Lots of “firsts” this week! A first grader, a first-timer and the first year I’ve had all my kids in school. Can I get an AMEN? Everyone asked me what I had planned for myself after the momentous 1-2-3 drop-off.
Tequila shots, of course.
Just kidding. It was too early. I actually edited and posted some of those first captured moments, ran home to grab one of the lunch boxes we left behind in our rush to be tardy on the first day of school, and then headed to my husband’s office to get a little work done.
I didn’t get much work done.
My final “first” was a 60-minute workout at the beautiful new Barre3 New Orleans studio on Magazine Street. Touro and Barre3 have partnered together this week to offer a Mom’s Day Out afternoon of free classes and free screenings for cholesterol, glucose, and blood pressure. If you missed the Thursday MDO, there is one this Saturday. I highly recommend it. It felt good to know what my cholesterol and glucose levels were. I never really knew. High cholesterol and/or glucose levels can lead to heart disease, the #1 killer of women. (https://www.goredforwomen.org/)
The barre3 class was great. I really enjoyed it and I didn’t think I would.
Being pregnant can really do a number on your body, and all the new and sometimes awkward positions you find yourself in during and after giving birth (nursing, wearing, holding, carrying, transporting baby and gear) can really throw off your alignment. Tack on multiple kids of all ages and weights for multiple years and you may find yourself perpetually aching and sporting a slight lean thanks to one hip being used as a side saddle for most of the day. I personally have a lot of discomfort in my neck, shoulders and lower back.
I know, I know. Who doesn’t, right?
Parenthood is so physically demanding and if you’re anything like me, you probably focus more on parenting and tending to your child’s body and health than you do your own.
Regardless of the mom-stage you’re in, the barre3 approach to core strength, muscle development and alignment is a great option for those of us looking for a way to prepare and/or reclaim our bodies.
Note: Barre3 1) aligns and strengthens the muscles 2) energizes and elevates the heart, and 3) stretches, elongates and prepares the body.
Here are the three types of moms who would benefit from a barre3 class:
1. The Someday Mom
If you’re planning on getting pregnant, barre3 is a great way to prepare your body for the physical demands of pregnancy, labor and recovery. If you’re core is strong and your muscles are accurately aligned before you get pregnant, the muscle memory that you establish makes it so much easier to bounce back. Barre3 helps strengthen your pelvic floor (important for laboring, pushing and preventing future incontinence), which speeds up your recovery post-labor.
2. The New Mom
Pregnancy and childbirth is a major physical event at every possible level of your existence, regardless of the type of delivery you have. Barre3 is challenging but in a gentle way and focuses on 1) strength so you can pick up your children with less risk of injury, 2) length so you grow taller and have less compression in the spine, and 3) stabilization through the pelvis to protect the foundation of the spine.
3. The Aching Back Mom
Barre3 focuses on functional movement so the hour you spend in the studio, makes the other 23 hours in your day more productive. The focus is on balance, as opposed to cranking out more reps. You regain your balance and alignment in a very accurate and deliberate way. When you are aligned and your core strong, your back is set free.
The Barre3 New Orleans studio is beautiful, warm and welcoming. It’s nice to have a place to go to be supported by other women who are committed to helping you feel good. And it’s a great way to make new friends. I founded nolaParent after I had my first child because of the friendships and support system that grew from a weekly prenatal yoga class I attended. It was that group of women who inspired me (and still do).
A big THANK YOU to Touro and Barre3 New Orleans for hosting what I hope will be the first of many Mom’s Day Outs and opportunities for women to come together, support each other, get strong together and be healthy together. Also, Barre3 New Orleans owner, Kendall Carriere, was a huge help in educating me on why a barre3 practice is relevant to moms in particular.
Healthy moms = healthy families = healthy communities.