Tag Archives: balance

How Parenting Changed Everything

Once upon a time, I was busy.  I worked full time, participated in not one, not two, but three team sports.  I walked the dog, I cooked, I cleaned, I did the laundry and grocery shopped, I prepped meals for days in advance, I did it all! I was Superwoman and conquering the world.  And then it happened, I had a kid.

Once my daughter came along, the entire world as I knew it changed.  At the beginning it’s all about the physical world around you.  You’re no longer working and are suddenly up two, three, four times a night to feed this screaming little “bundle of joy”.  You’re tired, you eat anything that’s easy to grab with one hand, and you watch horrible daytime TV without even realizing you’re doing it.  What you may not see immediately is that your emotional world has completely shifted as well.  You’ve put this new tiny person before yourself.  Baby always eats first, sometimes two and three feedings go by before you even have time to drink your cold decaffeinated coffee.  The fur-baby that was rapidly demoted to dog waits to go outside as patiently as she can, and when you stop long enough to notice what smells, you realize you haven’t had a shower in three days.  Myself, I’d stopped working out regularly, ate fast, prepackaged and processed foods, and didn’t sleep nearly enough to get as much cleaning, laundry, etc… done in a day as I could.

Of course it gets better, but the theme stays the same unless you acknowledge and change it.  The kid(s) is always going to be number one now, but part of making sure that you’re being the best parent you can be is to take care of yourself.  That looks different in each of our individual lives.  I chose to return to work on a part-time basis and I’m lucky that this was an option with my employer.  Of course there are days where I’d do anything to be in a quiet office with a Starbucks, but overall I feel like I have found my balance.

My balance looks like this: I’m a full time parent with a little bit of help.  We don’t have family living close by for assistance, so YMCA Child Minding sees my daughter twice a week.  This allows me to get in two solid gym workouts a week, all my other workouts happen at home – that’s my “me” time.  She participates in activities twice a week, and I try to schedule those on days where I’m already at the YMCA to give us some free time other days.  We camp, hike, and bike as a family so she sees an active family lifestyle every day.  Although she’s still pretty small (just two), I let her cook with me.  I feel like this teaches her that we cook healthy meals together at home.  I work three to four evenings when my husband gets home from work which allows me to still have time to be me instead of Mommy.  I’m able to utilize my education and to socialize with adults and not have the conversation turn into whatever the heck Curious George got himself into that morning.  I also let perfection go, I no longer live in a pristine house – it’s messy (not dirty!) and cluttered with toys.  Now my home is filled with love and laughter, so that’s a trade off I accept happily.

What do you miss? What is it that you slowly gave up but didn’t even realize until now?  What are you going to take time to do for you and only you?

Whatever your situation is, I’m here to tell you that you need, and I mean NEED to take that time for yourself.  Life is really busy if you let it be, and finding balance is an absolute essential to having your life be a happy one.


Clean It Up

Eating clean means different things to different people.  For some clean eating may mean a vegetarian or vegan diet, switching to gluten free, removing processed foods, or choosing organics.  For some, eating clean can be as simple as removing junk food like chips and candies from our diets.

Eating clean is subjective, and is based on what our current diet is.  For me, clean eating is all in the pronunciation.  Being able to pronounce all of the ingredients in what I eat, and knowing what each ingredient is.  When I think of clean, I always think of water, water washes away the dirt and grime on our cars, our floors, our clothes so it stands to reason water will wash the toxins out of our body as well.

Any change that you can make towards cleaning up your dietary intake is a positive one.  Remember that it doesn’t have to be a huge change, and that small steps forward are more successful changes than making a drastic change all at once.

Drink up!


Fill ‘er Up!

You wouldn’t attempt to drive your car when it has no fuel.  You know better, and would make sure to put something in the tank before heading out even for a short trip around town, let along a long trip.

Food is our fuel, it’s our energy source that runs all of our body’s systems.  So why do we continually see people trying to workout without enough fuel in the tank? It’s important to make sure that you have a little something to eat before your workout – always.

Round It Out – Plan a pre-workout snack to have a protein, carb, and a fruit or vegetable.  Of course whatever you choose is going to depend on personal preferences, and any dietary restrictions you might have, but some of my favorite pre-workout dining includes milk, eggs, nut butters, cottage cheese, yogurt & granola.  All items high in protein that will help you to feel more satisfied yet keeping it light.  Morning-glory or Bran muffins, oatmeal with fruit or nuts, or high fiber cereals are all carbs that have whole or fuller grains to help you feel fuller without eating a large amount.  Bananas and apples are my favorite go-to fruits to round it out.  They are easy to take on the go, relatively mess-free and provide a decent amount of nutrients and fiber.  Mixed melon, cucumber, and mixed berries are a fresh,  light change as well.  Making a smoothie to go is also a great way to incorporate more than one of these nutrient groups together in a tasty way.  Try adding spinach for a high iron boost in a fruit/veg smoothie!

Did You Know? Cramping when running or swimming after eating a fuller meal is actually your body trying to digest that food.  The blood that supplying your body’s intestinal tract gets redirected to your arms and legs, and the food “stalls” in your intestines.

Don’t let your car sputter out, just make sure you put premium in!


Research Shows Practicing Tai Chi Improves Some Chronic Conditions

A number of studies have been conducted in recent years on the effect that practicing Tai Chi has on patients with various chronic health conditions. The results provide positive evidence that Tai Chi can be beneficial in improving patient outcomes on a variety of levels having physical, psychological and behavioural impacts. Here is a basic summary of some of the research findings:
Philip W.H. Peng published a review article on Tai Chi and Chronic Pain in Regional Anesthesia and Pain Medicine 2012. He found that Tai Chi is beneficial for providing pain relief and improving physical and psychological well-being for people with Osteoarthritis, Fibromyalgia and Chronic Low Back Pain. Tai Chi’s effects on muscular strength, cardiovascular health, bone health, stress reduction and quality of life may also prove benefical to patients with Rheumatoid Arthritis.
Jun-Hong Yan, et al. conducted a study in 2013 on the Effects of Tai Chi in Patients with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease and found that practicing Tai Chi significantly improved patients’ total scores on the Chronic Respiratory Disease Quesitonnaire and the St. George’s Respiratory Questionnare.
Hui-Ming Lo, et al (2012) conducted a study on Tai Chi and patients with Hypertension. The study concluded that both systolic and diastolic blood pressure were reduced and exercise behaviour and exercise time were improved when hospital outpatients with hypertension participated in an 8-week Tai Chi exercise program.
Sukhee Ahn, et al (2012) conducted a study on the effects of Tai Chi Exercise on Glucose Control, Neuropathy Scores, Balance and Quality of Life in Patients with Type 2 Diabetes and Neuropathy. The results indicate that total symptom scores, glucose control, balance and quality of life were significantly better in the Tai Chi group than in the control (nonintervention) group.
Whether you live with a chronic health condition or not, you can improve your health with Tai Chi! Sign up for a class and find strength, balance, coordination, improved digestion & circulation, greater mental clarity and relief for stress.
Saddletowne YMCA offers the following Tai Chi course:
Tai Chi Level 1
Saturdays 11:00-12:30pm
Beginning April 5
M: $108 NM: $162 (12 classes)

Call 403-237-2393 to register or visit ymcacalgary.org for full course listings.

References:
Ahn, S., Song, R. (2012). Effects of Tai Chi exercise on glucose control, neuropathy scores, balance and quality of life in patients with type 2 diabetes and neuropathy. The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, Dec;18(12), 1172-8.
Lo, H.M. et al (2012). A Tai Chi exercise programme improved exercise behavior and reduced blood pressure in outpatients with hypertension. International Journal of Nursing Practice, 18(6), 545-551.
Peng, P.W.H. (2012). Tai Chi and chronic pain. Regional Anesthesia and Pain Medicine, Jul-Aug; 37(4):372-82.
Yan, J.H., Guo, Y.Z, Yao, H.M., Pan, L. (2013). Effects of Tai Chi in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. PLOS ONE (10), 1371.

Research Shows Practicing Tai Chi Improves Some Chronic Conditions

A number of studies have been conducted in recent years on the effect that practicing Tai Chi has on patients with various chronic health conditions. The results provide positive evidence that Tai Chi can be beneficial in improving patient outcomes on a variety of levels having physical, psychological and behavioural impacts. Here is a basic summary of some of the research findings:
Philip W.H. Peng published a review article on Tai Chi and Chronic Pain in Regional Anesthesia and Pain Medicine 2012. He found that Tai Chi is beneficial for providing pain relief and improving physical and psychological well-being for people with Osteoarthritis, Fibromyalgia and Chronic Low Back Pain. Tai Chi’s effects on muscular strength, cardiovascular health, bone health, stress reduction and quality of life may also prove benefical to patients with Rheumatoid Arthritis.
Jun-Hong Yan, et al. conducted a study in 2013 on the Effects of Tai Chi in Patients with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease and found that practicing Tai Chi significantly improved patients’ total scores on the Chronic Respiratory Disease Quesitonnaire and the St. George’s Respiratory Questionnare.
Hui-Ming Lo, et al (2012) conducted a study on Tai Chi and patients with Hypertension. The study concluded that both systolic and diastolic blood pressure were reduced and exercise behaviour and exercise time were improved when hospital outpatients with hypertension participated in an 8-week Tai Chi exercise program.
Sukhee Ahn, et al (2012) conducted a study on the effects of Tai Chi Exercise on Glucose Control, Neuropathy Scores, Balance and Quality of Life in Patients with Type 2 Diabetes and Neuropathy. The results indicate that total symptom scores, glucose control, balance and quality of life were significantly better in the Tai Chi group than in the control (nonintervention) group.
Whether you live with a chronic health condition or not, you can improve your health with Tai Chi! Sign up for a class and find strength, balance, coordination, improved digestion & circulation, greater mental clarity and relief for stress.
Saddletowne YMCA offers the following Tai Chi course:
Tai Chi Level 1
Saturdays 11:00-12:30pm
Beginning January 18
M: $90 NM: $135 (10 classes)

Call 403-237-2393 to register or visit ymcacalgary.org for full course listings.

References:
Ahn, S., Song, R. (2012). Effects of Tai Chi exercise on glucose control, neuropathy scores, balance and quality of life in patients with type 2 diabetes and neuropathy. The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, Dec;18(12), 1172-8.
Lo, H.M. et al (2012). A Tai Chi exercise programme improved exercise behavior and reduced blood pressure in outpatients with hypertension. International Journal of Nursing Practice, 18(6), 545-551.
Peng, P.W.H. (2012). Tai Chi and chronic pain. Regional Anesthesia and Pain Medicine, Jul-Aug; 37(4):372-82.
Yan, J.H., Guo, Y.Z, Yao, H.M., Pan, L. (2013). Effects of Tai Chi in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. PLOS ONE (10), 1371.

Research Shows Practicing Tai Chi Improves Some Chronic Conditions

A number of studies have been conducted in recent years on the effect that practicing Tai Chi has on patients with various chronic health conditions. The results provide positive evidence that Tai Chi can be beneficial in improving patient outcomes on a variety of levels having physical, psychological and behavioural impacts. Here is a basic summary of some of the research findings:
Philip W.H. Peng published a review article on Tai Chi and Chronic Pain in Regional Anesthesia and Pain Medicine 2012. He found that Tai Chi is beneficial for providing pain relief and improving physical and psychological well-being for people with Osteoarthritis, Fibromyalgia and Chronic Low Back Pain. Tai Chi’s effects on muscular strength, cardiovascular health, bone health, stress reduction and quality of life may also prove benefical to patients with Rheumatoid Arthritis.
Jun-Hong Yan, et al. conducted a study in 2013 on the Effects of Tai Chi in Patients with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease and found that practicing Tai Chi significantly improved patients’ total scores on the Chronic Respiratory Disease Quesitonnaire and the St. George’s Respiratory Questionnare.
Hui-Ming Lo, et al (2012) conducted a study on Tai Chi and patients with Hypertension. The study concluded that both systolic and diastolic blood pressure were reduced and exercise behaviour and exercise time were improved when hospital outpatients with hypertension participated in an 8-week Tai Chi exercise program.
Sukhee Ahn, et al (2012) conducted a study on the effects of Tai Chi Exercise on Glucose Control, Neuropathy Scores, Balance and Quality of Life in Patients with Type 2 Diabetes and Neuropathy. The results indicate that total symptom scores, glucose control, balance and quality of life were significantly better in the Tai Chi group than in the control (nonintervention) group.
Whether you live with a chronic health condition or not, you can improve your health with Tai Chi! Sign up for a class and find strength, balance, coordination, improved digestion & circulation, greater mental clarity and relief for stress.
Saddletowne YMCA offers the following Tai Chi course:
Tai Chi Level 1
Saturdays 11:00-12:30pm
Beginning January 18
M: $90 NM: $135 (10 classes)

Call 403-237-2393 to register or visit ymcacalgary.org for full course listings.

References:
Ahn, S., Song, R. (2012). Effects of Tai Chi exercise on glucose control, neuropathy scores, balance and quality of life in patients with type 2 diabetes and neuropathy. The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, Dec;18(12), 1172-8.
Lo, H.M. et al (2012). A Tai Chi exercise programme improved exercise behavior and reduced blood pressure in outpatients with hypertension. International Journal of Nursing Practice, 18(6), 545-551.
Peng, P.W.H. (2012). Tai Chi and chronic pain. Regional Anesthesia and Pain Medicine, Jul-Aug; 37(4):372-82.
Yan, J.H., Guo, Y.Z, Yao, H.M., Pan, L. (2013). Effects of Tai Chi in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. PLOS ONE (10), 1371.

Challenge Yourself with Capoeira

Capoeira is a Brazilian martial art that will challenge you both physically and mentally.

In a ‘game’ of Capoeira, two opponents ‘play’ in a circle or roda (pronounced hoda) and try to ‘outsmart’ the other with kicks, blocks, evasions, handstands, cartwheels, hooks/trips, etc to the rhythm of the berimbau – a unique Brazilian instrument.

Capoeira can be modified through skill progressions for beginners, intermediate players and those who are more advanced. It is great for people who want to try something new & exciting to improve their strength, agility, balance & coordination in a unique and fun class that helps to build camaraderie through friendly competition.

At Saddletowne YMCA we offer the following classes on Tuesday evenings:

Youth Capoeira (6-11 years)
Beginning January 7
Tuesdays 6:15-7:15pm
Barcode: 86253
M$88 NM$132 (11 classes x 60 minutes)

Adult Capoeira (12+ years)
Beginning January 7
Tuesdays 7:30-8:45pm
Barcode: 86243
M$110 NM$165 (11 classes x 75 minutes)


Teaching Kids Healthy Eating

Thank you to the WebMD website for this article called Healthy Eating Habits for your Child about teaching healthy eating habits to children and youth. It’s much easier than you think and encourages the entire family to think about health & wellness together!

Check out the article on the WebMD website. Here is a teaser:

“By teaching your children healthy eating habits, and modeling these behaviors in yourself, you can help your children maintain a healthy weight and normal growth. Also, the eating habits your children pick up when they are young will help them maintain a healthy lifestyle when they are adults.

Your child’s health care provider can evaluate your child’s weight and growth and let you know if your child needs to lose or gain weight or if any dietary changes need to be made.”


50 Ways to Lose Weight

There are lots of ways to lose weight. It’s about making smart choices that work for your body.

Here is a great article from the Prevention website with 50 simple ways to drop 10 pounds. Your entire body thanks you for maintaining a healthy weight.

From the article by Joy Manning on the Prevention website:

“Losing weight, unfortunately, isn’t a one-size-fits-all proposition. What helps one person shed pounds may backfire on another. Because we’re all so different, from our food preferences to our body chemistry, the only successful way to reach and maintain a healthy weight is to find what works for you.”


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