Fit Your Life offers fitness classes for women at very special times in their lives. We want to assist you in finding or reconnecting with your fitness journey by discovering something that inspires you! Pregnancy and motherhood are often times in our lives where exercise is forgotten or falls off the priority list. Your health is vital in you being the best mom, wife, partner, friend, and woman you can be!
Yes, I have always been
known as a morning person and really prefer to do anything first thing in the
morning rather than in the evening! After becoming a mom, my routine had to
shift and expectations had to change. As an early riser, I have began raising
early risers, so if I want to fully embrace the morning and exercise alone I
must wake at 5am! Is this easy? No! do I do this every day? No way! Am I
thankful when I do? Heck yes!
Exercising first thing in
the morning boosts my energy, mood, and patience for the entire day.
How does one come to make
this a sustainable habit - to get up early and move first thing in the morning?
Here are my best tips!!
a) Set out your workout and your “regular”
outfits the night before. This way you don’t have to think about your clothes
in the morning – just get dressed!
b) Have your coffee and breakfast
ready. We grind our beans and prep our coffee maker at night to just press “go”
when we wake. Brilliant! Have a plan for your post-workout fuel! Better yet,
have it ready, like overnight oats.
Especially during the cold winter
months, you will likely be waking before the sun. Instead of pressing snooze,
take a deep breath, look out your window at the stars, moon, or lights and be
grateful for another day. Put on that cute workout outfit and hope on your mat
inspired and proud.
Things come up and bad nights happen.
Some days it will feel like your Littles know when you have planned an early
morning worokout and wake with your alarm. Breathe. If you are still able to
get it in with them beside you, awesome! If it needs to be postponed until
later that day, that’s okay! Seeing your exercise clothes out will still
inspire you to move! However, if this becomes a habit, then your plan might
need to shift – this doesn’t always work with every season of life.
Even for a morning person like myself,
waking up before everyone else is not easy – I love my warm bed! What gets me out
of bed is knowing how amazing I will feel during, but even more so after my
workout! The energy that builds from that metabolism boost and the refreshed
mindset of mind-body-breath connection first thing in the morning is what keeps
me coming back for more!!
Give it a try at least a few mornings
a week for a month and notice your energy, mood, and patience on the days you
do compared to the days you don’t. Let me know how it goes!
If you have followed along with our Pelvic Health Series: Our journey to regaining strength, alignment, and function, you will recognize the name Jillian Palmer. Jill is the owner of Bounce Back Physical Therapy. She took the time to answer some of the most common questions we hear about pelvic health physiotherapy while sharing what she loves most about her chosen career!
Grab a [hot] cup of coffee or tea and enjoy this fun guest post with Jillian!
Who should be assessed by a pelvic health Physiotherapist?
Pelvic Physiotherapy is a branch of Physiotherapy that describes the physical (neuro-musculo-skeletal) care of the “lumbo-pelvic-hip” complex and related structures. There are branches that address women’s pelvic health, men’s pelvic health, and children’s and adolescents’ pelvic health.
I work specifically with women at this point in my career and so I can’t speak to everyone who should see a pelvic health Physiotherapist (although if you’re a man and you’ve had a prostatectomy…run and don’t walk to the nearest clinic that can help you) but I think that every woman of childbearing age (pre-and postnatal) would benefit greatly from an assessment.
There’s so much that we’re not in-tune with about our bodies. As females, we used to grow up witnessing birth, breastfeeding, and being around other women talking about their physical experiences as women and the changes that occur over the lifespan. It’s not the point of this interview to talk about what a shame it is that we’ve lost that passed down wisdom– but having someone to help decode some of the messages that your body is giving you (such as pain, leakage, heaviness, weakness, etc.) can be really helpful.
I am not having any symptoms listed on your website. Should I still be assessed?
Gah! Yes! This is the most ideal situation. I recently learned the (apparently very common) phrase that “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” That couldn’t be more spot on. If you’re pre-natal and want your birth and postpartum healing to go as smoothly as possible, pelvic physiotherapy is your place. If you’ve had baby #1 but are looking forward to expanding your family and want to prevent injuries and symptoms in subsequent births, come on in. If you’re done having children and want to maintain your pelvic health well into your postmenopausal years, get checked out!
What if you find something "wrong"?
Great! No, seriously. There are conservative treatment options for almost every issue that you could be experiencing. Better to address these things now than later in your life when they’re harder to treat. Having said that, I have a personal philosophy that has been shaped by my clinic experience: you’re most likely experiencing symptoms because of something that you’re actively doing to your body that wouldn’t be a problem if you took away the offending behavior/activity or waited until your body was ready for it. The female body is a masterpiece in form and function and it was designed to work perfectly throughout your entire life. That includes getting pregnant and birthing multiple children (sometimes multiples of children for all my fellow twin+ moms) and returning to function afterwards. Our species would not have been so successful if was inevitable that one out of every three women was left incontinent after children, or one in every two had prolapse, or three in four were riddled with pelvic pain (including sexual pain). Right?
So, in physiotherapy, our job together is to figure out why you’re having symptoms. Address that issue through education, exercise, manual therapy etc…and send you on your merry way ☺
What is one piece of advice you could give women regarding their pelvic floor or core health?
Just one? Oh man.
Ok, It would be this: mind your pressures! Excessive intra-abdominal pressure (anything where you’re holding your breath and squeezing your stomach) can be a real doozy on a poorly functioning core unit and can result in losing control somewhere in the system. This could present as leakage, pelvic organ prolapse, herniation anywhere (though, most often through the umbilicus for those of you who all of a sudden have an outie belly button!), hemorrhoids, back pain, etc…
The best way to deal with any of these symptoms is to remove that excess pressure, figure out where the weakness is, address it, and then slowly reintroduce those pressures until you’re back doing whatever it is that you want to be doing!
What is the biggest misconception you see regarding female pelvic health?
That physical postpartum problems like we’ve been discussing are just a normal part of being a woman who has given birth. Sure, they’re common – super common actually – but so are other injuries such as rotator cuff tears, arthritis, headaches etc…just because they’re common doesn’t mean they come part and parcel of being alive. It just means that if you’re experiencing those problems, your body is trying to give you a message. Will you listen to that message or ignore it?
What do you love about your job?
Easy, I love that I essentially just treat different versions of myself all day. Seriously, all of my patients are lovely women who have unique and interesting stories about what brought them in to see me. It’s the people!
In your opinion, should every new mom see a pelvic health Physiotherapist after having a baby?
This is the dream! I wish that pelvic health physiotherapy was the standard of care for all women postpartum. In different parts of the world – it is. In some countries, just like you get well baby visits in your home to address concerns with baby, you’d also get some (6-12) pelvic physio sessions to address concerns with your physical healing! Imagine how much money our healthcare system could save in the long run if we could avoid surgeries for incontinence, prolapse, hernias, etc…just by doing some simple, cheap physio appointments! If anyone has ideas on how to make this a reality – hit me with them. Seriously.
What are some tips for women who want to move their body safely, but are waiting to get in to see a Physiotherapist?
Great question. You bring up the very important fact that pelvic health physiotherapy is underserviced. Whereas there are countless numbers of general musculoskeletal clinics around the city, there are only a few of us who treat pelvic health concerns.
Most clinics around the city have a waitlist and so in the meantime – walk. Honestly, consistent walking everyday will do more for your body than a super hard workout once a week and then nothing the other 6. Likewise, moving your body throughout your day will do more for your body than being sedentary all day and then moving a bunch in a one hour workout.
Another thing is to align your body. Most of us moms (myself included) have horrible alignment all the time. Between carrying car seats, hoisting toddlers, nursing, and sitting all the time, we barely ever get a chance to align and move our bodies well. Horrible alignment some of the time is totally fine and normal and good actually! But if it’s the only way you line up your body – mmmm, trouble. Everyone is different so there aren’t one size fits all rules about alignment but generally: don’t stick your butt out too far but don’t tuck it underneath you either.
Oh, and mind your pressures. If you’re leaking – stop! If you’re feeling heaviness vaginally or rectally – stop! If you’re doming out of your stomach – stop! If there’s pain – stop! Or at least modify so these things aren’t happening. Please and Thank you!
Thank you Jill for spending some time with us and sharing your insight on this extremely important topic!