As moms it can often seem impossible to carve out time for ourselves; there's just so much that needs to be done and only 24 hours in a day. We often ask ourselves how is it possible to stay active or even motivated in the midst of what feels like pure chaos?
For many of us, it's just not possible to find an hour or two in the day to make it to the gym, no matter how hard we try. Our self-care often gets placed on the back-burner while we tend to everyone else's needs. But, the old adage rings true, we simply cannot pour from an empty cup.
So the question is, how do we stay active when we have little to no time to spare? The solution is that we need to find ways to incorporate activity and movement into our everyday lives. We've all heard it a million times: try walking instead of driving; try taking the stairs instead of the elevator. Although these options take a bit of extra time, they'll leave you feeling great! We try to stick to a simple rule: if it's under ten blocks or ten flights of stairs, we WALK!
Another one of our favourite ways to stay active is by planning fun activities with our kids; family bike rides, hikes, swimming and trampolining are a few of our favourites. Teaching kids to stay active from a young age is key, and remember, we lead by example.
For days when you feel like you just haven't gotten enough movement, you can try this quick full body workout that's sure to get your heart rate up and your booty looking right! It can be done anywhere and no equipment is needed. We can often be spotted doing this circuit at the park while our kids are playing:
20 high knees
20 jumping jacks
10 push ups
* repeat 3-5 times
In life, it’s the little things that count, even 15-20 minutes of movement will make a difference. Creating small changes in our daily habits can build momentum over time and lead to bigger lifestyle changes. Slow and steady wins the race.
As mamas we don’t always have time to hang with our fit friends, so make sure to follow people on social media who motivate and inspire you to MOVE. There are so many amazing fitness accounts out there, and many of them post great (free) workouts.
Most importantly take care of yourself! Drink lots of water, fill your fridge with easily accessible healthy snacks and make time for self-care; whatever that may look like for you.
We’d love to hear from you about how you incorporate fitness into your busy schedules. Leave us a comment below.
About The Author
Kathleen Clement is the owner of @krayzeefitness. With a background in occupational therapy, physiotherapy and personal training, Kat now focuses on empowering people through movement and healthy living. Supermom and a powerhouse of positive energy, she can often be found in the wee hours of the morning leading creative bootcamps at various locations around the city. Interested in connecting? Kat can be reached at email@example.com
Our favourite way to spend fall evenings is curled up with a good book and a warm cup of tea under a beautiful Turkish blanket. It’s been a little while since we shared what’s on our reading list. Looking for a good read? Check out our picks:
REAL LOVE-SHARON SALZBERG
A creative toolkit of mindfulness exercises and meditation techniques that help us to stay present in our experience and create deeper love relationships with our partner, our friends and family but most importantly with ourselves.
This book guides us in stripping away layers of negative habits and obstacles while focusing on experiencing authentic love based on experience rather than preconceptions.
THE UNTETHERED SOUL- MICHAEL SINGER
The Untethered Soul walks us through our relationship with our thoughts and emotions, helping us to uncover the source and fluctuations of our inner energy. It delves into an exploration of what we can do to free ourselves from the habitual thoughts, emotions, and energy patterns that limit our consciousness. With great clarity, this book opens the door to a life lived in the freedom of our innermost being.
By tapping into traditions of meditation and mindfulness, Singer shows us how the development of consciousness can help us to live in the present moment and let go of painful thoughts and memories that keep us from achieving happiness and self-realization.
Sounds good, right?
MOM + ME + MOM- MAYA ANGELOU
This is seventh and final book in Angelou’s series of autobiographies. It’s in this final book that she shares the deepest personal story of her life- her relationship with her mother. Exploring the healing and love that evolved between the two women over the course of their lives, this is a moving and remarkable portrait of two courageous souls delivered with Angelou’s trademark good humour and fierce optimism.
We’d love to hear what’s on your reading list! Tell us in the comments below.
In PART I of this blog post we looked at the negative implications of conventional cotton on the environment and why choosing organic cotton is SO much better for the planet. However, that’s only half the picture. Choosing organic cotton is also much better for humans. It’s important to remember how close our relationship is to our environment.
The harmful chemicals used in conventional cotton practices continue to wreak havoc on the health of cotton farmers and those who wear and own conventional cotton products. Good thing there’s an alternative that’s safer for the planet, the farmers and the end users of cotton textiles!
Hazardous herbicides and pesticides are used to grow conventional cotton. Their purpose is to help increase plant growth by killing unwanted organisms. We often hear about how these pesticides negatively affect the environment, but what we don’t often hear about are the negative health impacts on cotton famers. The estimated number of people affected by pesticide poisoning every year is an alarming 77 million.
The majority of those labouring in cotton fields are in developing countries. The use of pesticides is harmful to the workers’ health, often resulting in illnesses that prevent them from being able to continue working and providing for their families. Medical attention is often unaffordable.
The good news is that there’s an alternative! Organic cotton growers aren’t exposed to these toxic and hazardous chemicals, which means that they’re not at risk of suffering from pesticide poisoning. Organic pest management strategies do not include the use of synthetic fertilizers, and are much better on the farmers, the soil and the surrounding ecosystems. Nearby communities are also safer because they’re not exposed to toxic chemicals which are commonly spread through air and water.
During the production of conventional cotton, a shocking amount of herbicides and insecticides are used. These chemicals can impact the health of those who wear cotton products. The chemicals used in the production of cotton remain part of the fibre throughout the life of the garment. Some of the adverse affectsinclude: skin irritation and rashes, respiratory issues, and nausea.
What can we do about this? Choose organically grown cotton whenever possible. Wearing organic cotton ensures that we aren’t being exposed to the harsh chemicals used during conventional cotton production. This choice is also better for the health of the cotton famers and their surrounding communities.
We had a blast this past weekend at the Vegandale Food & Drink Festival at Historic Fort York in downtown Toronto! The festival is a place where like-minded people and their pets can gather to eat, drink, and dance, resting easy that all products offered are 100% vegan!
Veganism, at its roots, reflects a fundamental care for animals and the environment, and a passion for creating a more sustainable world. Often, people first become vegan due to a deep love and respect for animals, but many commit to the lifestyle for all of the other health, environmental and socio-economic benefits. Being vegan is more than just about what you decide to eat, it’s a lifestyle that rests on being mindful, ethical and wanting to live better.
We ate our way through the two day festival, and in particular we loved the Seasoned Vegan (Harlem, NY), serving delicious gourmet vegan soul food, and Ital is Vital, a local cult favourite vegan West Indian restaurant. The festival’s main attraction was the incredible food and drink offerings (the craft beer was delish), but there was also a small selection of carefully curated cruelty-free merchandise. We were thrilled to have been selected to participate!
The best part of the festival? Meeting so many amazing like-minded people, dogs, and even one pig (hi Truman!!) We had some really interesting conversations about ethical sourcing, traditional methods of production, and the importance of using organic cotton- for both humans and the environment.
At Stray & Wander, we value and respect veganism as a way of life dedicated to consuming ethical, cruelty-free products. Our company ethos rests on providing 100% organic cotton, handmade, fairly traded textiles that have been thoughtfully designed and produced. We work with small family businesses, women’s cooperatives and individual artisans, always ensuring they are fairly compensated for their hard work, and that the products are well made and gentle on the environment. We focus on designing and producing products that are versatile and multi-purpose, with the goal of encouraging people to buy less, and buy high-quality ethically produced products. We’re so grateful to have taken part in this past weekend’s Vegandale Festival and can’t wait to see what else they have in the works coming up this year!