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This is The Elusive River Park Trail in Sugar Land and it is a wonderful way to get close to nature. While it is challenging to find for outsiders it is the backyard of the River Park subdivision neighbors. River Park Trail runs along the mighty Brazos River between Richmond and Sugarland on either side of 99 Parkway. I can wholeheartedly state, this trail is what I seek when I get out exploring and it is all too rare of an experience here in Houston. Trail entrances are discretely nestled between homes which back up to levees that surround River Park Subdivision preventing flooding when the Brazos River exceeds the banks.The Elusive River Park Trail in Sugar Land

 

The Elusive River Park Trail Rubric

1 low quality 2 average quality 3 best quality Score   
cost expensive, charge per individual small fee free 3
trail length   requires laps to get adequate workout 1 mile minimum loop of manageable length, 1 mile minimum 3
trail material broken sidewalk cement, grass gravel, dirt, sand paved with large wheels in mind (cement, road material, etc) 1
trail width   hardly large enough for single single but easy to pass double wide, easy to pass, side by side 2
bugs doused in bug repellent and still leave itchy, mouth closed breathing carry bug spray, could get on with out it, possibly leave with a couple of bug bites like being indoors, a pretty butterfly would be a treat 1
view grimy, no greenery, no tree cover from sun and wind, no visual appeal in the distance or directly near by visual appeal either in the distance or directly near by, some greenery, some tree cover from sun and wind visual appeal both in the distance and near by, green, seasonal foliage, tree cover from sun and wind 3
crowd (quantity) too many people to maneuver as desired some passing required but doable comfortably populated ?
crowd (culture) hobo community directly off path, rude or abrasive individuals people keep to their self, not negative and not positive interactions with individuals friendly individuals on and off the trail, smiles of encouragement, helpful if needed ?
cleanliness   nearly hazardous due to trash, very appealing aesthetically, unpleasant smell trash here and there, minimal impact to aesthetics spotless, clean 2
safety not getting out of the car, too dangerous share trail with bikers, some risk due to wildlife, surprise dark and scary and secluded tunnel or bridge, poor upkeep of trail material or signs minimal risks, visible security/police, well maintained trail material and signs 2
parking sparsely spots available in trail lot, street parking, may have to hike to trail, charge to park adequate parking in trail lot, some hike required to get to trail adequate parking in trail lot, no hike to trail 2
amenities not encouraging the hanging out in any way limited water, limits to any desired amenity toilets, benches, workout section, water 1

The Elusive River Park Trail in Sugarland is actually a struggle to score, virtually impossible using my rubric and perhaps is more of a flaw in my rubric than the trail. The trail still earns a score of 20, without determining a rating for crowd quantity and culture. I left this blank because I did not see another person on the trail to make a crowd judgment. There is evidence people use River Park trails but the only people I saw were in River Park neighborhood just outside the trail. A woman walked her dog, and another neighbor asked how the trail was looking since it was about a month after Harvey and there was significant flooding.The Elusive River Park Trail

Let Me Give You The Breakdown

Cost, is free perhaps residents of River Park pay a maintenance fee with their HOAs? I am curious about that and I would love some input from a resident. Trail length is adequate, with loops and meandering natural paths as well as human-created paths, options seem endless. Trail material is challenging at most levels. Deep leaves, sand, rugged terrain with rocks, it is a workout even at a slow pace. Since I push a double stroller I imagine I struggle more than most might as I trudge along. I also found myself trecking off the intended trails, which is understandable considering the flooded Brazos River passed through the area dragging branches, and creatures, and debris along the trail making it was difficult to identify. This is why I can not provide accurate information about it's normal status is since I have only seen it at it's worst. Not that it was a bad experience, it felt more natural than I expected but was not surprised considering the location. Without a doubt there are bugs, so I covered myself in some Deet. Not my worst bug experience and not really a big deal. I found an unusual red spide with black spikes on it's back in a large web stretched across the trail. It was impossible to miss right at eye level, and while I found it frightfully intimidating I was not hasty in my retreat as I admired it's perseverance as it cut a large twig from her impressive woven home. The view of The Elusive River Park Trail is absolutely magical. Tree covered, trails right on the bank of the Brazos River. Dare I say it provokes a spiritual experience. Which is what I seek when I adventure out into what nature I can find in this big city. It was very clean as far as trash, considering the surging river from the banks, a couple of cans and a tire was really all I noticed. As far as safety, I feel there are some significant risks, which is not just the trail degradation but also the lack of people. I imagine it is not always such a danger, but the water swept tree branches across trails, the debris from the storm made other hazards. I could not see the trail most of the time, and unintentionally wondered off and had to turn around and go back on more than one occasion. The misplaced dirt and tree branches also made it difficult to watch out for some creatures with camouflage defense mechanisms. My heart raced, not just because of my great workout from the steep inclines I pushed my stroller up, but also because I did not feel secure. I suggest go with a group, and I always share my location with my Love and give him a time I will check in. It is absolutely worth visiting, but do take precautions. Parking is free, but it is in front of homes in a neighborhood. It is not much of a hike from the various trailheads, to an appropriate spot on the street. Amenities, there nearly are none. No bathroom, but the nearest city park in Sugar Land; Memorial/ Brazos River Park does have some creature comforts which I use before I head out into the wilderness of River Park Trail. There are some benches and some maps and trail name signs.  Just no real accommodations so come prepared.The Elusive River Park Trail

I am thorough and not brief, but I hope you find the information about The Elusive River Park Trail useful and occasionally entertaining. This is the information I feel I need and wish I had before I get out and explore any trail so it is my goal to give you the details so you can explore safely and confidently! Let me know what you think about The Elusive River Park Trail in Sugar Land or if you want to read about a particular trail!

Happy (Running) Trails!

Priscilla

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The 30 Days Healthy Choices Challenge

Did someone say The 30 Days Healthy Choices Challenge?! It was mentioned as I devoured a decadent slice of Pink Velvet Cake while sitting at a favorite Vegan options restaurant Bella Green (no Pink Velvet Cake is not vegan, what can I say. I am weak when it comes to sweets.) And while I may not have pumped my fist and given the idea a fullhearted cheer, I realized I can't turn down an invitation to join an effort to do something to better myself. (Do you want to join me?) The 30 Days Healthy Choices Challenge is a great opportunity for me to join a group of people who have the same goals so we can help keep each other stay accountable! I am already a vegan, but I think I will benefit most because I am weak when it comes to sugar.

So let's do The 30 Days Healthy Choices Challenge like Dr. Sara Gotfried would (find her book here) Her books have inspired me in my fitness and health journey and her book The Hormone Reset Diet is the model for this challenge. We will remove possible detrimental food groups from our diet, and eliminate a new item every 4 days. It is likely we will see the benefit of this food item being gone from our system by the third day, but we will maintain the elimination for the rest of the 30 days.The 30 Days Healthy Choices Challenge

The 30 Days Healthy Choices Challenge Schedule

Day 1: Remove Meat. Chances are you do not know the rancher or farmer who provides you with your meat. Consider this elimination to not only rev up your digestion but to also avoid those unwanted hormones and antibiotics the FDA allows farmers and ranchers to inject into animals to help them grow faster and avoid sicknesses shared in close quarters with other animals.

Day 5: Remove Dairy and Eggs. These are also at risk of being pumped with unwanted hormones and antibiotics as they come from animals. And if that wasn't enough: according to the U.S. National Library of Medicine "Approximately 65 percent of the human population has a reduced ability to digest lactose after infancy". Which includes me, and I think statistically probably means you too.

Day 9: During The 30 Days Healthy Choices Challenge you must remove Sugar (all sugar, refined, honey, maple, agave, stevia)  I have gotten irrationally irate over eliminating this one in the past. I never wanted to be someone who could not have dessert a couple of times a day. I wanted it after every meal, and I wanted it to be a primary component of my breakfast. This one really should be obvious because sugar does not contribute to nutritional intake, we really can't deny that I just didn't want it to be detrimental to my health. I can't even pick a single link to prove this point because there are so many, just look it up.

Day 13: Remove Alcohol and Grain. I know most people won't argue that alcohol is healthy, but what most might dispute is grains. What many people know is grain is a Carbohydrate, and we know we need more than 50% of our daily intake of macronutrients to be Carbs. But, what we are failing to consider is vegetables are carbohydrates too! So, if we need to fill our plates with carbs it should not be with rolls and slices of bread it should be with broccoli and cauliflower and carrots and peas. So make that switch and see what you think!

Day 17: Remove Fruit. I know what you are thinking: "how can fruit be bad?" But if you look down to the midsection and find that to be your problem area, you may benefit from removing fruit high in fructose from your diet. Fructose is a sugar (remember sugar is bad) and what people, especially women may be experiencing is Insulin Resistance which is a precursor to diabetes. This includes dry fruit which actually has a more concentrated quantity of fructose.

Day 21: Remove Caffeine. Caffeine stimulates your adrenal glands so now you have adrenaline pumping, and blood redirecting away from the digestive system (not good) Then you start producing the hormone epinephrine which gives you that weak shaky hand symptom and if that was not enough you also are pumping out extra cortisol because your body thinks you need some to go with your adrenaline surge to deal with this (unbeknownst to your body) self-induced chemical stress. See how you feel after your chemical addiction subsides in 3 days and decide if you really need it.

Day 25: Endocrine Disrupters. Check your labels. Your lotions, shampoos, perfumes. Take it out of your routine at least for a bit. Watch out for BPA in plastics, and cans. Consider eliminating tofu and soy which have phytoestrogen. Steer clear of pesticides (no matter how safe the FDA say it is for you and your kids to be exposed to). Flame retardant substances, which are completely unavoidable but see what you can do.

Finishing Up The 30 Day Challenge

Day 31: If you plan to reintroduce any of the eliminated food groups back into your diet after The 30 Days Healthy Choices Challenge do so slowly. Take another 2-3 day before reintroducing another food group. If you find during those 2-3 days that your bloating returns or other unwanted symptoms resulting in weight gain or discomfort you should consider that particular food item be removed from your diet or consumed in limited quantities.The 30 Days Healthy Choices Challenge

As you read this list I imagine you think you might starve on The 30 Days Healthy Choices Challenge. I suggest you eat those veggies! Aim for at least ONE POUND of VEGETABLES  EVERY DAY (what else do you have left to eat?) On top of that aim to increase your fiber intake up to around 35-50 grams per day. Take it slow and work your way up to the higher side. On this subject, I also take this guidance from Dr. Gottfried's book The Hormone Reset Diet. Probably obvious: don't forget to drink your water, only water, and lots of it. There is a good chance that empty belly you notice is because you are thirsty and not hungry. Retrain your brain and your hormones and admire the results The 30 Days Healthy Choices Challenge! Let me know how it goes!

Best Health and good luck!

Priscilla

Post Harvey here in Houston and the trauma is still blistering and surreal. It became glaringly obvious early into the downpour that anything I have to blog about in regards to fitness would seem superficial and maybe even insensitive. My heart hurts for those who have lost their possessions which provided some physical comfort in daily life and for the loss of emotional comforts found in sentimental items which are irreplaceable. The most tragic news reports of those attempting to get to high ground the number still climbs of so many souls lost young and old.Post Harvey Here in Houston

There is a complete upheaval in all of our lives and while we would love for things to return to "normal" as if there was never 50 something inches of rain drenching and drowning our community it is becoming clear that we may all need to learn to cope with our new "normal".

Post Harvey Here in Houston

  • This may be a good time to seek out the help of a professional counselor, this is more than dealing with a loss of some kind but actually, this is a traumatic experience for all of us here in Houston. It is ok to need help and to seek help in all forms. Learning to cope with emotional and physical trauma is what you need to get you through and towards accepting a new "normal".
  • Debrief. Yes, that really just means talk it out. For all individuals involved in flood water rescues be it the professional or volunteer emergency crews or the families and individuals needing to be rescued it is so important to debrief. Now as wonderful as it would be to connect with those individuals who you were with during your emergency situation it may not be possible, but still, try to find someone to listen while you talk about your experience during such a high-stress experience.
  • Consider your safety, while you undoubtedly want to clear your house of debris and water damaged materials there are some precautions to take. While water is present in your home there is the risk of electrocution, or contamination, as your home dries there is the risk of mold or rot. While moving water logged items out of your home there is the risk of tetanus exposure or unwanted creatures being displaced as well as lift hazards. During all this manual labor remember to hydrate and rest when needed.
  • Watch out for scammers. Request credentials and references, Do not pay up front for services. Watch out for looters. These are the hard core folks looking to take advantage, activate your neighborhood watch. Use nextdoor.com as a resource for help as well as security.

Really, I'm sure you have heard all this before, I just wanted to put together a brief list of suggestions on how you can take care of you and your family during this trying time. I also suggest trying to finding the beauty and aw in natures power. This image is on the buffalo bayou.Post Harvey Here in Houston

This is just west of Sabine bridge, in front of the skate park and playground. The sandy bank is actually the pedestrian trail covered by silt. There used to be towering shade trees between the bayou and the pedestrian trail. I will miss that bit of shade and beauty but the impressive power of the water makes my mouth gape. And if natures power still shakes you up, which is understandable as it is only 3 weeks Post Harvey Here in Houston.Post Harvey Here in Houston

You can always divert your eyes until you can find something to remind you of how things used to be even if just for a moment. I never would have found this area of the trail had my path not been covered by water (Check out the first picture).

These pictures are taken at the Buffalo Bayou less than 3 weeks Post Harvey Here in Houston one of my favorite places in Houston. The Buffalo Bayou Partnership is a non-profit organization and they need your help. If you are interested in volunteering, donating, or making any suggestions go to buffalobayou.org to find out the details on how you can contribute.

Let me know how I can help! Please don't be afraid to ask, me, your friends, family, neighbors, church, or organizations how you can help or how you can get help!

Best Health!

Priscilla

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Thanks to Hurricane Harvey I am stuck indoors for my workouts until Houston dries up and honestly, the sky opens wide a few times a year around here. So, to keep getting my fit on I compiled this list of my go to Top 5 Online Workouts You Can Do Indoors from my favorite fitness experts and the best news; they are all FREE!! I like free and I like to workout in the comfort of my own home at least a couple of days a week and thanks to the professionals on these websites I have come to appreciate my body for its strength and accomplishments towards reaching my fitness goals.Top 5 Online Workouts You Can Do Indoors

Working out indoors is actually a huge market and the videos available are so diverse it would be impossible not to find something to fit your needs. just in case you ever find yourself stuck indoors because maybe the weather is extra rainy, or maybe there is a hurricane outside? It is super easy to make a million excuses NOT to work out when you have spent two days running around town making sure you have enough water and batteries to hold up in the house with your family for the next week and you are glued to the Weather Channel. So, to help you get motivated I compiled a list of the Top 5 Online Workouts You Can Do Indoors.

Top 5 Online Workouts You Can Do Indoors

  1. Fitness Blender offers a wide variety of workouts of varying lengths and all levels. I enjoy the streamlined style they present their video library and the details they provide in each video. These are great for a specific focus on particular body parts or if you are looking to achieve a particular workout like HIIT, strength training. If you are looking for an ongoing routine you can also buy a program. I have purchased an 8-week program in the past and I loved the plan!
  2. Fightmaster Yoga is an amazing resource for full-length free yoga videos. She provides a wide selection of videos from prenatal yoga, to Ashtanga and even challenges to help you build strong yoga habits like her Yoga Fix 90 Challenge designed to get participants to do yoga every day for three months.
  3. Myfreeyoga.com is a great yoga resource with videos from many different yoga instructors offering many different choices to meet your fitness needs. This is a great place for you to get to know the personality and style of all the yoga instructors so you can find someone you love learning yoga from. I really enjoy Yoga With Adriene, so funny and real.
  4. You Tube is perfect if you don't know what you like yet or if you want to change up your routine but need some new ideas. Get to know what you like and the personalities of the instructors. Just type in what ever fitness or any other specifics you have in mind like Zumba, or yoga, or if you need to see how to do a one legged squat
  5. Do Yoga With Me, of course, the site has yoga videos but I like that they offer Pilates. Check out the site for your choice of yoga workout or participate in a challenge. Top 5 Online Workouts You Can Do Indoors

I know there are millions of workout videos you can watch but check out the Top 5 Online Workouts You Can Do Indoors and let me know what you think! Decide for yourself what sites and what suits you. Feel free to make some suggestions with your favorite online fitness videos. Maybe a quick indoor workout is exactly what you need to take your mind off the terrible weather and it's always good to exercise.

Enjoy your workout stay inside and stay safe if you got a hurricane or a tropical storm in your neighborhood.

Best Health!

Priscilla

12 Reasons Not to Work Out During Pregnancy

Doctors agree, exercise during pregnancy is safe and recommended for most women. Ideally, fitness and health are solid components of your life before you get pregnant. But, it is never too late to create healthy habits and lifestyle choices.

If you are just getting started with exercise now that you are pregnant or if you have been working towards a weight loss goal before you got pregnant there will be some changes to your exercise goals.

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists considers the following nine conditions absolute contraindications to exercise during pregnancy. A contraindication is a situation which makes a particular treatment or procedure absolutely inadvisable. Basically, the danger or a serious health risk or even death for mother and or baby is greater than the benefit the exercise has the potential to provide for both mother and baby. Read the whole article for all 12 Reasons NOT to Work Out During Pregnancy.

9 Reasons Not to Work Out During Pregnancy

  • Heart Disease - If you are at risk for heart attack or stroke or other cardiovascular conditions your doctor will advise you not to workout during pregnancy.
  • Incompetent Cervix - this is where the cervix becomes weak, dilating early and leading to miscarriage or preterm labor.
  • Multiple Gestation at Risk for Premature Labor - There is always more risk involved with multiple gestations and even if everything looks great your doctor may still advise you not to exercise and obviously increasing your risk of delivering too early is ill advised.
  • Persistent Second or Thirds Trimester Vaginal Bleeding - Placental abruption and labor will both cause pain and bleeding but the complications and risks are too varied and something to have checked by a doctor especially with regards to exercise.
  • Placenta Previa - when the placenta covers the cervix; this also causes bleeding during the second half of pregnancy and exercise is not safe.
  • Preeclampsia or Pregnancy-induced Hypertension - High blood pressure is a serious condition with the potential for death for both mother and baby, and exercise will create more unnecessary risk for both.
  • Preterm Labor During the Current Pregnancy - Regular contractions with changes in the cervix putting the mother at risk of delivering before 37 weeks which should be avoided and exercise would not help the condition but only create more danger of delivering too soon.
  • Preterm Ruptured Membranes - Your baby is at significant risk of distress and you are likely to go into labor soon after your water breaks and even if just a little bit of water is leaking your baby is at risk of infections; it is not the time to get a workout.
  • Restrictive Lung Disease - When you have inadequate ventilation or oxygen, with exercise on top of that you will be putting too much stress on not just your own lungs but your baby will not get the necessary oxygen in the blood which is seriously detrimental.

3 More Reasons Not to Work Out During Pregnancy

  • Sleep Deprived - our health suffers, we become injury prone, our judgment lacks, simply make a rule that if baby (or anything) kept you up last night don't exercise until you feel rested otherwise you will do more damage than good.
  • Sick - of course use your best judgment here (if it hasn't been impacted by a lack of sleep!) A running nose may be no big deal but if you have pain or are expelling bodily fluids it is best to rest and get better before taking on some exercise during pregnancy.
  • Too Hot - Keeping your temperature at a normal range during pregnancy is not just for your comfort but for you and your baby's health. Especially during the first trimester the risk of the baby developing defects of the central nervous system.12 Reasons NOT to Work Out During Pregnancy

As always use your best judgment. Some people don't need any reasons not to exercise during pregnancy and choose not to as a personal preference (your body really is doing a lot of work already!) and some ladies will still try to work out even if they tick all 12 boxes for 12 Reasons NOT to Work Out During Pregnancy Talk to your doctor if you have any concerns and make sure your OB knows your plans to exercise so they can make sure you are healthy. Even if Doc says you are healthy for exercise consider your fitness level before starting and don't start with hardcore workouts or attempt any activities which put you at risk of falls even if you are experienced in those activities. You also may be thinking that because you are in your first trimester and more mobile and don't even look pregnant that you can get away with riskier activities. This is far from true and in many circumstances, the first trimester holds more risks to your growing baby than the second or third, just remember risk is never worth you or your baby's well being.

When I was pregnant with my first and third child I couldn't run. In fact, it felt like both my girl's skulls were grinding against my pelvic bone and the urgency to evacuate my bladder was always more significant than the actual output. I admittedly did not exercise with my first child but with my third, I taught prenatal/postnatal water aerobics and was able to maintain until the week before I delivered. With my second child, I was able to run during the second and third trimester and felt good doing it until the last two or three weeks before I delivered him.

While history reflects a different opinion in most; now doctors and professionals and even mothers recommend exercise appropriate for you and your comfort level during your pregnancy as long as there is no risk to you and your baby. And if you don't exercise during pregnancy for any reason, there is always after you deliver to get fit and healthy for you and your family.

Let me know what you think; exercise or "Naw my body is already working super hard so it is time to prop up the feet for 9 months every time life allows."

 

Best Health!

Priscilla

 

Sources:

aafp.org

Berk, Bonnie; Motherwell Maternity Fitness Plan; 2005

Brin, Lindsay; How to Exercise When You're Expecting; 2011

medecinenet.com

blog mommy and me 2

The creator of the Mommy and Me class was such a genius! I have always loved the idea of Mama pairing up with her perfect little "mini me" (or "mini Dada") to experience self development classes, usually fitness focused, allowing personal growth as a parent bonding with your child, and provides your child with the opportunity for gross motor development and social development in a safe environment.

There is a distinction between mommy and me classes for child development and mommy and me classes for mama, but always the classes ultimately benefit all involved. At PreMo Fitness we offer water aerobic classes for women, and while we don't require your child be present, we invite moms to bring their children to workout, and have fun! We are ALL busy. Today's women insist on doing it all. What we tend to neglect is our own health and fitness. We sacrifice so much to be perfect and we end up taking away from what is actually necessary.

With Mommy and Me classes - especially like the classes offered at PreMo Fitness we can not only take care of our motherly fitness needs, but we can also bond with our child, while providing  a unique and rich environment for our little budding being. It just gets me so excited! And it is absolutely the ultimate multi-tasking; fun, fitness, and family time ALL AT ONCE!!

When I started my business I truly wanted to focus on women in all stages of motherhood, and emphasize the absolute accessibility to all! I understand not having a support system that accommodates personal time. I understand that small gnawing sensation in the pit of your gut because you chose you time instead any of the other millions of things on your to do list. I strive to find enriching experiences for my children, I imagine I am not alone in those efforts. When you exercise with your children, you demonstrate health and fitness for your child to model in youth and as they grow. It is truly such an impressive power we can only assume will have a lasting impact.

Mommy and Me Classes vs. Real World Frustrations

We all know there are those times where your little mini me has an utter emotional and loud break down. With the kind of expression that compels strangers passing by to not only look (or stare) but also contribute to the effort to assuage the small volcanic eruption you are holding in your loving, and stressed arms. We have all experienced this less than welcome inclusion of others.

The other day I was in HEB, making a serious effort to replenish our kitchen with all three kids there to endure what seemed to be a never ending maze of aisle filled with a bountiful of "no we are not buying thats". At about half way through the store my youngest daughter, who is almost 9 months old began to express her serious disappointment and hunger. Not with crying, but with the loud pterodactyl like screech, that seemed to echo off the high ceiling and shiny floors. It was like surround sound when my two year old son decided to join in, and because my ten year old thought it was cute, she chimed in with just as much volume and enthusiasm as her two younger siblings. In utter shock I stopped what I was doing to gock at their solidarity and wild behavior. I looked around...what could I say? I gave the many eyes a sheepish grin and considered joining the kids with a super inappropriate curtling screech of my own... What else could I do? I reasoned with the oldest, and provided some stern response for the two year old...with no availe...I offered a bargain..."sure you can have that completely unnecessary Paw Patrol bucket"...I quickly ran out of options, and while the strangers tried to console the little screechers they could not be heard over the trio, all I could tell was their mouth was moving. So what did I do? I smiled, and owned it. I know few bystanders appreciated the unparalleled sounds that came from my vicinity. But, I chose to let it run it's course. It was also helpful to fill their mouths with the scrumptious samples we eventually came across too.

All of that is to say: If you do intend to participate in a mommy and me class that puts most of the focus on mom, then there are some things to think about. As a mom we know that not every day is an easy going or carefree experience. We as moms know sometimes children express themselves in a less than desirable way. It will be unavoidable at times, to switch gears and make more accommodations on our child's behalf. Sometimes we can find a way to compromise, reason, negotiate, or appease our child while we get our me time. I always think it is worth it to make some effort to make everyone happy, but when all else fails, we as mothers should not think less of our self because we are unable to please everyone all the time. In the end, do what you feel is best! Mama is always right! And try not to beat yourself up when you do something for you. Mommy and me classes is designed to please and accommodate everyone involved in a safe and understanding environment. We have all been there and you are not being judged for any of your personal choices, so you can stop being so harsh with yourself and be in the moment.

Join in the conversation and share what you think on the topic of mommy and me classes! Or share what you think about PreMo Fitness classes which focus on mommy while your little mini me joins you! I look forward to seeing you in our classes and reading your comments!

Best Health!

Priscilla

 

 

Sugar Land Memorial Park is a beautiful park with a pleasant running trail. There is a decent space for parking, and the layout of the entire park allows for efficiency while providing pleasant scenery. One of my favorite features of this park is the BRunning Trailrazos River views.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I enjoy the breeze that comes off the water while I am working up a sweat as I jog and push my double stroller.

The river is an impressive force of nature; local residents are all too familiar with it's power. At this very moment; while I write this; Sugar Land Memorial Park is actually under water, as the Brazos has exceeded it's capacity and spilled over the banks into the park due to the massive rainfall over Memorial Weekend 2016. Brazos River Flood Sugar Land Memorial Park

Safety is not optional, and I strongly recommend waiting until the park is officially open before trying out the trail and enjoying the other features of the park.

The trail is two loops which connect directly in front of the parking lot, almost in the shape of a figure 8. It runs parallel to the Brazos river, and at the south loop, which is closest to the skate park and dog park area there is a view of the Brazos as it goes under a bridge. The skate park has been closed every time I have gone to the park, and both the dog park and the skate park were under water the last time I went, which was about a week after the historic flooding event on Tax Day 2016.

The first time I went to the Sugar Land Memorial Park to run I appreciated the sight of a man doing what looked like Tai Chi with a samurai sword, under the pavilion in front of the water. It was peaceful and interesting to see, not an everyday occurrence for me.

The city website also indicates there are plans to continue the trail further west toward the bank of the Brazos. I look forward to the updates and hope to see the progress. It is part of an effort to connect various areas of Sugar Land by walking/ biking trails.20160408_090511 20160408_090444

Sugar Land Memorial Park Running Trail Rubric

1 low quality 2 average quality 3 best quality Score
cost expensive, charge per individual small fee free   3
trail length requires laps to get adequate workout 1 mile minimum loop of manageable length, 1 mile minimum   3
trail material broken sidewalk cement, grass gravel, dirt, sand paved with large wheels in mind (cement, road material, etc)   2
trail width hardly large enough for single single but easy to pass double wide, easy to pass, side by side   3
bugs doused in bug repellent and still leave itchy, mouth closed breathing carry bug spray, could get on with out it, possibly leave with a couple of bug bites like being indoors, a pretty butterfly would be a treat  2
view grimy, no greenery, no tree cover from sun and wind, no visual appeal in the distance or directly near by visual appeal either in the distance or directly near by, some greenery, some tree cover from sun and wind visual appeal both in the distance and near by, green, seasonal foliage, tree cover from sun and wind   3
crowd (quantity) too many people to maneuver as desired some passing required but doable comfortably populated   3
crowd (culture) hobo community directly off path, rude or abrasive individuals people keep to their self, not negative and not positive interactions with individuals friendly individuals on and off the trail, smiles of encouragement, helpful if needed  3
cleanliness nearly hazardous due to trash, very appealing aesthetically, unpleasant smell trash here and there, minimal impact to aesthetics spotless, clean   3
safety not getting out of the car, too dangerous share trail with bikers, some risk due to wildlife, surprise dark and scary and secluded tunnel or bridge, poor upkeep of trail material or signs minimal risks, visible security/police, well maintained trail material and signs  3
parking sparsely spots available in trail lot, street parking, may have to hike to trail, charge to park adequate parking in trail lot, some hike required to get to trail adequate parking in trail lot, no hike to trail   3
amenities not encouraging the hanging out in any way limited water, limits to any desired amenity toilets, benches, workout section, water   3

20160408_090456The Sugar Land Memorial Park running trail earns a score of 34 out of 36. I often forget to wear bug repellent, and last time I got bit, and the worry that the kids were getting bit made me run faster to get them back to the car. So, while it is a motivator to pick up the pace, I do recommend bringing bug repellent on the trail. I try to avoid spraying the kids with Deet, it makes me nervous, so I use the clip on repellent and I feel pretty good about it's effectiveness in most environments.

While the score is similar to some of the other trails I have evaluated, I think it should be noted it is always give and take with preferred features. This has the water to help cool the air, but there are no trees to provide shade from the blazing sun. For some, no trees is a deal breaker. And while I prefer both trees and water, I have come to terms with one or the other around here.20160408_090621

I hope you get out and try the Sugar Land Memorial Park running trail after it drains and returns to normal. I look forward to getting back out there and exploring new areas and having a nice jog! Let me know what you think when you go, and leave me comments, and updates on the park and the clean up process as well as the progress on the extension of the running trails.

Happy Trails (running!!) until we meet again!

Best Health!

Priscilla

The coastal city of Seabrook prides it's self on their community wide, interconnected trail system, with at least 10 miles spanning from one side of the city to the other. While doing research online about local area trails I found this little gem on the city government website; a nature path and running trail and less than an hour from my home. (which I consider a reasonable distance to travel to exercise in nature, especially living in a city where most week day commutes are over an hour) I was very excited to find a place that encouraged trail running and bird watching so conveniently located. Plus, one of my favorite features in nature: water! This is a beautiful coastal view, with trees and wildlife surrounding a lively and fun filled park.

trail running seabrookThe parking lot is packed, but we find a spot next to the buzzards picking through the dumpster. (nature is truely all around us!) I notice an overflow lot outside the park fence for those days when everyone has the same idea to head out to the coastal park. The sounds of the ocean waves as they gently break along the rocks is so soothing I opted not to turn on the music and zone out to the beat. There is the convenience of a park bathroom, which after a 45 minute drive is absolutely necessary. The park looks out on the gulf, picnicing families have overtaken most of the large wooden picnic tables. There are children of all ages running around on the playground and climbing on the hills and tire structures. There are multiple families camped out on the very large doc, fishing, chatting, listening to some rap music, children chase each other with bait fish. We can see a huge white cruise ship going out a few miles down the coast line. We are there at sunset and the sky is beautiful pink and orange framed by white caps of choppy water.  trail runningThe trail directly off the park is gravel and a reasonable width in most areas. There is a small water inlet on one side of the trail, with a fence preventing people from exploring, and a sign warning against it. An enclosed cemetary sits unassumingly on the other side of the trail located toward the from of the trail head, and the front of the park. There is also a sign at the mouth of the trail stating the presence of toothy wildlife, for people to be aware. Tall water grasses, and flowering bushes line either side of the winding trail. Safety markers also are posted periodically throughout the trail, to provide a more specific location for emergency services, in case help is needed. The trail is very relaxing, and my family and I enjoyed the entire visit. We did not feel comfortable running on the trail with the stroller, due to the number of people, and the potential to collide with them coming around a corner blinded by the abundance of follage. It was less than a mile in distance in one direction, and while the city promotes the use of the trails as an interconnected system, it appeared we would have to venture out onto a small road to get to the next gravel trail. My boyfriend and I did not feel comfortable taking the stroller out onto this two lane road, to get to the trail we saw up the road on the way into the park.

20160131_164330_resized I admitted to myself a couple of times, my discomfort in the environment, and I felt unsure about going out with the kids by myself. All of my concerns are completely unfounded, and mostly based on a feeling...and I may also be a wee bit paranoid. When I see a group of people all wearing the exact same color clothing, but not the same like a team or club would wear, I find it kind of suspicious of indicating membership of a gang. I could be very wrong and I do hope that I am wrong. I saw regular patrols by marked police cars, and at no point felt like my life was in danger. I just took note, and spent a bit of time cautiously observing the environment for a change in tone and culture. As the park came around to time to close, I saw an increase in patrolling, and the park goers actively packing up.

Pine Gully Park Trail Running Rubric

1 low quality 2 average quality 3 best quality Score
cost expensive, charge per individual small fee free   3
trail length requires laps to get adequate workout 1 mile minimum loop of manageable length, 1 mile minimum   1 - with potential to expand at risk of safety
trail material broken sidewalk cement, grass gravel, dirt, sand paved with large wheels in mind (cement, road material, etc)   2
trail width hardly large enough for single single but easy to pass double wide, easy to pass, side by side   3
bugs doused in bug repellent and still leave itchy, mouth closed breathing carry bug spray, could get on with out it, possibly leave with a couple of bug bites like being indoors, a pretty butterfly would be a treat   3
view grimy, no greenery, no tree cover from sun and wind, no visual appeal in the distance or directly near by visual appeal either in the distance or directly near by, some greenery, some tree cover from sun and wind visual appeal both in the distance and near by, green, seasonal foliage, tree cover from sun and wind   3
crowd (quantity) too many people to maneuver as desired some passing required but doable comfortably populated   1
crowd (culture) hobo community directly off path, rude or abrasive individuals people keep to their self, not negative and not positive interactions with individuals friendly individuals on and off the trail, smiles of encouragement, helpful if needed   2
cleanliness nearly hazardous due to trash, very appealing aesthetically, unpleasant smell trash here and there, minimal impact to aesthetics spotless, clean   2 - trail and park clean, but signs, especially the trail map is completely covered
safety not getting out of the car, too dangerous share trail with bikers, some risk due to wildlife, surprise dark and scary and secluded tunnel or bridge, poor upkeep of trail material or signs minimal risks, visible security/police, well maintained trail material and signs   2
parking sparsely spots available in trail lot, street parking, may have to hike to trail, charge to park adequate parking in trail lot, some hike required to get to trail adequate parking in trail lot, no hike to trail   3
amenities not encouraging the hanging out in any way limited water, limits to any desired amenity toilets, benches, workout section, water   3

I feel it should be noted, things like bugs, or parking are going to based on day by day conditions. Overall, the trail scores well at a 28 out of a possible 36 points. I would easily return to explore and hang out at the park with the family. I enjoyed the sights of the trail, and my indescribable connection with all things water puts the view far above the rank of 3 for me. I recommend you get out and try it, take the family and your stroller and do some walking or running if you can find the rest of the trails. 😉

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20160131_164220_resizedLet me know what you think and how your visit ranks on the trail running rubric. Hit me up if you have any questions or comments you can reach me at  prenatalmothersfitness@gmail.com or class details at premofitness.com and as always: Happy trails (running)!!

Best Health!

Priscilla

 

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I absolutely love water especially activities like water aerobics and I always have! I undoubtably have a natural, almost instinctual connection with the water. In the way a sensory deprivation chamber can induce a meditative state; I come to know my mind and body better when I am in the water. Water is a significant symbol in many spiritual practices, it has the ability to cleanse, and purify, and even heal. It is a necessary component to life, keeping us healthy with adequate intake. The world's living creatures large and small need water!

I was a self conscious young child, with my rounded belly and my chubby cheeks. I was uncomfortably squeezing into my clothes and skin as long as I could remember, I also hated elementary PE and would "fake" an asthma attack on days I dreaded the activity. I did not lack athleticism, but I didn't feel comfortable in my own skin, and suffered from anxiety in new, or frequently changing situations. In Jr, High I joined the swim team and found my body immediately transformed into strong and slender, and I felt confident and accomplished. It was then that I understood the benefits of fitness in the water, and I couldn't get enough.

The first water aerobics class I taught was at the public pool and it was apparently an appealing class to the more aged crowed (due to the great benefits for individuals with arthritis and osteoporosis) with an oldies mixed tape (yes a cassette tape and "boom box") as the preferred music by the clients. As I became familiar with the routine, and studied various texts on the subject I began making changes in the class and found the class growing by word of mouth. And the demographic became more diverse, appealing to women of all ages and even pregnant women. Fast forward 16 years, I have taught water classes at various locations since those days and I have only expanded my knowledge and I am still putting my own twist on the tried and true exercises that benefit women in the water (I have also changed the music!)

How Water Aerobics Benefits Mama ( & Everyone Else):

The health and fitness benefits to exercising in water are extensive and all encompassing. I found the benefits as a young girl, it provided the cardio and toning my growing body needed, and the controlled breathing with the practice of competitive training taught me to manage my asthma symptoms with minimum medication usage.

During water aerobics water provides a resistance which is proportional to the effort exerted against it. Depending on the speed of the movement the resistance felt is 4-42 times the resistance from the air, and can be increased by more surface area, or higher speeds as well as the use of various aquatic tools. This makes a water workout a highly variable weight training and cardio option for any level of ability.

Buoyancy of water nearly eliminates the effects of gravity on the body, it supports 90% of the body's weight which reduces impact and increases flexibility. This makes water exercise an excellent choice for pregnant women, who are feeling the effects of the hormone Relaxin on their joints and are prone to injury, or who are uncomfortable carrying their extra weight and growing belly and need the extra support.

Also, when we are pregnant our heart rate increases more quickly during exercise usually during our first trimester especially caused by under fill. Which is a symptom of the body not building up the blood supply fast enough to redirect to the uterus during pregnancy. Exercise in the water actually decreases the heart rate by making the heart work more efficiently. The hydrostatic pressure of the water pushes equally on all body surfaces and helps the heart circulate blood and aiding blood flow back to the heart. Our heart rate is said to beat 10-15 beats slower per minute in the water during suspended water exercise than for the same effort applied on land, which is beneficial for those who are pregnant and not pregnant. This balance of pressure also prevents swelling a, typically symptom of pregnancy.

While exercising during pregnancy, it is important to keep the body cool, and not overheat. Water aerobics in a pool at a temperature between 85-80 degrees allows the body to regulate temperature while exercising. The benefits of exercise during pregnancy are the same for those who are not pregnant when it comes to metabolic regulation, decreasing fat and increasing muscles and strength, necessary to maintain our fat burning ability even when not exercising. Aquatic exercise will also aid in the digestive functions, easing irregularity and constipation, associated with pregnancy. Water aerobics is safe for not only mom but baby too. Research shows women that exercise during pregnancy have shorter, easier, less painful labor and recover from delivery much quicker. Children who's mother exercises during pregnancy perform better on the Apgar evaluation, and cope with the stress of delivery more effectively.

With so many benefits to water aerobics, I should probably address the possible reasons to be apprehensive (and provide a rebuttal of course!) Some ladies may be modest about showing so much flesh, and then being physically active, especially during pregnancy and in a postnatal body. I wear a high neck line speedo style swim suit that provides full coverage, I have even found swim pants on the market. There are also swim suits with skirts and special suits with ruching, and designs that disguise those places on the body, we workout to eliminate. A swim suit that makes you feel confident and comfortable is an important purchase, and when your health is the reason to take action, there is no better motivation. Perhaps, as an adult, swimming is not a strength, or even a skill; there are still activities you can take part in, in the shallow end of the pool, and I have personally worked with women, who found comfort in the use of an aquatic belt, which provided the buoyancy to keep them afloat, while they performed aqua jog laps in deep and shallow water. It is never too late to learn to swim, and I can absolutely refer you to someone if you are interested in gaining the knowledge. Honestly, I cant think of another possible reason why a woman would not want to exercise in the water. If you have any reasons, please share, and while I understand aquatic fitness may not be for everyone, I do believe most women will notice the benefits immediately and fall in love with the water, no matter the stage of motherhood.

I would love to see you in the pool! I offer classes in Bellaire, check out the link premofitness.com or contact me prenatalmothersfitness@gmail.com to find out when - talk to you soon!

 

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Did you make a New Year's Resolution for 2015? What was it? I would love to hear from you in the comments, about your goals and how you are doing with those goals. According to statisticbrain.com the number one New Year's Resolution is to lose weight, and staying fit and healthy is the number five most common resolution. The site also states that 64% of people that make resolutions are still maintaining them after one month. (way better than I thought!) Unfortunately only 46% of those who set New Years Resolutions last past six months.

Did You Make Any Resolutions?

So, my question is: did you set a New Years Resolution, and are you still working towards your goal? statisticbrain.com also states: "People who explicitly make resolutions are 10 times more likely to attain their goals than people who don’t explicitly make resolutions." Have you shared your goals with friends and family? Someone to help keep you accountable? Someone that will check in on your progress? Did you make a specific goal, right down to the number of lbs. you want to lose? Or the size pants you want to wear? Or are you measuring the grams of fats, sugars, carbs and proteins you consume in each meal? How "explicit" have you been in your resolution, and how successful do you think you will be? I invite you to share your challenges and strives.

I personally don't make New Years Resolutions, but I do make resolutions regularly. I am constantly setting goals, for my personal development, fitness, spiritual endeavors, and family, through out the year. I take some resolutions more seriously than others and some stick better than others. Some of my most recent personal resolutions: spend quality time with my family, more consistently. I aim to gather my family at least once a month for a nice dinner, and some demonstrations of appreciation. I have set a goal to change my morning habits, and to make time for meditation and self reflection during the morning while the children still sleep (instead of letting my youngest be my alarm). My fitness goal is to workout harder, and really focus on pushing myself physically. I also want to get more control over my food intake, limiting my refined sugars to once a week, eat salad for at least one meal a day, drink a kale shake for at least one meal a day, and having some freedom on the third meal. As far as my business goals, grow! baby! grow! I need to be more specific, and honestly, out of all my goals this one is the hardest. All my goals are huge struggles for me to manage. I'm not quitting, but I'm not at 100% achievement, I know where I lack focus and discipline, and all I can say is I am building better habits and studying those who demonstrate success, and share strategy. I am open to suggestions, please don't hesitate to share!

Good luck on your resolutions, (New Years or anytime of the year) let me know how I can help you reach your goals, and I hope you reach your goal, and maintain for as long as that goal is of value to you. Check out my site: premofitness.com or email me: prenatalmothersfitness@gmail.com if you have any questions about how I can help you meet your fitness goals!