need to be 100% perfect! I don’t want you to be. You need to have a day or 2 to have a mental and physical reset from cutting.

What does 80-90% consistency look like?

In a month of 30 days, this means you are on track with your daily calorie goals 24-27 of those days. That means you have 3-6 days where you are not hitting your calorie goal perfectly.

In terms of timeline, you can choose. I would give it at least 4 weeks before you try something different.

You can go 4 weeks and then back to maintenance for 2 and then back to cutting for 4. Or you could stay in a cut for a little longer and then back to maintenance.

Everyone is different and will have different needs based on your body, goals, lifestyle, fitness, etc.

I want you to be patient and remember that sustainable fat loss takes time.

If you feel like you aren’t getting results, don’t give up and don’t change up your calories before 4 weeks of 80-90% consistency. You need to stick with it for at least 4 weeks before changing your plan.

Another thing to keep in mind is that the scale is fickle! Your weight will fluctuate day to day. There are many reasons for this with the main culprit being water retention. I have a lot of posts about this on my instagram and you can find them in my ‘Mini Cut’ highlights bubble.

You got this! Don’t give up. Let me know if you need any help! Seriously, email me.

And as always, if you want more individualised help, check out my 1:1 coaching page for more info.


P.S. Join my email list for free workouts. I will not spam you. ¨̮

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Fitness, Nutrition, Uncategorized

8 Tips for Navigating Your Nutrition and Fitness Through the Holidays

The holiday season can be a stressful time if you are trying to stick to a nutrition and fitness plan.

There are holiday parties, family dinners, travel, sooo many holiday goodies lying around the house, leftovers, late nights, drinking, etc.

You might be stressing out about “losing your progress” or gaining weight during this time.

It’s true that people gain weight during the holidays, however, on average it’s only about 1 pound according to a study from the New England Journal of Medicine.

One pound isn’t much! But what happens is most people feel like they “fell off the wagon” or “got too far off track” and they give up on their goals, habits, and plan.

They discontinue any good habits they previously created, sometimes waiting for the new year to get back on track.

In this article, I’m going to give you tips that will help you enjoy your holidays GUILT FREE while maintaining a good nutrition and fitness plan.

Tip #1: Eat Slowly and Mindfully

Eating slowly and mindfully can help you avoid overeating.

You can stop eating when you’re “satisfied” rather than at “stuffed and uncomfortable”. 🥴

There are 2 main reasons this works:

  1. It takes about 15-20 minutes for your digestive system to tell your brain that you’re satisfied. Slowing down a meal and chewing your food longer will allow this to happen before you overeat. Also, as a bonus, chewing your food longer will break it down more which will help your stomach digest it better.
  2. When you slow down and become more mindful of what you’re eating–enjoying the textures, the tastes, the smells, you will savor your food and feel content with much less. So, you’ll eat less, but you’ll really enjoy what you’ve eaten.

Tip #2: Don’t Skip Meals ❌

In preparation for Thanksgiving dinner or any other event where you know you’ll be eating more, it could be tempting and make sense to you to skip breakfast or lunch to save calories.

However, skipping meals almost always leads to overeating because by the time you get to the dinner or event, you’re ravenous.

Restricting food can also lead to an unhealthy relationship with food, so I’d avoid it.

It would be better to stick to your normal eating habits leading up to any event.

When you get to your dinner or event, enjoy the food, but eat until you’re satisfied, not stuffed.

Which leads me to me next tip.

Tip #3: Eat the Foods You Love, Skip the Foods You Don’t

It’s the holidays and you should enjoy this time and have the foods you love and look forward to all year.

However, a lot of times you go to a dinner or party and fill your plate with everything that’s offered, even though you don’t necessarily love or even like some of the food.

If you don’t like the marshmallow sweet potatoes, green pea casserole, or jello salad, skip it!

There’s no point in putting it on your plate if you don’t love it.

Instead, think about what you’re putting on your plate and only put the foods you truly enjoy on it.

I honestly don’t enjoy pie. I’d rather have something else.

However, in years past, I’ve found myself eating it just out of tradition or because everyone else is having it.

Recently, I’ve skipped it and replaced it with something I truly enjoy instead.

Take ownership of your decisions and be intentional with them.

Don’t eat out of habit. Choose to eat the foods you love and own up to those decisions.

You have a lot of power! Don’t feel like you are powerless in your choices.

Tip #4: Prioritize Protein

Whether your goal is fat loss, maintenance, or bulking, eating enough protein is important.

We know if helps build and maintain muscle, but it also has a higher thermogenic rate so it takes longer for your body to break down and digest.

This means that you’ll stay full for longer periods of time and you’ll feel more satisfied.

If you have a party, event, or dinner, try to fill your breakfast and lunch with protein.

This will help you avoid overeating.

You won’t show up to these events starving, you won’t snack mindlessly all day on all the goodies lying around the house, and you’ll just feel more satisfied at the end of the day.

Tip #5: Lose the ‘All or Nothing Mindset’

If you only have 20 minutes to workout or you don’t have access to a gym, improvise!

I used to only workout if I had a solid 60 minutes to do it. It’s silly when you think about it.

Wouldn’t 20 minutes of movement be better than nothing?

The same goes for nutrition. If you eat way over your calories, miss your protein goal, eat a bunch of goodies, there’s no need to throw in the towel and say, screw it, I’m just going to keep going down this road.

You can ALWAYS just get right back on track after any meal, any day, or any week.

You don’t need to skip meals or workout double the time to “make up” for anything.

Do what you can and don’t stress if it isn’t perfect.

Tip #6 Plan Ahead

A lot of the holiday parties or events are in the evening or at night. If you normally workout in the evenings, look into switching it the morning.

You might have less equipment available because you’re traveling. Adjust and do bodyweight only workouts or just go for walks.

Another idea is if you’ve been going hard in your strength sessions, play a deload or rest week while during the time you are traveling.

Your workouts might look a little different, whether they are shorter, at home, bodyweight only, walks, or whatever, and that’s okay.

Be flexible and know that you can get back to “normal” soon.

Tip #7: Choose Realistic Goals

You can lose fat during the holidays, but it might be more difficult and cause you more stress in an already stressful time.

Being in maintenance might be more realistic goal and be a lot less stressful.

Don’t be that person who’s bringing a food scale to Thanksgiving dinner. 😉

If you’re traveling and have super rigid workout goals for the week, look at adjusting them to something more realistic.

Maybe you’re staying up later than normal, waking up early, don’t have gym equipment, have a packed schedule full of family fun. 😁

Whatever the circumstance, be realistic and set your expectations ahead of time.

Tip #8: ENJOY the Holidays, Nothing You Do or Don’t Do Will Ruin Your Progress!!!

Okay, our last tip!

The holidays are such a fun time to be with family and friends and to enjoy the food, treats and festivities.

Don’t give up or quit because you had a gigantic thanksgiving meal, indulged in some holiday treats, or skipped your workouts for the week.

Don’t feel guilty for indulging in holiday treats, meals, and drinks.

You should enjoy these things.

They will not ruin your progress.

There are 365 days in a year. If you have 3 meals a day, you’re eating 1,095 meals a year.

Let’s say you have 10 holiday meals/parties during this time.

That’s less than 1% of the meals for the whole year.

10 meals out of the year will not ruin your progress.

Keep going. Don’t give up. Get back on track as soon as you can.

Also, if you need some ideas for workouts on the goal, sign up for my email list! You will receive a workout guide with over 60 bodyweight and dumbbell workouts that you can scale for time.

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I hope you enjoy this time and know that you’re doing better than you think you are!


Deep Core, Exercise, Fitness, Motivation, Uncategorized

Safely Navigating Exercise During Pregnancy

The first time I got pregnant I had NO idea if I was doing the right things during my workouts. I didn’t know exercises I should avoid, what exercises I should be doing, what red flags to look out for (besides passing out), and how I could use strength training to help me when I give birth and when I’m recovering during the postpartum period.

I had a pretty smooth pregnancy but was not prepared for the beating my pelvic floor would take during birth. 🥴

I wish I had known more. I wish I had known what I could do to be better prepared.

When I got pregnant with baby #2, I decided I needed to really learn and educate myself because I really wanted a smoother postpartum.

I wanted my recovery to be better and I wanted my workouts to be more purposeful.

Googling it, I found so much conflicting information. There was even people saying it’s bad to exercise during pregnancy! 🫠

It was frustrating and that frustration led me on the path that I’m on now. I sought out education and now I want to help other women because while there is more useful information out there, there are so many women who don’t know what to do.

Spoiler alert, exercise is NOT something to be avoided during pregnancy. In fact, it can be a huge benefit to you and your baby.


I’m not a doctor, pelvic health physio, physical therapist, and I’m not your doctor. I’m a certified personal trainer and am certified in prenatal/postnatal fitness and nutrition.

If you have health issues or pregnancy complications where your doctor has advised you to not exercise during your pregnancy, don’t do it! In this article, you’ll learn what “red flags” to look for and be aware of in this article if you do have any concerns.

Please make sure to get clearance from you doctor before starting a new exercise program. 😉

Your #1 priority when approaching exercise during pregnancy is to make sure you and your baby are safe.

You need to be aware of signs, symptoms, red flags, and contraindications for exercise.

There are certain signs or symptoms to look out for that means you need to stop exercising. Think of it as a red light.

There are certain signs or symptoms too that mean you should exercise with caution. This is like a yellow light.

Lastly, there are signs and boxes to tick that mean you’re good to go. This is a green light.

We’ll discuss each of those lights and more:

  • Green Light: When Are You Okay to Exercise During Pregnancy?
  • Yellow Light: When Should You Proceed with Caution with Exercise During Pregnancy?
  • Red Light: When Should You Stop Exercising During Pregnancy?
  • 3 Activities to Avoid During Pregnancy
  • Use the Perceived Effort Scale

Green Light: When Are You Okay to Exercise During Pregnancy?

There are the certain signs and boxes to tick that means you have the green light to exercise:

  • You’ve met with your doctor and they’ve cleared you for exercise
  • You aren’t showing signs or symptoms of:
    • pain
    • pelvic floor dysfunction
    • nausea (excessive)
    • vaginal bleeding
    • dizziness
    • any other red flags that are concerning to you
  • You’re exercise feels good and is nourishing your body
  • Avoid exercises that are contraindicated in pregnancy (you’ll learn more about his in the section on activities to avoid during pregnancy)

Yellow Light: When Should You Proceed with Caution with Exercise During Pregnancy?

This is our yellow light. When I say proceed with caution, I mean that you need to keep a close eye on the symptoms and modify the exercises as needed.

Sometimes it means to skip the exercise or stop all together.

I know this is kind of a gray area, so it’s important that you tune into your body. Try to be more aware.

Listen to your gut. It’s always better to err on the side of caution if you have concerns.

5 Indications to Proceed with Caution:

1. Something Seems “Off” During Your Workout

Proceed with caution, pause, or modify the exercise if you feel any of the following during your workout:

  • Pain in the front or back of the pelvis. This could feel achy, sharp, radiating, or like a burning sensation.
  • Aches and pains that feel worse than the normal mild pain that comes with exertion. (ex. wrist, knee, shoulder pain)
  • Feeling very out of breath during exercise.
  • Extremely fatigued.

You might be thinking, Christy, I feel tired, out of breath, and achy all the time during pregnancy. How do I know what’s normal?

You know your body best. Listen to it. Before you start your workout, do can do a small meditation to help you be aware of how your body is feeling. Where is there tightness, aches, or pain, etc.

I know this can sound hippie dippie to some, but I promise you that it works.

Keep a close eye on any of these symptoms and make sure they don’t escalate to something more serious.

Pause, take a break, modify the exercise, or skip it if you’re unsure.

2. You’ve Been Diagnosed with Pelvic Organ Prolapse

Pelvic organ prolapse is a condition where the pelvic organs descent toward or through the opening in the vagina. This needs to be diagnosed by your doctor.

Her are the symptoms to watch out for:

  • Incontinence (lack of control over urination or defecation)
  • Low back or pelvic pain
  • Feeling of excessive downward pressure in your pelvic floor, heaviness in perineum (the area between the anus and vulva), or feeling like something is bulging, dragging, or falling out.

If you notice any of these symptoms, try modifying the load (decrease the weights), intensity or range of motion. If that doesn’t help and symptoms get worse, stop the exercise and talk to your doctor.

3. You Experience Urinary Incontinence

This one is SO common during pregnancy and postpartum, but it is NOT normal.

Urinary incontinence is the involuntary leaking of urine. It can be a sign of pelvic floor dysfunction or a sign that you’re not handling intra-abdominal pressure well.

Leaking normally happens during moments of strain or excessive pressure like when you’re laughing, sneezing, coughing, or performing a strenuous activity.

If this is happening to you, I recommend you see a pelvic health physiotherapist. You can make modifications to your workouts or wear a pad and proceed as normal, it’s up to you.

You do not and should not have to live with incontinence.

4. You Observe Abdominal Wall “Doming” or Bulging, or Have Concerns About Diastasis Recti

Diastasis Recti (DR) is the widening of the linea alba (in purple below). It’s the connective tissue that links the 2 sides of the rectus abdominis muscles (the “6-pack abs”).

DR is normal and expected during pregnancy. As your baby grows, your belly expands to make room.

Everyone will have some degree of DR by the end of pregnancy. It’s unavoidable.

For some, it will resolve itself on its own during postpartum recovery. Some cases might be more severe which will make postpartum recovery a little bit more difficult.

Be cautious with exercises that:

  • Cause doming or bulging of the linea alba
  • Feel like too much for your core to handle

If you have problems with DR, chat with your doctor or a pelvic health physiotherapist about it. Also, as a side note, it’s never too late to fix your DR. Even if you had a baby 20 years ago. 😉

5. You’ve Been Diagnosed with a Relative Contraindication to Exercise

What’s a contraindication (KON-truh-IN-dih-KAY-shun)?

Anything (including a symptom or medical condition) that is a reason for a person to not do something because it may be harmful (like exercise during pregnancy).

Relative contraindications to strength training during pregnancy include:

  • Mild preeclampsia
  • Mild respiratory disorders
  • Mild congenital or acquired heart disease
  • Well controlled type 1 diabetes
  • Placenta previa after 28 weeks
  • Untreated thyroid disease
  • Severe eating disorder
  • Moderate to heavy smoking
  • Multiple nutrient deficiencies and/or chronic undernutrition

If any of the above relates to you, it doesn’t automatically mean you shouldn’t exercise, it means that you should discuss strength training with your doctor to make sure it’s safe for you.

If you’re given the greenlight, you should still be cautious and listen to your body. You might need to make modifications to exercises.

Here are some common symptoms and what you can do to modify.

8 Ways to Modify an Exercise to Reduce Symptoms

If you’re doing an exercise and start experiencing symptoms like incontinence, heaviness or dragging in the perineum, or doming/bulging of the linea alba, here are 8 ways you can modify the exercise that should reduce or eliminate any symptoms or discomfort:

  1. Decrease the weight. You might be able to manage any intra-abdominal pressure better by using a lighter load.
  2. Experiment with different sets and rep ranges. Reducing the number of sets or reps could help reduce any symptoms because you’re less fatigued.
  3. Decrease the range of motion. Working in a smaller range of motion might help you have more control over the movement and your body.
  4. Change the position of the load. For example, if you’re holding a kettlebell, try holding it toward the floor, closer to your chest, on one side, or holding 2 smaller kettlebells. Do whatever feels the most comfortable.
  5. Try a different breathing strategy. Try exhaling on exertion, inhaling on exertion, or try to breath normally without thinking about it too much and see what happens. Experiment to find what works best.
  6. Try different exercise techniques. Try a narrower or wider squat stance. Turn your toes out or more forward. A more upright or forward leaning torso and more or less ankle dorsiflexion.
  7. Do what you can to feel safer. For example, squat to a box to remove a balance issue. Holding onto something when you are doing a lunge, etc.
  8. Make sure you aren’t creating excessive intra-abdominal pressure. Avoid “gripping” your upper abs, or bearing down on your pelvic floor during a movement. You should be able to breathe normally and have a conversation while strength training. If you feel pressure on your pelvic floor, think about “drawing up” through the pelvic floor may help redistribute some of the pressure.

Red Light: When Should You Stop Exercising During Pregnancy?

These red light signs to stop exercising might be things you notice or ones that your doctor will need or evaluate.

Stop if You Experience Any of the Following Red Light Symptoms

  • Shortness of breath before starting exercise
  • Vaginal bleeding
  • Fluid gushing or leaking from the vagina
  • Feeling dizzy or faint
  • Chest pain
  • Headache
  • Calf pain or swelling
  • Muscle weakness
  • Regular, painful contractions of the uterus
  • Significant pain of any kind

Stop if Your Doctor Has Diagnosed You with One or More Absolute Contraindications

There are also absolute contraindications to exercise during pregnancy. These would need to be diagnosed by your doctor, and they mean strength training is definitely not safe.

These include:

  • Active preterm labor
  • Severe respiratory diseases (e.g., chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, restrictive lung disease, and cystic fibrosis)
  • Uncontrolled or severe arrhythmia
  • Severe acquired or congenital heart disease with exercise intolerance
  • Placental abruption
  • Vasa previa
  • Cervical insufficiency (also known as “incompetent cervix”)
  • Uncontrolled Type 1 diabetes
  • Intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR)
  • Severe pre-eclampsia

It’s so important to get checked by your doctor before you start an exercise program to be sure you don’t have any of these absolute contraindications. Some of these might develop over pregnancy so be sure to attend all of your prenatal appointments and discuss any concerns you have. If something doesn’t feel right, talk to you doctor!!

3 Activities to Avoid During Pregnancy:

Okay, now that we’ve gone through the green light, yellow light, and red light symptoms, let’s get into some specific activities you should avoid during pregnancy.

This sounds like such a downer, but there are literally hundreds of exercises that are okay to do during pregnancy. You still have so many options.

There are some exercises or activities that you should modify or avoid completely to keep yourself and your baby safe.

1. Avoid High-Risk Activities During Pregnancy

These activities might put yourself or baby at high-risk:

  • Contact sports that might put the baby at risk of trauma (e.g., hockey, boxing, volleyball, soccer, football, basketball, hockey)
  • Activities with a high risk of falling (e.g., horseback riding, skiing / snowboarding, water skiing, skating, surfing, off-road cycling, gymnastics)
  • Olympic lifts (the snatch and the clean and jerk, in which the bar could collide with the belly)
  • Exercising at altitudes greater than 8200 feet (2500 meters) if you don’t live at that altitude
  • Activities done in high temperatures (hot yoga)
  • Scuba diving

2. Modify or Avoid Exercises that Cause or Make Symptoms Worse

These activities aren’t completely off-limits, but they come with a higher risk than reward:

  • Plyometrics / Heavy Lifting: Exercises that cause you to leak urine or give the sensation of heaviness or dragging in your perineum. This varies from woman to woman, but some find that jumping exercises, running, heavy lifting can cause these symptoms. However, some women don’t have any problem with these activities. So again, listen to your body.
  • Exercises that cause or aggravate existing pain, aside from mild musculoskeletal pain that may be expected from certain exercises.
  • Exercises that cause your abdominal wall to bulge, especially along the midline. There’s a wide range of exercises that may cause bulging, and what causes it for one woman may not be an issue at all or another. Planks and push-ups are common culprits.
  • Prolonged exercise on your back in the later stages of pregnancy, especially if it makes you feel lightheaded, nauseous, or tingly.
  • Exercises performed at such a high intensity so you aren’t able speak comfortably.

The good news is there are lots of tweaks or modifications you can make that can help alleviate symptoms like these like we learned in the section above (8 Ways to Modify an Exercise to Reduce Symptoms).

However, if a modification doesn’t help reduce your symptoms, it’s probably safest to switch to a different movement. Like I said, there are lots of other options that are effective and will keep you and your baby safe.

3. Avoid Valsalva Maneuver / Unintentional Breather Patterns

The valsalva maneuver is a breathing technique used when lifting heavy weights. Here’s how it works: the lifter closes their airway while attempting to forcefully exhale. Prior to closing their airway, most lifters also take a large breath of air. The reason heavy lifters do this is so they can increase their intra-abdominal pressure, which increases the rigidity of their core which helps support the spine and improve their power and stability.

Pregnant women should also avoid unintentional breathing pattern during straining or lifting.

There is a lot of conflicting advice on whether it’s okay to use during pregnancy, but based on the research I’ve read and heard from professionals in the field, I recommend avoiding it.

We don’t have the evidence that it’s safe during pregnancy and we also know that it can put extra pressure on the abdominal wall and pelvic floor muscles which are 2 areas that are already strained and weakened by pregnancy.

Plus, the technique is generally used when a person is lifting close to their one-rep max, which isn’t recommended during pregnancy anyway.

Trust me, a weak pelvic floor is not fun! Peeing your pants everytime you sneeze or laugh too hard is not fun. 😬

The Perceived Effort Scale

I’m going to end with this. Throughout the article I’ve talked about listening to your body and really tuning into it. The perceived effort scale will help you do this.

What is it?

I’ve been using the perceived effort scale with my clients ever since I first became a personal trainer. It’s a method to measure how hard you’re working based on how you feel. Kind of like when you are in labor or at the doctor for pain and they ask you on a scale of 1 to 10 where your pain is at.

Why use it?

It’s important to be cognizant of your intensity when working out during pregnancy. That includes the intensity of load (how heavy you’re lifting) and the intensity of effort (how hard you’re working).

There are risks of overdoing it during pregnancy. Putting too much pressure on your core or pelvic floor, getting your heart rate up too high, etc.

Using this scale is a great way to easily make sure you’re staying within a safe range.

How does it work?

You can use this during strength and cardio sessions. The scale ranges from 1 to 10.

The highest your effort should ever be during pregnancy is 8.5 out of 10.

Most HIIT classes / workouts are designed to take your intensity to a 9 or higher. Be aware of this and be sure to modify or skip these workouts/exercises. When the instructor is yelling at you to go harder or longer, listen to your body, not them. 😉

Okay, here is the scale!

I know this was a lot of information on exercise during pregnancy! Don’t be overwhelmed with knowing every little thing.

The biggest takeaway is to be aware of red flags and use the perceived effort scale to help you stay safe.

ANDDDD, if you’ve made it to the end of this article, I’d like to reward you with some free workouts for each trimester. ☺️

I also have a free workout guide for pregnancy and postpartum and beyond that is made for the busy mom. It includes over 60 workouts that are 10-30 minutes and can be done at home.

Sign up up here to receive that. ⬇️ ⬇️ ⬇️

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Here are your workouts!! ⬇️ ⬇️ ⬇️

1st Trimester

30 Minute Full Body Bodyweight Workout

Complete 4 to 5 rounds of the following full-body circuit. Rest only as needed between exercises and 30 to 90 seconds between circuits.

1. Perform 8–10 push-ups (make them incline push-ups if needed).

2. Perform 10–12 bodyweight squats.

3. Perform a side plank for three sets of 10 seconds each side (reset every 10 sec).

4. Perform 10 bodyweight lateral step-ups each side.

5. Perform 8 dead bugs each side.

30 Minute Full Body Bodyweight Workout

Complete 4 to 5 rounds of the following full-body circuit. Rest only as needed between exercises and 30 to 90 seconds between circuits.

1. Perform 10 dumbbell one-arm overhead presses each side.

2. Perform 10 dumbbell split squats each side.

3. Perform 10 one-arm dumbbell rows each side.

4. Perform a suitcase carry with your dumbbells for 15-30 seconds each side.

2nd Trimester

30 Minute Full Body Bodyweight Workout

Complete 4 to 5 rounds of the following full-body circuit. Rest as needed between exercises and 60 to 90 seconds between circuits.

1. Perform 10 bodyweight split squats each side.

2. Perform a side plank for three sets of 10 seconds each side (reset every 10 sec).

3. Perform 15 bodyweight hip thrusts.

4. Perform 10 incline slow mountain climbers each side.

5. Perform 15 side-lying knee abductions on each side.

30 Minute Full Body Dumbbell Workout

Complete 4 to 5 rounds of the following full-body circuit. Rest as needed between exercises and 60 to 90 seconds between circuits.

1. Perform 8–10 dumbbell Romanian deadlifts.

2. Perform 8–10 dumbbell bent-over rows.

3. Perform 8–10 dumbbell lateral step-ups each side.

4. Perform 8–10 dumbbell biceps curls to overhead presses.

5. Perform a one-armed suitcase carry with your dumbbells for 15 steps each side.

3rd Trimester

30 Minute Full Body Bodyweight Workout

Complete 4 to 5 rounds of the following full-body circuit. Rest as needed between exercises and 60 to 90 seconds between circuits.

1. Perform 10–12 bodyweight squats.

2. Perform 6–8 incline slow mountain climbers each side.

3. Perform 10 side-lying knee abductions each side.

4. Perform 10–12 bodyweight hip thrusts.

5. Perform a side plank for three sets of 10 seconds each side (reset every 10 sec, elevate hands or elbow if necessary).

30 Minute Full Body Dumbbell Workout

Complete 3 to 5 rounds of the following full-body circuit. Rest as needed between exercises and 60 to 90 seconds between circuits.

1. Perform 6–8 offset goblet squats each side.

2. Perform 12 dumbbell biceps curls.

3. Perform 8–10 seated overhead presses.

4. Perform 10–12 bodyweight hip thrusts.

5. Perform 12 triceps kickbacks.


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fat loss, Fitness, Goals, Habits, Motivation, Nutrition, Uncategorized

My 30 Day Mini Cut

On October 3rd, 2022 I began a 30 day mini cut. I’ve been documenting it on my instagram and saving in my highlights bubble. I want to share with you what I did/have been doing during this mini cut. So, let’s get into it! We’re going to go over:

  • What is a Mini Cut?
  • Why am I doing a Mini Cut?
  • What am I doing and not doing during the mini cut?
  • What am I doing daily during the mini cut?
  • 4 Tips to Stay Full While in a Calorie Deficit
  • Why does your weight fluctuate during a mini cut?

What is a mini cut?

First, what is a mini cut? A mini cut is a short term fat loss phase when you want to drop a little bit of body fat. It usually last 4-8 weeks, but can go up to 12 weeks if you want. It isn’t a super aggressive “rapid fat loss” strategy. It’s a short term fat loss phase focusing on a calorie deficit while maintaining lean muscle mass.

Why am I doing a mini cut?

There are a few different reasons why I’m doing this mini cut.

  1. Honestly, I’m a little bored and want to shake things up with my fitness and see what I can accomplish! Maybe it’s the inner marathoner and triathlete in me and since I’m not training for either of those, I want to do another challenge! I’ve been working on building muscle these past several months and now I want to lean out a bit so I can show off those muscles. 💪🏼
  2. I’ve noticed my pants are fitting a *little* tighter and I don’t want to buy new pants, I’m on a budget here! haha ¨̮  However, I’m ALL about just buying new pants that are comfortable for you now. However, I know that I haven’t been super disciplined with my nutrition and I’ve been feeling a little crappy–bloated, tired, etc. so doing this mini cut will and has improved the bloating, etc.
  3. I know doing this cut will allow me to focus on getting more nutritious food into my diet 🍎🥑🥦🍉🥗. You just FEEL better when you’re eating better. Plus, we’re entering winter and with 3 little boys, we get all the germs in our household! I want to be as healthy as I can be in hopes that I won’t get every sickness they bring home.
  4. I want to improve my relationship with food. It’s empowering to understand food in a deeper way–the calories, macronutrients, how different foods make me feel–am I tired or more energized, sleeping better, etc. Also understanding that I don’t have to feel guilty about eating anything. I am NOT cutting any foods out of my diet. I am doing this mini cut while enjoying foods I love, otherwise it wouldn’t be sustainable long term, which is what I want.

What am I doing and not doing during the mini cut?

First, here is what I’m NOT doing and what I AM doing:

  • I’m not cutting any foods out. We have pizza every Friday night and I’ll continue that.
  • I am going to enjoy the foods I love, in moderation.
  • I’m not increasing my cardio to burn more calories. I don’t want to exercise to burn calories. That mindset can create a negative association with exercise. Exercise isn’t a punishment!
  • I am doing cardio because I love it, it improves my health, especially my mental health.
  • I am focusing on increasing my NEAT – “Non-exercise activity thermogenesis (NEAT) is the energy expended for everything we do that is not sleeping, eating or sports-like exercise. It ranges from the energy expended walking to work, typing, performing yard work, undertaking agricultural tasks and fidgeting.” (Levine JA. Non-exercise activity thermogenesis (NEAT). Best Pract Res Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2002 Dec;16(4):679-702. doi: 10.1053/beem.2002.0227. PMID: 12468415)
  • I’m not fasting.
  • I am having 3 meals a day with 2-3 snacks throughout.
  • I’m not going to binge on the weekend or during my refeed days.
  • I am going to be consistent with keeping my calorie/macro goals and implementing planned “refeed days”. Refeed days are intentional days where I’m going to eat at maintenance or slightly above. It isn’t a binge day, but a day where I don’t need to worry about tracking, etc. It’s great to alleviate any mental or physical pressure which can allow you to reset and feel more energized going back into your cut. Refeed days will NOT “ruin your progress”. 😉 If you’re doing it right, you won’t feel the urge to binge.
  • I’m not going to expect perfection.
  • I am going to have days where I go over my calories or don’t hit my steps goal, refeed days, etc. I’m aiming for you 80% consistency.
  • I’m not going to freak out if my weight goes up.
  • I am going to weigh myself daily, log the data points and evaluate the trend over time. I understand that the scale weight can change for many reasons.

That’s pretty much a list of my do’s and don’ts. Here is a quick list of tangible things I’m doing daily.

What am I doing daily during the mini cut?

  1. On day 1 I took my measurements, weight and progress photo. Regrettably I only did a front shot. I’d recommend doing a front, side, and back view.
  2. Every morning after I pee I weigh myself sans clothing and log the weight.
  3. I take a quick photo before my morning workout – which you can do progress photos every 3-4 weeks.
  4. My goal calories right now are 1650-1850. Protein is 110-120g and fiber is 25-35g. I like to have 3 meals with 2 snacks. I like to aim for 30-40g protein per meal to make sure I get enough in. I also like to plan my meals in advance so I’m better prepared.
    • Eat a hearty filling breakfast. My go-tos are protein smoothies, eggs and fruit, or protein oatmeal with fruit.
    • Eat a hearty, filling lunch usually with a big salad full of veggies and source of protein.
    • Eat a hearty, filling dinner being sure to have 1-2 handful portions of veggies with a large source of protein.
  5. I’m exercising as normal. I do 4 strength workouts a week. Here’s an example of how I structure it:
    • Monday: Lower Body Strength
    • Tuesday: Upper Body Strength
    • Wednesday: Run or Bike
    • Thursday: Lower Body Strength
    • Friday: Upper Body Strength
    • Saturday: Run or Bike
    • Sunday: Rest
  6. I’m aiming for 7-10k steps a day
  7. Lights out by 10pm so I can get 7-8 hours of sleep. I normally wake up at 6-6:30.

Tips to Stay Full While in a Calorie Deficit

Sleep during a mini cut

Sleep is SO important during a min cut. When you’re tired, you crave more sugar and snack type foods. There’s a scientific reason why.

Leptin is a hormone that suppresses appetite. When you sleep, your leptin levels increase.

Ghrelin is a hormone that promotes appetite. It signals to your brain when your stomach is empty and it’s time to eat. When you’re stomach is full, ghrelin is decreased. When you’re sleep deprived, ghrelin is increased.

So basically, when you’re sleep deprived you feel more hungry as opposed to when you’re well rested.

Fruits, Veggies, and Protein during a mini cut

Eating a big salad and plenty of protein will help you feel full and satisfied so you’re less likely to snack on less ideal, processed foods. This has been key for me. Veggies and fruit are generally lower calorie so you can eat a lot of it. Protein will help you feel more full.

Protein is also super important to help prevent muscle mass. The goal is to lose fat weight, not muscle weight.

Stay hydrated and avoid drinking your calories during a mini cut

Your pee should be a very light yellow like lemonade. Staying hydrated is important for your overall health and wellbeing. It will keep you energized.

Eating in a calorie deficit can be hard and there are sneaky calories that can add up. Sugary, high calorie drinks are one of those. Best to drink zero cal drinks or water. However, if a coke is something you truly enjoy you can totally fit it into your calories. Just plan for it.

Why does your weight fluctuate during a mini cut?

Before I go, I do want to explain this because I know a lot of people fear and hate the scale.

One of my goals with sharing my mini cut journey is to share my weight day to day to show how the scale weight fluctuates everyday.

A spike in the scale doesn’t automatically mean fat gain. There are many things that contribute to spikes and dips.

Your progress is never linear. It’s going to be more like a zig zag line. If you’re consistent, the overall trend will be downward over time.

That’s the key word – TIME. You need to give it time. Don’t give up or change everything after a week if you feel it isn’t work. Give it at last 4 weeks before changing anything.

Here are the top 6 reasons your weight fluctuates day to day:

  1. Salt / Sodium intake. The more salt you consumed the day before, the higher the scale weight will be due to water retention.
  2. Carb intake. They act like a sponge soaking up water. So again, it’s water retention.
  3. Meal timing. If you eat a meal at midnight and then weigh yourself at 5am, the scale weight might be higher because your body has had less time to process and digest your food.
  4. Constipation/Bowel movements. If you are constipated or haven’t gone number 2 yet, the weight might be higher vs. if you go number 2 and weigh yourself. The same goes for peeing!
  5. Strength training. When you lift heavy weights, your muscles soak up more water, nutrient, and glycogen as they recover. Your weight might be higher after a heavy leg day!
  6. Stress. When you’re stressed, your cortisol levels increase. When cortisol increases, your body retains more water.

Weighing myself daily has helped increase my awareness around my weight on all the spikes and dips. I’m not feeling discouraged on the days I have spikes. After 30 days, I’m able to see a downward trend.

Overall, I’m happy with my progress so far. I feel empowered with my food choices. I feel good. I’m survived 2 flus/colds in my household, and feel strong.

I’m probably keep going for a little longer and then head into maintenance. More on that soon. 😉

As always, if you have any questions leave a comment or email me.

I still have openings in my online coaching program . Inquire below or on the coaching page. I want to make fitness and nutrition easy for you so you can reach your goals of fat loss, muscle gain, or just to be able to play with your kids or grandkids without getting tired.

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fat loss, Nutrition, Uncategorized

The Best Diet For Women For Weight Loss

Researching for this article I scrolled through dozens of articles titled something similar to, “the best diet of 2022, expert recommended”. Who are these experts? No one knows…🤪

Anyway, they list an exorbitant amount of diets. We have the Mediterranean diet, Noom, Weight Watchers, Vegan, the Dash diet, ornish diet, vegetarian diet, Mind diet, Nordic Diet, Flexitarian diet, Volumetrics diet, Intermittent Fasting, Keto diet, Mayo Clinic diet, Pescatarian diet, Paleo diet, Low Carb diet, the MIND diet.

Holy crap.

I didn’t even realize HOW many diet options are out there! The crazy thing is that I know there’s more out there but my fingers got too tired of typing.

It’s no wonder that SO many women (and people) are confused about WHAT they should be eating in order to lose body fat or just to be healthy.

It does not need to be so confusing and complicated!

The ideal “diet” is something that YOU can do consistently.

With any “diet”, ask yourself, “will I realistically be able to sustain for the long term?”

If the answer is no, you need to rethink it.

In this article, I’m going to discuss some essential things when it comes to “dieting” for fat loss:

  • Calories
  • Macronutrients
  • Exercise
  • Consistency


A calorie is a unit of measure. Everything you consume is made of calories. You can replace the word calorie with energy.

If you want to lose fat, you need to be in an energy or calorie deficit.

A calorie deficit is when you’re burning more energy (calories) than you’re taking in on a daily basis.

How do you create a calorie deficit?

You create the deficit by 1) decreasing your food intake and/or 2) increasing your cardiovascular activity.

We’re going to focus on options 1: Decreasing your food intake.

There are a few different ways you can go about it:

  1. You can track your calories for 3-5 days so you have an idea of how many calories you’re currently consuming. Start by dropping 250-500 calories from the average daily calories.
  2. Another options is to use an online calculator to determine your TDEE. (just google it) This will give you you’re maintenance calories based on your activity level, age, height, gender, and weight. You can subtract 250-500 from your maintenance to create a calorie deficit.
  3. Third option is to multiply your goal weight by 12. For example, let’s say you currently weigh 150lbs and your goal weight is 135lbs. 135×12=1620 calories.

With any of these options, do it for a few weeks and evaluate and adjust from there.

Make sure you aren’t cutting your calories too drastically–this can be harder to sustain and can cause more anxiety and stress. That’s why it is important to track your current intake to see how much you’re typically eating daily.

So it seems simple. Consume less calories than your burning and you’ll lose fat. And it is pretty simple, but it can be hard.

The good news is, there are ways to make it easier for you.

In this next section we’re going to review macronutrients.

Let’s say you have a 2,000 daily calorie goal, technically you could eat 2,000 calories worth of junk food and still be in a deficit. However, you aren’t going to feel super great.

Those food choices most likely won’t help your fitness and muscle building goals.

I’m not a fan of eliminating food in order to lose fat. Obviously if there’s an allergy or something directed by your doctor, follow the advice of your doctor.

Eliminating or restricting food typically creates a bad relationship with eating food and the success rate is much lower.

If you love chocolate, you can still eat chocolate. We have pizza at my house every friday night and you bet that I’m stilling eating it even when I’m on a cut.

You can enjoy the foods you love while being in a calorie deficit.

The goal is to fill the majority of your calories with nutrient dense food and enjoy the less nutrient dense foods in moderation.


Macronutrients, or ‘macros’, consist of 3 categories:

  1. Protein
  2. Fat
  3. Carbohydrate

Each macronutrient is important and serves a purpose in nourishing your body. I go into more detail in this article but I’m going to give you a brief overview.


Protein builds, sustains, and repairs your muscles. This is SUPER important for fat loss because the more muscle you have, the more efficiently your body will burn calories while at rest. Lean body mass will also make you look more toned and give your muscles a good shape. 💪🏼

Protein also has the highest thermic effect of food (TEF) which means that your body is burning more calories to process, absorb, and digest protein. That’s pretty cool!

The more muscle you have, the more calories your body burns. Protein helps build and sustains muscle. Protein is king. 👑


Fat is often demonized, especially when I was growing up in the 80s/90s. Everything was “low-fat” or “fat-free”.

However, eating dietary fat does not make you fat! (Eating too many calories does.)

Dietary fat helps regulate hormones, can help you feel full for longer, and let’s be honest, it makes food taste pretty good.


Carbohydrates also get a bad rap, but they are not bad, they are necessary. Carbs are a source of fuel.

If you want to build muscles and exercise and have energy, you need carbs.

How much of each macronutrient should you consume?

Everyone is different, but I personally like to track just calories, protein, and fiber. However, you can also track your fat and carbs if you’d like.

Here is a general guideline:

Protein: aim for .7-1.2 grams per pound of body weight. I like to keep it simple and just multiply my weight or goal weight by 1.

Fat: .3-.5 grams per pound of body weight

Carbohydrates:  .5-2 grams per pound of body weight

If you don’t want to track macros or calories, try this:

  • Eat 1 palm sized amount of protein with each meal
  • Eat 2 handfuls of veggies with every meal
  • Avoid super processed foods–choose nutrient dense foods most of the time
  • Stop eating after 7pm or some predetermined time. A lot of the food we consume after this time is processed and more snacky type food. Your eating more out of habit as you watch tv, etc. rather than because you’re hungry.
  • Don’t eat in front of the tv, computer or phone. Eliminate distractions so you can be more in tune with your body’s hunger and fullness cues.

Strength Training and Cardio

Strength training is important when it comes to fat loss.

Remember when we talked about how protein builds and maintains muscle? And the more muscle you have the more calories your body burns?

In order to build muscle, you need to strength train!

I have a whole article about strength training vs. cardio. Check it out here.

You can definitely burn more calories during a cardio workout compared to a strength training workout, but that’s only *during* the workout.

Strength training will have you burning more calories throughout the day.

Here’s why.

The more muscle mass you have vs. fat, the faster your metabolism will be. Or the more calories your body will burn when at rest.

Strength training = increased lean muscle mass = higher metabolic rate = more calories burned.

Muscle is more metabolically active than fat, so the more you gain, the more calories you’ll burn – and the more likely you are to keep fat off.  Dr Leigh Breen

If you’re trying to lose weight and be in a calorie deficit, this will help you out a lot!

Strength training also improves bone health, improves confidence, helps you get that toned look, and gets you stronger! 💪🏼

I recommend 3-4 days of strength training, hitting the major muscle groups twice a week. The quality of your strength training program is important as well.

It should be targeted towards accomplishing your specific goals and include progressive overload. This when you gradually increase the weight, frequency, or number of reps.

“So wait, I don’t need to run everyday to lose fat??”

Absolutely not! I do recommend cardio for health reasons, but this isn’t the only thing you should be doing. And if you don’t like running, you don’t need to. You can walk, do the elliptical, bike, or swim. Go on a hike. There are other options out there.


A lot of the fad diets are short term. They aren’t something you can sustain longterm.

If you’re goal is to lose fat and keep it off long-term, the best way to achieving that goal is to do it in a gradual, consistent, and sustainable way.

That doesn’t sound glamorous or appealing to someone who just wants to lose weight FAST, but I think most people would want to keep the weight off long-term.

Consistency doesn’t mean perfection. In fact, I do not want you to be perfect.

Grab a calendar. For every day you hit your calorie/macro goals, but an ‘X’. For any day you don’t hit your goal, put an ‘O’. I want you to aim for 80% consistency.

In a month of 30 days, the goal would be to hit your goal for 24 of those days. That means you have 6 days where you don’t need to be *perfect*. I don’t recommend going on a binge those days, but it’s okay to eat slightly more than your deficit!

With that said, you aren’t meant to be in a calorie deficit forever. Eventually you’ll want to move into a maintenance phase.

The time your in a calorie deficit will change person to person based on the amount you’re trying to lose, how aggressive you are with it, etc.

It can be anywhere from 4 weeks to 12 weeks or more.

After 6 weeks, re-evaluate and decide if you want to keep going and make any adjustments if necessary.

A general guideline is to (1) figure out how many pounds you want to lose. (2) figure out how many pounds of fat you can lose per week on average without losing muscle. For most people this is between 0.5-1% of their body weight per week. (3) Divide the total number of pounds you need to lose by your weekly rate of weight loss. This will tell you how many week you should spend in a calorie deficit in order to reach your goal.

For example:

Susie wants to lose 10lbs. She currently weighs 150lbs and she’s losing 1lb/week.

10/1 = 10 weeks

Frank wants to lose 50lbs. He currently weighs 250lbs and he’s losing 2lbs/week.

50/2=25 weeks.

These are just guidelines and they don’t account for burnout, how you’re doing emotionally/mentally, etc. so I do advise to evaluate every 4-6 weeks and adjust as needed based on your goals and situation.

For example, I’m currently in a “mini-cut”. This is a short term fat loss phase (4-6 weeks) when you want to drop little bit of body fat.

I’m not doing anything drastic. I’m going to eat in a calorie deficit, hit a daily protein and fiber goal, continue training as normal with a combination of strength training and cardio. I’m going to hit 10k steps a day and get to bed no later than 10.

After 4-6 weeks I’m going to re-evaluate and either continue on or go into a maintenance phase. I’m only trying to lose 7-8lbs.

In summary, there isn’t ONE diet that works for everyone. There are a lot of fad diets out there I’d watch out for. It doesn’t need to be so confusing and intimidating.

My recommendation is so steer clear of fad diets (especially juice cleanses 😝) and focus on eating in a calorie deficit, while tracking macros or filling your calories with mostly nutrient dense foods.

I truly hope this helps!

Email me or fill out the form below if you have any questions! I hope you have a great day!!

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Exercise, Fitness, Postpartum Running, Running, Running Form, Uncategorized

Why is Strength Training Important for Runners?

Most runners prefer to spend their exercise time outside RUNNING, not in the gym strength training. I used to be the same way! 🏃🏼‍♀️

I totally get it. You want to get faster, stronger, and better. The most logical way to achieve those things is to spend more time running!

However, running experts will tell you that strength training will improve your running by helping you get faster, improve your endurance, and better your form.

The stronger you are, the easier it is to carry your body weight over any distance, and the more resistant you’ll be to fatigue along the way.

Janet Hamilton – Owner of Running Strong

In this article, we’re going to review the following:

  • Benefits of Strength Training
  • How Often Should I Strength Train?
  • When Should I Strength Train?
  • What Are the Best Strength Training Exercises?

Benefits of Strength Training

There are sooooo many, but I’m going to share my top 5!

#1 Strength Training Can Help Prevent Injury

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When you run, your body absorbs a force equal to 2-2.5 times your body weight with each step you take. That’s a lot of weight! You’re feet land about 1,300 to 1,600 times per mile. Simply put, running is high impact.

Strength training will help fortify our body so it can tolerate the impact and musculoskeletal demands of running.

It will strengthen your muscles and connective tissues which will allow you to handle higher loads.

Running is a unilateral movement. You’re on on leg at a time. Having more durable and stronger muscles as well as stability will help lower your risk of injury. Incorporating unilateral movements into your strength routine will help correct any muscle imbalances as well. Imbalances are often what lead to injury.

#2 Strength Training Can Improve Your Running Form

Strength training can improve your running form, biomechanics, and stride by increasing your core strength and stability.

When I tried to run at 6 weeks postpartum after my first kid, my form was AWFUL. It’s because I had a terribly weak core due to pregnancy. I had to really focus on strengthening my core.

Think of it like this. You’re running a marathon. Around mile 20, your body starts to fatigue. You’re tired. A strong core will you maintain a more upright posture through the end of your race.

In contrast, a weak core can lead to you hunching over in those last miles of your race which can limit your breathing and lead to side cramps which are the absolute worse!

Building strong glutes and legs will make you a more powerful running, especially going uphill!

#3 Strength Training Can Improve Your Efficiency and Speed

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Strength training workouts can improve your aerobic capacity (VO2 max). It can also help you get faster!

In a review published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, runners who did a strength-training program 2-3 times a week for 8-12 weeks showed significant improvements in running economy, or how efficiently they ran.

And endurance performance and VO2 max, a marker of aerobic fitness, also improved after strength training in a study published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine. 

If you have strong muscles, hard runs won’t feel as hard.

#4 Strength Training Increases Bone Density

This is an important one, especially for women! Low bone density is common for post-menopausal women, but it can affect runners of all ages.

Having strong bones is vital for health and for running.

Strength training increases your bone density because your bones adapt to the stresses that strength workouts place on them by building back stronger. Strength training places your bones under loads which signals to your bones to lay down more bone matrix and minerals so they can get stronger.

#5 Strength Training Improves Your Overall Health and Wellbeing

Strength training helps to reduce blood pressure, improve blood sugar control, and reduce triglycerides and cholesterol.

It’s considered an anabolic workout which means that it builds your body up. Running is considered catabolic which means it breaks your body down.

Strength training will increase your lean body mass and increase your metabolism. The more muscle you have, the more calories your body burns throughout the day, even at rest. You’ll burn more fat.

Strength training can also improve your mental wellbeing. It can empower you and boost your confidence as you are able to lift heavier things and perform complicated exercises and workouts.

How Often Should I Strength Train?

Every runner is different and this will depend on what you’re currently training for, what goals you have, etc.

Ideally, runners should aim to do 2-3 strength workouts a week.

Even if it’s just 15 minutes a workout, you will benefit from it. Do what you can.

You can get a lot done in just 20-30 minutes, so don’t stress about having to pencil in 3-4 hours of additional training each week.

When Should I Strength Train?

Again, every runner is different. Most coaches will recommend you incorporate strength training workouts on your easy run days.

You don’t want to do your strength training on the same day as your hard or long runs. That’ll be hard on your body and you won’t be as efficient in your strength workout or hard run.

If running is your focus, do your run first and then strength train. That could mean you run and then strength train or maybe you run in the AM and strength train in the afternoon/evening.

This is not a hard rule, if you prefer to strength train first, do it! Just keep in mind that your legs might be a little more fatigued during your run.

What Are the Best Strength Training Exercises?

If you follow me on instagram you know that I’m constantly posting exercises and workouts. I often include my favorite strength exercises for runners because I am a runner!

Here are some of my favorites for Lower Body:

  • Squats – all variations ¨̮
  • Deadlifts – conventional, sumo, romanian
  • Single Leg RDL
  • Lunges – forward, reverse, lateral, curtsy
  • Bulgarian Split Squats (rear foot elevated)
  • Step-ups and Step-downs (forward and lateral)
  • Hamstring Curls
  • Glute Bridges
  • Single Leg Glute Bridges
  • Calf Raises
  • Banded Lateral Steps/Monster Walks
  • Clamshells

Here are some of my favorites for Upper Body:

  • Push-ups
  • Bench Press
  • Bent Over Back Row
  • Bicep Curls
  • Tricep Extensions
  • Reverse Fly
  • Shoulder Press
  • Pull-ups

Here are some of my favorites for the Core

  • Bird Dog
  • Planks – front and side variations
  • Ab Roller
  • Hollow Body Hold
  • Dead Bugs
  • Banded Twists
  • Russian Twists

It’s also fun to incorporate some plyometric exercises into your routine when you’re ready to advance.

Equipment wise, I’d recommend a pair of heavy and light dumbbells and small circle resistance bands. You can do a lot with just that.

I hope this helps and that you’re able to run injury free for longer and faster!

As always, please email me or fill out the form below if you have questions or want some help getting started with strength training!



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Exercise, Fitness, Goals, Habits, Nutrition, Postpartum Fitness, Uncategorized

How Do I Start My Fitness Routine?

You want to get fit. You want to lose weight. You want to get toned. You want to feel stronger.

Whatever your goal is, you might wonder HOW to get started.

Maybe you started a routine but it didn’t work.

You’re frustrated and confused.

There is SO much conflicting information out there on nutrition and fitness, but it doesn’t have to be complicated.

In this article I’m going to break it down to you so it’s clear and simple.

Oftentimes the biggest barrier to your fitness routine is knowing how to get started.

You might have questions like,

  • Should I do cardio or strength training?
  • How much cardio should I do?
  • How many times a week do I need to workout?
  • How long do I need to workout for?
  • What’s the best equipment to have?
  • When is the best time to workout?
  • Do I need to join a gym?

It can be intimidating and overwhelming, but don’t worry, I will try my best to leave you feeling empowered and excited to get started!

You’ll feel ready to start your fitness routine so you can start accomplishing your goals.

Here’s a little breakdown of what we’ll go over:

  1. Nutrition
  2. Strength Training
  3. Cardio
  4. Frequency
  5. Planning
  6. Mindset


I am not going to go super in depth on this but check out this article where I dive deeper into the topic…I just don’t want this to turn into a novel. 😜

But, it’s important to mention.

Your first step is to write down every single thing you eat for 3-5 days. Don’t try to eat differently in this period of time. We want a realistic picture of your current eating habits.

Track your calories, fat, carbs, and protein.

You can use this app or just use the notes function in your phone.

This will give you an idea of how many calories you’re eating daily and what your macro intake looks like.

The next step is to figure out how many calories and macronutrients you should be targeting for your goals. Maybe you’d like to lose weight, gain muscle, or just be healthy.

To lose weight you need to be in a calorie deficit.

To gain weight, you need to be in a calorie surplus.

To maintain your weight, you need to stick to your maintenance calorie number.

Again, check out this article for more information on how to figure out your calorie and macro needs.

Strength Training

Do you need to do strength training?

Strength training or weight training involves lifting weights–dumbbells, barbells, machines, etc.

I recommend this to everyone regardless of your goals. Check out this article to learn why, but here’s a quick summary.

Strength training will build muscle and strength, facilitate fat loss, increase your metabolism, improve your bone health (SO important for women), and improve your mental wellbeing and create confidence.

If you are just getting started, aim to do strength training at least twice a week.

You’ll want to train the major muscle groups at least twice per week, so if you are training twice a week, these will be full body workouts. Give at least one day between strength sessions so you’re muscles can recover.

If you are strength training 3 times a week, you could do something like this.

Monday: Lower Body

Wednesday: Upper Body

Friday: Full Body

If you’re doing 4 times a week, it could look like this:

Monday: Lower Body

Wednesday: Upper Body

Friday: Lower Body

Saturday: Upper Body

You can do an lower body workout and the next day an upper body workout since you’ll be using different muscle groups, but it’s really up to you how you want to structure it.

I just recommend giving at least 24 hours between training the same muscle groups.

Why not do 3 or 4 full body days instead? You could do that, but I find you’ll be much more fatigued in your workouts by the end of the week.

Whatever route you choose, make sure you’re hitting the major muscle groups twice a week = glutes, legs, chest and back.

Here are some good exercises to start with:

  • Squat
  • Deadlift
  • Glute Bridge
  • Lunges
  • Push-up
  • Plank
  • Back Row

Pick your exercises and do 2-4 sets, 8-15 reps with 30-90 seconds rest in between.


I love cardio. I’m a runner and triathlete so this used to be my main jam.

However, you do not need to be a runner or triathlete or spend hours on the elliptical or stairmaster.

Check out this article where I discuss in more detail the benefits of cardio, but here’s a summary.

Cardio improves your heart health and endurance, burns calories (although, I don’t think this should be used as a reason to do cardio), athletic performance, improves your mental wellbeing and creates confidence.

You can include cardio in your day by walking 10,000 steps. A recent pub med article said,

 Even a modest increase in steps per day may be associated with a lower risk of death.

If you like to run or bike or swim, you can also do this.

Dancing, hiking, golfing, basketball, soccer, etc. are also great options.

Running GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

Just try to move your body everyday.

The frequency and intensity will depend on your goals.


Whatever your goal is, it’s important to include strength training AND cardio into your plan.

The frequency and intensity will depend on your goals.

If you’re training for a marathon, you’ll prioritize running (cardio) and do that more than strength training.

If you’re trying to lose fat or gain muscle, you’ll want to prioritize strength training in frequency and intensity while also incorporating cardio daily but less intensely.

If you just want to be healthy and you enjoy cardio, you can strike a good balance between strength training and cardio.

There isn’t a one size fits all plan so get clear about your goals.


It’s important to have a PLAN.

Have you ever gone to the gym without a plan and ended up just wandering aimlessly to whatever equipment was available?

It will be hard to see progress and results if you don’t have a plan.

Be intentional with your time and plan your workouts.

Know exactly what you’ll be doing when you get to the gym–it was be so much easier and faster this way.

You’ll also progress faster because hopefully your plan is a good one that will help you with your goal.

This is where coaching can be very useful. For my clients, I give them their workouts in advance so they know exactly what they’re doing for the week.

It’s all written down with links to video tutorials so they aren’t guessing how many reps, sets, rest periods, etc.

Learn more about coaching here or fill out the form below with any questions and I’ll get back to you!


Mindset is so important when it comes to your fitness routine.

You WILL see progress if you stay consistent and believe in yourself.

I know if sounds hippie dippy to talk about believing in yourself, but I wholeheartedly believe that if you believe in yourself and believe you will be successful, you will not fail.

The only way to fail is if you give up on yourself and quit.


Even if you miss a week or a month of workouts, just get back on track!

Don’t quit.

Try to be consistent. And I don’t mean perfectly consistent.

NO ONE is perfect. I don’t want you to be perfect and don’t expect anyone to be perfect in order to accomplish their goals.

You need to be flexible with yourself and accept that things will get in the way or mess up you schedule–getting sick, kids, busy work schedule, work trips, vacations, etc.

These things will come up and it’s normal.

If you aren’t able to stick to your plan for a day or a week or a month, that’s okay. Just get back on track as soon as you can.

If you do this, you’ll begin to see results.

If you hate working out, try to find a form of exercise you enjoy. Start with that.

Try to be consistent with it.

I outlined strength training and cardio, but if you are just getting started, you can start small.

Go for a 15-20 minute walk 3-4 times a week.

Do something consistently and slowly add onto it.

I truly hope this helps. Try not to get overwhelmed or worried about doing the “right thing”.

Just do something.

Make a plan that includes some form of exercise, create some awareness of how you’re fueling yourself, and try to be consistent.

You got this!

I’m always here for you if you need help, advice, or anything!



Fitness, Goals, Nutrition, Uncategorized

Macros 101

Okay, I used to hate when people talked about macros.

I thought that it was for people obsessing over everything they ate. It seemed like an unhealthy obsession and something I never wanted to be involved in.

Hungry Night Court GIF by Laff - Find & Share on GIPHY

Honestly, I just didn’t know anything about it.

However, over the past several years, I dove into the topic, researched, implemented it myself, and have seen it improve clients lives.

It can help you learn more about what you’re currently fueling your body with and what changes you can make to fuel better and help you accomplish your goals.

You don’t have to track forever and I don’t think you should!

Each macro-nutrient is important for helping you accomplish your goals and keeping you healthy.

In this article where’s going to cover these 3 points:

  1. What are macros and why should I care about them?
  2. How do I count them?
  3. What about calories?

What are Macros?

Macro is short for macro-nutrient. Macro means big. There are 3 main macro-nutrients:

  • Proteins
  • Fats
  • Carbohydrates
Photo by Ella Olsson on


Protein is the first one we’re going to discuss because it is SO important for weight loss, strength, and muscle building.

Getting enough protein in your diet will allow you to build muscle, maintain muscle, lose fat, increase your strength, and allow you to feel full while eating fewer calories.

It also requires more energy than other macronutrients for your body to absorb, digest, and dispose of. This is called the “thermic effect of food”. Protein has the highest TEF compared to the other macros.

So, basically you’re burning more calories just by eating. That’s pretty cool!

To lose weight, you need to eat fewer calories (calorie deficit). Protein helps you feel full for longer. This will be so helpful as you eat fewer calories.

Low protein diets usually fail because they make you hungry, tired, and grumpy.


Eating enough protein will prevent the hangriness.

Most importantly, protein is the only macro that will help build and maintain muscle.

The more muscle you have, the faster your metabolism will be and the more calories your body will burn while your just sitting.

Here are some sources of protein: meats, eggs, cheese, protein bars, quinoa, beef jerky, and fish.

How much protein do you need?

It will depend on your weight, body fat and goals, so this is a general number…aim for .7-1.2 grams of protein per pound of lean body mass body weight.

If you weigh 150 lbs and have 15% body fat, your lean body mass is 150-(150*15%) = 127.5.

If you go with .7 grams of protein per pound of lean body mass, that will be 127.5*.7 = 89.25 grams of protein.

OR if you don’t know your body fat percentage, you can to .7-1.2 g per pound of ideal weight.


Carbs are often villainized in the nutrition world. There are a lot of low carb diets out there that promote weight loss.

Carb do not make you fat!

You need carbs. Your body needs carbs.

Carbs are stored in your liver, brain, blood, and muscles as glycogen.

Your body uses carbs for energy.

If you want to get stronger and perform better in your sport or at the gym, you need carbs.

Here are some examples of carbohydrates: fruits, veggies, grains, oats, rice, potatoes, pasta, and all the delicious food you love.

Aim for .5-2 grams per pound of lean body mass.


Fat has also gotten a bad rap over the years. There are just as many fad low-fat or fat-free diets out there as there are low-carb.

Fat does NOT make you fat!

Fat is ESSENTIAL for you to live.

It assists in vitamin and nutrient absorption, hormone regulation, brain function, and more.

Here’s a fun fact. They did studies on fat free milk vs. whole milk. They have about the same amount of calcium BUT your body will not absorb all the calcium without the fat.

Drinking whole milk with the fat helps your body to absorb the calcium so you can get the FULL benefit of drinking milk.

I’m personally not a huge milk fan, but I feel like most people prefer the taste and consistency of whole milk vs fat-free or low-fat.

Okay, here are some more examples of fat: meat, fatty fish, oils, nut butters, nuts, avocado, and so much more.

Aim to get between .36-.7 grams per pound of lean body mass. Again, this will depend on your goals, activity level, etc. but this is a good range.

How Do I Count Macros?

I think the easiest way to track or count macros is using something like MyFitnessPal. You can log what you eat and it can keep track of the calories and macros.

In order to log everything accurately, you can use a nutrition label, a scale, or use some hand measurements.

I feel like the scale is for more intense purposes–like if you’re training for a fitness competition or just trying to be super meticulous and accurate. Which could definitely be ideal if you’re just starting out. But, it can also be overwhelming.

Do what works for you and that is realistic for you to stick with.

You won’t always have a scale available or a nutrition label so the hand measurement system is a good back up. You’ll always have your hand with you!

I learned this from Precision Nutrition where I got received my nutrition certification

1 palm of protein = about 3-4 oz (115 g) cooked meat / tofu, 1 cup Greek yogurt / cottage cheese, 1 scoop protein powder, 2 whole eggs

1 fist of veggies = about 1 cup non-starchy vegetables (spinach, carrots, cauliflower, peppers, etc.)

1 cupped hand of carbs = about ⅔ cup (130 g) cooked grains / legumes (rice, lentils, oats, etc.), 1 medium fruit, 1 medium tuber (potatoes, yams, etc.)

1 thumb of fat = about 1 tablespoon (14 g) oils, nuts, seeds, nut butters, cheese, dark chocolate, etc.

Keep in mind that the hand measuring method, the apps, and the nutrition labels are not 100% accurate.

So with your macronutrient goals, I like to give a range as a goal.

For example if your goal protein is 144 grams a day, aim for 134-144 grams.

This will also help you not be so obsessed or overly worried about hitting an EXACT number. (this is for all of you fellow type A’s out there!)

What About Calories?

Each macronutrient has a certain amount of calories:

  • Protein has 4 calories per gram
  • Carbohydrates has 4 calories per gram
  • Fat has 9 calories per gram

If you’re looking to lose weight or gain weight, overall calories matter.

To lose weight, you need to be in a calorie deficit.

To gain weight, you need to be in a calorie surplus.

To maintain weight, you need to be at calorie maintenance.

In order to figure out your maintenance, you need to figure out your TDEE, or your total daily energy expenditure.

You can use the google machine for this. It’s super easy.

Once you have that, you can determine how many calories you’re eating based on the following:

  • To lose weight: eat 75-80% of your TDEE, or 20-25% less than your burning daily
  • To gain weight: eat 110-115% of your TDEE, or 10-15% more energy than your burning
  • To maintain weight: eat 100% of your TDEE

I like to track macros and calories vs just calories because macros helps you get the right food to fuel your body and help you achieve your goals.

For example, let’s say Susan has a calorie goal of 1800 calories a day. She was really busy one day, taking kids to school, dropping them off at soccer and gymnastics, running errands, etc. She threw her favorite snack in her purse. Twinkies.

Each twinkie consists of 280 calories.

She had about 5 from 8am to 4pm…leaving her with only 400 calories left of her 1800 calorie goal.

She also felt pretty crumby. Hungry and tired. And not fulfilled.

Each twinkie has 2g of protein, 9g of fat, and 47g of carbs.

A balanced model of macros would be 30% protein, 35% carbs, and 35% fat.

So far Susan has had 3.5% protein, 81% carbs, and 15.5%.

No wonder she doesn’t feel great!

Maybe I’m exaggerating with Susan a bit, but if she were in the habit of tracking macros and being aware of how much of each nutrient she needs, she might have prepared a little differently. Maybe with protein bar, beef jerky, nuts, an apple, etc. And save the twinkie for dessert. 😉

Anyway, tracking your macros will help improve your relationship with food and open your eyes to see how you can fuel your body better.

And hey, you CAN still eat twinkies if that’s what you want. However, it shouldn’t be ALL you eat.

Do I need to track Calories?

You do no need to track your calories forever or at all if you don’t want to or if you feel it will cause you to become obsessive and create a bad relationship with food.

Also, if you have any history of eating disorders, I would recommend not counting calories or macros.

If you feel comfortable counting calories emotionally and mentally, try to view it as a data point.

It will bring more awareness to what you’re eating, how it makes you feel, and how you can better accomplish your goals.

Some people, like to track calories and macros. Some people like to track just protein. Or just fiber. Or calories and protein. Or other combinations.

How meticulous you’d like to be depends on what you can do realistically, what your goals are, and how aggressive you’d like to be.

Once you track for awhile, you will get a great sense of food and what it consists of which can allow you to move into more of an intuitive eating model if you’d prefer.

After tracking for a bit, you can make adjustments as needed to meet your goals.

In Conclusion…

I hope this helps! Like I said, I was skeptical about macros and tracking them, but, it’s changed how I looked at food and has improved my relationship with it.

I see food as a source of fuel to keep me healthy and allow me to do the things I like to do like run, swim, bike, workout, run around with my kids, etc.

It’s also something to be enjoyed! It isn’t a super restrictive diet that makes you eliminate things like sugar, bread, etc.

Remember, there are no bad foods. There are only better choices that will get your closer to your goals, or worse choices that won’t RUIN your progress, but won’t get you closer to your goals.

One cookie will not ruin your progress and it can totally fit into your daily macro/calorie goals if you want.

Eating nutritious food will help you feel better and help you accomplish your fitness goals.

If you have any questions or would like to learn more, don’t hesitate to email me: or fill out the form below. 🙂



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Exercise, Fitness, Running, Uncategorized

Cardio VS. Strength Training

Dog Workout GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

Some argue one is better than the other, but is that true?

We all know that person who go to the gym daily to spend 60 minutes on the elliptical and never touches a weight.

On the other side, there is the person who lives in the weight room and doesn’t do any cardio. They get winded coming up the stairs.

In this article we’ll look at the benefits of both options, but you should be doing BOTH.

You don’t need to be 100% team cardio or 100% team strength training.

Knowing which type of workout you should do will depend on what your goals are with health and fitness.

Are you trying to lose fat? Build muscle? Improve your athletic performance? Improve your mental health and overall wellbeing?

Are you training for a marathon or triathlon? Are you prepping for a weight lifting competition? Do you want to lose weight? Are you just wanting to be healthy?

So, is cardio better than strength training or is strength training better than cardio?

How do you know which is better for your goals?

The answer is, both are great for you and they each have different benefits.

I used to be 100% team cardio. I would go to the gym, do 60 minutes on the elliptical, 20 minutes on the stair climber and finish it off with a 5 mile run later that day. 🤪

Then, I discovered the joy of strength training. It was fun. It was actually changing my body. I was getting more muscle. I felt stronger.

I still love cardio. I did a full ironman a few years ago, regularly run marathons, etc. But, I’ve found a balance between the two types of exercise. Depending on what my goals are, one will take more priority than the other.

So let’s dive in, but first, here’s a quick overview of what we’ll be reviewing.

  1. What’s the Difference: Cardio VS. Strength Training
  2. Benefits of Cardio
  3. Benefits of Strength Training
  4. So, Which is Better For Me?

What’s the Difference: Cardio vs. Strength Training

Both cardio and strength training have their benefits, but what is the difference between the 2 types of exercise?

Cardio is short for cardiovascular conditioning. It’s an aerobic exercise that uses oxygen to increase your breathing and heart rate.

You’re moving your body, breathing faster, and increasing your blood flow. You can maintain this level of activity for an extended period of time.

Examples are walking, running, cycling, swimming, hiking, or Sweating to the Oldies with Richard Simmons. 😉 (anyone else’s mom have these videos growing up?)

Strength Training (weight training or resistance training) is an anaerobic exercise.

This includes lifting dumbbells, barbells, kettlebells, and/or using weight machines.

Anaerobic exercises break down glucose for energy, without relying on oxygen like cardio does. More energy is used in a short amount of time.

This is more of a short, intense activity that has you working to the max and can’t be sustained for long periods of time.

Sesame Street Workout GIF by Muppet Wiki - Find & Share on GIPHY

Benefits of Cardio

Heart Health and Endurance

Cardio can improve your heart health. Incorporating cardio into your routine will reduce your risk of heart diseases, obesity, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, osteoporosis, and even some types of cancers.

Cardio will boost your aerobic capacity (how much oxygen your blood gets and uses) and allows your heart and lungs to more efficiently move oxygen through your body.

This will give you some more endurance that will help you get through long workouts or everyday activities like walking up the stairs, playing with your kids, etc. without huffing and puffing.

Burn Calories

Your body will burn energy (calories) to power through it. How many calories per workout will depend on your weight, the duration of the workout, and intensity.

You’ll burn more calories during a cardio workout vs. a strength workout.

The key word is *during*. We’ll touch back on this more in the strength training section.

Athletic Performance

Obviously if you want to become a faster runner or complete a marathon, you’ll need some running cardio to improve your performance.

The more your run or bike or swim, etc., your body will adapt and become more efficient at it, increasing your endurance.

Combat Stress and Boost Confidence

Runners high anyone? Honestly, that’s 99% of the reason I love to run! That feeling of joy and accomplishment after you complete a run, swim, etc. is one that keeps me coming back for more!

The rush of endorphins you get from accomplishing a good cardio workout will leave your with higher self-esteem and more confidence.

Cardio also elevates your serotonin levels in the brain.

Serotonin a key neurotransmitter that is involved in improving depression and anxiety.

The effects of aerobic activity often show up before we‘ve even finished our workout, and just 15 minutes of exercise a day can significantly boost your mood.

Honestly, this is my #1 reason to enjoy cardio.

Reese Witherspoon GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

Benefits of Strength Training

Muscle Gains and Strength

You will build more muscle with strength training.

Strength training works your muscles against resistance. And by stressing your muscles, it stimulates them to grow and become stronger.

If you are looking for that “toned” look or want bigger muscles, strength training is the way to go, NOT cardio.

An important note, if you’re worried about “getting too big”, don’t worry. It takes A LOT of concentrated effort to get huge muscles. So, don’t worry about that! Hitting the weight 3-4 times a week, on a good program, will help you get a nice shape to your muscles and achieve a “toned” look.

Flexing Arnold Schwarzenegger GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

Another benefit of growing muscle and strength is it can help prevent injury. So, even if you are a runner…actually especially if you are a runner, strength training should be included in your training to help prevent injury. It’ll also make you faster. 😉

Fat Loss

A lot of people who are trying to lose fat or lose weight think cardio is the way to go.

They might haaaate running, but they think that is what they need to do in order to lose weight.

You can definitely burn more calories during a cardio workout compared to a strength training workout, but that’s only *during* the workout.

Strength training will have you burning calories throughout the day.

Here’s why.

The more muscle mass you have vs. fat, the faster your metabolism will be. Or the more calories your body will burn when at rest.

Strength training = increased lean muscle mass = higher metabolic rate = more calories burned.

Muscle is more metabolically active than fat, so the more you gain, the more calories you’ll burn – and the more likely you are to keep fat off.  Dr Leigh Breen

If you’re trying to lose weight and be in a calorie deficit, this will help you out a lot!

Bone Health

Weight bearing exercises helps promote good bone health.

My mom’s doctor has recommended her to start doing weight bearing exercises to help prevent osteoporosis.

Numerous studies have shown that strength training can play a role in slowing down bone loss and even help build bone.

In short it’s because as you put stress on the bones, it puts bone-forming cells into action. As a result, stronger, denser bones.

Pretty cool!

This is a benefit even before you get super old! Think of it as less chance of fractures and bone breaks.

Combat Stress and Boost Confidence

Just like cardio, strength training can decrease cortisol levels and increase serotonin.

That drop in your cortisol levels can also help you sleep better.

Seeing yourself get stronger, being able to lift heavier, and mastering different lifts can also boost your confidence.

Accomplishing anything challenging and working hard will boost your confidence.

So, Which is Better For Me?

If you are training for a marathon, triathlon, etc. you’ll obviously want to prioritize cardio (running, biking, swimming) over strength training.

However, I also recommend at least 2 days of strength training to be included to your plan. This can help prevent injury and help you increase your overall strength.

Cardio GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

If you’re focus is fat loss, muscle gain, strength gain, I’d recommend a larger focus on strength training.

I recommend 3-4 days of strength training, hitting the major muscle groups twice a week. The quality of your strength training program is important as well.

It should be targeted towards accomplishing your specific goals and include progres overload.

Progressive Overload is when you gradually increase the weight, frequency, or number of reps.

Lifting Weights Muscles GIF by The World's Strongest Man - Find & Share on GIPHY

Cardio should still be included and that could be less intense like walking or whatever you like. I like to include cardio on the days between strength training.

In conclusion, both cardio and strength training are important and beneficial to your overall health. It’s a matter of finding a balance between the 2. And that balance will depend on your goals.

Hope this helps!

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Deep Core, Exercise, Fitness, Goals, Motivation, Postpartum, Postpartum Fitness, Postpartum Running, Running, Running Form

Return to Running Postpartum

When can I run again???

One of the first questions I had postpartum was when can I run again??

I had a long and hard recovery my first time around. I had been prepping for the baby so much that I neglected to think about what my body would go through and how I would recover.

In my defense, I feel like NOBODY warned me or spoke to me about postpartum recovery!

My pregnancy and delivery were fairly normal and I can’t complain too much.

I vividly remember sitting in my hospital bed waiting for my legs to un-numb and thinking, oh crap. This is going to hurt tomorrow!

I ended up with a 2nd degree tear. Second-degree tears involve the skin and muscle of the perineum and might extend deep into the vagina. It normally requires stitches.

It took forever to heal. At my 6 week check up my doctor confirmed that it was not healed. She said that some bodies just take longer to heal. 🤷🏼‍♀️

I was given permission to do anything besides sex due to the tear issue. She agreed that it didn’t look quite right yet. 🙈 She gave me some estrogen cream to spead up the healing which also temporarily brought back my period. (Thank goodness it disappeared again and didn’t come back until 11 month postpartum!)

Anyway, my body was nowhere near ready to run or do anything high intensity. Which I was missing and craving!

I also felt so much heaviness and pressure in my vagina.

It was depressing.

It also didn’t help that I was comparing myself to other mothers and their pregnancy/postpartum journey. So many were running even before their 6 week check up and seemed fine and happy!

I walked a lot but any time I tried to run, I felt like I was a baby just learning to walk.

Everything felt SO weird and different.

I didn’t know what was wrong, how to fix it, etc. I ran 5 miles the day before giving birth, so I thought I’d be ready to run pretty easily postpartum.

I kept walking and worked on regaining my strength. I also did some research on the pelvic floor and began giving some focus to my core and pelvic floor.

Eventually my tear healed and the pressure and heavy feeling went away.

I did a bunch of races, including my first full Ironman before getting pregnant with baby #2.

My recovery went a lot smoother this time and I felt more equipped to handle recovery. My expectations were also set more realistically.

Pregnancy #3 and Postpartum #3 was by far the smoothest!

Since that first postpartum experience, I’ve done a handful of 5ks, 10ks, 1/2 marathons, full marathons, triathlons, 1/2 Ironmans, and 1 Full Ironman!

I don’t say this to brag, but to give encouragement.

You CAN return to running and be even stronger than you were before! It’s possible with time, the right tools and guidance.

SO, let’s get into it!!!

But first. Disclaimer: I am NOT a doctor. I’m a personal trainer, a runner, triathlete, and someone who has gone through the postpartum experience 3 times. This article is not meant to diagnose or prescribe or advise you in your situation. It is informational and hopefully something that can give you guidance and awareness as you return to run postpartum. Every person, birth, and situation is different. Always seek help from your health provider to get specific guidance for you. If you have any questions about this article or online coaching, fill out the form below. ¨̮

In this article, I’m going to discuss the following:

  1. Postpartum Rest and Recovery
    • Why is it important to give your body time to recover?
    • How long do I have to wait?
  2. Postpartum Deep Core
    • Pelvic Floor
    • Diastasis Recti
    • Diaphragmatic Breathing
    • Transverse Abdominis
    • Deep Core Exercises
  3. Assessments: is your body ready to run?
    • Load and Impact Assessment
    • Strength Assessment
    • Running Form
  4. Preparing to Run
    • Walking
    • Strength Training
  5. Other Things to Consider
    • Posture
    • Sleep
    • Feet
    • Nutrition
    • Breastfeeding
    • Feet
  6. Conclusion

1. Postpartum Rest and Recovery

Why is it important to give your body time to recover?

First of all, you just carried a baby for 9-10 months, gave birth, and are in charge of a tiny human with a lot of demands and needs!

Give yourself grace.

And time.

You’re tired, hormonal, and are going through a major life change. Plus, you’re body just went through a medical procedure.

You wouldn’t expect someone who just had their appendix removed or who had knee surgery to hurry and “bounce back”.

You would want them to rest and fully recover.

Avoid comparing your postpartum journey to others. Unfollow people or get off social media if you need to. This is something that I’ve had to do from time to time.

I can’t stress enough that everyone is different!

Even if this isn’t your first postpartum experience, each pregnancy and birth can vary. My first postpartum experience was drastically different from my third.

How long do I have to wait?

So, with all of that said, everyone is different. The time frame is variable depending on your pregnancy, birth, recovery, etc. etc.

However, MOST physical therapists and doctors who have researched and conducted studies, recommend waiting 3-6 months as a guideline before you resume running.

I remember reading that and I was like, nah. That’s not for me. I’m fit and athletic. I can do it sooner. Lemme sign up for a marathon. 😜 ….fast forward 6 months when I cancelled the marathon because I was not ready!

But, I get it. Runners gotta run. 🏃🏼‍♀️

However, you NEED to be patient if you want to avoid injury and come back stronger.

If anyone talks about bouncing back or getting your body back, just punch them in the face. 😜

Your body and tissues need to heal in order to do something so high impact and dynamic as running.

It can take 4-6 months for your tissues to fully heal.

A 2019 study by UK physiotherapist Tom Goom and colleagues Grainne Donnelly, and Emma Brockwell, suggest women wait 3-6 months before resuming running. They said,

“The levator hiatus (pelvis) widens during pregnancy and increases significantly during vaginal birth. Recovery time for the tissues is understood to be between 4-6 months, well beyond the traditional concept of full recovery by the 6-week postnatal check….

If we consider cesarean section deliveries, we understand that abdominal fascia has only regained just over 50% of original tensile strength by 6-weeks post abdominal surgery and 73%-93% of original tensile strength by 6-7 months.”

Return to Running Postnatal–guidelines for medical, health, and fitness professionals. Tom Groom, Grainne Donnelly and Emma Brockwell.

The timeline may vary from person to person. Some might need to wait longer, some might feel comfortable resuming earlier.

If you are unsure, find a good pelvic floor PT who specializes in this stuff.

It’s important to become super aware of how your body is feeling. Listen to your body. Don’t push through pain. (speaking from experience!) 🙋🏼‍♀️

Focus on what you can do and remember, this is temporary.

You can come back stronger and faster than ever if you put in the time and work to recover.

2. Postpartum Deep Core

Pelvic Floor

First off, definitely go see a pelvic floor therapist postpartum. They can assess your pelvic floor and core strength.

I was expecting this kind of treatment to come from my OB, but the truth is, it won’t.

They don’t have the time or knowledge to do this unfortunately. Hopefully someday this can be part of the whole giving birth package!

Okay, so what is the pelvic floor?

In women, the pelvic floor is a group of muscles and ligaments that support the bladder, uterus, and bowel. It’s kind of like a sling, holding everything up.

You can also think of it like a diamond. One point of the diamond is the pubic symphysis (pubic bone) and the opposite end is the Coccyx (end of the tailbone). You have your sit bones on either side.

Even if you didn’t have a vaginal birth, you can still have issues with your pelvic floor due to pregnancy.

When you contract your pelvic floor muscles, your internal organs are lifted and the entrance to your anus, vagina, and urethra tighten.

This is different from a kegel. A kegal can open/close the urethra, vagina, anus, but it does not lift the pelvic floor.

One way to locate your pelvic floor is to pretend you’re peeing and the pretend to stop your stream of urine. It is not recommended to actually do this as it can lead to a UTI.

I’ve personally struggled with both a weak and tight pelvic floor.

If you are type A, and find that you clench your jaw, squeeze your butt cheeks, are unable to relax, etc. this might be you too! 🙋🏼‍♀️ I’ve had to learn to RELAX my pelvic floor.

This is also super important for delivering a baby vaginally. As you push, you need to relax and make more space for that little baby to come through.

Some women have a tight pelvic floor. Some women have a weak pelvic floor. And some can have a combination of both!

The tricky thing is, a lot of the symptoms of these pelvic floor dysfunctions crossover.

That is why it’s so important to get checked out by a PT. They can can do an internal exam so you can know what exercises would be most helpful.

Signs of a tight pelvic floor:

  • Painful sex
  • Leaking urine
  • Difficulty starting to pee
  • Dribbling after you pee or having to pee again right after going
  • SI joint pain, tailbone, and/or hip pain
  • Shallow breathing, difficulty getting a full breath in
  • Constipation

Signs of a weak pelvic floor:

  • Difficulty engaging your pelvic floor
  • When you try to engage/contract your pelvic floor, you clench your butt, inner thighs and abs instead
  • Leaking urine
  • Unable to hold in gas
  • Decreased sensation during sex

So why is the pelvic floor important for running?

Running is HIGH impact.

When you run, the impact is about 2 times your bodyweight! That’s a lot! In the Returning to Running Postnatal study, they said:

High-impact activity, such as running, is associated with a sudden rise in intra-abdominal pressure (Leitner et al. 2016). It has also been reported that ground reaction forces of between 1.6 and 2.5 times bodyweight can occur when running at a moderate speed of 11 Kilometers/hour (Gottschall and Kram 2005).

Presently, it is unknown if or how much of this is absorbed through the lower limb on impact and therefore it is assumed that some, if not all, of those forces are also transmitted to the pelvic floor.

Return to Running Postnatal–guidelines for medical, health, and fitness professionals. Tom Groom, Grainne Donnelly and Emma Brockwell.

I’ll repeat that…some, if not all, of those forces are also transmitted to the pelvic floor.

Post birth, you have a weaker pelvic floor, especially if you didn’t work those muscles prior to giving birth.

Running can and will make your issues worse if left unresolved.

Tom Groom and his associates said that running is not advisable if you have any of the following symptoms:

  • Urinary or fecal incontinence prior to or during running
  • Pressure / bulge / dragging in the vagina prior to or during running
  • Ongoing or onset of vaginal bleeding (not your menstrual cycle), during or after doing low impact or high impact exercise
  • Pelvic pain prior to or during running

Running through these symptoms can make it worse.

TRUST ME. You want to resolve these issues so you can return to running stronger and feel good!

Diaphragm Breathing

Learning how to breathe properly is one of the first steps to take so you can get back running and exercising.

Breathing properly will help stabilize and strengthen your core.

Of course, we all know how to breathe. But, especially as adults, we tend to breathe in our chest which causes shallow breathing. This can also cause pain or strain in your upper body.

The diaphragm is located below your lungs and is the major muscle of respiration. It’s like a muscular wall that separates the lungs from the stomach area.

The diaphragm and the pelvic floor work together. As you breathe through your diaphragm, or belly breath, your pelvic floor contracts and relaxes.

How to Diaphragmatic Breath:

  1. Find a comfortable position either sitting or lying down on your back.
  2. Put one hand on your chest and one on your belly or ribs.
  3. Take a long, slow breath through your nose. As you inhale, your stomach should rise and your ribs expand. Focus on getting air into your ribs and back.
  4. Exhale through your mouth with your lips pursed together like you’re slowly blowing out a birthday candle.
  5. Your stomach should rise and fall and your chest should stay still.
  6. Take a few seconds and repeat 10 times

Diastasis Recti

Another important component to postpartum running is your abdominal muscles.

Diastasis Recti is abdominal separation. (Diastasis=seperation. Recti=rectus abdominis)

It is very common during pregnancy.

Research shows that up to 100% of pregnant women have a diastasis recti of more than 16 millimeters in their final trimester.

Some women may be more prone to separation due to genetics, BMI, weight gain, baby’s birth weight, etc.

As your abdomen expands to accommodate your growing baby, your skin, muscles, and connective tissues stretch out. Your baby needs more space as he or she grows.

You can’t prevent it from happening, but you can try to reduce the severity.

The Linea Alba (in purple below) is the connective tissue joining the two sides of the rectus abdominis muscle (the 6-pack muscle). It runs along your midline from your sternum to pubic bone.

During pregnancy, it relaxes and stretches out and as a result, the distance between your two rectus abdominis muscles (6 pack muscles) increases.

For a lot of women the gap will close naturally in 4-12 weeks postpartum.

For many others it won’t close on it’s own. You will need to do some exercises to help close it.

The good news is, it’s never too late to work on your diastasis recti!

But first, how do you know if you have diastasis recti?

Some common symptoms are:

  • Low back pain
  • A visible bulge or pooch in your belly (AKA the “mommy pooch”)
  • Coning or doming when you contract your ab muscles (like when doing a sit up)
  • Poor posture
  • Bloating and constipation
  • Incontinence
  • Feeling of weakness in abs

You might also see “coning or doming” when you do certain exercises or movements like a plank or sit-up. This happens when the abdominal pressure is pushing through the linea alba. You’ll see a raised ridge down your midline.

While pregnant and postpartum you should be mindful of how you get out of bed, etc. Roll to your side and lift up rather than doing a sit up motion to get up.

You can also do a self check:

  1. Lay on your back and bend your knees with your feet flat on the floor
  2. Place your fingers just above your belly button with your palm facing you
  3. Lift your head and neck slightly off the ground and press down with your fingertips
  4. If you can feel a finger gap between your muscles and it is more than an inch wide, or 2 fingers wide, you may have diastasis recti. The gap can be above your belly button, at your belly button, or below your belly button. The depth of the gap matters as well. That shows how much connective tissue you have left.

Transverse Abdominis

The Transverse Abdominis are muscles are some of the most neglected muscles. I certainly never thought about them prior to having babies.

However, they are SO important for strengthening and stabilizing your core and reducing back pain.

They are located under the obliques in the deep core and wrap around you and help compress your organs.

They’re often referred to as your natural “Spanx”, or like a corset for your organs.

Ava Gardner Corset GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

It’s the only abdominal muscle that connects to both the spine and pelvis.

It wraps around the entire pelvis and connects directly to your spine, stabilizing the pelvis and spine together.

It’s essential for stabilizing the pelvis and lower back during movement.

Sorry for repeating myself. But, it’s important. 😜

Breathing is the key to activating your Transverse Abdominis.

Shallow breath / chest breathing = poor activation.

Think of your deep core muscles (transverse abdominis, pelvic floor, and diaphragm) like the walls of a balloon.

They stretch easily but until you fill them with air, they are floppy. They aren’t providing proper stability to the pelvis and spine.

When you inhale, the diaphragm moves downward and the pelvic floor stretches. When you exhale, the diaphragm ascends and the pelvic floor contracts upward.

How to Breathe and Activate your Transverse Abdominis:

  1. Find a comfortable position. I like laying down on my back.
  2. Inhale, taking a diaphragmatic breath.
  3. Right before you exhale, lift and lengthen your pelvic floor (this is not a kegel). Imagine sucking something up through a straw.
  4. As you exhale, make a ‘SSSSSSS’ sound which will help you keep the air slow and controlled. Don’t be scared to make noise! Your stomach should flatten starting at your lower belly up to your upper belly. Here are some useful cues:
    • Imagine a rolling pin rolling from your lower belly to your upper belly pushing all the air out
    • Imagine zipping up a tight jacket
    • Imagine that your cinching up a corset
    • Imagine bringing your hip bones closer together, your obliques to touch, your ribs closer together
    • Belly button in and up
  5. Do not hold your breath or suck in your spine!
  6. Once you’ve exhaled, relax your pelvic floor. Take a few seconds and repeat.

One more tip that helped me recognize if I’m activating my transverse abdominis was to lay down and place my hand 1″ in from my hip bone and 1″ down from my hip bone. When activated, you should feel the muscle tighten.

Aside from breathing exercises, let’s go over a few other deep core exercises you can do as your prepare to run!

Deep Core Exercises

Heel Slides

First, activate your TVA. Inhale, exhale, lift your pelvic floor with the “sssss” breath. Wrap your TVA in.

Keep your heel in contact with the ground as you slowly extend one leg. Exhale to extend your leg, inhale to slide your heel back in.

Glute Bridge Marching

First, activate your TVA. Inhale, exhale, lift your pelvic floor with the “sssss” breath. Wrap your TVA in. Think about putting on a tight pair of jeans, bringing those hip bones closer together.

Lift your glutes up into bridge position. Lift one leg, bring back down and alternate. Try to keep you pelvis/hips square. Don’t let one side dip down.

Toe Taps

First, activate your TVA. Inhale, exhale, lift your pelvic floor with the “sssss” breath. Wrap your TVA in.

Bring your legs up into table top position and slowly tap one foot down to the ground and bring it back up. Alternate sides. Keep you TVA turned on and continue breathing through this movement.

Knee Drops

First, activate your TVA. Inhale, exhale, lift your pelvic floor with the “sssss” breath. Wrap your TVA in.

Slowly drop one knee to the side. Control the movement and be sure you keep you TVA turned on and continue breathing.

Frog Pose – relaxing your pelvic floor

This exercise to meant to RELAX your pelvic floor. You are not contracting. It’s a modified child’s pose. Try to imagine your hips WIDENING as you relax and breathe.

Position your body with you forehead on the ground, arms relaxed infront, and butt in the air (kind of like how babies like to sleep). Your butt should be past 90 degrees.

Completely relax into the ground.

Don’t brace any muscle in your body.

Get heavy.

Mentally focus and envision releasing your pelvic floor. Feel your pelvic floor and hips widen and stretch out.

3. Postpartum Assessment

Load and Impact Assessment

As mentioned above, when you run, the impact on your body is up to 2 times your bodyweight.

In the return to running study ( 2019 study), they provided some exercises to assess if your body is ready to return to running.

You need to be able to do the following without pain, heaviness, dragging, or incontinence.

  1. Walking for 30 minutes
  2. Single leg balance – 10 seconds
  3. Single leg squat – 10 reps each leg
  4. Jog in place for 1 minute
  5. Forward bounds – 10 reps
  6. Hop in place – 10 reps each leg
  7. Single leg ‘running man’ (opposite arm and hip flexion/extension (bent knee) – 10 reps each side

If you do experience any symptoms or are unable to complete any of the exercises, that’s okay!

It can help identify what you need to work on or strengthen.

Strength Assessment

These exercises also come from the  2019 study

The purpose of this assessment is to determine if the key muscle groups are prepared for running.

Aim for 20 reps of each test.

  1. Single leg calf raise
  2. Single leg bridge
  3. Single leg sit to stand
  4. Side lying abduction

Any weaknesses found while doing these exercises can also help identify where strength work is needed most!

4. Postpartum Running Form

Your body goes through a lot changes during pregnancy!

  • Your center of gravity changes as your belly grows, which can cause your hips and feet to rotate outward in order to increase your base of support. This can can cause tight and weakened hips because you’ve shortening the hip muscles. You will need to strengthen your gluteus medius and minimus to combat this.
  • Increased ankle tightness and lack of flexibility
  • Arched back or poor posture

All of these changes can affect your running form postpartum.

I highly recommend running outside, barefoot, and recording your run from the side, front, and back. This will give you an idea of what you’re currently doing, and what you need to work on.

So let’s get into what you want to look for as you analyze your run!

  1. Alignment
    • Align your shoulders, hips, knees and toes together
    • Eye Gaze. Look about 15-20 feet ahead of you.
    • Ears aligned with your shoulders.
    • Relax your shoulders. Don’t shrug those shoulders!
  2. Glute Activation
    • Apply the S-pose. This means you’ll be in a slight mini squat which will help you get good glute activation. Remember, your glutes muscles are large! They should be taking most of the force. The s-pose will help with this.
    • You should feel your glutes activate every time your foot hits the ground. Now, this doesn’t mean it will feel like you’re doing a squat or deadlift – not that intense, but you should feel them working.
      • Try doing some glute activation drills. We often have sleepy glutes from sitting too much.
    • Think, light and soft feet
  3. Arm Drive and Obliques (pendulum motion)
    • Your left leg and right arm move together; your right leg and left arm move together
    • This will propel you forward and help increase your cadence
    • Imagine a line going down the center of your body; try not to let your arms cross that line
    • Also, be sure not to tense up your hands in fists, this can cause you to tense up in your upper body too
  4. Falling / Forward Lean
    • Let gravity do the work! Lean forward from your ankles
    • The faster you run, the more you lean
    • Do a fall forward drill to help get the feel of this
    • Your posture should be tall, but not straight up and down
  5. Fast Feet
    • Keep your cadence high (170-180 steps per minute). This can help reduce the load to your muscles and body by using gravity to keep you moving forward.
    • Feet should land underneath your hips.
    • Avoid overstriding. Overstriding is when your foot lands in front of you. This is like applying the breaks and will require you to work harder to move forward! Momentum is your friend when running.
    • Heel striking is somewhat controversial and I admit, it’s something my husband and I have argued about over the years as he noticed I was heel striking. haha… however, after having a pretty significant injury and going through a whole program to get me running again, I have changed my tune. Mid-striking is optimal. Heel striking can increase the impact of hitting the ground which can lead to injury. It also increases the contact time your on the ground which can slow you down.
Running Form

5. Preparing to Run

In the U.S. you will have an appointment with your OBGYN at 6 weeks postpartum. If you’ve healed well, this is usually when you’re given the green light to exercise and do anything and everything you did prior to pregnancy.

However, you don’t have to wait until that appointment to start preparing for running and exercise. Of course this will vary person to person, but generally, it’s good to start walking and doing LIGHT pelvic floor exercises.


One of the tests mentioned above was being able to walk for 30 minutes without pain, heaviness, dragging, or incontinence.

This is something you can start to work on pretty early postpartum.

Walking was always something I looked forward to in those early postpartum days. I always get cabin fever staying at home so much so it was nice to get outside and do something.

Walking will help you build up your strength and endurance.

It’s also great for your mental health!

During the first 1-4 weeks, you want to gradually increase the time you’re walking.

For example, week one could be 2-3 minute walk and rest. Twice daily. That’s it!

By week 4 you could be up to something like :

15 minute walk / 5 minute rest / 10 minute walk / 5 minute rest

After 6 weeks you can add in more low impact cardio like swimming, biking, and the elliptical.

Always listen to your body and if you feel like it’s too much, stop or scale back.

Strength Training

Starting at 6 weeks, begin some strength training.

A lot of runners have weak hips – even those who were never pregnant so it’s important to work on strengthening your glute muscles postpartum.

Step-ups, squats, deadlifts, bulgarian split squats are all great exercises to help strengthen your glutes.

Single leg and balance/stability exercises are also great.

Of course, you’ll want to include strength workouts for your whole body.

Running is a full body workout.

Everything is connected in your body so if one muscle is weak, it can cause extra stress or compensation on other muscles.

Strength training will help prevent injury, make you stronger, faster, and give you some nice looking muscles too. 😁

Learn more about strength training here.

6. Postpartum Obstacles: Other things to consider


The strength of your core can have an affect on your posture and visa versa. As new moms, it’s easy to fall into some bad habits with posture since you have a weakened core, are holding a baby, breastfeeding, etc.

When you’re standing, pay attention to your posture. Are you pushing your hips forward? Arching your back? You want to work towards a neutral spine alignment shown in the image below.

Anterior Pelvic Tilt is when push your butt back, arch your back, and push your chest forward. This is very common with pregnant women. You may have tight hip flexors, tight back muscles, weak hamstrings, and abdominal weakness

Posterior Pelvic Tilt is when you push your hips forward so your rib cage sits behind your pelvis. You may have tight hamstrings, tight back muscles, weak abdominals and weak hip flexors.

Both of these postures can cause back, hip, knee, and neck pain. Not ideal!

Try to keep your pelvis, ribcage, shoulders, head stacked on top of each other. I know, it’s hard when you’re holding babies, breastfeeding, etc. but try to be more aware of it.

Engage your core as much as possible as you lift and hold your baby.


Obviously this is something you will be lacking as a new mother. Try to rest as much as possible. Ask for help where you can.

If you had a terrible nights sleep, consider skipping your run or reducing the time so you can recover.

Communicate with your spouse or partner about the importance of exercise for you so you can get help in this area. They can be pretty oblivious sometimes so it’s important to be direct. 😉


Drink lots of water and try to eat as many whole foods as possible.

Whole foods = not packaged or processed.

When you’re sleep deprived, you’ll probably crave more sugar, but it’s important to give your body nutrients so you can have energy. Especially if you are also breastfeeding.

However, no need to eliminate sugar completely as long as you’re also eating fruits, veggies, and protein. If you need help with this, I’m happy to help. Find out more here.


A common myth I heard when I first has my baby was that if I run or exercise too much, I’ll lose my milk supply. However, there are studies out there that show there is no difference in milk production or milk composition for mamas who exercise vs. mamas who don’t.

If you are doing a very intense run or workout, you may have some lactic acid in your milk, but most studies have found that does not affect the baby accepting the milk or not.

Bottom line. Make sure you are drinking and eating more to keep up your milk supply as exercise may put you in a calorie deficit.


You’re feet can change a lot during pregnancy. Some women report going up a size or 1/2 a size or having a wider foot postpartum.

A number of women also experience pain in the arch (plantar fasciitis) during pregnancy due to the changes of your center of gravity, pointing your toes more outward while walking and standing. That can put additional pressure on the arch.

First, it’s important to make sure you have the right footwear. If you’re shoes feel tight or uncomfortable, look into getting new shoes. You might also find that the model of shoe you preferred pre-pregnancy doesn’t work as well postpartum.

Second, work on strengthening and activating the muscles in your feet and retraining them so they are prepared for running.

Obviously your feet are an important component to running, but it’s something we often neglect.

7. Conclusion

Let’s summarize the general guideline to return to running:

  1. Prior to 6 weeks, start doing some light deep core/pelvic floor work.
  2. Prior to 6 weeks, starting walking. Ease into this and start small.
  3. At 6 weeks, go to your OBGYN to get assessed. If all is well, they will give you the green light to do anything and everything.
  4. At 6 weeks, before doing anything and everything, go to a pelvic floor specialist to be assessed and given specific guidance for your body.
  5. 6-12 weeks, continue doing core/pelvic floor work as well as full body strength training, head to toe. Listen to your body and back off intensity if needed.
  6. 12-18 weeks, if all is well, start a couch to 5k program or something similar to begin running. As I’ve stressed throughout this article, everyone is different. You could be ready to run earlier or even later. Work with a pelvic PT, your doctor, and be your own advocate to help determine what’s best for you.

Listen to your body as you start running again. Ease back into it.

Have fun and don’t put pressure on yourself.

Allow yourself to properly recover when you get back to running – you might need more time than normal to recover between runs.

Don’t ignore any running niggles that come up. Give them attention and treatment rather than running through them.

Go see a pelvic floor therapist especially if you have any of these symptoms:

  • heaviness or pressure in your vagina or rectum
  • leakage or incontinence
  • painful sex

I know this is cliche, but enjoy this time with your little baby. It really does go SO FAST. You will have plenty of time to get back into running and racing.

You can come back even stronger and faster than you were before. 💪🏼

Lastly, if you have any questions, comment below or email me.

Please share this if you found it useful.

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Thank you for being here and reading this. I truly hope it helps and you feel more prepared, confident, and hopeful about running postpartum!



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