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The Change in My Reflection: On Body Image and Self Love

body image and self love

I think we all have things about our bodies we don’t love, that we’d like to change, maybe try on a different version if we had a chance. Sound about right? I joke that I wish I had a smaller nose and bigger boobs. Someone got the recipe mixed up when they made me!… or so I joke.

Union Swimwear one- piece swimsuit

Those are the things I’d say I don’t love about my body; I actually considered getting a nose job in my teens, but after a fair bit of consideration opted to keep things the way they are. I figured if I couldn’t accept myself for the I was, then how could I expect someone else to? This especially resonates with me now that I have kids- and especially a daughter who I hope to raise to be confident in her own skin. Obviously there are some things that are harder/ impossible to change without an elective procedure, but knowing I had the option to change my appearance was a tempting one when I was younger and I’d be lying if I told you I haven’t considered getting a little work done when we’re done having kids.

The topic of body image and acceptance spans a variety of areas and isn’t limited to the changes we experience after having kids (both of the things I mentioned above stem from the years before I had kids). And on the topic of boobs, let’s face it: those are never the same after having kids and breastfeeding. I find that these kinds of emotions come in waves, sometimes we feel great and other times things chip away at us, at how we feel about ourselves. But while I  sometimes wish I could change the things I mentioned above (or maybe something else depending on the day), I have also learned to think about things differently: what are the things that I can change for the better – such as my physical health– rather than those that I can’t? For example, one of the major changes my body has gone through since having kids is that my stomach and midsection by no means look the same as they did before.

Union Swimwear one piece swimsuit

I used to have a flat stomach, one that I kept toned and was proud to show off. I liked how I looked in a bathing suit- maybe a little more up padding top would be nice ;)- but I was and still a beach bum in the Summer. Take me to water and I’m a happy girl. But following Ariana’s birth I was left with stretch marks (I figured I probably would since my Mum has them), and no matter how hard I tried, my abs and the skin in that area were not the same. Looking in the mirror that Summer I questioned whether I would still be a bikini kinda gal or make the switch to some of the cute one pieces I’d been seeing. Follow that up with a second child and additional body changes and I was really unsure where I stood with myself when I looked in the mirror. I didn’t hate what I saw, but it took some getting used to, some acceptance, and that took time. Some days I think back on what my body used to look like and sometimes it gets to me, I’ll be honest. For whatever the reason, those things can creep up on us and affect us out of the blue. But that doesn’t mean they’re bad, it doesn’t mean they’re wrong. They just are. 

This past Summer I hit up the beach as much as I could, ran around in a bathing suit on the hot days, and enjoyed the bright sunny days of the season while they were here. I still have things about my body that I scrutinize (remember my joke earlier about my nose and boobs?) and I’m picky about photos of myself (selfies still make me feel incredibly self conscious- how do you find a good angle with this nose?!), but I also take pride in the efforts I’m making to feel better inside and out. Running is one of those things, and whether I run for 15 minutes or an hour, the way I feel afterwards is a high that helps diminish any stresses or anxiety I may have been feeling prior. I love how I feel after a run and that positive feeling is an overwhelming one in the best way. 

Union Swimwear one- piece swimsuit

Over this past year I’ve shared about some of the personal challenges I was facing, and also about the addition of running into my routine and upping my self- care game in the hopes that others would be able to relate. As with any journey, it hasn’t been straight uphill but overall it’s been a positive one; I just had to make some changes. It isn’t always easy to face things, the things that really hit home in our hearts, the things that are hard to shake off. But that doesn’t mean you have to rip off a Band-Aid or go from one extreme to the other. It can be small steps. Slow progress is better than none. Learning to love and take care of yourself don’t always come easily, but that doesn’t mean you don’t deserve it. 

Thank you to my friend Janette of Ava to Zoe for being on this personal ride with me and encouraging me to share more on the topic of self love and body image. And to Union Swimwear for being a company that encourages positive body images in women and helping us share about this topic.

Photography: Akane Kondo Photography

Swimsuits: Union Swimwear

October 3, 2017
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Balance: How Giving Up on it Set Me Free

 Balance: How Giving Up on it Set Me Free 

I don’t know if I believe in balance.

There. I’ve said it. I think balance is a cruel word that gets tossed around as we try and convince ourselves that we can do it all in the same day. Someone once told me ‘balance’ is about making choices and being at peace with them, and I’ve reflected on that ever since; on days when I feel like I’m struggling I try to step back and think about what my focuses for that day are and regroup around them, simplify things. I absolutely believe we can do it all– just not all at once. Different days may have different priorities, we just have to accept that there may be/ will be other things that don’t happen- they’ll happen some other time. In other words, I think the concept of balance is more of an outlook than an actual thing we can achieve.

Some days it feels like I can get everything done and I feel like a champion (aren’t those the best!?), and other days I feel like the biggest achievement is that the kids and I make it to the end of the day in one piece (a big, crazy, messy piece). Either way the same thing happens: I go into the day with a list of priorities- this may be a mental list or one I write down and includes things like time with the kids, house work, work, appointments that have to be made, yard work, etc- and inevitably there are usually things that get left for the next day or the next (or the next!)- or if it’s a particularly chaotic day, I throw out that list (unless there’s something that falls under ‘must happen today’), and re- write it for the next. It’s not always easy- some days it feels painful to give up and tell myself ‘it’s not going to happen today’- but I’m learning what’s more important than that to- do list is my outlook towards it. It’s how I think about things and move through the day, not how much I can get done in a day that matters (hands up who else is Type A like me and always tries to cram as much as possible into the day?). Sounds so simple right? But oooooh creating mental habits/ changing your perspective can be just as challenging as changing other habits!!! It takes time and baby steps, and patience, and, and, and…. moral of the story: we have to have patience with ourselves

As I sit here and talk about choices, figuring out priorities, and finding ‘balance’- whatever that means- I don’t think I could do so without talking about one of the things I’ve made a priority over the past year, something I’ve made time for regardless of whatever else is going on. This choice didn’t come out of thin air, I’ve had to carve out the time from other things, but ultimately I’m happy with the choice of how I spend this time. The interesting thing about a year is you have a very distinct start and end point to reflect on, and I’ve been doing that lately as I look back on the progress I’ve made. Some days I’m stressed out about the time it takes, overwhelmed with everything else I have to get done, but ultimately I feel so much better after having made time for it, happy with the choice I made. The choice I’m referring to is exercise, and the time I’ve taken for yoga and running (and swimming when I get the chance).

Balance: How Giving Up on it Set Me Free

It’s been a year since I started running- the longest that I have been committed to exercise in my adult life- and it is something I choose to make a priority (I share more about it in this post). For the most part I have gone on a run every week for a year; there is the odd week that I’ve missed one and  weeks I’ve managed to go for two if I felt like I needed it (even if I’m stressed about finding the time for other things that have to get done, I ultimately feel better/ handle my workload better if I’ve taken some time away to give my mind a break with the added bonus of feeling better physically from the exercise). And before you tell me you don’t know where you’d find the time for exercise, I’ll confess this to you: I don’t have a lot of time for exercise. And I know a lot of other people who feel the same. It may not be exercise for them, it might be something else that they’re struggling to fit into their schedules, but either way finding time for some things is harder than others. The trick is to find it, then the second hardest part is to create a habit/ add it to your routine and then stick with it. 

We all have other things to do, other things that take up our time, we all have our daily mix that fill our days. And in the end we look back on the day and hopefully feel good about what we got accomplished. Taking care of ourselves and our health is something we’re told to make a priority and rightfully so, but as with many things it’s often easier said than done. How many times do you tell yourself I’ll do it today and then brush it off: Oh well, I’ll do it tomorrow… It’s not hard to put stuff off that doesn’t really appeal to us, or that’s inconvenient/ uncomfortable- let’s face it, fitness isn’t usually something people do for fun (even though it can be), they do it to stay healthy. And we tend to lump health stuff under ‘boring’ and ‘have to but don’t want to’ instead of making it something to look forward to (see how a change in perspective might make that more appealing?). But that doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be a priority- that finding some time to take care of yourself isn’t important enough to warrant a little bit of time each week. And that’s just it: even just a little bit of time is better than no time at all. And that’s what I’ve told myself this past year when I’ve wanted to make an excuse to get out of running: it’s just. a. few. minutes. (and for the record, I didn’t let weather become an excuse either, no matter how tempting/ easy it would have been). I don’t always want to, but ultimately I know how much better I feel, how much happier I am afterwards; it’s worth it and something I’m glad I’ve added to my routine, even if it’s at the expense of something else.

 Balance: How Giving Up on it Set Me Free

I’m still working on calming down about all the things I want to get done in a day, letting go and really thinking about what I consider a priority- in other words, I’m still making peace with imbalance (see what I did there? 😉 ). But one thing I’m glad I did, even though I’ve had to choose the time to make it happen this past year is to stop making excuses for getting in some exercise each week. I’m not going to sit here and tell you that I have your life all figured out and how easy it is to make changes, to make time for these things. It’s rarely, if ever, that simple. But it is about re- thinking your priorities, re- thinking the choices you make and asking yourself ‘Is this making me a better or worse version of myself?’. We’re grown ups, so obviously things like bills and mortgages aren’t going to go away and make the choice to work less any easier (oh adulting…), but for the things on a simpler level, those things we have within our control, it’s amazing the difference a few different choices and a change of mind set can make. I’m not any less of a to- do list loving person than I was a year ago, but I’m chipping away at changing my outlook on things (instead of thinking ‘these are all the things I didn’t get done today’ turning it around and thinking about all that did get done), letting go, and not making excuses for things that should be more of a priority/ deserve more time. I’m responsible for two little people and keeping them happy and healthy, and at some point I have to make sure I’m doing the same for myself. It’s the choices I make and the perspective I have that creates the happiness and inner peace that I think ‘balance’ is supposed to bring- and it’s not a perfect one- size- fits- all solution- but just making the effort alone has been a big step forward for me. Exercise has been ‘my thing’ this past year that I’ve made a priority, now I want to know: what do you want to make more time for?

Photo credit: Kristy Powers Photography

Outfit:

Canada 150 Leggings- Kristina Benson Art

LOVE tee- Try on Love

 

August 22, 2017
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From 5 Minutes to 10K- My Fitness Journey to the Sun Run (aka why to stop making excuses and just go for it).

Posted in Fitness, Running by

A common topic on the blog has always been self care, in whatever form it may take. Whether it’s as simple as making a cup of coffee and drinking it while it’s still hot, pouring a glass of wine, getting out with some friends, or finding time for exercise. Whatever it is, if it makes you happy, it’s about finding some time when you can refresh and recharge a little. And let’s face it: exercise comes under self care, but isn’t usually one of the more fun options; it tends to be one we put off, cast aside, make excuses for (‘not enough time’). Sound familiar?

Total confession: that was me about a year ago.  And that’s why I wanted to share about my fitness journey and the lead- up to the Sun Run last month. Because if I can stop making excuses- and believe me I had plenty plus many pity parties to add to the mix- I believe anyone can, you just have to start. Growing up I was a competitive swimmer. I loved it, I felt at home in the water (still do) and I’ve never been in such good shape before or since. As an adult, my fitness regime had been none existent until this past year- especially these last eight and a half months- since I’ve finally stopped making excuses and ‘not having time’. And running became a big part of my weekly efforts. But let me be straight up honest with you: I used to hate running.

The idea of it used to be boring to me; swimming checked all the fitness boxes for me and was a throwback to my competitive days. Every time I got in the pool I just slipped back into my old technique- sort of like getting back on a bike after not riding one for a while- and channeled my inner athlete, the one who quit in high school but never lost her passion. Swimming is something I take pride in; I’m good at it, and I feel like I’m tapping into a part of me from years ago when I get in the water. It feels good and is still one of my favourite forms of exercise- so why add running into the mix when I already felt like I had a a full schedule? Especially when it wasn’t something I particularly enjoyed?

Simple: it was something I could fit into my life a little easier than swimming, and if I was disciplined enough, could fit in at the end of a work day while my Mum watched the kids. I didn’t start running with any goals in mind except to not be a complete wheezing mess after jogging for five minutes; my standards were pretty low and I just decided to challenge myself more and more as I felt my strength and endurance improve. Like anything, when it makes you feel good, you want more, and running converted me from a hater to someone who’s made it a welcome inclusion of her weekly routine. So now you can kind of see how we got from ‘I just want to run for 5 minutes without passing out’ to  the 10k Sun Run…

When I was in high school, a year after I quit swimming, I  participated in the Sun Run for the first time. It was one of those ‘why not’ kind of things and I did it just for the hell of it. Fast forward more than a decade and I saw the Sun Run ad online one night as I was finishing up work. And again I thought ‘why not?’. I’ve been running weekly since the end of last Summer and thought this could be a great milestone to see how far I’ve come since huffing and puffing through a 15 minute jog around the block to running 8k+ each week. I messaged my friend Janette, hooked her into my scheme, and with a few clicks we were training for the Sun Run.

It was an interesting change in perspective- suddenly shifting from ‘running for the hell of it’ to running with a goal in mind- but it was a welcome one, one that had me pushing myself and loving the results. Thanks to Janette spreading the word about signing up, we enjoyed some help keeping our bodies well fuelled from Whole Cuisine with their healthy meals delivered right to our doors every week. There were several occasions throughout the weeks leading up to the Sun Run where I grabbed one their meals to eat on the go, grateful that I had something ready to eat that was healthy and that I didn’t have to think ahead about. The time it takes to prep healthy food is another excuse for many of us when it comes to our eating choices and this helped keep me in check on more than one occasion. 

 

On that note- something else that I smile about when I think back over the last year: I went from having virtually no exercise apparel to having a few options to choose from. One more hint that I’ve made progress in the past few months. There are plenty of great local brands to choose from here in the Vancouver area and thanks to The Sweet Life Apparel and Inner Fire, I trained in comfort and style. My ‘Coffee, Cardio, Cake’ tank has been well worn and loved, and has become one of my favourite workout tops. Comfortable and cheeky. Sign me up. 😉 And when it comes to bottoms I have this to say: the leggings from Inner Fire are some of the most comfortable I own with the added bonus of being made by a company that gives back (a portion of the proceeds are donated to The School Fund, an organization that helps youth in developing countries receive education scholarships). These leggings are available in full- length and capris, perfect for a variety of fitness needs. Whether you want to add to your fitness apparel wardrobe or just love their designs, you won’t go wrong with either of these two local companies. 

  

 

Exercise- in whatever form you choose- isn’t about being an all- star athlete, putting hours aside each week, or having it take over your life (it can be those things you like, but that’s up to you and your goals and expectations). It’s about finding the time- making the time– and choosing to put yourself and your health first. Because sometimes we forget to do that and I had the reminder last year that I couldn’t forget about my own health, my own needs. My body sent some strong messages and I listened. I won’t sit here and tell you that it’s always easy to add something to your already busy life, that you’ll always look forward to exercising, or that you don’t have to make choices to fit it in. You do- but before too much time has passed, it will become routine- a part of your day- and you’ll notice the difference it makes and feel better for it. And yes, choosing to do some form of exercise means you’re probably compromising on something else, but it’s a choice you’ll start to appreciate as you notice the difference in how your body and mind feel. Even if it’s only a few minutes throughout the day; every little bit counts.

I know you’re busy- adulting keeps us on our toes whatever our work/ family/ life mix is- and I used to think if I couldn’t put an hour aside at a time that it wouldn’t make a difference. But I’ve learnt that like many things, exercise is as much about quality as it is about quantity. Can’t get to the gym more than once a week? Only have a handful of minutes? Don’t want to feel overwhelmed by setting another goal you may not achieve? No problem. Just make the time you have count. Even now I still know I have a long way to go, but to have this 10k under my belt, I feel like I’m well on my way to making a marked improvement in my health; no deadlines, no pressure, just the overall goal to continue to work on my health and well- being. There- that doesn’t sound so bad, does it? So unachievable? 

I started running because I needed an outlet, a way to get back in touch with myself and improve my quality of life. Mentally and physically, it has made a significant difference. Running is my time to think, to clear my head, and just be. I pop in my earbuds and go. I don’t set off on each run with a specific time in mind, I listen to my body and go from there. Some days I push myself harder than others, and other days I allow a little slack. Either way, I feel better for putting time aside for it. It isn’t about comparing myself to others- while running the Sun Run I had to stop trying to pace myself with people going faster than me and slow down and walk a few times (tough for my competitive streak!)- but it was a personal best for me and I’m still riding off that high. I set a goal to run it within a certain time and hit it. And that’s what the whole point of this post is about: what is a goal you have for yourself? Start with five minutes and go from there, see where it takes you. I dare you. 😉

To read about Janette’s journey to the Sun Run (her first!)- click here

Sun Run Scrapbook

Thank you to Whole Cuisine for keeping me well nourished leading up to the Sun Run!

Finishing stats- now what’s next year’s goal? 😉

Finish line victory photos with this amazing gal (find Janette at Ava to Zoe)

Meeting 2 of the founders of the Sun Run: Canadian Olympians Dr. Doug and Diane Clement

Thank you to everyone who helped me on this journey:

Leggings- My Inner Fire | Instagram | Facebook  

‘Coffee, Cardio, Cake’ tank- The Sweet Life Apparel | Instagram | Facebook 

Water bottle- Free Reign | Instagram | Facebook 

Prepared meals-Whole Cuisine | Instagram | Facebook 

Photo credits

Running photos- Akane Kondo Photography

Screenshot- Janette Shearer, Ava to Zoe

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links.

May 2, 2017
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TPB Fitness Series: Why Moms Should Consider Hiring a Personal Trainer

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In the past few months I have upped my fitness game, and I have Irina from Tone Every Zone to thank for helping inspire me to finally stop making excuses and actually get on it. I’ll be the first to admit that I don’t always fit a workout in and when I do I’m aware that there are so many other things that need doing. But this is what I’m starting to accept: so what??? I haven’t felt this good in years and it’s made me feel better mentally and physically. Taking a few minutes when I have the chance might not sound like much, but it has made a difference. And I’m excited to be back in the pool after years away, swimming laps and remembering how good it feels when you make time for your health. Plus after a week or two, it really becomes easier to make it a part of your routine.

This fitness series with Irina has been a project I’ve enjoyed and I hope you’ve found it helpful as well. For her last post in this 6- part series, Irina is sharing about how a fitness trainer can help you make time for exercise and the benefits of working with one. And before you finish the thought ‘it’s not in the budget’, it’s surprisingly more affordable than you might think and if you need that little extra help and motivation to keep you on track, isn’t it worth it? I think of it as investing in yourself and really, isn’t that what you’re doing? Thanks Irina for this amazing series, it’s been a good one; one that’s impacted more than I could have anticipated.
See below for Irina’s final post.


Out of all the clients I see on a regular basis, moms resonate with me the most. They are one of the groups who is the most motivated to succeed but often fall short of their goals. As a mom I totally get it: kids, house chores, meal prep and that never ending pile of laundry, all make it so that fitness is last on the to-do list. A personal trainer can’t take the chores away, but here are some of the ways in which we can help!

You do personalized workouts that get you results faster
Doing random exercises in the hope they give you results will take you nowhere fast, not to mention they will get you extremely frustrated. To get results you need to work at the right intensity and do the right exercises in the right order. A few sessions with a trainer will ensure that you do just that as we will select the routine and intensity that will give you the most bang for your buck while taking into account your goals. Personalized workouts are the best way to go!

You avoid injury
When you are exercising incorrectly you are just setting yourself up to get injured. And that totally sucks. Personal trainers don’t just sit around and count reps. We show you proper technique, we correct your form and we also modify an exercise if we see you struggling with it. You don’t get that from YouTube or even a class at the gym.

You have the support and motivation you need to succeed
When it comes to exercising, I often found the hardest part was getting my butt off the couch. Scheduling your sessions with a trainer ensures that you show up and actually do your workouts! You also have a shoulder to lean on now – your trainer will listen and encourage you to keep going even during those moments when it’s easier to quit. Moral support is incredibly important throughout your fitness journey.

You rely on expert knowledge
Your trainer is the ultimate knowledge source when it comes to fitness so go ahead and ask them your burning questions! I looove to teach my clients about fitness, explain why we are doing certain exercises and share my insights with them because ultimately I want them to take control of their own fitness.

The workouts come to you
Getting out of the house to hit the gym or a class is completely overrated – and super time consuming. When you factor in the time needed to get there, changing and showering afterwards your 1hr workout turns into 2hrs. A busy mom ain’t got time for that!

So why not get the gym to come to you? Hiring a mobile personal trainer will help you save time, as well as money on gym memberships and gas. You are working your butt off out in the privacy of your home – how awesome is that? As a bonus, you no longer need to smell someone else’s body odour either!

The punchline

If you haven’t considered hiring a personal trainer – why not? They are fitness experts who can help you reach your fitness goals faster, share their knowledge, help you get the most out of your training and some (like myself!) even come to you, helping you save time and money!

Don’t miss the other posts by Irina in this fitness series!


About Irina
Irina discovered fitness by accident after becoming a mom and started Tone Every Zone out of an overwhelming desire to help other busy individuals such as moms juggle a hectic lifestyle while staying active. Irina loves teaching people about fitness and working with them as a team to make long lasting lifestyle changes.

To get in touch with Irina about her personal training services please email her at irina@toneeveryzone.ca, or get in touch through her website. You can also follow Irina on social media for more great fitness education tips:


About Tone Every Zone


Tone Every Zone is a mobile personal training company servicing New Westminster, as well as parts of Burnaby, Coquitlam, Port Moody and Surrey. Tone Every Zone comes to you, saving you the cost of gym memberships, and eliminating the need to adhere to a schedule set by a commercial gym. To learn more, please visit: www.toneeveryzone.ca

Thank you to these partners for collaborating on this post series:



Photographer: Catherine Hilcove Photography Facebook | Instagram

Workout Apparel:
Underables Shown in this post: GROCERIES workout tee & leggings (worn by Irina)

LNBF Shown in this post: Melissa Light Active Hoodie & Suri Leggings (worn by Katherine)
September 27, 2016
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TPB Fitness Series: The 5 Habits of Healthy Eaters

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We’ve all heard the saying ‘an apple a day…’ but it can be tough trying to actually eat the way we should. My general attitude is everything in moderation- I try to eat healthy the majority of the time but I don’t deny myself treats as a reward (especially after the kids are in bed for the night!). I know this isn’t a perfect philosophy but for the most part it works. Irina’s post this month is loaded with some great tips to help us improve our eating habits and overall health and I love how she always includes some simple ways to incorporate her advice into your day- to- day life without it seeming too overwhelming. What little tricks do you have up your sleeve to help eat healthier?

From Irina:

Healthy eating is a priority for most people and yet such a large number of us struggle in this respect! If you fall in this category, not all is lost!


Over the years I’ve seen healthy eaters consistently demonstrate several habits which are a dramatic differentiator between them and the general population. In this article, I will go over what 5 of these are.

Healthy eaters understand macronutrients

Our bodies need protein, carbohydrates and fats and all three are extremely important! These are called macronutrients, and our bodies were designed to utilize all three, as well as water and a tiny amount of essential minerals and vitamins that our bodies can’t make themselves. Carbs should contribute ~50% of our daily food intake, proteins ~30% and fats ~20%. This is necessary for your body to function properly regardless of whether you’re a vegetarian, vegan or what have you.

Now I want to bust a myth for you: Carbs, proteins and fats are not bad for you, it’s the type you eat that is bad for you, and also the amount.

For example, fruits and veggies are carbs. And so is chocolate. Which one is better for you?

Butter and olive oil are both fats. Which one is healthier?

Finally, our bodies will store anything that’s in excess: it doesn’t care if we give it excess carbs, proteins or fats. If it’s in excess, it will store it!

Healthy eaters understand that carbs, proteins and fats are all important and make sure their diet includes all three!




Healthy eaters understand their own eating habits!

An excellent way to truly understand your eating habits is to hold a food journal over the course of a couple of weeks and see if you roughly fall under the percentages I outlined above. Sometimes it becomes super apparent right away that you are heavy on one of the macronutrients and lacking in another (remember what your body does with excess stuff??). Other times you will realize that you have a habit of eating something sugary after lunch, etc.

Once you understand where you are at, you can start to tweak things. Add some protein if you’re carb heavy, brainstorm an alternative for your sugary snack, etc.

And speaking of snacks…
Healthy eaters pay attention to their snacks and drinks

When you’re thinking about your eating habits, don’t forget snacks and drinks! Those count too! In fact, sugary drinks are incredibly high in calories – and that includes things like your morning coffee.

Alcohol is another big one – here in BC we don’t even know what’s in our drinks, or how many calories they have. But make no mistake, drinks have calories too. And they contribute nothing healthy to your body (although I do agree that they can contribute to keeping your soul happy – I too indulge in the occasional Friday evening drink)

That being said, healthy eaters consistently prep healthy snacks and make water their beverage of choice!


Healthy eaters do meal prep

Meal prep can be daunting but there are some tips and tricks to make it easier. Grocery shopping over the weekend and designating one or two meal prep days can go a long way.

Healthy eaters understand that eating at home and prepping meals ahead of time to avoid eating out is crucial to maintaining a good body weight!


Healthy eaters treat themselves –  but don’t do it often!

Healthy eating doesn’t mean you never get to eat anything delicious or indulge in life’s small pleasures. After all, if you can’t let go once in awhile and enjoy the wonderful food we have available to us, what’s the point? Me? I LOVE pastries and popcorn! Throw a croissant my way and I’ll stuff my face immediately with zero regrets. I just don’t do it all the time.That’s the secret!

When people attempt to become healthier, they restrict themselves too much. Treat yourself sometimes – just admit that it’s a treat and understand that there is nothing wrong with that.

Healthy eaters allow for treats – they just limit how often it happens.

Healthy eaters start small

Too many people fail at healthy eating because they do it all at once. I like to teach my clients to just focus on one goal at a time. Maybe it’s reducing the sugar in your coffee, or adding more veggies to your meals. Whatever that one thing is that’s most important to you, start there. Once you’ve achieved your first goal, move on to the next one.

Summary
Healthy eating is about understanding macronutrients, your eating habits and minimizing eating out. It allows for treats once in awhile and encourages people to take it one step at a time. How about you? How many of these healthy eating habits do you follow?

Don’t miss the other posts by Irina in this fitness series!


About Irina
Irina discovered fitness by accident after having her daughter and started Tone Every Zone out of an overwhelming desire to help other busy individuals such as moms juggle a hectic lifestyle while staying active. Irina loves teaching people about fitness and working with them as a team to make long lasting lifestyle changes.

To get in touch with Irina about her personal training services please email her at irina@toneeveryzone.ca, or get in touch through her website. You can also follow Irina on social media for more great fitness education tips:


About Tone Every Zone

Tone Every Zone is a mobile personal training company servicing New Westminster, as well as parts of Burnaby, Coquitlam, Port Moody and Surrey. Tone Every Zone comes to you, saving you the cost of gym memberships, and eliminating the need to adhere to a schedule set by a commercial gym. To learn more, please visit: www.toneeveryzone.ca

Thank you to these partners for collaborating on this post series:



Photographer: Catherine Hilcove Photography Facebook | Instagram

Workout Apparel:
Underables Shown in this post: GROCERIES workout tee & leggings (worn by Irina)

LNBF Shown in this post: Melissa Light Active Hoodie & Suri Leggings (worn by Katherine)

August 23, 2016
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TPB Fitness Series: Be More Flexible- The 6 Secrets of Proper Stretching

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Years ago- like when there were dinosaurs (ha, not really but it feels that way!)- I was a competitive swimmer. It was the best shape I’ve ever been in and I miss it. I miss how I felt. I miss being toned and feeling like I could swim a few kms without thinking much of it. There is such a good feeling that comes from exercise. Ah, those endorphins- whenever I hear that word I always think of Elle Woods in Legally Blonde “Exercise gives you endorphins, endorphins make you happy…”, so true Ms Woods, so true. 
But there’s one thing I always remember about practice outside of the time in the pool: the stretching. We would spend about a third of practice stretching and warming up/ warming down. It was as important as the swimming itself. Remaining flexible- and going through stretches properly- are important not just when you’re pushing your body, but when you’re going through day- to- day life. When you’re not taking care of yourself- and this includes simple things like stretching- it’s that much easier to hurt yourself, and in the long run, you lose range of motion and flexibility. Not so great. I had my kids young so I could goof around with them, and enjoy being a little crazy as a Mom. To be the Mom that can keep up with her kids and chase them around the yard like a mad woman- I want to still be kicking ass when my kids are my age now. That’s a life goal right there and I plan to keep it. 
When I saw that Irina’s fitness post for the month focused on flexibility and stretching, I smiled. Sometimes the simplest things make so much difference and I love her tips to help us stay flexible. So come on gals, let’s get flexible. 😉
Why is it important to be flexible?



Hands up who knows the answer to this question!
While many people know it’s important to be flexible, not many people understand why that is, and even fewer still know how to work on it.



Flexibility gives our body the range of motion it needs to work well on a daily basis. And, when it comes to exercising, the range of motion needed to perform exercises well. As we get older we lose flexibility and our muscles become more rigid. If we want to maintain our quality of life into old age, we can’t ignore stretching.



The majority of people fall into these two categories:



  • those who ignore stretching and
  • those who do it wrong



I want you to be neither of these which is why in this article I will share with you 6 secrets of how to stretch properly so you get the most out of your flexibility training.



Secret #1: Do a warm-up before you stretch
Even if your workout is all stretching you still need to start with a warm up. That’s because muscles are like a tough rubber band and not very stretchy. Do a quick 5min warm-up (run on the spot, jumping jacks, etc) followed by your workout. You will find that it’s much easier to get into the moves. Your body with thank you



Secret #2: Stretch at the end of your workout not at the start
For the longest time people would start their workouts with stretching but science has shown that there is little benefit to be gained from stretching cold muscles. The optimal time to stretch is  at the end of your workout when your muscles are warm and already loose because you just worked them out!



Secret #3: Hold the stretch

Another mistake I see people making is holding a stretch for less than 5 seconds. In order for a stretch to be effective, you need to hold it for at least 20s. Anything less than that doesn’t really do anything. I like to recommend a 30 seconds hold to my clients. It might be useful to time yourself the first few times. 30 seconds is longer than you think!



As you hang out for the 30s seconds see if you can get further into the move. You’re trying to develop flexibility so see if you can push a little further. It should feel slightly uncomfortable but not painful.



Secret #4: Breathe

Breathing is extremely important when it comes to stretching. It’s very easy to forget to breathe when you stretch but your muscles still need oxygen and blood. Moreover, your muscles relax on the exhale – so you need to breathe to get that effect! I like to take nice deep breaths when I stretch. It’s meant to be relaxing. I think of stretching as my opportunity to relax and let go of my day. I focus on my breathing and let everything else drift away. For 10 min, it’s your chance to live in the moment!



Secret #5: Listen to your body
Stretching is meant to maintain and develop flexibility not to hurt you. Yes, there is an element of discomfort, but you shouldn’t be gritting your teeth when you stretch and you shouldn’t feel any sharp pains. Being slightly uncomfortable is ok but you should be able to breathe through it and feel relaxed. Stretching should feel like a release. If it feels too intense, back off a little bit and if you experience strange sharp pains you should definitely check with a doctor.



Your body will tell you if something isn’t right – don’t ignore it!



Secret #6: If it’s tight, stretch it

I like to recommend to my clients that they stretch the muscles they worked that day, but also any areas of tightness that we discover together. Any area that is particularly tight should always be a focus when you’re stretching. For example, I would still want someone with tight hamstrings to stretch them even if we’ve done upper body that day.



Typical areas of tightness that I see in my mommy clients are:
  • Neck
  • Lower/mid back
  • Hamstrings/hip flexors (from all the sitting down while nursing)
  • Chest/rounded shoulders



Conclusion:



Optimal flexibility is pretty tough to achieve because our lives work so hard against that! But I certainly feel it’s worthwhile to try to offset the damage as much as we can! Being able to move and have good range of motion is incredibly important so I challenge you to find at least 5min of stretching in your day. Your body will thank you!



And remember to check out the other posts as part of this series, for more fitness education tips for moms:





About Irina
Irina discovered fitness by accident after having her daughter and started Tone Every Zone out of an overwhelming desire to help other busy individuals such as moms juggle a hectic lifestyle while staying active. Irina loves teaching people about fitness and working with them as a team to make long lasting lifestyle changes.



To get in touch with Irina about her personal training services please email her at irina@toneeveryzone.ca, or get in touch through her website. You can also follow Irina on social media for more great fitness education tips:





About Tone Every Zone



Tone Every Zone is a mobile personal training company servicing New Westminster, as well as parts of Burnaby, Coquitlam, Port Moody and Surrey. Tone Every Zone comes to you, saving you the cost of gym memberships, and eliminating the need to adhere to a schedule set by a commercial gym. To learn more, please visit: www.toneeveryzone.ca

Thank you to these partners for collaborating on this post series:



Photographer: Catherine Hilcove Photography Facebook | Instagram

Workout Apparel:
Underables Shown in this post: GROCERIES workout tee & leggings (worn by Irina)

LNBF Shown in this post: Melissa Light Active Hoodie & Suri Leggings (worn by Katherine)

July 26, 2016
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TPB Fitness Series: Not Just for Guys- Why Women Need Strength Training

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I was just thinking this week that we’re almost half way through the year. What?! And not that I want to be this person, but I thought I’d ask: how are your resolutions for the year coming along? Haha, mine are so- so. That being said, there’s still 6 months left in the year to work towards our goals, whatever they may be, so let’s not be too hard on ourselves just yet.
Fitness and health- related goals always seem to be popular choices at the beginning of a new year, but following through with them and actually making the changes tends to get lost in the shuffle of daily life as the year goes on. Motivation diminishes, and with it the promises we made to ourselves. Sound about right? I’m totally guilty of this and with June winding down I’ve been taking stock of where I am with my goals for the year. I’m not going to beat myself up over it- and you shouldn’t either!- but the only way to make changes and achieve those goals is to hold ourselves accountable and actually make the effort. Even if the path getting there is imperfect and inconsistent, it’s better than nothing- and really, isn’t that how life works anyways? It’s about the journey, and so on. With that in mind, I’m going to hand it over to Irina and her great tips on strength training (don’t miss her 10 minute workout- great for getting in a few minutes of exercise in the day). Ladies, we’ve got this. Cheers to making the second half of 2016 even better than the first!
In a previous post, 4 Simple Ways to Make Cardio your Friend, we explored cardio and how it can be easy to incorporate it into our lives if we do it in short bursts. In this post we will add on to that knowledge and address strength training.



Strength training is the other side of the coin. While cardio is excellent at burning calories in the moment and working our lungs and heart, strength training helps to build muscle and, as the name implies – strength!  And while it may seem like strength training is only for the guys, women can benefit tremendously from it as well.



Here are some of the benefits of it:



  • Increases muscle mass and thus strength
  • Tones and gives you a sexy, lean body
  • Increases your basal metabolic rate and makes your muscles continue to burn calories even after you’ve completed your workout
  • Teaches you proper form: how to lift, how to reach, how to engage your core – all of which in turn make you less prone to injury in the real world.



If that sounds pretty awesome that’s because strength training really is amazing!



In this post, I’ll teach you where to start, what equipment to use, and how to make sure you have proper form so you don’t injure yourself.



Remember your goal!



Too many people jump right into it and end up doing a bunch of random exercises with no purpose. Does that sound familiar? The thing is, if you’re going to get any results you need to plan and think about it a little.



What’s your goal?



A great butt? Core strength? Arm strength? Chiseled shoulders? Each of these will require different types of exercises.



To start, pick some simple exercises that you are familiar with. Most people know about squats, bicep curls, mountain climbers, lunges. Think of exercises that you know that target the “thing” you’re trying to work then focus on those.



If it sounds a bit daunting it’s ok to ask for help. That’s what a personal trainer is for! My job is to put together kick-ass workouts specifically targeted for my client’s goals.



Pick your weapon!

There are TONS of different types of equipment you can use for strength training:
  • Dumbbells
  • Resistance bands
  • Kettlebells
  • Stability balls
  • Gym machines, and the list goes on!



I don’t believe any of these are needed, but if I were to pick one, I highly recommend resistance bands. They are cheap, durable, they don’t take up a lot of room and they are light.



As for me, I’m a fan of body weight training mainly because it means I can take my workouts anywhere and I’m not limited by the equipment I have available. Here is a quick total body workout that you can do right now in your living room and won’t take you more than 10 minutes!



  • 10 push-ups (on your knees is OK)
  • 20 alternating forward lunges
  • 1min mountain climbers
  • 20 squat pulses  (squat, pulse 3 times then come up)
  • 10 step back burpees
  • 1min hold plank



Use proper form
As a personal trainer I see a lot of people doing exercises wrong so I’ve compiled a short list to help you avoid some common pitfalls and make sure you always have stellar form:



  • Check your alignment:
    • Are your knees right above the ankles?
    • Are your shoulders right above the wrists?
    • Is your core tight and engaged?
    • Are you looking out straight ahead? Never tuck your chin!



  • Remember to breathe:
    • Your muscles need oxygen and blood to work. If you hold your breath, how will you perform your exercises well?



  • Check in halfway through the exercise
    • Are you are starting to use body momentum to get you through the move?
    • Are your arms/legs shaking?
    • Are you taking a break more than you are exercising?
    • If “yes” to any of the above, you need to stop



Proper form is extremely important! You want to work out not injure yourself. Again, this is where a few sessions with a personal trainer can be incredibly valuable. I can teach you proper form, range of motion, breathing technique and proper speed. Then when you’re on your own, you know what to do.



In summary, strength training is an extremely important element of fitness! For ladies it means a more toned physique, increased stamina and increased metabolic rate. So don’t be afraid to experiment with it!



And remember to check out the other posts as part of this series, for more fitness education tips for moms:





About Irina
Irina discovered fitness by accident after having her daughter and started Tone Every Zone out of an overwhelming desire to help other busy individuals such as moms juggle a hectic lifestyle while staying active. Irina’s loves teaching people about fitness and working with them as a team to make long lasting lifestyle changes.



To get in touch with Irina about her personal training services please email her at irina@toneeveryzone.ca, or get in touch through her website. You can also follow Irina on social media for more great fitness education tips:





About Tone Every Zone


Tone Every Zone is a mobile personal training company servicing New Westminster, as well as parts of Burnaby, Coquitlam, Port Moody and Surrey. Tone Every Zone comes to you, saving you the cost gym memberships, and eliminating the need to adhere to a schedule set by a commercial gym. To learn more, please visit: www.toneeveryzone.ca.

Thank you to these partners for collaborating on this post series:



Photographer: Catherine Hilcove Photography Facebook | Instagram

Workout Apparel:
Underables Shown in this post: GROCERIES workout tee & leggings (worn by Irina)

LNBF Shown in this post: Melissa Light Active Hoodie & Suri Leggings (worn by Katherine)

June 23, 2016
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TPB Fitness Series: 4 Simple Ways to Make Cardio Your Friend

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Cardio. That is such a loaded word, full of expectations, anxiety, and pressure. At least it is for me. I always set myself such lofty goals in this department and beat myself up for it when I fall short. But cardio isn’t actually as intimidating as so many of us think and thanks to our kids, we’re already a step in the right direction for what it takes to get this aspect of fitness in check: we’re up and moving about! Part 2 of this fitness series with Tone Every Zone is dedicated to this topic and I love how Irina has suggestions that you can easily fit into your daily routine- even with the kids around- that take 15 minutes or less to help you work towards your fitness goals. You don’t need a gym or even a workout space for her suggestions (think hills, stairs, a step stool, and even your own body) and let’s face it: 15 minutes isn’t such a challenge to squeeze in, is it? See below for her great tips and click here to view Part 1 in this fitness series.
Oh! And I almost forgot- there’s a GIVEAWAY  announcement at the end of this post! See how you can enter to win 1 of 5 fitness assessment sessions with Irina and for a chance to win a pair of LNBF Suri leggings (like the ones I’m wearing) at the end of today’s post. 😀

Hey everyone it’s Irina again! Cardiovascular health is a very important aspect of general wellness. We spend too much time being sedentary and we don’t  move around as much as we should. This can lead to heart disease and all sorts of other problems! Now, if you’re a mom – you’re already ahead of the game: chances are your kids force you to be more active than the general population because we all know kids don’t sit still unless they’re sleeping.

Cardio is a bit misunderstood: it doesn’t necessarily mean going for a run or doing a crazy HIIT class. But it is great fat burning exercise and should not be overlooked. Here are some simple ideas you can start incorporating once or twice a week into your schedule.

Hills
If you have any hills around your house, you’re in luck! Start modifying your usual route when you take your baby/ kids for a walk and opt for the hill instead! An incline is a great way to get your heart rate up while at the same time eliminating the high impact that comes with running or jumping around (which can be really uncomfortable if you’re a breastfeeding mom for example). When the hill starts getting easier, increase your walking speed.

Stairs
If you live in a house or townhouse, chances are you have some stairs. Here are some cardio exercises you can do with stairs:
  • 1min step ups
  • 1min sprints
  • 1min jumps (jump from step to step)
  • 1min step and squat: go up a step, do a squat. Do the same on the way back

*Repeat 3x for a quick 12min cardio workout!*

Any elevated surface
If you don’t have hills in your neighbourhood or stairs in your house, maybe you have a step stool! A step stool can be awesome cardio! Really, any elevated surface will do, just make sure it’s sturdy! Here’s a quick cardio routine using a step stool:
  • 1min step-ups
  • 1min step up and jump down
  • 1min step up and lunge back
  • 1min jump up and jump down

* Repeat 3x for a quick 12min cardio workout!*

Your body!
As it turns out, equipment is only optional when it comes to fitness training. Your body and gravity can do an awesome job getting your heart rate up. Here’s an awesome 5min sequence that requires no equipment. These exercises are simple but very effective!

  • 1min jumping jacks
  • 1min high knees (or marching, for the lower impact option)
  • 1min jump squats
  • 1min mountain climbers
  • 1min walking planks

*Repeat 3x for a fast 15min cardio workout!*

As always, the thing to keep in mind is that it’s ok to start small. 12-15min can be a quick burst of energy and a great workout if the time is used to its full potential.


What are your thoughts about cardio? How do you incorporate it into your busy schedule? What are you finding works really well? What are you struggling with? I’d love to hear from you!

And now about that giveaway I mentioned!
As part of this fitness series, Irina and LNBF (who kindly contributed fitness apparel for this post series) are offering up some great incentive to help you with your fitness goals! Some lucky ladies will win one (or both!) of the following prizes as part of this fitness post series. Enter in the forms below. Good luck!

What’s Up for Grabs:


5 Initial Training packages with Irina*

Each Package Includes:

  • 1hr session with a certified personal trainer who will travel to your location
  • Fitness assessment to determine your starting point
  • Stretching sheet designed to improve posture and flexibility
  • Sample workout
  • Training package that you get to keep

*Please make sure to read the terms and conditions to ensure you are eligible to win a session with Irina. Click here to view the terms & conditions of this part of the giveaway.
***Fill in the Lifestyle Questionnaire for 5 bonus entries and to help Irina get to know you before the initial training session.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


1 pair of Suri Leggings from LNBF
LNBF’s best- selling leggings made from amazingly soft bamboo fabric that’s lightweight and comfortable. The breathable fabric is thermo- regulating and wicks away moisture- perfect for staying comfortable during a workout. This portion of the giveaway is open Canada- wide.

About Irina
To get in touch with Irina about her personal training services, send her an email at irina@toneeveryzone.ca, or get in touch through her website. She would love to hear from you!
You can also follow Irina on social media for more great fitness education tips:
About Tone Every Zone
Tone Every Zone is a mobile personal training company servicing New Westminster, as well as parts of Burnaby, Coquitlam, Port Moody and Surrey. Tone Every Zone comes to you, saving you the cost gym memberships, and eliminating the need to adhere to a schedule set by a commercial gym. To learn more, please visit: www.toneeveryzone.ca

Thank you to these partners for collaborating on this post series:



Photographer: Catherine Hilcove Photography Facebook | Instagram

Workout Apparel:
Underables Shown in this post: GROCERIES workout tee & leggings (worn by Irina)

LNBF Shown in this post: Melissa Light Active Hoodie & Suri Leggings (worn by Katherine)
May 26, 2016
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TPB Fitness Series: 4 Steps to Help a New Mom Start a Fitness Training Program

Posted in Uncategorized by
Exercise is one of those things that is so important for our health but often gets pushed off to the side. Having kids isn’t the excuse or reason for this, but it definitely makes our daily mix more dynamic. When your day revolves around others it’s easy to see why many women find it hard to make time for themselves. And I’m one of them. I am totally guilty of talking the talk- vouching for how we need to take care of ourselves and make time to do so- but then neglecting to follow through. This isn’t anyone’s fault but my own, and I have to be accountable for that. And I know I’m not alone. How many women like the idea of running a marathon, hiking the Grouse Grind, or even just conquering a few kms in the pool but just don’t feel like they have the time to fit in exercise to achieve these goals? If you love the idea of making fitness a part of your routine, this series will be perfect for you. I’ve teamed up with Irina, personal trainer and founder of Tone Every Zone, a mobile personal training service, to show you how making time for exercise isn’t as time consuming/ annoying/ frustrating, etc as you might think. I’m excited for this 6- part series that we’ll be bringing to the blog every month, and hope you’ll pick up some tips to help you with your fitness goals (if you need some workout wear to get started, make sure to check out Underables & Leave Nothing But Footprints, who provided our workout wear for this series). And now, I’ll hand it off to Irina for our first post in the series so you can get to know here a little better…


4 Steps to Help a New Mom Start a Fitness Training Program
Guest blog post by Irina Almasan



Introductions
First, some introductions are in order! My name is Irina and first and foremost, I am mom to an adorable but very feisty 3yr old girl. Secondly, I am a lover of all things fitness – but you should know that this wasn’t always the case! I didn’t discover my passion for fitness until I had my daughter, and brought fitness into my life at a time that was incredibly hectic and busy (just like surely all of your schedules are as well)! Soon after doing so, people started to ask me questions about how I was able to squeeze it all in my day and how I was able to look so good after having a baby. I genuinely wanted to help other busy moms get active – but doing so required some special training. So I decided to become a personal trainer. I also realized that busy people don’t often have time to go to the gym, and that it’s hard for them to stick to a particular schedule. And so I thought I would turn the whole concept upside down, and bring fitness to the people instead! This is how Tone Every Zone was born, a mobile personal training service.



Part of my mission with Tone Every Zone is to teach people how to exercise safely and at the right intensity, and this is where I feel the value of hiring a personal trainer truly lies. So for the next 6 months, I will be bringing fitness related blog posts to The Pampered Baby – but I want to make it interactive – so I’m looking for your questions/comments and any topics you want to learn more about.



Now, with intros out of the way, let’s start learning about fitness! In this first post, you will learn a few easy ways you can start moving and grooving towards lifelong fitness.



So you want to start getting into shape…



Getting into shape is often the #1 thing a mom wants to achieve after having her baby. And it makes sense because we so desperately want our bodies back. The first thing you should know is that it is never too late to start! There is no rule that says you need to start exercising right after you’ve had your baby. And there’s no rule that says that if you haven’t done anything for a year then don’t bother trying. In fact, after having my daughter, I did nothing for the first 11 months and I was still able to get some awesome results!



So don’t beat yourself down, be kind to yourself and allow your body and your mind to recover. More importantly, remember to speak to your doctor before you become more active just to make sure you’re all good to go and there are no underlying issues.



Step 1: Start small and work your way up



The single biggest mistake I see people do when they think about getting into shape is that they attempt to do too many things at once. They become super excited and eager to get going but they start doing workouts that are too intense for their fitness level, get on a diet that deprives them of too many things and it all lasts about one week before they revert back to their old habits. They feel miserable because they failed and feel like it’s no use to even try.



Sometimes, as a personal trainer, I find that my role is to help someone pace themselves and remind them that our goal is lifelong fitness. You cannot look for a 30 day fix and expect it to last longer than that. You also need to learn how to exercise properly. So often times people’s expectations need to be toned down a bit – but this is such an important aspect because the reality is fitness transformations take time. And if you want to be active long term you need to learn how to make fitness as habitual as brushing your teeth.



I started my fitness journey by taking my daughter on longer and longer walks each time. I then started going grocery shopping and pushing back a stroller full of groceries. Eventually I started adding on yoga classes and home based workouts to build strength.



I also didn’t bother with nutrition right away. I focused on getting my workouts in. I felt like the fact that I was now working out 45-1hr every day was enough of a start and enough of a caloric expenditure that I needed to focus on that. Once I started seeing results and felt like the workout part was pretty habitual, that’s when I started thinking about what I put on my plate.



Step 2: Set realistic goals



Here’s the deal. You’re a real person. You don’t have a chef cooking for you or a nutritionist building your perfectly balanced meal plan. And on top of that you’re a mom, which means there’s always at least one mini version of yourself tugging at your pants. You probably don’t have any time to yourself until late at night, and when you do it’s a constant battle between doing something for yourself or working away at the endless list of things that make a household liveable. Am I right?



Yup. I feel you.



When I hear phrases like “A 1hr workout is 1/24th out of your day” I always cringe because very few moms have 1 free hour every day. I know I often don’t. So when you set a goal, make sure it’s realistic and that you are setting yourself up for success, not failure. Here’s an example of a goal one of my clients came up with:



This month I want to be active at least 30min every other day. I will achieve this through a combination of going for a walk with my kids, doing a short home based workout off the internet and a session with my personal trainer. Time permitting, I will go for a yoga class during the weekend while my husband babysits the kids.



Notice that the goal is not “I want to be more active this month”. That’s super vague.
What’s awesome about the goal this lady came up with is that it is:
Specific: 30min every other day and she even lists the options for exercise.
Measurable: She knows when she has achieved it.
Attainable: 30min every other day is a big change for this person but she’s confident she can do it.
Realistic: She’s setting herself up for success by committing to doing something every other day instead of every day because she knows she doesn’t have the time every single day.
Time-based: She is committing to doing this pattern this month. At the end of the month, we evaluate.



SMART goals such as the one above set you up for success because they very clearly outline your path to getting there. So try it. What’s your SMART goal for this month, using the framework above?



Step 3: Get help

One thing that I’ve found to hold true about people who are continue to stay active is that they are surrounded by individuals who are also either very active, or support them in their quest. When I started working out, my husband and I worked out together, helping each other along the way and sharing in the whole journey. Partner training, if your schedules allow it, is awesome. If not, even the support of a friend who is already active can work wonders.



As a personal trainer, I love to provide this kind of support because I think it’s so important, especially when things get tough. I love to hear how my clients are doing and I encourage them to reach out to me between sessions to share their success, but also their struggles with me. I am always there for them.



Step 4: Be patient. Things take time.



I want to leave you with some food for thought. Just as every single body and every single person in this world is different, everyone’s fitness transformation will be different too. Genetics, metabolism, past diets and your time commitment all play a part. Some get in shape faster and some slower. Some see visible results right away. For others the results are not that obvious. But there is one thing you can be sure of: your body is absolutely changing when you become more active. Here are some of the things that happen when you become more active:



  • Your heart becomes more efficient and your resting heart rate goes down
  • Your lung capacity increases
  • You have more energy and feel more positive
  • You increase your strength and stamina
  • You learn wonderful things about how your body reacts to exercise
  • You find weak spots – things you can work on and improve



For all of the reasons above, becoming more active is an awesome thing to strive for! And it’s never too late to start!

For more great fitness tips, see the other posts in this series:
4 Simple Ways to Make Cardio Your Friend
Not Just For Guys- Why Women Need Strength Training
Be More Flexible- The 6 Secrets of Proper Stretching
The 5 Habits of Healthy Eaters



About Irina

Irina has a background in Science and Marketing, but above all, she is a MOM! She discovered her fitness by accident after having her daughter and started Tone Every Zone out of an overwhelming desire to help other busy individuals such as moms juggle a hectic lifestyle while staying on top of their fitness. Irina’s goal is to get her clients closer to THEIR goals! She loves teaching people about fitness and working with them as a team to make long lasting lifestyle changes.



To get in touch with Irina about her personal training services, send her an email at irina@toneeveryzone.ca, or get in touch through her website. She would love to hear from you!
You can also follow Irina on social media for more great fitness education tips:





About Tone Every Zone



Tone Every Zone is a mobile personal training company servicing New Westminster, as well as parts of Burnaby, Coquitlam, Port Moody and Surrey. Tone Every Zone comes to you, saving you the cost gym memberships, and eliminating the need to adhere to a schedule set by a commercial gym. To learn more, please visit: www.toneeveryzone.ca


Thank you to these partners for collaborating on this post series:






Photographer: Catherine Hilcove Photography Facebook | Instagram

Workout Apparel:
Underables Shown in this post: GROCERIES workout tee & leggings (worn by Irina)
Facebook | Instagram


LNBF Shown in this post: Melissa Light Active Hoodie & Suri Leggings (worn by Katherine)
Facebook | Instagram

May 2, 2016
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Running Tips with Baby

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Last month I got to check out some of the strollers in Bugaboo’s new line up (they’ve teamed up with Diesel Denim for a second time) and whether you’re on the hunt for your baby registry or wanting to upgrade from your current stroller, this brand offers a variety of strollers & accessories so they can be customized and upgraded to suit what you’re looking for. I’ve been sharing a little bit about fitness options I’ve been trying out (see my Yoga Tips for Moms post here) and if you’re looking for a jogging stroller, the new Bugaboo Runner is a great option to try out. I really like that you can position the seat to face you or outward, since I haven’t seen another jogging stroller that offers this option; I love that you can watch your little one while you run instead of having to stop & check on them, plus it makes for really cute exercise entertainment. If running with your little one is something you like to do or want to try, see below for some tips from Bugaboo for safely running with baby. Happy jogging!

TOP 10 TIPS FOR RUNNING WITH
BABY 

1.”You must be this tall to ride”  

Jogging with your baby that is nine months or younger can be unsafe.
With only a handful of month’s experience, motoring around the park
before motor skills are developed will leave your baby overwhelmed and could
cause physical injury.

2. Plan your route  

Before taking your child on his or her first adventure, make sure the route
you take is safe with no dangers or possible road blocks. This way, it’ll make
your first jog together fun and stress free!

3. Slow and steady wins the race 

Or at least, wins the experience. Always remember that your jog is not a
race, and you should pace yourself a little slower than usual. This will avoid
turbulence and the wind ruining your baby’s hair! 

4. Smart packing 

With using the Bugaboo Bag to store things like diapers, snacks, water and toys to entertain
your baby, packing necessities will help you out in the long run- or short run
if this is your first time.
 5. Have a destination 
It’s good to have a place where you and your baby can hang out after.
Having your jog lead to a park or field for your baby to stretch will be a
refreshing change for him or her, and also a relaxing moment for yourself.

6. “Two is a crowd and three is a
party” 

Having a friend go with your or another active mom or dad will help encourage
you to stick with your schedule. Running with others raises endurance and also
gives the opportunity to discuss your favorite Bugaboo stroller.

7. Look good, feel good 

Throwing a pair of sunglasses on you and your baby will help block the
sunlight and glare from the hot pavement and protect your eyes. Also, it will
make you both look very cool.

8. Lock the front wheel 

Most strollers have an adjustment where the front wheel can be locked. Before
beginning your jog, make sure the front wheel is locked so it doesn’t turn on a
dime and create an accident.

9. Like at a party, make sure all eyes
are on you 

Although now that you have your sunglasses on and you’re running with a top
of the line Bugaboo stroller, people still might not
notice you. Make sure that everyone around you sees that you’re there.
Sometimes it’s assumed that people see you when they actually don’t,
which could result in a collision.

10. Have fun! 

Some people view jogging as a chore or think that exercise is a lot of
effort. As long as you maintain a positive mindset and stay active because YOU
want to, you and your baby will get the most out of exploring the world around
you. 



About Bugaboo
Bugaboo
is known for its innovative and breakthrough design of strollers. All
Bugaboo strollers are designed for day-to-day use (they fold in half for easy storage & transport), made from durable materials
and ensure excellent shock absorption, one-hand steering, and seamless 360º
turns. Keep on the move and convert your stroller for different ages or
journeys with the extensive range of complementary accessories available. Built
to last (more than 1,400 tests are conducted on the strollers compared to 600 by other brands) and to be enjoyed generation after generation, Bugaboo strollers can be
endlessly upgraded to suit your mood, style or journey. 

About the Bugaboo by Diesel Denim Collection
This is the second
Bugaboo by Diesel collection. Bugaboo and Diesel have bundled their creative
and rebellious spirit to design a collection that takes the iconic lifestyle
brand’s DNA as a starting point: Denim. Two new strollers are taking centre stage
with a complete makeover for the all-terrain stroller, the Bugaboo Buffalo, and a Tailored
Fabric Set for the convertible stroller, the Bugaboo
Donkey
. The military-inspired Bugaboo by Diesel Cameleon from the first
collection will also remain available in store. 
    
Accessories make
the difference, so a matching denim bag with leather details is part of the
collection, featuring functional inside pockets for parents on the go. To
complete your stroller needs there is even a special-edition Bugaboo by Diesel
Seat Liner, Footmuff, Parasol and Mosquito Net in camouflage print from their
release.
Visit the Bugaboo website to view their complete product line & for more info. You can also find them on Facebook, Twitter, & Instagram.
Image & logo courtesy of Bugaboo
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September 16, 2015
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