Thursday, 21 September 2017

Guest post: My Birth Story and the Return to Exercise - by Erin Wright

Each woman has a unique pregnancy, a unique birth experience, unique children, and unique parenting styles. I was always told this, but I never truly understood until having my son Arlo.



My pregnancy was fantastic. I breezed through the first trimester with no nausea, had an excellent second trimester where I felt full of energy and traveled across Canada with family.  During my third trimester I finished my Master’s Degree and I walked across the stage at convocation a week before Arlo was born. I had great energy levels throughout my pregnancy and even worked at a fitness facility where I was doing close shifts until 11pm until I was 39 weeks pregnant. I stayed as active throughout my pregnancy and felt confident doing cardio, lifting weights and teaching spin until the day before Arlo was born. One friend I worked with called me the “pregnancy unicorn” and I understood all too well that my experience was unique to me and to this pregnancy.

As you might imagine, my labour and delivery story is also unique. I will describe my story, but it’s not to scare you. By telling my birth experience, I want to share with you how I was able to recover and get back into exercise.

I was in labour for almost 24 hours (from start to finish). I was positive for Group B Streptococcus (a normal bacteria found in the vaginal tract, but requiring antibiotics in labour) and was told to head into the labour and delivery unit if my water broke. My contractions started at about 5:00am on the Wednesday and stopped at 9:00am. I went for a walk with my husband and after getting to the end of the block, I thought I had wet my pants. I ended up calling the labour and delivery room and essentially said “I know it’s possible I peed my pants but my water could have broke as well”. It wasn’t the usual “gush” you hear about. My water did break and I was induced around 1:30pm that afternoon.  I did get an epidural. My contractions were coupling (coming two at a time with no breaks) and with little sleep the night before I couldn’t relax. After receiving the epidural, Arlo’s heart rate fell and at one point we thought I was going in for an emergency cesarean section. Arlo’s heart rate dropped one last time and the doctors needed to get him out immediately. I was told to push (I maybe had time for 6 pushes) and heard the words forceps and episiotomy. In the midst of the emotion, all my husband and I were concerned about was the safe arrival of our unborn child. While I did have a vaginal birth, I sustained 4th degree tears.

Arlo Jasper Vriend was born at 4:01am on Thursday November 24, 2016. Thankfully, we heard Arlo’s little cry a minute after he was born and he was placed in my arms five minutes after delivery. I required stitching that lasted about 45 minutes and was told “this is about as bad as it gets when it comes to tearing”. I was terrified. Not only did I have a newborn child but I was unsure what 4th degree tearing was. I had no idea what kind of trauma I sustained. How was I supposed to look after this newborn child while unsure if I could walk, go to the bathroom, or look after myself?

What I learned is, many women who have a vaginal birth will have a superficial tear that heal relatively quickly and do not require stiches. A small percentage of women who deliver vaginally end up with a more serious tear in their perineum that extends to or through the rectum. A third-degree laceration is a tear in the vaginal tissue, perineal skin, and perineal muscles that extends into the anal sphincter (the muscle that surrounds your anus). A fourth-degree tear goes through the anal sphincter and the tissue underneath it.

I’m here to tell you that you can and will return to exercise after whether you have a “traumatic” birth or a birth with no complications. You will be able to return to exercise after a cesarean section. It may not look the same, you might need more time to recover, but you will get back to it. I’m going to share with you my five tips for an effective recovery to ensure you return to exercise the right way.

1. Take your time and rest.
I took almost eight weeks off of any exercise other than walking. For the first three weeks I had to sit on an invalid ring (the official name for a donut – not nice!). There felt like a large led weight in my pelvic floor if I walked for any duration. I truly believe that taking the time I needed to truly heal the trauma part, was crucial. Yes – I almost went stir crazy in the house and the hormones didn’t help, but had I not taken the time I needed, I might never have healed.
2. Take the medication you need.
I was prescribed some pretty heavy duty pain killers that I needed to take every three hours. At one point over the Christmas holidays, I figured I could tough it off and get off the pain killers. I realized very quickly, I didn’t need to be a hero (and wasn’t very good at it). Check with your doctor and pharmacist that the pain killers are safe, but take what you need to heal. While you need to look after this newborn baby, you need to look after yourself. And if you are in pain, that’s very difficult to do.
3. Go see a pelvic floor Physiotherapist.
This is probably the best advice I could have received and could give to you. Even if you didn’t receive 4th degree tears and even if you delivered via scheduled cesarean section - GO SEE A PHYSIOTHERAPIST. I had the opportunity to attend the Royal Alexandra Hospital’s pelvic floor physiotherapy clinic because I had such severe tearing. I also sought out a private physiotherapist who specialized in pelvic floor therapy. The internal exam was scary but so was my first bowel movement with 4th degree tears (was it going to open my stiches?). All three physiotherapists that I saw provided me with techniques for safe bowel movements, exercises to repair and strengthen my pelvic floor and make me feel like I was normal again. I am happy to report that I have not struggled with bladder incontinence but still struggle to hold gas from time to time.  I still complete my exercises (including relaxation exercises) and feel stronger than ever.
4. Ask for help.
I spent a lot of my first two months with Arlo healing and learning about myself and my new family. I am fortunate to have amazing family and friends nearby who were more than willing to help when I needed it. People were more than willing to provide food, advice, gifts and a listening ear when I needed it. I couldn’t have done it without them.
5. When exercising again – seek a post-partum exercise specialist and do the modifications.
I am an extremely competitive person. I have always been an athlete and a competitive athlete. Not exercising intensely for eight weeks in the cold of winter nearly drove me crazy. At one point two weeks post-partum I cried to my husband saying “I used to be a productive member of society and now I sit and breastfeed for five hours a day!”. Having a baby is a big change and so when I was cleared for exercise, I wanted to jump right back into where I left off pre-pregnancy. Just because you are cleared for exercise by your doctor doesn’t mean you can go all out. Just because you had a cesarean section and are cleared for exercise, doesn’t mean you can take the highest intensity route. Your body changes after pregnancy and needs time to heal (more than eight weeks). The only reason I can run, jump and exercise at this intensity now is that I attended Fit Your Life classes (with Jamie and Kellie) and chose the low intensity exercises for another 3-4 months post-partum. I needed to re-learn how to control my pelvic floor and exercise with breath and purpose. Don’t rush back too fast. I know it seems slow but you can and will get back to full exercise, in due time.

I’m sure there are many other tips out there. What did you do to return to exercise? Did it take a long time? This list is not exhaustive. Everyone will have their own unique journey back to exercise, just as each pregnancy, labour and delivery, and baby are unique. One thing that I learned for sure is that women are superheroes. I am amazed by the body’s ability to grow a beautiful human being, sustain such trauma, and heal again. Remember – you are amazing!

Erin








Monday, 11 September 2017

Onya Pure GIVEAWAY!!

We don't meet people by accident. 
They are meant to cross our path for a reason. 

I met Annika of Born to be Adventurous during our undergraduate degrees at the University of Alberta. Mutual friends and the appreciation of a good time brought us together. Who would have thought that nearly a decade later we would each be married with two daughters and collaborating on social media to promote a lifestyle we both love ... being active!!



If you ever have the chance to meet Annika Mang, you will be smiling the entire time. Promise! Her friendly nature, awesome laugh, and sense of adventure will have you dreaming up your next trip to the mountains! Her blog has been a great source of reference for us as over the past three years. You see, we are lucky enough to have a daughter just less than one year younger than Annika's oldest. This means that she trials adventures at a certain age, blogs about it, and we benefit from reading about what worked...and what didn't! Perfect! When we first took our first born, Brooke, camping at two and half months old, Annika sent me a list of items to bring and it was very useful! Two years later, she wrote a blog post with a similar list. Read it here!
Some of my favourite blog posts of hers are:
10 Hikes for Preschoolers Near Calgary
Ways to Encourage Unstructured Outdoor Play


Now... I bet the real reason you started reading this post wasn't to hear about my friendship with Annika. That was a bonus! Born to be Adventurous and Fit Your Life have teamed up to give one lucky family a Onya Pure Carrier!

You can read my review on this carrier here

Check us out on Instagram @BornToBeAdventurous and @FitYourLifeYEG

Wednesday, 30 August 2017

Adventuring with Onya





“I have loved her, my little wanderer, with a mind full of wild forests and eyes that await adventures.”
- Conny Cernik





As an active mom, my girls have both spent a lot of time in a baby carrier. With our first daughter, Brooke (now three years old), we used a soft structured carrier (SSC) often for neighborhood walks, grocery shopping, adventures in the mountains, airplanes, and occasionally tasks around the house. When Mikah (now 10 months old) came along, the carrier became an extremely important part of my life! With a busy toddler to play with, snacks and meals to prepare, a house to [attempt to] keep clean and tidy, and a Little who wanted lots of snuggles (as newborns should!) “baby wearing” as it is called became part of my daily life.

I am fortunate to have two girls who enjoy being “worn”, as it makes “mom life” easier with access to both hands and also makes adventuring a ton of fun! Finding a baby carrier that works for your body and that is equally comfortable for your little ones can be tricky! There are a huge variety of brands and styles out there and I do recommend trying many on to find the right fit for you!

That being said, I have recently had the incredible opportunity to try out the Onya Pure. This beautiful and functional SSC has been fun to try out and I am excited to share my thoughts on it here! When shopping for a SSC, three important aspects to look into are fit, comfort, and functionality.
Fit
As alluded to above, each body is different. That being said, the Onya Pure does an amazing job of adjusting to fit various body shapes and sizes. 

The waist belt can be adjusted from either side, there are two different shoulder strap adjustments, and the chest/upper back strap moves up and down as well as inwards and outwards. I found all the straps very easy to adjust for a snug and secure fit. They also loosen easily for quick removals and when switching between girls. I carry Mikah on both my front and my back with minimal adjustments required. Both directions are very easy to put her on by myself, once I figured out a trick for the upper back strap! The first time I attempted putting her on my front, I couldn’t reach the back strap to secure it and had to ask for someone’s assistance. After I figured out to loosen under my armpits I could then secure the back and re-adjust under my arms for a perfect fit! Strapping Brooke to my back is very easy! With the waist belt secure, I kneel down for her to jump on as if gearing up for a piggyback! I then scoop each of my arms through the straps and buckle in. Again, great fit!

Overall, I find the fit of this carrier awesome! The buckles and straps are extremely easy to adjust, yet strong and secure once in place.

Comfort
This is an extremely important category for me. Whether I am wearing Mikah around the house while I vacuum or adventuring with Brooke on my back, I need a carrier to be comfortable for us all! The Onya Pure meets this criteria hands down!! The fabric is soft and smooth and not itchy. It was even comfortable when wearing a tank top and sweating! Very important. I don’t feel overly constricted in upper body movement while wearing Mikah on my front and enjoy the weight distribution between my shoulders and upper and lower back. I know Mikah is comfortable because she has yet to stay awake for more than 15 minutes after putting her in the front carry position! …even when I tried to time our hike perfectly between naps. It must be a nice ride! I first tried Brooke on my back during a nice mountain walk (hike might be a stretch for the trail we chose, as we wanted Brooke to walk most of it). She loved being able to see the mountains, trees, bugs, and everything else from my back! She told us she was comfortable and I believe her, because three is a very honest age.  There is a wonderful mesh vent feature for warmer days! You simply roll up the front panel and have great airflow.

Overall, I would have to give the Onya Pure a very high rating for comfort for both the fabric and the way it wears.

Functionality
For most uses, this SSC is extremely functional. As mentioned above, it adjusts well to fit and is very comfortable. One of the best features of this carrier is how it offers quick ups and downs for both infant and toddler wearing. This makes it a great choice for using around home for indoor and outdoor work, as well as adventuring in the river valley or mountains. The carrier itself packs up quite small, which makes it great for having in the car, tossing in the stroller, or keeping it tucked in the diaper bag. I love that both girls can be carried in it and that they obviously enjoy it! The Onya Pure can be used for Littles 7-20kg. An infant insert can be purchased separately to carry babies 3.2-6.8kg. 

One functional feature that this carrier does lack though is a true pocket. As someone who often wears leggings (mom life), even having one pocket for my keys and phone is a necessity. The front mesh vent can close with cooler weather and one item can maybe be stored in that compartment. However, when the vent is open during warmer weather, there is nowhere to safely stash my stuff. One other key feature that this product lacks for adventuring is a sunshade cover for baby’s head. We covered Mikah’s head with a hat during our sunny hikes, but while they are napping I find a simple cover can work even better.

Despite the few features it is lacking, I still rank the functionality of this carrier as high because of its adjustments, comfort for all involved, and that it can be your one-and-only baby- and toddler- wearing device!



Overall review
You can probably tell that I’ve enjoyed trying out this carrier!

The Onya Pure is lightweight, soft, secure, fits well, adventures great, is comfy for me to wear, and cozy for the Littles. Other than not having pockets, this is the perfect tool to help you enjoy some snuggle time while cleaning up around the house, grocery shopping, walking to the playground, or hiking up a mountain! Adventuring as a family is our favourite. Along the way we teach, we learn, and most importantly, we make beautiful memories.


“…and then I realized that adventure was the best way to learn.”





How are you going to #AdventureWithThemOnya ??
Get your own Onya Pure at MEC here!

Monday, 28 August 2017

September 1km Challenge - join us!

Many people fear September first because it means the return of routine, cooler weather, and shorter days. Although I can't do anything about the cooler weather (unless to help you get excited about ski season!!!) or the decreasing daylight, I can do my best to get you EXCITED about hopping back into a healthier routine! I think it is safe to say that most of us enjoy a few extra treats, a little less sleep, and perhaps less structured exercise during the summer months. September is the perfect time to hop back onto the fit bandwagon and create some new great habits!



Through our September 1km Challenge, we want to help you move every day! Your goal will be to walk, jog, or run for a minimum of one kilometre each day in September! That is 30km spread across one month. 
Pretty amazing!

You do not need to live in Edmonton, or even have ever attended a Fit Your Life class. This Challenge is open to everyone around the globe. Let's get moving!

How it works:

  1. Decide that you can totally achieve this!
  2. Sign up for just $5 through MindBody hereMake an account if you do not already have one, go under Appointments, purchase the September 1km Challenge, and "book" into an open time slot - the time/date is not important.
  3. Mark your calendar to start moving on Friday, September 1, 2017!
  4. Let us know how you are getting your kilos in! There will be random "check-in" opportunities throughout the month, as we will not ask you to check-in daily. Some people want the accountability of verbalizing daily and others that would be a chore. The closed FB group (link below) will be the perfect place for those check-ins or use #fylchallenge on IG!

Throughout the challenge, we want to encourage and motivate you! The best ways to follow along and be accountable to yourself and the others participating will be though our closed Fit Moms' Chat Facebook group. Please join! ..and NO you do not need to be a mom to join. You can also follow along on Instagram @fityourlifeyeg and use the hashtag #fylchallenge and our public Facebook page here!

If you miss a day, you can make it up the following day by completing two kilometres. We encourage you to only do this a maximum of twice. Remember, it is only 1km per day and can be broken up into 4x250m, 2x500m, etc if needed!

Also!! What is a challenge without a little external and tangible motivation? That's right! There will be prizes!! So sign up now and let's make this an awesome month together!

xo
Kellie

Monday, 21 August 2017

I got my 6 week postpartum clearance – now what


Yay!

Your healthcare provider has cleared you for exercise. That’s great news! But now comes the big question…what exactly does that mean?

Should you go out and run a marathon? That wouldn’t be advisable.
How about an easy 5km? Probably not yet.
Should you sign up for a high impact group fitness class and get in as many jump squats as possible? That’s probably not the wisest thing you could do for your body right now.
Where does that leave you? What are some wise choices you should make now to get your body moving safely?

We have a few simple things you can do, once you’ve gotten the go ahead to exercise from your health care provider, that will ensure you are moving safely during this important time in your life.

1) Perform a thorough postpartum self-check

Read through the list of scenarios below and ask yourself if any apply to you.
Do you:
           • have scarring from C-section, tearing, or episiotomy?
           • leak urine, gas or stool when you cough, sneeze, or exercise?
           • have trouble making it to the bathroom in time?
           • have problems emptying your bladder or bowel completely?
           • urinate frequently?
           • experience pain with intercourse?
           • feel pressure, heaviness, or building in your vagina or rectum?
           • have ongoing pain in your vagina, rectum, pelvis, pubic bone, abdomen or lower back?
           • see bulging or tenting of your abdomen during any exercise?

If you are experiencing, or have experienced any of the above, it’s important that you see a pelvic           
health physiotherapist before beginning, resuming or carrying on with exercise. 

When it comes to your body, it is better to be safe than sorry. If you are unsure if you need    physiotherapy for your core or pelvic floor make an appointment and get it checked out. 

If you are in the Edmonton area, here are some great pelvic health physiotherapists we recommend:


2) Reconnect with your deep core muscles

As Kellie wrote about here, it’s time to start reconnecting with your deep core muscles if you haven’t already done so. Take some time each day to do some belly breathing and pelvic floor engagement. Connect breath with moving through your transverse abdominus and your pelvic floor. Begin to build back up those important muscles that did so much during your pregnancy and birth.


3) Buy a new sports bra 

It is extremely important that you have a proper fitting sports bra that provides you with the support you need through all of your physical activities. Throughout pregnancy and milk production, your breasts have gone through a lot of change. Try to choose a bra that has lots of areas you can adjust because over the next few months your breasts will continue to change. There are places you can go for a sports bra fitting by a certified bra fitter. The Running Room is one place where you can get measured in Edmonton. If you want more information on sports bras, check out this post.



4) Get a new workout outfit


While you’re shopping for that bra, buy yourself a new workout outfit that fits your body now. As much as you will be tempted, do not buy an outfit in a size you wish to fit into. Your confidence will skyrocket and you will be 10 times more motivated to move when you find something that looks and feels amazing right now! This does not have to be your most expensive workout outfit. In fact, brands like Joe Fresh and Old Navy make it quite easy to find activewear tops and bottoms for under $30! Perfect for those in-between size months!





5) Take it easy and slowly introduce exercises and increase intensity

This is easier said than done. We have been there too. But trust me; your body will thank you. Focus on what you need during this time and try not to compare your journey with others’.

Celebrate each small victory. Everything will be new.

Celebrate that you made it out the door. Celebrate that you made it to class on time. Celebrate that you had an outing without a blowout (or that you remembered a change of clothes when there is a blow out!). Celebrate that you listened to your body. Celebrate that you talked to someone new in your fitness class. Whatever it is for you, take pride in the small challenges that you overcome as you slowly and safely introduce exercise back into your routine. As strength builds and your body heals, you will be able to increase the intensity of your workouts and those victories should also be celebrated!

As we grew a tiny human and our body changed during pregnancy we slowly made modifications to lessen the impact and intensity of exercises. Initial postpartum exercise selection (i.e. impact, intensity, etc.) should appear very similar to that of the end of your pregnancy. This will be different for each woman, as the introduction of modifications and the elimination of certain exercises would have happened at different times during your pregnancy.

A few tips for allowing your body to slowly build strength and stamina on your schedule:
  • Begin with the low impact versions of exercises (i.e. walking jacks instead of jumping jacks 
  • Prenatal core options (i.e. controlled heel slides instead of v-sit crunches) 
  • Move slowly and mindfully, take rest when needed, or even do less reps.


6) Listen to your body.

This may be the last point on the list, but it is by no means the least important. We say this all the time in our classes and I can’t stress enough just how important it is. Your body doesn’t lie. Listening to your body means knowing the difference between muscle fatigue (which is a good thing) and pain (which is not). Stay in tune with what feels good for you at that moment, on that day, and during that exercise. It will tell you if you’ve pushed too hard or if you aren’t ready for a certain level or type of activity. Keep a close eye out for bleeding, pain, discomfort, or feeling overtired. Pay attention to any leaking of urine or any heaviness or pressure in your vagina or rectum. If you feel any of these during or after a workout please stop, add a modification, take some rest, or try again another day. Talk to your instructor and let them know if something isn’t working for your body. There are no medals for pushing through pain and there is no shame in listening to your body and asking for modifications.

Take everything one step at a time. 
Your body took 10 months to grow your new baby/babies and it will take longer than 6 weeks to recover from birth and pregnancy. 
Enjoy this new milestone in your life.  Find a support system that will celebrate the small victories with you and help you to do what’s right for you.  Take each day and moment one step at a time and allow yourself the time and grace to recover appropriately.  Remember, everyone is different and has had different experiences.  Choose what’s best for you, your body, and your new family.


I will leave you with one of my favourite quotes by Jim Rohn –

“Take care of your body.  It’s the only place you have to live.”

Happy moving and safe recovering!



Tuesday, 27 June 2017

What to do before baby comes?

I get asked this question often.

My due date is nearly here ...what do I "need" to do before he/she arrives?




Here is my top 5 things to check off your to do list before that sweet bundle enters your home

1) Pack your hospital bag
2) Treat yourself to a pedicure
3) Stock your freezer with healthy meals and delicious one-handed snacks
4) Spend special time with your significant other
5) Practice your belly breathing and pelvic floor work


1) Hospital bag
Likely you have this ready, or at least have a list in your mind of what should be in this bag. Coming from a labour and delivery nurse, you probably need to pack less than you think! Read a full post here on what you should pack!
For those of you planning birth centre deliveries, they will provide you with what you might want to consider bringing with you. For home births, your midwife will prepare you with what you require. 





2) Pedicure
Book an afternoon with yourself or a close friend and enjoy some indulgence. I know it sounds cliche, however, this type of pampering will likely fall to the bottom of your priority list for awhile. Who doesn't feel cute with freshly painted toes?! Not into pedicures? Book another type of treatment that will relax you and make you feel amazing!! You deserve it. You are growing a human being!!
Check out Pamper & Play or Sweet Momma!!
Side note - it is advised to steer clear of gel polish, as oxygen saturation monitors are not able to work 100% properly (in an emergency situation). Stick to regular polish just in case!


3) Freezer 
Whether you book in at Dinner Factory, Simply Supper, a meal-making Tupperware Party (YES you get to keep the Tupperware!), or get a handful of friends to come over and sip fun mocktails while chopping, it is worth it!! Having freezer meals ready to throw in the oven or crockpot and plate with a tossed salad with help ensure that you are eating enough while getting in much needed nutrients after baby arrives. One-handed snacks are also important! Energy balls, muffins, and trail mix are all perfect for the new mom. Do you have friends asking what they can do to help? Send them one of these recipes for them to whip up for you and bring when they come to snuggle your sweet Little! Trust me, they will be happy to help and your tummy will thank you when you're up for that midnight feeding.

Recipes
Kellie's Favourite Treats
Mom Fuel
Chewy Sweet & Tart Granola Bars




4) Special time
This is so important! You will not regret making memories with your significant other before your new bundle arrives to laugh, cuddle, and enjoy something that makes you "click" as a couple. This might be a date day/night, a weekend away, or staying in and playing board games. Yes, you will be able to do these things after baby comes, but it will be different! Depending on your baby and your support system, it might be awhile before you can even sneak away for a romantic dinner alone. Spoil yourselves a little and make the most of whatever time you can! You are going to go from being a couple to co-parents! It is such a fun and exciting journey, but also a challenging one. Let me know what you choose to do!


Photo by Roughley Originals
5) Don't use it? You'll lose it!
Just like any other muscle in the body, if we do not engage it, it loses tone. Learning how to properly engage and relax the pelvic floor and transverse abdominal muscles are extremely important during pregnancy, for birth, and in the postpartum stages. I have a few articles here:
Pregnancy Safe Core Exercises
Deep core activation while recovering from a caesarean birth
If you attend any of my Prenatal Fit classes or follow me on Instagram (@fityourlifeyeg), you will know that I continually cue to engage and relax through the pelvic floor and transverse abdominals. We focus on how to connect with these muscle groups on their own and then how to engage as we move through various exercises.

Enjoy this special time as you await the day your beautiful baby will be safely in your arms. Also remember to breathe, move, rest, and laugh. Your baby also enjoys that rush of endorphins and benefits as much as you do!! You are already an amazing mama and that baby is so lucky to have you!!

Congratulations in advance and thank you for reading! xox

Saturday, 29 April 2017

Making memories

We do what we love and we love what we do.


Finding our passion through inspiring others to move their bodies in ways that feels amazing to them is what we strive for in and outside of our classes. The three of us (Erin, Jamie, and Kellie) all grew up being active and movement has always been a part of our lives. We realize this is not always the case for those attending our classes. Our goal is to make fitness fun! Smiles. Laughter. High fives. Games. New moves. That is how we find what movement speaks to us and what inspires us to keep our bodies moving.

Today, we held a free Family Fit workout in Magrath Heights Park (southwest Edmonton) and oh my gosh was it fun!!!! Everyone was invited. Some mamas came by themselves for some kid-free time, others brought their husbands and children, some brought a friend. We had new moms, expecting moms, and weekend warrior moms. It was amazing!! The energy that was created from families moving their bodies, enjoying the fresh air and sunshine, and having fun together was unforgettable. Over 40 adults and more than 30 “littles” came out for this 45 minute workout!! Yes, there was chaos, but let’s be real, sometimes that is when the best memories are made.


After class, most of us headed over to the playground to reward the bigger littles for not running away during the class. We had multiple park-goers inquire about the class and they seemed excited to learn more about Fit Your Life!! That speaks volumes to everyone in our class today! YOUR energy is inspiring others! YOUR commitment to being a healthy role model for your children is motivating to those around you.




Let our children be our reason, not our excuse. Allow our ever-changing motherly bodies to move in ways that feel good. Do this for you!! You are completely and totally worth it.



Thank you for the memories of today!!!
xox


Friday, 7 April 2017

Prenatal, Postpartum, and Women's Only Group Fitness Classes in Edmonton!


With the addition of TWO classes per week, as well as expanding our instructors, the updated SPRING 2017 schedule is open for registration!

Mom & Me Fit
Stroller Fit
Prenatal Fit
Fit Bootcamp

Fit Your Life will be offering prenatal, postnatal, and women's only classes Monday - Friday throughout all of May and June! Excited yet?!

All stages of life are welcome to all classes (i.e. non-pregnant to Prenatal Fit and pregnant to Mom & Me Fit). Erin, Jamie, and Kellie are all Pre- and Postnatal Fitness Specialists to ensure that everyone achieves a safe and effective, yet challenging workout!

All classes are drop-in style, however booking ahead is recommended. We are very much looking forward to seeing you sweat soon!



Never mess with a girl who does burpies for fun!

Tuesday, 7 March 2017

Chewy Sweet & Tart Granola Bars + the #naptimehustle

#naptimehustle ... what do you do to take advantage of this sweet sweet time? If your house is anything like mine, this is a time where all is quiet and I have anywhere from 30 minutes to two hours of baby- and toddler-free time to get some things done...depending on the day. Obviously, with a five month old, her naps are a little less predictable and this makes me even more thankful for my toddler's predictable two hour nap (knock on wood they last awhile longer!).



Some days I take advantage of this "me" time to enjoy a long uninterrupted shower. Other days I clean feverishly. The odd time, I will sit down with a fresh cup of coffee or tea and enjoy the silence and stillness. Then there are my baking days. I love time in the kitchen to create. I do enjoy sharing this time with my hubby and my girls, but on the rare occasion I take advantage of nap time to whip up something delicious. I turn on some music and get started!


Now, I do have a tip for keeping the Littlest entertained in the chance that she wakes before I am finished. When I bring her into the kitchen to be my helper, I move her seat and/or activity each time I change what I am doing. For example ... mixing - she can sit in her bouncy chair, rolling - move her into the Bumbo and give her a rattle, cleaning up - put her on her play mat. You get the point. It is an easy way to keep her busy and not get bored so that I can finish what I started while she was still asleep.




This past weekend, my husband took our toddler skiing for the morning. She is absolutely loving it and we are blown away by her progress this season! The Littlest and I stayed home to get some snacks made and meals planned for the week ahead. The best part ...she had a stellar nap while I got three different snacks baked! #momwin #thankyou


 I wanted to try a new granola bar recipe but was having trouble finding exactly what I was craving. I ended up creating my own based on a few inspirations! They turned out better than I could have imagined! These bars are sweet, chocolatey, filled with good stuff, and #toddlerapproved. The best part is that they are not time consuming and your hands don't get dirty ....anyone who's baby begins to cry midway through baking might understand! 

Chewy Sweet & Tart Granola Bars
Time: 20 minutes (+30 minutes cooling time) 
Yields: 16 square bars 

Ingredients
  • 3 cups oats
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil
  • 2 tbsp coconut palm sugar
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup honey 
  • 1 tsp vanilla 
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg 
  • 1 cup dark chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries 
  • 1/4 cup slivered almonds 

Directions
  1. Preheat oven to 350F and line a 9x9 inch pan with parchment. 
  2. Add the oats to the pan and toast in oven for approximately 15 minutes. Stir at least once. Oats should come out golden brown and smelling toasty!
  3. While they toast, melt oil, sugar, maple syrup, honey, vanilla, cinnamon, and nutmeg together in small saucepan on stove. Stir until simmered to make sure coconut sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat. 
  4. Once oats are toasted, pour into a large mixing bowl. 
  5. Add hot liquid mixture and stir until coated. 
  6. Add chocolate chips, dried cranberries, and almonds. 
  7. Stir. Yes, the chocolate should melt and smell delicious! 
  8. Replace parchment in 9x9 pan and make sure there is over-hang - this will come in handy for two reasons. 
  9. Scoop granola mixture into prepared pan and press firmly with a spatula into all corners. 
  10. Using the parchment over-hang, fold over, and press down as firmly as possible in all directions to compress the bars. 
  11. Place in freezer for 30 minutes. 
  12. Remove from freezer and using parchment over-hang, remove bars from pan and place on cutting board. 
  13. Cut into 16 squares (or rectangles if you prefer). 
  14. Store in airtight container for up to one week. 
  15. Enjoy! 

Sunday, 5 February 2017

Lock Your Ladies Down

Did you know more than 70% of women are wearing the wrong size of bra???

I’ll give you a minute to digest that number…70%!

And here’s another fun fact for you, Brooks’ research found that 25% of women don’t work out as hard as they could because of breast bounce.  WHAT?!

Both stats are crazy but I want you to know that you don’t have to be a part of those statistics.  You can be a woman who has fully supported breasts.  One who never worries about breast bounce during workouts.  You can give it your all and never fear that your breasts are going to become saggy from lack of support – YES! That is a thing. 

You might be asking yourself, how? How do I find out about proper fitting sports bras and what to look for when shopping?  How do I know if my sports bra is fitting correctly? 
I have compiled all of the information you will need to know to answer these very important questions.  
So, for the sake of your breasts, 
READ ON LADIES. READ ON!

Let’s start with some general breast information.
-       Breasts have no muscles. They are made up of fatty tissue stuck to the chest, and all that is holding them up are fibrous strands called Cooper’s ligaments.
-       Physical activity makes breasts bounce up, down and even in a figure eight.  Yes- even an A cup sized breast will move.  Check out Shock Absorber’s bounce-o-meter to see just how much movement different activities can cause. 
-       If the breast is bouncing around, even a little bit, then the Cooper’s ligament is getting stretched, IRREVERSIBLY I might add, leading to saggy breasts and breast discomfort or pain. Not to mention back pain, trouble breathing and improper exercise form.  Nobody wants any of that!


SO WHAT CAN WE DO TO PROTECT OUR BREASTS?

1.     Get fitted to make sure you are wearing the correct size.  
      Keep in mind that each bra style and brand will have a different fit so use your size as a starting point.  Furthermore, your breasts are continually changing so it’s important to be fitted often.  Check out this video for measurement tips.
   
2.     Choose a bra with the correct amount of support for your cup size. 
Take a look at the chart below to find out what type of bra construction you need to provide the right amount of support for your cup size. 
      
Type
Function
Recommendation
Some Examples
Compression
Holds breast tissue close to chest to limit movement
-good for low impact activities for all sizes
-A or B cup might get enough support for high impact activities
-Most LuLuLemon bras
-Most Victoria’s Secret Sports bras
-Nike Sports bras
-Brooks Moving Comfort Front Runner
-Baobei Maternity Nursing Sports Bra 
Encapsulation
Built with individual cups that surround and support each breast.
Helps limit the up, down and circular movement of the breast.
-everyday wear for all sizes
-Everday bras from LaSenza, Victoria’s Secret, The Bay
Combination
Uses both compression and encapsulation and provides the most support.
-C cup or larger need this type of bra for ample support, especially during high impact activities

-Brooks Moving Comfort Juno, Jubralee and Rebound Racer
-LuluLemon Ta Ta Tamer
-Victoria’s Secret Knockout
-Adidas Committed Chill



3.     Wear a sports bra with the appropriate support for the activity you are doing. 
       Low impact activities generally require less support than high impact. 

Low Impact
Medium Impact
High Impact
 Walking
Yoga
 Strength Training
Hiking
Skiing
Cycling
Running
Jumping
Mountain Biking


4.     These are the key areas to check for a good fit:

Band: The majority of bra support comes from the band. It wraps around the bottom and is the foundation of a bra. A properly fitting bra will have a band that is snug and parallel to the ground. Wide bands are more supportive than narrow bands. The band should fit slightly tighter than a regular bra, but not so tight that you can't comfortably take a deep breath. To make sure you have the right size, raise your hands over your head. If the band moves, you need a smaller band or the straps may need to be adjusted.

Shoulder straps: These straps hold up the cups but are not the bra's main support. They should provide minimal stretch to reduce up-and-down movement. Wide straps provide better support and comfort than narrow ones. Straps should not slip off or press into your shoulders. 

Adjustable straps: Straps that are adjustable allow you to customize the fit and are often found on encapsulation style sports bras.  This is also a great feature for nursing mothers.  Ensure that the buckles or Velcro or clips do not cause any chaffing or discomfort. 

Back closure: Many sports bras pull on over your head, which can be a struggle once you’re sweaty.  I know you’ve all done that special dance, twisting and turning and bending every which way trying to get that bra off. 


A back closure allows for ease when putting on and taking off the bra and also allows for further adjustment.  You want the back closure to be on the first hook when you buy it so you can tighten the band as the bra stretches over time.  This is also key for nursing mothers as you will get more use out of your bra as your breast size changes with your growing baby. 

Cups: The cup fabric should be smooth. Wrinkles or puckers indicate the cup is too big.  If you’re spilling out of your bra, the cup size is too small.




5.     Test the bra. 
Once you feel like you’ve got a good fit and support, give some movement a try.  Don’t be     afraid to jump around in the change room, do some jumping jacks or run in a spot. Even give that sweaty bra removal dance a try.  You'll be able to feel and see whether the bra gives you the support you need.

6.     Take good care of your investment. 
Let’s be realistic, a good sports bra is an investment, just like good running shoes or good jeans.  To prolong the life of your investment make sure you hand wash them in cold water or use the delicate cycle and a lingerie bag, always hang to dry and never use fabric softener. 

7.     Replace your sports bra every 70-100 uses or around a year. 
As a general rule, if you are replacing your running shoes, you should also be replacing your bra.  However, don’t wait to replace your sports bra if you notice that elastic is frayed, there are rips or tears in the fabric, the straps are stretched or you feel that it isn’t providing the same amount of support it did when you first bought it. 


I am a huge fan of the Brooks’ Moving Comfort Bras.  I love the fit and support and they are nursing friendly! There are so many adjustable parts, which make them perfect for pregnant and nursing mamas.  

Here’s one last video to help you find the perfect bra to support your breasts.


Now that you have all of the information you need to select the proper bra, 
lock your ladies down and take care of your breasts.  
Choose a bra that gives your breasts the amount of support you need for your breast size and the activities you will be doing. 

Happy supporting!