Thursday, December 25, 2008

Have a JOYOUS Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukah, and Happy Kwanza!

I wish you all a very Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukah and Happy Kwanza Holidays! I am sitting cozied up with my family, in our jammies and having enjoyed some popcorn and watching Horton Hears a Who!

The past 10 days of unexpected weather has had me reflect even more on how much my family and friends mean to me, in addition to how much I am truly grateful for. It reaffirmed the phrase “Why worry about what we can not control”. The snow gave us all a White Christmas. And while we may not have wanted this much snow at first, it created memories that we will never forget. From ...learning how to truly shovel snow, digging deep into our bag of tricks on ways to entertain our kids inside day in and out, calling our Moms for more Christmas Cookie recipes since we used up the first 5 in the first 2 days of snow, learning how to be creative when working out in our homes, truly meeting our neighbors when bonding over pushing cars out of driveways or learning how to put on chains, and using our able bodies to get from point A to B in the snow.

This past week I was worried about there being no Beaverton Classes, but realized it was nothing I could control since the facilities were closed. With knowing how many of you truly start your day with coming to class, I was worried about your exercise activity, but had such great faith you would feel empowered to do the home workouts we posted. I know some of you emailed for more ideas for ways to stay active with your kids in the snow, and feel grateful you feel comfortable to ask for help and ideas. It made me look within my bag of exercises and get even more creative.

The determination I felt to make it to class for those who could come, reenergized my love for what I do. I was running on Stanton Street each morning, the only one running in the snow amidst some cross-country skiers, and realized the magic of what was happening. The challenge to make it to the Lloyd Center, running each day in the snow when my own legs were getting fried, led me to say "thanks to you". I thank you for making exercise a priority in your lives. I thank you for your hard work and determination in becoming better Moms. I thank you for your openness to try new exercises and thank you for supporting one another in doing so too. Thank you for wanting more challenges, and letting the Baby Boot Camp Team help you go beyond what you felt was possible. I thank you for your miles logged each week, legs exhausted from squats and lunges, arms depleted from push ups and dips, and cores quivering from planks and bicycles.

I thank you for sharing your stories with one another, and being open to doing so. If you read through the posts on the Yahoo! Group and see the comfort level in asking questions, or hope that your own story may help the person asking for advice, it is overwhelming with support. The gratitude I have for you is endless. You have become part of a community that was the dream when starting my business in 2005. The community of active minded, supportive, intelligent, kind, generous and wonderful Moms (and Dads). You are it!

YOU make me even more determined to help you not only reach your health and fitness goals, but surpass them. I wish you a wonderful Holiday, and may you feel the love and gratitude for yourself that I feel for YOU each day.

Happy Holidays, Happy New Year and see you in 2009-

Erin Shirey

Monday, December 22, 2008

Snow Updates for Tuesday, December 23rd, 2008

Here I type you wishing I could create a path that is easily accessable for everyone to get to class. A path that wouldn't need snow shoveling or require chains, that was quick and easy to go on with a stroller and had a coffee stand at the end to warm you up after your workout (and after you had all your H2O of course). BUT, I don't and the Cities of Portland and Beaverton don't either.

The GREAT news is there IS Tuesday, December 23rd, 9:15 am LLOYD CENTER MALL CLASS!!!! I will arrive at 8:50 am if anyone wants an additional cardio blast before class. Today, Liza, Elisa and I had the Mall to ourselves. It was an open gym for us, and not many people were there. Elisa took the bus, and said it was great to get out of the house and workout. Hopefully that might help motivate some of you to know it is doable. It may not be the norm or comfort of what you are used to, but we all agreed we felt incredible after.

The BUM news is Tualatin Hills Park & Recreation and Immanuel Lutheran Church facilities are closed Tuesday, so there won't be 9:00 am or 10:0 am THPRD classes, or 9:30 am ILC class.

But HOLIDAY FUN FOR YOU- Jack and I decided why not have a festive and memorable Snow Family Class, December 24th - Christmas Eve, at Grant Park! Class starts at 10:00 am and come dressed in your layers and kiddos in snow clothes. We'll do relays, cardio snow blasts, sled pulling, etc. Bring your joggers and sleds (if you have one), and be ready to have a great time. We'll be meeting at the Grant High School Track, just inside the corner of NE 33rd & US Grant Place.

I wish our conditions before Holiday Break were different, and we could truly workout together instead of many working out independently in our living rooms to the various workouts we've given you. Thanks for making the best of it and I look forward to seeing you either tomorrow or in 2009!!!

Remember to mark your calendar for the first workout of the year on January 1st, 2009! 9:30 am, Lloyd Center Mall, with celebration after of mimosas and muffins. Snow Day storytime follows at Barnes & Noble, 11:00 am.

My best to you and your families-

Instructor Danielle's - Wait out the Storm WORKOUT

Hey Mamas!
Here is an around-the-house-throughout-the-day workout for another snow day! You can get a little here and there all day long and feel energized while you continue waiting out this storm.
Below is a list of exercises. I’d like you to make copies of the list (2 or 3 copies) and cut the list up so each exercise can be on a separate piece of small paper. Then, put the entire group in a hat or other container and place in the 2 or 3 rooms you frequent most (maybe the kitchen, bedroom and bathroom or laundry room?). Each time you enter the room, draw a piece of paper out of the hat and do what it says. It’s that easy!

If you have any questions, please email me at and I’ll do my best to get back to you.

Instructor Danielle
*photo is Danielle contemplating how to challenge you to another rockin' home workout -hee hee

30 Jumping Jacks
20 Jack Squats
15 Pushups
25 Tricep Dips
30 Plie Squats (wide legs, toes turned out)
30 Regular SquatsWall Sit (count to 100)
30 Alternating Front Kicks
30 Lateral Hops (pick a spot on the floor and jump over and back with legs glued together)
30 Skaters
30 Small Arm Circles Forward then 30 Backward
15 Jump Squats

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Lloyd Center Mall is ON Monday, December 22nd

I will be able to teach the Lloyd Center Mall class on Monday, December 22nd, at 9:00 am. Jack will stay with Makenzie so I can run to teach the Mamas who are able to get to LCM safely. We want to help those who can(those who can drive safely) get a workout in before the Holiday Break. I look forward to seeing some of you tomorrow morning and having a great workout together!

Erin Shirey

Snow, snow and more snow! Class Update for Monday, December 22nd

I have been hoping this afternoon would bring some sunshine peaking through the clouds in this Winter Wonderland. Instead it brought more snow. While cool to look out my kitchen window and see kids and parents sledding down the hill (we live on NE 39th that is closed off to cars), I am ready to get my holiday groove on and continue on in the festive spirit. That for me, includes teaching and having fun these days before the Holiday Break.

I just got back from running to the gym and was contemplating on the way home what to do with classes tomorrow. The streets were wide open and my mind was open as try to make tomorrow work if safe for at least two classes. Right now, Sunday evening, the Conestoga 8:00 am , Nike 9:30 am and 9:30 am THPR classes are already canceled. The facilities are all closed tomorrow. I am awaiting the status of the neighborhoods around the Lloyd Center Mall.

I will keep you posted and update by tomorrow morning at 7: 15 am. Please check back then. If the class is ON, please only come if you are able to drive safely. I know we are all eager to get out, exercise and be social...but I want you and your kiddo's safety to come first.

Have a cozy night and try to do your homework of:

4x15 push ups
4x 1 minute Around The Clock Lunges
4x2 minutes Michael Jordans
4x15 dips
4x1 minute planks

Cheers Rockstars!
Erin Shirey

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Saturday, December 20th, YES there is 9:00 am class at the Lloyd Center Mall!!!!

HI Mamas-

I am ready and eager to teach you at LCM! It is a dusting of snow and not supposed to get bad until the afternoon. I say take our Light Snow window while we are able to and get our sweat on! That is IF , and only IF you are able to drive safely to the Lloyd Center Mall.

I will be there early to get some extra cardio in, so if you would like to join me, feel free.
I am looking forward to seeing you, and finally getting the rest of our holiday shopping done!


Friday, December 19, 2008

More than Bummed- ALL Friday Classes canceled - 12.19.08

All classes are canceled today due to ice-slick conditions on the roads. Both PPS and BPS canceled classes today and I spoke with the Rec Center and was informed the parking lot is very slippery and getting worse as the morning progresses.

School Closures check-

Please do the home workouts and I will try to post some additional ones later today. If you are able to bundle up and go for a run or walk, watch your foot tracking and try to use your stroller instead of baby carrier in case you slip.

I hope to see many of you tomorrow morning at the 9:00 am Lloyd Center Mall class.

Stay safe and have a good morning-

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Email OPRAH by Friday!!!!!!!

Hi Ladies-

Baby Boot Camp has become not only your exercise resource, but a significant part of your lives. If anything the emails from the past snow week let me know how much you appreciate classes, the instructors and the accountability. I encourage all of you to complete the attached story submission to Oprah this week.

Thanks so much and I can't wait to see you in class tomorrow or Saturday.


3 Classes Today- December 18th!!!!! Yippee!!

This is the craziest week since I have lived in Portland and I can't believe all the closures. ALL of us are feeling the Holiday anxiety to get things done, are eager to move and just be outside. The Instructors and I are trying to make it easier by the videos posted and will try to post some more in the next couple days. I apologize for our small frame for the video- we don't have a video camera but are using my digital camera. ;)

Beaverton Public Schools are CLOSED so no Regular 10:00 am class.

BUT there is a SPECIAL 10:30-11:30 am Tualatin Hills Park & Recreation Department Class that Tricia will teaching. We want you to drive safe, and please come ONLY IF you are able to.

The 9:15 am LCM and 9:30 am ILC(Sellwood) classes are going as planned.

Tomorrow, December 19th, the Hillside Community Center Class is Canceled. I don't know yet about the THPRD or LCM classes. Crossing my fingers all will be on schedule.

Yippee for classes today! If you can't make classes, please do the snow workouts.

Erin Shirey

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Instructor Anne's Snow Day UBER Upper Body Workout

Welcome to Instructor Anne's upper body workout! This 10-minute will get your arms, back, and chest feeling nice and warm.... like hot chocolate, mmmmm. And a little burn-y too.

Let me know how it goes for you - and please listen carefully during the Adelaide juggling (you'll see)!


Instructor Danielle's 20 Minute Workout!

Hi Mamas, is another 20 minute workout for you to do at home. I've included the written instructions just in case you aren't able to view the video. Please let me know if you have any questions or comments. Have fun!

Instructor Danielle

1 Min Regular Wall Sit
1 Min alternating 10 seconds of high knees with 10 seconds of low march
1 Min Single leg squats (30 s each side)
30 sec dips/30 sec pushups
1 Min Jack Squats
30 sec water break
1 Min Narrow Wall Sit (knees and ankles SQUEEZED together) - pulse your knees together for 10 sec on, then don't pulse for 10 sec. (10 pulse, 10 not for whole minute)
1 Min Burpees (Jump squat, hands go down to ground, jump or step out to plank, jump or step back in, repeat)
1 Min Single Leg touchdowns (keep standing leg straight and teeter forward to touch foot with opposite hand - 30 sec each side)
30 sec dips/30 sec pushups
1 Min Side to Side power squats
30 sec water break
1 Min Regular Wall Sit with weight transfer or marches
1 Min Jump squat/cross/cross (be a ballerina)
1 Min False Starts
30 sec dips/30 sec pushups
1 Min lateral hops
water break

Videos for Snow Day Kitchen Cardio Workout

I hope you made the most of your snow day! I ran to the gym in the snow and worked myself to the point of depletion- with all sets having to equal 33 since it's my 33rd birthday today. It worked- loved doing real dips on the bars and using my body weight. There is nothing like that feeling of strength and power.

I want YOU to feel POWER too. The videos for the kitchen are seperated out into 3 videos. We found that doing one long video doesn't work as well posting wise.

Have fun, feel as if I am right there with you cheering you on. - Erin Shirey

Video #1

Video #2

Video #3

Snow Day Kitchen Cardio Workout

As I listened to the kids snowboarding and sledding down our street I created a kitchen workout you can do while your kid is eating. I was trying to be resourceful in knowing you are inside with your babes, and it's tough to find space.

Begin facing your kiddo in the highchair.
  • 2 minutes squats with scap -squeezes - giving high fives on your way up or down
  • 1.5 minute Squat and on the way up alternating high knees
  • 2 Minute Speed Skating- noticing how you want to mop your floor (hee hee)
  • 1 Minute step and drag sliding feet across your floor. Rotate legs- focus on engagingyour ab and adductors (Inner thighs)
  • 2 Minute Speed Skating getting LOW with a flat back
  • 1 Minute High Knees- Arms raised in 2 90 Degree angles by your shoulders
  • 1 Minute down low to Mountain climbers
  • 1 Minute High Knees FAST
  • 1 Minute down low to Boulders
  • 2 Minutes Cheerio Pick UP- Start in standing position and squat than reach to the ground grab the food thrown off the tray and continue. Stay in a low squat tapping hands to the ground and high five your kiddo in between bring food back to the tray
  • 1.5 minutes Speed Skating
  • 1 Minute Plie Squat Jump Ups
  • 1.5 Minutea Speed Skating
  • .5 Minute Plie Squat Jump Ups

Stretch and drink your H2O!

Have fun and repeat throughout the day when you find 20 minute windows.

© 2008 Erin Shirey When not chasing after her daughters, Erin Shirey is found throughout the Pacific Northwest helping Moms find ways to exercise. She is a Baby Boot Camp® Leadership Coach, owns Baby Boot Camp® Portland & Beaverton and does fitness segments for various networks. She has a BS in Kinesiology, an ACE Certified Personal Trainer, and Fit To Deliver Pre and Postnatal Certified Trainer. To reach Erin, please email, or visit .

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

PPS & BPS Canceled School so NO Baby Boot Camp CLASSES AGAIN - Wednesday, December 17th, 2008

I love the snow but am so happy Winter is just once/year. PPS and BPS canceled classes tomorrow and called a snow day already, and the Tualatin Hills Park & Recreation facilities closed early and are currently set to open late tomorrow- meaning there are no Baby Boot Camp classes Wednesday, December 17th.

The Instructors and I are trying to post some workouts on You Tube tomorrow and will post the link and schedule for you tomorrow. Anne - Arms, Danielle- Legs, Erin- Cardio and more. If we are home again on Thursday, I will do and post Soup Can Workouts for you to do at home. PLEASE remember there are also the other workouts under our Yahoo Groups FILES folder and scroll down on the blog.

Stay warm and work hard-

Erin Shirey
*Photo above is the girls ready to have me pull them, but having a tough time sitting up with all the layers!

There WILL Be Classes at LCM and ILC today, Tueday, December 16th

The East Portland classes are ON today, Tuesday, December 16th. Please join us at 9:15 a.m. Lloyd Center Mall and 9:30 a.m. Immanuel Lutheran Church. All other classes are canceled due to facility closures due to ice and snow. THPRD has their facilities closed until late today.

Be safe and I will be running to teach you at LCM.


Monday, December 15, 2008

Beaverton Classes Cancelled Tomorrow, Tuesday, 12/16/08

Hello Mamas-

According to KGW:

Portland Public Schools announce Tuesday schedule: Schools west of Willamette River closed, schools east of Willamette River open Tuesday. Full school closure list on

A number of Metro area school districts have already announced closures Tuesday, including: Beaverton, West Linn/Wilsonville, and Lake Oswego. Complete, updated list at

Thus, NO Tualatin Hills Park & Recreation 9:00 am and 10:00 am classes tomorrow, December 16th. As of right now, there are 9:15 am Lloyd Center Mall and 9:30 am Immanuel Lutheran Church classes.

Anne, Danielle and I are trying to work a time for a Skype workout for you to do tomorrow and will keep you posted in the morning. There will most likely be two options in the morning and afternoon.

Be well, stay warm, and please do some of the workouts posted on the BLOG or in the Yahoo! Groups.

Stay Warm-

Erin Shirey

Baby Boot Camp Portland Team Holiday Tips

For every holiday treat you have, do a combo of 20 push ups/dips/squats- Jack

Try to walk/run your holiday errands with your kids in the jogger, instead of driving. -Anne

To drink enough water, put 5-6 rubber bands around the top of the water bottle. For each empty bottle, bring one band to the bottom. Make sure all rubber bands are at the bottom at day's end. -Danielle

Put your kids in the bike trailer and ride your holiday gifts/cookies to your friends. Your kids will think it's an adventure and you are getting more exercise.- Erin B.

In the evening when cozy after dinner, bundle the kids up and go for a long walk instead of drive to look at the Holiday Lights. Find a new neighborhood to explore each week.- Erin S.

If you wouldn't allow your kids to eat 5 Christmas Cookies, than why can you? Don't eat what you wouldn't allow your kids to have - Danielle

"Cheers"- the true story behind the smiles in 2008

I am a cheerful person by nature. I try to find the positives in challenging situations, I have attempted to see what is to be learned out of horrible events and I always attempt to feel the "cheer" I love to feel during the holiday season.

This season marks a special holiday for me- I made it through what was an incredible but very challenging year. We started off 2008 welcoming our little Emerson McCafferty Shirey into the world. And what an incredible mark she made- charming everyone whom she encounters. While I was worried how I could love two kiddos as much as I loved my Makenzie, I quickly learned how "ginormous" one's love is. Emerson opened my heart to feel even more love and joy than I realized, and also taught me how strong I was and had to become.

After Emerson was horribly sick in the hospital for 2 weeks in March, I realized my cheerful mentality was actually getting worn thin. I was trying to care for my sweet baby who was unable to breath on her own and had additional health concerns, my energetic 4 year old, two businesses and my Baby Boot Camp Leadership role. All attempting to do so maintaining my positive demeanor. Through it all realized I wasn't feeling like "myself". I didn't have the cheer I normally felt, but was feeling more anxious and worried about getting everything done. The levels of stress I felt when leaving my escape- teaching class- were bigger than I could conquer on my own.

I have always been a referral source for Moms with postpartum depression. I have been one to help those in need and those who needed the extra support, comfort and care when they were trying to take care of themselves and their little babies. What I realized in July was I was one of those Moms I had always helped. I wanted to truly feel the energy, joy and exuberance I normally felt for life and those around me. I didn't want to cry over nerves relating to not getting everything done and feeling I was letting everyone down. I wanted to feel complete and happy at the end of the day and allow myself to be in the moment with my girls.

I worked hard at finding ways to take care of my family and myself, working with my doctor. I sought out the services I referred many of my Baby Boot Campers to. My OB-GYN said that with my own pneumonia, Emerson's RSV and pneumonia, 2 businesses and being type- A he was actually not surprised. What he shared with me and I feel honored to share with you is that those who one would think are least likely to experience post partum concerns are the most likely to experience them.

It has been 5 months since I started my path to true recovery and I feel "cheer" again. I have done so on my own pace and privately, out of hope to not disappoint any of my students who look up to me for energy and enthusiasm. But I would actually be letting you down if you didn't realize I am a REAL MOM like everyone else.

Postpartum depression doesn't discriminate and doesn't play favorites. Selfishly I wish that were not true, but I also feel fortunate to know I can genuinely relate and understand where many of you are coming from. Through the last year I feel my experience has only made me a better teacher because I know I LOVE teaching so much. I know how Baby Boot Camp is genuinely integral in so many women's lives; to be active, social, supported and around genuine "cheer" helps.

I carve out additional time for myself to take care of my own needs in addition to those required and requested of me. Now many people may be surprised that I had/have PPD, but that is the reason I am letting you know. You have no idea if you might not feel the cheer you are used to, and please don't ignore any signs or symptoms. It is nothing to be embarrassed about, but something we can all help one another when healing. I am fortunate, my symptoms were not as severe as others, but they have been challenging none the less.

What I am pleased to share is that I feel the genuine "cheer", support and confidence this Holiday Season. I have an excitement and gratefulness for not only my incredible family, but for the talented and gifted Moms I am surrounded by every day. This holiday season, when I say "cheers" know it is with deep warmth and joy to have a great holiday. Enjoy it, and celebrate how far you too have come this past year.

Cheers to you and your family this Holiday Season

- Erin Shirey, Baby Boot Camp Portland Metro & Baby Boot Camp Leadership Coach

Skype Snow Day Workout

Instructor Anne will be leading a workout on Skype Monday, December 15th, at 9:30 a.m. On snow days we will try to incorporate some Skype workouts with different times.

Email Anne if you're interested and trade userIDs. apkoski(at)gmail(dot)com

Soup Can Workout

20 Minute Soup Can Workout to do at HOME!

Grab 3 Soup Cans from your pantry. One BIG can, and 2 traditional 15/16 oz. cans

Warm up with 3 minutes running in place

2 minutes Cross Country Skiing in place holding the 2 16 pz cans - hands should be raise to shoulder level

2 x 15 reps Lateral Raises holding the 16 oz cans

2 x 15 reps Overhead Press to Front Raises holding 16 oz cans

2 minutes Speed Skating. To make it more challenging hold cans and swing arms across your body

1 minute Squat Jumps holding Big Can in both arms

2x15 reps Squat Rotations holding Big Can. Start sqauting low towards your right leg, and rotate to standing and raising can above left side of body. Repeat 15 times, switch sides and do again.

2- 1 minute planks

2- 1 minute reps of bicycle abs

Repeat if time permits and have fun!

© 2008 Erin Shirey

Friday, December 5, 2008

15 minutes for YOU!

With the UHC off to a great start, a lot of you are now asking about mini-workouts to squeeze in whenever you have an extra 15 minutes. I published this one in the last newsletter: it's one of my favorite shorter workouts for your entire body and the best part is you can do it while your little one is napping or on days when you can't make it to class or even on a lunch break at work! 15 minutes here and there really add up...especially with the UHC!

- 2 minutes high knees in place *Remember knees to hands, not hands to knees
- 2 minutes stairs or liners
- 1 minute mountain climbers
- 1 minute plank
- 3x15 push ups
- 3x15 dips with 5-count holds every 5th rep
- 2 minute False Starts * going low to lunge position
- 1 minute curtsey squat each leg
- 2x15 shoulder push ups
- 1 minute ab bicycles
- 1 minute reverse plank, slow breathing

Repeat if time permits and have fun!

15 minutes for YOU! workout ©

UHC Challenge

Hi fellow UHC moms! This is Instructor Anne. If you've gotten a chance to read your email today then you're probably already thinking about Erin's mini-challenge for the week:

"... I want to CHALLENGE you to try one new exercise option before Wednesday, 12/10. Maybe it is trying climbing with a girlfriend, or renting a belly dancing DVD to do at home, or going for your first real run outside of Baby Boot Camp. Try it and attempt to do it twice before the next Stat Sheet mail in. "

I thought it might be fun and helpful to see what activity each other will be trying out. One activity that I'll be doing is running errands.(Literally.) At least twice in the next week, Adelaide & I plan to jog down to Safeway, the library, the vet, dry cleaner, or the fabric store. I encourage you to try it out if you live within 1-2 miles of your nearest errand. If not, what new activity will you try?

Please leave a comment!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

A true Thanksgiving blast!

It's been a busy Thanksgiving weekend complete with great friends and great workouts!

Runners and walkers turned out to the Oregon Zoo Turkey Trot in what was rumored to be record numbers this year! There were so many Baby Boot Camp families it was a challenge to get everybody together for pictures! Luckily it was a cool (but not freezing), dry morning and we all had a chance to support the local zoo and burn off some pre-thanksgiving feast calories without getting drenched. Thank you to everyone who came out!
Saturday the 29th, we also brought the civil war to the Lloyd Center Mall: Oregon vs Oregon State! All the mamas and papas fought for bragging rights around cones, through agility ladders and up and down the aisles of the mall. Before starting we all made predictions about who was going to win the real football game and as luck would have it, the winner didn't know a thing about least not "American football". Lisa Richardson was closest to the actual score (65-38) with a guess of 57-43, or as she put it "how about 100? Is 100 a good score?" Way to go Lisa! You just won yourself a gift certificate to Laurelwood Brew Pub!
Check out all the photos and as always if you have more you would like to post for your friends to see email them to

Monday, December 1, 2008

"Winter Blues"

As this unusually sunny fall in Portland comes to an end we are slowly reacquainting ourselves with more scattered rains and the cloudy, gray skies. Most Northwesterners become gradually accustomed to the weather changes and may not notice the effect on our bodies. It’s a busy time of year and easy to get wrapped up in taking care of errands and to do lists and everyone else. Out of town guests, holiday feasts, work parties, and travel plans can all quickly derail our daily routine. This is the most important time to be aware of our own mental health and remain conscious of changes we feel within. According to the Cathedral Hill Research Institute of San Francisco, “the lifetime prevalence of a major depressive disorder in women (21.3%) is almost twice that in men (12.7%)”. Not only are new moms susceptible to postpartum depression, but more than 80% of individuals with seasonal affective disorder are women. Seasonal Affective Disorder (or SAD as it is commonly known) is a type of depression that usually appears during late fall or early winter and can be characterized by loss of energy, appetite changes (especially craving for foods high in carbohydrates), and difficulty concentrating and processing information. As the temperature drops and darkness falls earlier some of these symptoms may be common and normal reactions to the changing seasons, but if you are feeling hopeless, or excessively anxious, don't brush it off as simply a case of the "winter blues" that you have to tough out on your own. Talk to your doctor about treatment options.

Being a participant with Baby Boot Camp, you are already on your way to preventing SAD! Many psychological studies have shown that exercising regularly is one of the best ways to prevent depression. They also suggest good diet, drinking lots of water, socializing, practicing good stress management, and in some cases light therapy. One store in Portland that specializes in light therapy is Sunlan Lighting on Mississippi Ave. Kay Newell is known as the "light bulb lady" and she'll be happy to share more information with you!

And especially in Portland, when it is a sunny day, get out and play! Take a long walk, eat lunch at a nearby park, or rake the leaves in the back yard. Enjoy the sunshine whenever you can.

Friend Referral Program

To help celebrate the holidays, there is a special friend referral in December:
Each friend you refer that joins Baby Boot Camp, you receive $25 off your next class package. (normally it is free class or $15). They MUST put your name on their waiver for me to know that you referred them.

There is NO limit on the amount of referrals. ie: 4 Friends = $100, 6 Friends = $150
Have fun and see who can refer the most! The person who is the Referral Winner receives 1 Month of Baby Boot Camp in addition to their referral savings!

Uber Holiday Challenge!

Use the holidays NOT as a time to lose weight, but a time challenge yourself to get stronger and sneak in fitness when you can. Fitness provides one of the best stress releases and mood lifters, which busy Moms need when rushing between holiday parties to trimming their homes with festive decorations.

This Challenge is point based. Everyone has equal opportunity to win and all will excel athletically by months end. The prize is a day at the Spa!!

1 Point = 15 minutes of busy activity with kids - playing tag, hide and seek, rolling around with them, dancing in the house
2 Points = 15 minutes of strength work at home or gym (push ups, dips, lunges, weights, etc.)
3 Points = 30 minutes of cardio or strength activity at 70-90% intensity
4 points = 60 minutes of exercise class or cardio activity
5 points = Baby Boot Camp class

Each person keeps a weekly stat sheet with their numbers and emails it to Erin Shirey on Mondays. The weekly highlights will be on the blog. There will be 4 weekly emails from Erin with tips for the Holidays and ideas how to be more active.

Only $10 to participate, but the reward is priceless! The funds collected go towards the uber-SPA day for the winner. Best holiday gift you could give to yourself. Email me today to register!

The winner will be announced January 10th, 2009 at the Special Mom's Late Afternoon Out
4:00 p.m. at OBA!