Staying Active with your Kids | Kids in Niagara

We all know that physical activity is one of the most important parts of good health. It helps prevent many diseases, such as diabetes, heart disease and stroke, so being active is important throughout your life. It’s easier to prevent health problems rather than treat them later on.

staying active kidsAs parents, there are times when we struggle to do all the things we should be doing with our kids, but remember, not everything needs to be an organized sport or event! There are many things that you can do to keep your kids active in Niagara region!

** Take your kids on a hike. The Bruce Trail is Canada’s oldest and longest foot path and is right in our backyard! There are many sections that are great for families with kids of all ages, and it’s free!

** Go to your local park, fly a kite, play hide and seek, or have a scavenger hunt.

** Walk to the store instead of driving. You need to pick up a loaf of bread, turn that simple errand into active time for you and your kids.

** When the weather is bad, build a fort in the living room, have a dance party, or make an obstacle course using things around your home.

Children love to play with their parents, they don’t need any special toys to stay active, they just need you to encourage them. Starting early means a lifelong enjoyment of physical activity, and ultimately health!

Another key component in having active and healthy children is to be a good role model. It’s important to make time for yourself to stay active. Attend a strength training session, take a yoga class, or whatever type of physical activity you enjoy. A parent who takes time for themselves and feels positive will be a better parent and partner. It’s an important part of parenting that is often neglected!

Remember, your children will want to do what you do, so stay active and bring them along!

It’s not always easy, but being a positive, active role model speaks volumes.



True North Training in Grimsby offers classes for men and women to help them get active and stay active! We offer small group strength training, cardio boxing and yoga for adults. We also offer athletic development for teens to help them excel in their chosen sport, or just to stay active!

Visit True North Training or call 289-235-8088 for more details or to sign up for a trial session!

Core Restore: How Strong is your Core? | FitMom Fitness

Core Restore: What women need to know to keep their core strong, healthy, and functional during their childbearing years.

Core Restore







There’s More to the Core…

Do a quick Google search on how to get a strong core after a baby and you will be overwhelmed with information, resources and recommendations. It’s easy for women to become confused on what is, and isn’t, safe after pregnancy. In the past women may have turned to their health care provider for information about how to rehabilitate their core after birth. Unfortunately, most caregivers are not up to date on exercise recommendations and may even advise patients to engage in traditional exercises like crunches, which are not effective at strengthening the core after baby. In fact, repeated crunches may actually increase the risk of pelvic floor weakness and organ prolapse.

At FITMOM, we combine our years of experience and leadership working with thousands of pre and postnatal women with the most current and evidence-based information. We combine that knowledge with practical application to get our mom’s moving in the right direction with our Best Practices!

Here are our recommendations that we share with all of our FITMOM clients.

During pregnancy and postpartum recovery we advise women to avoid the following common exercises, not because the activities are unsafe, but because when a woman’s core is weak, these exercises can further compromise core health:

Crunches and Neutral plank.

Repetitive crunches can cause or aggravate separation of the rectus abdominis (six-pack muscles) before or after pregnancy. Neutral Plank (face down) may not be appropriate because the eccentric (lengthening phase) of the exercise increases intra-abdominal pressure, also aggravating the separation.

Dynamic Twisting work

Dynamic twisting of the trunk, including traditional ab exercises like bicycle, or even certain sports, like ultimate frisbee, can cause sheer force along the midline (linea alba) causing or further aggravating a separation.

High impact or jumping activities

Impact work can lead to prolapse of the pelvic floor and in some cases, the internal organs. When your core health is not optimal and joint stability is compromised the risk of injury or prolapse is even greater. In our opinion, it’s not worth the risk.


Running also contributes to breaking down the function of the core and pelvic floor muscles caused by repeated impact. It’s not normal for you to pee a bit when you run, laugh, cough or sneeze. Even just little leak is cause for concern. Running during pregnancy and early postpartum can further contribute to weakening of the pelvic floor muscles and core.

Heavy Lifting

Engaging in such heavy lifting that you recruit the valsalva maneuver is not recommended. This type of breath holding increases the pressure of your internal organs onto your pelvic floor muscles. When you are participating in weight training exercises you should be able to breathe throughout each repetition and avoid holding your breath. Sustained breath holding is also not recommended during uncomplicated vaginal births. Research has found that bearing down while breath holding prolonged the pushing phase and increased risk of instrument delivery and pelvic floor injury.

Now that you know what to avoid, here are FITMOM’s Best Practices to include in your Prenatal and Postpartum Health & Fitness Plan:

Core Restore Learn proper transverse activation

Sadly, most people aren’t activating their transverse (deep lower abdominal muscles that work as a support sling ) properly. A culture of sitting, combined with poor posture, make most people very weak. In fact, in our practice very few people can even identify this muscle upon assessment. Learning to identify and activate this muscle will not only improve your core health but prevent other injuries as well.


Learn safe core health exercises from an up to date professional

It is normal to want to get your “abs” back postpartum. However, getting a six-pack and having good core health are two different things.  Losing body fat on the abdomen is mostly nutrition based. Don’t confuse a flat stomach with a strong core. We have seen many a six-pack that was functioning poorly with separation and poor activation!

Stay active to support core health

This includes a balance of strength and flexibility training. Work on improving your posture and stretching common areas of tension in your body (chest, upper back, hamstrings and calf muscles).

Have your muscular balance assessed

This will help to minimize over or under recruitment of different muscle groups. Our bodies are very adaptive and when they are not working effectively will find creative ways to compensate, but this only contributes to more weakness. The weakness often presents itself as pain or tension in the body. Chronic discomfort is worthy of further investigation.

Build awareness into daily functional movement

Learn how to lift, carry, stand, sit and sleep with better alignment. Small changes to how you move yourself throughout your day will have a huge and lasting impact.

Andrea is offering a Core Restore workshop January 11th at FitMom Niagara. Workshops and classes are held at 23 Hanover Drive in St. Catharines. For more information visit the Core Restore Event Page


Core Restore

Andrea Page is the founder of FITMOM and has been seen on CTV and Breakfast Television. Andrea strives to create community wherever she goes and after more than 20 years in the business of fitness she knows that a sense of community keeps you fit, active, and healthy.

Andrea teaches pre and post-natal fitness here in Niagara, via Skype, or purchase one the FITMOM DVD’s available on her website.

Core Restore is one of FITMOM’s events that runs many times per year.

Core Restore