e037 – Matters of Movement with Christina Whelan Chabot
Christina is a contributing author in the upcoming You've Got This, Healthy Mama book. She studied at the University of Toronto and received a Masters in Exercise Sciences, with a focus on exercise and the nervous system. She is also a certified Pilates and Franklin Method educator, who balances this with motherhood (to three) and the help she provides at the family business. Her ultimate goal is to promote healthy living, teach body awareness and help people achieve the flexibility that a fit and healthy body and mind will give them. In 2017, she founded her own business called Matters of Movement, which is a Pilates-based movement practice.
After trying to balance motherhood and the schedules of other studios, Christina was inspired to start her own studio that would be flexible to her needs as a mother. Her passion for movement and helping people become more connected with their bodies and physical selves Christina decided to name her business Matters of Movement. Movement from the perspective that it is affected by our nutrition, our mental state, our socioeconomic status, and societal expectations. The expectations we set on our relationship with movement can be the hurdle that prevents a regular relationship with moving.
Through a set of 10-minute workouts, Christina helps to lower the barriers to movement. Christina set out a 10min workout challenge through her network that led to countless other positive changes in their lives, from increased water consumption to more mindful eating and a healthier mental state. When there are multiple barriers to gaining movement in motherhood, it can be even harder to overcome high expectations. One way Christina suggests you incorporate movement into your day is to commit to 2-5 minutes of some physical exercise, like a plank in the living room, or squats in the middle of the kitchen. The best part of including this daily habit is that your kids will begin to notice you. They will see your commitment to exercise and taking care of your body and begin to join in and develop those healthy habits on their own. Before you know it, you can build in 20 minutes of exercise without much hassle.
We also want to change the conversation about exercise in general. A lot of focus is on weight loss, or muscle tone or figure-shaping, and while that may be a piece of it, the other benefits are important to keep in mind, too. You will sleep better, your mood will be lighter, and you will be more in tune with your body's food needs. Christina aims to get you fit to live the life you want to live. When your physical self restricts your ability to live how would make you happy, she wants to help. Regular movement can also improve your healing from any traumatic injuries that can impact your daily habits.
It can be a challenge to balance the invisible workload of motherhood. Christina suggests getting a partner, if available, involved in helping create space for movement. She also suggests you find an activity that you enjoy and want to do, whatever it may be. Dance classes, group classes, nature walks or whatever speaks to you personally and you look forward to doing. Being outside in nature is refreshing in itself, surrounded by the earth and air, wind in the leaves on the trees, and pairing that with movement is an incredible tool to engage your senses and your body and bring your mindset into the present.
Self-care is often the first big challenge for moms. Christina has a retreat she is running September 29th. When Christina started seeing negative views in herself regarding self-care posts on social media and recognized it as a need for her to take a time out and take care of herself. After a childless vacation, she felt invigorated, calmer and more centered with herself and better able to take care of her kids. Getting space away from the kids and space to reconnect with yourself is the key piece of self-care and one aspect that can often get pushed aside with caring non-stop for tiny humans. However that looks for you, make room for it. You cannot pour from an empty cup.
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