5 Essential ways to take care of your physical health

Every since becoming a mom things have gotten quite hectic to say the least, and sometimes it’s really hard to find enough time in the day to get all my chores and tasks done. It has become easy to let my physical health slip. It’s not always easy to find time for the gym or make healthy meals from scratch let alone with a baby to take care of. However, taking good care of your body is just as important as taking good care of your mind. Here are five ways you can take better care of your body and feel great about yourself.

Exercise regularly

Exercise is one of the best ways to stay healthy, with multiple benefits. It can reduce the risk of heart disease, stroke, diabetes and certain cancers. It can also help reduce stress and improve your mood. Exercise can take many forms, so you don’t have to join a gym. Instead, you can go for a walk, swim, ride a bike or do gardening or housework. If you are new to exercise, start slowly and build up. You don’t want to injure yourself. If you have health issues, check with your doctor about the best types of exercise for you.

 

Make your own meals and eat together as a family

Healthy eating is an easy way to stay healthy. Make your meals from scratch, rather than buying processed or junk food. You will know exactly what’s in your food and what’s not. If you have children, make mealtimes a family affair. It’s a great way to bring your family together and get everyone talking. If your children are old enough, get them involved in making their own meals. This will help them learn about healthy eating, which is essential, as teaching your child about healthy eating from a young age will help instill good eating habits in them. It is also vital to make your own meals, as you know exactly what is going into your food and what isn’t. You can use organic produce, free-range eggs, and low-fat, low-sodium ingredients.

 

Use alternative healing therapies

Sometimes we get so busy that we don’t even notice how stressed we are. Stress is terrible for our health and happiness, so it is essential to find ways to manage it better. There are many different alternative healing therapies you can use to reduce stress, including yoga, meditation, massage, and even going to physio for specific injuries and ailments. These are all forms of self-care and will make you feel calmer and happier. They are also great for your physical health, easing pain, reducing blood pressure and boosting your immune system.

Get enough sleep

Getting enough sleep is essential for our physical and mental health. It helps us manage stress and improves our mood. It can also reduce the risk of heart disease, stroke and diabetes. If you are struggling to get enough sleep, try a herbal sleep remedy. Make sure you have a peaceful, dark environment and switch off your phone an hour before bed.

Don’t forget to breathe and have some mindfulness time.

This was one that really helped me throughout my pregnancy and now I am working on continuing my breathing practice postpartum. Breathing exercises can help you cope with stress and anxiety. They are great for your physical and mental health. They can lower your blood pressure, reduce your risk of heart disease and improve your mental health. Try having some mindfulness time every day. Use this time to meditate, do yoga or just be still. Use this time to reflect on what you have achieved and what you would like to achieve the next day.

Taking care of your physical health can be just as important as taking care of your mental health. Luckily, it’s easy to do all of these things, even when you’re busy. From going for walks to making your own meals, there are many ways to improve your health. It’s important to remember that you don’t have to do everything at once. Start with one thing, and over time you’ll build a health routine that works for you.

xo

Mia

Top stroller friendly walks in the Sea to Sky

There is nothing I love more than getting outside and enjoying nature with my dog and new baby, but here is the thing, that new baby happens to be in the 96th percentile. At 4 months, he already weighs 17 pounds and so walks have become a bit more challenging. Thankfully we purchased a Thule Urban Glide stroller, which is great for trails – and so I made it a mission to find some stroller friendly trails along the Sea to Sky that you can enjoy.

Whistler Train Wreck

It’s a short 2.3km in and out walk to a really cool train wreck that happened back 1956. The trail to the train wreck is quite mellow and wide enough for a stroller. You pass by the beautiful Cheakamus river before arriving at the graffiti painted train cars. The trail is also dog friendly. The only downside is the mosquitos can get quite bad, so bring a cover for the baby

 Shannon Falls Lookout

This is a 1km loop trail that is fairly easy and will only take you about 20 minutes to complete. In the winter the snow can make it a little tough to access, but in the summer the mostly gravel path is perfect for a stroller – and the reward of the beautiful view of Shannon Falls is worth the walk. Also a dog friendly trail.

 Mamquam River Trails

One of my favourite walks in Squamish is through the river trails, particularly through the forest that then loops back to the Squamish Golf Course. I just love being in the trees and I recently discovered that this trail is wide enough and easy to navigate with a stroller. Also if you go all the way to the golf course it is quite a nice walk, about 10km total.

 Mamquam Dyke Trail

It is about 4km in length (but you can keep going all the way to the once was Spit). The trail is gravel and easy to navigate with a stroller. You have beautiful mountain and river views for the entire walk.

Stawamus Dyke Trail

Another dyke trail that is perfect for the whole family including a stroller is the Stawamus Trail. It’s a 3km walk alongside the river with gorgeous views of the Stawamus Chief.

Lost Lake Loop

This is a very popular hike in the Whistler area and the main path is a wide gravel path through the forest and opens up to some amazing mountain views.

Loggers Creek Trail

I am spoiled because this one is right outside my house. You can walk with the stroller either on a paved bike and walk lane or through the forest which has been smoothed out by a group of volunteers to make it more accessible for all.

Happy hiking my friends,

xo

Mia

 

 

Boosting your calorie restricted diet

I have struggled with my weight for most of my life. Having been a professional athlete fitness has always been a part of my life, but over the years in talking with experts I have realized nutrition is just as if not more important than the fitness side when it comes to being healthy. So recently I have been focused on my eating habits and tracking calories.  You might have gotten used to portion control and meal planning to keep your calories in check, but to work out effectively, you also need to make sure you’re meeting your nutritional needs. So, how do you do that without adding tons of calories to your diet?

Photo by Ovidiu Creanga from Pexels

Do not fast

The very first thing that should be made clear: calorie-restricted diets should not be a term used interchangeably with fasting or with tea cleanses that require you to cut your calories down to extreme lows. Intermittent fasting can help, but you have to make sure that you’re eating a healthy amount of calories a day so you avoid issues like malnutrition because your body simply isn’t getting enough energy. This is all about managing weight but in a healthy manner. 

 

Get your nutrients from the right places

What food you’re eating matters as much as how much you’re eating, of course. You might be within your calorie goals in terms of your diet, but if you’re relying entirely on processed foods, you’re going to be missing out big time when it comes to the nutrients. Fresh food diets are much, much better because whole foods not only have more nutrients in them, but they have a higher bioavailability, meaning that it’s easier for your body to absorb them. Look at some of the fresh food delivery services near you if you have trouble getting your hands on fresh produce.

 

Use supplements to make up

If you’re trying to push for specific exercise goals, then you should make sure that you’re also adjusting your diet to those aims. You might find that even with a well-balanced diet, you still need a few extra nutrients to meet your daily recommendations. To that end, you can take a look at a supplement store for easy ways to slip those nutrients into your diet. Of course, you should talk to your doctor about supplements if you’re on any medication or dealing with any chronic health issues. They’re safe for the majority of people, but it’s worth looking out.

 

Keep track

Simply put, you should make sure you know exactly what your body is getting, instead of doing guesswork. There are some pretty great diet tracking apps out there that look not only at the calories you’re eating, but the macronutrients such as fat, protein, and carbs, and then break it down even deeper into the micronutrients. Using these apps, you can fine-tune your diet and what supplements you’re taking to ensure that you’re meeting all the needs of a healthy body while still maintaining the calorie count that you need to manage your weight.

 

It may be the case that you need to adjust your calorie restrictions, allowing yourself a little more to get the nutrition that you need, as well. You can set standards for yourself, but don’t make them so inflexible that you can’t get the nutrients that you need.

Good luck with those fitness goals friends,

xo

Mia

Reducing the Risk of Strain at the Gym

Having been a professional athlete for most of my life I have suffered several injuries. Broken ankles, torn shoulder, chronic wrist pain. The list goes on. But whether you are a professional athlete or just an active person, there is always a risk of injury. Most of this doesn’t come from obvious risks like falling over or mishandling weights, but from muscle strain (something that I am very very familiar with). If you’re experienced muscle strain before, you know it can greatly hold back your fitness potential and keep you out of the gym for weeks. Here are some ways to prevent it.

Photo by Karl Solano from Pexels

Recover and recuperate

First of all, if you’re currently healing from a strain, you should make sure that you recover fully from it before you get back into working out. You can help your road to recovery with the help of things like massage therapy and a physiotherapist. You should pay attention to your delayed onset muscle soreness, as well. It doesn’t necessarily mean that anything is wrong, but not giving yourself the time you need to relax and recover between workouts can put way too much pressure on your muscles.

Prepare effectively

If you jump right into working out intensely, then you are very likely to end up pulling something. Have a full workout routine that starts with a series of full-body stretches. You should stretch your body more thoroughly before working out than after. Some light warmups to help your muscles get limber and flexible are going to be crucial, as well.

Wear the right gear

Well-fitting gear that allows for a good range of motion is crucial in preventing all ranges of musculoskeletal injuries. If your clothes are too tight, then you’re working against your clothes as well as against your own body’s lack of agility. I learned this the hard way when I was training for my first half marathon.  A good pair of fashionable leggings does more than making your thighs look great. They can aid in both strain prevention and even in recovering from existing strains.

Feed your muscles

Most people who work out are very used to the idea that nutrition is key to staying healthy.  In most cases, you might think that this means upping your protein intake. Protein does help your muscles rebuild after the natural wear of exercise, but you should also try incorporating potassium-rich foods into your diet, as well. Potassium, which can be found in things like avocados and bananas, can help prevent the muscle fatigue that leads to more easily straining them.

Slow it down

Sometimes my body just tells me it needs a little time out. That doesn’t mean a day completely off, but maybe just a less intense workout. If you have been pushing yourself super hard lately, then you should think about taking it a little slower. This doesn’t mean that you should skip a workout (unless you’re in need of the extra recovery), but that you should try lighter workouts you can do at home, instead. Having lighter workout days and more intense workout days is a part of most training programs, and only working out at the highest intensities is going to put you at a greater risk of a tear or strain.

When in doubt, you should listen to your body. If your muscles feel too taut or in any way “weird” or have sharp, shooting pains, it’s time to take a rest.

Here is to staying healthy, active, and pain free

xo friends,

Mia

My favourite at home workouts

Ok I will be the first to admit I haven’t done the best job at keeping fit during this pandemic, but it finally hit me just how bad I have been. I tried to put on my “fat” jeans and they are on the rather tight side. And despite BC entering phase 3, and more gyms and workout studios are opening up, you may not be at that comfort level just yet. So I decided to test out a few online workouts and wanted to share some of my favourite that are helping me get back into not just my fat jeans but my skinny jeans too.

 

Breathe at home

I was going to Breathe Studio daily before the COVID 19 shutdowns, and I was very impressed at how quickly they were able to transition online. They started offering the same classes they did in studio through instagram live, facebook videos, and even zoom classes so the teachers could watch and interact with you. I have always loved the high energy of these aerobic, HITT, and yoga classes, and was surprised to find that same energy online. I love sweaty along to the feel good classes at home.

Yoga is the perfect exercise, whether you’re at home or in the studio. There are so many benefits to a yoga practice including increased flexibility, and improved mental health. Yoga can help you to perfect your posture, improve your balance, and tone up. Dynamic classes can help you to get your cardio fix, while gentle classes can help you to relax. When you’re experiencing aches and pains, try a yoga class or two. If you’ve recently experienced an injury, it’s best to see your Physio before attending a class.

 

Lilly Sabri 

A girlfriend of mine told me about Lilly Sabri, and I was hooked after the first class. I love that she posts daily workout videos including 7 and 14 day challenges that target all of your muscles and help both slim you done and tone your body. Along with her full workouts, she also offers lots of 5 and 10 minute videos that target specific muscles and areas.

Daniela Dib Fitness 

 

I always made sure to book Daniela’s classes when I was going to soulcycle. She is uplifting, encouraging, motivating, but also HARD. There were times I thought I was going to collapse right off of the bike. Because of this I was super excited when she decided to migrate and start her own online business. On her public page she offers a few IGTV fitnesses challenge videos, but the real workouts are on her members only page. Just a small paypall donation gives you access to some incredible pilates and fat burning classes, and trust me, her energy is so contagious you won’t even feel like you are working out (well you will because you will be sweating buckets).

I know this is a difficult time right now, but I have found that keeping up with exercise has kept me as sane as can be through it all. I hope that you will also find some enjoyment through these amazing workouts, or please feel free to share some of the online classes you have really been enjoying!!

Stay healthy my friends,

xo

Mia