Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Run Sessions - by Body Beyond Baby Personal Trainer Sally Groves

A few months ago, several Body Beyond Baby mums told us they wanted to improve your running. 

Everybody has their own reasons – whether it be one of their own personal goals for the challenge, or to improve their running endurance for various Tough Mum events and obstacle courses, or even to be able to run away from their children.  Oops, I mean run with their children.

And so we have developed a Monday morning Early Riser session that is focused on improving your running!

Many of you have heard about it, but may still be uncertain about giving it a try.  Lots of people have asked me what we actually do in a session…

Its not just a running group where we all go for a Long Slow Distance (LSD) run.  We don’t think you need us to help you with that one – you can smash that out yourselves during the week!  LSD runs, which help with endurance and fitness, are a key element of your overall program, BUT there are also lots of other interesting and effective training methods to really see improvements.  Quite frankly, if you had have asked me to participate in a LSD run at the crack of dawn I would have rathered stay at home and pull my toenails out.

So to really improve your running performance, our sessions may include… 

Plyometric drills- simple drills that simulate explosive actions.  With various types of jumping, leaping, skipping it is lots of fun – and is also one of the secrets to running stronger and faster.

Interval training – involves alternating periods of high intensity running with low intensity running or recovery.  This type of activity trains your body to recover quickly and gradually increases your ability to run faster for longer.

Fartlek – don’t laugh… it’s a real word! Fartlek means ‘speed play’ and that’s what this workout is all about.  Similar to interval training, however it is more unstructured.  The work/rest intervals are based on how YOUR body feels.  You can experiment with pace and also with different types of terrain.  

Tempo run – This is a run typically a little slower to your ‘race pace’.  So during a tempo run you are working, but not quite at max effort so it should feel smooth.  Tempo runs will make you feel more comfortable running at a faster pace for longer period.
Hill running – makes you stronger, faster, fitter.  We trainers love putting you through an awesome hill session!!

But we cant give all our secrets away!  As you can see, there are so many different training options to really improve your running form, speed and endurance!

Don’t feel like you have to be fantastic at running to attend… everyone is at their own level and own pace.  We all have different goals, and our bodies are naturally made up of different muscle fibers some of us are majority ‘fast twitch’ muscle fibers which is great for power and sprinting, but long distances are a struggle!

And others are ‘slow twitch’ that can turn up on the first day of training and run a comfortable 5km (that is totally NOT me!)  and others are somewhere in between!

Whatever your current run level is, and whatever your goals may be, our run training can help you get there!

Come and give it a try… Our Early Riser Running Session is 6am every Monday morning.  

Venue: Centennial/Queens Park or surrounds (yep, sometimes we mix it up!)

Next month we are also bringing you a Running Workshop to really focus on technique!

Sunday 21st July @ 12pm

Workshop by Scott Stefl
-how to run efficiently and injury free
-how to improve your running technique
-how to loosen tight muscles caused by running

For further information and bookings

Monday, July 1, 2013

Guest Blog - by Pei-Shan Wu: A Healthy Relationship Revitalises You

I often talk about Happy Mummy = Happy Baby and I also believe a happy mummy and happy baby contributes to a happy family but sometimes we forget that our relationship takes time and effort too.

Here is a great guest blog from Pei-Shan Wu, Mother of Three (Plus One), Relationship Advocate and owner of Both Sides of the Story - giving kids happy mums and dads.

Why Does Your Relationship Matter?

Relationship matters because of two very important reasons: children learn relationship skills from you, and a healthy relationship can revitalise you

Your children learn relationship skills from you:  Many couples relationships go through a deep dive down after having kids. The busy world of parenthood makes it difficult to look after ourselves, never mind our relationship with our partner. Quite often, 'spending time with my partner' becomes an item at the bottom of our to-do-list which rarely gets ticked off.

Leaving relationship at the bottom of our priority list may seem like a necessary sacrifice when we become parents. But while we allow each other to drift apart, and ignore the increasing communication problems and conflicts,  our children are also missing out on learning important relationship skills.

Through watching how parents interact with other, children learn the building blocks of healthy relationships: love, friendship, acceptance, appreciation, and respect. Through watching your interaction with your partner, children learn how to establish boundaries, respect other people's limits, accept people for who they are, express love and appreciation, and maintain strong friendships (which is the backbone of relationships).

When we become parents, we tend to put our children's needs above all, and our own needs last. But it is important to keep yourself energised – you will enjoy parenting more, and your children will enjoy you more. Relationship therapist, Jacqueline Hellyer called it 'selfish selflessness'. Making sure you have enough sleep, eat properly, and exercise are all important things to do to keep your energy level up. When you have a healthy relationship where you feel loved, appreciated and respected, it will certainly boost your energy as well.

Research has told us that the release of our brain chemical oxytocin makes us feel loved, bonded, euphoric and happy. Sounds like a drug you wouldn't mind having? The simple gestures of affection – kissing, caressing, and holding hands increase the release of oxytocin in our brain. Make a date and get some oxytocin into you!

Need more relationship building tips? Visit and get your free download 'The 5 Common Mistakes Couples Make and How You Can Avoid Them'.

Both Sides of the Story is holding their upcoming event 'Happy Relationship, Happy Family' on Sunday 14 July at Macquarie University. 

You will learn from 5 of Australia's top relationship therapists on how to build healthy relationship foundations, plus receive a goodie bag with over $100 worth of product samples and discount vouchers. 

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Mum of the Moment - Meet Yvette

Without our wonderful mums and bubs Body Beyond Baby just would not be.  Each month we like to celebrate your achievements and recognise the hard work that you put into your training and life as a mum.  This month we would like you to meet our Mum of the Moment for May - Yvette.  

Yvette was nominated for Mum of the Moment after joining us for three challenges now and she shows us how important it is to her to continue her training routine whilst juggling work and family.

As a thank you to our Mum of the Moment and a congratulations for all of her hard work, Yvette will receive a $65 gift voucher for Inspired Wellbeing.

Meet Yvette 

Tell me a bit about yourself, names of your children, how old they are

I've got two crazy little boys: Xander who is 3.5 and Remy who is 14 months and one big boy, Nick.  Destined to be surrounded by too much testosterone (and pee!). The little guys are balls of energy that can be exhausting but also endless entertainment. I work 4 days a week in an HR role with a bank.

What made you decide to join your first Body Beyond Baby Challenge in Winter 2012? And subsequent two Summer challenges?

My first challenge came along about a month after I started training with BBB and it seemed like a great way to step up and commit to some regular exercise. Once I started, I got pretty hooked. I saw a lot of improvement pretty quickly (though I was working off a pretty low base!) and I really loved taking some time out from baby duties for some "me" time. I was really pleased with the changes I saw and felt so when the next one rolled around, I jumped on board. The challenges are a great way to set yourself some short term targets and the support you get from the trainers and the rest of the group is amazing. The camaraderie that is evident during the challenges, both in person during the sessions and online on FB, makes it so much easier to stay committed and focused.
What has been your Body Beyond Baby highlight so far?

The first thought that popped into my head is the end of challenge parties - getting dressed up and eating loads of pizza - but I would probably say meeting so many great women. I know it sounds like a cliche but I've never stuck to any sort of regular exercise routine before and I think the difference this time around is the group of women who I train with each week. In terms of actual achievements, I think completing the Spartan Sprint race in March has been my highlight. I was surprised at how much I enjoyed the challenge.

What has been your greatest challenge?

The toughest thing for me is making the time to exercise and being consistent about it. As most of us know, it's a constant juggling act with kids and work and there is always an excuse to skip training. The idea of sleep is often more attractive but I never regret hauling my butt out of bed at 5 or 6am to get my heart rate going! For me the key is making the commitment up front and ensuring that my husband is aware of it so there is no excuse for me not to attend.

When you started, did you ever think you would be joining our tough mums training team?

Absolutely not. My goals were more like running twice around the oval without collapsing. The concept of tough mums was completely foreign to me. I remember watching some of the team training for Tough Bloke last year and thinking their level of fitness were something I wouldn't achieve for years. It's amazing how quickly you see and feel the improvement in your fitness level when you are committed to some regular exercise.

Tell us about your motivation to join a small training group with Jen on Monday mornings?

I felt ready to step up my training and start to push myself a little more. I am loving the opportunity to work with a variety of equipment and focus on technique while having Jen on hand to provide specific guidance. Given the small size of the group there is no chance to slack off during the session so I always get a great workout. It's a new level of training for me and it's also a little easier to get out of bed at 5am in winter when you are heading to a gym rather than a cold, foggy park!

How did you find managing your fitness routine when returning to work?

Some weeks are tougher than others and sometimes my work schedule makes it difficult to fit one more thing in and my first thought is to skip training. But, it's mostly psychological and I know that if I make the effort, I feel better about myself and more in control of everything else going on. All my sessions are now early morning so I the key for me is being organised the night before. I make sure I get all my clothes out, fill my water bottle up and have everything I need by the door. It sounds silly but any little thing that makes the process of getting out of the house easier improves my chances of getting to training!

Do you have anything else to add?

I've really enjoyed getting to know the women in the group. I am constantly impressed with the effort so many of them put into training - especially those sleep deprived mamas with teeny weeny babes. It's inspiring to see so many women make the commitment to work on their health and fitness. I feel really lucky to have found such a supportive environment. I also love how Jen and the other trainers are constantly looking at ways to motivate and inspire us with new training options, services and events. The continual evolution of the group makes it impossible to get bored!

Mum of The Moment is proudly sponsored by 

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Chicken Miso Soup

Chicken Stock
1 whole chicken
2 carrots
2 celery sticks
1 leek
1 onion
6 black peppercorns
2 bay leaves
Splash apple cider vinegar

Chicken Miso Soup (serves 2)
500ml chicken stock (above)
½ chilli, sliced
2cm ginger, finely grated
2 tblsp miso paste
300g cooked chicken (above)
100g snow peas
Bok choy
4 shitake mushrooms
1 tsp tamari
1 tsp mirin
2 shallots, sliced

•    Place all chicken stock ingredients into a stock pot and cover with cold water
•    Bring to the boil then reduce to a simmer
•    Cook the chicken for 1 hour or until cooked through
•    Remove chicken and allow to cool slightly before removing all chicken from the carcass
•    Add chicken carcass and bones back to the stock and simmer for 3-5 hours
•    This will make a nutritious and delicious stock for your soup and you can freeze the remaining for other soups or dishes.  There is also plenty of tender chicken to use in the miso soup recipe below and leftovers for salads and sandwiches.

Chicken Miso Soup
•    Heat 500ml of chicken stock to a saucepan
•    Add chilli and ginger and simmer for 1-2minutes
•    Stir through miso paste
•    Add cooked chicken from the stock recipe as well as vegies
•    Simmer for 1-2 minutes or until warmed through
•    Remove from heat and add tamari and mirin
•    Serve topped with shallots
•    Note that you can also add noodles for a heartier meal
•    Enjoy!

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Why we want you to know your Pelvic Floor

Within Body Beyond Baby we are continually looking at how we can improve what we do. We work closely with other health and fitness practitioners to ensure we are providing the best possible care for all of our mums. The reason we work closely with these people is because we believe it is important as Personal Trainers for us to 'know what we don't know'.  We work with many of our mums within a group environment and we believe in providing as individual a session as possible within that group environment. So, having a support network around us and as much knowledge as possible about each of our mums enables us to deliver the safest and most effective exercise for each and everyone of them.

One of the businesses that is vital to us doing what we do well is The Physiotherapy Clinic in Bondi Junction.  We work closely with Jo Murdoch and the team to ensure we know exactly what is going on on the inside and to assist us in guiding our mums through our Rebuild from the Inside Out philosophy.

One of the things that we offer in conjunction with Jo is a Pelvic Floor and Core workshop, where we teach our mums all about their pelvic floor and inner core, what it does, what can happen during pregnancy and birth and how to make sure they are setting themselves up to be fitter and stronger than ever before.  Within these workshops we use external Real Time Ultrasound (RTU) to assess each persons pelvic floor and transversus abdominal (TA) contraction.

At our most recent workshop we found a couple of interesting points that we would like to share with you:

1. Those mums that we had worked with during their pregnancy had a much better pelvic floor and TA awareness and a much stronger contraction (along with the ability to release)

2. Quite a few of the mums that had come to Body Beyond Baby after their pregnancy had the ability to contract both pelvic floor and TA (through the cues and techniques we had taught them) but were lacking in endurance - meaning that this is something we need to work on as a team and with our BBB mums.

With this information brings a dilemma:

1. How do we get in front of more pregnant mums to help them to learn these things prior to having their children so they are more equipped post birth?

2. We can help mums to work on the endurance of their pelvic floor but ONLY when we know they are doing it well.  If you can imagine that a correct pelvic floor exercise is when it is drawn up, and in turn an incorrect one is that of bearing down. If we were then to encourage someone who had not used RTU to ensure they were doing the correct activation, then asking them to hold that contraction and breathe (to train endurance), it could actually be counterproductive and make a weak pelvic floor worse!

What we will do:

1. We will be rolling out our Body Before Baby classes over the coming weeks so that we can reach more women and help to make their Body Beyond Baby journey an easier and more effective one.  If you are pregnant or know someone who is pregnant and might be interested in these sessions please get in touch and let us know.  We would also love to know WHEN you would like these classes to be held - before work, during the day, after work, weekends?  You can send an email here.

2. As much as we would LOVE to make the pelvic floor and core workshop or a one on one check up with our friends at The Physiotherapy Clinic compulsory we know that the most we can do is encourage you to make sure you are looking after you.  A quick and simple check up or attendance at our workshops will give you a much better picture of what is going on on the inside and allow us to work with you in the safest and most effective way.  This is often even more important for those mums who seem to bounce back after pregnancy and want to push hard in their training.  We need to make sure you are up to it and that we can do that safely!

As for the dilemma about training endurance - we will be adding endurance training to the sessions of all of those mums that have had their check up and know they are activating well.  For everyone else we will continue as we have been doing and hope that you now have a little more encouragement to go and find out more about your insides so that we can do our job even better and guide you to YOUR best ever body (whatever that means to you).

We'd also love to leave you with a testimonial from one of our mums that have benefited from our workshops and physio checks.

"When I went to Body Beyond Baby, I had three children, 5, 3 and 1 year old.  It had been some six years since training and I had heard alot of positive feedback from friends.  I chose the 6am morning session (as opposed to a mum and bubs class).  The first thing Jen and Amy did was check my separation.  It had closed up quite alot, I was down to one to two fingers, but it was quite deep.  Jen was hesitant to let me train with the others who were doing more advanced training.  I was so disappointed!

After training, I spoke with Jen and she suggested I come to a workshop.  A week later, I was in this session learning about what my core actually is.  How to do pelvic floor exercises properly and why (amongst other things).  I was blown away.  We ended the session with each woman having an ultrasound to make sure we were doing our exercises properly.

So many people have tried to 'teach' me all these exercises - but only under ultrasound could I actually know I was doing them correctly.  Jen was there, to make sure we had clearance to do specific types of training and to what level - I found this so helpful and amazing.

I recommend Body Beyond Baby to everyone.  And now I do my exercises properly!"

Jennifer Kennedy

Monday, April 29, 2013

Mum of The Moment - Meet Belinda

Without our wonderful mums and bubs Body Beyond Baby just would not be.  Each month we like to celebrate your achievements and recognise the hard work that you put into your training and life as a mum.  This month we would like you to meet our Mum of the Moment for April - Belinda.  

Belinda joined Body Beyond Baby for our 2012 Summer Challenge and has made significant progress in her health and fitness.  Belinda has now joined out tough mums training group on Saturday morning.

As a thank you to our Mum of the Moment and a congratulations for all of her hard work, Belinda will receive a $65 gift voucher for Inspired Wellbeing.

Meet Belinda

Tell us a bit about yourself, names of your children, how old they are?

My name is Belinda, mum to 11 month old Josh and step-mum to two older boys.  My husband Alex and I have a very full and enjoyable life raising three very active boys. 

What made you decide to join our Summer Challenge for the first and then second time? 

I had just started with Body Beyond Baby when Jen and Amy were talking about the first summer challenge. Josh was still only young and I wasn't feeling confident about making it to the park that many days a week but I needed to lose a few more kilos so decided to give it a go. I loved to exercise before I had my baby and was really excited that I had found a way to continue post baby. I found that exercise made me happy and set me up for a good day which is what I was needing in those early months.

The first challenge helped me get back into my pre baby skinny jeans. I had enjoyed the positive, inspiring environment so much that when the next one came around it wasn't an option not to sign up. 

Two sessions per week have now turned into 3-4 plus a run on Sundays and I am surprised to find I am the fittest I have ever been. Who ever though that could happen after having a baby?

What has been your Body Beyond Baby highlight so far? 

The highlight so far has been learning how to eat to nourish my body with the energy it needs. I'd always thought all calories were the same but quickly came to learn the role of sugar. The clean eating makes me feel so much better than just the exercise alone. My step children are now very familiar with my view on sugar. They weren't too thrilled as the juice, ice cream and sugar laden snacks disappeared but they are getting used to it. 

What has been your greatest challenge? 

I think I'm about to embark on my greatest challenge yet - the obstacle racing. I'm really not sure if the mud, the wet and the cold are my thing but I'll certainly give it a go. I love to push myself beyond what I think I am capable of in every aspect of my life so I suspect the challenge of the obstacles will appeal to me. Deep down I think I will very quickly become hooked. 

Describe your goal now that you have joined our tough mums training group.

Whilst I've only just started the tough mum training I really enjoy being pushed that bit further. The muscle fatigue the next day is a reminder that I am on my way to getting stronger. I may not be able to do certain exercises yet but I will get there. My goal is to become fitter and stronger and be able to get through an obstacle course.  

What has been your family’s reaction to your new fitness regime?

My husband and I have always been fit and active so I guess it came as no surprise to him that I would continue after having a baby. He enjoyed the healthy dinners I prepared in the weeks of the challenge and as I lost weight, he too lost 10kgs. The boys were not so keen on the lack of sugary treats but as time goes on it becomes less and less of an issue. They don't ask me to buy juice anymore and the oldest enjoys his oats with chia seeds, LSA and banana for  breakfast. 

Mum of The Moment is proudly sponsored by 

Guest blog - How do our Feet Change During Pregnancy by Sally McGinnity, Podiatrist

We recently had a chat with our friends at Athlete's Foot in Bondi Junction about the way a mothers feet can change during pregnancy.  I meet many mums who are wearing runners that are years old so we thought it would be a really great topic to bring you more information on - today we hear from podiatrist Sally McGinnity;

Our feet are very complex structures:

•    There are 26 bones in one foot, 
•    In both feet this makes up a quarter of the bones in our body.
•    33 Joints, 
•    Over 100 muscles, tendons and ligaments
•    We take on average 10, 000 steps a day- in a lifetime this would walk us around the globe 4 times!
Taking care of our feet is so important yet so often forgotten, until a pain or problem arises.  

 Many pregnant mothers visit a Podiatrist with the following questions: “I think my feet have grown, is that possible?” “Why am I experiencing pain in my feet now?” “Will this swelling ever go down?” “Are my feet now flat?”

During pregnancy a mothers foot can change considerably (some of you may have experienced these changes for yourself) on average a woman’s foot can grow by up to half a size or more during pregnancy- so what’s happening to cause this? 

These changes to the structure of a mother’s foot during pregnancy can occur for the following reasons:

- In part due to the weight gain during pregnancy which can cause increased pressures placed on the feet. 

- Your body retains extra fluid whilst pregnant, this gradual swelling or oedema as it is often referred to, can begin in the 2nd trimester and continue late into the pregnancy. The swelling can be dependent on weather, time of day and time spent on feet.

- The other factor is the hormone Relaxin. Relaxin is released to relax the ligaments around the pelvic area during childbirth. However, it can also create an increased laxity in the ligaments of your feet. All 26 bones are held together by ligaments, so whilst the bones in the foot are not growing, the ligaments are holding these bones together can start to loosen, creating a degree of spread and flattening of the arch of the foot.

Whilst the swelling will subside generally after a month of delivery, the foot spreading due to the change in the ligament structure can be permanent.  Around half the Mum’s out there report a change in foot size by half to a full size after having babies.

For those that experience these changes during and after pregnancy it is important to ensure that your shoes are the right fit to your current size. There is no point trying to squeeze your foot back into your pre-pregnancy shoes as this can lead to ingrown toenails, aggravating bunions, or creating corns and calluses. Correct footwear and being fitted correctly can be biggest factor in avoiding and treating foot complaints during pregnancy. If you have concerns about your feet during pregnancy seeing a Podiatrist can be a good place to start.

Sally McGinnity