Exercises to Conceive Better


Antenatal exercises is now a days talk of the town, but very few people promote the importance of fitness before the conception.The fitness levels before you conceive will determine the outcome of the pregnancy and also the exercises which you can continue throughout the pregnancy. Working out before you plan for a baby will help you to increase your energy levels and help you to manage your weight.
A study in Columbia University of public health found that fit women who exercised atleast an hour a day three times per week have low risk pregnancies and increased birth weight babies by about 5%, decreased risk of delivering premature babies.They are also able to more easily handle stress and do better emotionally.

Two weeks prior to conceive, you should stop all sports or activities that are jarring or carry a risk of abdominal trauma. Activities such as surfing, horse back riding, soccer, skiing, rock climbing, gymnastics should be discontinued.

EXERCISES which helps you to conceive better: 

WALKING
 Its one of the ideal preconception exercise. If you are unfit and overweight this low impact exercise will help you to shed those extra pounds.Once you conceive it can be continued as long as you can exercise.

CYCLING
Biking is another form of low impact exercise. It helps to maintain the weight and also improves circulations, and reduces risk of gestational diabetes.

SWIMMING
This is considered one of the best exercise even after you conceive.It helps to improve your cardiovascular, muscular strength as well as endurance.

PILATES
It is a mind-body workout that simultaneously strengthens and stretches you. Most of the exercise focus on initiating the movement from your core. Good core muscle strength will prevent you from back pain and also prevent post partum abdominal sagging.

YOGA
It again helps you to improve flexibility, reduces stress.Certain poses in yoga have been found to be beneficial as they increase the blood supply to certain organs.

Child pose

STRENGTH TRAINING
Weight training prior to pregnancy, either through body weight exercise or with dumbells or resistance bands or stability balls will give you a base level muscular strength.Squats, pushups, lunges and plank are examples of safe exercises. Muscle strength will help you to cope up with pregnancy discomfort and prevent low back ache.

RELAXATION
Progressive relaxation techniques can be used also deep controlled breathing can help to relax the body.

PELVIC FLOOR EXERCISES
Pelvic floor exercises are very important to prevent complications like incontinence. Check out the pelvic floor exercises on http://fitnessphysios.blogspot.in/2012/03/incontinence-in-women.html

CORE EXERCISE: Exercises targeting your Transversus abdominis and other abdominals are very important.The exercises included are pelvic bridging, pelvic tilt, plank, side plank etc.

Clam
Leg lifts

GENERAL INSTRUCTIONS

  • Regular gynecological checkup
  • Give up drinking,smoking habits
  • Take folic acid Tablets as prescribed by physician
  • Eat healthy food
  • Keep yourself well hydrate
  • Get your weight checkup done
  • Avoid infections.
  • Check out environmental risks



HAPPY MOTHERHOOD !!!




DISCLAIMER: Kindly consult a physical therapist or certified trainer before attempting the exercises.


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Exercise and Osteoporosis


Welcome Back!!
As we have discussed in the previous blog about the causes, symptoms and diagnosis of osteoporosis. Lets look into the Preventive part of this silent disease.

EXERCISE BENEFITS
1) Weight bearing exercises regularly help to avoid damaging effects.
2) Aerobics, dancing, waking, stair limbing or any activity that uses gravity to place weight on bones will help
perform resistance exercise training with bands.

BODY BALANCE AND OSTEOPOROSIS
If you suffer from osteoporosis, you are vulnerable to fractures.So its important to ensure good balance skills.You can also reduce risk of balance-related injuries by avoiding walking in dark leave a light on if you have to regularly get up at night.Use walking stick .

Exercises
Balance exercises can be checked out here: http://fitnessphysios.blogspot.in/2012/04/coping-with-menopause_04.html

WEIGHT BEARING EXERCISE
These exercises are important because as you work your muscles tug on your bones which stimulates new cell production and helps to strengthen them.
Weight bearing exercise is, any activity in which your legs and feet take most of your body weight such as jogging, walking, dancing and aerobics.Aim for 30 min 5days per week workout.

YOGA

When practiced correctly is beneficial. Seated and standing poses most beneficial.

VIRASANA

 

SHALABHASANA

PILATES
Prevents osteoporosis and improve balance. It strengthens your body and improve posture, balance and coordination.
Best Pilates
Those done on all four position and lying on your stomach or sideways.
Best back exercises

WALL PUSHUPS


                     

BACK EXTENSION

Single leg circles done lying on back and tracing small circles above you with one leg at a time.
Starting with circling leg perpendicular to body and other flat on ground.





Modification: 
The best option is to find class designed for people with osteoporosis.
Common modifications: Always keep head down when lying on floor instead of lifting neck.

EXERCISES TO AVOID
Forward bending may cause spinal fractures, rolling spine is also dangerous.
Specific exercises to avoid: spine twisting, roll up, scissors, neck pull, spine stretch, etc
Ask your Pilates instructor who specializes in working with osteoporosis for limitations.

STRENGTH TRAINING
It helps to increase bone density.
Improves balance and coordination
Lifting weights just twice a week produces 13% increase in dynamic balance over 12 months.
Helps to reduce symptms of osteoporosis including those associated with pain,bone loss and deteriorating posture
Improves quality of life
Ability to perform everyday activities.

STRETCHING
Stiff joints leads to tightened muscles.Your abdomen and chest muscles pull your body forward which can result in stooped posture.Avoid stretched that bend the spine.

AMBULATORY EXERCISES

ZUMBA



WALKING: try up and down hill and alternate between faster and slower speed.
Dancing: fun way to get weight bearing exercises for leg. Zumba, lone dancing, ballroom, tapdance and others can help to keep the bones healthy.



TAI CHI
Involves slow movements combined with deep breathing and meditation.



FALL PREVENTION
You should take measures to prevent yourself from falling and having fractures.
Following link will give you a insight of the fall prevention strategies: http://fitnessphysios.blogspot.in/2012_02_01_archive.html

Need more Evidence: http://www.hygenicblog.com/2012/04/19/bone-mineral-density-and-function-improve-after-exercise-in-osteoporosis-patients/

Age gracefully…….
Cheers!!!

DISCLAIMER: Refer your doctor before attempting any of the mentioned exercises.

Towards a Healthy Menopause…


Menopause marks the opening of the new chapter in women’s life. It is the time when women stops having menstruation.
Menopause can be divided into following phases:
Perimenopause: Its the transition years when the hormonal levels start depleting and women experiences changes at the physical and emotional levels.
Premenopause: These are the years leading up to the last menstrual period.
Post menopause: Its the phase when the women hasn’t experienced the menstrual bleeding minimum 12 months
Women experiences a variety of symptoms as a result of hormonal changes associated with transition through menopause. It occurs in age group of 45-55 years.The hormonal levels decline to a level that menstruation is no longer possible with this shift comes several physical and psychological changes. Its important for women to prepare for these changes by taking good care of their bodies.





SYMPTOMS

  • Hot flushes: It is most common symptom. It is the feeling of warmth that spreads over body, lasting around 30 seconds to few minutes. Flushed(reddened) skin and palpitation and sweating.
  • Urinary incontinence, burning on urination, itching and dryness.
  • Vaginal changes as estrogen affects vaginal lining, experimental women may feel pain during intercourse and may note a change in vaginal discharge.
  • Breast changes: shape changes,signs of atrophy can be seen.
  • Bone loss: The bone loss is rapid in perimenopausal phase.Typically women reaches her peak bone mass by 25-30 years, after that there is decrease in bone mass 0.3% per year.This bone mass is 3% per year in perimenopausal phase which may lead to osteoporosis.Other associated symptoms may be back pain,joint pain.
  • Cholesterol levels: The total cholesterol and LDL (Bad) cholesterol levels increase which leads to increased risk of heart problems.
  • Weight gain
  • Emotional symptoms: Menopause doesn’t always create a series of emotional issues. Some women celebrate the menopause as freedom from birth control concerns or menses.However it is also common to feel unsettled about body changes which seems beyond one’s control.The symptoms include, loss of fertility, aging, loss of sexuality, mood swings, fear of cancer.
But, dear ladies remember; the clouds do eventually lift! meanwhile try alleviating your menopausal symptoms with proper diet and exercise.

EXERCISES TO ALLEVIATE SYMPTOMS OF MENOPAUSE
Even if you’ve never formally exercised, its never too late to start… nor it is too late to reap benefits.The key is to start slowly and do things you enjoy such as:

AEROBIC EXERCISE: Exercises such as walking, cycling, dancing, etc. Aerobics have shown to reduce the stress levels,increase your stamina levels and prevent you from gaining weight.

STRENGTH TRAINING EXERCISES: Low to moderate intensity strengthening exercise helps to build muscle mass which typically is lost due to ageing. Also the bone density increases thus preventing you from getting injuries or osteoporosis. It helps you to increase metabolism and thus preventing from gaining weight.

FLEXIBILITY: It is very important to maintain flexibility of joints and muscles as it prevents from injuries.

Following exercise program can be implemented :
Warm up: active range of motion and mild stretches to major muscle groups
Exercise period: 30-45 min of aerobic exercise
Cool down: slow down the exercise and do stretches.

Make sure all the stretched are held for 15-20 seconds and repeated twice each side.While doing exercise do monitor your heart rate. Perform all exercise atleast 4-5 days a week and alternate 3 days complement aerobic exercise with strengthening of all major, muscles and small muscles group in form of circuit training.

Start aerobic exercises with 50-60% intensity and strengthening can be done by using weights, 40-50% of the weight they can lift maximally for 1 repetition.

STRESS REDUCTION
Aerobics do help to reduce stress.
Tai Chi has also shown positive results for reducing the emotional imbalance caused due to changes in hormones. Meditative exercises and relaxation can done.

Rhythmic Breathing: Rhythmic breathing involves a fixed rhythmic pattern where of inhalation,retention, exhalation,retention is of 2:1:2:1. Don’t hold breathing if you are suffering from blood pressure or any heart disease. 
  • Inhalation 1-2-3-4
  • Pause after inhalation 5-6
  • Exhalation 1-2-3-4
  • Pause after exhalation 5-6
BALANCE EXERCISES
When we reach our 40s,it is not always easy upright. This is because after the age of 25, our balance begins to decrease falls in the later years often result to wrist and hip fractures,which can have devastating effects on lifestyle or even threat to life

Exercise A
Stand directly behind a table or chair and place your feet slightly apart. Lift one leg six inches outside.
Hold the position for 10 seconds.Repeat with the opposite leg.

Exercise B
Stand directly behind a table or chair and place your feet slightly apart. Slowly bend towards your chest lifting your foot six inches off the floor.
Hold the position for 10 seconds and repeat with The opposite leg.

Exercise C
Stand directly behind a table or chair and place your feet slightly apart. Lift one leg back keeping your knee straight.
Hold the position for 10 seconds. Repeat with the opposite leg
The above exercises should be performed 2-3 times a day.

Balance exercise safety guidelines:
Be aware of your posture.Try to maintain your weight over your ankle.
Avoid fast movements including quick turns or changes in position.
Use a chair as a place to not only perform seated exercises but also to hold on to while standing.
always get up slowly when rising from the chair.
Donot close your eyes when exercising or standing from your chair.

T-TAPP exercise
A series of unique movements that are designed to improve spinal alignment, flexibility, strength as well as to build muscle, to improve lymphatic function, raise metabolism and control glucose levels.

YOGA
It helps to maintain flexibility and promote relaxation.



 

                       YOGA POSES
 FOR PERIMENOPAUSAL SYMPTOMS

OTHER MEASURES
  1. Have a regular annual check-up
  2. Breast examination,mammogram
  3. Pap smear
  4. Blood tests
  5. Bone density
  6. Heart risk assessment

Whatever you do,make the commitment now to become more active.Taking control of your health is one way to make menopause a more pleasant experience.

DISCLAIMER :Refer your gynecologist before starting any of the above exercises.

Exercising During Menses


Exercising during periods (menses) might not be a great idea for most of us. One would rather stay in bed and take rest as long as this agonizing discomfort is relieved. While many fear and beliefs regarding menses have changed over years, exercise is a better option to cope up  with those days of the month. Exercising 30 minutes will help you to relieve the symptoms associated with menses or even the Premenstrual syndrome. Physical activity also let loose “feel good hormones”  which combat bad moods and stress.
                               
Push yourself to Exercise
When you are ill and irritable during menses, it can be difficult to start of an exercise. But just a little motivation to start the work out and continue it for 10 minutes and  you may be surprised to see that you still have that energy to continue. Get moving! and it can lessen your pain and discomfort. Exercise can also give you healthy boost of energy.
I would advice that, all women of any age should continue exercising even during menses. You know your body well and you will soon find out how your body responds to exercise, so you can adjust your level of exercise and activity accordingly.
You need to listen to your body if you think you need to take it easy then do so. Dont let periods be an excuse to get out of exercise but yes same time dont push yourself too hard.


Exercises which can be done during Menses
AEROBIC EXERCISE
It helps you to enhance your mood and enthusiasm and energy levels. Perform exercise with moderate intensity. It will help you to alleviate your cramps and reduce bloating. It also helps to increase blood circulation.
YOGA
Focuses on breathing and relaxation technique to alleviate stress and tensions. It provides time for you to focus on your emotions. Stretches for abdomen can help to soothe painful uterine muscles.
LIFTING WEIGHTS
If you dont feel like doing aerobics lift weights will help you to built up stronger muscles and bones and increase your metabolism which will burn fat.
HOME EXERCISES
1) PELVIC STRETCH
When muscles are contracting it causes pain, best way is to stretch it. One of the great exercise to stretch your abdomen and same time to strengthen your back is Bridging.
Lie flat on the floor with both hands resting by your sides. Your feet firmly flat on floor shoulder width apart. Slowly contract your abdominal, lower back and gluts and lift your midsection. Focus on slow upward and downward movement. Ideally 1 rep every 5-10 sec.

Bridging

2)STABILITY EXERCISE
Try keeping your body well aligned so your muscles are relaxed.
Pelvic rocking exercise is cat pose in yoga.
a) On all four position let pelvis fall down naturally as far as possible and then raw in the pelvis back in by curving spine.
Don’t let abdominal muscles drop as you are in this position.
b) Sit on a chair and lean forward and back and side to side while keeping body straight.


OTHER  METHODS

  • Hydrate:  Drink plenty of water throughout the day. It will help you to remove toxins from your body.
  • Avoid tea,coffee:  It may cause  hampering of the iron absorption and utilization leading to anemia .
  • Warm bath or  a Heat pad  on abdomen will help you to relax your abdominal muscle and increase the blood supply.
  • Decrease salt intake: As water retention will be more if you consume more salts and hence bloating happens.
  • Acupressure: Applying 15-30 seconds of direct deep pressure on acupressure points using thumb or fingertips till you get a numbness and repeating it on opposite side again. It helps to relieve menstrual cramps ,regulate menstrual cycle and also relieves bloating.                                                                                                                             Spleen 6: located inner side of ankle about 4 finger breadths above ankle bone. Stomach 36located 3 inches below knee and one finger breadth away from outer aspect of shin bone
SPLEEN 6
STOMACH 36



Getting menses is the most beautiful transition of a girl to women-hood. Its just like our any other physiological process. If its properly understood and taken care of it will soon just be a part of your life.

Cheers !!!