April 12, 2022
I'm not sure if you can relate, but I struggle with sticking to a regular health, wellness and fitness routine. I'm so thankful to know the following incredible women. They are all thoughtful and supportive health, wellness and fitness professionals whom I admire and follow for their tips.
They were so generous to share their tips with me, and now I'm so thrilled that I get to share them with you!
You're in for a treat!
First up is Samantha Montpetit-Huynh, the owner of Sam Core Trainer who is a virtual midlife coach and body inclusive health expert.
"Simple tools are "habit stacking" and I use it a LOT with my clients.Train your core by standing on one leg while brushing your teeth. Balance work not only helps memory and cognition but also recruits your core and pelvic floor.
Do 10 body squats and 10 pushups against the kitchen counter while your coffee is brewing.
Instead of grabbing your phone and "spacing out", wake up your body and connect to it BEFORE connecting to any "thing" else.
Do a 30-60 second plank while getting caught up with the morning news - before breakfast.
Understand that exercise is cumulative and does not have to be a "hard" workout that lasts an hour, every day. Research has shown that 3 - 10 minute workouts give you the same health benefits as 1 - 30 minute workout.
Exercise and fitness does NOT have to be a chore and can look very different to different people. It's about being able to participate in life without feeling "limited" in your abilities.
Work WITH what you have and make the best of it. Stop comparing and trying to be something that you're not."
"Tips for sustainable habits/fitness routine:
Sticking to a routine is hard for so many of us. And what makes it harder are the constant messages that we have to get on our yoga mat for an hour or more each day, or do an hour run or fitness class for it to be effective. This messaging tends to add more pressure and is unrealistic for most people in our busy lives.
What's actually effective is doing little things more frequently throughout the day. And learning to trust that those small actions add up to big benefits.
I like to call it, "little acts of love" that we can do for ourselves each day. These little acts of love are supportive for your nervous system, keeping your stress hormones more balanced and aches and pains at bay. When our nervous system feels supported, it makes it easier to do the "bigger" acts of love like a longer yoga class or other physical activity.
- Take more stretch breaks. Pausing and spending a couple of minutes to move and mobilize your hips and shoulders at different times throughout your day makes a big difference.
- Breathing breaks. Standing or sitting, you can feel your feet on the ground as you take in slow deep breaths with a lovely slow sigh on your exhale. Your nervous system loves this!
- Gaze outside. If you can't get outside, gaze out the window at a tree, the clouds or people walking by. Simply observe what you see as you feel your shoulders, forehead and jaw soften."
"My tips would be to drink 3 litres of water per day to stay hydrated and keep things moving (if you know what I mean). Drinking water throughout the day will also prevent your urine from getting concentrated and irritating your bladder ...which makes you feel like you need to go more often.
To help prevent straining on the toilet (which is not good for the pelvic floor) aim for 30-35 grams of fibre per day, with a balance between soluble and insoluble fibre.
Your pelvic floor, brain, heart and whole body really like to walk for at least 30 minutes each day.
Before or after your walk, do a set of kegels...imagine sipping a smoothie through a straw with your vagina...and then do a set of kegels incorporated into squats, and of course...do some buff muff exercises!"
"Here are three tips to help you stay motivated to exercise: 1. Find something you really enjoy doing This is so important when it comes to sticking to a regular exercise program. Find something you love. Whether it’s tennis, dance, a group program, hiking, step class, spinning, lifting weights, swimming; do something you enjoy so that it’s easy to go back the next time 2. Schedule in the days and times you will go to exercise Just like you’d make an appointment to go to the doctor, get your hair cut or meet a friend for coffee, schedule in your workouts. The weekend before, write down the days and times you will be exercising, in your planner. Then it’s set and you are committed to go. 3. Go with a partner or get an accountably group Working out with a partner or being a part of a physical or virtual accountability group will help you stick to your regular workout routine. It’s also more fun this way!"
"My biggest fitness tip is to find something you LOVE. Try a couple of kinds of classes. Try different outdoor activities. Don't say you can't or that you don't until you've tried it.
When you find something you enjoy, it is less of a chore and more of an escape. Even better, find someone you can enjoy exercise with, who will pull you out of a rut when you need it."
I'm totally inspired!
Sam has inspired me to get small movements and exercises in while doing everyday tasks.
Brea has inspired me to sneak in those little acts of love, like stretching my tight shoulders and hips.
Kim is inspiring me to drink more water and add chia to all the things, to get more fiber.
Salma is inspiring me to schedule in movement, just like I schedule all my daily work tasks.
Gabby is inspiring me to find movement I know I love - walking in the forest while listening to podcasts.
I hope you have found these tips as helpful and enlightening as I have!
And don't forget, before you start exercising, put that deodorant on!
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