Fitness Takes A Village

We often say this when talking about raising children. And that is very true. I will not contest that in the slightest. What I don't think that gets spoken about often is that its needed in our health and fitness lifestyle too. 

In our day to to day lives, how many times are we exposed to offerings that are not in our diet or meal plans? Daily, hourly, every minute (thanks Instagram and Facebook and your damn food accounts pfft). Oh sure we can argue it takes willpower. Sure it does. That's not the whole bit of it though. 

Starting a journey into fitness can be exciting. Being honest though, like most new things, the novelty wears off a bit. You have to find that sort of love for it. Read my Love Your Fitness post talking all about that subject. But one thing that can keep you motivated is finding your "village". 

Thinking back on to the hot new fitness regimes out there all the time. A big part of it seems to be the people. Crossfit being the best example of this I think. They compete with each other but in a supportive way. They all do the same daily workout. They are a village in it together. The Zumba phenomenon years ago. A village, dressing in bright colors expressing themselves through their creative dance. Yogi's looking to each other for support and guidance and assistance. Body builders coaching and spotting and competing together. From what I've seen most successfully winning in groups. Families. Villages. 

Taking that outside of the gym, zumba room or barre class, you need your village in support of your friends and family. And that's the more difficult one. You may want to change your ways but your husband or friends don't. You want to stop the Saturday nights binge drinkfests, ball team cookout that could feed an army or just fast food picked up daily by the family. So many motivational and inspirational messages tell us we can't change others, only ourselves. It is a matter of willpower and strength. Half right. Half wrong. We can not change them, but we do not just have to grin and bear it. Seek a village. Seek those with goals like yourself. Connect with those that inspire you, lift you up and support you. 

Something I found profoundly powerful? Asking to be supportive. I tell my husband, "Hey I need to really stop with the wine and candy for a bit. I'm not feeling so hot these days." Now my husband is amazing and he says "okay, I'll be as supportive as I can". Because you know, he's one of those jerks that can eat like crazy and loose weight. *Love you babe* But even if he didn't say that, now he knows my intention. My reason for not having a beer on the deck with him, but a water, or a salad instead of ordering pizza. 

Put your intention out into the world. Really the scariest thing that can happen is you get what you ask for. And hey who knows, maybe you are the one that inspires those around you!

 

Take care and you are ALWAYS, ALWAYS welcome to share with me here and we can be our own village. 

 

Love, 

Jen


Home Remedies For PMS

I know in the past I've read of ways to help alleviate pms symptoms, a lot of them being things you can do the weeks before, such as reducing caffiene intake, tennis ball fascia release, exercising, and so on. These  help but let's be honest, every month during the time we say over the next month we will and two days after we have forgotten all about it. So, here I am writing about things that can help in the now.

Raspberry Leaf Tea

If you've had a baby, you may know this one from pregnancy to either help with labour or try and drink at the end in hopes of bringing on labour. This tea is a uterine tonic with many benefits, one of which being to relieve menstrual camps. Drinking a couple of mugs a day during the cramping phase helps quite a bit. Ive boughten it at health food stores for between $7 and $9 but recently saw it being sold at Shoppers for under $7!

Magnesium and Multivitamin

Magnesium can help relax muscles and some say that a lack of magnesium is linked to cravings chocolate. I like to think taking it helps curb the craving a bit.  Now dark chocolate is a better source then the sugary milk chocolate most of us reach for, so maybe if you don't like 80% cocoa try a supplement. Keep in mind, to much can cause diarrhea, so start with lower dosage. I take mine before bed. 

I agree a multivitamin isn't something we need everyday usually, but I make sure to take mine during the monthly visit for an extra iron source.

Rescue Remedy

I use this stuff when my kids are cranky from teething, I'm having a rough day and especially when I'm on my Aunt Flow rage. Come one, admit it, we all get it. It really helps calm me down and think a little more clearly. You can buy the drops, gum, candy and so on from Bach. I've used them all and usually by this stuff for new moms in their Welcome Baby basket. It's that good.

 PMS Smoothie

This PMS Smoothie from my personal blog does wonder for bloating and other symptoms. Using the tea mentioned above as a base too!

Yoga Poses

Moving your body in general will help, and of course taking a yoga class would be great. But if you are looking for something to do a bit at home here are a few poses. 

  • Sage Twist

 

  • Camel (More experienced practitioners and/or warmed up)

 

  • Lying Chair Twist 

 

  • and gold old fashioned Child's Pose. This one feels so good for lower back pain, especially if you get your toddler to come along and sit on your back while doing it. 

When all else fails and go easy on yourself, love yourself and when it's really just sucky, give yourself a break have your indulgence (in my case and oreo with nutella) and take a deep breath. 

Love, 

Jen

Glute Isolation Workout

I love lifting weights and body building, because I get to be in control of what shape my body takes. Working muscles I would like to grow and not working ones that don't need it as much. Big butts are all the rage now. And I am soooooo on that bandwagon. Ha ha.

Problem is. When working lower body muscles, a lot of them work together. Like during your squat "hey butt I see you strugglin', quadriceps and I we're going to help you out here." Maybe not a bad thing, unless you have quadriceps that develop pretty quickly. And your goals are to tames them, but grow a butt. There is many posts about this so I wont beat a dead horse.

Here is a glute/leg workout I put together to focus on isolation of the glute muscles, plus some hamstrings and calves. Because yeah, I want that curvy shape all the way down.

Good mornings - Target the gluteus maximus and the hamstring muscles, the semitendinosus, bicep femoris long and short heads and semimembranosus.

Barbell Lunges - Target Gluteus Maximus and quads. If you take a bigger step it will focus more on the gluteus, shorter step will focus on the quads. I'm really into doing these heavier weighted on the smith machine at the moment. Lower weight, walking lunges will make you feel the burn to.

Hip thrusts - Focus on gluteus Maximus and hamstring muscles, the bicep femoris (long & short heads). I like switching these up between very heavy and lighter with a resistance band around my legs above me knees. Try both and notice where you feel the muscles.

Cable Kick Backs - Gluteus maximus and bicep femoris. Some variations being the knee bent and kick back or grab a platform (think like step class ones) and step up then you can straight leg kick back better.

Hip Abduction - Focus is on Gluteus Medius. This muscle shows more on the side, giving the round shape. I like these on the cable myself, but you can usually find a machine that works these.

glute-muscles.jpg

Then I round out the workout with:

Standing Calf Raises - Focus on the triceps surae, the three major larger muscles of the calf (gastrocnemius lateral head, gastrocnemius medial head and soleus) as well as the plantaris.

leg-muscles.gif

In the "inner butt" is the gluteus minimus which is an important hip stabalizer. Deep in the minimus is the piriformis. Behind the piriformis is the sciatic nerve. I bet you've heard of that one before. Or felt that sucker when he's angry. So it's important to stretch after working out for many reasons, but I think especially after a glute isolation workout, because if the muscles are all tight and the piriformis is, then it will irritate the sciatic nerve, causing you mucho pain.

Here are some great yoga poses you can do to stretch out those glute muscles and hamstrings.

One legged pigeon

Standing Pigeon

Single Leg Seated Forward Fold

Rock A Baby

My computer hates me and does strange things to my images. Perfect example this clown face thing. (LOL)

My computer hates me and does strange things to my images. Perfect example this clown face thing. (LOL)

Thread The Needle

Always warm up before working out! And take care of your body. Listen when it's telling you you've done to much.

Jen