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Women's Page  


Relaxation corner

Why do people cross their fingers for good luck?

Answer: To simulate a cross.

Crossing one's fingers for luck started as a way of simulating a cross--a symbol
which was believed to ward off evil spirits.

 

The Washington Post recently published a contest for readers in which they
were asked to supply alternate meanings for various words. The following
were some of the winning entries:


1. Abdicate (v.), to give up all hope of ever having a flat stomach.

2. Carcinoma (n.), a valley in California, notable for its heavy smog.

3. Esplanade (v.), to attempt an explanation while drunk.

4. Willy-nilly (adj.), impotent

5. Flabbergasted (adj.), appalled over how much weight you have gained.

6. Negligent (adj.), describes a condition in which you absentmindedly
answer the door in your nightie.

7. Lymph (v.), to walk with a lisp.

8. Gargoyle (n.), an olive-flavored mouthwash.

9. Bustard (n.), a very rude Metrobus driver.

10. Coffee (n.), a person who is coughed upon.

11. Flatulence (n.) the emergency vehicle that picks you up after you are
run over by a steamroller.

12. Balderdash (n.), a rapidly receding hairline.

13. Testicle (n.), a humorous question on an exam.

14. Semantics (n.), pranks conducted by young men studying for the
priesthood, including such things as gluing the pages of the priest's prayer
book together just before vespers.

15. Rectitude (n.), the formal, dignified demeanor assumed by a proctologist
immediately before he examines you.

16. Marionettes (n.), residents of Washington, DC who have been jerked
around by the mayor.

17. Oyster (n.), a person who sprinkles his conversation with Yiddish
expressions.

18. Circumvent (n.), the opening in the front of boxer shorts.

19. Frisbatarianism (n.), The belief that, when you die, your soul goes up
on the roof and gets stuck there.



THE WASHINGTON POST'S STYLE INVITATIONAL also asked readers to take any word
from the dictionary, alter it by adding, subtracting or changing one letter,
and supply a new definition.

Here are some recent winners:

1. Sarchasm: The gulf between the author of sarcastic wit and the reader who
doesn't get it.

2. Reintarnation: Coming back to life as a hillbilly.

3. Giraffiti: Vandalism spray-painted very high.

4. Foreploy: Any misrepresentation about yourself for the purpose of
obtaining sex.

5. Inoculatte: To take coffee intravenously.

6. Osteopornosis: A degenerate disease.

7. Karmageddon: It's like, when everybody is sending off all these really
bad vibes, right? And then, like, the Earth explodes and it's like a serious
bummer.

8. Glibido: All talk and no action.

9. Dopeler effect: The tendency of stupid ideas to seem smarter when they
come at you rapidly

10. Intaxication: Euphoria at getting a refund from the IRS, which lasts
until you realize it was your money to start with. (people get refunds)?

And, best of all...

11. Ignoranus: A person who's both stupid and an (fill in the word).

 

Adam and Eve had an ideal marriage. 

He didn't have to hear about all the men
she could have married, and she didn't have to hear about the way his mother
cooked.

 

A Blonde Tale

A blonde walks up to the desk at the library and says, "I'll have a
hamburger, an order of fries, and a coke."
"This is a library," says the clerk.
"I'm sorry," the blonde whispers , "I'll have a hamburger, and order of
fries and a coke."

 

 

      Of specific interest to the 'fairer' sex!

This page is a general interest page for women. It contains regularly updated items of interest on a broad range of subjects. If there is anything in particular you would like to have included here, or something you would like to contribute, please tell the Webmaster at [email protected] . On this page:

 | Binge Eating | Body Fat levels | Body Types | Breast Cancer  | Dietary Habits | Exercise during pregnancy | Join   Fitnwell  | Motivation  | Nutrition | Varicose Veins |

Do you like what you see?

When was the last time you looked in the mirror and liked what you saw? Most women have to think long and hard before answering this question.

Whether or not we admit it, women are active players in the beauty game, which requires them to think that looks and body weight are the true sources of happiness. The truth is, women are their own own worst critics when it comes to their  bodies. Experts tell us that self-esteem is closely tied to body image, even more than to  actual physical appearance. What you see is not necessarily what you are!

Fight Varicose Veins with Fruit

Snacking on cherries, blueberries, and blackberries may help prevent painful varicose veins. Flavonoids, plant pigments with antioxidant capabilities, found in these and other fruits and vegetables such as broccoli, peppers, carrots, and apples, help strengthen the support structure of your veins. What’s more, the vitamin C found in citrus fruits and vitamin E found in peaches, most nuts, spinach, and asparagus are also known to enhance vein wall structure and promote blood flow.

Jump Start
Tips and tricks to put your eating and exercise program back on track

It was the  night she went to the trouble of making brownies from scratch — so she could gorge on them instead of going to the store in search of a candy bar — that turned Lori Malkin's life around. She had little food in her cupboard (except baking chocolate), she was premenstrual and in a bad mood, and, well, who doesn't know the way that story usually ends?

"Afterward, I thought, This is ridiculous," Malkin says. "That was it. There were so few things in my life I had complete control over, but the one thing I could change was my body."

The next day she signed up for a step-aerobics class at the studio around the corner from her house in Ozone Park, New York, and started going twice a week. She also took up jazz dance and began eating sensibly. Over the next six months, her whole life shifted. She lost 20 pounds, joined a theater group (and got the first part she auditioned for), quit her job as a graphic artist with a publishing firm, went freelance, and fell in love. All because late one night, two and a half years ago, picking at the leftover crumbs of a brownie pan, Malkin somehow found the will to change.

At some point, almost everyone feels driven to do things differently. From New Year's resolutions to birthdays with zeros in them, we have created celebrities and celebrations to spur us forward. With too little of such an urge — in cases of extreme depression, for example — we may be unable to eat or sleep. With too much, we wind up sounding like Richard Simmons — an option that is, believe it or not, healthier.

What Is Motivation?

"We use the term 'motivation' to mean drive,"  "Without that particular instinct, as a species, we would die out. It has two main components: dynamism, or the impetus to do something, and direction, or the impetus to do one specific thing rather than another. But motivational triggers take many different forms: anxiety, thrill seeking, and the need to achieve, just to name a few."

Put more personally, some people are inspired to make changes after sinking as low as they feel they can go, and then saying, "Enough." Others can give themselves a kick in the pants simply by staring at an unflattering photograph or checking off boxes next to a list of exercises or contemplating the prospect of a promising evening out or fitting into a beloved pair of old blue jeans.

"If a person can look honestly at the choices she is making and realize that she has the option to do things differently, then she can often get herself motivated to change,"  "But first you have to understand the significance of feeling bad or not fitting into your clothes. That discomfort, should you choose to acknowledge it, is what challenges you to question the status quo."

"How do you take that feeling of desperation and those short-term goals and turn them into a program?" asks Chris Imbo, co-owner of Casa, a fitness club in New York City. "You show people the pleasure of taking control of their lives." Trainers such as Imbo help clients define their goals, set up realistic schedules to achieve them, and act as one-man (or -woman) cheering sections.

What's In It For Me?

But the little private tricks most of us employ in pursuit of self-control are often as individual as our fingerprints. There is, for example, motivation that stems from the inducement of a reward. Lisa, a Manhattan writer, forbids herself to watch soap operas anywhere but at the gym. "The only reason I have a tight butt," she says, "is because I had to find out what was going on in the Nikolas Cassadine story line on General Hospital." Courtney, a Los Angeles stylist, keeps no breakfast food in her house specifically so that she has to take a three-mile walk to a cafι to eat her preferred fresh fruit and bagel. And though the power of love may move some to compose sonnets and spray-paint highway overpasses, it spurs others on to weigh skinless chicken breasts and board StairMasters.

Experts in fitness, nutrition, and psychology have found that although the appeal of living a healthier, longer life can get people to start exercising and eating properly, it is rarely strong enough to inspire them to keep up the regimen. Exercise motivation consultant Jay Kimiecik, a professor at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, has found that long-term exercisers succeed where gym bingers fail because they focus on doing a physical activity largely for its own sake. In other words, it's the intrinsic benefits of enjoying what you do, focusing on a clear goal, and keeping track of both mind and body while you exercise that keep you going.

"I call it the what's-in-it-for-me approach," says Penny, a Miami advertising executive. "Sacrifice is so hard to sustain. I exercise because I love to eat and drink, and I'll only exercise in ways that I enjoy. Most mornings, I'm up at six, stoked to get out and walk for an hour or so by the ocean before breakfast. If I ever lived in a cold climate again — God forbid — I'd have to take up Latin dancing or martial arts or something else that's really fun."

Scare Tactics

Of course, there are other inducements. Dianne, a consultant living in Santa Monica, finds her large Airedale to be more demanding than a friend might be when it comes to forcing her to get out and walk. Beatrice, a Manhattan architect, finds that the buddy system works for dieting. "I'll go on a diet with someone in the office so I won't feel like the only one who's deprived. We'll even eat each other's brown-bag lunches to break up the monotony. And I'm competitive, so I want to be the one who's lost more weight by the end."

In moderation, that kind of competition can be healthy, but the genesis of other types of motivation is not always positive. Scare tactics, which seem particularly potent in the short-term, work as well. Cruel as it may sound, for Jennifer, a political aide in Washington, D.C., it's envisioning her own plump mother — naked — that gets her to the gym on time. Isabelle, an editor in East Hampton, New York, remembers a particularly unappetizing Buddhist tract that instructed fasting monks to "contemplate the remains of their stomachs" as being a useful dessert inhibitor. And Sara, a Chicago businesswoman, agrees to pay her assistant $1,000 whenever she goes off her diet or skips a workout. She's had to fork it over twice in the six years since initiating the persevere-or-pay plan. "Although some people respond to more positive forms of encouragement,"  "others, who may have failed a lot in the past, find pain a much more powerful motivator." "I've studied what drives big eaters and tried to develop an alternative way of thinking. I tell them things like, 'Only the thin say, 'No, thank you.' And, 'Do you like it enough to wear it?' I appeal to the fact that certain foods and eating habits have not done well by them."

Seeing Results

Visualization is another tool that helps some people literally to see their way through a diet or exercise program. "When we see something in our mind,"  "it becomes the script we live by." At the Casa fitness club in Manhattan, a giant map of Mount Everest is pinned on the wall to enable clients to visualize their progress, so that it isn't just the improvement of their own bodies that encourages them to keep working out but the sense of achievement they get as they move individual flags from camp to camp and ascend the mountain. "Each camp represents a short-term goal," . "You have to accumulate points by running, biking, walking, or using the Versa Climber for a certain number of miles." (The real trick? Doing it without oxygen.)

Of course, if gearing up the first time to get fit or lose weight is difficult, then getting cracking after a relapse is an even bigger challenge. It's one that Marion, a film development executive in Los Angeles, had to face after gaining back a quarter of her initial 50-pound weight loss. "It's funny. I made mistakes the second time around that I didn't make before," she recalls. "A big one was that I went to the gym for the first time in a long time wearing the same workout clothes I'd worn when I was really in shape. And I saw myself jiggling and looking awful while everyone else was in their little thongs and exercise bras. I never wanted to go back there again. It was just too painful." The moral of the fable? "You've got to find clothes that make you feel good. I shop for the perfect sweatpants and T-shirt the way I do for a dinner party outfit."

In the end,  we are motivated by the desire to look good, to feel in control, and to live healthier lives. "How we look has a lot to do with how happy we are,".  "And studies have shown that how in control we are has a lot to do with how long we live." Happiness and longevity: they're probably worth a push-up or two.

Political Correctness

There is a mood abroad that for women to look 'nice' is simply pandering to men. It is also mooted that being 'fat' is okay and if people don't like you the way you are - then 'stuff them'. That ladies is a 'cop-out'! Look nice for you, and because it is the healthier option. If it helps you to have a happier and more successful social life - then that's a better motive. The choice is yours!
 

 

                 

Article Highlights

Is Late Night Snacking Sabotaging Your Weight Loss Efforts?
To avoid late night eats, brush your teeth after your last meal of the day. Just knowing that you have to brush them again if you eat something makes you think twice before doing it.

                       

Whole-Grain Diet Can Ward Off Stroke
A single slice of whole-wheat bread a day can be a lifesaver, says a report that shows that a higher intake of whole-grain foods reduces the risk of stroke by more than 40 percent. The effect is so striking that replacing refined grains with whole grains by even one serving a day may have significant benefits in reducing the risk of stroke. 

Recommended Body Fat Levels:

Men and women carry fat in different places on their body. Men retain the greatest level of body fat in their abdominal area. Women retain the greatest level of body fat in their hips and thighs. The recommended body fat levels for men and women according to the American College of Sports Medicine are as follows:

Male:
Low: 6-10% fat
Optimal: 11-17% fat
Moderate: 18-20% fat
Obesity: Greater than 25% fat

Female:
Low: 14-18% fat
Optimal: 19-22% fat
Moderate: 23-30% fat
Obesity: Greater than 30% fat

It 's considered unhealthy for men to have a body fat percentage below 3 percent and women to have a body fat percentage below 11 percent. A body fat percentage of over 20 percent for men and over 30 percent for women is also considered unhealthy. 


Body fat and body weight are affected by the following factors:

-Genetic body type (somatype)
-Daily dietary habits
-Physical activity level



Body Type or Somatype:

Somatype is another term for body type. Most people have a genetic predisposition toward one specific somatype and supportive traits from a second somatype. There are three genetic somatypes: ectomorph, mesomorph, and endomorph.

-An ectomorph (endurance athlete) possesses a low body fat percentage level, small bones size, a high metabolism, and a small amount of muscle mass and muscle size.

-A mesomorph (power athlete) possesses a low to medium body fat percentage level, medium to large bone size, a medium to high metabolism, and a large amount of muscle mass and muscle size.

-An endomorph (non-athlete) possesses a high body fat percentage level, large bone size, a slow metabolism, and a small amount of muscle mass and muscle size.

Your body type is something you 're born with and can 't necessarily change. However, you obviously can change your dietary habits and level of physical activity to positively affect your body fat percentage.


Dietary Habits:

What you eat and the way you eat can greatly affect your body fat level as well as your overall health and well-being. Your nutritional needs will obviously vary depending upon your health and fitness goals. At the same time, even if your health goals are modest, it 's a good idea to get some sense of nutrition's role in total fitness. You may be pleasantly surprised to find that you can make minor changes to your eating habits and end up with a much healthier diet. Additional sub-sections in this section cover the topics of nutrition in greater detail, but if you want specific dietary recommendations, you should consult your doctor or a registered dietician.



Body Fat Myths and Misconceptions:

There are a number of common myths and misconceptions about body fat. Banish these from your mind if you want to set yourself on a course for greater fitness and health. Myth number 1 is that fat can be turned into muscle, or vice versa. Muscle is a tissue and fat is a substance. Therefore muscle and fat cannot create one another.

Myth number 2 is that if you weigh more on the scale, you must be overweight. This is untrue. Muscle (lean body mass) weighs approximately 75 percent more than fat. In other words, you can increase your actual body weight without increasing your body fat. You can even increase your body weight and at the same time decrease your percentage of body fat.

Myth number 3 is that weighing yourself on a scale is the best way to determine if you are overweight and have too high a body fat level. In fact, feeling how your clothes fit on your body is a better way to measure body fat loss. You 'll also get a better sense of whether you 're losing body fat by looking in the mirror with no clothes on.



Physical Activity Levels for Body Fat and Weight Loss:

The amount of physical exercise you get has a profound effect upon your level of body fat. If you increase your physical activity level, you will expend greater amounts of calories and fat, depending upon how long and at what level of intensity you exercise (expending 3,500 calories burns up one pound of fat). Here are some general guidelines:

-Consistent aerobic/cardiovascular exercise (20 minutes, three times per week) will improve your cardiovascular system, increase your metabolism, and burn body fat.

Nutrition: Your nutritional needs will vary depending upon your health and fitness goals. If your aim is to lose body fat and body weight, you need to become familiar with the variables that affect weight loss and body fat loss. Above all, you should realize that it 's more important to lose body fat than to lose overall body weight. Losing body fat reduces your risk for coronary artery disease, while losing overall body weight doesn't necessarily reduce this risk. In other words, you shouldn't just cut your calorie intake. Instead you should reduce your intake of fatty foods and increase your physical activity level. 

Essential Nutrients: There are six essential nutrients that you need on a daily basis. Water Vitamins Minerals Carbohydrates Fats Proteins Water Water is the most essential nutrient the body needs. Forty to sixty percent of your body weight is water. Muscle composition is approximately 70% water. When you exercise, your body loses water through perspiration (dehydration). It is important that you continuously drink water while you are exercising and throughout the day. Eight to ten glasses (8 fluid ounces) of water are recommended throughout the day for the average person. Your individual level of water intake relates specifically to your body weight, height and activity levels. Consult a registered dietician for specific details about your own personal consumption. 

 Vitamins and minerals are essential to your daily diet and are found in the natural foods that we consume in our daily diet (fruits, vegetables, meats and whole grains). Vitamins are organic compounds (natural and contain carbon), which provide energy to the body and are needed in small amounts to assist with chemical reaction within the cells. Vitamins come in two forms; fat-soluble and water-soluble. -Fat Soluble Vitamins (A, D, E, K) are stored in the adipose tissue (fat tissue) and can build up high levels of toxins in the body if they are not utilized. -Water Soluble Vitamins (B, C) are excreted if your daily amount of intake is too great and can be toxic in the body if they are not utilized. Minerals are inorganic substances (unnatural and man made) and they regulate processes within the body. 

Minerals are incorporated into different structures within the body to create enzymes, hormones, skeletal bones, skeletal tissues, teeth and fluids. Calcium and phosphorus are the two most common minerals found in the body. Some of the other prevalent minerals found in the body are; iron, zinc, sodium, potassium, magnesium, fluoride, sulphur, copper, and chloride. If mineral levels are overabundant in the body, such as sodium, they may facilitate negative effects in the body. High sodium levels may elevate blood pressure. If mineral levels are inadequate in the body, such as iron, they may facilitate negative effects in the body. Low iron levels in women can produce anaemia (a deficiency in blood iron levels). Anaemia can restrict oxygen and carbon dioxide removal from the cells. Low calcium levels can facilitate irregular muscle contractions, bone density loss, blood clotting and improper brain functioning. 

A calorie, or kilocalorie (Kcal), is a measure of heat energy. Food calories are nutrients and supply energy to the body. It is essential that you take in the recommended amount of calories per day. The caloric intake level that 's appropriate for you depends on a number of factors, including your height, weight, and gender. If you want to determine a specific figure that is, approximately how many calories you should consume in a day again, simply work it out  from your weight and energy output

Newsstand

Breast cancer is a potential killer however, the prognosis is very good if detected and treated early. Make sure you have a regular mammogram x ray and check yourself regularly and frequently for any signs of lumps or other unusual growth activity. You have been warned!

Older birth control pills linked to breast cancer

NEW YORK, Oct 10 (Reuters Health) - Although birth control pills have been only weakly linked to breast cancer in some studies, new research shows that the hormone-heavy pills used 25 years ago may have significantly increased breast cancer risk among women with a family history of the disease.

In a study of 426 families, investigators found that oral contraceptive use tripled breast cancer risk among women with sisters or mothers who had the disease. The risk was confined to women who used the Pill prior to 1975. Since then, birth control pills have evolved to include lower doses of oestrogen and progestin, which should make them safer in terms of breast cancer, researchers suggest.

There is currently no evidence that these newer formulations increase breast cancer risk, Dr. Thomas A. Sellers told Reuters Health in an interview.

Sellers, from the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota and colleagues report their findings in the October 11th issue of The Journal of the American Medical Association.

The link between breast cancer and the Pill was strongest among women with five or more cases of breast or ovarian cancer in their families. In these 35 families, Pill use was linked to an 11-fold increase in breast cancer risk.

The research team looked at both breast and ovarian cancer because the presence of both diseases in a family suggests that women may be genetically predisposed to breast cancer.

According to Sellers, these findings suggest oral contraceptives may pose a risk for a subset of women who are strongly predisposed to breast cancer.

However, the question of whether high-risk women should use new formulations of the Pill has no 'yes-or-no' answer, he noted. For example, women who are genetically susceptible to breast and ovarian cancer face a complex decision because the Pill appears to cut ovarian cancer risk. Ovarian cancer has a poor prognosis because, unlike breast cancer, it is rarely caught early.

Moreover, Sellers emphasized, no evidence points to an increased breast cancer risk with current formulations of the Pill. What is important, he said, is that studies continue to follow high-risk women to make sure the new incarnations of the Pill are indeed safe.

An editorial accompanying the report also noted the complexities surrounding the Pill decision. According to Dr. Wylie Burke of the University of Washington in Seattle, the Pill should be seen neither as an established way to reduce ovarian cancer risk, nor as a wrong choice for women with a family history of breast cancer.

'Rather,' she writes, 'the use of oral contraceptives needs to be considered on an individual basis,' taking into account all of a woman's health concerns.

SOURCE: The Journal of the American Medical Association 2000;284:1791-1798, 1837-1838.
(10 Oct 2000 1:55:0 EST)


Reuters Health Information

A large bag of potato chips is ripped open and consumed, then quickly followed by another. Two pints of ice cream are spooned and swallowed. The cookie jar is raided and emptied. Typically, all of these foods are eaten rapidly in one sitting, usually in solitude and often with shame.

Millions of people can't put the brakes on eating — a recently characterized eating disorder known as binge eating. This condition differs from bulimia in that binge eaters usually do not try to "erase" their eating sprees with laxatives, excessive exercise or purging. Instead, they may continue to gain weight.

A binger feels out of control when eating and eats well past the point of feeling full. They eat to distance themselves from painful feelings and always eat secretively. They don't necessarily enjoy the food and may stop only when they run out of food, someone enters or they have to be somewhere else.

The annual Thanksgiving feast in which you heap mountains of delicious food on your plate again and again or those occasional trips to all-you-can-eat buffets do not make you a binge eater. Such meals are few and far between and are regarded as social events.

By clinical definition, a binge eater overeats at least twice a week for at least six months. During the binge, the person experiences a sense of loss of control over eating, feeling that they cannot stop.

A binge is often 3,000 or more calories, and it's usually fast foods, sweets and carbohydrates."  A binge eater may pull up to a fast food drive-up window, supersize the entire order and eat the food very quickly. Binges are often accompanied by feelings of guilt or disgust at one's behavior.

Medical experts are just starting to unlock what triggers binge eating, but they rank it as the most common eating disorder. The American Psychiatric Association estimates this eating disorder affects about 2 million Americans. Binge eating seems to occur equally among women and men and among blacks and whites. By contrast, bulimia and anorexia predominantly affect women.

Although the cause of binge eating remains a mystery, Dr. Bartlett, Dr. Guarda and other experts say about half of all people diagnosed with binge eating disorders have clinical levels of depression. Many have tried and failed dieting programs.

"We're starting to recognize that binge eating is a coping mechanism, much like why some people drink alcohol or abuse drugs or medications," says Dr. Bartlett.

"During a binge, these individuals are promising themselves that they will go on a diet the next day, that this is the final feast," says Dr. Bartlett. "The promise is broken."

Binge eaters also tend to develop this disorder during their late teens or 20s. By the time they reach their 50s, the condition seems to improve somewhat. But 20 to 30 years of overeating take a physical toll on their bodies, making them at greater risk of heart disease, high blood pressure and certain types of cancer. It also takes an emotional toll. Embarrassed by their physical appearance, bingers may begin to avoid social activities and spend more time alone, says Dr. Bartlett.

Fortunately, effective treatment is available. Success depends on first recognizing that you have this condition. It is vital to seek professional help from a psychologist or psychiatrist trained in treating this specific eating disorder.

Treatment usually includes cognitive behavior therapy to help the individual understand and identify their feelings as well as the events, people and situations that trigger binge episodes. They learn how to re-think their eating, relationships and situations in a healthier manner. Interpersonal therapy, working one-on-one with a therapist and working in groups, helps an individual learn to focus on his or her relationship with people. Antidepressant medications such as fluoxetine (Prozac) or fluvoxamine (Luvox) may also be prescribed in people with clinical evidence of depressive symptoms. These drugs should only be taken under extreme caution due to the possibility of dependence; preferably not at all!

"The goal of therapy is to gain control over eating, and it may take a few months, six months or longer," says Dr. Bartlett. "It depends on the individual."

Individuals learn healthy eating and exercise habits. They learn the value of eating three nutritiously balanced meals and two snacks a day well within normal caloric intakes. Once eating patterns have normalized, structured weight management efforts can help the individual learn how to gradually lose and keep off excess pounds.

"The healthy way is to lose one pound a week and realize that there are no quick fixes."  "For binge eaters who are obese, losing 10 to 20 percent of their weight will significantly impact the medical complications of obesity in a positive way."

The sooner one seeks help, the quicker the condition can be addressed and corrected.

"Binge eating disorder requires professional help. It doesn't go away on its own," says Dr. Bartlett. "Effective treatments are available. Untreated, it tends to get worse. We know more about how to help individuals with this disorder than we did even 10 or 15 years ago."

Exercise During Pregnancy
Why exercise while you're pregnant? Take a look at some of the possible benefits:
  • Fewer leg cramps, backaches and other pregnancy-related pains
  • Increased sense of well being and control during pregnancy
  • Lower weight gain
  • Larger placenta (the nutrient base for the baby)
  • Shorter labour and easier delivery
  • Speedier recovery

The typical woman exercises to burn calories and lose body fat. However, when a woman becomes pregnant, she needs to gain weight in order to assure a healthy pregnancy. For this reason, exercise goals need to be modified. The most important goal is to exercise in ways that are safe.

The College of Obstetricians & Gynaecologists recommend the following:

  1. Regular exercise (at least three times per week) is preferable to intermittent activity.
  2. Assuming that a woman doesn't have any risk factors for adverse maternal or pre-natal outcome, she can exercise and derive benefits from participating in mild to moderate intensity exercise routines. Working heart rates should be measured during peak levels of activity to ensure that exercise intensity is within desired range.
  3. Extremes of joint flexion and extension (such as deep knee bends and ballistic hyperextension of the knees) should be avoided.
  4. Pregnant women should avoid exercising in the supine position ( on their backs) after the first trimester.
  5. Pregnant women should be aware of the decreased oxygen available for aerobic exercise and should be encouraged to modify exercise intensity according to maternal symptoms. Pregnant women should stop exercising when fatigued and not exercise to exhaustion.
  6. Prolonged periods of motionless standing should be avoided.
  7. Avoid exercises in which loss of balance could be detrimental to maternal or foetal well-being, especially in the third trimester. Any type of exercise involving the potential for even mild abdominal trauma should be avoided.
  8. Women who exercise during pregnancy should be particularly careful to ensure an adequate diet.
  9. Women should gradually increase exercise intensity after delivery.

Check out the lively current affairs blog

The Quite Extraordinary Life we all Live

Disclaimer

Copyright © 2000 Fitnwell, UK
Wednesday September 08, 2010 12:44:49

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