Whether you are a Mum with a bub at home feeding your baby, if you are prenatal or if you are sitting at your office desk, spending long period of times sitting down is not good for our bodies.
According to a study in 2012 about television, for every hour we spend sitting we decrease our life span by 22 minutes.
I always go back to the apes and gorillas who are always swinging from tree to tree, walking around looking at things. And then I think “we were not made to sit down all day”!
Our bodies were not designed to sit in a static sitting position. Mostly when we are sitting, we are sitting with bad posture, with our bodies slumped forward or slumped to one side. This bad posture inevitably leads to chronic lower back pain and knee pain. As we slump forward when sitting, our organs become compressed, making our breathing harder.
Our head also sits in a forward position as we struggle to look at the screen, and this can’t always be corrected with exercise.
As a Mum feeding her Bub, the head is down, the shoulders are forward and the back is slumped.
The issue of our head position is also becoming prevalent as we use our laptops at home where we are not ergonomically set up in the correct position, and also with the prevalence of tablets and smart phones.
So, what should we do?
I encourage my Mums and Bubs clients when they are feeding their babies to try to sit up as tall as possible with shoulders back, and lean forward from the hips and elevate the baby on a pillow. Yes, I know, this is not always possible.
I encourage my office clients to get up from their desk every 45 minutes, or as often as they can. Get up and go to the toilet, grab a drink of water, grab a cup of coffee, go for a quick walk around the office. Just Get Up From Your Chair!
Another option is standing desks. But this may not be possible for everyone.
Consistent exercise is important to prevent such chronic issues – both cardiovascular and strength exercises – and should be gradually be built up.
So, less sitting, more moving. Keep your body in good shape.
We can sometimes have a really good eating plan, eating a balanced diet, lots of vegetables and salad, cutting down our junk food and still not reduce our waist measurement by as much as we would expect.
There is one more thing we need to take into consideration – and that is the hormone called cortisol. This is particularly important for new Mums in my Mums and Bubs fitness classes. This hormone is released when we are under stress, don’t get sufficient sleep and are generally run down. High levels of cortisol have been linked to increased levels of abdominal fat.
So, if we want to reduce our girth measurements, we need to lead a balanced lifestyle. I know, easier said than done!
There are certain things we can actually do to achieve this. The three major changes we can make are:
1. Work Less. Well, wouldn’t that be nice! New research shows that if you work more than 48 hours per week, the likelihood of consuming excess alcohol increases dramatically. Alcohol consumption increases cortisol, and together they both increase belly fat. So If you’re looking to decrease your waistline, cut back your work hours and at the same time increase your exercise for stress relief (in lieu of alcohol). Getting out in the fresh air for a walk, bike ride or swim, or doing some weight exercises will increase the release of the endorphins which will then be your stress release! And what a great time to start now that we are nearing summer and have daylight saving. NO EXCUSES!
2. Get A Good Night sSleep. Unfortunately this is hard for new mums. One way to do this is to decrease your coffee consumption after lunch and particularly after 6pm. Coffee can enhance fat-burning when consumed around exercise, however as it is a stimulant it can negatively affect the quality of sleep of most people. This poor sleep quality causes cortisol to be released which in turn leads to fat being held around our abdomen. So getting quality, uninterrupted sleep each night is important to reduce cortisol. So avoid caffeine in the evening.
3. Time Out From Technology. During the day/evening, have a period of time that you do not check your mobile phones messages or emails, don’t look at your computer, don’t have the TV on. Just take time out from your technology world! A recent Canadian study showed that those who were constantly “plugged in” to technology all throughout the day were greatly more stressed than those who took time to “unplug” during designated time blocks each day. Once again, more stress leads to cortisol release which leads to more abdominal fat. So start planning some device-free time each day for the good of your waistline!
So there you are! Three starting steps to a healthier you!
Today is a great day to start … so all the Mums and Bubs fitness ladies let’s get to it!
Welcome To Daylight Saving. Let’s Use These Extra Daylight Hours To Our Fitness Advantage.
So many times when I am speaking to either new Mums and Bubs, working women or working men, do they say that they don’t have time to exercise, or they are too tired to exercise. I just wish they would take a few minutes a day to get outside and get happy and healthy. They would then realise the great many benefits they would feel – they would feel less stressed and be able to focus on the task at hand, they would have more energy, they would sleep better and they would be fitter and stronger. These are just a few of the benefits of exercise. I know myself that if I am struggling to concentrate on a task that if I take myself outside for 30 minutes of exercise and sun and fresh air, I come back to the task and blitz it immediately! Unfortunately exercise is the first thing we drop when things get busy or we feel under pressure and tired. We find excuses like early morning meetings, babies not sleeping well and late nights. But it is when these interruptions occur that exercise should be the first thing on our list to increase! Exercise will boost our energy and release the happy hormones too.
So, Why Is Exercise So Important?
As mentioned above, exercise will ensure you have more energy throughout the day, which is especially important for my Mums and Bubs ladies who have little ones to look after. Exercise will also help you sleep better at night. I know some of my Mums and Bubs ladies have broken sleep and feel they have no energy to come to their class. But I also know that they feel great once the class has finished. They are raring to go and are set for the day ahead. And my early morning clients realise that the fitter they are, the more productive they are. It is a win for everyone.
Exercise releases endorphins – the happy hormone that makes you feel positive and relaxed! So, if you want to keep the blues at bay, increase your exercise to increase your happiness. This is really important for everyone as we are starting to see in the media, and especially important for new mums – I have heard one of my Mums say on a rather rainy day that she needed come to exercise otherwise she “would lose it”! I am sure this is a familiar feeling for all mums! So, Happy Mum, Happy Bub, Happy Husband. And from everyone’s point of view, who would want anything else?
Exercise provides a quick energy boost. This can be really important in an office job where you get the mid afternoon slump. My runs at lunchtime when I was working in an office provided me with fresh energy and enthusiasm for the afternoon ahead.
Exercise is also good for our brain. It is recommended for us all to keep physically fit to avoid brain diseases such as dementia. You will have a better memory, will be able to concentrate more and exercise also promotes the growth of new brain cells.
Exercise will help you feel good about yourself and enhance your self esteem. If you are physically fit your energy levels are high. If you feel full of energy you will feel as though you can conquer the world.
But Don’t Panic. Consistency is Key. You don’t have to flog your body and do a hard workout every day to gain these benefits. It is great if you can do that a few times a week. On the other days just get outside and get some fresh air and vitamin D – grab a friend for a walk or swim or a bike ride. Enjoy the scenery. Just ensure you’re are moving!
One more thing – your food! No-one wants to forego their favourite food. And you don’t have to! Just be conscious every day of what you are eating and stay with a clean lean eating plan – then you can afford to indulge in a little bit of dark chocolate. If you are eating healthy food, once again your body will benefit (no bloating, no energy slumps), you will have high energy levels and your mood will be upbeat.
So, that is why it is important to exercise!
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Diet Coke and ‘Real’ Coke – Why You Should NEVER Drink Them
This information is taken from an article was written by an English pharmacist. Articles on Coca Cola pop up periodically so I thought it important to share with everyone as a reminder how BAD they are for us.
Many people think that because they are drinking diet drinks with no sugar and no calories, they are doing the correct thing to maintain or lose weight. However looking at the facts this is far from truth. Diet Coke has negative effects on our body almost from the moment we take the first sip.
Below is a timeline of what happens when you drink diet coke and the original coke.
First 10 minutes: Tricks your tastebuds and attacks your teeth.
Diet coke contains phosphoric acid which attacks tooth enamel. There is evidence that women who regularly drink 3 or more cans a day have lower bone mineral density in their hips compared to those who don’t drink diet coke. Our skin and muscles become damage, and our heart and kidneys become damaged due to the combination of caffeine, phosphoric acid and other additives. Artificial sweetners (like aspartame) are absorbed possibly triggering taste receptors and tricking your body into thinking it has processed sugar.
20 minutes: Can turn on fat storage mode
Diet Coke can trigger insulin release (body thinks sugar has been processed) which sends your body into fat storage mode. There is also evidence of type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure and heart disease occurring.
40 minutes: Can cause addiction
The combination of caffeine and aspartame creates a short addictive high similar to how cocaine works. Toxins are released which may exhaust your brain by overstimulating its neuroreceptors.
60 minutes and beyond: Can deplete nutrients and make you hungry and thirsty
Your body may still crave sweets (as you haven’t actually had any sugar), pushing you to reach for another can or other junk food. Diet Coke won’t quench your thirst, but instead leaves you dehydrated.
‘Real’ coke is no better as it is full of sugar and still contains chemicals.
First 10 minutes: You digest 10 teaspoons of sugar which is the maximum of your daily allowance
20 Minutes – Blood sugar spikes, causing insulin to be released and your liver turning this sugar into fat which will be stored.
40 Minutes – Caffeine is absorbed causing increase in blood pressure.
45 Minutes – Your body increases dopamine production which stimulates the pleasure centres of your brain. This is the same reaction as when you inject heroin.
60 Minutes – Phosphoric acid binds calcium, magnesium and zinc together in the small intestine, boosting metabolism. And the high dose of sugar causes an increased amount of calcium to be lost in our urine.
60 Minutes – The diuretic effect of caffeine becomes evident as we need to go to the toilet more often. The calcium, magnesium and zinc is lost from your body instead of being absorbed into your bones. Sodium, electrolytes and water are also lost.
DRINKING WATER WILL QUENCH YOUR THIRST AND REHYDRATE YOUR BODY WITHOUT ADDED SUGARS AND CHEMICALS.
TRY TO DRINK ABOUT 2 LITRES OF WATER A DAY.