Thursday, 31 March 2016

Spring 2016 session is now open for registration!!

The air is warmer, daylight is longer, and spring is right around the corner!

Spring registration is now OPEN!

We have changed registration this session to accommodate busier spring schedules and more ladies wanting to try a variety of classes, especially as we head outdoors! We are now offering four different "class pass" options which you can mix and match with the different classes throughout the six week session or you can choose to stick to your usual one class per week! The choice is completely yours!

Spring 2016 Schedule
April 18 - May 30 
(no classes​ April 28, May 19, & 23)

Mondays | 7pm | Whitemud Creek Community Centre
Wednesdays | 6:30pm | GHV Bulyea Park
(combined class with Fit Bootcamp)

Mondays | 9:30am | The Surf Studio
Wednesdays | 10am | McKernan Community Hall

Thursdays | 11am | GHV Bulyea Park
Mondays | 6pm | Whitemud Creek Community Centre
Wednesdays | 6:30pm | GHV Bulyea Park
(combined class with Prenatal Fit)

*more details on each class via links in their title

4 Class Pass | $65 ($15/class)
6 Class Pass | $90
10 Class Pass | $145 ($14.50/class)
12 Class Pass | $165 ($13.75/class)

​- you can "mix and match"​ class times ands styles, as the passes are valid for all classes throughout the week!
- all class passes are valid for two months from the first use
- minimum two hours notice on class cancelation or one class pass will be used

Tuesday, 29 March 2016

When and how do I begin exercising after my baby is born?

One of the most common questions I receive from new moms (or those finishing their last Prenatal Fit class) is when they can return to class or regular exercise post-baby.It is important that you, as a new mom, take time to learn your new lifestyle. Whether this is your first or your fourth baby, your daily life will change and that itself is an important adjustment Allowing your body time to heal post-pregnancy and delivery is also important. No matter the length of one's labour and what kind of delivery they had, the body needs to recover. Starting slow and thinking about re-strengthening the core from the inside out is the perfect place to start.

Enjoy these moments
(image by Roughley Originals)

I know it can be difficult to "take it easy" physically when you're used to exercising regularly, but also so important after a major physical event, like childbirth! This is especially important if you have an assisted delivery (vacuum or forceps) or a caesarean birth. Your body is also adjusting in so many ways both hormonally and physically. That being said, you can safely start incorporating a little more activity as you feel your body is ready. As a general rule, we are told to wait six weeks after giving birth before physical exerting our bodies. This is typically when we have a follow-up appointment with our healthcare provider and they are able to assess if our bodies are ready. I 100% support this and recommend it! That being said, there are little things we can do to move our bodies in the right ways that are beneficial. If you ever have any concerns though or something just does not "feel right", you should stop and see you healthcare provider. 
Fresh air is great for you & baby!

After you are feeling semi-normal in your post-birth body, try walking! Start with a little and see how you feel the next day. If you feel great, add 3-5 minutes of walking. If you are feeling more tired, experience increased bleeding, or incision pain, take that day off and try again the next day. If your body is responding well, you can increase the pace and/or duration of your walks, but try to only do one of these per day. In another two weeks (i.e. at the four week postpartum mark), if you are feeling the "need", you could try some gentle arm exercises (i.e. biceps curls, triceps extensions), but be sure to not strain your core. Those muscles will still be healing. If at the five week postpartum mark, the walking and arm exercises are feeling good, you could add some lower body work (i.e. unweighted squats and lunges), but again be very cautious of your low and deep core throughout your movements. The more active you were prior to and during your pregnancy, likely the quicker your body will recover. However, everyone is different and you must listen to your body and respect what it is telling you!

Another thing you can start almost immediately, as in the days after you are home from the hospital, is pelvic floor work and deep belly breathing. You should be doing your pelvic floor exercises (aka kegels) every day. Every. Day. Promise? Even if you did not push and had a caesarean birth, you had extra weight on the band of muscle that attaches from the front of your pelvis to the back like a hammock. It becomes stretched with months of added weight and pressure. To ensure you are doing these correctly, sit comfortably. Place one hand of your belly and one hand on your butt. Do a few kegels. Did you feel underneath either hand contract? If so, you are doing them wrong! You should not feel any glute or abdominal engagement with kegels. Practice!

Belly breathing! This is a great way to begin to engage through your deep core before your superficial core muscles are ready. We are going to regain strength and tone from the inside out. Sit comfortably, probably cross-legged or on your knees. Place both hands on your belly. Inhale and allow your belly to expand, don't force it, but allow it to relax. Exhale with more force and with control, bring your entire belly back towards your spine and pull in. Repeat the inhale, Repeat the exhale. Start with five repetitions and increase as it feels right. 

Once you have been cleared by your healthcare provider, begin to incorporate exercise into your routine every few days, or a few times per week. Focus on full body exercises and continue to listen to your body by assessing how it feels the day after your workout. Attending a postpartum-specific exercise class is a great way to learn what moves are appropriate and also what moves you can incorporate baby into! 

As for continuing to retrain your core, after being cleared by your doctor or midwife, static core exercises while continuing to practice your pelvic floor and deep core activation are best! Side plank and bridges are great exercises. Also, balancing exercises, such as one-legged squats and pendulum lunges work your deep core from a standing position and therefore not putting addition pressure on your superficial abdominals (rectus abdominis). In the coming months, your core will feel stronger and you will slowly be able to add more movement to your abdominal and low back exercises. 

Let them be your reason, not your excuse

Congratulations on the birth of your sweet baby and continue to enjoy each moment of this adventure!


My Favourite Stretches

Somedays all you need is a good stretch. 

The occasional morning, I will wake-up and my body is begging me to forget about the workout I had planned. It is asking me to please grab my mat, the foam roller, play some calming tunes, and enjoy deepening into each stretch. If our family's schedule allows, these weeks, I also try to squeeze in a yoga class, because if my body is asking for that down time, I can guarantee my mind is also needing it. 

Full Body Stretch
spend approximately 30 seconds in each stretch (up to 60 seconds if needed)

Downward Dog
Start in downward facing dog with hips high. Press through your hands to push your heels closer to the floor. Lift one heel and then the other to "walk your dog". Continue this for 15 seconds and then hold in downward dog for 15 seconds. 
Kneeling Lunge | right
Kick your right foot high and bring it forward to land beside your right hand (in between your hands). Drop your left knee and lower through your hips until a gentle stretch is achieved. Hold. 
Reverse Lunge | right
Begin to straighten your right knee to lift your right toes off the floor and come overtop of your left leg. Feel the stretch in the back of your right upper and lower leg. 
Kneeling Lunge | left
Return to downward dog. Proceed to kick left leg up and repeat this side. 
Reverse Lunge | left
Repeat left side. 
Pigeon Pose | right
Press back through downward dog to reset. Enjoy a few moments here before moving your right knee through your arms again and landing it beside your right wrist. Lower your glutes to the floor. Your right foot should near your left quad or for a deeper stretch, your right calf can be parallel to the front of your mat. Your left leg should be straight out behind you. Lower as deeply as you can over your right knee. Try to have your head supported by the may, stacked elbows, hands, or fists. 
Pigeon Pose | left
Press back through downward dog and repeat left side. 
After your time in pigeon on the left, drop your glute and swing your right leg around. With shins parallel to the from of your mat, stack one on top of the other. Knees and ankles should be stacked and heels should be approximately a foot away from your inner thighs. Take your hands on either side of your hips and gently press down to shift your hips slightly forward. Hold and then repeat other side. 
Kneeling Upper Body Stretches
Come to your knees and tuck your toes under to provide a gentle stretch to your plantar fascia. Begin with a chest stretch by clasping your hands behind your back and lifting your arms until you achieve the stretch. Hold. Then, clasp your hands in your front body, press your palms away with straight elbows and allow your shoulder blades to round forward. Hold. With this same position, begin to press the palms of the hands towards the ceiling by lifting through the shoulders. Hold. Lean to the right. Hold. Lean to the left. Hold. Bring your hands down to either side and taking three deeps breaths, roll your shoulders. 

I hope you take away from this stretching time as much as I do. Make time for yourself and your body and mind will thank you!

Monday, 28 March 2016

I love muffins!

Muffins sometimes get a bad reputation. 

They are often compared to having cake for breakfast or full of saturated fats and refined sugar. This can be 100% true, however, muffins can also be a convenient source of nutrients! You can make a few batches ahead of time, freeze them, and then grab one or two as you run out the door to conquer your day! Healthy muffins can be a great post-workout snack and are perfect paired with a smoothie or cup of coffee (or both)! We can "hide" vegetables in muffins to give them flavour, make them moist, and add nutrients! We can use non-refined sugar, as well as many varieties of flour to make them as good for you as can be. 

Below, there are links to three tried and tested muffin recipes that are delicious, avoid refined sugar, and full of good-for-you stuff that will have you and your family asking for more!

Morning Magic Muffins | Fit Your Life