Monday, January 4, 2016

Embracing 2016

The New Year is a popular time for many people to set some goals or intentions for the year ahead, especially when it comes to personal health and fitness.  Here are 10 tips to help keep you on the right path to success!

1.  Be Realistic 

The most common way to fall short of meeting any goal is by making it unattainable in the first place. For instance, resolving to NEVER eat your favorite food again is setting you up to fail. Instead, strive for a goal that is realistic and manageable, such as avoiding it more often than you do now.

2.  Plan Ahead

Don’t wait to make your resolution on New Year’s Eve. Plan when you are in the mindset of setting goals.

3.  Outline Your Plan

Decide how you will deal with the temptation to skip that exercise class or have that piece of cake. This could include calling on a friend for help, practicing positive thinking and self-talk, or reminding yourself how your “bad” will affect your goal.

4.  Make a “Pros” and “Cons” List

It may help to see a list of items on paper to keep your motivation strong. Develop this list over time, and ask others to contribute to it. Keep your list with you and refer to it when you need help keeping your resolve.

5.  Talk About It

Don’t keep your goals a secret. Tell friends and family members who will be there to support your resolve to change yourself for the better or improve your health. The best-case scenario is to find a buddy who may have a similar goal and motivate each other.

6.  Reward Yourself

This doesn’t mean that you can eat an entire box of chocolates if your resolution is to eat a better diet. Instead, celebrate your success by treating yourself to something you enjoy that doesn’t contradict your resolution. If you have been sticking to your promise to eat better, for example, reward yourself with new fitness clothing or by going to a movie with a friend.

7.  Track Your Progress

Keep track of each small success. Short-term goals are easier to keep, and each small accomplishment will help keep you motivated. Instead of focusing on losing 30 pounds, focus on losing the first five. Keep a food journal to help you stay on track, and reward yourself for each five pounds lost.

8.  Don’t Beat Yourself Up

Obsessing over the occasional slip won’t help you achieve your goal. Do the best you can each day, and take one day at a time.

9.  Stick to It

Experts say it takes about 21 days for a new activity to become a habit and six months for it to become part of your personality. It won’t happen overnight, so be persistent and patient!

10. Keep Trying

If you have totally run out of steam when it comes to keeping your resolution by mid-February, don’t despair. Start over again! Recommit yourself for 24 hours. You can do anything for 24 hours. The 24-hour increments will soon build on each other and, before you know it, you will be back on track.

What are your 2016  goals?  I would love to hear them!  

Thursday, December 3, 2015

FITMOM's Top 5 Tips To Help You Live Your Healthiest Life in 2016

As we approach the end of another year, we often will reflect on how our year has gone and start plans for making our next year even better. Often our plans might include some high level fitness related goals, such as:

I want to be stronger in 2016
I want to be more fit in 2016
I want to run up stairs 2016
I want to walk taller in 2016
I want to touch my toes in 2016
I want to run my first 5K race in 2016

Whatever your own goals may be, you'll need a solid plan to reach them! 

Here are FITMOM's  top FIVE tips that you can use to help you live your healthiest life in 2016:

1. Find Something you LOVE

One of the most important gifts you can give to yourself is doing something you LOVE. If you don't love it, you won't do it. It's as simple as that. 

2. Schedule it and Find a Babysitter

Whether it's a weekly class that you love or an evening run with friends, you need to put it in your schedule and block off the time. It can be really hard when you have small children to get out of the house in the evening, especially if your partner travels or is a shift worker. One of the best things you can invest in is a neighbourhood babysitter. Ask around and you'll find lots of teenagers looking to earn some extra money through babysitting. Teach them the routine and have them try it out with you around first. You'll wonder why you didn't do it sooner!

3. Make it Social

Find some friends and join a fitness class together. It's a great way to stay in shape and keep up with each other! One of the biggest benefits of a FITMOM class is that, even if you join with a friend, you will always leave with many more. Knowing that you're meeting a friend helps keep you accountable and gives you incentive to get out the door, even when you don't want to.

4. Track your Progress

There are many ways you can measure your progress. If you're running you can track how far you're going and how fast you're going. If you're doing a bootcamp class, you can track how often you're attending and how long it takes to recover each week. If you're doing a yoga class, you can track how hard it is to do certain poses each week. You can also take measurements periodically. If you've set a goal that you would like to work out twice a week, then writing it down in your calendar will help you identify whether you've met your goal or not.

5. Make it Achievable

It's never fun to fail at something, so when you set your fitness goals, keep in mind how your life is currently working. If your goal is to get out 5 times per week for 1 hour each day, but your job is very demanding and you tend to work many extra hours, this may not be realistic. Start by thinking about what you can realistically commit to. If it's only once per week for 45 minutes, that's a great start. It's always easier to add things one at a time than to add many chunks all at once without a good plan to achieve it.

We hope you find these tips helpful in developing your own fitness plan for 2016! Leave us a note on Facebook to let us know how you're planning to accomplish your fitness goals next year! And check out the FITMOM schedule to see if one of our classes fits your needs. We'd love to see you there!

Monday, November 9, 2015

Introducing the MAMA CODE

At FITMOM we believe in moms. In our 16 year history Andrea Page’s Original Fitmom programs has served and supported over 10,000 women and their families. Through our own personal experiences as mothers and countless hours spent listening, supporting and getting to know our clients, we have learned a thing or two, so this weeks blog post is about sharing some of what we know with you.

This November, during our M.A.M.A. month we wanted to introduce you to our Mama CODE.  It stands for Connect with Community, Opportunities for Self Care, Diet & Nutrition and Exercise.  The MAMA CODE are FITMOM’s Best Practices.   We know that these 4 pillars help to create a strong foundation to build a happier, more confident mother.  Some of these objectives are easier to attain than others.   We also recognize that this can be even more challenging if a woman is dealing with any emotional issues in the postpartum period, including postpartum depression and anxiety.   

Over the next few weeks we hope you consider adding the CODE to your mothering experience. Spend a few minutes thinking about each of these categories and think about the steps you can take to ensure that each one has presence in your own life.

Connect with Community.  What does that look like for you?  For many motherhood can often be an overwhelming and isolating experience.  More of us are separated by distance from our immediate families.  Grandparents may not be able (by choice or circumstance) to offer hands on support.   

Getting out of the house with your baby can be a challenge, but meeting other mothers and exploring the services that your community has to offer can help make your maternity leave experience more enjoyable.  Public Health, Libraries and the Ontario Early Years Centres all offer free programs & support groups to mothers.  Find a local group or class that you would like to attend and book it into your calendar.  

Finding activities that you enjoy will help to make this a habit and give you something to look forward to, especially in the colder months.  If there is a program that interests you BOOK IT today!  

Opportunities for self-care.  This one is a doozy!  However, we can’t stress enough how important it is for you to be kind to yourself, often! The job of mothering is 24/7 and if you don’t take a few moments to fill your cup, you will be left feeling depleted.  

Why not get started right now! Grab a notepad and write down 2-3 things that you like to do just for you.  Is it enjoying a cup of tea curled up with a magazine or Netflix?  Perhaps it’s meeting a good friend for coffee or practicing meditation.  Once you identify what you like to do, then pull out your calendar and book it.  

Next tell your partner ‘This is what I need”.  Often we anticipate that our partners will just encourage us to take the time to reboot, but if you don't tell them this is what you need, they don’t think there is a problem, or they just assume that you take that time during the day with baby (yeah-right!).  
Mother’s need consistent and regular breaks from the responsibility of motherhood.  Let your partner help you.  If he is unable or unwilling then consider asking a friend and return the favour back to her.  

Diet & Nutrition can be a beast of its own, and there is an element of planning or preparation that is often involved to make eating well a reality.  So how can we make this better?  

Andrea, the founder of FITMOM, spent a few years living in Alberta.  In her community most of the spouses worked at the oil rigs and would spend much of their time away.  As a result the women were often left on their own, but how they handled this inspired Andrea greatly.  She observed women mothering in community and a return to that philosophy of “it takes a village”.  These women supported, cared and loved one another in a way that our modern society has drifted from.  They often gathered together weekly to prepare meals.  One woman would host, the children would be contained, entertained by older siblings or held by those with free hands as the group prepared healthy meals for the week.  We think this is a fun way to make healthy meals, reduce workload and provide an opportunity to support and care for each other.  Is this something you can make happen?  

Finally, how can Exercise be a part of your daily (or weekly) experience?  All of the research shows that when women engage in regular exercise (3-5 times/week) they have an improved mental state, can tolerate stress better, see an improvement in sleep patterns and have more energy to complete daily tasks.  

Making exercise happen can take a little planning, but it is definitely doable!  The first step is to book it into your calendar.  Exercise has to be a priority, and you should treat it like any appointment you have.  Find a class you like, register and pay for it, and then go. If group classes aren’t your thing than make the commitment to get out for daily walks.   

We often wait for motivation to inspire us to get out there, but that’s not how motivation works.  When it comes to exercise sometimes you often have to drag yourself to do it.  Often putting on your running shoes is the hardest part.  But once they’re on, you are halfway there, just continue out of the house.  As you continue to make regular exercise a part of your daily or weekly routine the habit becomes established and then you will see an increase in motivation.     

As the month of November continues, we want to hear from you!  Please share your stories on how you apply the CODE to your life.  You can also make recommendations or offer suggestions on how others can integrate the CODE into their lives.  

With love,

Your FITMOM Leadership Team

Andrea, Jennifer & Sue

Monday, November 2, 2015

Welcome to M.A.M.A. month!

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Gentle exercises for postpartum recovery

In the early days and weeks postpartum a new mama and her family should be focusing on adjusting to new sleeping patterns (sleeping when the baby is sleeping), spending time skin to skin to establish breastfeeding and learning and responding to a new infants cues.  

Taking these steps helps to boost confidence in parenting, promotes rest which is essential to recovery after birth and allows for natural attachment and bonding to take place between a new baby and her parents.

If you have had an uncomplicated vaginal delivery, most women are usually able to resume low-impact exercises by 6 weeks postpartum.  Cesarean birth or a more complicated vaginal birth often requires more time to heal, typically women are able to resume exercising by  8-10 weeks postpartum.  

It is recommended that your Care Provider clear you for exercise prior to resuming a structured fitness program.  Keep in mind that every woman recovers differently, it's important to listen to your body. Start slow and gradually increase time and intensity.

Gentle stretching and isolated abdominal exercises are usually safe to resume soon after giving birth. As you continue to recover, you can gradually resume exercise, especially if you were exercising regularly prior to delivery. It's best to take it day by day and only do what you can, being mindful not to push yourself too hard.  

Below are some gentle exercises that may be of benefit to you in the early days and weeks after baby.

Looking after a baby is hard work!  Be kind and gentle to yourself as you adjust to the new responsibilities and the demands that parenting requires.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Why workout with your kids?

Bonding through baby wearing
At FITMOM we are big supporters of exercising with kids in tow.  

Our FITMOM+Baby classes incorporate baby wearing giving mom and baby the opportunity to connect and bond through movement and touch.  Through these activities baby's learn about the world around them.  

Physical contact allows a baby to explore the world around them, communicate their needs and wants, enhances attachment and improves their emotional well being.

Babies and older children are naturally active and we want to do everything we can to encourage this!  This is why I am so excited to introduce  our FITMOM+Toddler fitness classes.  These classes are a spin off from our popular FITMOM+Baby classes, but tailored to meet the needs of growing tots!

The FITMOM+Toddler classes will foster a toddlers natural desire for movement while mimicking mommy and using fun analogies of animals and familiar objects to
Just like Mom!
entertain them.

Benefits of regular exercise for young children include:

  • an increase in self-esteem & confidence
  • a lifelong commitment to regular exercise because it was introduced at a young age
  • reducing the instances of obesity and decreasing the risk of serious illnesses
FITMOM+Toddler classes start Tuesday October 13th in Oshawa.  Register at Perfect class for moms + tots with baby siblings :)



Thursday, September 3, 2015

Why fall is a great time to get fit

It feels like summer has just begun... and yet the fall starts creeping up on us so quickly! Summer is a great time of the year. The weather is hot and sunny, there's no school, everyone is going on some kind of vacation and it's a time where you just want to take it easy. But, summer is also a time that can wreak havoc on your fitness and nutrition plans as you enjoy your vacations, your time at the cottage, your outdoor activities or you just plain have fun. If this is the case for you, here are some great reasons why the fall is the perfect time to get fit: 

 1. Life becomes a little bit easier to schedule: The kids go back to school and summer vacations in the office are finished (you're no longer having to cover for your office mate while they're on vacation!). Routines are reintroduced and parents are feeling recharged after their summer holidays (hopefully!). Everyone is excited about the new and exciting things that are being planned for the upcoming year. 

2. The weather is more cooperative: It's getting a bit cooler, but there's still some daylight in the early evening making outdoor activities quite pleasant. If you're exercising outdoors, you'll experience the beautiful fall colours as the leaves begin to change and you'll find breathing a bit easier with the cooler temperatures. If you're exercising indoors, the days are still long and it doesn't ever seem too late when there's still daylight! 

3. You can build it into your routine: Now that your holidays are over, it's time to make fitness part of your weekly routine. This is easy when so many programs are starting up again! If you need a class to get you going, you can register for it and put it in your calendar. Once you start going, it takes about 30 days to make it a habit, so there's plenty of time before the next holiday (Thanksgiving!) rolls around. By the time the Christmas holidays arrive, your fitness habits will be fully integrated into your schedule, you'll be feeling great and there will be less risk of over indulging during the holidays. 

4. It's the planning season: At many workplaces, fall is the time planning for the next calendar year gets into full swing. Budgets are made, performance metrics are created and both personal and corporate goals are set. Why not plan for your fitness needs at the same time? 

5. It's never too late to start! Why not this fall? You can do it! Regardless of why you decide to kick start your fitness regime this fall, always remember the way you feel post workout and use that as your motivation to keep going each week! 

This article was written by Susan McDonald, owner and operator of FITMOM Ottawa.