Tag Archives: exercise

Tips For Exercising Safely During Pregnancy


Many moms-to-be avoid exercising, not wanting to add any more stress than necessary to the delicate ecosystem that is a pregnant body, however, both you and your baby can benefit from the right kind of bodily stress – prenatal exercise.

Some of the benefits of Prenatal Exercise

Exercising routinely during your pregnancy can have a plethora of health benefits including:

  • lower risk of experiencing delivery complications
  • It can help you catch more zzz’s
  • Help regulate the bowels (which are often on the fritz during pregnancy)
  • Give you more energy, helping you avoid fatigue
  • It reduces the risk of preeclampsia
  • It can strengthen your muscles which may help with delivery
  • May also help reduce back and pelvic pain associated with pregnancy

5 Cautions For Safe Pregnancy Workouts

  1. Check in with your Doc – mild to moderate prenatal exercise is perfectly healthy for most moms-to-be, however if you fall into a high risk category or have pre-existing health conditions, you may not be a candidate for certain types of exercise. It is important to talk to your doctor so he or she can assess you and give approval before you begin an exercise regimen.
  2. Listen to your body – don’t push yourself past the point of aching or exhaustion while you’re expecting. This may seem like common sense, but sometimes when we are ‘in the zone’, it is easy to forget to bring things down a notch. If you feel any sensations or symptoms that are out of the ordinary such as pelvic pain or cramping, stop what you are doing and get medical attention right away.
  3. Go easy – It is important to ease into activity while pregnant. Be sure to start with a gentle warm up and slowly turn it up. You may have been able to sprint like an Olympian and lift a small elephant before becoming pregnant, but your high intensity workouts will need to make way for gentler types of exercise during pregnancy. You don’t want to put too much strain on yours or the baby’s body while working out, so it is important to modify whatever workout you are choosing to suit your new body as to not put your pregnancy at risk.
  4. Avoid lying flat – Try to avoid activities or poses where you lie directly on your back on the floor, as that can put too much pressure on your back, as well as reduce blood flow to the baby.
  5. Stay cool and hydrated – while it is never a good idea to neglect h2o during your workout or risk overheating, both dehydration and overheating can be especially detrimental during pregnancy. Both can lead to serious prenatal complications such as birth defects, so be sure to drink plenty of fluids and avoid exercising in the sun, spending time in a sauna or working out too hard.

Stay tuned tomorrow for the best types of exercise to do while pregnant. Thanks for visiting DocChat!

 

Get in Shape This Season with These 7 Fall Fitness Activities


If you can stand to lose a few pounds for your health or simply love to find new ways to exercise, give these autumn activities a shot:

  1. Rake those leaves – Raking leaves can be a surprisingly decent cardiovascular exercise. Did you know you can burn up to 400 calories an hour by raking and bagging leaves? So get those garbage bags ready and round up your family for some great fall exercise (and a cleaner yard)!
  2. Go geocaching ­– A cool trending activity as of late is geocaching, a large-scale scavenger hunt where participants hunt for hidden trinkets and objects using GPS coordinates on their cell phones. These items may be hidden near mountains, on hiking trails, in provincial parks or around cities. You may be walking for a while or even have to hike to collect the trinkets. People can also get to these items by cycling or snowshoeing in winter (both of which burn over 400 calories an hour).

  3. Take an autumn hike or stroll – With the leaves changing vibrant colors, fall is arguably the most beautiful time of year. So why not take advantage of autumn’s scenic wonders by taking regular walks or hikes before the cold of winter hits. You can choose a new location each time! You’ll burn around 300 calories per hour hiking, and between 65-100 per mile if you’re walking.

  4. Try barre workouts – If you’re not a fan of the nip in the air and would prefer an indoors fall workout, try barre exercises. A hot fitness activity this year, performing different stretches and ballet moves on your own barre (or one in an exercise facility) can help strengthen muscles as well as greatly increase flexibility.

  5. Do some circuit training – circuit training doesn’t have to take place at a gym with special equipment, you can set up your own circuit activities at home or in your own backyard using walls, household items for resistance, and jumping ropes and a yoga mat! Use your imagination and have fun with it.
  6. Do mini commercial workouts – Let’s face it, most of us start spending more time inside watching TV as summer ends and the cooler fall months set in, but this doesn’t have to mean our fitness levels take a plunge. Look at commercial breaks as mini fitness opportunities. Each time you find yourself in front of the TV, make a habit of doing squats, sit ups, push ups or running on the spot during every commercial break. You’ll start seeing a difference in your fitness level in no time!
  7. Check out Jukari exercise classes – A new trending exercise called Jukari has emerged to whip us into shape! And it sounds ridiculously fun. It combines yoga, pilates, resistance bands and circus-like exercise techniques to create a whole-body fitness experience. Jukari can help tone and define muscle, increase balance and flexibility, strengthen connective tissues and burn fat. Sounds too good not to try!

Woo! There you have some fun fall-centric activities to help you lose or maintain target weight or just start you on a healthier path! Thanks for visiting DocChat!

9 Health Reasons to Start Swimming Today


Ever wish you could roll the calming, strengthening and flexibility benefits of yoga, the cardio burst of running, and resistance training all into one convenient exercise method? Well, you can if you take up swimming. It is indubitably a great workout for people of all capabilities, ages and fitness levels. Here are 9 of the many health benefits regular swimming can provide:

  1. Regular swimming helps increase stamina and lung capacity. Some studies even show that athletic swimmers tend to perform better on lung function tests than runners. It can help those suffering with lung diseases such as asthma increase their capacities as well.
  2. Most anyone can swim, no matter what physical limitations they may have as it is an easily modifiable activity. You can swim like an Olympian or simply move your limbs in the water with floatation aids.
  3. Swimming can be a great cardiovascular workout as it keeps your heart rate up and the water provides great resistance to movement, making your heart work harder than performing the same actions on land.
  4. It is a low impact workout, making it much easier on the joints than running. For this reason, swimming is a great fitness choice for pregnant women, the elderly or those afflicted with arthritis or chronic joint pain.
  5. Unlike many sports such as cycling, that target one or two areas of the body, swimming can provide full-body conditioning. Moderate swimming utilizes your core, arms, legs, back muscles, and glutes to propel you forward.
  6. Frequent swimming can increase your flexibility as you stretch your limbs to move forward in the water in different swimming strokes that utilize different muscles.
  7. Regular swimming helps strengthen and build muscle as well as tone your body to help you become leaner.
  8. Swimming can help you burn hundreds of calories (depending on the length of time and intensity level), and can be an effective weight loss tool when performed routinely in combination with a healthy diet.
  9. Swimming can be great for your mental health as well, not only because it releases endorphins which help manage stress and pain (while making you feel fabulous), but is also calming to move gracefully through the cool water. Research also illustrates a link between regular swimming and easing symptoms of depression. So, forget the tensions of the day with a trip to the pool or lake!

Well that concludes our look at some of the many health benefits of swimming. Did our list make you want to find a lake and become a fish? Thanks for visiting DocChat, stay healthy and happy!

 

 

 

 

Can Strengthening the Cooper’s Ligaments Help Lift Your Bust?

Gravity can be cruel to our bodies. If you’re concerned with strengthening and lifting your chest, breast lifting surgery may be the only method that works 100%, but we’ve found a short exercise regimen that can certainly help!

How Do Breasts Sag?

There are sets of ligaments that run vertically along your collar bone down your chest called Cooper’s ligaments that act as “natural bra straps”. These ligament groups become stretched over time, causing breasts to drop. These changes are natural processes of aging, however, sometimes women undergo rapid changes if they lose or gain a lot of weight quickly or post-pregnancy.

Can Gravity’s Effects Be Reversed?

While strengthening exercises certainly won’t make drastic changes, they can help firm, tone and lift the chest area. A female personal trainer with 20 years’ experience developed a short exercise regimen to target the Cooper’s ligaments, you can find her video here.

Perking Those Pecks

As the breasts themselves are made up of fatty tissue over the pectoral muscles, it is also possible to help better naturally support them by working out the muscles surrounding the breasts, most notably underneath. When those muscles are weak, it can help encourage sagging.

All in all, we should aim to be body confident, however there is nothing wrong with working to sculpt or improve your body as regular exercise is directly linked to lowering the risk of many diseases, including the ever-growing prevalence of obesity. Thanks for visiting DocChat! We hope these exercises help!

 

 

5 Strange (But Cool) New Workout Trends


We’ve all heard of Zumba, Pilates and yoga, but how about punk-aerobics or mud racing? No? Well let’s take a look at some wacky but exciting workout trends that have hit the scene fairly recently:

  1. Electronic surfing – A hockey player and avid surfer created the first electronic surfing machine, the Ripsurfer X to expertly simulate a real surfing experience so off-season surfers can stay true to form. However, it has gone on to explode in the fitness world as one of the coolest new exercise trends for surfers and non-surfers alike. While these boards are quite expensive, there are many electronic surfing studios around where you can attend e-surf classes to get a surfer body without shelling out for the actual device. It targets the upper body and is especially great for your core. Trying to balance while the board is shifting all around would be a fun challenge indeed.
  2. Backwards running ­– If you see this, you may think you’ve stepped into some weird parallel universe, but nope! People are simply into jogging backwards to spice up their workout regimens these days. The fitness theory behind backward running? It strengthens opposing muscle groups and relieves some of the hamstring pressure and high impact of forward running. Do you buy it? Give it a try to find out!
  3. Mud Races are essentially a mud-covered obstacle course complete with different stations to tackle such as having to crawl underneath netting through a mud-pit to race others to the finish. It works all areas of the body and can be quite rigorous, so much so that many mud race obstacle courses require participants to meet physical endurance or health requirements.
  4. Punk-aerobics – A great workout for all you head-bangers out there, punk-aerobics is essentially what it sounds. It is a movement where punk aficionados who wish to get in shape get together at their favorite punk clubs (during the daytime) to partake in intense aerobic routines set to their favorite punk songs. Even those on the fringe of society enjoy a good workout!
  5. Circus-style workouts – Perhaps the best for last, did you ever attend the circus and envy the trapeze artists gracefully swinging, hanging and flipping through the air? Well no need to be green-eyed, you can do a circus-style workout! These workshops take place in studios filled with circus equipment with an instructor who teaches participants different aerial skills that burn hundreds of calories a session. How fun?Who says working out has to be boring? We hope you enjoyed reading about our favorite off-the-wall workouts, thanks for visiting DocChat!

8 Ways Exercise Boosts Your Brain


We all know exercise is essential for a healthy body, but did you know how good exercise is for the brain specifically? Turns out, pretty awesome! Here are 9 research-backed benefits of exercise for the brain:

  1. Improves Brain Plasticity

Research suggests that even as brief as a 30-minute burst of exercise can improve brain plasticity, which helps with many things such as coordination of motor skills.

  1. Reduces Risk of Stroke

Cardio helps reduce your risk of having a stroke (also known as ‘brain attack’) by lowering blood pressure, helping you lose weight, reducing your stress and strengthening blood vessels.

  1. May Help Combat Alzheimer’s Disease

Exercise appears to have a hand in preventing or slowing the progression of Alzheimer’s disease by improving memory and overall cognitive function, as well as helping combat or slow brain connection impairments associated with aging.

  1. Reduces Stress, Anxiety and Pain

During exercise, the brain releases natural analgesics like oxytocin and ‘feel good’ chemicals called endorphins. Neurotransmitter serotonin also has a large part to play in how exercise reduces stress, as its mood-boosting quality counters the effects of stress hormones like cortisol. Since pain signals are sent from the brain, natural pain-killing chemicals help redirect or block unpleasant pain sensations (sometimes only during exercise and for a short time after).

  1. Helps With Brain Cell Protection and Growth

According to Harvard Medical School, exercise stimulates the production of growth factors, which help new blood vessels grow in the brain as well as protecting new brain cells so they thrive and survive.

  1. Improves mood

Exercise improves mood the same way it helps control stress and anxiety, by producing mood-boosting endorphins, neurotransmitters and hormones like serotonin and dopamine which do exactly that – they boost your mood! Both routine exercise and diet play a key role in helping ease symptoms of mild depression.

  1. Clears The Mind

Exercise melts away the worries and events of the day by keeping you focused on the task at hand. This can serve as almost a type of meditation by emptying your head of clattering daily thoughts, giving your brain a rest as your body works up a lather.

  1. Improves Day-to-Day Brain Functioning

Routine exercise can help lift brain fog and help improve focus and motivation, which in turn can help sharpen interpersonal skills, job performance and increased creativity.

So, it turns out your brain needs routine exercise just as much as the rest of you does! Thanks for visiting DocChat, we hope you’ll return again soon!

50 Exercises You Can Do Almost Anywhere


Here are some exercise moves you can combine at home to create easy, effective workouts. Some of these exercises require only minor equipment, but most require none at all!

  1. Air boxing
  2. Frog leaps
  3. Dancing
  4. Jogging on the spot
  5. Stair climbing
  6. Low-belly leg reaches
  7. Lunges
  8. Bicycle crunch
  9. Resistance lunges (holding cans of soup or light weights)
  10. Skip rope exercises
  11. Full body roll-ups
  12. Stationary kicks
  13. Pinwheels
  14. Wall-sitting
  15. Resistance band stretches
  16. Medicine ball crunches
  17. Supine reverse crunches
  18. Exercise ball activities
  19. Jumping jacks
  20. Lateral shuffle
  21. High intensity interval training (HIIT)
  22. Leg raises
  23. Stretches
  24. Yoga
  25. Pilates
  26. Carry heavy bags or baskets up and down stairs (repeat)
  27. Tai Chi
  28. Callisthenics
  29. Sit-ups
  30. Push-up
  31. Plyometrics (or ‘jumping’ exercises)
  32. Burpees
  33. Front planks
  34. Side planks
  35. Bicep curls with soup cans
  36. Squats
  37. Contralateral limb raises
  38. Step aerobic exercises
  39. Play catch with a friend or family member
  40. Play family touch-football on a lawn or in a park
  41. Frisbee
  42. Play fetch or race with your dog
  43. Follow Youtube exercise videos
  44. Count your steps and set step goals
  45. Walk, jog or run
  46. Balance exercises
  47. Try some dancing or light gymnastic moves outside
  48. Practice dribbling a basketball or volleying a volley ball
  49. Invest in a portable mini trampoline and do some trampoline exercises
  50. Toning exercises

Thanks for visiting DocChat! We hope some of these exercise ideas help spice up your fitness regimen a little!

 

Hobbies That Can Double as Exercise

Plenty of people love exercising, but are you one of the many who finds it to be more of a chore? Well, you know you have to exercise – so perhaps choosing hobbies that have workouts built into them would be a more engaging way for you to get your sweat on! What better type of hobby than one that clandestinely helps your reach your daily or weekly exercise goal? Some of the many hobbies can double as exercise sessions include:

  1. Gardening can be a great workout if you’re tending to your whole yard. Between squatting down near the ground, getting up and down, walking around outside, mowing your lawn, lugging mulch and other tools around, you’ll be sweating in no time flat.
  2. Carpentry for home renovations is often one of the most intense workouts going. Whether you are using your triceps and biceps to saw and sand wood, walking back and forth between the garage and work-site for tools all day, climbing up and down ladders, hammering nails into place or holding heavy wood and other materials up to be secured, you are definitely working out while you’re working on a project! (Just be careful of repetitive motions like hammering that can cause tendinitis).
  3. Sailing or kayaking are beautiful, serene ways to get fresh air in your lungs, a breathtaking view in your eye-line while engaging in a great upper body workout. With sailing, kayaking and fishing, you have to use multiple upper body muscles to row, hoist sails or haul up heavy fish. Kayaking is a particularly good workout as you are constantly rowing side-to-side, using your triceps, biceps, obliques, abs and overall core to propel the vessel forward.
  4. Mural painting or sculpting may seem like a stretch, but if you are a mural painter you know it can be exhausting on the arm muscles. You can certainly engage all kinds of muscle groups if you are painting a large area like a house or wall. You are always reaching, getting on and off the ladder or scaffolding and re-positioning it to start painting the next spot. You must have discipline to paint like that for hours at a time. Similarly, those who sculpt rock know how much of a core workout it can be. Chipping away at stone with a pick or pneumatic tool requires you to re-position yourself constantly around the piece to ensure it can be displayed in the round.
  5. Drumming gets the heart-rate up while utilizing your entire body. Your legs are constantly pumping the pedals, while your arms are non-stop working all the elements from high hats right across to the floor tom (and everything in between). Not only do you need coordination, but you also need a pretty strong core to pivot around the kit, tirelessly working each limb in its own small pursuit of a beat.
  6. Berry picking can be pleasant to grueling, depending on how long you go, how large of an area you span, how heavy your buckets are and whether you are picking in the heat or on a nice overcast day. This is a workout-hobby most can do with ease, but it certainly can be challenging to constantly crouch down near the ground and then spring back up to move to a different spot for hours at a time while lugging gallons of berries. Forget lunges, try berry picking to really work those glutes!
  7. Beach scavenging is a relaxing and scenic way to exercise while pursuing a hobby. Some people scan the beach for driftwood, or for beach glass, or simply for oddities like dried out sand-dollars. Regardless of your goal, beach scavenging can be great for light exercise. You’re walking the whole day, occasionally squatting to pick up items of interest, and often carrying around buckets of items or your gear which can be beneficial for adding resistance.

So there you have it! Did any of these hobbies appeal to you? If so, start one tomorrow to set your new hobby-turn-exercise routine in motion! Getting fit while you’re having fun can’t be beat! Thanks for visiting DocChat! We hope you’ll be back soon.

 

Here’s Why You Should Try Getting Fit With HIIT!


High intensity interval training (HIIT) is taking off as of late as a favored exercise method. It combines low-to-moderate activity intervals with high intensity ones. HIIT also allows people to work as their own personal trainer, incorporating a variety of different exercise moves into each workout.

How Does HIIT Work?

HIIT consists of very quick bursts of intense exercise, usually between 20 seconds to 2 minutes, followed by a short 10 second to 1-minute recovery period that is slower-paced, or sometimes even stationary. This activity pattern is often repeated for 20-45 minutes.

Is HIIT Effective for Weight Loss?

Yes, very. Because HIIT keeps your heartrate up while kicking your metabolic rate into overdrive, your body will be burning calories long after the workout has ended. If executed correctly, HIIT can actually burn more fat in less time than many other straight-cardio workouts.

What About Different Ability Levels?

Herein lies the true beauty of HIIT, nearly anyone can do it because it is 100% modifiable. If you have exercise induced asthma, arthritis or another mobility impairment, you can stick to more conservative exercises within your range of ability for the high intensity portions that still keep the heartrate up enough to make the exercise beneficial. Conversely, if you have no physical limitations, you can go full-on-pro-athlete during the intensity intervals!

What Types of Exercises Can You Incorporate in HIIT?

You can basically work any moves into HIIT, which is another perk. Some of the popular intensity moves are:

  • Incline push-ups
  • Jumping squats
  • High knees
  • Jumping jacks
  • Bicycle crunches
  • Sprinting

What Are Some of the Other Benefits?

According to the American College of Sports Medicine, some benefits of HIIT include:

  • Aiding cardiovascular health
  • Increasing stamina
  • Helping burn fat while retaining muscle

One last benefit of HIIT is the convenience. It is a workout that can be completed in as little as 20-30 minutes, which is an amount of time that almost anyone can spare daily. It also can be done anywhere; you don’t need a pricey gym membership to get fit with HIIT! So why not give it a try today? Thanks for visiting DocChat!

 

What’s Your Exercise IQ?


Are these statements true or false? Try to give this quiz a shot before looking at the answers below, you can write down “T or F” on a piece of paper and check your answers at the end! No scrolling down!

Is Each Item True Or False?

  1. Running on a treadmill is easier on your joints than running outdoors.
  2. “No pain, no gain”, you’re not working out hard enough unless you feel pain or discomfort.
  3. You have to burn 3500 calories per pound lost.
  4. You can target certain areas of the body (such as the face) for weight loss.
  5. A mediocre workout on gym equipment is better than a hard workout at home with no equipment.
  6. There is a type of exercise out there for everyone, regardless of physical limitations.
  7. If you are skinny, you don’t need to exercise as much as a larger person.
  8. Exercise is more important than diet when it comes to losing weight.
  9. Doing sit-ups will burn stomach fat and make your abs visible.
  10. An hour of dancing in your room can be as good a cardio workout as going to the gym.

 

 

 

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Answers

  1. False – The act of running in itself puts excess strain on your knees and lower joints regardless of what surface you do it on. It is a good idea to switch up the type of cardio you do to avoid joint damage from excess running.
  2. False – If you are in pain, you may be straining a body part or pushing yourself too hard. Sometimes you don’t know the damage you’ve done until the endorphins start to wear off, so don’t ‘push through the pain’, listen to your body.
  3. True – Burning approximately 3500 calories equals about a pound lost.
  4. False – Fat loss is indiscriminately systemic by nature. Unfortunately, you can’t really choose specific spots you want to lose fat.
  5. False – It doesn’t matter what fancy equipment you use as long as you are working hard and varying your exercises to target various muscle groups (as well as getting some kind of cardio).
  6. True – Even if you don’t have the ability to move your limbs, you can still have someone help you stretch and strengthen them. If you have back problems, or severe arthritis or if you are restrictively obese, there are still small things you can do to work out certain parts of your body. It is important to go slowly and seek professional advice before trying to exercise when you have physical impediments.
  7. False – Everyone should try to exercise to the best of their ability. Just because you are skinny does not mean you aren’t at risk of developing life-threatening conditions like cardiovascular disease, and exercise can help combat many chronic conditions no matter your size. A larger person can be in better overall health than a smaller person in some cases.
  8. False – They are both equally as important. While it is possible to lose weight by exercising even when you are eating badly, you should try to practice them in tandem for good health. However, if you are very limited exercise-wise, reducing your caloric intake (in a healthy way) can help you lose weight while sedentary.
  9. False – In order to get that notorious “six pack”, you must lose the layer of fat on top first which cannot be done by ab exercises alone. Cardiovascular exercise is integral when it comes to fat loss.
  10. True – You can burn a lot of calories shaking your booty! It is a free, fun way to reach your daily cardio goal.

So how did you do? Hopefully 10/10! Thanks for visiting DocChat, we hope you’ll be back again soon!