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Father’s Day Gifts for Fitness Loving Dads
Jenn Pike

With Father’s Day right around the corner, I find myself thinking of unique and personal ways for... more

Connected Fitness
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With Father’s Day right around the corner, I find myself thinking of unique and personal ways for the kids and I to say thank you to my husband. I wanted to come up with something that was useful, but would also make my man feel appreciated…after all, he’s a great dad! My husband has committed to completing an Olympic distance triathlon this year, so I came up with a gift package to care for him from head to toe. If you have an active or health-oriented guy (or one who wants to be), read on for some distinctive gift ideas.

For any man who is working on managing his health and fitness, wants to track his activity and sleep, or measure workout intensity, there is a plethora of product options. I am treating my hubby to the UA Health Box by HTC because it included all the tools to do all this and more in one convenient and interactive package. Heart monitors, fitness bands and scales show your support of your guy’s efforts and encourages them every day, not just on Father’s Day.

When the man in your life has trained a little too hard, there is an incredible home laser unit I have had the privilege of trying out. The BioFlex Laser Therapy was fantastic at helping with recovery time in my husband’s training efforts, but also with day-to-day aches and pains. Light therapy technology that was once available only in a clinic setting is now accessible for the masses to purchase and self-administer in the comfort of their own home. This is a convenient treatment option for people who experience chronic pain from arthritis, muscle-strains, soft-tissue injuries, etc. When effectively applied, this process initiates a series of physiological reactions within the cell tissue that leads to the healing of normal cell structure and function. The therapy is approved by Health Canada for the treatment of a wide range of medical conditions. It’s a gift of healing, convenience and time saving—just think of the clinic visits he can avoid.

BioFlex personal

My clients and girlfriends often ask me what the best type of exercise for their husbands to start doing is, and my answer is always, ‘Whatever brings them joy!’ If they love running they should do that. Biking? Ride away. Strength training? Happy lifting guys! Golfing? Ditch the cart and walk the course! You can’t force them to do what you like so be supportive of any type of movement they choose. In an ideal scenario it would be great for them to have some cross-training in their regime; a combo of cardio 2-3 x weekly, strength 3-4 x weekly and getting some yoga in there—that would be the perfect blend.

To me, what we use on our skin is as important as what we eat. While I DIY most of my family’s skincare products, I had never tried doing a shaving cream for my husband before, so I set out to create a new recipe. After a few failed attempts, I came upon a combination of ingredients and the ideal razor to make homemade shaving cream an amazing reality. I paired this recipe with the Schick Hydro 5, which has a built in lubrication strip for extra skin support and viola—a match made in heaven.

DIY shaving cream

Smooth Man Shaving Cream


  • ½ cup oil (olive, jojoba, almond etc.)
  • ¼ cup organic honey
  • ¼ cup Liquid, Dr Bonner’s Lavender Castile Soap
  • 5 drops each of helichrysum and sandalwood


  1. Combine ingredients in a bowl and whisk for several minutes until all of the ingredients have fully combined.
  2. Transfer to a pump or squeeze bottle and shave away.

Good to Know: A little goes a long way! You only need a pea-sized amount to create a nice lather. This shaving cream will not expire since all of the ingredients have a very long shelf life.

This Father’s Day, think outside of the box for the best Dad ever. Pay attention to the subtle clues he drops about wanting to feel better and get into better shape. Use this gift guide as some inspiration to create a Father’s Day that he won’t forget.


Jenn Pike is a mom of two, nutritionist, master personal trainer and author. For more quick and healthy tips and to learn more about Jenn, her best-selling book The Simplicity Project and more, visit 'The Simplicity Project' and follow her on Instagram @jennpike and Facebook under The Simplicity Project.
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Signs and Symptoms of Postpartum Depression and Anxiety, and What You Can Do
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I remember soon after my son was born, lying awake between my husband (snoring) on one side and my three-week-old baby boy (sleeping and grunting and snorting) on the other.

I was feeling anxious, low and overwhelmed.  Just having finished my first year of work as a perinatal mental health therapist, I was wondering about my mood and if I was okay. As I lay there in bed, I ran through the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale (the EPDS is used commonly as a diagnostic tool for postpartum depression). ‘So, I’m not depressed.’ I thought to myself, ‘I just made a mistake, I’m not really meant for this motherhood thing.’

A few weeks later, my baby started sleeping for longer stretches (God love him!) and I felt brighter and happier and fell in love with my wee one then. It had been tough going in the period of ‘baby blues’, but from then onward, it got easier (and also harder in some ways) as he grew.

I often think about how things might have been different if he hadn’t slept or if I hadn’t had the help that I did (practical and emotional support from partner, family and friends), or the training provided by my work experience around adjustment to motherhood and mental health.

This is why I am sharing this blog post and want to let you know about the signs and symptoms of Postpartum Depression (PPD) and Postpartum Anxiety (PPA) and to know that you are not alone and that support is available. If you have PPD/PPA or are struggling with the adjustment to motherhood, it will most definitely get better if you connect with the help you need.

Most women experience emotional adjustments and challenges after having a baby. Studies say up to 80% of women experience baby blues, or postpartum blues. Baby blues typically start in the first few days after giving birth and improve over the first four to six weeks. Symptoms include feeling emotional, crying, irritability, difficulty sleeping, difficulty concentrating, and changes in appetite. Approximately 13% of women are later diagnosed with clinical Postpartum Depression (PPD). PPD is a more serious condition involving a major depressive episode.

Postpartum depression can develop any time after delivery. The symptoms can look similar to postpartum baby blues, but they persist nearly every day, feel more intense and severe, and last for more than a two-week period. Symptoms include agitation, irritability, excessive anxiety and worry (e.g. regarding baby’s health, breastfeeding issues, financial issues, own appearance), lack of pleasure/enjoyment, difficulty sleeping, poor interest/concentration, guilt and self-critical thoughts, disconnection from baby, crying for no reason, anger and irritability with others, thoughts of suicide or escape (e. running away), and intrusive images of harm coming to baby or harming your baby. Most women experience a mix of depressed feelings and anxious feelings with PPD, so it often doesn’t look like a typical clinical depression.

Being a new mom can be anxiety-provoking. You are now responsible for the care of another human being. It may take time to develop comfort and confidence in your role as the caregiver for your baby. If your worry becomes excessive and/or interferes with your daily functioning, it is important to see someone for help as you may have postpartum anxiety. Research has found that 15-40 per cent of new mothers experience symptoms of anxiety. Anxiety symptoms can be experienced with depression or may exist on their own. Symptoms of anxiety include panic attacks, excessive worry, difficulty sleeping, extreme irritability, poor concentration, physical symptoms such as stomach upset/nausea, heart palpitations, shortness of breath, numbness or tingling, and headaches.

Symptoms of depression and anxiety may be difficult to manage and some of the symptoms can be confusing and upsetting to experience. Postpartum depression or anxiety doesn’t always start right away. Sometimes it can develop slowly and only become more prominent later in the postpartum period. Whether you think you are experiencing a perinatal-related mood and anxiety disorder or are just wondering about what you are experiencing, talk to your health care provider. Getting the support you need during this time can be essential to maintaining good mental health.

The Reproductive Life Stages Program at Women’s College Hospital is currently recruiting participants for our online postpartum support group. Click this link to find out more and/or to register.

Kaeli Macdonald, BFA, MSW, RSW, is a clinical social worker and expressive arts therapist with a specialization in trauma therapy. She has been working in the Reproductive Life Stages program at Women’s College Hospital since 2010, providing individual, couple and group psychotherapy to women and their families struggling with issues related to mood and anxiety in pregnancy, postpartum, premenstrually and in peri/menopause.
Greer Slyfield Cook RSW, has been working as a clinical social worker in the area of women’s mental health since 2001. She currently works as a therapist providing individual, couple and group therapy to women in the Reproductive Life Stages program, a program focused on mood and anxiety in pregnancy, postpartum, premenstrually and in peri/menopause at Women’s College Hospital. Greer is the Professional Advisor and Education Coordinator for Social Work at Women's College Hospital and holds an Adjunct Lecturer position at the Factor-Inwentash Faculty of Social Work, University of Toronto.
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