A Review of Three “Tummy Safe” Workouts

I’ve always tried to make fitness a part of my life, but with three kids in four and a half years, it was difficult.  Daily exercise looked like loading everyone up in the stroller and going for a walk.  While I was moving, I wasn’t getting back in shape.

When my youngest was about two years old I began waking up FOR my day instead of TO my day.  I began to make fitness a priority in my life again.

About this time I began seeing lots of information about diastasis recti or separation of the abdominal muscles.  According to this test I had a 2-3 finger separation at my naval.  Not too bad but still not good!  During the past five years I’ve tried three different exercise programs that focus on being “tummy safe” and healing for diastasis recti.

Fit2B

Fit2B

Fit2B was the first one I tried.  I started with the basic routines designed to strengthen and heal your core.  Within a couple of weeks my abdominal separation had pretty much closed!  I was a member of Fit2B for about a year.  I really enjoyed it and saw an increase in my fitness level and strength.  I was finally forced to find something else because the streaming videos were not working with our internet provider — our rural service was too slow!

Pros of Fit2B

Bethany the founder and teacher in most of the videos is very encouraging and educational while being fun to listen to.  She does a great job of clearing describing and demonstrating each part of each workout.  I also appreciate that the routines are not too complicate for my not-graceful, uncoordinated self!

The variety of Fit2B workouts is amazing!  There is even a whole section for kids!  You will never get bored and there are many clear pathways to increase your fitness level.

Cons of Fit2B

The only cons for me were the monthly (or yearly) membership fee. And the need for a fast internet connection to access the videos.  The membership fee is very reasonable and there are even mini-courses you can purchase separately and have lifetime access to!

Now our rural high-speed internet has improved to the point where streaming video is no longer a problem!  Currently I enjoy using some of the mini-courses I’ve purchased as a part of Ultimate Bundles.  Someday I may rejoin for full access to the Fit2B site.  But for now I like keeping my options limited, less decision fatigue!

Recommended For

Fit2B is a great fit for people who love variety!  With so many different workouts to choose from, you will never get bored.  Bethany is also provides great personal encouragement throughout each workout.  If you thrive on praise, this is also a great choice for you.

MuTu System

MuTu System is a medically recommended post-baby recovery program to heal diastisis recti and improve core and pelvic floor strength.  Wendy Powell, a personal trainer and physical therapist has spent years working with moms to heal and strengthen their bodies after childbirth.  As a mom of two children herself, she understands the physical rigors of pregnancy and childbirth and the necessary recovery.

MuTu System is a 12 week program that includes an education component so you understand the science behind how the muscles work and the specific exercises used to strengthen these muscles.  There is also a food section which encourages clean, healthy eating focusing on protein, vegetables and fruit.

I started MuTu System when my youngest child was about three years old.  I found it after having to quite Fit2B because of our poor internet connection.  Even though I had mostly healed my diastisis through Fit2B exercises, I gained so much strength and toning, especially in my core and pelvic floor through MuTu System.  I worked through the 12 week program and continued to use the workouts for 2 years.  I liked the quick, intense workouts.  I also enjoyed being able to listen to podcasts while exercising.  However, after about 2 years I began to get a bit bored and moved onto Trim Healthy Mama Workins for something new.  I still return to the MuTu workouts occasionally because they are such great workouts.

Pros of MuTu System

You can begin using MuTu System almost immediately after childbirth.  The program begins with gentle exercises to heal and strengthen and you can progress at your own pace.  While designed as 12 week program, it is encouraged to move at your own pace and to only progress to the next week once the previous week has been mastered.

MuTu System is a complete health program, the inclusion of the food portion along with exercise encourages the development of new, healthy habits to last a lifetime.

You can watch the videos by streaming video online or download them for use apart from the internet.

The program is yours for a lifetime.  You will always have access and it is a one-time purchase.

Each daily exercise session can be completed in 25 minutes of less.  Its focused moves provide drastic change in minimal time.

Cons of MuTu System

This is a 12 week course.  Once you have completed the course, you are done.  However, since you have lifetime access you can always continue to use the workouts for as long as you like.  Because of this, some people may get bored.  Each workout is itself repetitive by repeating five exercises three times during each workout.  However, this provided easy mastery of the moves and the possibility to listen to something else (podcasts, audio books, etc!) while exercising.

Recommended For

MuTu System is great for someone needed to start a the very beginning with healing.  It is also great for someone with minimal time and who wants a very clear structure of food and exercise.  It is also great if you enjoy doing something else (listening to podcast, audio books, etc.) while exercising.

THM WorkinsTrim Healthy Mama WorkIns

I follow the Trim Healthy Mama eating plan, so I had to try their workout (or workin) plan too.  This workin plan was developed by Pearl and Serene, the sisters that developed the Trim Healthy Mama eating plan.  While having no official certifications they have done their research and consulted with doctors, physical therapists and personal trainers to develop their program.

There are eight different workouts designed to strengthen the entire body while focusing on the core and pelvic floor.  Each workout is about 20 minutes long and includes a variety of exercises in each five minute segment.  An informational DVD is also included which address the core strengthening and some tips on how to correctly do each exercise for maximum benefit and to avoid injury.  There are also three different levels to choose from for each workout with even more variations for offered for certain needs.

I’ve been using Trim Health Mama Workins for about a year.  Now that I know the exercises I can listen to podcasts while exercising (I missed this while learning the routines).  Even with eight different workouts, I occasionally switch back to MuTu System or Fit2B mini-courses for more variety and because each workout seems to challenge different muscles.

Pros of THM Workins

With eight different workouts, there is variety!  The exercises are easy to do for this non-coordinated mama and most of the needed equipment can be bought with the DVD if you don’t already own it.  Each workout is about 20 minutes long and even can be done in shorter 5 minute segments if needed.  Pearl and Serene are very encouraging throughout all the DVD’s and they share real life tidbits and tips.

Cons of THM Workins

These DVD’s showcase the unique personalities and interaction of Pearl and Serene: you may see this as a positive or a negative depending on how much you enjoy their back and forth banter!  At first it is difficult to know when to switch side (right/left) for some exercises, but as you get used to the exercises and DVD’s it becomes much easier.  Even after having completed MuTu System, I was quite sore for a few weeks when beginning THM Workins.  Even with at the easiest level (gentle fit) I would not recommend it until a diastasis is healed.  But once healed, it is a great workout with options for various levels.

Recommended For

Anyone who likes the Trim Healthy Mama eating plan and Pearl and Serene will enjoy these DVD’s.  These play on your home DVD player and require no internet connection.  Each workout is thorough but short; this is great if you are pressed for time.  As mentioned already, if you have a healed diastasis and a basic level of fitness, these may be a great fit for you!

In Conclusion

I like all three of these workout programs.  I’ve used and still use all three from time to time.  Each had pros and cons while still being a great program.  I hope I have given an accurate understanding of each program and have helped you be able to make more informed decisions in you fitness journey.  Any thing I missed?  Any questions?  Any other great tummy safe programs you have tried?

Some of these links are affiliate links.  As always I only recommend things I use and love. Thanks for your support!

 

A Review of Three _Tummy Safe_ Exercise Programs (1)

 

3 Things I’ve Learned from 3 Years of Trim Healthy Mama that Apply to All of Life

I can’t believe its been over three years since I “accidentally” stumbled upon Trim Healthy Mama!  Looking back at this journey I’ve learned three things that apply not just to Trim Healthy Mama, but to all of life!

Consistency is Key

Consistently eating according to the Trim Healthy Mama plan caused a mind-shift to happen.  I’ve learned to think about food and life in a new way.  I don’t worry about the occasional meal out, church potluck or holiday party because I know that three hours later I will be back on plan.

Being consistent with healthy habits makes healthy change happen in a way that is sustainable.  The same is true for the rest of life too!  Consistent habits, over time, provide dramatic change.

The Numbers Don’t Mean Anything

I knew I needed to loose some weight, but as I began to loose I realized that the numbers don’t really mean anything.  I wanted to get back to the weight I was when I got married (and before three kids!).  I had about 25 pounds to loose.  I assumed that I would need to make a new goal after this because I had always carried a bit of extra weight.  However, as I began loosing weight I realized that loosing inches and the number on the scale didn’t seem to correlate!

I would loose inches without the scale moving and then a couple weeks later, the scale would drop by five pounds.  Now I’m the same weight I was at my wedding but two sizes smaller!  It doesn’t make sense but it’s how it is!  My body is in a good place now, a healthy place.

The same is true in the rest of life; numbers don’t mean anything.  Am I making more of an impact if I have thousands of followers but they have little life change.  Or am I making more of an impact if I have few followers but I’m influencing major growth and change in a few lives.

Even Though I’ve Changed, I’m Still the Same

Loosing weight didn’t change my body shape.  I still have a straight, athletic body.  I didn’t magically develop curves or a waist.  However, my clothes do fit better, I look better, I feel stronger.  Physically I’m  better version of who I was.  But I’m still worth the same.  My value to God, my husband and my family is still the same; it isn’t based on my physical appearance.

Change can be scary.  Changing what you do can seem to change who you are, but really, you are the same person.  Just growing and changing into a (hopefully) better version of you!  I want to be changing.  I want the Fruit of the Spirit to be more evident in my life this year than the year before.  But I don’t grow and change so I can be more important.  I grow and change so I can become more and more like Christ, because that is what I’m called to.

How have you seen God changing you to be more like Himself?

3 Things I've Learned from THM that Apply to All of Life

 

New Year, New Habits

Happy 2018!  The holidays are over, the new year is here.  Time to recover from the excess sugar and stuff and get back to what really matters.  The new year is often a time to start over; a time of making grand resolutions with the assumption that dramatic changes will give us a dramatically better life.

New Year, New Habits
New Year, New Habits

New Habits

If you have ever made new year’s resolutions, you know the problems with this.  Dramatic changes are rarely sustainable, especially when several dramatic changes are made at once.

But that’s OK!  Dramatic changes don’t make for a dramatically better life.  Consistent, sustainable habits lead to dramatic life change.  This is great news for us as we begin a new year!  It’s not needed (and actually harmful) to make grand dramatic changes.  Small changes we can commit to, that is where real success happens!

What small changes can you commit to this year?

Here are a few ideas:

Diet:

  • I will eat a protein rich snack or meal every 3-4 hours.
  • I will drink more sugar-free, caffeine-free fluids every day.
  • I will not snack between meals/snacks.
  • I will create a capsule menu.

Exercise:

  • I will make time for 20 minutes of exercise 3 times a week.
  • I will do less cardio and more strength training.
  • I will stretch every morning (or evening).

Home:

  • I will de-clutter the area of my home (each week or month) that drives me the most crazy. (kids’ toys, clothes, kitchen gadgets, bath towels etc.)
  • I will develop a cleaning routine that works for me.
  • I will develop a laundry routine that works for me.

Family

Success = Good Enough

Perfection does not equal success.  Success happens when we reach the good enough level at least 80% of the time.  You get to determine your own good enough level.  Do this by setting realistic goals for yourself: a healthy, balanced meal NOT a gourmet meal; 10 minutes of cleaning NOT deep cleaning the entire bathroom; getting dressed (in real clothes) each day NOT trying to look like a French fashion model!

Setting realistic goals and expectations for yourself (and others) ensures success. And success encourages more success!

Replace a Habit You Want to Change With a New Habit

Do you reach for a sugary snack in the afternoons?  Replace it with a protein rich trail mix with a few dark chocolate pieces.  Do you want to spend less time on your phone and read more books?  Download a Kindle app and a new book or leave your phone on the counter and read a bit before going to bed.

Change Your Perspective

Sometimes all it takes is a change of perspective to make something go from drudgery to enjoyable.  Getting up early on cold, dark winter mornings doesn’t sound like much fun.  But when I choose to see my getting up early as “me” time to relax and prepare for my day, I look forward to it!

Habits Take Time

It takes time for new routines to become habits.  Experts say from 21-30 days.  Give yourself time.  Develop one or two new habits each month.  What could your life look a year from now with 12 new habits?!

What habits do you want to adopt this year?  What one thing are you going to start with?