Healthy Reading for Kids

Some of my fondest memories of my childhood involved my mom reading me bedtime stories. We would read the same books over and over, anything from Robert Munsch to fashion magazines.  reading with kids

*I’ve now realized that you can read pretty much anything in a childish tone and keep a kids attention. Yesterday my daughter and I were reading articles on sport specific training exercises and she couldn’t help but enjoy listening to me read out loud.*

Reading is calming, informative, and helps teach important listening and comprehension skills. Early reading instilled in me a lifelong appreciation for books and education
, an appreciation I hope to pass onto my own child. 

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Stress Relief – Just Get Up and Move

It was Friday night. I sat here on the couch staring at my husband thinking about all the things that still needed to get done. We were both drained, physically and mentally, and on the brink of an argument over nothing. It was only 6 pm, my toddler just gave herself a toothpaste facial and the house looked like a mini tornado came through our living room. I was counting down the hours until bedtime, but I couldn’t help but feel on edge, frustrated, and not sure if I wanted to laugh, cry or sleep. My positive, upbeat personality was fading, as it usually does on a Friday night.

I realized I hadn’t even got a workout in yet, and although I don’t typically exercise at night, it sounded like just what I needed to snap out of my funk. So I forced myself off the couch, threw on my fun workout pants and dragged my butt to the gym.

stress relief

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Healthy Snacks for Moms and Toddlers

By Shelly Stinson

Is your child constantly snacking? Although eating multiple small meals a day can be good, filling up on unhealthy snacks can be harmful. It is our job as parents to help our children learn healthy habits and the best way to do this is to make something that you can both enjoy together.toddler healthy snacks

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What Happened to my Diastasis Recti

I had a thoughtful reader message me a while back asking about my personal journey with diastasis recti. If you had read some of my past blog posts, you saw how I discovered I had it, what I did to prevent it from getting worse and the kinds of activities and exercises I did to help heal it. If you haven’t been following along check out some of my old blog posts here and here!

Where Am I Now?

diastasis recti after baby I am now almost 18 months postpartum. My daughter is no longer a baby, and we have settled into our new normal as a family of three. Since having her, I have made it a personal mission to get in the best shape of my life. There have been ups and downs, but overall I am feeling pretty great! I didn’t let my diastasis hold me back from doing the activities that I love, but I have been much more aware of proper form, posture, and core activation. In the past, this all came without thinking; now it’s constantly on my mind during my workouts (which is a good thing)!

My diastasis is almost gone. I still have a half finger width separation directly above my bellybutton which will probably never go away. Is this a problem? Does this mean I can never go back to weightlifting or jumping or any other sports that require extreme core strength. No. Although some cases can be severe, and should always be evaluated by a healthcare professional, a separation this small rarely causes problems but does remind me to engage my core in all that I do. I continue to notice an improvement in this area when I do my ab exercises, which means I also see it getting slightly worse when I don’t.

Am I back to pre-baby core strength?

There are a still a few things I can’t do well and remind me of how much weaker my core is after baby. Ab exercises such as ab rollouts, double leg lowers, and low scissor exercises are still super challenging and risk me putting a lot of stress into my lower back, so I do these sparingly. But I can now jump rope, run, and do stairs without worrying about leaking! I can also hold my planks for a minute plus, and feel way more comfortable power lifting. As for the kinesiotaping, I don’t usually feel the need for it anymore, but I do use it occasionally if I am doing a heavy workout or am feeling particularly weak.

You can get a 6 pack without crunches!

The biggest thing I learned, you don’t have to do crunches to get a 6 pack! Crazy right!? How many crunches have I done in my life before baby? Probably about 10,000…haha. In the past 18 months, I have maybe done 50 total and yet my abs look better than they did before baby.

My Daily Diastasis Recti Core Routine

Okay, I said daily, I should say three times a week or when I remember. #momlife

Check out instagram @fitmamasb for a video demonstration later this week!

TA Activation
Lying with knees bent or in a wall sit. Start by taking a deep breath and on the exhale pull your belly button into your spine without tilting your hips. Lift your pelvic floor into a kegel for extra activation. Hold for 10 seconds taking a slow breath out and repeat 5x

Core strength wall sit

Then…
Do circuit 3-5 times.
20 Lying Leg Raises (Alternating Legs)
10/side Side Plank Lifts
10 Bird Dog

Have fun, as always, email or comment with any questions!

In fitness and good health,
Natasha

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How to Stop PMS from Ruining Your Healthy Habits

PMS.

Pre-menstrual syndrome, better known as the week before your period that makes healthy eating and exercise even harder. It may come every month, and hit you some months worse than others. PMS can include mood swings, anxiety, bloating, sugar cravings and plummeting motivation that makes daily life just a little bit harder.

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