Doula & Pilates Spcialist
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Doula Blog

Welcome to The Pilates Doula & Parenting Blog!

Information, stories and exercise tips to help you and your family thrive in Pregnancy and Parenthood.

Free and Available Over-the-Counter

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Have you ever noticed that moving your body, not even “working out” just movement, can make you feel fantastic? Your muscles feel better, your mood improves... It has prescription like effects but it's free and available over-the-counter!

I grew up dancing and always being physical. My university and post secondary degrees, certificates and my career path(s) all involve dance, Pilates or some form of physicality for my clients or myself… but somehow, I’ve found that more and more of my work has become stationary. Point and case, I’m sitting to write this!  And if I’ve been sitting most of my day I often feel grumpy and stressed. I’m also more likely to snap at my children and husband.

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Brisk movement causes blood to flow faster over the surface of the endothelium. The endothelium is your body’s largest endocrine organ. If you open all your blood vessels and spread them out flat, your endothelium would cover the surface area of several tennis courts. Each cell of the endothelium is its own endocrine organ, filled with “microscopic medicine bottles” that release health-promoting substances into the bloodstream at just the right time, in the right amount, with no harmful side effects – and they’re free. The fast-moving blood creates an energy field called shear force, which releases a natural biochemical called nitric oxide. Nitric oxide (NO) acts as a biochemical key to open your pharmacy and dispense the medicines you need. The more you exercise, the more your endothelium gets used to the extra blood flow.
— Ask Dr. Sears, Why Movement is the Best Medicine

So, if movement is like an over-the-counter medication for a happy healthy life and "Sitting is the new smoking", we should all just quit our jobs and go hiking in exotic locations. DONE!

Unfortunately, that is not even close to a reality and I actually really love the work I do, even the stationary stuff!

So, maybe we just need to take time out to work out! Well, Duh. But, that’s not a reality for many of us either!! Money, schedule and time all need to collide into one beautiful opportune moment for this to be a consistent and viable option.

But I firmly believe that Everything is Figureoutable so I came up with three FUN ways to put more movement in your day!

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ONE!

Sit up tall and bounce! Years ago when I was pregnant with baby number two I worked an administrative job during the day, at a desk with a computer. I was having a hard time with the chair provided, so I brought in a big stability ball to sit on. Yes, I got looks (it was an pretty conservative place) but the benefits were great! I had to use proper posture to avoid being uncomfortable or falling off! That took some energy, which improved my inner core strength and over all stamina. I could move my pelvis around in circles, side-to-side and forward and back. It felt great on my hips and low back. My favourite part of sitting on a stability ball was that I got to BOUNCE! Sure it was a little leg and core work, but best of all, it made me smile and often even made me laugh! My co-workers got cool with it, quick. You don't have to save this for the office, do it at home too!

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TWO!

Dance Party!! So, idea number one may make you feel a little silly (do it anyway!) but number two takes it up a notch and adds a tiny bit of cardio!

My middle child, now 13 years old, for years now has found school to be an emotional mountain to climb and school work itself a huge frustration. She rarely completes her work in class time because she is distracted by the emotional chaos of her environment.  She loves to escape by listening to music on her iPod. A few years back I asked her to connect her iPod to our sound system so we could all listen to her music… Then things got crazy! I left dinner prep on the counter, mid chop and the clean laundry pile in the middle of the living room and got my groove on. She laughed at my “Mom Moves” Apparently; my professional dance career did not translate into “Cool” social dance moves?!! Whaaat?

Eventually, her older brother joined us and we hugged and twirled and laughed our heads off. We even got sweaty! When the youngest was born we moved the timing of our dance party to coincide with her "witching hours". Movement is proven to be good for brain development and reducing stress, it was such a fun way for me to cope and a great comfort measure for her!

To this day we start our evenings with a de-stressing dance party. On occasion it’s much shorter due to homework and extracurricular demands, but we can’t afford to miss it! Our quality of life depends on it!

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THREE!

Have sex. Yup. I said it, but we’re all adults here correct?! Seriously! It gets your heart rate up, makes you use your core including your pelvic floor and move those hips! A strong inner core is essential to the wellness of your body and combined with strong, mobile hips, usually means you have less low back pain. The oxytocin (feel good hormone) rush is good for your mental health too! No partner, no problem… it’s similar to playing on a stability ball and we can find other means for pleasure!

So Get Movin'! The future you thanks the present you!