Gym or Group Fitness-What’s the best for you?


There are a lot of options out there when it comes to fitness. From gym memberships, to group fitness, to in-home personal training — making it difficult to choose what best for you.
Here’s a list if Pros & Cons to make choosing how you get fit a little easier.
Group Fitness👫👬👭
✅Pros:
👍More Motivation
👍Accountability Factor
👍Supervision
👍Variety & Fun
👍Diverse Workouts
👍Achieve better fitness results
👍Social
👍Trying different kinds of classes is a great way to find what speaks to you.
👍Cost Effective
❎Cons:
👎Lack of Individual Training
👎Lack of Attention to Form
👎Overtraining Potential
👎The cost of multiple group classes can add up quickly, finding new instructors/classes can take up valuable time.
🌟Tips/Tricks🌟 If you have an instructor or studio you like, ask if they have deals on class passes or single month memberships. It will save you loads off of buying class passes at their normal price!
Gym💪
✅Pros:
👍(Usually) affordable membership, regular hours, and a wide range of equipment to choose from
👍Individual Training available
❎Cons:
👎Locked into membership for several months at a time
👎You’re on your own during workouts
🌟Tips/Tricks🌟 Negotiate with the employee signing you up for membership! Most gyms have wiggle room in their pricing structure to allow for individualized rates. Also, ask if there are any membership specials coming up in the near future (lowered monthly rate, no initiation fees, etc).

Choosing between a gym membership & group classes isn’t an easy decision. If you’re still having trouble deciding, my suggestion is an easy one: Try both!

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Ways to Ease a Muscle Cramp


Cramps are unpleasant, often painful sensations caused by muscle contraction or over shortening. Common causes of skeletal muscle cramps is-

  1. Muscle fatigue
  2. Cold Temperatures
  3. Not enough Warm up before exercising or playing a sport
  4. Dehydration
  5. Electrolyte imbalance

Ways to relax your Muscles & avoid Cramping:

  1. Hydrate Yourself- Dehydration is one of the biggest culprits of muscle cramps. When you feel your muscles tensing into a cramp, it could be a sign that your body is dehydrated. Immediately drink water before the pain becomes too bad.
  2. Massage It- The minute you get a cramp, gently massage the muscle that is cramping. Rub the knots that have formed in the muscle to ease the sharp pain. Make sure you rub in the natural direction of the muscle.
  3. Warm Bath- Warmth eases tension in the muscles. If you’ve been struck by a cramp, hop in for a long, warm shower. It will relieve pain, relax the cramped muscle & make you comfortable. And you will feel much fresher afterwards too!!
  4. Stretch- Stretching helps ease muscle cramps too. For example, if you have a calf cramp, stretch your leg out with toes pointing upwards & towards your head. Hold for 30sec. It also works for cramps in your thighs.
  5. Magnesium Oil- Magnesium oil is hard to find, but its a really good remedy for muscle cramps. It is a natural muscle relaxant. All you have to do is massage the oil into the cramp in order for it to be relieved within minutes.
  6. Go Ayurvedic- There are several Ayurvedic solutions for easing cramps, including mustard seeds. Saturate a tub of hot water with a homemade tea bag of brown/black mustard seeds. When you have a cramp, immerse your feet in the tub for around 20min & your muscle cramp should be relieved.
  7. Ice Pack- If you have a really bad cramp, rubbing an ice pack over it can help the pain. Rub the ice pack over your muscle till your skin becomes reddish. The redness is an indication that blood is flowing back into the muscle & the cramp should ease.
  8. Cover Up- The minute you feel a cramp coming on pr when your struck by one, cover yourself with a blanket/switch off the air conditioner if your indoors. The warmth will get rid of the muscle tension & cramp.
  9. Electrolyte Supplements- Make sure you take supplements that you need daily. Also, while suffering from a cramp, something salt heavy such as an electoral can help ease the pain.
  10. Apple Cider Vinegar- Drinking a mixture of apple cider vinegar everyday will help keep muscle cramps away as it is a source rich in potassium. However, if you suddenly get a cramp, drink some with a teaspoon of honey in some warm water will give your cramps instant relief.

If you have another method you use to relieve your muscle cramps, we’d love to know. Comment here to let us know!

Scoliosis- Rehabilitation


Because the skeletons of children & young adults grow quickly, there is a reasonable chance that if a curve is detected, the degree of the spinal curve may worsen as the spine continues to grow. In those cases, scoliosis treatment is advisable.

Rehabilitation

Non-surgical Rehabilitation

Bracing:

  • Two braces used most often for this condition are the Milwaukee brace & the Boston brace.
  • Studies show that bracing controls the curve and prevents progression. In most cases, bracing does not correct the curve; it just keeps it from getting worse.
  • While in your brace, you won’t be able to participate in sports that require flexibility such as gymnastics or tumbling. Physical contact sports such as football, hockey, or soccer are also prohibited while wearing the brace
  • Bracing is generally used for at least two years or until there is no sign of further change. Your surgeon will follow up at regular intervals. Follow-up visits & repeated x-rays are needed more often for the child who has a rapidly progressing curve or who is in a growth spurt.
  • Non-surgical patients are advised to exercise regularly & to exercise in their brace if they are using one.

Unfortunately, some curves do not respond to bracing. Cervico-thoracic curves (from the middle of the back up into the neck) & curves greater than 40 degrees tend not to respond well to bracing. Also, older patients who are closer to skeletal maturity may not respond to bracing.

Exercises

Surgical Rehabilitation
If bracing doesn’t stop the progression of scoliosis, then surgery may be needed.
Scoliosis surgery usually involves spinal instrumentation (i.e. rods, screws) & fusion (bone graft), to stop curve progression. Surgery does not cure scoliosis, but helps to correct and manage curve progression to avoid further deformity.

After Surgery:
Post-operative patients are usually discharged from hospital within five to seven days. They are able to progress quickly, returning to routine daily activities, including returning to school. Your surgeon will discuss your activity restrictions.

The primary goal of treatment is to stabilize the lateral curvature in the back, strengthen the muscles that support the back, improve posture, lung function, flexibility and movement in the back. Speak with your doctor before starting an exercise program for scoliosis.

Scoliosis- An Overview


Scoliosis is not a disease, but rather it is a deformity in the spine that causes an abnormal C-shaped (one curve) or S-shaped curvature (two curves). Depending on when it develops, there are 3 types of scoliosis:

  • Infantile– Birth-3 years of age
  • Juvenile- 4-9 years of age
  • Adolescent 10 years-when growth is complete

Adults can have residuals of childhood scoliosis.

Causes:

A specific cause of scoliosis is unknown or idiopathic. This Scoliosis most typically occurs in individuals 10 to 18 years old (Adolescent). It tends to run in families & is more common in girls than boys. Often it develops in middle or late childhood during a rapid growth spurt.

Scoliosis can also be present at birth or may develop as a result of another neurological condition such as cerebral palsyspina bifida, or spinal muscular atrophy.

Any part of the spine can be affected-cervical, thoracic, or lumbar vertebrae. Most often the thoracic & lumbar spines are affected. At first, a C-shaped curve may develop causing the shoulders and hips to tilt down on one side. In an effort to keep the head in the middle, the spine may compensate by curving the lower part of the spine in the other direction, hence forming an S-curve.

This article focuses on the most common form of scoliosis-idiopathic scoliosis.

What does Scoliosis feel like?

Scoliosis is a painless condition. You may not feel any change in the spine but instead notice that your clothes don’t fit quite right. The shoulders & hips may be uneven, causing one shirtsleeve or pant leg to seem shorter than the other. Often there is rotation of the vertebrae causing an uneven waist so that a pair of pants or skirt twists to one side.

The most common signs of scoliosis are-

  • Visible curvature of the spine to one side/ Leaning to one side
  • Uneven shoulders
  • Prominent or winging shoulder blades
  • Uneven breasts (girls) or nipples (boys)
  • Uneven hips
  • Leg-length difference
  • Abnormal gait
  • Bump or rib hump on one side of the spine, most noticeable when bending forward at the waist.
  • Hemlines or trouser lengths uneven
  • Clothing does not fit correctly

The presence of one or more of these signs suggests a need for a medical exam by your medical professional.

It is important to note that idiopathic scoliosis results in spinal deformity, but is not a cause of back pain.

 Treatment:

The optimal treatment depends on the degree or severity of the scoliosis.

There are several ways to treat scoliosis in children:

Examination & x-rays taken over a period of time will help show if the scoliosis is staying the same or progressing (getting worse).

Selecting treatment options for the child with scoliosis involves several factors-

  • Age of the child
  • Degree of the spinal curve
  • Skeletal maturity of the spine
  • Preferences of the patient & family

Treatment may be nothing more than observation especially if the curve is 30-degrees or less in a child who is no longer growing. If the curve is progressing & the child is growing rapidly, the child is referred for exercise and/or bracing.

Preventing severe curvature is important for the physical appearance & health of the patient. The deformity can cause marked psychological distress & physical disability, especially among adolescent patients. A high degree of curvature may also put the patient at risk for cardiopulmonary compromise as the curve in the spine rotates the chest & can cause pressure on the heart, lungs (i.e. shortness of breath), liver, & other internal organs.

Early diagnosis & treatment are important to help prevent curve progression & stabilize the spine while the child grows & also prevent problems with breathing & cardiovascular function.

Important Note: That idiopathic scoliosis is not caused by activity such as exercise, sports or carrying heavy object; nor does it come from sleeping position, posture or minor differences in leg length.

Total Hip Replacement


Total Hip replacement is a surgical procedure of removing the diseased the femur head and neck and replacing it with an artificial prosthesis.

Usually the patients considered for the total hip replacements are:

  • Young patient
  • Osteoarthritis of hip joint
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Avascular necrosis
  • Septicemia
There is a progressive increase in chronic pain and difficulty in walking, stair climbing & even rising from a chair.
Difference in Cemented & Uncemented prosthesis:
Cemented prosthesis is usually used in older patients who are less active  and have less bone density.
Whereas uncemented can be used in younger andactive individuals.

The primary disadvantage of uncemented prosthesis is the extended recovery period.
Because it takes a long time for the natural bone to grow and attach to prosthesis, hence the person has to limit his activitites for upto 3 months to protect hip.

Your hospital stay may last for a week, if you go straight home you will need help for several weeks. The following steps can make you homecoming easier:

  1. In kitchen as well as other rooms, place items you use frequently within reach so you dont have to reach up or bend down.
  2. Rearrange furniture so you can walk easuily with walker or stick.
  3. Get a good chair: the one that is firm and higher than average sear
  4. Remove any throw rugs or area rugs that could make u slip.
  5. Securely fasten electrical cords around perimeter of the room.
  6. Install a shower chair, grab bar and raised toilet.
  7. Use assistive devices such as long andle sponge and a grabbing tool or reacher to avoid bending too far.
  8. Wear big pocket shirts or soft shoulder bag for carrying things.

Activities at Home:

  • Keep skin dry and clean,
  • Notify doctor if your wound drains.
  • Swelling is normal for first 3-6 months. elevate leg slightly <30 degrees on pillow and put ice pack for 15 20 min.
  • If u have calf pain, chest pain and shortness of breath notify immediately.

Resuming Activities at Home:
Once you get home, stay active. The KEY is not to overdo it, while you expect some good days and some bad days, you should notice gradual improvement over time.

Weight Bearing
Discuss with you physical therapist regarding the weight bearing of the operated leg as the rehabilitation protocol will be different for cemented and uncemented.

Driving
You can begin driving an automatic car in 4 to 8 weeks after consulting your doctor and your symptoms post surgery.

Sex
Some form of sex positions can be safely resumed 4-6 weeks after surgery. Ask you doctor regarding the same.

Sleeping positions

  • Sleep on you back with legs slightly apart on your side with abduction pillow.
  • Be sure to use pillow atleast 6 weeks ot untill doctor says not to use,Sleeping on stomach is alright,
Sitting
  • For atleast 3 months sit only on chairs that have arms.
  • Do not sit on low chair, reclining chairs.Donot cross your legs at knees.
  • Get up and move around possibly every 1 hour.

Climbing

  • Stair climbing should be limited if possible untill healing is far enough.
  • If you must go up stairs- The unaffected leg should step up first, then bring affected leg up to same step, then bring your cane.
  • To go down- Put cane first, next bring affected leg down to that step, finally step down with unaffected leg

Return to work:
Depending on the type of activiies you perform it may take as long as 3 months or 6 months to return to work.

Other activities:

  • Walk as much as you like once doctor given you go ahead, but remember don’t substitute walking for your prescribed exercise.
  • Swimming is recommended once sutures are removed and wound is healed, apporox 6-8 weeks after surgery,
  • Acceptable activities are dancing, golfing with spikeless shoes and cart , bicycling on level surfaces.
  • Avoid activites that involve impact or stress on joints such as tennis, badminton, contact sports such as baseball, football, squash, jumping or jogging
  • Lifting weight is not problem but carrying heavy awkward object thatr cause you to stagger is not advised esp if you must go up or down stairs or slopes

DOS AND DONTS:
The dos and donts vary depending on orthopaedic surgeon’s approach.
Your doctor and physical therapist will provide you with a list of do’s and dont’s to remember with your new hip.
The precautions will help you to prevent the new joint from dislocation and ensure proper healing.

  • Do not cross your legg at the knees for atleast 8 weeks
  • Do not bring your knee up higher than your hip
  • Do not lean forward while sitting or as you sit down
  • Do not try to pick something onfloor while you are sitting
  • Do not turn your feet excessively inward or outward when you bend down
  • Do not reach down to pull your blankets when lying in bed
  • Do not bend at waist beyond 90 degree
  • Do not stand pigeon toed
  • Do not kneel on knees on un operated leg
  • Do not use pain as a guide for what you may or may not do.
DO cut back on your exercise if your muscle aches but dont stop doing exercise.