Edmonton’s newest fitness craze, the indoor Fitset Ninja Warriors Course inside of Kingsway Garden Mall.Read More
Accupressure Mat For Pain, Stress and Circulation
A few weeks ago I got my Dosha Mat, Accupressure mat and I’ve been having a lot of fun using it.
Accupressure mats have a ton of health benefits, some claims for health are:
reducing pain and muscle soreness
stress and anxiety reduction
reduction of insomnia
creates relaxation and sense of calm
The acupressure mats have 4500 pressure points per the entire surface of the mat through the 190 lotus flowers (25 points per flower). These pressure point stimulate the area of the body and send signals to other parts of the body through meridians to help calm and relax. This is much like acupuncture, however not to specific areas and not puncturing the skin of course.
Looking at it from a yogi/massage point of view, I like using it sometimes in a manner that helps me massage a bit. This is also helping relief stress and tension through fascia releasing.
How To Use Your Dosha Accupressure Mat
You can use this mat in many different ways, in many different places. Here is a couple ways I’ve been using mine:
Simply laying on it. Sometimes I lay down on it and relax, do legs up the wall or at the end of a yoga practice in savasana.
Moving on it. I like to lay down and tuck my knees in and roll back and forth or in circles to get a bit of massaging action.
Sitting down with it. In an office chair or on the couch and leaning into it.
Standing on it. I personally have been loving having it beside my bed when I am doing laundry. I find it’s a bit to intense for me to stand on completely, but I will stand with it one foot at a time.
Want to try one out for yourself? I’ve partnered with Dosh Mat to offer you 15% off your vary own from the Canadian owned company! Offer is only good until November 4th 2018! Use the code BITCHINHOUSEWIFE15 at Dosha Mat.
3 Perfect Spots to Float Down the River In Edmonton
We recently bought kayaks (If you follow me on Instagram, I'm sure you are already sick of seeing my pictures of it!) I've been getting a lot of questions lately of where to go or how to do it! Realizing not everyone has kayaks or canoes, but float devices seem pretty accessible to most, here is three of the top places to get into the North Saskatchewan River.
These locations are perfect for a float after work one day or you can do an all day trip on a weekend afternoon. Over the course of summer the sun sets anywhere from 10:30pm (June) to 8:25pm (early September)
Terwillegar Dog Park
Bonus to this location: the dogs you get to see and pet along the way. Based at the bottom of Rabbit Hill Road. Park in the parking lot and walk out to ward the water and there is a lot of space to get in from there.
Quesnell Bridge Edmonton
Make you way as if you are heading to Fort Edmonton Park, and before you head into their parking lot, you can park underneath the Quesnell Bridge. There is a bit of beach space, but mostly it's from a concrete pad.
Under Henday between Lessard Drive and Terwillegar Exits
If you park on either side of the Henday at the bridge between Terwillegar and Lessard exits, there are trails that will take you all the way down to the water. You can also park your car at 321 Heath Road and follow the walking path down. This will be a longer walk however.
You can park your cars and/or get out:
- Laurier Park (shorter float)
- Emily Murphy Park (Medium Float)
- Dwson Park (Medium Float)
- Capilano Park (Long Float)
Couple of Tips:
- Pack snacks
- Pack water
- Bring Extra Sunscreen
- If possible, I recommend buying a dry bag like this one from Amazon. Keeps your stuff (including your phone dry) and because it's made for this you can attach it to the side of the float so it doesn't take up float space.
- Grab some friends and tie your rafts together or go in on a big one together!
Wall Climbing at The University Of Alberta
Wall Brawl is a series of wall climbing events being put on by the Climbing Centre at the University of Alberta. All ages and skill levels are welcome to come try out new boulder problems!
The next one is being hosted Friday July 27 6-9:30pm and only costs $20 for the public! $15 for Alumi and current students. Great date night or grab a friend or older kids possibly?
When: Friday July 27th 6-9:30 Pm
Where: University of Alberta Wilson Climbing Centre 8708 114 street
Register here or call 780-492-2231
5 Favourite Podcasts on Self Help and Development
Are you a podcast junkie? I have my ups and downs. I like them running and driving to teach classes. Recently on my Instagram I was talking about a podcast I was listening to that sparked a curiosity, leading to me attempting a no sugar experiment. Then Of course I was asked, well what podcast was it and what am I listening to?
These podcasts are mostly about self development/improvement/help, whatever you want to call it. Depending on the mood I'm in or the title of course I will listen in.
1.The Upgrade. First of all Melissa and Alice have similar sounding voices and I find that hilarious for some reason. But they both have really pleasant voices. In the description of their show they say "Look, you're doing great but quite frankly we think you can be a little better." I love this.
2.Lewis Howes The School Of Greatness. I love that the people he has on his show are athletes, business people, celebrities and hearing their wild stories of how they came to their greatness. Lewis is pretty down to earth which makes it easy to bridge the gap between us regular Joes and the all stars he brings onto the show!
3. Lori Harder Earn Your Happiness. Well the name says it all. She's after happiness. How we get it, how we keep it, how we find ways to detach from things that prevent us from having it.
4. Kelly Covert, In Her Voice. Kelly has a very calming tone to her voice. I love her podcasts for early morning walks and more chilled out activities. Her view is all about women finding their own authentic voice and living out your own visions of your life.
5. Jenna Kutcher, The Goal Digger. This one is certainly more business based, but I see it as more improving things about ourselves to be better at business. Like stepping outside of our comfort zones and being brave to get where we want to be in business. Her Instagram is pretty the bomb too.
What better way to start a Saturday then to Yoga + Brunch?
Join us for an all levels 60 minute sweet yoga flow class, led by Jennifer Neilson, followed by Bruch afterwards. The Yoga class is about waking up on a Saturday Morning and moving your body in a way that feels good to you. We will move, breathe, laugh a little and end in a sweet chill savansana before moving on with our day.
Then enjoy your included Brunch, Mimosa, Coffee + Tea and community at Central Social Hall downtown Edmonton.
What to expect:
8:00am doors open | 8:30-9:30am Yoga Practice | 930am - Freshen up + Brunch
- Bring your Yoga Mat + water bottle for the practice
- All Levels Sweet Flow inspired Practice
- A small break after practice so you can spruce up
- Brunch and time to connect after
-Ticket price includes your morning Yoga Practice, First Mimosa, Brunch item of your choice, coffee + tea.
Get your tickets here: Yoga + Brunch
For those of you that read my recent post about How I Got My Fitness Motivation Back, you would have read that I am now training for the Spartan Trifecta races this year. Which means.... lots of extra running.
I used to love running a lot and gave it a break to try different things. Now I'm back, but my body is a bit older and needs more support and love.
I started using the Body Helix knee compression sleeve on longer run days for some extra support on my right knee. My right knee over lots of running (and some aging) seems to seize up a bit sometimes after runs or hurts while I am running. The support from the knee brace has been helping this pain and seizing. So I am able to run longer and with less pain!
So I've teamed up with Body Helix to giveaway a knee brace! You have THREE ways to enter!
- Comment below with your sport/workout of choice. What do you love and why would the knee brace support that?
- Head over to Instagram. Follow Bitchinhousewife and Body Helix and tag a friend in the post.
- Head over to my Facebook page and do the same!
No get out there!
It's funny, because up until a few-ish years ago I never thought of myself as am athletic person. Looking back I realized that maybe I always was. I loved playing sports, skipping rope and even was part of the running club in elementary. Maybe I wasn't so much in Junior High and High School but afterwards I would have spurts on and off with the gym and sports. I tried yoga for the first time 12 years ago and was a maniac about going for years. 5 years ago I completed a half marathon while 7 weeks pregnant with my second child. After she was born I was heavy into weightlifting and did a bikini competition. I think I have loved exercise, sports and working out my whole life. As long as I'm enjoying myself.
Two years ago our lives changed dramatically. My husband was laid off from a job that we never saw coming. In the middle of a terrible recession, just 6 months after buying a new house. We of course went into scramble mode. We were both exhausted from working our tails off. I was teaching lots of yoga and tons of hard on my body fitness classes. Yes I was still keep active, but at this point it was about survival, not fun.
Forward to a little more steady life a year later, I had surgery for my Endometriosis. A disease that causes awful and random pain in my abdomen, low back and pelvis. Working out hurt. And on top of that during my surgery, my tubes were removed, causing crazy hormone changes. I was a hot mess mentally and physically.
I have felt in a slump. For the better part of two years. Which is super frustrating as someone who loves fitness. As someone who's body has done and once was capable of great things.
I've spent some time sitting in thought about why I'm missing the pleasure from exercise. And here are the questions I've asked myself in order to arrive at where I am now.
- WHY? Why do you want to exercise? This is a very personal question. It can be for improvement of health issues, weight loss, time to yourself or anything really. Know that the answer to this is NOT wrong. It's okay to want what you want.
- WHAT? What do I want to achieve? For me I thrive on a end goal challenge. Something that scares me a little. This year I have decided I want to do the Spartan Trifecta. You may have a weight loss goal number, a certain amount of hours a week you want to yourself, learning how to do a pull up, reducing or eliminating medications (please work with your doctor). A specific goal is helpful to "keep your eyes on the prize".
- HOW DO I FEEL? Ahhhhh the one question I feel that is skirted a lot in the fitness industry. Take some time to journal or think about this one. And often. How do you feel about exercise? How do I want to feel? How do I feel about myself/my body? How does the answer to that positively or negatively impact you? How do you feel in the process? Maybe take some time to notice if some goal are motivated by shame or someone else's expectation of you. This alone is likely not a good motivator. It has to come from a place of you wanting to do good for yourself.
- WHEN? When will you start? When do you want to complete your goal? Remember to be realistic and allow for set backs. They happen. Trust ME!
- WHO? Who do I need to support me? Let spouses, friends and family know of some of your plans. More often then not I find most are ready to cheer us on. Sometimes there are those that aren't. That's okay. I find journaling helpful. Writing down accomplishments along the way. "Jen you are a badass! You finally were able to do......." Be your own cheerleader!
After all of these questions. I leap.
It doesn't have to be perfect.
It doesn't have to exactly as you planned.
It CAN be fun. It SHOULD be fun. Try different things. Different classes, studios, music, friends, trainers and so on. Rather then it being this awful thing you MUST do, it can be a fun thing you LOVE to do.
This is my motivation. I have goal. Because personally I do very well with scary goals. Just thinking of the Spartan Beast gives me a little butterfly in my stomach. The workouts aren't what I've done the past 4 years. It's new and different and fun. And I've now told the world (okay just my readers and close friends at least) that I'm doing it and need their support. This all makes the 5:45 am alarm clock not AS grueling. I look forward to the next time I run. I compete with myself to jump higher and be even better then yesterday.
Because it's about me. Not anyone else.
And that's how I got my fitness motivation back.
What is floating you ask? This recent trend is gaining popularity and for good reason. It is suuuuper relaxing and in my opinion, one of the ultimate self care "me" times.
This past weekend I had the opportunity to go check out the Float House Edmonton. It was basically pure bliss. But before we get into my review of the Float House, first let's chat about what floating is.
What is a float tank?
Basically it's a tank you lie in with a high salt water content so that you actually float in the water without effort. The tank is enclosed to block out noise, light and basically most sensory stimulation. It's sometimes called a sensory deprivation tank.
What's the point?
By removing the stimulus of noise, light, draft etc the body can go into a deeper state of relaxation and/or meditation.
What if I'm claustrophobic?
This is a REAL question. I 100% have claustrophobia issues. about 5/6 years ago I had my first experience in a tank and it wasn't too bad (I had already done lots of work on my claustrophobia), but I was able to keep the door of the tank open to ease my anxiety. That said the tank I was in was on the smaller side so I found myself not completely relaxed. Personally at Float House Edmonton in particular their tanks are so big that I was completely comfortable and even closed the door all the way .
What do you in there the whole time?
Well, whatever you want to do I guess. Dominic did a great job of explaining some things about being in the tank. He suggested some things like playing in the space a bit, ways to find comfort, doing a body scan or meditation. I personally found it comforting to play around with my positioning a bit, make waves in the water and feel around the walls a bit before coming into a settled position. The great part is that whenever you feel ready you can leave. The tank is in it's pwn room and you can get out and shower whenever you feel you are ready too.
What are the benefits of floating?
There are tons! I go for the relaxation and meditation. But check out the Float Houses #WhyWeFloat page for the best resource on this subject.
So about Float House.
I love the vibe in there. Located just off Whyte Ave it's amazing to come off a busy street into the chill setting. The space is very clean, relaxed and inviting. Sitting down with Dominic, he helped put me at ease about the process, giving me a lot of good tips.
The room itself is beautiful. A private shower in the room, just outside the tank. It makes it easier to have a cleansing shower before the float and a nice warm shower upon stepping out. There is a few lighting options. You can choose total darkness, which sets on a timer. You set it to total dark and it gives you time to get into the tank and settle before it goes all dark. Additionally you can choose more light or a little bit of light. There are a couple of small holes in the ceiling of the tank that let in the smallest amount of the room light. I chose this option to help keep me oriented.
The tank itself is really large. I'm 5'2" and had lots of space to bounce back and forth from foot to head. Additionally height wise I'm pretty sure I could actually stand up in the tank. So It felt more like floating in a room then a tub.
One of the best parts however is the post float. There is this beautiful room where they encourage you to sit and have some tea, or maybe read, write or reflect. I had a beautiful conversation with Dominic and another floater afterwards. It was like hanging out with long time friends.
Overall, I really love this place. Personally every Sunday I have a morning bath and I think I will be replacing that time once a month with a float.
Have you ever floated?
Last week and the week before my friend and I hosted a screening of the Embrace movie. A movie centered around the body positivity movement. Every time I watch this movie I leave feeling more love then ever for my body and the fellow women of the world.
Then each morning I wake up to reality I feel like.
A friend tagged me on Instagram to win a free 3 week pass to a fitness studio. Awesome. Don't mind at all. HOWEVER. The imagery used in this contest was of a women in a tiny bikini in the water from the back side with "perfect" skin and a very small waist and legs. Followed by an image of a women with her legs in the water, again very slender legs, followed by the last image of a woman in another small bikini, thigh gap and abs. Not even showing any of their faces. Literally just their young "perfect" bodies. Like they aren't even people or something.
The anger begins to build inside me.
We have so far to go. We aren't going to change traditional media anytime soon. (That doesn't mean to stop trying). BUT fitness studios and trainers and teachers and instructors and gyms have the choice. Especially these small studios. They have a choice to embrace the women they are advertising to, rather then telling them they are not good enough through imagery.
To further my frustrations, I go to Facebook to see someone selling their fitness equipment saying "get those legs summer ready".
You have legs. They are fucking summer ready.
We have choices. We can choose to change the world by saying things like "invest in yourself" and "workout for you" and "exercise for your health", rather then "get abs" or "grow your booty".
Abs do NOT equal happiness. That shit comes from the inside. Workout because you feel strong or empowered. Workout to feel and be healthy.
The language of the fitness industry needs to change.
It starts with us as consumers. We can put our dollars into businesses that support positive body statements and images.
"Language Matters" as Mayim Bialik talks about in one of her videos regarding how we talk about women. Same rules apply how we talk about our bodies. If we keep sharing and buying products telling us to "get summer bodies" the cycle continues. BUT we have a chance to take notice of this language and advertising and fight with our wallets.
Outdoor Stairs Workout
Nice warm weather calls us to places like city stairs for workouts. Stairs are a great workout cardiovascularly and for the the butt and legs. Add a little bit of upper body work and you've got your full body workout in!
Walk up the stairs for the first set. Reaching the top you can do a few stretches if you;d like before coming back down
- Pick up the pace a bit (if you can) going up the stairs.
- At the top do 10 Tricep Dips. Can be done off a bench, rock, top stairs or from the ground.
- walk down the stairs.
- At the bottom for 10 push ups. Can be done from the ground and feet, ground and knees, of off the last few steps.
Third Set +
For the third set up to as many as you can do, repeat steps for the second set, just adding a bit more speed either up and/or down.
- Bring a small rock from the bottom of the stairs up each time you do a set to keep track of how many you have done.
- Set goals for the amount of sets you want to do. Maybe each week you add a set.
- Set time goals for how quickly you complete sets or workouts.
- Increase the reps of the push ups and/or tricep dips occasionally to 12 or 15+.
A free full body workout from home or the park.
The weather is warmer and you likely don't want to be trapped inside a gym. Take your workout to the backyard or playground with your kids with this full body workout.
You can do as many rounds as you'd like but I recommend three with breaks in between. Warm up with some jogging (actual or on the spot) and/or jumping jacks. If you are a postpartum mom and need less impact (read Why You Pee During Your Workout) take to some bodyweight squats.
Cool down with some stretching and remember to rehydrate!
- High knees - get your knees up toward your chest. 20 per leg
- Glute bridge raises - lie on your back with your knees bent and feet on the ground. Lift the butt off the ground and squeeze the glutes.
- Pushups - hands on the ground outside of the shoulders. Start from knees and work up to from feet.
- Squat jumps - squat down, keep the chest up (look forward) and jump up. Option to bodyweight squat instead or grab your toddler/baby on your back.
- Walking lunges - hands can be on the hips for balance. 20 per leg
- Tricep dips - hands on the ground or a bench with fingertips pointing toward your feet. Bend at the elbows, do not swing hips up and down.
Jen The Bitchin' Housewife
Have you ever tried switching to a all natural deodorant? I made the switch about two years ago after I learned some staggering statistics regarding the harmful things put into our deodorant and the relation to breast cancers. At first it wasn't good. I will admit. There is a couple week phase as your body sort of detoxes from the chemical filled stuff. But after that, life gets better. I promise!
Since switching I have tried MANY natural deodorants. Some good, some just plain bad. I may however have found the ultimate deodorant from Pure Living. I am not even kidding people. I am a busy mama. I get up at 5:30 am to workout, rush kids to school, teach bootcamps and yoga all day and night, and add all the usual life of a mom (laundry, cooking, boo boo kissing and basically everything else am I right?). I have found in the past, about 1/2 way into my day, I start to smell a bit. I either just let myself smell or need to reapply.
Well, let me tell you a little something. I put this deodorant to THE TEST yesterday. Let me set the scene:
Tuesday evening I come home from teaching hot yoga, shower and sleep.
Wednesday morning apply deodorant after being up early with a sick kid and missing the gym.
Teach bootcamp, pickup kids, make lunch, teach yoga, do a fast and hard leg day workout, meditate, teach two more yoga classes, put kids to bed and pass out on the couch.
I do not shower. (sorry hubby)
Thursday morning 5:30 am head to the gym, back day and 30 minutes on the stairmill (or sometimes referred to as the Death Machine)
Get back home to make breakfast and have coffee.
I DO NOT STINK!!! Yeah re-read that. Seriously guys. I am 100% impressed.
So I think it's safe to safe I 100% recommend this deodorant. And of course another side benefit? They are local to Edmonton! You can support our local city and get a great product. Win - win right? Check out the Pure Living webpage and check back on the blog here for a more reviews of their stuff coming!
Jen The Bitchin' Housewife
Spring has arrived and we are all wanting to get outside. It's too early for sports and splash parks, so what do we do?
There is something to be said for connecting with nature. There is even THIS blog post telling us there is certain bacteria in the dirt that makes us happier! Fresh air, birds chirping and some quality family time.
I take my girls to this secret spot a lot and every time I post videos and pictures of us feeding the birds everyone wonder where we are. The secret? Smack in the middle of Edmonton. Whitemud Ravine Park. It starts just off Fox Drive but we take the Snow Valley Exit down to the first parking lot. Walk a few feet into the trees and the birds are chirping. Squirrels are following you. It's basically like you're Snow White.
The birds are so used to people coming and going and feeding them, you find a spot where they are chirping and hold out your hands with seeds and they come within minutes. My 6 year old is the official Snow White of our family, with in one 15 minute span over 20 times birds feeding from her hands.
You can buy birds seed at a local hardware store. Look for ones with black sunflower seeds in them. They seem to be the favourite. And if you walk far enough (maybe 10 minutes) there is a look out you can sit down at and feed the birds, or if you bring shelled peanuts (be careful if you have allergies) the squirrels come right up and eat them!
So get outside this spring and go for a stroll. Walking is known to help reduce stress and doing it in nature is just that much better.
Jen The Bitchin' Housewife
I'm honoured to have Richelle Ludiwg on the blog today for Fit Chick Friday. Richelle write beautiful message of self love and acceptance and I'm so happy to have her sharing her message. Make sure to check Richelle out!
Certified Holistic Nutrition Practitioner, Cognitive Approach Practitioner and soon to be 200hr yoga teacher
Where to find Richelle
Richelle has a coaching business is all online.
What are your specialties:
I work with women who struggle with the diet-binge/emotional eating cycle and body image. I’m passionate about empowering them to break free from the diet cycle by changing their rigid thinking and awareness around food.
What got you into fitness?
To be completely honest, what got me into fitness was a disordered relationship with food and my body. I saw it as a way to control my body. That being said, I discovered how much I actually love moving my body and my favourite way to do that has changed over the years as I improved my relationship with my body. Now it’s all about being strong, longevity and feeling good! I discovered heavy lifting through Crossfit, which was a different mentality for me as I’d always been stuck in trying to make my body smaller and therefore weaker. With yoga specifically, I started practicing to help me calm my nervous system down as I was in phase 3 Adrenal Dysfunction from years of overexercising and being stuck in the diet-binge cycle. I discovered that it had so much more to offer and during a class was the first time I ever experienced really being in my body and feeling good. This hooked me and I continued my journey with yoga during my process of healing my relationship with my body.
What/Who is your biggest motivation?
My biggest motivation these days is just wanting to live a good life and be able to do the things I love as I age. In my day job I work with a lot of seniors and can see the affects of not moving well. I want to continue to move as best I can as I age. I also want to feel really connected to my body, which is why sometimes I just drop a dance party in the kitchen and that may be my form of movement for the day. I used to use exercise to disconnect, but now I really love to balance that out with movement that allows me to go inwards too.
What are some of your favourite exercises/equipment?
After years of distance running I have developed a real love for strength training. I love deadlifts, squats, pullups and pushups. When I was so focused on being thin, I was really weak and couldn’t do a pullup or pushup to save my life. Now I love being bigger, stronger and more capable.
What is your favourite outdoor activity?
Hiking or backpacking in the mountains! Something I really want to try outdoors is MovNat, but Edmonton has yet to get any instructors that I am aware of!
What is your favourite indoor activity?
Yoga, which can obviously be done outdoors too, and of course strength training.
Any advice you’d like to give to other women?
Be honest with yourself about why you choose the type of exercise you do. It’s important to come from a place of love instead of fear with everything in life, including movement. If you are afraid of gaining weight and using exercise to control your weight, burn calories or punish yourself for eating, this is an unhealthy relationship. Choose movement based on how fun it is, how empowered it makes you feel and how energized you feel after it.
Find Richelle through:
This week we have the awesome Kaye Burrows for our Fit Chick Friday! Earlier this week she guest posted talking about Why You Pee During Your Workout. Check out the post!
Name: Kaye Burrows
BPE and BEd, MuTu ProTM, Hypopressive, multiple Core and Pelvic Floor specializations.
Where to find Kaye:
She trains private clients out of her home. She has a space set-up in her basement where the mamas workout and babies/kids can play. She also runs a group class out of a west end dance gym.
What are your specialties?
Core and Pelvic floor, for sure. This is my passion!
What got you into fitness?
I have always enjoyed moving my body and was an athlete growing up. I played a lot of sports in high school and then played hockey for my university as I got my degrees.
What/Who is your biggest motivation?
Honestly, the women I have met since I had my first baby 6 years ago. I continue to be blown away by amazing women. Some are stay at home moms, some work full time, some are in between but all are literally changing the world for the better by what they do. And yet so many of them don’t feel good in their bodies. They feel defeated because their core and pelvic floor don’t function, feel and look like they would like them too. I feel that the much of the fitness industry really preys on the insecurities that women feel during the pre and postnatal period and so I wanted to offer something different that would empower women to reconnect and reclaim their body.
What got you into to training people?
As I mentioned in the previous answer, I wanted to offer vital information about core and pelvic floor healing and strengthening. My main inspiration was Wendy Powell, the creator of the MuTu System. I definitely checked off a bucket list item when I took her training course last fall in Florida and became a certified MuTu Pro TM.
What are some of your favourite exercises or equipment?
oooh, tough one! I probably love mini-bands the most, because you can do so much with them. I have all of my mamas working on glute (bum) strength to support their core and pelvis and you can really target the glutes when you add a mini-band!
What is your favourite outdoor activity?
Hiking, preferably in our gorgeous Western Canada mountain ranges.
What is your favourite indoor activity?
Sitting by a fire, maybe rolling out some tight muscles or sipping some wine and relaxing.
Any advice you'd like to give to other women?
Learn your body! Our bodies are ever changing, especially during pregnancy and motherhood. Make friends with your body and remember that it wants to feel good just as much as you want it too! And don’t underestimate the role that your core and pelvic floor can play in everything, from how you breathe and stand to how you move in your workouts.
I am a mom. I understand. Sometimes (particularly while jumping) we pee a little during our workouts. And anyone reading this who isn't a mother.. well...... sorry to say it's true most of the time for women after having babies. This is not my areas of expertise BUT I thought it would be great to bring in the wonderful (and gorgeous) Kaye Burrows from Core Love Fitness who DOES specialize in this area to talk about WHY we pee! Read on below for Kaye's amazing advice!
Why are you peeing during your workout? And how to stop!
I remember leaving my first Stroller Boot camp class after my daughter was born and thinking “Is my vagina just sweating a lot or did I totally pee my pants?” Hint: no, vaginas don’t sweat a lot.
There is a major misconception that if you are experiencing urinary incontinence (leaking pee) after having babies it is because your pelvic floor is stretched, loose and weak. Another misconception is that doing 100’s of kegals a day will solve all of your pelvic floor problems.
In my experience, many women experiencing leaking have a hypertonic (tight) pelvic floor and thus have a really hard time strengthening the muscles because they cannot first get them to relax. Your pelvic floor is made up of muscles that, just like any other muscle, work best when they can both fully relax and fully contract! If this is your pelvic floor, kegal-ing away all day is not going to solve the problem.
You can see from this diagram of the pelvic region that your pelvic floor is supporting some pretty important stuff! I know that you may be desperate to get your ‘body back’ after having babies and so you turn to crunches/sit-ups, planks and running. For the sake of your pelvic floor, I actually recommend you don’t do any of those, if you are experiencing incontinence. Just for now, not for forever, I promise!
What to do:
1) First off,
I can’t recommend a pelvic health physiotherapist enough. I would never have healed my own pelvic floor without one! Here is a helpful link from Pelvienne Wellness that can help you find one. If you want help locating one in Edmonton contact me here and I can share my recommendations.
Next, you need to figure out if the way you breathe and stand is supporting your core and pelvic floor.
Start lying on your back, and place one hand on your ribs and one hand on your belly. As you inhale, intentionally bring your breath into your ribs and into your belly instead of lifting your shoulders and breathing into your chest. This encourages your diaphragm to move through its full range of motion and supports the deep core and pelvic floor muscles. As you exhale, feel both your ribs and your belly sink towards your spine. Try to breathe right into your pelvic floor. Repeat 10 times (or more- relax and breathe Mamas!).
The two cues I say most often are:
“Leave your behind (bum) behind you”
“Keep your headlights (breasts) shining forward”
In the above photo my hips have shifted forward and my ribs have lifted up and shifted back. This is a really common posture for moms because it takes some of the load of carrying babies (all day long!) off of the arms and into our spine and pelvis.
In this photo, I have brought my bum behind me and rotated my ribs down and forward so that my “headlights” are shining forward. This is a much better alignment to support my core and pelvic floor.
4) Be smart about your workouts.
Find an expert that you trust to guide you. Burpees, jumping jacks, crunches and other high intensity exercises that are creating a ton of intra-abdominal pressure are not for a body that is repairing the core and pelvic floor. If your class instructor or trainer doesn’t have a lot of knowledge about diastasis recti, pelvic organ prolapse, pelvic floor healing, incontinence and hormone levels in nursing moms, look elsewhere. You don’t want to move backwards in terms of healing and strengthening. If you are looking for a fantastic online program that you can follow along at home, go here. And if you need more help, please reach out! I am so passionate about helping women feel connected, strong and at home in their bodies. I would love to help you get there! You can find me at corelove.ca, on Facebook and Instagram.
Surprise! a 8th day added to the 7 days of Self Care Giveaways!
Who doesn't love a great pair of yoga pants. Whether its from yoga, working out or grocery shopping really?
This giveaway is to be one of the first people to get their hands on these awesome new lace pants from Keylime Athletic Wear!! Run by a local to Alberta kick butt chick, Keylime always has some great stuff! Go to the Keylime Facebook page and like them the head over to the Bitchin' Housewife Facebook page and tag a friend you think might need some self care!
Extra opportunity for entries if you head over and follow along on the Bitchin' Housewife Instagram page!
Jen The Bitchin' Housewife
I had a chance in December to check out a couple of Next Level Martial Arts classes and then went back yesterday. I went for the ladies kickboxing classes and even tried one of the open gym nights on a Friday with my ass kicking actual fighter sister! Located on the southside not far off 91st street and Anthony Henday it's super easy to get too as well.
This is probably one of my favourite things about this place. There is a space where the kids can play and/or watch tv, or sit on some chairs and eat their dinner. And in the room I'm getting my sweat on there is a tv monitor so I can see whats happening. They are also allowed to come sit in the room at any time and watch what I am doing.
The space is pretty new and it's bright and they have fun motivational sayings written on the walls to. My favourite one is "If you are going to doubt something, doubt your limits" -Don Ward.
The class is only 45 minutes, I think it should be 60 minutes, but it's good to get in and get out too. 60 would be nice for when there is some newer people and things need a bit more explaining. THAT said, once you get into, it kicks your butt!
We started with a warm up that's a mix of cardio and strength and then we hit pads. You get partnered up with someone around your size and skill level. A quick instruction of whats happening and you get into it. I like that we build on things. So we started off with one punch, got good at it then add another, then add another for the combo afterwards, so you can take it step by step.
It may sound intimidating to go by yourself and get partnered with someone you don't know, but you certainly get to make a new friend fast. Being that close in proximity to another and you sort of have to have a bit of instant trust. Each time I've gone and I've been paired with someone I didn't know, I felt like I made a new friend, making it feel very community based.
Well, I wouldn't say there is one really, aside from at the end of class when the teacher says "see you Wednesday right?" and you feel bad saying no because you work..... ha ha. There is a free week trial so you have some time to try out a few classes to decide.
Overall I'm a big fan of this place. The staff are great and fun, I love I can bring my kids for no extra cost or trouble (there is actually a kids class that goes on at the same time too to be extra efficient) and it's great to try something new!
Jen the Bitchin' Housewife
Welcome to Day 5 of the 7 Days of Self Care Giveaways!
I don't think it's much of a surprise that I think doing some yoga is a self care is it? Being a yoga teacher and all..... I even wrote a blog post a little while ago about how to treat it as a self care in THIS post.
This giveaway is for a Half Moon yoga mat from Aurora Yoga Spa! Aurora is a newer studio in the city right in the heart of downtown on Jasper Ave! This yoga mat also comes with a carrying strap so you can just roll up, toss it over your shoulder and come to class! So go over to the Aurora Yoga Spa page and like them the head over to the Bitchin' Housewife Facebook page and tag a friend you think might need some self care!
Extra opportunity for entries if you head over and follow along on the Bitchin' Housewife Instagram page!
Jen The Bitchin' Housewife