Physical Comfort During Pregnancy

December 8, 2009 by  
Filed under Education

Physical and hormonal changes are largely responsible for the common discomforts of pregnancy.

During pregnancy, your body’s center of gravity is altered due to increase in weight, and a change in how your weight is distributed. Hormones, particularly one called Relaxin, contribute to the looseness of ligaments that support the pelvic joints and join the uterus to the pelvis and abdominal wall.

It is important to maintain good posture and avoid muscle strain, and stress on joints of your pelvis and spine.

Correct Posture for Standing

  • Keep your feet almost parallel, a few inches apart
  • Knees straight, but not locked
  • Buttocks tucked under
  • Head held high, chin tucked in
  • Abdominal wall pulled up and in
  • Shoulder blades pulled back
  • Arms hanging relaxed by your sides

Don’t wear..

  • High heels and shoes that are too big or too small – you could trip and fall
  • Clothes that are tight, such as girdles, pantyhose and knee-high stockings or socks
  • High platform-type shoes
  • Shoes with slippery or unstable bottoms

Learn the right way to put on support hose if you need to wear them.

Getting out of bed

Lying on your side, bend knees, push with arms and until you can straighten elbows, and as you sit up, slowly swing your legs over side of bed.

Lifting

Never bend from the waist, always bend from your hips and knees, keeping your back straight. Avoid heavy lifting or carrying because your pelvic and spinal joints may be unstable, especially later in your pregnancy.

Squatting

Stand with feet and knees well apart. Keeping head and spine straight, bend your knees and gently lowering your body to a squatting position. Heels may lift off floor. To stand up again, push up with your legs and then straighten knees.

Kneel Squatting

Stand with one foot placed forward in front of the other. Keeping your head and back straight, bend your knees, and lower yourself onto back knee, which rests on the floor. To stand back up, push up from the floor, straightening your legs.

Always hold onto nearby support for extra balance and control while squatting, climbing stairs, and sitting down. Avoid standing for long periods, or sitting with your knees crossed as this adds to poor circulation in the legs and pelvis. When possible sit with your legs elevated to help the blood flow in your feet and legs.

Tags: Press-up, Obstetrics, muscle strain, Pelvis, Keeping head, Childbirth, Pregnancy, exercise, Sitting, Bodyweight exercise

Cardiac Rehabilitation: Let's Exercise

December 1, 2009 by  
Filed under Education

Before you your body needs time to get blood to the parts of your body that you are going to exercise.  If you start exercising before your body is ready, you may hurt yourself.  So, before you begin to exercise:

  • Warm up the muscles you will be using.  For example, if you plan on walking, walk slowly for 5 minutes before you really get into walking briskly.  If bike riding is what you want to do, go slowly for 5 minutes before you go faster.
  • Stretch your muscles.  After the blood has moved into your muscles, you need to stretch them.  This is to help prevent painful muscle pulls, cramps and soreness during and/or after exercising.  Never stretch cold muscles.  Also, remember to breathe while exercising.

Get Moving

Your heart needs to be strong to pump well.  You can make your heart stronger with only 30-60 minutes of aerobic exercises 3-6 days a week.

Aerobic exercises are ones in which you move your arms and legs the whole time you do them.  Walking, jogging, dancing and cycling are aerobic.  After only a few months of regular exercise:

  • Your hear can pump more blood and oxygen to your lungs and through your body
  • You will likely have more energy
  • You may sleep better and feel less stress
  • You may find your blood pressure has gone down (your blood glucose too)
  • You can lose body fat and help tone up your muscles
  • Your good cholesterol (HDL) level may go up

After You Exercise

Before you stop exercising, slow your pace and cool down just like you warmed up.  This lets your body gently return blood from your muscles to other places.  Then stretch your muscles again.  This helps prevent soreness later.

Tags: Physical exercise, Aerobic exercise, Exercise physiology, exercise, Sports medicine, Muscular system

Low Back Pain and Physical Activity

August 20, 2009 by  
Filed under Education

Your health care provider will want to know about the physical demands of your life (your job or daily activities). Until you feel better, your health care provider may need to recommend some changes in your activities. You will want to talk to your health care provider about your own personal situation. In general, when pain is severe, you should avoid:

* Heavy lifting
* Lifting when twisting, bending forward, and reaching
* Sitting for long periods of time

The most important goal is for you to return to your normal activities as soon as it is safe. Your health care provider and (if you work) your employer can help you decide how much you are able to do safely at work. Your schedule can be gradually increased as your back improves.

Bed Rest
If your symptoms are severe, your health care provider may recommend a short period of bed rest. However, bed rest should be limited to 2 or 3 days. Lying down for longer periods may weaken muscles and bones and actually slow your recovery. If you feel that you must lie down, be sure to get up every few hours and walk around–even if it hurts. Feeling a little discomfort as you return to normal activity is common and does not mean that you are hurting yourself.

About Work and Family
Back problems take time to get better. If your job or your normal daily activities make your back pain worse, it is important to communicate this to your family, supervisor, and coworkers. Put your energy into doing those things at work and at home that you are able to do comfortably. Be productive, but be clear about those tasks that you are not able to do.
Things You Can Do Now
While waiting for your back to improve, you may be able to make yourself more comfortable if you:

* Wear comfortable, low-heeled shoes
* Make sure your work surface is at a comfortable height for you.
* Use a chair with a good lower back support that may recline slightly.
* If you must sit for long periods of time, try resting your feet on the floor or on a low stool, whichever is more comfortable.
* If you must stand for long periods of time, try resting one foot on a low stool.
* If you must drive long distances, try using a pillow or rolled-up towel behind the small of your back. Also, be sure to stop often and walk around for a few minutes.
* If you have trouble sleeping, try sleeping on your back with a pillow under your knees, or sleep on your side with your knees bent and a pillow between your knees.

Exercise
A gradual return to normal activities, including , is recommended. Exercise is important to your overall health and can help you to lose body fat (if needed). Even if you have mild to moderate low back symptoms, the following things can be done without putting much stress on your back:

* Walking short distances
* Using a stationary bicycle
* Swimming It is important to start any exercise program slowly and to gradually build up the speed and length of time that you do the exercise. At first, you may find that your symptoms get a little worse when you exercise or become more active. Usually, this is nothing to worry about. However, if your pain becomes severe, contact your health care provider. Once you are able to return to normal activities comfortably, your health care provider may recommend further aerobic and back exercises.

Tags: low back pain, low back exercises, schedule, exercise, back pain

Exercise Tips for People with Heart Failure

August 19, 2009 by  
Filed under Education

Unless your is severe, your doctor will probably have you do some or physical activity.  This may sound odd if you have heard you should rest often and not get tired.

The type of exercise you will do will keep your body strong, but not overwork your heart.  Before you start any type of exercise, be sure your doctor says it is OK.

Your doctor may have you in a cardiac rehab program.  This program can teach you how to exercise.  You will learn how to go through the exercises safely and gain confidence in how much you can do.

If your heart failure is stable and your doctor gives you an exercise program, then some moderate exercises can be very helpful.  Some moderate exercises are:

  • Brisk walking
  • Riding a stationary bicycle
  • Swimming

Tips for Moderate Exercise

  • The best time to exercise is about 1 hour after eating or taking your medicines.
  • Stretch before you start and cool down after you exercise.
  • Stay away from hard exercises like running and lifting weights above 20 pounds.
  • Don’t exercise when it’s too hot or cold.  It’s best to exercise when the temperature is between 40º and 80º F and the humidity is low.
  • Start slowly and work up gradually.
  • Set goals you can reach without over working your heart.

If you have any chest pain, chest discomfort, shortness of breath that is not normal for you, dizziness or nausea, stop the exercise or physical activity.  Call your doctor if the symptoms don’t get better when you stop or you are worried about your well being.

Also, keep a record how tired you feel each day.  If you are too tired to get out of bed that day, or the day after you exercise, you need to cut down on how much exercise you are doing.

Tags: exercise, heart disease, exercise program, Dyspnea, heart failure

Cardiac Rehab: Your Next Step To Recovery

August 19, 2009 by  
Filed under Education

What is Cardiac Rehabilitation (rehab)?

Cardiac rehab helps heart patients get well sooner and get back to a full, active lifestyle.  Rehab has two parts:

  1. Exercise training helps you safely, strengthen your muscles and get your energy back.
  2. Education helps you understand the health condition of your condition and teaches you ways to change unhealthy habits to new, healthier habits.

Who can Benefit from Cardiac Rehab?

Anyone who has or have had:

  • heart disease
  • heart failure
  • a
  • heart surgery
  • heart angioplasty
  • a heart transplant

What are the Benefits of Cardiac Rehab?

Cardiac rehab can make a difference.  It is a safe, smart way to help you:

  • Feel better faster
  • Get stronger
  • Decrease symptoms like chest pain and shortness of breath
  • Cut down on stress
  • Lower your risks for future heart problems and related hospital admissions
  • Live longer

What are the Goals of Cardiac Rehab?

Cardiac rehab can help you reach many goals.  Talk with your doctor or nurse and find out which of these goals are right for you:

  • Taking medicines, as needed
  • High blood pressure control
  • Weight management
  • Cholesterol control
  • Eating healthy
  • Diabetes control
  • Weight training
  • Aerobic exercise
  • Quitting smoking
  • Stress management

Who is on the Cardiac Rehab Team?

Your cardiac rehab team may be made up of many health care providers including:

  • Doctors (such as family doctor, heart doctor (cardiologist) and/or your surgeon)
  • Nurses
  • Dietitians
  • Exercise specialists
  • Occupational therapists
  • Physical therapists
  • Psychologists or behavior therapists

How can the Cardiac Rehab Team Help?

Only you can change your health habits to those that are necessary for a healthier life. But your cardiac rehab team can make these changes easier for you.  They can help you:

  • Learn about your heart condition
  • Learn what you can do to help your heart
  • Know the right questions to ask
  • Know if you have any new problems
  • Build confidence in what you can do
  • Follow your treatment plan
  • Move safely through your exercise program

No matter how hard it seems, cardiac rehab will have benefits that last a lifetime. Many insurance companies pay for some or all of the cost of cardiac rehab.

Tags: exercise, Live, attack, cardiac rehabilitation, heart attack

Cardiac Rehabilitation: Let's Exercise

August 19, 2009 by  
Filed under Education

Before you your body needs time to get blood to the parts of your body that you are going to exercise. If you start exercising before your body is ready, you may hurt yourself. So, before you begin to exercise:

  • Warm up the muscles you will be using. For example, if you plan on walking, walk slowly for 5 minutes before you really get into walking briskly. If bike riding is what you want to do, go slowly for 5 minutes before you go faster.
  • Stretch your muscles. After the blood has moved into your muscles, you need to stretch them. This is to help prevent painful muscle pulls, cramps and soreness during and/or after exercising. Never stretch cold muscles. Also, remember to breathe while exercising.

Get Moving

Your heart needs to be strong to pump well. You can make your heart stronger with only 30-60 minutes of aerobic exercises 3-6 days a week.

Aerobic exercises are ones in which you move your arms and legs the whole time you do them. Walking, jogging, dancing and cycling are aerobic. After only a few months of regular exercise:

  • Your hear can pump more blood and oxygen to your lungs and through your body
  • You will likely have more energy
  • You may sleep better and feel less stress
  • You may find your blood pressure has gone down (your blood glucose too)
  • You can lose body fat and help tone up your muscles
  • Your good cholesterol (HDL) level may go up

After You Exercise

Before you stop exercising, slow your pace and cool down just like you warmed up. This lets your body gently return blood from your muscles to other places. Then stretch your muscles again. This helps prevent soreness later.

Tags: get fit, cardiac rehabilitation, exercise, Rehabilitation, cold muscles

Get Adobe Flash playerPlugin by wpburn.com wordpress themes