Becoming a mother is an act of infinite optimism. Every mark left behind from having a child signifies the mother's status as a superhero, as children grow to perceive them as some of the strongest, kindest and wisest souls. The following postpartum signifies a period of revivification, and the hormonal turbulence can be fatiguing for the body. In such a state, it becomes even more important for new moms to plan ahead to secure health and well-being for themselves, given the responsibilities they're faced with.
Thanks to the age of information, the journey of postpartum needs little demystification, and a plan with ample conviction and steady dedication can go a long way for new moms. The benefits of physical exercise on the mind and body are no longer a thing of speculation, evident from its empirical impact on people from across the world.
The task to choose the right routine for oneself, a routine that balances convenience and efficacy, is what the new mom needs. Getting back to fitness can be hard, and the type of pregnancy and delivery determine when is a good time to start, and a consultation with the doctor is imperative.
Let's take a look at two workout routines that can help new moms adapt to the growing responsibilities of motherhood while ensuring that they stay healthy to tend to their little ones.
Postpartum Functional Training, the postpartum period requires new moms to focus on movement and feel good. Functional training is one of the most common exercises, practiced by amateurs and athletes alike, and can aid the recovery from pregnancy in an immensely effective manner.
A combination of strength training, cardio, and low-intensity aerobic exercises can help new moms strengthen their muscles, boost energy, promote better sleep, relieve stress, and help them lose the extra weight from pregnancy. A combination of exercises mentioned below can form a routine that helps moms strengthen their core, achieve states of relaxation and revive energy levels to take the responsibility of motherhood head-on:
Pelvic Floor Exercises
Core strength can be greatly affected due to pregnancy, and it becomes more important for mothers to focus on building the strength back to return to the fitness levels before conceiving. Pelvic floor exercises such as planks, side-planks leg-lifts, Cat-Cow table tops, glute bridges, and other exercises are some of the options that can be done easily at home, without equipment.
Walking is a simple, refreshing, and effective way to stay active, increase energy, and improve blood-oxygenation levels, and can be done anywhere at any time. This form of low-intensity steady-state cardio can help increase stamina and make new moms proactive, and mindful, and alleviate stress levels, affected by the topsy-turvy hormonal bodily state.
Postnatal Yoga, the myriad asanas, breathing techniques, and transcendental meditation are another elaborate system that new moms can access in order to take control of the period of recovery following delivery. Depending on the nature of the delivery, new moms can start yoga within a few days or weeks from childbirth. Postnatal yoga is a modified, low-intensity yoga practice that increases calmness, reduces irritability and anger, lowers blood pressure, reduces tension in the muscles, and can even benefit moms experiencing depression and anxiety.
'Prana' in Pranayam is defined as the 'life-force', and control over the breath is one of the main ways in which the practice of yoga helps individuals achieve states of awareness and calmness. The postpartum period for mothers can be full of severe mood swings, insomnia, anxiety, and a range of other psychological problems that bear negative effects on the baby and the mother as a whole. Remaining calm and relaxed becomes imperative in the company of infants, as the propensity for fear is greater for a newborn. The various breathing exercises from yoga can help mothers to relieve stress, anxiety, and depression to achieve and in return impart the feeling of calmness and serenity that a baby needs.
Yoga asanas can help greatly with building back strength, remaining active, and attaining rest and relaxation in the postpartum period. Some common poses from Yoga include the cat-cow pose, child's pose, legs-up-the-wall, and the corpse pose (sravasana).
Being mindful of the body postpartum is as crucial as remaining mindful during the time of being pregnancy. New moms should prepare in advance, and consult a doctor to know when the right time to exercise begins. Exercising can be fruitful but oftentimes needs supervision. Trained professionals can help new moms choose the right programs that aid the mother in their postnatal journey of healing and being healed. (Meenakshi Mohanty is a Fitness Expert)
Consistency is among the most underappreciated aspects of fitness. We frequently place a lot of emphasis on the most efficient kind of exercise or what's popular right now, but consistency-building is typically given less attention. The best fitness programme in the world won't help you if you don't stick to it. Because of this, adherence is regarded as the most important component of any workout programme.
A number of aspects, including nutrition, the correct activity programming, and motivation, go into making progress; if any one of these factors fails, it will have a domino effect that will cause you to fail or stagnate. To maintain the proper frame of mind and sufficient drive, one must adhere to and be consistent with their actions.
With fitness goals, consistency helps to motivate people and fosters a sense of accomplishment. Consistency maintenance becomes crucial because of this. This implies that not every session will be fantastic, but what counts is that you showed up, made an effort to move toward your objective, and maintained the momentum.
Everybody experiences days when exercising or working out is completely out of the question, and it's these days that can make or break the momentum. We must make sure that these days are worthwhile. This does not imply that you should work out intensely. Simply put, this means that at the conclusion of days like this, we need to know that we exerted every effort to engage in activities and that we made progress toward our goal.
In order to keep up with our routine on days when we lack motivation, we must engage in enjoyable or simple activities. Here, there are a few straightforward things that can be done.
Some of the easiest things to keep up momentum when you are having a rough day are as follows:
This is a seamless way to ensure that activity gets done without dedicating a separate time to work out. On busy days or days of poor motivation having a step target of something like 10k steps helps you get some activity done without hitting the gym. This can be spread across the day and can be done at your own pace
You do not need an intense workout all the time to reach your goals. Some days backing off and going on a nice long walk can serve as an activity to make sure that you keep up your consistency while also ensuring you clear your mind from a tough day's work. It is very important to not have a black-or-white mindset with exercise and understand that not all days have to be intense.
Not all days have to be intense gym workouts with plenty of machines and weights. Home workouts are a simple and effective way to get done with the activity of the day while still getting in an effective session. The following is a quick and simple way to do a super simple home workout
Upper body warm-up (e.g. arm swings or Shoulder rotations) - 10 reps
Lower body warm-up (e.g. leg swings or High knees) - 10 reps
Primary Workout circuit (Repeat them one after another for 5 rounds)
Exercise 1 - Core (Eg, Crunches or Tall plank sh taps) - 15 reps
Lower-body exercise 1 (Eg, Bodyweight Squats or lunges) - 15 reps
Upper body exercise 1 (Eg Wall push-ups or push-ups) - 10 reps
High-intensity exercise 1 (Eg Inchworms or burpees) - 10 reps
Shoulder stretch - 30 seconds/side
Hamstring stretch - 30 seconds/side
The above is just an example and please be sure to consult your doctor before starting any physical activity or exercise routine.
These days there are so many apps that can help us to quickly be a part of nearby sports and game activities like football, cricket, badminton, tennis, etc. This is a great way to keep it interesting while getting a good high-intensity session in. The great part is that you'll be able to socialize and gain some new friends too in the process.
These are a few strategies you can use to maintain your momentum when things get challenging or when you're lacking motivation. Always keep in mind that any improvement is better than none at all.
Read More► The importance of a workout regime to check diabetes
Physical activity or a regular workout regime is a key element in managing type 2 diabetes. Until recently studies showing the significance of exercise to manage diabetes were very less. However, now we can see that there is plenty of research highlighting the importance of exercise to manage blood glucose levels effectively.
The research indicates that participation in a regular workout regime improves blood glucose control, preventing or delaying the onset of type 2 diabetes, and boosts your body's sensitivity to insulin, countering insulin resistance.
Also, regular physical activity positively affects blood pressure, and cardiovascular health, lower harmful LDL cholesterol and triglycerides raise healthy HDL cholesterol, strengthens muscles and bones, reduces anxiety, and improves your general well-being.
How does exercise affect blood glucose levels?
Early in the exercise, the glycogen stores are utilized as fuel. Further when the glycogen stores are depleted, the muscles increase the uptake of blood glucose along with the free fatty acids released from the adipose tissues.
Muscles can utilize your blood glucose without insulin intervention when you're doing physical activity.
What type of activity helps in diabetes management?
All forms of exercise such as aerobic, resistance, or doing both in a structured workout regime has shown to lower HbA1c values in people with diabetes.
Resistance training and aerobic exercise both help to lower insulin resistance, however, combining the two types of exercise proved more beneficial than doing either one alone. In a recent meta-analysis, aerobic, resistance, and combined exercise training were found to be associated with HbA1c reductions of 0.67 per cent following 12 or more weeks of training.
Hence people with diabetes need to maintain a healthy workout regime.
Resistance training for diabetes
70-80 per cent of the glucose in your body after a meal goes into the muscles. Maintaining a good muscle mass is essential for better glucose uptake. Hence adding resistance training to the workout regime becomes highly important.
Emerging research suggests that resistance training has the power to combat metabolic dysfunction in patients with Type 2 Diabetes and seems to be an effective measure to improve lower metabolic risk factors in diabetes individuals and improve overall metabolic health. A meta-analysis of 10 included supervised resistance exercise studies, RT reduced HbA1c by 0.48 per cent.
Resistance exercise further increases excess post-exercise oxygen consumption (EPOC). EPOC after exercise is related to the utilization of fat as fuel which is beneficial for weight loss.
Resistance training appears to be a useful strategy to enhance overall metabolic health and lower metabolic risk factors in diabetic patients since it appears to improve insulin sensitivity and glucose tolerance.
Aerobic training for diabetes
In both type 1 and type 2 diabetes, moderate to high levels of aerobic activity are significantly linked to decrease cardiovascular and total mortality risks.
In type 2 diabetes, therapies using aerobic exercise have dominated the research about the impact of exercise on glycemic indices. Large muscular groups are moved continuously and rhythmically during aerobic activity, which includes activities like cycling, jogging, and walking. According to the most recent ADA recommendations, individual aerobic activity sessions should preferably last at least 30 minutes each day and be carried out 3 to 7 days a week.
Moderate to vigorous (65 per cent-90 per cent of maximum heart rate) aerobic exercise training improves VO2max cardiac output, which is associated with substantially reduced cardiovascular and overall mortality risk in patients with type 2 diabetes.
In individuals with type 2 diabetes, regular training reduces hbA1c and insulin resistance Alternatively, high-intensity interval training (HIIT) promotes insulin sensitivity and glycemic control in adults with type 2 diabetes.
Aerobic exercise boosts the number of mitochondria, insulin sensitivity, oxidative enzymes, blood vessel compliance and responsiveness, immune system activity, lung function, and cardiac output.
While aerobic exercises are good on their account, it is important to make sure there is a combined activity of both aerobic and resistance training for better benefits.
What precautionary measures should I take before exercising?
Checking your blood sugars before your workouts can help you understand your body better and start taking necessary precautions.
When your blood sugars are lower than 100 mg/dL, it may be too low to exercise safely. Eat a small snack containing 15 to 30 grams of carbohydrates, such as a fruit (banana or apple- they digest quickly and give you better energy) before you begin your workout.
When your blood sugars are 100 to 250 mg/dL You're good to go. This is a safe blood sugar range before exercise for the majority of people. If you feel like you need extra energy, you can still eat fruit before working out.
When your blood sugars are 250 mg/dL or higher, then it's not safe to exercise as the blood sugars are too high. Consult with your physician for controlling the blood sugars and then follow their instructions before doing any activity because exercise can sometimes raise blood sugar even higher.
Exercise plays a critical role in the prevention and treatment of insulin resistance, prediabetes, GDM, type 2 diabetes, and diabetes-related health issues. Hence, it's ideal to follow a regular workout regime to maintain healthy blood glucose levels and thereby manage diabetes.
(Chandni Haldurai is a Lead Nutritionist of Cult.fit)
Winter skincare and summer skincare regimens are poles apart. The products that work for summer certainly don't do the trick in winter, and how you use your products too is very different.
Here are the top swaps you need to introduce in your beauty regimen for the cold season:
Utilize Lukewarm Water
When the temperature drops, it's very tempting to take a hot shower. However, if you care about your skin, you should avoid them. Instead, shower and wash your face with lukewarm water. Hot showers quickly dry your skin, and if you don't moisturise it right away, your skin can develop cracks and winter eczema.
In the winter, whether inside or outside, the air is drier. As a result, water evaporates quickly from your body. So, you must keep your skin hydrated. You can also control the humidity in your home by installing a humidifier. This will undoubtedly keep your skin happy.
Choose Skin Care Products Carefully
What makes your skin happy in the summer can make it sad in the winter. As a result, you should adjust your skincare products accordingly. Using gentle skincare products is the key to healthy, glowing winter skin. To avoid stripping your skin's natural moisture barrier, use cleansers that contain moisturisers. If you have acne or breakouts, use ceramides, hyaluronic acid, hydration serums, and glycerin-containing products to help repair your skin's moisture barrier.
Avoid Exfoliating Very Regularly
Exfoliating the skin aids in the removal of dead cells. You must exercise caution during the winter months because your skin's barrier is already compromised due to the dry and cold weather. Exfoliating your skin once a week is sufficient; this aids in skin regeneration and product absorption. You should also exfoliate depending on your skin type. Exfoliate your skin lightly if you have very dry skin. Once a week is sufficient if you have a combination of oily skin.
Moisturize Often, Especially Your Hands
The pores and skin in your palms have fewer oil glands compared to the pores and skin on every other body component. That's why moisture escapes from your hands speedy, making them prone to cracks and itchiness. Follow a moisturizer before you leave home.
Take Care of Your Feet
Pick out glycerin-primarily based creams and petroleum jelly to moisturize your feet. Additionally, make sure you exfoliate the pores and skin of your feet every so often in order that it could soak up the moisturizer without problems.
Maintain A Daily Skin Care Routine
It doesn't have to be fancy. Right here's very simple and easy skincare recurring that all of us can comply with to preserve their skin happy all through the winter. Cleanse your skin once or twice a day, ideally within the morning and earlier than going to bed. After washing your face in the morning, follow a light day by day moisturizer to lock the moisture in. Use a heavy moisturiser or overnight cream at night. This should be executed on damp pores and skin due to the fact simply-washed pores and skin absorbs moisture better.
Wear Sunscreen Even on Cloudy Winter Days
Applying sunscreen in the harsh winter weather is just as important as it is in the summer. Don't be fooled by darker, dreary winter days, either. UV rays from the sun can penetrate clouds and cause damage. Apply a moisturising, broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or higher to all exposed areas of your body before going outside.
Balm For Your Lips
Rather than using lip colours that take away your lips' natural beauty, keep your pout pretty with moisturising lip balms that come in colour.
The Presence of Serum Versus The Absence of Serum
Serums are thinner in consistency and contain hyaluronic acid, making them one of the best winter skincare products. It does not give up easily and adheres to the surface of your skin to provide deep and long-lasting hydration. It is also anti-ageing and should be applied before moisturiser. (Karan Bhaskar Skincare & Makeup Expert, Clinique India)
Read More► Get Your Skin Winter Ready
Winter is the time to bask in the sun, stroll around the lanes and devour all the great delicacies. While indulging in all these activities, parents should remember that their little ones need more protection during this season. Winter days come with a lot of smog, and when temperatures are really chilly outside. A mask is something that can protect a baby from various environmental hazards and also protect the little nose and mouth from the harsh winds during the winter season.
A mask specially designed for kids: A mask has become a clothing accessory over the last couple of years, and people tend to wear them for longer hours. When buying masks for children, the first thing for parents to understand is that the masks made for adults are not suitable for children. There are masks available on the market which are specifically designed for kids in the age group of 3-6 and for kids in the age group of 7-12 years.
Choose suitable mask material: Always look for a material that is soft enough to not irritate your child's sensitive skin. The ideal mask should have six layers of filtration, and the innermost layer is recommended to be made of soft fabric that is breathable for kids. The ear loops and noseband should be flexible and adjustable in order to fit the child's face properly and provide protection from dust, pollution, and germs.
Breathable factor: The breathable factor of a mask is important for every individual, considering the longer usage span. Children's daily routines are more active when compared to adults; they run, they play, they fight, and they enjoy being outdoors, which increases their breathing level. Thus, it becomes more important for a child to wear masks under which they can breathe properly, encouraging them to wear them for a longer period of time.
Filtration Efficiency: While considering the entire comfort factor, parents must not ignore the filtration capacity of a mask. The pandemic has added to the ongoing pollution hazard, seasonal viruses, dust, pollen, and other harmful particles in the environment, making parents more cautious while selecting the right mask for their babies. It is always important to choose a mask with at least 95 percent filtering efficiency of > 0.3 microns when releasing the child into the outdoors.While you may find many masks on the market mentioning various layers, it's important to check that the mask has layers of melt-blown filters inside to give your child effective protection against germs and pollution.
Colourful masks: The biggest challenge for parents these days is to make sure that their kids are wearing masks all the time. To make this easier, choose a mask with cheerful designs and decorations that the kids can relate to and will encourage them to wear it.
Re-usable masks: Another factor that people consider while choosing a mask is the price. The market has a range of masks that are expensive and can be used only once. The expenses are always on the higher side with a child at home, as a parent always wants the best for their baby. To balance out the budget, it is advisable to choose a re-usable mask that is re-usable at least up to 25 washes without affecting the 95 percent filtration efficiency.
With the spread of smog, parents have become more cautious when it comes to protecting their babies. Every parent knows what is best for their babies, and with a little research and effort, they can never go wrong with their choices. Rajesh Vohra, CEO, Artsana India (Chicco)
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Different seasons of the year bring with them unique benefits for the mind, body and for our moods. It may be easier to wake up in the mornings during summer versus waking up in the winter which is much harder to do. When it comes to exercising, motivating yourself during cold days to get out of your cosy and comfortable bed will be a task in itself. However, for those who are aspiring to lose weight and get fitter here is some motivation for you to keep going with your exercise during the winter season.
Exercising during the winter can actually burn more calories than when you exercise in summer. Your endurance can also be increased during winter because the heart needs to work less you also sweat less making your workout more efficient.
Himalayan Siddha Grand Master Akshar shares 6 ways that you can exercise and keep up with your fitness game even during cold winter days.
Walking/ Running/ Jogging
Start your exercise routine with a brisk walk or maybe you could take a jog or run around your neighbourhood block. These are cardiovascular activities that pump up your heart rate and get you ready both mentally and physically for your upcoming workout session.
After your jog or run make sure that you spend a few minutes on stretching. Experts recommend that you stretch before and after your workout as this readies your muscles keep them safe from injury and also effectively improves your chance of getting leaner and more toned.
In yoga, Surya Namaskar also known as the sun salutation is considered to be a complete body workout. The Surya Namaskar is comprised of eight different postures that are sequenced in a 12 step flow. It starts from the right side and needs to be completed on both sides for a complete cycle. If you are a beginner you can start with 3-5 cycles and gradually increase it to 11, 21 and so on. Practising this sequence early in the morning will boost vitamin D in your body d and bring many physical as well as mental health benefits.
Pranayama is a breathing exercise that can be performed to gain many health benefits for both mind and body. During winter techniques such as Kapalbhati Pranayama and Khand Pranayama are suggested for you.
There are many meditation techniques that you can practice regularly such as Sthiti Dhyan, Swaas Dhyan, Aarambh Dhyan etc. Here is a simple and powerful meditation technique to build positivity.
Prarthana Dhyan (Prayerful Meditation)
Sit down in any comfortable posture
Join your palms in front of your chest to form Pranam Mudra
Straighten your back and close your eyes
Frame and repeat positive affirmations aloud or silently
End your workout session with complete mind-body relaxation in the form of Anandasana. Relaxing the body is as important as exercising as this gives your body the chance to rest, recover and recoup.
Formation of the Posture
Lie down in a prone position on a comfortable surface or on your yoga mat.
Close your eyes.
Let your legs relax completely and place them at a distance that is comfortably apart.
Let your ankles drop, and keep your toes are facing sideward.
Place your arms alongside your body and slightly apart. Make sure your palms are lying open to the sky and facing upwards.
Starting from your toes, bring your attention to every area of your body. Use deep breaths to lull your body into a deep state of relaxation.
Maintain awareness so you do not fall asleep in the process.
To recover from the posture, gently roll to one side (right) with your eyes closed. Slowly push the floor to come 9. up and sit in Sukhasana.
Anandasana can be done after you complete your physical practice, and when you are tired, it helps to completely relax your body. This pose requires you to concentrate, and focus on your breath. When you are in this posture, try to take deeper and faster breaths.(By N. Lothungbeni Humtsoe)
Read More► Yoga As a Self-Care Ritual
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