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Post Baby Fitness With Bethany Menzel

 

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When Bethany and I decided to put together a few post-baby workouts, we wanted to focus in on areas where Bethany’s body was needing to be strengthened, as well as more generic workouts that all moms would love (and hate). If you follow Bethany, you would know that she has the most delicious, chubby baby named Skipper. Along with being chubby and delicious, he is also quite a load for Bethany to carry around. The constant stress of holding a baby for any new mom can cause poor posture, back pain and exhaustion. By adding just a few simple exercises to your weekly routine, you can help avoid these issues and build strength at the same time. It is possible to be a mother, fit in your workouts and not feel like you’re spending your life at the gym.

I love bands and body weight workouts because they are easy to throw together while
Baby naps or plays on the floor.

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Bethany wanted to work on her back, core and butt strength, so we put together a circuit that is easy to follow and targets the full body.

Equipment:
Bands
A small child

Each movement should be performed for a four count movement and for 45-60 seconds based on your fitness level.

The strongest person is the slowest person 😉

Repeat circuit 3-4x

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Leg lifts (with band)
This movement targets the butt primarily while using the arms and core as a stabilizer.

Tips:
Keep you hands directly under your shoulders.
Belly into spine
And as you lift your leg think about evening your weight out as you lift your leg.

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Side leg press.
Targets the butt, core and upper body.

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This will be the same position as your leg lifts but instead of lifting your leg up you will press it laterally to the side .

Keep a small bend in your elbows and really engage your core.

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Hamstring lifts.

Primary focus is the hamstrings (muscles along the back side of your legs. Super important for reducing back pain.)

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Press your heel into a wall with your heel slightly above your knee joint . Engage your core, squeeze your bum and lift your hips to the sky.
On your final 20 seconds, hold as high as you can and pulse .

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Baby back rows:

Primary focus is mid back, AKA baby carrying muscles .

Hold your baby or a set of weights. With your elbows close your ribs, shoulders down the back and a small bend in your knees, start to lower the baby and slowly bring the baby towards your chest.

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Tips:

Have a small curve in your back to protect the low spine.

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Bird Dog:

Primary focus is your abs.

Start on your hands and knees. Slowly start to raise your left leg straight out behind you as you lift the opposite arm to the wall in front of you . Your arm and leg should come to form a straight line . Squeeze your belly and slowly start to bring your arm and leg into the chest while rounding your belly.

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Tips:
Super slow and controlled. This is an amazing exercise for the post-baby belly while not putting too much strain on your core.

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Superman:

Primary focus is your back.

Start by laying on your belly. Slowly start to raise your upper body and legs off the floor while stretching your arms out into a superman position. Keep your legs lifted and slowly start to bring your arms back towards your body. Repeat movement

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Feel free to add cardio bursts or an extra set if you have some additional time on your hands. Or split the workout up between morning and night to make room for chasing and feeding babies.

Message me with any questions or comments.

Both our outfits in this post are from HEMM. HEMM, is a local Canadian company that carries everything you need for yoga,fitness and street style. Some of my favourite brands they carry include Olympia, Strut, Tofino Towels,Body Language and Lilybod! Head over to Hemm.ca and check them out!

Photography by the amazing Kristy at: Blush Wedding Photography

Thank you Turf for allowing us to use your beautiful facility and treating us to the most delicious treats. As I write this my hands are still shaking from Tom’s boxing class! Thank you for providing a space that inspires our community, fuels our bodies and kicks our butts!

Summer Fuel

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These are the happiest and most exhausting days I have experienced to date as a mom. I literally could not wait for the kids to get out of school this year so we could spend our days at the park and making memories on new adventures. Although having three children around one another all day every day can be exhausting for all parties involved, I would not change a thing about these days! My heart actually feels like it might explode when I think about these sweet moments with these little souls. This skate park will hold so many memories for us. Scraped knees, Bennett’s first drop in, McCarthy’s countless tricks and Adelaide’s determination to hang with the boys. Our days begin here and almost daily end here with a pre-or-post dinner scooter. The playing never stops and neither does the snacking! Love Child Organics recently came out with these nutrition beverages called “Lil Shake.”  These delicious Lil Shakes contain 8 grams of protein and are fortified with 24 non-GMO vitamins and minerals. Also, another bonus is these shakes have no artificial flavours, colours or preservatives and contain no carrageenan! Along with having to have countless snacks available, I also get asked non-stop for treats these days, so these “Lil Shakes” also go by the name “milk shake” or “chocolate milk” in our house and help this mom steer these growing little bodies in a healthier direction.

What are some of your snack ideas for your kids during the summer?

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Upper Body Bootcamp With Fraichenutrition

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I teamed up again with Tori, from Fraichenutrition again this week and this time we are talking upper body workouts  for moms! Please make sure to send any questions or comments you may have regarding your routine or post baby fitness.

Enjoy~~*

I feel like the upper body is one of the parts, as ladies, that we kind of skip over. We focus so much attention on firm butts and tight abs that we skimp on this very important area. Not only do strong, lean sculpted shoulders look great in tank tops and summer dresses as warmer weather approaches, but strong arms are also essential to our everyday activities.

By adding just 10 minutes of strength training for the upper body 1 or 2 times a week, we can prevent conditions like sore backs, tight necks, and restless sleeps (and who doesn’t need more sleep?).

When your body is constantly tight and sore, our sleep patterns suffer.  When we are not well-rested, our bodies’ hormones, mood, and energy dip very low, causing problems like weight gain, fatigue, and emotional mood swings.

I love these movements because they make sense and are so important for my everyday activities as a mom. Whether you’re lifting children into car seats, carrying groceries, or working a physical job, these movements will help to increase your strength, avoid injury, and create beautiful lean arms for your spring wardrobe.

Here’s how to do it:

For full workout and blog post head to Fraichenutrition .

 

Spring Cleaning The Closet

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This spring I decided to slim by closet down, add more basic colours and thrift some items from Troy’s closet. I love neutral colours and classic men styles that are the perfect pairing for the feminine skinny jeans or a old pair of Levi’s. I also love that I have reduced the amount of clutter in my closet and really focused on purchasing pieces I love and can use a hundred different ways.As I’ve slowly removed the clutter of unused clothing,I’ve also become more aware of where it’s going and how it’s being re-used. H&M, launched a clothing recycle program back in 2013 that I was not even aware of till recently. You can drop off your unwanted garments – no matter what brand and what condition – in all H&M stores across the globe. Their goal is to reduce waste, recycle the unwanted and reduce the natural resources needed to produce a new garment. I’ve listed all the details below! Check it out and I’m also interested to hear what you do with your unwanted garments.

As much as 95% of clothes thrown away could have been re-worn or recycled.

Lets change that!!!

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Outfit Details:

Hat: Get Plenty

Sunglasses: Clearly

Necklace: Melanie Auld

Trench: H&M

Mens Linen Button Up: H&M

Jeans: Gap

Boots: American Eagle

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Adelaide

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Easter weekend was filled with some much needed time where we unplugged and just enjoying quality time with friends and family. I decided to shut my phone off for the weekend and pick up my camera to capture this beautiful little lady who is growing up so fast. Yesterday I was at an event and they asked “Who has small babies?” I instantly raised my hand thinking of Adelaide, and then quickly felt silly that once again I have tried to lie to myself that she’s not getting older. This little lady is the most beautiful, strong-willed and confident little leader. I’m so thankful for the older brothers in her life who have taught her to say “I love you very much” a million times a day and at the same time instilled in her the courage to not back down.

Adelaide, you’re my joy, and my heart is so thankful everyday for you.

Dress By: Nooks 

Shoes: Joe Fresh

Hair Bow: Arrow and Lace

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Happy Earth Day

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Maybe its old age, maybe it’s my role as a parent, or maybe it’s my appreciation for true beauty that has made Earth Day more than just another day for me this year. I will admit that I was raised to not  take the environment very seriously or really respect the beauty God has given us to enjoy. I have bought countless disposable clothing items, used more paper coffee mugs then I can count and spent hours commuting without even considering the negative footprint I’m leaving behind. Over the past couple years though, these issues have become more near and dear to my heart. Rather than looking at a massive problem and saying “it’s too big” I want to have hope that my generation will be the ones that find solutions to better set up the ones who will come after us. The beauty, freedom and inspiration we get to experience is such a privilege and today I’m going to share some simple ways to start small that can lead to big changes.

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Re-think Your Ride:

When Ford approached me to test our their new CMax Energy to get a little greener in preparation for Earth Day, I was thrilled! It not only drove so smoothly, it also truly inspired me to re-think my daily choices and I loved not having to go pump gas into my car! It’s the perfect size for a city commuter and has a great amount of space if you are looking to car pool with others. Hybrid vehicles are becoming more and more popular making it easer to find charge stations and run completely off battery power. If biking is not an option for your work commute, maybe consider a hybrid for your next vehicle purchase.

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Bag Free:

Every year North Americans throw away 100 billion plastic bags! SScientists estimate that every square mile of ocean contains about 46,000 pieces of floating plastic. The stats are crazy and there could be millions of blog posts written on just this subject and the damage it’s doing, but tonight lets focus on a solution.I have a habit of forgetting my reusable bags, so recently I purchased a back pack that fits a ton of groceries (I also put more bags inside of it) and I can throw it on my back while shopping with kids. I find if you love something you will use it more, so instead of just saying you will break that habit of using bags invest in something you love, you can reuse and will help you avoid bringing home more plastic.

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Re-usable Cups:

Lets talk just Starbucks tonight…For now, we know that in their last annual reporting period, Starbucks likely used between 2.916 and 2.946 billion cups at their stores, or an average of 8,070,428 per day. For just a few seconds I want you to envision that insane amount of cups in your local city. These are easy things we can be changing, but we still drive through the convenient window every day and try to block out the weight of what these daily habits are having on our communities. I’m guilty of laziness and whats convenient rather than the best decision, so I’ve put together a list of some of my favourite re-usable water bottles and coffee mugs for you!

JOCO

S’well

Stojo

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Reuse, Reduce and Shop Your Husbands (Roommates) Closet:

We believe in living with less, shopping local and thrifting from one another’s closest. Our landfills are filled with disposable clothing and the things we had to spend are money on and never wore. If you have never watched the documentary “The True Cost” I highly recommend it. This film really made me re-think my wardrobe and the pieces I’m investing in. I want to talk more on this topic and what some brands are doing to solution this problem, but lets talk about your husbands (Roommates) closet. Before you go and shop your little heart out for your new spring wardrobe, maybe take a walk to the opposite side of your closet. You will find the perfect oversized T shirts, comfy white button up you needed for the new pair of skinny jeans and that slouchy sweater you pinned is waiting over there as well. It takes 400 gallons of water to produce 1 cotton T-shirt….You probably don’t need it as bad as you think.

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And last but not least!

Turn the lights off, go outside and enjoy the beauty around you.

Happy Earth Day ~~*

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Setting Your Weekend/Goals Up For Success

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I often get asked questions about how to stay on track and focused on your goals. We all do great (or at least okay) Monday through Thursday. But then the weekend hits! People start Instagramming donuts, pizza, and cocktails, and all your restraint goes out the window.

Well, hopefully this post will help you rethink the idea of what a fun,healthy, and enjoyable weekend can look like.

 

Here are my current top 5 favourite ideas for staying on track and still enjoying your weekend!

 

1) Pick up Oh She Glows Every Day, a cookbook by Angela Liddon.

This book is packed with delicious recipes, amazing healthy dessert options, and tips to keep you on track. (Plus, you’ll impress everyone who used to joke about you bringing carrot sticks again as your appetizer!)

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2) Take some free drop-in classes!

This is a fun way of trying something new and keeping yourself active over the weekend. RYU, Lululemon, and studios often offer free options on the weekends. This is a great date option or an amazing idea for just getting out and pushing yourself to try something new.

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3) Try a tasting party.

Juicing is very popular right now, which means there are juice companies on practically every corner. Juices are the perfect way of adding a healthier element to your traditional cocktail or getting your friends on board and kicking your habits with a three-day cleanse.

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4) Make smart investments.

The amount of money we spend on food, drinks, and entertainment can shock us Monday morning once we’ve added up everything we did that weekend. Making a plan for your cash and sticking to a healthier lifestyle is good for both your bank account and your body. Instead of throwing your cash into food and entertainment this weekend, make an appointment to treat your body well with a facial, massage, or spray tan. Then make dinner at home and allow your body to de-stress.

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5) Turn off social media.

This may sound like an odd addition to this list, given that social media is integral to my business! But having an online business has also taught me that if it’s used in an unhealthy way, social media can lead to stress, pressure, and distractions. While I do love social media, I believe that anything that can get in the way of peace, personal growth, workouts, or time with people who make us feel alive (and the list could go on and on) needs to have boundaries around it.

Take some time this weekend to journal your goals, engage in some healthy self-talk, and shut out the distractions of social media.

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Have a healthy and happy weekend~~*

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“Playing dress up begins at age five and never truly ends.”

– Kate Spade

There is something about slipping on a dress that holds your body just right and makes you feel like a lady. Then add all of the little details and patterns that make it as though the dress was made specifically for you. This was that dress – and it was one of my favourite date night outfits in California.

Thank you Alana Denham for lending me your closet.

xoxo

Dress By: Gypsy Soul Design

Hat: Get Plenty

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California

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There are so many highlights from last week’s surf trip to California! We celebrated 10 years of marriage!!! (More on that later…)We surfed, shopped, lived like gypsies and I loved every minute of it!

As I started editing photos today I realized that this is going to take more than one blog post. One of my dreams was to one day visit the famous flea markets of California, but when we plan trips to Cali we tend to focus on where the surf is the best and how long we can spend in the sun that day. This time though, upon arriving in Cali, I happened to check my Instagram and a blogger I love Ascot&Hart had sent me a message recommending we hit up the Long Beach flea market! This market only happens on the third Sunday of the month and it just so happened that we were there that weekend!  I could have spent days perusing the aisles and picking through the treasures. The aisles are filled with beautiful jewels, vintage t-shirt galore and furniture that will have you dreaming of the fresh new spaces in your home that could use a mid-century vibe. I have already spent hours dreaming of how I’m going to get back there with some of my flea market loving friends. Long Beach, you did not disappoint and we can’t wait to come back and visit you soon!

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Blog Takeover/Hemmfit

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As spring approaches, my clients often want to amp up their training, push for new goals, or lose that last ten pounds before warmer temperatures arrive and our winter sweats need to be retired.

In our rush to see the results we want, it’s very easy to forget about the rest our bodies need. We tend to skip over this chapter in our workout binders and focus more on how to achieve our goals as quickly as possible. The reality, however, is that rest is one of the most important factors in a successful fitness journey.

If you’re not achieving the results you have been working so hard for, your body is at a plateau, or you’re feeling completely exhausted, rest may just be the missing link in your training journey. I understand that getting rest may be not only be a physical battle for you, but also a mental one, so today we are going to review some of the benefits of giving the body a break to try to encourage you to kick your feet up and allow the body to fully rest as you get one step closer to your goals.

Read More Here!

Photography By: Stephanie Shulz