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.
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.

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.

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!


Monday, 21 August 2017

I got my 6 week postpartum clearance – now what


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!