Wednesday, July 24, 2013

In hospital bed workout.. is it okay?!?!?

Does this look familiar?  Sitting in the hospital beds with a beautiful baby on your lap? Maybe your sitting in the hospital bed for a more un-fun reason?  Well... no need to wait till you get home to get a workout in!  You can do small easy exercises while you are still in the hospital.  Surprisingly, it will help you feel better and recover more quickly!!

1. Leg lifts: while you are lying in bed slowly push your knee into the bed and lift up your leg.  You can do 20 per leg.  Make sure you do them slowly, two counts up and two counts down.

2. Heel scoots: as you are lying in bed with your legs straight, dig your heel in the bed and slowly pull back towards your bum.  Repeat 20 times on each leg.

3. Arm curls: keep your elbows in your side and pull your hands up towards your body (like a bicep curl without weight).

4. Ankle pumps: move your ankles down and up 20 times each leg.

5. Ankle ABC's: spell out the ABC's with each ankle.

6. Arm lifts: put your arms straight out in front of you and lift till above head, lower.  Repeat 20 times.

7. Hip lifts: lay completely straight on bed, bed knees into a 90 degree angle with feet on the bed.  Lift hips up slowly and lower 20 times.  Remember to do two counts up and two counts down (up 1-2, down 1-2)

8. Walks around the hospital floor are usually encouraged.  It may seem difficult to get up and out of bed, but you will be amazed at how much better you feel after a walk around the floor.

Try these basic exercises out after your next baby!!! Let me know if you feel you recover more quickly!

Monday, July 22, 2013

Who am I?

Hello! I am Melissa, an exercise nut! I have a husband who is going to be a physical therapist in three years and a 1 year old baby girl who is our world.  I love running and I have finished 1 marathon.  I also LOVE lifting, yoga, Zumba, and almost any workout out there. 

To begin.  The benefits of exercise can go on and on no matter who you are or what special condition you may or may not have.  Exercising can reduce symptoms of diseases and eliminate some diseases all together.  I LIVE to help anyone I can and LOVE exercising and reap the benefits of it.

I have worked in physical therapy for over five years.  I know how to help avoid, work through, and break from exercise with injuries.  I also was a graduate assistant for two years at Utah State University, teaching Kinesiology (how the body moves), exercise physiology (how the body works with exercise), and fitness assessment (how to make exercise programs).  I graduated with my Bachelors of Science degree in exercise science, at Utah State University, and my Masters of Science in corporate wellness at Utah State University.  I did two internships; one at the Huntsman Cancer Institute designing exercise programs for clients with or who had overcome cancer, and at Intermountain Medical Center in cardiac rehab with clients who had heart or lung problems.  I have also been studying for the Registered Certified Exercise Physiologist certification by ACSM, which certifies you to do exercise with ALL populations imaginable. 

I myself have a 1 year old baby, and have gone through pregnancy, breast-feeding, and everything else that comes with kids and exercising the entire time (I know the tricks).  I have worked with many family members and friends (they have ranged from high school athletes to people with diabetes) designing exercise programs to fit every individuals needs.  As you can see from my background, I have experience with many special populations.  

ENJOY! Please comment on new topics you would like to learn about, or need help in!  I am here to help in any way I can. 

General nutrition

My nutrition tips are few.  If you need very specific nutrition advice go seek a Dietitian's expertise.  With different medical problems diet needs may change, this is very general advice.

  1. Try to eat at least 5-10 fruits and vegetables a day
  2. Try to add all whole grains to diet
  3. Limit sugar 
  4. Limit red meats eaten 
  5. Add healthy oils to diet such as (olive oil, canola oil, ext.)
Again these are basic easy tips that can be tried to improve diets. 

What to ask yourself when starting a exercise program.



What activities do you enjoy doing?

What are your goals with the exercise program (eg. run a 5k, lose weight, get in shape, do 20 crunches...)?

Do you have any injuries or health conditions ?

What is the best time of day for you to exercise?

How many days a week do you want to exercise?

How long of workouts do you have time for?

What are you currently doing?

What resources do you have for working out (eg. balls, weights, gym, treadmill, workout DVDs...)?

What exercises have you done and found you enjoy?

What exercises do you think you will enjoy doing and have not tried (Zumba, yoga, running...)?

Do you have anyone that you exercise with?

Is there anything else ?

How to get your kids on the move!

I decided to list five ideas to get your kids moving this summer and away from that big screen.  Getting some fresh air and exercise always helps those kids be less fussy and more HAPPY!

1. Get out and play with them.  Offer to go play catch, hit balls, kick the soccer ball, play hopscotch, play four square, ext.  If parents are always sitting inside, kids will most likely follow.  Being out there with your children will help them realize how much fun and it will provide bonding time with your kids.  It might even help them realize that it is fun and they will go out with their friends the next time.

2. Start a summer log for your kids.  Track their sports and activities.  You can show them how they improved in speed, accuracy, or fun.  They will love seeing how good they are, it will help boost their confidence and get them wanting to get outside and play even more.

3. Host a family "game" night.  Do some sort of tournament for the family to compete in.  Have fun prizes for each place (even last).  Ping-pong, PIG, running a certain distance, golfing, and even floating in water time.  There are millions of themes you could do that would get your entire family moving and also add fun!

4. Compliment your kids when you see them going outside and moving.  Tell them how fast they looked, or how their kick is getting better, or comment on how it looked like a lot of fun to be outside.

5. Be an example!  If your kids see you getting your own exercise and workouts outside, it will most likely inspire them to get out as well! Even if you are just outside gardening, or mowing the lawn!


Regular physical activity is fun and healthy, and increasingly more people are starting to become more active every day.  Being more active is very safe for most 
people. However, some people should check with their doctor before they start becoming much more physically active. 

If you are planning to become much more physically active than you are now, start by answering the seven questions in the box below.  If you are between the 
ages of 15 and 69, the PAR-Q will tell you if you should check with your doctor before you start.  If you are over 69 years of age, and you are not used to being 
very active, check with your doctor. 

Common sense is your best guide when you answer these questions.  Please read the questions carefully and answer each one honestly:  check YES or NO. 

  1. Has your doctor ever said that you have a heart condition and that you should only do physical activity recommended by a doctor?
  2. Do you feel pain in your chest when you do physical activity?
  3. In the past month, have you had chest pain when you were not doing physical activity?
  4. Do you lose your balance because of dizziness or do you every lose consciousness?
  5. Do you have a bone or joint problem (for example, back, knee, or hip) that could be made worse by a change in your physical activity?
  6. Is your doctor currently prescribing drugs (for example, water pills) for your blood pressure or heart condition?
  7. Do you know of any other reason why you should not do physical activity? 
**If you answer yes to any of these 7 questions, you need a doctors clearance for exercise.