Safe Exercise During and After Pregnancy

Celebrity fitness trainer Michelle Bridges has come under fire for sending an irresponsible message to new moms on exercise during and after pregnancy.  She tells the public via and Instagram post that she get 56 minutes of exercise daily, and encourages new moms to get 15-20 minutes of exercise every day.  According to accredited Exercise Physiologist Nigel Stepto and National Heart Foundation Research Fellow Cheryce Harrison, while it is commendable to encourage women to exercise during and after pregnancy, women should seek a health-care professional to tailor workouts based on their individual fitness, health and pregnancy.

                In the absence of specific recommendations for activity during pregnancy, women should accumulate 150-300 minutes of moderate exercise each week.  Normal workouts should be altered to a lighter intensity to adapt to pregnancy. Workouts should include modified yoga, aerobics pilates,etc. Women should always pay attention to warning signs their body gives them, and should not continue use these recommendations of complications occur during pregnancy.  After pregnancy, women should allow time for recovery and then begin easing back into exercise. This may begin with short walks of 3-5 minutes and build up gradually to 20-30 minute walks. They should also practice pelvic floor exercises regularly. Women wishing to maintain exercise routines are encouraged to seek advice from their health-care team. 


Screening Concerns For Celiac Disease

       The gluten-free craze is unlikely to go away anytime soon. Many people say they feel better after adopting a diet free of gluten, a protein found in wheat, barley and rye, even though relatively few gluten avoiders have been given diagnoses of celiac disease, an autoimmune condition that can attack the intestines and other tissues when gluten is consumed. Approximately one person in 140 is known to have celiac disease, which can remain silent for decades and become apparent at any age. Celiac disease is an autoimmune condition that can attack the intestines and other tissues when gluten is consumed. Despite the current focus on gluten, there are probably many people walking around with celiac disease who don’t know they have it. The disorder can induce a host of vague and often confusing symptoms, the true cause of which may not be determined for a decade or longer. Among possible symptoms: abdominal pain, bloating, gas, chronic diarrhea, or constipation; chronic fatigue, anemia, unexplained weight loss, and more. When undiagnosed celiac results in persistent fatigue or infertility, “you can lose years of quality of life that you can’t get back,” Dr. Murray said. If symptoms are subtle, he added, “if the whole population were screened and people with celiac were found and treated, it could result in no health consequences.


       The fact is, however, that celiac disease can remain silent for many years, during which time hidden damage can occur with lifelong, sometimes irreversible, health effects. And as a report for the United States Preventive Services Task Force that reviewed the evidence recently stated, many of these “adverse health consequences” are “potentially avoidable.” These factors suggest that a screening program to detect hidden disease might be health-saving for millions of people. However, after a thorough review of published reports, the task force did not endorse a screening program — not because it considers the condition not serious or because there is no screening test. Rather, the task force said, there is still not enough evidence to answer “key questions related to benefits and harms of screening for celiac disease in asymptomatic individuals.” The team concluded that a lot more well-designed research was needed before a screening recommendation could be justified as medically sound. “There’s a simple blood test for celiac, but it must be done before you change your diet,” Dr. Murray said in an interview.  Until evidence is developed that could justify screening the entire population for celiac, Dr. Murray advocates screening “everyone in the at-risk group,” which would include family members of celiac patients and everyone with Type 1 diabetes, premature osteoporosis and anemia, which may be signs of celiac disease. He also advised that people with chronic bloating, mouth ulcers, chronic headaches or fatigue should be tested. Others who may be at risk for celiac include people with tingling or numbness in the arms and legs, thyroid disease, rheumatoid arthritis and Sjogren’s syndrome.


Can we really change our body shape through exercise?

Can we really change our body shape through exercise?

The short answer, unfortunately, is no. Our bone structure and proportions are largely fixed after we reach adulthood.

You can, however, target specific areas of your body to play with proportions. Be careful, lifting weights will not magically turn fat into muscle, and targeting certain areas of the body will not magically melt fat away from that specific place.

To lose weight, increase your physical activity and exercise, and eat well. Remember your smaller muscle groups. If you only run on a treadmill, you're only going to work the muscles used during running. Consider a boot-camp style workout, which will include oft-forgotten muscles, like those in your hips and wrists. Don't forget your core, targeting your back and abdominals is key to stability, which will help your form. And don't ignore your form! We're wired to avoid discomfort, so we're naturally inclined to use our larger muscles. Pay attention to which muscles should be targeted for the exercise you're doing. It might feel easier, but using momentum to do your reps may cause more harm than good in the long run. Remember to stretch! Stretching is key to maintaining a natural range of motion for all of your joints.


Sugar and Addiction


The effect of sugar consumption on the body is similar to that of drug usage. One can become addicted to sugar because, like nicotine, amphetamines, and cocaine, it activates the brain’s reward system by releasing Dopamine. This can result in cravings and continuing behavior despite negative consequences, tolerance, and withdrawal.

Although there is no concrete evidence that sugar is physically addictive to humans, negative consequences of consumption include type-2 diabetes, weight gain, and dental cavities. Sugar replacements actually impact the brain in a similar way that sugar does, so they are not much better alternatives. Quitting sugar and sweeteners all together may improve skin, sleep, and moods.

What is Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is a very common painful condition where increased swilling or fluid in the wrist puts pressure on the median nerve that supplies sensation and strength to most of the thumb, several fingers, and part of the palm of the hand.

This syndrome is more common in women than men, especially during pregnancy, where it is thought that fluid retention increases pressure in the carpel tunnel. It is also more common in those with a higher BMI, and those with diabetes. Treatments for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome include a wrist splint, a local steroid injection, or in the worst cases, carpel tunnel release surgery.

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