Backyard Boot Camp: Cardio Workout at Home

Looking for an easy way to get your heart rate up and do a cardio workout at home? Try this quick Backyard Boot Camp: Cardio Workout at Home 5x, and it will do the trick! This boot camp will get your heart rate up and burn some fat! You will be sweating, but it’s a great way to get your cardio activity in without leaving the backyard! You might even tone your legs and your butt while you’re at it ūüôā Give it a try and let me know how it goes!

backyard boot camp cardio workout at home

Pin this Backyard Boot Camp to your Pinterest fitness board and try it 5x for a cardio and fat burning workout!

Exercise Video — Backyard Boot Camp: Ab Shred

What do all women want, but very few get? Nice abs!! But why? Is it possible to get nice abs after pregnancy? Yes. It takes hard work and commitment, but nice abs after pregnancy is possible for you. Remember, abs are made in the gym and in the kitchen. So eat clean, workout, and add these ab moves into your exercise routine.

Get your abs back after pregnancy by trying the following moves:

  • Warm up your abs by doing regular crunches. Keep your belly button in toward your spine.
  • Scissor crunches: Put your hands under your butt. Raise your shoulders off the ground, and raise your legs above the ground 6 inches — cross them in front of you.
  • Lay back with your arms extended above your head and your toes pointed and legs straight. Use your ab muscles to pull yourself up and touch your toes. Lower slowly down. Then raise your legs perpendicular with the ground and touch your toes.
  • Bicycles: twist your torso and touch your elbows to your knees. Move your legs in a bicycle motion.
  • Flutter kicks: sit up and balance on your butt. Flutter your legs straight out in front of you to stimulate your lower abs.
  • Sit up and keep your heels slightly off the ground. Twist your torso and touch your elbows on the ground to stimulate your transverse obliques.

You can get your pre-baby abs back after pregnancy! Best wishes.

Pin this Backyard Boot Camp to your Pinterest fitness board and do it consistently to develop nice abs!

Is it Possible to Get Your Pre-Baby Body Back After Multiple Pregnancies?

Is it possible to get your pre-baby body back after¬†pregnancy?¬†Maybe it’s possible to get your body back¬†after one pregnancy, but what about after multiple pregnancies? Read this fit mom featured blog by Khristine, mother to 3 daughters. Khristine’s story and body transformation after 3 pregnancies is truly inspiring.

My name is Khristine, and¬†I blog over at BeautyAndTheBrute.com. It’s a fitness¬†and beauty blog that I share with my husband.¬† I’m a 26-year-old mother of 3 girls: ages 6 Years old, 4 Years old,¬†and last, our newest bundle of joy, just turned 4 months old.¬† I’m currently a LVN¬†going back to school for my BSN. I’m a fitness junkie and beauty/makeup addict at heart.¬† I love all aspects of fitness and love trying new things … from weightlifting, to yoga.¬†I love switching it up and pushing my body to its limits!

I actually was not always a fitness junkie. In fact, I am relatively new to¬†fitness. I have only been weightlifting for about 2 years (on and off).¬† Before this, I was your typical girl who tried the latest yo-yo diets and always wanted the easy way out. I would be happy with crash dieting for special occasions (like to fit into a dress for a wedding etc) … but found that to be too exhausting on my body. I was never really happy with how my body looked after pregnancy, and hated how I couldn’t keep up with my children. Luckily for me – my husband introduced me to the fitness lifestyle and showed me the way to health and wellness.

After my first two¬†pregnancies,¬†I didn’t even¬†think about exercising to help get my pre-baby body back. And unfortunately, I got hit with postpartum depression. PPD hit HARD after my¬†2nd¬†pregnancy – where it nearly cost me my life. (I did experience a mild case of PPD after my 1st, but wasn’t nearly as bad as after my¬†2nd pregnancy). I’m so thankful that I had the support of my husband and family to really get me through such hard times that I don’t ever want to relive or wish on anyone.¬† But I’m proud to say that I’m 4 months out from my 3rd pregnancy and have not experienced PPD one bit! I¬†exercised during my whole pregnancy and at 6 weeks postpartum, entered an online body transformation contest on BodyBuilding.com (to try to motivate me to lose weight and get my pre-baby body back – and the Grand Prize of $10k didn’t sound too bad either).

After¬†delivering my 3rd daughter and having to take “before” pictures, it really opened my eyes¬†to what pregnancy did to¬†my body.¬† I had gained so much weight¬†and was unrecognizable (and really was not happy with my body), so¬†I set out on a journey to get healthier, not only for me – but for my children. I wanted to set a good example for my girls and show them¬†that you need to take care of yourself in order to take care of others.

Khristine’s body transformation after baby number 3.

So with that said, I’d like to share my 3 month progress pictures. The before pictures were taken 6 weeks after I had my 3rd daughter (I was breastfeeding at the time, which probably also added to the weight gain). The pictures were taken in April and the end date of my challenge was on July 22. For my “before” picture I was 154 lbs.¬† My “after” picture I was 131.8 lbs and I took into consideration that due to my intense weight lifting, I’ve gained lean muscle (which I’m very proud of!).

Khristine’s back transformation after baby number 3.

I want to share my journey with as many women as possible.¬† I know a lot of moms who think it’s impossible to get your pre-baby body back after pregnancy.¬† Some women are blessed to be able to lose the baby weight and snap back to pre-pregnancy, but for others like myself – It’s really a journey.¬† We all need to remember that during pregnancy, It took 9 months to gain¬†weight, and it’s going to take some time to get it off! But consistency is key when trying to reach your goal.A lot of women ask me, how did I do it? I honestly just changed my eating habits (meaning I would eat healthy foods, and wouldn’t eat a bunch of fast food all day), I watched my calories and stayed in a caloric deficit (used an awesome calorie tracking system called MyFitnessPal – It’s FREE!) and did intense training. I loved seeing results every week during my 12 week challenge.¬† Just knowing that my hard work was showing, pushed me to work harder, especially because I had just delivered my 3rd baby.

I have shown great perseverance and dedication throughout this challenge even through the stressors of being a wife, mother, and nursing student.  I have inspired my family and friends to live a healthier lifestyle (or at least start).  This challenge has given me the confidence I needed. This is definitely not the end of my transformation.  I still want to achieve my lean, sexy body, and in the future possibly become a personal trainer.  I also would like to step on stage and compete in a bikini competition someday.

For more information about Khristine and her transformation, visit her blog at www.BeautyandtheBrute.com, www.facebook.com/beautyandthebrute, www.twitter.com/beautyandbrute, and www.youtube.com/beautyandthebrute.

Pregnancy Cardio Exercise Video

My pregnant gym clients are often looking for ways to get in a good cardio workout at home. It is important to continue pregnancy cardio¬†exercises for at least 30-60 minutes 5 days per week. Today I had the privilege of working out with Libby Aker, 30 week pregnant fit mom —¬†with the cutest baby bump ever! This is Libby’s second pregnancy (you will see her 18 month old, Griffin, make a guest appearance in the video). She is committed to staying fit and continuing cardio exercises through the end of her pregnancy.

Try this pregnancy cardio exercise video — even if you aren’t pregnant! Remember to stop what you are doing and consult your doctor if you experience any red flags: bleeding, shortness of breath, and abdominal pain.

Doing this pregnancy cardio exercise video will keep you fit for labor and delivery and help speed up your recovery time after delivery. And the best part is — you do not need an expensive gym membership to stay in good cardio shape throughout pregnancy! The¬†exercises in this video include jogging in place, mummy kick, stair stepping, and running around with your toddler — sounds like an easy enough pregnancy cardio exercise video to do at home right? Best wishes!

Pin this pregnancy cardio workout to your fitness Pinterest board and do it 5 times in a row for more fun and cardio!

Exercise in the Last Month of Pregnancy

Many pregnant women come to my site searching for advice on exercise in the last month of pregnancy. I have written about my experience working out in my last month of pregnancy, however, I delivered Emma at exactly 37 weeks, so I did not truly go through what most pregnant women refer to as exercise in the last month of pregnancy.

So, to get a better idea of how to workout in the last few weeks of the third trimester, I met up with fellow personal trainer and 9 month pregnant fit mom, Erin Brooks. Erin is only a couple of weeks away from her due date, and she has maintained a fit pregnancy through the third trimester and plans to work on until D-day.

Here is a video clip of¬†a few¬†great weight training moves you can try — even in the last month of pregnancy!

The first squat and arm move will stimulate your butt, hamstrings, quads, and arm muscles. It can help prepare your for a strong labor and delivery. Be sure that your knees do not go in front of your toes on the squat, and continue breathing in through your nose and out through your mouth. Use 10 or 15 pound free weights.

For the ten to one’s, use 5 pound weights.¬†1. Bring your arms straight out from your side, parallel to the ground, then slowly down. 2. Bring your arms straight out in front of you, parallel to the ground, then slowly down. 3. Raise your arms above your head touching the weights in the middle, then slowly down. Do one set of each variation 10 times. Continue additional sets with nine reps, then eight, etc., down to one.

Before I met up with Erin for the workout this weekend, she had already run 5 miles with a gym client of hers. Again — she is only 2 weeks away from her due date! Here is a quick circuit that she did while we were at her gym. Complete with pull-ups, medicine ball burpees, and medicine ball throws. And all this was in the last month of her pregnancy. If Erin can do this at 9 months pregnant, the rest of us certainly do not have any excuses!

Again, it is possible to maintain your pre-pregnancy level of fitness and an intense exercise program in the last month of pregnancy.¬†Continuing a workout program will help with labor and delivery, and will significantly speed up your recovery time. I was walking my dog within 2 days of delivery, and back to running within 2 weeks. This is not the “norm”, but it is possible if you stay fit. Remember to consult with your physician before starting or maintaining an exercise program during pregnancy.

Julie’s Journey to Health and Wellness

Read this powerful¬†fit mom¬†guest blog¬†by Julie — military wife and mom¬†to two gorgeous children.¬†¬†Here is her story:

Julie — fit mom and military wife.

“I ask‚ÄĒask the God of our Master, Jesus Christ, the God of glory‚ÄĒto make you intelligent and discerning in knowing him personally, your eyes focused and clear, so that you can see exactly what it is he is calling you to do, grasp the immensity of this glorious way of life he has for his followers, oh, the utter extravagance of his work in us who trust him‚ÄĒendless energy, boundless strength!” Ephesians 1:19 (MSG)Energy was something I always seemed to run short on, but now I can say I am abundantly filled!

My journey started about 5 months ago, the start of a very new season in my life. With a tearful goodbye, I instantly took on the role of being a single mom to my at the time 2.5 year old son and 6 month old daughter. This was the result of my husband deploying for the next six months, a common duty, and way of life for many military families. After having my daughter last summer, I found myself still holding onto 12 extra pounds, enjoying bad eating habits, and feeling very empty both spiritually and physically.

A few weeks before my husband left for his deployment, we enjoyed a night together as a family. It was on the car ride home that my husband expressed his desire for me to eat healthier and ultimately be more active physically as a family. During this discussion, I participated and listened to what he had to say. This was a first for me. There had been many talks like this in the past, which all ended empty, as I was not willing to change or listen. This night however, God got a hold of my heart, and with it He started to work. My heart was softened as I listened to my husband’s desire for me, there was more to it than just that, though I didn’t realize it until months later.

Being a single mom is not an easy job.¬† It is a lot of hard work.¬† There is also a lot of joy in it!¬† My kids have always been pretty good sleepers which usually allow for most of our mornings to start no earlier than 8am.¬† After my husband left, I decided to start getting up around 7 a.m. to work out in our very small apartment living room before the kids woke up.¬† I started this routine in February, and have been doing it ever since.¬† I started small.¬† A neighbor let me borrow the Jillian Michaels 30 Day Shred DVD so I took it, and worked out using the beginner modifications, five pound weights, and worked my way up.¬† After a month of working out 5 days a week, I could tell I was on my way to gaining strength and melting some of the fat off my body.¬† I decided to keep a record of my transformation by taking monthly pictures to see my progress.¬† This was a great motivator for me!¬† I became a member of calorie counter (it’s free) to help log my food, and stay within the right amount of calories each day to achieve my goal of losing 12 pounds (which would put me back to my pre-pregnancy weight).¬† I did this faithfully for 4 months, and kept challenging myself by finding and utilizing harder workout videos (many of which I found on youtube) as I got stronger.

During these months of working out, I also cleaned up my diet, my kids diets, and started feeling better.  I found I was not just taking care of my body, but my heart as well.  I started taking out the trash in my life, and giving my heart to God.  He was still doing a work in me, and I realized that I was worshiping God through my exercise and eating.  Once I learned this connection, everything changed.  Yes, exercising made me feel better, changed my body appearance, and even helped improve my mood each day.  However, I can not do anything without the power of God in my life.  It all came together for me.  Through loving God, exercising, and eating healthy, it all became a package deal.  Now, I can truly say I have endless energy and boundless strength!

Five months later, I can almost start the countdown for my husband’s return home.¬† This will be a very joyous reunion!¬† But what I can say now, is that I have successfully reached all of my goals in just five months.¬† By God’s grace, I was able to be a single mom to my kids, workout every morning, and eat healthy!¬† Today, I am not 12 pounds lighter but 24 pounds lighter.¬† I have more definition in my arms, abs, and legs than before having kids, I eat healthy, and feel great!¬† The best part was, I didn’t ever go to the gym.¬† I worked and continue to work hard every morning with a pair of weights, a mat, and at home in a very small space.¬†¬† I am maintaining this new lifestyle, as I eagerly wait to show it all off to my husband and enjoy the benefits together as a family.

To God be the glory great things He has done!

Pregnancy Cardio Workout at Home

If you are pregnant, and looking for a good cardio or body weight strength training workout do to at home, here are some ideas and exercise videos to help you on your way. I was able to maintain a fit pregnancy by doing these same workouts in combination with a running (or walking) program. It is extremely important to continue exercising throughout pregnancy to help reduce water retention (especially in the third trimester), excess pregnancy weight gain, moodiness, fatigue, nasuea, and many other common pregnancy symptoms. Always check with your physician before starting an exercise program during pregnancy.

Pregnacy Exercises: Fit Pregnancy Total Body Workout DVD

Introducing my Pregnancy Exercises: Fit Pregnancy Total Body Workout DVD. If you are looking for a prenatal workout to do through all three trimesters of pregnancy, during your pre-pregnancy fitness plan, and for post-delivery recovery, look no further.

For a very limited time, I am accepting pre-orders for the Pregnancy Exercises: Fit Pregnancy Total Body Workout DVD with an added incentive of no shipping and handling fees!

Ab and Core Exercises During Pregnancy

It is important to continue stimulating your ab and core muscles during pregnancy. It will help with labor and delivery and will speed up recovery. After the first trimester, it is best not to do ab exercises on your back (and risk cutting off the oxygen supply to the baby).

Try these ab and core exercises after warming up properly. Continue breathing in through your nose and out through your mouth.

Get Toned, Sexy Arms, Even During Pregnancy

Do you want toned, sexy arms during pregnancy and beyond? Are you worried that heavy lifting will be unsafe during pregnancy or make your arms look bulky and masculine? Here is a great circuit to get strong, sexy, feminine arms. Do this 5 minute circuit a few times a week in combination with cardio and strength training exercises during pregnancy.

Pregnancy Cardio Circuit for a Workout at Home

Try this tough core and cardio 5 minute workout during pregnancy. I picked one with less jumping and bouncing.¬†ūüôā¬†The relaxin hormone¬†can make it hard¬†to continue lunge jumps and plyometrics. I had to scale back a bit on my¬†plyos in the third¬†trimester of pregnancy because my pelvis tended to get sore.

With this pregnancy cardio circuit, you will stimulate your back, abdominal, arm, and leg muscles without even leaving the ground! This quick circuit will get your heart rate up to fat burning and cardio zone, while strengthening and toning your core! It’s a tough workout, but worth the results!

Check back for more at home pregnancy cardio workouts to be posted soon! Continuing to exercise throughout pregnancy is safe and so important. Maintaining a fit pregnancy will help you in labor and delivery and to speed up recovery. Join our community or like us on Facebook to receive daily pregnancy fitness and nutrition tips! Best wishes.

How to Prevent Water Retention During Pregnancy

How can you prevent or reduce water retention during pregnancy? Preventing water retention during pregnancy was a big concern for me throughout my pregnancy. Is is possible to prevent water retention, or is it inevitable to experience swollen hands, ankles, face, etc?¬†The answer — it is absolutely possible to prevent water retention during pregnancy, but like anything else, it takes commitment and hard work. Here are some pointers to help prevent or reduce your pregnancy (or non pregnancy) water retention. I followed these tips and did not exeprience any noticeable¬†water retention or a swollen face and ankles.

‚Ė† Exercise, exercise, exercise! This seems like a no brainer! Exercise helps increase circulation which prevents or relieves water retention and fluid build up.¬†I would recommend that every pregnant or non pregnant woman get at least 60-90 minutes of cardio (walking, jogging, swimming, etc) every day!

Pregnacy Exercises: Fit Pregnancy Total Body Workout DVD

Introducing my Pregnancy Exercises: Fit Pregnancy Total Body Workout DVD. If you are looking for a prenatal workout to do through all three trimesters of pregnancy, during your pre-pregnancy fitness plan, and for post-delivery recovery, look no further.

For a very limited time, I am accepting pre-orders for the Pregnancy Exercises: Fit Pregnancy Total Body Workout DVD with an added incentive of no shipping and handling fees!

‚Ė† Prevent water retention during pregnancy by drinking more water! Sound wierd? The recommendation is at least 8-10 glasses of water per day. Drinking more water helps to dilute the toxins in your body. A lot of my clients prefer not to drink as much the day before a weigh in ‚Äď this is a bad idea and will cause the opposite effect. Your body will start to store up/retain water if you do not hydrate enough (because it goes into survival mode). How do you know if you are drinking enough? Your pee will be clear.

‚Ė† Eat a low-sodium diet to¬†prevent water retention during pregnancy.¬†Believe it or not, this is a controversial tip. Why? Because many argue that our bodies need sodium, and a low-sodium diet will not help in preventing water retention. Let me clear up the confusion. Our bodies DO need sodium, but a small very small amount. It‚Äôs almost impossible not to get enough sodium ‚Äď however, in the rare instance that someone does not intake enough sodium, their bodies will start to retain water for survival. The adequate amount of sodium is between 250 and 500 mg/day. I usually hit that around lunch time I have to be very conscious about how much processed foods I eat to prevent from going above the tolerable upper intake level (2300 mg). Cutting out excess sodium means much more than not adding salt to your veggies. It means being intentional about consuming more raw fruits and veggies, whole grains, fiber dense foods, etc, and less packaged, prepared meals and snacks. Log your food intake on caloriecount.com if you are curious as to how much sodium you have in your diet. You‚Äôll be shocked!

‚Ė† Eat more potassium dense foods to prevent or reduce water retention during pregnancy. As mentioned above, most of us get far more sodium that we need in our diets‚Ķin the same way, most of us get far LESS potassium that we need in our diets. In fact, I have logged on caloriecount.com for months, and NEVER hit the recommended daily amount of pottasium ‚Äď not even once ‚Äď and not even close. The RDA for potassium is 4700 mg per day. I usually get about half of that. And believe me, I eat lot of bananas! Potassium helps prevent your body from storing water, so educate yourself about foods that contain high levels of potassium.

These tips will help you on your journey to prevent water retention during pregnancy¬†(or even if you’re not pregnant).¬†And yes, it is possible to reduce or prevent water retention and fluid buildup even in the third trimester of pregnancy! Exercise, eat low sodim foods, and drink lots of water, and¬†potassium dense¬†foods. Best wishes.

Emma’s Fitness Advice

Give Emma’s first Pinterest fitness advice poster some lovin’!¬†I think¬†she looks way better than the naughty fitness models on Pinterest anyway!
Emma's fitness advice

Emma’s fitness advice!

Tone Your Butt and Legs and Keep Cellulite Away!

How do you tone your butt? What exercises do you try to keep your legs thin, muscular, and cellulite free? Try this 8 minute butt and leg workout to tone up, and keep cellulite away! I do this workout a few times per week in addition to other cardio and strength training. And of course, Miss Emma made a guest appearance in the video.