physiquality blog: working toward a better body

In revamping this post (it was originally “work out like a model,” which isn’t easy to relate to physical therapy and general wellness), I may have been speaking for myself, as well as my family back in the Midwest, when I wrote about the weather. Friends in Kansas City have had 10 snow days at this point of the year. My sister-in-law in Chicago has had multiple days with highs hovering around 10 degrees.

Dallas may not have been as bad as either of those, but I have done my fair share of hibernating during our first winter here. And now I need to find a way to shed some of the weight gained in the last few months. Luckily, I found some advice on that very subject. Read on for more information…

Working toward a better body

Working toward a better body

As spring break approaches, many of us are starting to realize how much we have hibernated during this overly cold and snowy winter. Trapped inside our homes, we may have been eating more and working out less.

With the prospect of spring break trips and summer weather on the horizon, here are some ways to shed those winter pounds and to shape up your physique.

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physiquality blog: improving your health in the new year: 5 resolutions to make for 2017

New year, new habits. It’s easy to see why people make resolutions in January — a new year can feel like a fresh start. Early January is a good time to evaluate your lifestyle and determine whether you need to make some changes to live a healthier life.

Improving your health in the new year: 5 resolutions to make for 2017

We all get into bad habits in our life, in one way or another. Perhaps you don’t talk to your grandmother enough. Or you eat too much fast food. Or you stopped working out. Setting resolutions for the new year is a good way to try to work on these bad habits.

There are many habits that can be damaging to your health, but here are five resolutions you can make for the new year to improve your health.

  1. Evaluate your eating habits.

Evaluate your eating habits.Have you been skipping breakfast? Snacking constantly instead of sitting down to dinner? Picking up food on the go instead of cooking at home? These are all habits that can cause us to gain weight and damage our health. Take a look at the latest guidelines recommended by the Department of Agriculture and Health to compare to your eating habits.

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physiquality blog: the new nutrition guidelines — what you need to know

Apparently the nutritional guidelines put out by the government are like the software you use for work — just as you get used to something, a new version is produced and you have to adjust.

The 2015 guidelines were released this past January, and while there weren’t any major changes (drinking several glasses of red wine per day is STILL not advised, even if you’re a parent), there were a few additions to clarify limits on several types of foods that can negatively affect your health when consumed in large quantities. Read on to get the latest USDA advice on added sugar, sodium, saturated fats and cholesterol…

The new nutrition guidelines: What you need to know

with advice from Anna Dark

Every few years, the Departments of Agriculture and of Health and Human Services analyze their nutritional recommendations and release a new set of guidelines. If you don’t feel like reading through the three chapters and 14 appendices of the latest release, the 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, nutritionist and personal trainer Anna Dark will take you through the latest changes and updates.

Anna, who works at the Take Charge Fitness Program (a wellness program at Clinton Physical Therapy Center, a Physiquality member in Tennessee), says there are three big recommendations that have been added to this edition:

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physiquality blog: aerobic exercise is essential for pregnant women

This is one of many wellness topics that I feel passionate about. I had some friends that felt that getting pregnant gave you a free pass, that you could eat whatever you wanted because you were eating for two, and you were supposed to gain weight.

I got pregnant at 38. I knew that mine was considered a high-risk pregnancy, given my age, and I knew it would be much harder for me to lose the baby weight than my friends that had their children in their twenties. And I thankfully had a network of experts like Ann that encouraged me to stay active as long as I could, and instructors in my regular yoga and dance classes that could help me adapt my movement when necessary. I exercised until about week 37, when my hips began to spread and I just couldn’t do it anymore. I gained 35 pounds and had a healthy baby boy that weighed just over seven pounds.

I’d encourage any pregnant woman to be active as much as possible. Pregnancy is difficult on your body, and staying active was key to minimizing back aches and keeping my energy up. And while I did take a break during my first trimester, when I couldn’t seem to make it through the day without a two-hour nap and had some pretty awful nausea during the evenings, as soon as I felt more normal, around week 11, I was back at the studio and ready to go — and I felt much better as a result.

Aerobic exercise is essential for pregnant women

with advice from Ann Cowlin, MA, CSM, CCE

It used to be that women were told to rest and relax during pregnancy. Kick her feet up while she can. There were fears that too much movement could hurt the baby — or the mother. Now, says Ann Cowlin, the creator of Dancing Thru Pregnancy, a fitness program for expectant mothers (and a Physiquality partner), “it is the sedentary or low-activity mother and her children who are at risk.”

In our current world, Ann points out, we are not as active as previous generations. Think about what most of our grandmothers and grandfathers did during the day — manual labor in fields or factories. Even housework required a great deal more physical strength without the variety of machines thought essential in our houses today. “Few women exercise enough today to build the strength necessary for childbirth,” says Ann. “It’s no surprise that some women are afraid of birth and don’t have confidence in their ability to withstand it.”

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