5 Benefits of Running on a Treadmill

Until recently, I was the worst at running on a treadmill. No, not like I couldn’t physically do it. Mentally, I would just throw in the towel. I would sift through every excuse in the book

It’s too boring

I can’t go as far

I’ll have to drive to a gym

It’s not as effective as running outside

Blah, blah, blah

Until recently (aka Grant’s arrival), I really didn’t understand the amazing benefits of a treadmill until I was forced to do one of my long runs on one. We were on a quick trip to Detroit last month, and I was not comfortable running outside. I hopped on a treadmill and hammered out 9 miles, my longest treadmill distance to date! Here are a few reasons why treadmills really are a great tool for your training schedule.

Treadmill Benefits

You can run anytime

Sometimes, it doesn’t work for me to get out and run in the wee hours of the morning anymore. Whether Grant had a rough night of sleep, I need to sleep in for some extra energy, or Marcus is traveling so I can’t leave – the treadmill is a great option. I have access to a gym at work, so I can hop on a treadmill at lunch and knock out a 5 mile run.

The weather isn’t a factor

The heat and humidity this time of year is really rough in Tampa. No matter when you wake up, you are looking at 80+ degrees and very high humidity. Running on the treadmill can make a big difference in your recovery time, as you don’t lose as much sweat so your body recovers quicker, making for better workouts in the near future. I’ve even been splitting my long runs on the treadmill some, by running half inside and half outside to help with this recovery.

New terrain awaits

Another little tidbit about Florida – we have very limited hills, especially here in Tampa! The only way we really can get a hill workout is if we plan our runs around bridges. Raising the incline on a treadmill helps to get your legs prepped for hills. I don’t have access to a machine with the downhill factor, but there are some that simulate a downhill as well.

Treadmills

Water is easily accessible

This is minor, but can make a big difference as well. I have a carry along water bottle that works really well for my outdoor runs, but not having to physically carry it is great. Not only is water right there for you, but so is a restroom! Anyone that has been running for a decent amount of time has wished there was a bathroom near on some runs, so this makes it possible.

It is a more forgiving surface

Unless you are running trails, a treadmill is your next best option. It is significantly softer than running on pavement and way more forgiving. If trails are the only option where you live, it’s nice to run on a soft surface and not have to worry about rocks, roots, etc.

Any other benefits you can think of?

Friday Finds

Hello Friday! It was about time you got here! Here are a few things from around the web I’ve enjoyed this week :)

11 Steps to a better you

Specifically, #1 & #9

Winnie the Pooh Exercises

6 Healthy foods that really aren’t

I love this blog and think this is just an interesting post. Be sure to check it out!

Who doesn’t love a dancing dog??

I can’t stop watching (and laughing) at this video.

7 Ways to Get Fit in Half the Time

There are some awesome tips in this article! Time is always a major factor in workouts, so learn how to be as efficient (and effective!) as possible!

9 Nutrition Rules for Athletes

I feel like #2 & #5 are the most overlooked by far too many athletes. For you body to perform, you have to fuel it properly!

What would a post of randomness be without this guy?!

Grant 5 months tummy time

Tip Tuesday: Lower Body Squat Form

A workout is a workout right?!

Wrong!

Of course, getting out and moving is always beneficial, but if you have poor form, you could actually be doing more harm than good. Here is a quick tip to keep in mind during your lower body strength workouts.

Don’t let your knees go over your toes

In other words, while doing a squat, you should be able to look down and see your toes (or be directly in line with them) instead of your knees hiding them from you. Keeping your weight in your heels makes this a much easier task.

Squat Form

 (Source)

Another fun way to think about it is to consider what a baby look like when squatting. They tend to have perfect form, because they know no other way. Yes, they do go down a bit deeper than you or I would, but they encompass all of the important elements of a squat.

Squat baby

And yes, the picture is a stock photo. Grant can’t squat on his own yet, or I would post a picture of him. I just don’t feel comfortable using a picture of someone else’s baby who did not give me permission. Stock photos are fair game, even with that snazzy watermark. ;)

Take the extra time to look down at your lower half when squatting. There is plenty more to the squat, but this is definitely a good place to start.

Flying with a 5 Month Old Baby

On our very first plane flight with Grant, I was super nervous. I asked around to plenty of other moms for tips, tricks, and advice – the biggest one was that it was no big deal. Infants are super easy on plane flights – just feed them on take off and landing so their ears don’t pop, and you are fine.

Since Grant was just shy of the 4 month mark for that first flight, it really was no big deal. He pretty much just ate, slept, and hung out. He was one happy little guy. Even happier after a monster blowout ;)

Grant airplane ride

Now that Grant is 5 months old, he has really started with a lot of activity. He is constantly looking around, grabbing for things, and always wants to be a part of the action. This also means he is no where near as interested in falling asleep if there isn’t a lot going on. He wants us to entertain him.

Don’t board the plane right away

Yep, you read that right. Even though most airlines give families priority boarding, don’t use it! You end up sitting on the plane for way too long before even taking off. If you wait until closer to the end, your baby can play some more before being confined to your lap for the next couple of hours. This leads me to my next point…

Bring an extra blanket

This blanket can be laid out on the ground while you are waiting to board, and then thrown in your bag and not used again until it is washed. Grant loves to play on his back and spend time on his tummy – both things you can not do once you get on a plane. We kept him playing on the ground until the 3rd boarding group was ready to get on. We only spent a few minutes actually waiting on the plane before take off and nursing time. Big win!

Grant 5 months airport

Sit next to a grandma

I know this sounds funny, but it is so true. We lucked out both times going to and from Detroit. When Grant decided to have the biggest blow out EVER, our seat mate had no problem getting up and letting us change him right then and there (we did this because there were no changing tables on the plane we were on). Grandmas have been through this, time and time again. The squirming and sounds of a baby don’t bother them. They are pretty much immune to it

Wear your baby through the airport

Wearing your baby is the way to go. You can walk right through security without having to mess with your baby at all. If you end up keeping them in the car seat, you will end up having to take them out before you can go through the metal detector. If your baby falls asleep before that time, you are risking waking them up – big no no!

Airport baby wearing

Bring more than one extra outfit

At the last-minute, I grabbed an extra outfit from our suitcase, on top of the one I had already packed. When we walked off the plane in Tampa, Grant was in his 3rd outfit of the day. Yes, he wore both outfits we had packed for him. I was so happy I grabbed that last change of clothes – he really needed it!

Fly Southwest

Of course, this is just a preference (and something we didn’t do this trip). They let families board between the “A” and the “B” group, so you don’t have to get on first, but you also are able to get on with plenty of space to grab ahead of the other passengers. All of their planes are the same, so you know there are going to be changing tables in every bathroom. The biggest and best part – there are no fees for checked bags! When we went to Detroit, we ended up going with Delta because they had a cheaper direct flight. In the end, once we paid to check our bags on the way up and the way back, it was definitely more than it would have been on Southwest. We were always people who carried everything on in the past. I am pretty sure those days are behind us, at least for a few years. Who would have thought a baby needs so much stuff!?

Fly Direct

This, of course, isn’t always possible, but give it your best shot. Not having to deplane and go through another round of take offs, landings, and layovers is definitely preferred when you have a baby in tow. Direct flights are sometimes pricier, but for me, it is worth the premium (to an extent).

Grant 5 months

Wear Dark Clothes

So I mentioned above that I brought extra outfits for Grant. Well, I should have listened to this for myself. I brought an extra shirt with me, but didn’t bring extra pants. Needless to say, when Mt. Vesuvius erupted, my jeans took a beating. Luckily, they were such a dark wash that nothing could even be seen on them. I will definitely continue to wear dark colors when we fly, and maybe even bring extra pants for myself as well.

Don’t Worry

When your baby starts screaming on the plane and you feel like everyone is looking at you – don’t worry about it. The same situation has happened to just about every parent who has ever flown at some point. It isn’t ideal, but there isn’t a whole lot you can do about it. Keep calm so hopefully your baby will too!

What other tips do you have for someone flying with a more active infant?

Grant: 5 Months

Well Grant, I think we might have to refer to your 5th month as the month of giggles and smiles. I don’t think still photos are going to happen anymore, but I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Grant 5 months

Grant 5 months

It doesn’t take much to get you with a big gummy grin on that adorable little face. The easiest way to do it is when you play with your daddy. There is nothing you love more than seeing him come around the corner.

Marcus and Grant 5 months

You are really starting to morph into a little boy instead of just a baby. Whatever you can get your hands on, you are grabbing a hold of. Your head is definitely on a swivel these days, taking in anything and everything around you.

Grant 5 months

Your biggest discovery this month has been your feet! Every morning when I walk into your room, you are perfectly content in your crib, having a ball with your feetsies. They were such a mystery for months, and now you know just what to do with them.

grant 5 months

You conquered another plane trip this month and showed your dad and I that traveling with a 5 month old is way more work than traveling with a 4 month old. You didn’t want to miss a thing, baby boy. We also found out why packing multiple emergency outfits is the smart thing to do. Who thought you could have been in your 3rd outfit by lunch time!?

That plane trip took you to Michigan for your very first wedding, and you were a hit. Your godparents, Auntie Em and Uncle Gabe, were both there so you were able to be with them together for the first time.

Gabe and Emily

Holt Wedding Group Photo

Holt Wedding Michigan

This past month, you also went back to the cardiologist to check on your heart murmur. It is still there, but it is nothing to worry about. The doctor assured us you are healthy as can be – that of course, was in between all of your babbling with the nurses. They sure had fun with you that day.

Grant cardiologist

Grant, you are growing like  a weed! You are comfortably in 6 month clothes, but you can still fit into the 3 month onesies – they are a little tight though. We just switched over to size 3 diapers, and you are having a lot less blowouts than those pesky size two’s. Who would have thought!?

grant 5 months

You are still eating like a champ, increasing your intake to closer to 7 ounces per feeding. I am having a hard time keeping up with you, so I am making an extra effort to drink lots of water and eat enough calories. We have to keep those adorable little rolls a coming! You have no problem breast feeding or eating from the bottle – milk is milk to you buddy!

Sleeping through the night wasn’t your favorite for a few weeks Grant, so we went ahead and started a little bit of sleep training. You weren’t a fan for the first couple of days, but now you have it down pat. You self soothe when you wake up and are sleeping 8-10 hours straight without a peep. Daddy and I are very thankful.

Grant 5 months

We went swimming for the first time this month too, Grant, and you had a blast! It’s a good thing we live in Florida, because I have a feeling you are going to be a little water baby!

Grant pool

There are so many more things to come and I can’t wait to experience each and every one by your side, holding that sweet little hand. I love you Grant Marcus!