Posts Tagged ‘sleep’

Pregnancy and Exercise a few basics!

Thursday, February 25th, 2010

A few reasons to exercise during your pregnancy:

No kankles for you! Exercise during pregnancy improves circulation which helps with constipation, hemorrhoids, varicose veins, leg cramps and ankle swelling. Exercise can alleviate back pain through strengthening the back.

 You’ll be able to tackle the day! Energy can be restored! Exercise can help some of the lethargy caused by pregnancy; baby-growing takes a lot of energy!

You better get some rest now before the baby comes! Exercise will tire you into a deeper more restful sleep.

Your husband will like you a little more! Mood swings no more! Exercise will help stabilize mood and self-image, helping you adjust to your new body!

You will thank yourself in the delivery room!  Shorter labor? Sign me up! Exercise will also give you more endurance for your labor, will decrease the time in delivery room, and the recovery will be much quicker!

Baby will thank you! Exercising during pregnancy will maintain your muscle strength and tone, making it a little easier to carry your baby in your arms post-pregnancy! And the weight will come off a little easier.

Om! Include relaxation and stretching before and after your exercise! Recovery is just as important as the workout itself!

Things to check after you find out you’re with child:

What’s up doc?  Make sure you are cleared to exercise. This shouldn’t be a problem if you are currently exercising, but its always good to check. If you are just starting an exercise program, start very slowly and try not to over exert yourself.

Tone down the intensity not your muscles! Keep exercise controlled, stay within your recommended heart rate level to ensure the baby is getting the oxygen needed. Do not exercise to exhaustion or breathlessness. When you exercise, the blood flow shifts away from your internal organs (including your uterus) to give your muscles, lungs and heart more oxygen. During the second and third, avoid exercises where you need to lie down on your back, this causes discomfort for you, and lack of blood for baby.

Watch your step! As the center of balance shifts forward, falls are much more likely! Joints also have more give during this time, as well. When exercising where comfortable clothing and footwear, make sure that your sneakers have good support in the ankle and arch! Avoid activities that put you at additional risk for slips and falls. And avoid contact sports! And stay within your comfort zone.

Don’t overheat! Avoid exercising in hot weather. Hot or not, take frequent breaks and HYDRATE!

Don’t over do it! Listen to your body; it will let you know when to reduce level of exercise. If you experience any of the following stop! And contact your doctor immediately! -unusual pain or shortness of breath, dizziness or lightheadness, racing heartbeat or chest pain, fluid or blood leaking from vagina, uterine contractions, muscle cramps

All this and more can be found at http://www.americanpregnancy.org/pregnancyhealth/

Feeling tired?

Monday, February 15th, 2010

So, you’re having trouble falling asleep, but you’re doing everything right! You exercise everyday, you’re not drinking caffeine after lunch, you’re not eating late or drinking alcohol. So why can’t you wind down and just relax? Many factors may be to blame…

Sleep regularity is very important in maintaining restful nights. For some six hours will work great, and others need eight or nine. The most crucial factor in this equation would have to be regularity and routine. Sleeping too much and not enough in the same week is also a very common habit. When you are going to bed and waking around the same time everyday do you notice that you are waking up before the alarm? This is a good indicator of adequate sleep and a good routine.

Another thing we do that can cause sleeplessness… working in bed. Beds and Bedrooms are for two things only! Sleeping and intimacy. By working from your bed you are changing that space from a sleep and relaxing place to a work place and you will end up taking work stresses to bed with you, leaving you with a less restful space.

Stress. We are always rushing, to the gym, to work, to take the kids to school, to get home, to make dinner, to do chores, to watch your shows. You name it and you’re probably rushing. You are having a hard time transitioning from day to night. To help make your transition easier look for an adjustment activity.

Just like before your workout, give yourself an adjustment activity, something that lets your body and mind now what’s coming next. For some it’s taking a calming shower, chamomile tea or light stretching. The only requirement for your activity is that you need to incorporate it into your routine.

Try to stay away from talking about your day and your worries while lying in bed, and even in your bedroom. This is your tranquil space.  A great activity to increase your rest and every other aspect of your life is to look at everything you are thankful for before you go to bed. This very positive activity will put you at ease by focusing on all the good in your life. Keep your bedroom very positive and all stresses out!

The Importance of Strength Training

Friday, January 15th, 2010

Did you know that the more muscle mass you have the higher your metabolic rate is at rest? With strength training it is possible to increase your metabolic rate by 15%. That means you will burn more calories while sleeping!

According to the CDC and Tufts University, exercises have been shown to increase the strength of your muscles, maintain the integrity of your bones, and improve your balance, coordination, and mobility. In addition, strength training can help reduce the signs and symptoms of many chronic diseases, including arthritis. Here are some interesting facts to get you motivated today:

- Did you know that with reduction in muscle from lack of use, bone reduces too? Strength training can and will help maintain or improve your bone density.

- Did you know that muscle is more dense than fat? 5 pounds of fat is more than 3 times the size of 5 pounds of muscle. You may weigh the same, but you will definitely lose inches, fitting into your skinny jeans!

-Did you know that exercise can help improve your mood and self esteem? During exercise endorphins are released. Endorphins are chemicals, released during exercise that act as a natural pain killer and give a sense of euphoria. This not only helps your mood but makes you feel better about your self.

-Did you know that exerting energy can actually bring you more energy? Through exercise you can increase your stamina, reducing fatigue.

-Did you know that putting physical stress on your body can help you get a more restful sleep? Exercising reduces insomnia, and restlessness.

-Did you know that back pain can be reduced or diminished without pain medication? Working out and strengthening your back muscles through proper technique can build the muscle and reduce the pain caused by stress placed on the muscle.

-Did you know that by working your muscles you can work your heart muscle? It is very important to work your heart, this will make it stronger. Strength training will reduce your risk of heart disease.

-Did you know that exercise can reduce the signs of aging? Weight gain and muscle loss are great signs of aging. Strength training will increase muscle and help you’ll lose weight. The typical adult loses one-half pound of muscle per year after 20, that’s 5 pounds by the age 30! 20 pounds by age 60! When you lose muscle, fat often takes its place in the skin, 20 pounds of fat could result in a gain of 6-8 sizes! Yikes!

The best way to start a strength training program, is to identify achievable short term and long term goals, consult with your doctor, celebrate achievements but not with food! Take a vacation, go for a hike!
Starting a fitness program may be the best gift you can give yourself. It will help in the long run, as well as, in your daily routine.