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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This information has been taken from a couple of articles I have read recently and I really feel passionately about it – as we all should. The concept really is commonsense, but sadly many people don’t think about it at all.
This is what I am always on about – even though you are not grossly overweight you can’t afford to not move everyday! Our muscles, bones, vital organs (including our brains) need us to move!
Due to our changing environment, with increased industrialization and technology, we now sit at computers all day, drive to the shop to get a litre of milk, and sit down in front of a computer or television (even use a remote to change TV channels!). We get home delivery of anything ranging from meals to products bought online! We just don’t need to even leave the house these days! Therefore a lot of people just don’t move!
Research shows people burn 500 fewer calories per day than they did 100 years ago when work was more physically demanding, and life as a whole more physically demanding – no home deliveries, and consider cycling or walking 6 kilometres to work or the shops. Modern technology, though great for productivity, is not great for our health as our lifestyles are increasingly more sedentary.
Let’s take a look at heart disease. Observing bus drives and conductors in London, it was found that bus conductors who were walking up and down the stairs had 50% lower risk of heart disease compared to the drivers who spent 90% of their shift sitting down. This is also true for British postal service employees – the postmen delivering the mail on foot or bicycle had fewer heart problems than their office co-workers. Physical movement has a positive effect on the physiological and metabolic adaptations in the cardiovascular, muscular and pulmonary systems which assist in oxygen consumption and energy production – it results in lower blood pressure, improved blood lipid (fat) count, decreased inflammation and increased vessel elasticity. These results make exercise a viable ‘drug’ which targets several processes that are imperative to maintaining cardiovascular health. There have been studies showing that physical activity is as effective as many drugs in decreasing death rates in people with coronary heart disease or those who have suffered a stroke. Exercise obviously strengthens our muscles and bones, but it also very important for our mental wellbeing bringing positive effects to our heath as hormones including endorphins are released causing a happy euphoric feeling.
And Cancer. I don’t like mentioning this subject as it hits so many of us and is such a nasty disease. But we can help ourselves to keep it at bay and this is what a lot of people don’t realise. Many studies show that people who are physically active have some degree of protection from several cancers such as colon and breast cancer with the risk reduced by an average of 25%. There is also some evidence suggesting endometrial, ovarian, lung and prostate cancers are less common in active people. Being active causes biochemical and physiological changes that create an environment that is not conducive to precancerous cells and interferes with their development into advanced cancer. One really important effect of physical activity is that it decreases chronic inflammation inside the body, thus depriving immature cancer cells of an environment that is indispensible for their growth. Muscles in active people absorb blood sugar in response to insulin more effectively, enabling the pancreas to secrete lower amounts of this hormone (insulin) and reduce its harmful effective on the growth of cancer cells. Physically active people generally have a lower level of steroid hormone which also assists to prevent cancer whose development seems to be stimulated by these hormones, particularly breast cancer which is estrogen dependent.
Also Body Weight. Well what can I say? Active people are usually slimmer than those who are not active. Too much fat significantly increases the risk of cancer due to the overproduction of inflammatory molecules, insulin and sex hormones.
And Active, But Sedentary. Generally it is advisable to get 150 minutes of moderate to vigorous activity a week for health benefits. That is only 30 minutes a day, 5 days a week. As well as increasing our activity, we also need to decrease our inactivity or sedentary time per week. This is seems self evident, but it is still possible to increase our activity sufficiently to decrease the risks of chronic disease while at the same time still remaining too sedentary. For example, you can do 30 minutes fast walk every morning (covering the 150 minutes of activity) but spend all day sitting in an office and in front of the television at night. The positive effects of the 30 minutes in the morning are largely cancelled out by the negative effects on your metabolism. Furthermore I have read that the increased risk of disease found in inactive people is seen even in those who are active for more than seven hours a week. Increasing our ‘incidental’ exercise will help here – walk to get the newspaper, litre of milk, walk the children to school (if you have time!), get off the bus/train at an earlier stop and walk the remainder of the way, use the stairs not the escalator or lift.
We need to be active for at least 30 minutes a day, PLUS we need to change our lifestyle ensuring we reduce our time spent on sedentary activities.
Happy Moving Everyone … It’s spring – let’s make the most of this fabulous season.
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.
Why Is It Important To Exercise During Pregnancy and After Having Your Baby?
For the general population, it is important for both your psyche and your body to maintain your fitness and engage in an exercise programme – particularly outside in the elements! Exercising releases your ‘happy hormones’ which means mentally you feel fresher and ready to face the tasks ahead.
And so it is the same throughout pregnancy and after the birth of your baby.
As a mum-to-be, it is important to maintain your strength and fitness. Exercising during pregnancy is important for both your physical and mental wellbeing. It is important to keep strong muscles which to support your joints during this time when hormones released during pregnancy are causing your ligaments to become soft and your joints unstable. If you are fit and happy during your pregnancy you will be stronger to get through each day up until the birth. You will also be stronger during labour and your recovery and energy levels after the birth will be much improved.
It is also important to keep yourself fit during pregnancy to stave off the blues. As your body changes and niggles start to appear, it is important to keep yourself happy and healthy. An exercise programme will assist in a positive psyche as the ‘happy’ hormones are released.
Post natally it is also important, both mentally and physically, to keep up your exercise to regain your body and your fitness. Your mindset has no doubt changed as you are now looking after you and your new very precious baby. It is important for you get some ‘you’ time and keep a sense of self even though you have this new and challenging responsibility.
Exercise is a great avenue for this as you can take a bit of time out for ‘you’ and consider your wellbeing – but you need to be careful and to listen to your body. You don’t need to run a marathon! Your post natal body has changed and is not as stable in the initial post natal period as it was previously. Realising this is important as you embark on an exercise programme. We need to be sure that what we are doing is right for your body at the time and this is where it is important to reach for expert guidance from a women’s health physiotherapist who specializes in this area. I can work with the physio in order develop a suitable plan to help you to regain your strength and fitness safely.
Do you know what you want but not quite sure how to actually go about it or achieve it?
Why COMPLETE Lifestyle & Wellness Coaching? COMPLETE Lifestyle & Wellness Coaching will assist you to gain complete mental and physical health to enable you to become the best person you choose to be. By assessing your current lifestyle, your eating habits and your exercise levels, we will determine how best to assist you to put strategies in place to counteract barriers that are preventing you getting started on a new journey and creating the future you want.
We can help you to close the gap between what you say you want, and what you actually do. To completely achieve your lifestyle and wellness goals, you cannot rely on only one aspect of your lifestyle to be positive. There are four main aspects of your life you need to consider – your mind, your nutrition, your physical fitness and your stress levels. If one of these aspects is lacking, it will be difficult to achieve an improved lifestyle. Being a certified Wellness Coach and Personal Trainer (including pre and post natal training) with a Certificate in Nutrition we are able to assist in these important areas of welbeing.
By using a step by step, structured approach COMPLETE Lifestyle & Wellness Coaching will work with you to assist you to overcome your resistance to change and to overcome the obstacles you face that are stopping you from changing your lifestyle and reaching your wellness and lifestyle goals. We will support you in recognising what you would like to achieve and why you would like to achieve it – what your values are. We will then be able to help you to clarify and create a wellness vision to achieve a long lasting positive lifestyle change, and then finally create a plan of action resulting in long term positive outcomes for your life ahead. We will assist you in setting achievable goals, leading to a happier lifestyle.