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Staying Active During Pregnancy

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pregnant 4I wanted to take this opportunity to connect with my fellow women who are currently pregnant, and let you know that you are not alone. I am speaking specifically to those who have historically always been very active and are now finding themselves forced to slow down due to the immensely wonderful and yet altogether difficult task of growing another human being.

What an amazing process! The way a woman’s body will change and adapt to this new tiny life that has taken up residence on the inside. It knows exactly what to do to support that life (even if you don’t have a clue!) and give the little one exactly what it needs to survive until it is able to survive (with lots of help) on the outside of our bodies. The unfortunate part is that this amazing and difficult experience is not always a pleasant one for the mommies.

My pregnancy started as many do… nauseous, hungry and fatigued beyond anything I had ever comprehended. Within the first 3 months, it was all I could do to get through a day at work. When I finally made it home in the afternoons, I would down some very bland foods (ie, eggs, toast, and breakfast cereals) I found my pjs and climbed into bed, praying my dinner would not make a second appearance.

And getting a workout in? Forget it! The thought alone of moving more than I had to made me want to throw up. Now that I am out of that dreaded first trimester, I am feeling better (week 23). However, as hard as I have tried, I have not been able to keep up with my pre-pregnancy workout schedule.

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The Protein Bar

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RS1966 shutterstock 189234521When it comes to a quick on the go snack that can keep your energy up and stave off cravings, the protein bar is the way to go.  There are many over the counter options but often if you are not looking at what is put into them they can be loaded full of sugar and unnecessary additives.  Some are even comparable to eating a candy bar! 

Here are ten quick and easy recipes that can be made at home with fresh ingredients and quickly added to lunch boxes, gym bags and purses to help you and your family get through the day!

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RS2733 iStock 000003176288XLargeIf you are at all interested in looking into what can be beneficial for assisting in good health, the use of probiotics is a hot topic as of late.  A probiotic is“good for you” bacteria as well as specific yeast found in some foods and supplements.  Research has been identifying these bacteria and yeasts as highly helpful in reducing a wide range of disorders, from GI distress to allergies, ulcerative colitis to bloating.  These bacteria also help to assist replenishing intestinal flora following a round of antibiotic usage.

Is the use of probiotics right for you?  Here are four things you may not know about the world of good bacteria:

  1. The collection of microorganisms in the gut is ENORMOUS!  Some estimates are as many as 500 to 1,000 species of bacteria.  The amount of microorganisms number 10 to 1 to the cells in our body.
  1. The strain does matter.  Probiotics are bacteria that are helpful to the body when either swallowed OR applied to it.   Most probiotics will be identified by three names, their genus, species and strain.  The Food and Drug Administration does not currently require manufacturers to disclose their strains on food or supplements
  1. Probiotics should be taken frequently but may not be needed every day.  Unless you are having a specific issue with your digestive system where you would use a strain specific probiotic shown to assist with a specific symptom.
  1. Most major brands have been shown to contain what they claim.

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Family Fitness

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Childhood obesity is on the rise as children spend less time being active and too much time watching TV or playing video games. If you are an engaged parent, it is hard to miss this information. The news reports it, parenting magazines write about it, and teachers and physicians send information home about how inactive and unhealthy kids are these days.

As parents we want what is best for our kids, but balancing work and family schedules can be challenging. So how can we make sure that we are giving our families the best opportunities for a healthy active life now and into the future?

RS2051 Doctors WEBFirst, some facts:

  • Childhood obesity is on the rise
  • Over a 32-year period (1980-2012), there was an 11% increase in obesity for ages 6-11 and 16% for ages 12-19;
  • More than one-third of children and adolescents is classified as overweight or obese;
  • The annual cost of obesity in the United States is $14 billion;
  • Overweight children and adolescents have a 70% greater chance of becoming overweight adults.

How can you prevent your child from becoming an obesity statistic?  The best advice out there regarding family fitness is to model what you want for your kids. Again, as with most parenting tasks, finding the balance in life to include exercise for yourself and your family can be difficult.

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