Archive | January, 2013

Healthy Moms give birth to Healthy Babies

30 Jan

Expectant parents who want their children to have the best of everything should accord top priority to exercise before delivery. Studies have proved exercise is beneficial not only to the pregnant women, but also to the developing child.

It is generally accepted that women can better approach childbirth with calm and confidence if her muscles are in good tone and she has learnt how to control, if she is taught to relax herself at will and if she has taken nutritional and other measures to maintain general good health.

The human body is so constructed that in order to remain healthy it must be exercised regularly and correctly. According to American college of Obstetricians and Gynecologist (ACOG),  exercise during pregnancy is encouraged.

Benefits of exercise for the mom.

Women who engage in regular, moderate exercise for at least 20 minutes, 3-5 days a week throughout their pregnancies:

1. Tend to have shorter and less complicated labours;
2. Have more energy during pregnancy and recover faster following delivery;
3. Return to their pre – pregnancy weight sooner than less active women;
4. Gain less weight during pregnancy;
5. Tend to experience an improved body image, enhanced self esteem and a general sense of well being;
6. Experience less tension, anxiety and fatigue;
7. Experience a decrease in the common discomforts of pregnancy;
8. Maintain cardiovascular fitness; and
9. Increase muscular strength.

Exercise programs that benefit pregnant women have these essential components:

1. Cardiovascular (endurance) exercise- Activities such as walking, aerobics and jogging provide the most important benefits of exercise during pregnancy. Pregnant women should do endurance exercise for 30 minutes 3-5 times per week.

2. Resistance  training –  Maintaining or increasing muscular strength allows the muscles to support the “Loosened ” joints and prevent injury, relieve discomfort, and prepare new  moms for strenuous life with a newborn. Strength training can be done 2-3 times per week on alternating days.

3. Stretching- Stretching exercise increase increase range of motion and flexibility . Pregnant women move more easily, have fewer aches and pains with pregnancy avoid injury and typically have shorter labours and deliveries. Stretching exercises are encouraged daily.

Benefits of Exercise for the baby

James F Clapp, M.D. and his associates have studied both short – term and long – term effects of exercise on developing babies. When a pregnant women exercises, blood is temporarily shunted away from her abdomen, hence the uterus. The foetal heart rate temporarily decreases in response to the decreased uterine blood flow. After the mother finishes  exercising , the foetal increases before it returns to its regular baseline rate as uterine blood flow normalizes. This adaptation, Clapp discovered, helps developing babies better endure the stresses experienced during labour and delivery, as well as the transition to life outside the womb.

The newborn tend to be alert and less startled by their environment. They also readily settle themselves, requiring less comforting. Long term, babies experience no stunting of growth or development.

Based upon Clapp’s research finding it is now safe to say that regular exercise, continued throughout the pregnancy, is not only good for the mothers, but also good for the babies.

Cross Training with Pilates

23 Jan

Cross training is simply a schedule of exercise using various methods. It could cardio – strength, cardio- yoga, spinning – strength. When the cardio and strength is combined together there are chances of fatigue/overtraining. Also this can put the client at risk of injury.

The benefits of pilates can be combined with regular exercise program by the clients to maximize the benefits. Pilates exercise are oriented toward functional fitness, meaning that pilates teaches you to move better in general, thereby enchancing performance and reducing risk of injury in other activities. The other key to pilates is that it works the muscles in a chain which is termed as kinetic chain in the fitness and rehab industry. The plan is work a few muscles together so that they can be synchronized in the functional pattern.

When your gymming schedule includes workout to your global muscles like deltoid, biceps, triceps, latts, quads, hams, gluteus, pilates complements with working out the smaller local stabilizing muscles like the serrtes anterior rhomboids, lower trapezes, glue medius, transverse abdominals. This kind of work in cross training will be of immense benefit in the functional capacity, body posture, better muscle function.

It is recommended that you include 2-3 sessions of pilates in your exercise schedule to get good result. For women and those in their late 50’s, the need for maintaining balance, muscle strength and flexibility are important functions to maintain a healthy life. Pilates exercise is best suited for those populations in getting these benefits with minimum efforts.

Pick your trial class for a feel of this form of exercise! Contact your branch for details.


Clean Eating Principals

17 Jan

Are you one of those people who exercise consistently and never see’s results? There are many people like you struggling and scratching their heads as to why the exercise makes s0 little difference.

Want to know what the problem is?

It’s your nutrition.

You aren’t  eating clean. No amount of exercise will reshape your body without appropriate nutrition. Picture a mountain peak, its jagged beauty and sharp lines softened by blanket of thick snow. You can’t see any of the rocky details underneath the snow. It’s the same as the human body. Take a look at your stomach, you legs, arms or shoulders. A layer of fat obscures any muscle definition you may have, just like the snow of the mountain. Long comes a blistering hot sun whose energy melts the snow from the mountain. Sure enough jagged details come into view. The same is true of the clean energy you consume.

The blistering fuel from superior foods such as complex carbohydrates, lean protein, fruit and vegetables melts away fat and soon your muscular definition comes sharply into view. That is the beauty of clean eating.

Clean eating consists of eating five oer six small meals every day. eat your meals every two to three hours with combination of lean protein and complex carbs at every meal. Drink at least two liters (or 8 tall glasses) of water each day. Never miss a meal, especially breakfast. Carry a cooler (lunchbox) loaded with healthy clean foods. Avoid saturated, trans fats, sugar loaded colas and juice. Consume adequate healthy fats(EFA’s) each day. Avoid alcohol (another form of alcohol) and all calorie-dense foods that contain little or no nutritional value. Depend on fresh fruits and vegetables for fiber, vitamins and enzymes. Lasty stick to proper portion sizes and no super sizing of your meals.

These clean eating principals will give you result as you continue on your fitness journey of training smarter and not harder thus giving you the results you have worked so hard to achieve.


The Pressure is on to Keep Fit.

16 Jan

Blood pressure(BP) is a measurement of the force of blood pushing against the walls of your arteries and is reported mm of mercury (Hg) by two numbers: Systolic BP/ diastolic BP. A good, or normal, resting blood pressure is below 120/80. High blood pressure against the arterial walls and over period of time, can damage your body’s organs and lead to serious health problems. In fact, chronic hypertension is a leading risk factor for cardiovascular disease, renal failure, stroke and even death. It has been reported that every filth individual in Chennai is hypertensive. It is a “silent disease.  In 0ther words, individuals do not usually have symptoms of high blood pressure. Therefore, it is wise to know your numbers.

Hypertension can be treated by prescribed medications, diet modifications and exercise, but why not prevent it from occurring?

You can take action to prevent high blood pressure by:

  • Reducing sodium (salt) intake–most adults should have less than one teaspoon, or 1500 milligrams, of sodium a day;
  • Maintaining a healthy weight;
  • Moderation of alcohol comsumpation; and
  • Being active- the NH recommends regular aerobic physical activity such as brisk walkintg at least 30 minutes per day, most days of the week. If you are using heart rate to determine your training intensity, use a range of 70 to 80% of your age-predicted max (220 bpm minus age). Or, you can simply use a subjective rating of your perceived exertion “somewhat hard” to “hard”.

Ask your trainer to help you devise an exercise routine that is right for you. Remember…

…an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure!