“Mens sana in corpore sano” is a Latin phrase, usually translated to: “a healthy mind in a healthy body”. This phrase expresses the theory that physical exercise is an important/essential part of mental and psychological well-being. This is something that I agree with whole-heartedly.
A little bit of my background: I grew up playing all kinds of sports, but my true love was competitive gymnastics. Gymnastics was my world for 18 years, including through most of college. I was taught discipline, mental and physical toughness, teamwork, determination, consistency, respect, dedication, and more. I graduated with my Bachelor’s in Science: Exercise and Rehabilitative Sciences, with a minor in nutrition. I continued my education further and am now a Physical Therapist Assistant. My profession is now my passion; I love working hands-on with my patients to rehabilitate, teach preventative care and to emphasize/encourage the importance of movement.
“Movement is medicine” is a phrase I use often. Movement improves blood flow, flexibility, reduces pain and produces our happy hormones! It doesn’t even have to be crazy amounts of exercise; just going for a small walk totally counts! This is something that I am working hard to implement into my life, especially at 36 weeks pregnant when moving a lot doesn’t sound fun. I keep reminding myself that any movement is good movement! Here is one of my workout routines that I’m currently doing to keep myself moving, and keep my mind happy! It doesn’t require any weights, exercise equipment or a gym membership and it’s a perfect routine for beginners!
I perform 10-15 repetitions of each, for 3-4 rounds.
- Begin on your hands and knees.
- Reach your right leg out and your left arm out at the same time. Keep your core engaged as best you can (try not to let your belly hang towards the floor. Think of pulling your bellybutton to your spine).
- Slowly alternate between sides. 1 reach on the left side and 1 reach on the right = 1 rep total.
- Using the edge of a chair (fingertips pointing forwards) slowly lower your bottom towards the ground.
- Push back up to straight arms.
- Using a chair, rest your elbows on the seat.
- Walk your knees out to create a semi-straight line from your shoulders-hips-knees.
- Try to engage your core as best your can, to keep your back nice and flat.
- Hold this position for 15-60 seconds, whatever challenges you!
- Make sure you keep breathing!
- Stand with your feet shoulder width apart.
- Bend forward at your hips, bringing your nose over your toes.
- Keep your weight in your heels (not your toes!) and slowly bend your knees to lower you down as if you were going to sit in a chair.
- Push through your heels to return to a stand.
- *Important to try to keep your back nice and flat! No arching your low back!
- Start in standing.
- Take one large step forward with your right leg.
- Slowly lower yourself by bending BOTH knees. (It is common for people to forget to bend the back knee towards the floor).
- Push through your right foot to return back to a standing position.
- You can choose to do all 10-15 on the right side and then do 10-15 on the left side OR you can alternate 1 on each side until you reach 10-15 each, total.
Remember: ANY movement is better than no movement at all. So keep moving, you’ve got this!!
** Fun fact: the sports bra I am wearing here is from Sweat and Milk. So after I’ve had a good workout sweat, I can also use it for postpartum to nurse Baby Bularz in! OBSESSED!
**ALSO: the water bottle pictured in all photos is from Healthish . It is one of my favorite water bottles that I bring around with me all day, every day. It is leak proof, BPA free and the best part: it has time prompts on it to help remind you to stay hydrated throughout the day from AM to PM. It helps hold myself accountable for water intake and definitely helps keep me hydrated!