Welcoming the new year

Hey everyone!

I know it has been a long time since I last blog. As you might have known, I was well into my third trimester when I stopped blogging, and after 18 hours or contractions and labour, I gave birth to a beautiful baby girl via vaginal birth on 17th November 2015 at 1905hrs. She weighed 3.25kg and I was flying high on laughing gas. Her name is Eesha Naira and is currently being fed both breast milk and formula. She is almost 4kg now.

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I am excited to welcome 2016 with a new addition to the family. We will also be moving into our new place next year, est. late-Jan or early Feb. Blogging was not the only thing that I stopped when I was in my third trimester. I also took time off from working out. I spent my last month of pregnancy basically just lazing around and nesting. It’s been over a month now since I delivered and I have decided to start working out again come the January 1st. I’m really excited for it. I hope baby care will not get in the way too much. Eesha’s feeding time is still about 2-3 hours apart and instead of napping during those 2-3 hours, she is now spending it by exploring her surroundings. It’s fine when she does it quietly but sometimes she wants to be carried around. Then I suppose I would have to carry her while doing my squats or something.

Anyways, I hope you lovelies have something awesome planned for New Year’s Eve. I will be counting down to the end of my confinement period. Finally I can go out for a longer period of time. Yeay!

Until then my darlings, take care!

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Squats and Lunges while Pregnant – Yes or No?

Hello lovelies!

As some of you might know, I have been working out ever since before I was pregnant. I took a break during my 1st trimester and started again during my 2nd. I have received many stares and concerned looks at the gym where I workout. I’ve also received comments on my Facebook and Instagram about how I shouldn’t be working out as it would lead to pre-term labour or a miscarriage. But my advise is – All in moderation.

Many would say that squats and lunges are a big No-no when you’re pregnant but they are one of the few essential workouts that you need to do during your pregnancy. In our daily life, we squat more than we realize, only that we tend to bend forward while picking up things (not THAT’s a big No-no!).

  • Benefits of squats includes
  • Increase pelvic floor muscle strength
  • Prevent pelvic and lower back pain
  • Prepare for labour
  • Strong birth position
  • A great looking butt

Apart from doing your kegal exercises, squats (with proper technique) can help to strengthen your pelvic floor which in turn helps to elevate any kind of pelvic pain. Squats would also strengthen your glutes which would help in decreasing any lower back pain as it helps to stabilize your pelvis. This functional exercise also mirrors a position that you can hold longer while in labour. Strengthening your leg muscles with squats gives you more endurance in your birthing positions, especially the ones that allows gravity to assist in pulling the baby lower and opening the pelvis wider which would definitely help if you’re afraid of tearing during delivery. And as mentioned before, squats works your glutes so in the end of the day, you will get awesome looking butt!

But despite the benefits of squats, there are times when its not advisable to do them. Always check with your doctor before starting on any new workout during your pregnancy. Make sure you have a personal trainer or someone  who is experienced to correct you in your squatting technique. If you are in pain, then stop. Avoid squats at all cause if you have high risk pregnancy or are going through any kind of complications.

Other than that, you should be fine. =D

squats

Note: As your tummy gets bigger, you would have to spread your legs wider. Focus on doing Sumo Squats rather than regular ones when that happens.

As for lunges, many tend to avoid doing this especially in the later trimester as it gets harder to balance. If you’re at the gym, use the straps of the TRX or anything that secured to a wall to help maintain your balance. At home, you can use a chair to help with your balance.

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The benefits of lunges are pretty similar to squats. Lunges keeps the hip flexible making it easier to spread the legs during delivery. It helps strengthen your lower back and legs and is also a simple core exercise that doesn’t require you to lie on your back.

When doing lunges, remember to keep your back straight and make sure that your knee is align with your ankles. Push upwards using your heel and not your toes. Don’t lean forward as it would add pressure to your knee. Lift your back heel and feel the muscles tighten as you come up. This would make your hamstrings stronger and lift your butt.

You can use weights with both exercise but always remember to maintain at 70% – 80% intensity. What I do is that I cut down my regular weight to 50%, so if I was using a 6kg dumbbell before I was pregnant, now I just use 3kg. Remember – workouts during pregnancies are to help maintain your fitness so focus on high repetitions rather than high weights.

If you would like to share your experiences on how squats and lunges has helped you in your pregnancy, feel free to leave a comment. You can also ask me questions if you have any and I will try to answer them as best as I could.

Until then, stay strong!

 

 

Spa Feature: Danai Spa Kuala Lumpur

Hey lovelies!

Over the weekend, I was able to get away for a bit to surprise one of my dearest girlfriend who is to be married next week. With the help of two other lovely ladies, we ‘kidnapped’ her and put her on a bus to an unknown destination. About 6 hours later, we arrived at our destination – Corus Hotel Kuala Lumpur. It was my second time staying there and one of the convenience of it is that when you take the Aeroline Coach service, that would be your drop off point. So there is no need to travel anywhere else. Anyways, it was a weekend of suspense and mental torture for the bride-to-be as she had no idea what we had in store for her.

Danai-Spa-Massage-Body-Beauty-Treatments-Corus-Hotel-KL_2One of the surprise that we had planned for her was a treatment package at the hotel’s spa. Danai Spa is located on the 2nd floor of the hotel. We were greeted by the most welcoming receptionist named Jessy. She was excited by the idea of surprising our dear friend, she even played along with adding her own little intrigue. Upon arrival, Jessy offered us warm face towels and also some tea. She went through our requested treatments with us again and confirmed what kind of carrier and aromatherapy oils we would be using. Mine was grapeseed oil with no aromatherapy oils as it is best for pregnant ladies to stay away from any kind.

IMG-20150830-WA0092The spa has about 1500 sq feet indoor spaces and has 5 treatment rooms in total:

  • 2 couple rooms with complete shower, Jacuzzi bath and lavatory
  • 1 single room with shower
  • 2 single rooms


They offer a variety of treatments including facials, wraps, scrubs, nail services and also waxing. The first time I was there (back in March), I was in my 1st trimester so any massage of any kind was not advisable, so I took the 30 minutes Revitalize Express Facial which includes a double cleansing, scrub, tone, conditioning mask and moisturize together with the Glamour Manicure and Pedicure service (110 minutes). Of course now that I am in my 3rd trimester, I opted for the Prenatal Massage and since it was not recommended for me to take any kind of scrubs or wraps, I also took the same facial service as I did before.

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The massage was amazing! It started with me lying on my left and that made the little ninja inside me squirm with excitement. Before the massage actually started, the atmosphere in the room was so calming that I could have dozed off straight away (especially after a 6 hour bus ride). The therapist was friendly and attentive (but I didn’t catch her name), she asked if the pressure was enough and it was exactly right for me. Less than 10 minutes in, I was already asleep (and according to Arina, whom I was sharing the treatment room with, I was snoring. LOL!) But I could still feel her hands working through my muscles, the knots around my shoulder blades and upper back. She was gentle while working on my lower back and little ninja was surprisingly quiet. I wish she the therapist could have worked a little longer on my legs though. She avoided touching my belly and did minimal work on my upper chest. She didn’t massage my bosoms but I’m not particular about that.

I suppose I should have requested for the facial to be done first because after lying on my back for 30 minutes, it was a little achy again. But nothing that a good warm shower couldn’t ease up.

After the massage, we were offered hot towels again and some ginger tea but I had chamomile tea instead. All in all, my second experience with the spa is as amazing as my first and I can’t wait to return to the spa again. I am looking forward to going there after my delivery and confinement so that I can try their other services, especially their scrubs and wraps.

For more information on Danai Spa, head to their website http://www.danaispa.com/.
Book early to avoid disappointments especially if you’re planning on being there on a Saturday. Bookings are opened as early as 1 month in advance.

Gym Day

Hey everyone!

I’m so glad that I managed to hit the gym today. Been missing it for almost a week now. 1st week of the 3rd Trimester is not easy. Fatigue is setting in as the baby gets heavier. Feels like its the 1st Trimester all over again.

Anyways, I did back and legs today. As my lower back muscles gets weaker, I find that working on my upper back helps to elevates the pain. I also did a little bit of shoulders and abs. Fine, you can pretty much say that it was a full body workout.

Legs Extension 15 reps x 3 sets
Single Leg Extension as 15 reps x 3 sets

Cable Twist 15 reps x 3 sets

Standing Cable Row 15 reps x 3 sets
Bent over Row 15 reps x 3 sets

Other workouts I did were:

  • Lateral Pulldowns
  • Straight Arm Cable Pulldowns
  • Shoulder Press
  • Upright Rows
  • Prison Squats
  • Sumo Deadlifts

All of them I did 15 reps x 3 sets. Everything that I did, I decreased the weight by half as compared to what I usually do. I focused more on form (of course it can be a little tough when there’s no mirror and no one there to spot you). I’m not saying that you have to do all these, but I’m just saying that being pregnant should not hinder you from doing these workouts, or from working out at all.

But of course, please check with your doctor before attempting any of these work outs. Especially if you’ve never done any of them before.

Until then, stay active!

Dealing with backaches

Hello all!

As I go into the first week of my 3rd Trimester, I’m constantly reminded of this growing human in my belly. With the kicking and punching, its no surprise that I’m beginning to get many sleepless nights. But I think the worse (apart from heartburn) would be the backaches. This time, its nothing like the one I had in my first trimester. It aches even when I’m lying down and the more I lie down, the more painful it gets. I thought that my regular weight training of deadlifts would help strengthened my lower back but I suppose its not enough. So I started searching YouTube for alternative workouts, and I stumbled upon this.

It has helped me so far but just be sure not to do it on a hard surface. Lay a yoga mat or a towel on the floor before doing this. If there are other methods that could relief backache, do let me know in the comments. Would love to hear from you.

Until then, stay safe!