Most of the time, losing weight is a tall order for many people. Magazines and online articles always tell you to change your diet, workout at least one hour every day, eat and drink only the non-fat food or no-sugar drinks, etc. It gets to a point where there’s too much to do that it’s already impossible to do anything at all.
In the end, you just give up on losing weight.
However, losing weight and living a healthier lifestyle shouldn’t be a bad experience for anyone. It should be enjoyable and rewarding. That being said, here are six of the simplest things you can start with so that your road to fitness can actually begin. Who knows, maybe after doing this, you can do the big stuff like a religious diet and intense workout sessions:
Keep a Food Log
One of the first things to remember is to keep track of what you eat. Write down how much you’ve eaten and you’re more likely to practice portion control and lose weight fast. Keeping a food log helps control extra calories in two ways: the combination of plain old reality check (like reminding yourself that you just ate 30 minutes ago) and awareness that what you’re putting in your mouth will soon be recorded for posterity.
Studies show that people who kept a food journal lost twice as much weight as those who didn’t. When they combined it with a moderate diet and exercise plan, they lost an average of 13 pounds in 6 months. Journaling can also give you substantial insight on your eating habits, such as keeping track if you’re skipping meals, knowing if you’re eating the same food during the week as you would during weekends, keeping check if you’re binge eating when feeling stressed, etc. In doing so, you become more familiar with your routine, you begin to figure out what changes are right for you.
Limit high-fat foods
You won’t need rocket science to find out that high-fat foods deter weight loss by a huge margin. While most guides tell you to not eat them at all (which is true, in its own right), you can start out by just limiting them. You don’t really need to eliminate them all in just a snap – start small and slowly and surely keep them off of your cravings.
Tag the high-fat/high-calorie foods that are typically your favorites (the top five usually treats are as follows: cookies, candy, ice cream, potato chips, and fries) and gradually downshift. Your food log (as previously mentioned) can help you a lot when following this gradual shift in food choice.
If you’re eating six of these foods a week, try to go down to five. Each week, drop another until you’re at no more than one or two. At the same time, add in good-for-you choices like baby carrots, sautéed broccoli, oranges, and other fresh fruits and veggies as replacement of the junk foods that you just pushed out of your system.
Start with mini strength training
Basic body-weight exercises like squats and push-ups are simple ways to build more metabolism-revving muscle in minutes. This helps you lose weight by increasing your metabolism. Research shows that to some degree, they’re just as effective as standard cardio exercises. Nevertheless, the idea behind this is, again, to start small on your road to fitness. Conquer your body weight first by doing the best exercises for home-based workouts. If you’re feeling that you can do more intense weight training, then you’re already prepared to hit the gym.
“Your muscles don’t know the difference between working against your body’s own resistance and on a fancy piece of equipment,” says Wayne Westcott, PhD, fitness research director at Quincy College and Prevention advisor. “The one rule to follow is that each exercise should fatigue your muscles within 60 to 90 seconds.” For extra burn, you can add an exercise band or resistance tubes to basic moves.
Try this mini-workout: Do 10 reps each of knee push-ups, squats, crunches, lunges, and chair dips. Then gradually increase the number of reps it takes for your muscles to feel fully fatigued.
Get on a health-focused mailing list
There have been studies that show how e-newsletters or blogs aid in educating people about fitness. In doing so, they can subconsciously help people in determining what the right diet is perfect for them. Not to mention simply reminding of all the things that they can be doing to be healthy.
One study from Kaiser Permanente found that people who received weekly emails about diet and fitness for 16 weeks substantially increased their levels of physical activity and intake of healthy foods like fruits and vegetables while cutting back on trans and saturated fats.
Furthermore, you can go out of your way and try out effective and safe weight loss supplements. You can start by reading fat burner reviews here.
Add extra minutes to your walks
Increasing daily activity levels by just a few minutes at a time can surely help you lose weight faster. Eventually, your goal should be to do at least 30 minutes of physical activity a day (burning off about 120 extra calories daily, or 12½ pounds a year), but it doesn’t have to be all at once. If five minutes is the most you can do as a start, then start with five minutes – however, don’t stagnate there. Add one minute a day if that’s all that you can do. The key is, always outdo yourself every time you exercise until you can do the more intensive workouts.
You can also apply this by choosing to take the stairs instead of the elevator. Including 2 to 3 minutes of stair climbing per day—covering about three to five floors—can burn enough calories to eliminate 1 to 2 pounds a year of natural weight gain. It’s also good for more than just your waistline: Men who climbed more than 70 flights of stairs a week had 18% lower mortality rates than those who climbed fewer than 20 flights a week, according to one Harvard study. Start with just a couple of flights a day; if you’re already a dedicated climber, aim to add three more flights to your daily trek.
Make Your Own Food More
You can save thousands of calories (not to mention hundreds or thousands of dollars) over the course of a year if you learn to eat more of the food that you make. The idea is that you won’t know how much extra calories or extra unhealthy stuff that restaurants – and most especially, fast food chains – add in their menu. Buying your own ingredients then cooking them your own educated way will surely help in general weight loss.
For example, a pre-made chicken Caesar wrap from a chain restaurant has 610 calories, more than 40% of which comes from fat, as well as 1,440 mg of sodium (more than half the recommended daily amount). On the other hand, if you make your own with pre-sliced deli chicken breast on whole wheat bread with light mayo and romaine lettuce, you net just about 230 calories. You cut almost 400 calories and about 520 mg of sodium, which leaves room for a side salad and could still add up to a 28-pound weight loss after a year.
“When you make and eat your own food, you not only control the quality and portion sizes but also reduce the amount of sugar, salt, and fat that you’re consuming, which can be significantly higher in restaurant fare,” says Ashley Koff, RD, a Prevention advisor and nutrition consultant based in Los Angeles.
Being a young adult these days come with a variety of opportunities as the world evolves into a more progressive phase with regards to technology, economy and politics. If you’re a part of this age group, you probably know how exciting it is put yourself out there in an attempt to actualize your dreams. Once you get out, you then feel that there are a lot of things to be achieved. Nonetheless, there are also challenges that many young adults must face as this trend in society moves forward.
With the current focuses on career and social life, the most unfortunate circumstance is that health and wellness is often forgotten about.
In fact, according to a study at Harvard Public Health, roughly two out of three U.S. adults are overweight, and one out of three is obese. While U.S. obesity rates have stayed steady since 2003, the rates are still rising in some groups.
Similarly alarming, the prevalence of overweight and obesity in children and adolescents is on the rise, and youth are becoming overweight and obese at earlier ages. One out of six children and adolescents ages 2 to 19 are overweight, and one out of three are obese.
Early obesity not only increases the likelihood of adult obesity, it also increases the risk of heart disease in adulthood, as well as the prevalence of weight-related risk factors for cardiovascular diseases. If this doesn’t prove how bad health is being ignored, then you should try checking out how many have been stricken with heart disease.
To monitor your current state of health and eventually avoid future illnesses, it may be important for you to have yourself checked. One of the factors health providers would do is to get your blood pressure.
Reading your blood pressure is important because the higher your blood pressure is, the higher your risk of health problems in the future. If your blood pressure is high, it is putting extra strain on your arteries and on your heart. As such, your BP reading is a deciding factor when you apply for a life insurance policy.
You should note that life insurance companies require you to fit in the blood pressure range because it is important for them to assess your health. Ultimately, BP levels matter for your premiums.
The bigger question now is, “how do you manage your BP levels when you’re in the early adulthood stage?” Here are three important points to take note of.
The Right Sleep is Essential
If you’re a career-oriented person, you know that spending that extra time at work or pulling that all-nighter to impress your boss is essential to becoming competent and successful. Add the fact that this generation is lavished with an active night life, sleep is often cut as short as two to three hours a day. However, you should know that sleeping doesn’t just rest your mind and body. It also has significant effects on your blood pressure.
If you sleep five hours or less a night, you may actually be at higher risk of developing high blood pressure or worsening your already high blood pressure. Over time, a lack of sleep could hurt your body’s ability to regulate stress hormones, leading to an increased blood pressure.
Sleeping seven to eight hours a night may play a role in the treatment and prevention of high blood pressure. A study in Sleep Medicine found out that short sleepers, as defined by sleeping less than six hours a night, have had much higher chance to develop hypertension. If you sleep that much every night, you have 20% more chance to have high blood pressure.
Furthermore, studies suggest that if you are a young adult, you should sleep 7 to 9 hours a day. The hours depend on the amount of activities you do every day, as well as how your body responds to being rested up that long. The important thing to note is that sleep deprivation can’t do you any good.
Cut the Caffeine and Alcohol, and Quit Smoking
In this era of constant activity, staying awake is convincingly one of the most arduous tasks. You have probably tried getting yourself a cup of Joe during your late nights or may have once puffed those enticing cigarettes to match. As you continue to have the demand for overnight work and graveyard shifts, your body may have already become reliant on both. This is a cardinal sin if you’re trying to manage your BP levels.
The nicotine in cigarettes contributes a big part of the problem. It raises your blood pressure and heart rate, narrows your arteries and hardens their walls, making your blood more likely to clot. It causes your heart to be more stressed, and sets you up for a heart attack or stroke.
The same can be said with Coffee. Caffeine can cause a short, but dramatic increase in your blood pressure, even if you don’t have the condition to begin with. It’s unclear what causes this spike in blood pressure. Some researchers believe that caffeine could block a hormone that helps keep your arteries widened.
When you combine these two at the same time, your blood pressure levels are increased significantly. This may have caused you to survive your late nights at work or at a party, but the long term effects can be brutal for your body. Smoking tobacco and taking in too much caffeine overworks your nervous system, causing future problems such as hypertension and heart disease.
Watch your Food, and Work Out
Your healthcare providers want to get an accurate picture of your blood pressure and chart what happens over time. The American Heart Association recommends a blood pressure screening at your regular healthcare visit or once every 2 years starting at age 20, if your blood pressure is less than 120/80 mm Hg.
Following the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) diet can lower your blood pressure by as much as 14 mmHg. The DASH diet consists of eating fruits, vegetables, whole grains, low-fat dairy products, lean meats, fish, and nuts. The eating habit also includes eliminating foods that are high in saturated fats, such as processed foods, full-fat dairy products, and fatty meats. It also helps if you can cut back on desserts and sweetened beverages, such as soda and fruit punch.
To supplement your dietary plans, it is imperative that you work your body out to burn the energies you get from the food you take in. Many studies note that exercising 30 to 60 minutes a day can help bring down your blood pressure numbers by 4 to 9 mmHg. If you’ve been inactive for a while, talk to your doctor about a safe exercise routine. Start out slowly and then gradually pick up the pace and frequency of your workouts.
If you’re not a fan of a gym, then it would be best to take your workout outside. Some of the activities you do for recreation are actually helping you get fit. Going for a hike, jog, or swim can reap the benefits of both managing your BP levels and social and physical facets. It is also recommended to incorporate muscle strengthening activity at least two days per week. You can try lifting weights, doing push ups, or any other exercise that helps build lean muscle mass.
Pregnancy is one of the most natural processes known to man. However, it still remains one of the most mysterious. Taking a pregnancy test is the quickest way to know for certain if you’ve finally conceived. Then again, there are various common ways to verify if you are one of those blessed to carry a new life.
All women are different and therefore so are that experiences that will happen throughout the entire pregnancy. Some women may have more symptoms than the other, and the same woman may have different symptoms with her different pregnancies.
Most of all, since the early symptoms of pregnancy are the same as what women usually experience right before and during menstruation, it becomes quite difficult to ascertain whether you are actually pregnant or not. Now is the time to focus and stop asking what are the most obvious early pregnancy signs, exactly?
Discussed below are the most common early symptoms of pregnancy. Be mindful of the fact that the following may be caused by other conditions aside from being pregnant. Be aware that the symptoms can only assist you in deciding whether you should be getting that pregnancy test or considering that trip to the doctor.
A woman’s hormone levels change at an incredibly fast pace right after conception. One of its physically noticeable effects is a noticeably change in the breast. A woman’s breasts may become sore, swollen, tingly or sensitive to touch in a few weeks after conceiving. They may also feel heavier, appear fuller and feel tender. The areola, the area around the nipples, also tends to darken in shade.
While other factors could cause similar changes in your breasts, if you are pregnant, it takes a while to adjust to the increased level of hormones. Once you get used to it, the pain becomes easier to manage.
Spotting/Bleeding, Cramping and Discharge
A couple of days after conception, the fertilized egg appends itself to the uterus wall. This causes what is commonly referred to as spotting. Spotting, also known as implantation bleeding, can occur anytime from six to 12 days after the egg has been fertilized.
Spotting can also be accompanied by cramping. A lot of women experience menstrual cramps as a regular indication that their period is about to begin, and thus, they can mistake spotting as the onset of their cycle. In pregnancy, however, the bleeding and cramps are only minor.
Aside from bleeding, when the vaginal walls begin to thicken in preparation for the growth of the embryo, a woman may see a white, milky discharge from the vagina. The rapid growth of the cells lining the vaginal walls starts immediately after conception and causes the discharge. The discharge persists throughout pregnancy which it is quite normal and doesn’t require treatment.
However, if it is accompanied by a foul odor or fishy smell and a burning or itching sensation, it is best to consult your doctor to rule out any possible bacterial or yeast infection. If you are indeed pregnant and a yeast infection is left uncured, the infection could be passed on to the baby’s mouth during delivery.
Nausea and Vomiting of Pregnancy (Morning Sickness)
Morning sickness is a widely-known symptom of pregnancy. However, there are fortunate women who don’t have to suffer from it. The exact cause of this famous symptom has not been solidly defined, but this phenomenon is likely due to the combination of physical changes a woman undergoes after conception.
Contrary to the name, morning sickness can occur any time of the day including the evening and may happen a lot of times throughout the day. True enough, it is reported that the nausea is most commonly felt during the morning. This symptom can begin in as early as four weeks, and the intensity greatly varies among women.
Quite interestingly, some women strongly crave specific foods while others can’t tolerate even a slight proximity to certain foods once they’re pregnant. It’s a drastic change where, say for example, a woman may be very fond of chocolates before pregnancy, but may not be able stand the sight of it, let alone its smell, once she’s conceived. Vice versa, it may also be true for a woman who couldn’t be bothered to eat chocolate before but soon cries out for it during pregnancy.
This symptom can possibly last for the entire pregnancy, but its frequency decreases during the 13th to 14th week of pregnancy.
If you’ve confirmed that you are pregnant, it is highly recommended to follow a healthy diet so both you and the baby receive vital nutrients for development and delivery.
A missed period motivates a woman to take a pregnancy test more than any other symptom listed in this article. While not all missed or delayed menstruation is caused by pregnancy, the chances are stacked pretty high that you are pregnant if your cycle is quite regular prior to the delay. You can consider your period delayed if it has been more than week after your expected first day of the cycle.
If pregnancy is not an option, other reasons for a missed period may include but are not limited to: weight loss or weight gain, hormonal imbalances caused by birth control pills, constant exhaustion and high levels of stress. It is still best to consult a doctor once you’ve missed your period and aren’t pregnant.
Fatigue is another common symptom that occurs very early on during pregnancy. A woman may begin to feel oddly exhausted as soon as one week after conception. Your body’s metabolism increases considerably during pregnancy, and your blood sugar and blood pressure have a tendency to lower. The mood swings brought about by pregnancy contributes to the exhaustion as well.
If you’ve confirmed that you are pregnant, it is advised to eat plenty and often while getting enough rest and exercise. This helps combat the dragging feeling and shifts in your mood. If you feel other symptoms such as weakness, breathlessness, apathy, panic or anxiety, you should consult your doctor to detect conditions like iron deficiency or prenatal depression, both of which can be treated when diagnosed properly.
Other Early Symptoms of Pregnancy
Due to the rapid changes in your hormones especially during the beginning of your pregnancy, other symptoms may soon arise:
Frequent Urination – This commonly happens to women around six to eight weeks after conception. This could be caused by other conditions such as urinary tract infection or diabetes, but if you’re pregnant, this is also one of the effects of the changes in your hormonal levels.
Constipation – The hormone progesterone naturally increases during pregnancy. Progesterone causes your muscles to relax allowing food to pass more sluggishly through your digestive system. In turn, this allows more time for nutrients to be absorbed by your body and, therefore, by your baby.
Mood swings – Similar to symptoms before you have your menstruation, the hormonal changes brought about by conception causes mood swings. You can be really cheerful one minute and be very depressed the next.
Headaches and back pain – There are plenty of reports from pregnant women who experience mild headaches and chronic back pain early on in your pregnancy.
Since every woman is different, some of them may experience all of the above while others may only have one or two. It is suggested to calmly assess your body for the changes and use a pregnancy test if in doubt. If you suspect that you are pregnant and any of the symptoms hamper you from day to day activities, the smartest thing to do is to consult your doctor to avoid possible complications, whichever is the case.
If you have kids, you’ve probably wondered (or are wondering still) about the best approach or the best time to teach them how to brush their teeth. You know how important (and difficult) it is; much like having them take a bath or eat vegetables, brushing their teeth is a learning experience for children as much as it is vital for their wellness while growing up.
The rule of thumb is that you are supposed to brush your kid’s teeth until the age of 5. Until then, it is best if you, as the parent, brush their teeth in a correct manner and also ardently in schedule. This way, children will have a sense of what is the correct way to brush or the proper schedule to follow.
How to brush your child’s teeth
Before teaching your kids how to brush on their own, you must first understand the correct way of brushing their teeth:
Steps to tooth brushing
Step 1: To properly brush children’s teeth, the parent or child should angle a soft-bristled toothbrush at 45 degrees towards the gums of the upper and lower teeth.
Step 2: The toothbrush should be moved gently in a back-and-forth motion with short strokes along the teeth and gums. This technique should be continued along every tooth’s interior and exterior surface in a similar way.
Step 3: The tip of the brush should be placed in an upright position to reach behind the front teeth on the top and bottom.
Step 4: Brush the tongue to remove bacteria on the surface.
When children should floss
Flossing is optional, although still highly beneficial. Children should start flossing when tooth surfaces are next to each other. It is important to floss at least once a day. Bacterial plaque and food can settle between the teeth, which can lead to gum disease, tooth decay and halitosis.
Steps to flossing
Step 1: Hold a short length of floss between the thumb and index finger, twining it around one finger at each end to gain better control. Be careful not to apply too much pressure when inserting the floss between the child’s teeth.
Step 2: Adjust the floss into a ‘C’ shape curve around each tooth and slide it up and down gently along the side of the tooth and under the gumline.
Step 3: A new section of floss should be used for each tooth to avoid reinsertion of food and plaque.
Step 4: An interdental brush can be used to clean between tooth surfaces that have space.
Also, there are other ways to clean your child’s teeth with the help of the technology right now. There are readily available electric toothbrushes and even water flossers for home usage. In case you need some other tips, this site has a great article about water flossers.
What should be the next step
Now that you know the basic ways on how to brush and floss your child’s tooth, you should be able to follow through with the development of your child’s oral hygiene practice through independent tooth brushing.
It all starts with knowing the right approach. Creating a misstep early on (i.e. playing hardball in teaching your child) can result in resentment and even dental phobia later on in life. It is more common than you think.
Thus, modeling good behavior is one of the best paths to take to get your kids excited about brushing their teeth instead of thinking it’s a chore.
As such, when you brush your teeth, be happy that you’re doing it. If you make it look like fun, the kids would want to do it too. While you’re brushing your teeth with them, crack jokes or make statements that appear to make brushing a rewarding experience. You have to also mean it, look happy when you’re doing it!
Let them copy you. Buy them the same color toothbrush as you have, or try an electric one, which may be more entertaining for them.
Here are some tips in making tooth brushing a desirable experience for kids:
Get in front of the mirror. You might not be successful if you sit your child on the toilet and go at your kid with a toothbrush. Instead, have your child looking in the mirror while you stand behind him or her and brush his or her teeth while you both look into the mirror. Better yet, brush your own teeth with them.
Make it a priority. You’re trying to fit tooth brushing into a busy schedule, but your child interprets this to mean that brushing your teeth is an afterthought, and something to do as quickly as possible. Now is the time to send the message to your kids that their oral health is a priority.
Make it a family activity. Just as dinner is a family activity, you can make brushing a time when the family gathers in the bathroom to brush after a meal. This is great when your child is just starting to brush their first set of teeth. You can even let your kid brush your teeth just so as to make it a relatable experience. Most importantly, make it a fun and family-centered experience so kids can attribute it to good memories.
Keep it positive. The worst thing you can do is threaten your child with brushing. Don’t tell your child that if she doesn’t brush, she’ll have to go see the dentist as if it’s some big scary punishment for not brushing. Brushing, as well as visiting the dentist, should both be positive lifelong habits.
Give them a good story. You’re teaching kids, and kids love stories. Sometimes, kids need a reason or a good story to get on board tooth brushing. There are many stories that you can tell them, such as how sugar bugs make holes in one’s teeth if you don’t brush them away. By telling them stories that are fit for a child, kids can have a positive outlook while still dutifully following the discipline of tooth brushing.
Let your kids choose their toothpaste. Don’t let toothpaste be a limiting factor in their tooth brushing experience. Toothpaste can make kids want to gag or need to spit, and can make things unnecessarily messy, which makes brushing a chore. Let your children choose a kids’ toothpaste they want to use. Adult toothpastes can be too strong for tiny palettes. Bring them to the supermarket before buying the toothpaste so that they’ll have some options when choosing.
Take turns. If you’re really worried that your toddler’s teeth aren’t getting properly cleaned while he or she is learning to take the reins, let him or her do the morning brushing session, while you handle the evening one. That way, he’ll get practice brushing on his own in the morning, but he’ll also get a reminder of your technique at night. Nighttime is also a good opportunity for you to get him used to flossing once a day before brushing (unlike brushing, flossing is something you’ll want to do for him at this point).
Lower your expectations. Your child probably won’t be cleaning the gum lines or reaching into tiny crevices just yet. Don’t sweat it. These early lessons are as much about instilling the habit as they are about technique. The more practice he gets, the faster he’ll improve. Don’t be up their heads by telling them that they should do it perfectly. Have them learn to improve by themselves.
Remember to not make it too hard or too much of a chore for your kids. However, make sure that they would follow the process dutifully. Teach them that tooth brushing is a fun and rewarding experience.
You are in love with food. Like most people who are like this, you tend to enjoy a wide variety of foods, and especially prefer anything with a crumbly crunch and a soft chew.
At some point, eating unhealthy foods may have been tolerable – when you were only thinking of yourself. However, in the light of your pregnancy, you are now bound by a responsibility to the new life growing inside you. You may have already gained the extra weight, but your new bundle of joy has given you hope and a new light of day.
So how does obesity affect your pregnancy? Learn more about your body to make sure you can take the necessary actions to ensure a better life for you and your new baby.
1. Obesity Increases Your Chances of Having An Overdue Pregnancy
Nine months of carrying your child in your womb will already take the majority of your energy and effort. What more will happen if you are to experience an overdue pregnancy, which can harm your child? Furthermore, this condition also increases your chance of having a longer and harder labor before giving birth. The pain that you will feel may be doubled as compared to giving birth when your body is supposed to.
Overdue pregnancy can affect how your placenta affects your baby. The job of the placenta is to make sure that your baby is protected and healthy when he or she comes out. You need to take note that placenta grows with you and may get too old past the regular term. If that happens, it is likely to hinder the growth of your baby.
2. Obesity Can Threaten Your Ability to Breastfeed
There is beauty in breastfeeding. The act of naturally feeding your baby gives an uplifting connection between the baby and mother. You can witness how much life can be so wonderful when two souls share a life is a surreal moment. As a woman, you also dream of having the same personal connection. You want to feel it firsthand how breastfeeding can connect you and your baby.
Obesity poses a threat to your health when the time comes you need to naturally feed your newborn. Hormonal changes occur in your body due to obesity. These changes can affect your ability to breastfeed and provide sufficient nutrients to your child. Addressing obesity in the onset of your pregnancy can bring you closer to a healthier and more worthwhile breastfeeding experience.
3. Obesity Can Lead to Sleep Anea
Imagine setting up the mood as you lie down and call it a night. Sweet scents and warm lights are all attuned. The best air purifier is all set to induce the healthiest sleep that you could ever dream of having. Some nights, you experience a good sleep. You may even be lucky enough to be blessed with a good dream. However, you may have some nights when your sleep may become too labored for your own comfort.
A lot of things are happening once you close your eyes, and finally rest your body for the day. Obesity opens doors to higher risk of sleep-related conditions during your pregnancy, such as sleep apnea. This condition causes your heart to stop beating while unconscious. Though you will not experience any discomfort, sleep apnea is still a condition worth checking for your own good and for the good of your baby. Find a doctor specializing in sleep science to help you if you think you may be suffering from this condition.
4. Obesity During Pregnancy Can Lead to Preeclampsia
This kind of condition only occurs during pregnancy. Preeclampsia deals with high blood pressure and signs of organ system damage. In most cases, kidneys are the first to suffer due to preeclampsia. The root cause of this ailment is unknown, but researchers believe it may be related to the formation of the placenta during your term. Similar to hypertension, you might feel severe headaches, blurred vision, and shortness of breath when pre-eclampsia kicks in.
In order to lower the risk of incurring this ailment, you may want to stay healthy prior to and during your pregnancy. Of course, you would want to make sure you are healthy enough to enjoy every special moment as a new mother.
5. Obesity Can Lead to Gestational Diabetes
This type of diabetes is also known as gestational diabetes mellitus or GDM. It means that your body has too much sugar in your blood. Obesity during your pregnancy may increase the chances of acquiring GDM.
What you can do about it is to have yourself tested for diabetes during your 24th week of your pregnancy. This can help you determine your sugar levels, whether it’s low and your clear, borderline and you’re going there, or high and you really need to consider improving your lifestyle. Keep in mind that your health affects the health of your growing baby. There is a high probability that you can pass on the diabetes to your baby if you tested positive for GDM.
6. Your Child Risk of Asthma Is Increased
Practically everyone has or knows someone with asthma. You see how they struggle with an inhaler and nebulizer just to make sure they can breathe properly. Asthma patients are advised to avoid strenuous physical activities as to avoid serious asthma attacks. Every time they gasp for air, an inhaler becomes their life saver.
Asthma may come to a baby, or to any person for that matter, through genetics or any other external factors. However, health conditions during pregnancy may contribute to the development of this ailment to your offspring. As you may very well know, asthma is a lifetime condition. It is imperative for a mother to do everything she can to make sure the child be at his or her healthiest the moment he or she sees the light of day.
7. Obesity Increases the Risk of Miscarriage or Stillbirth
Based on a study done in London, There is 29% greater chance that an overweight pregnant woman may miscarry compared to women who are of normal weight. 67% greater chance for miscarriage when she is obese. For those with a body mass index (BMI) of over 35, the risk goes to 119% greater chance for miscarriage.
The numbers are extremely daunting.
Miscarriage happens when the unborn child passes away while still in the womb. On the other hand, stillbirth is when a baby dies at birth. The idea of losing a child may be a bit too much to handle, but the reality of life is that health determines how well you and your child lead to living, and actually having, healthy lives.
A mother’s love for her child is unconditional. Having the opportunity to start your own family is a blessing. It is just fitting to start showing your love for your child as you show love to yourself through good health.
Come to think of it, being pregnant is much like going to war. A mother has to be well armed to take on different challenges during this phase in her life. Antagonists such as stress, hormonal imbalances, mental and emotional breakdowns, and being physically unfit are the front line opposition when a mother’s body prepares itself for the birth of a baby.
Much like a soldier on a mission, a mother-to-be needs all the right tools to help her through this big undertaking. She has to have the right set of equipment, know-how, and attitude in order to overtake and conquer these seemingly unsinkable adversaries. She needs to make sure that she has as much as she needs to survive the long haul as she tries to pull things together for her and her child.
Here are the three most essential things every expecting woman should have to raise her level of physical well-being, mental state of mind, and social skills throughout her pregnancy.
Inevitably, pregnant women’s bodies will change. Some of these physical changes can come unexpectedly, and some of them take a longer period of time.
How these changes really affect a woman does not encompass only the physical side of things. For a woman, her physicality reflects her mental state of mind. Thus, she should not surrender to the idea of ending up looking like she’s been under the weather for years.
This is why it is important that a woman makes an effort to gather the most efficient and stylish clothing to dress herself and her baby bump.
One of the items to greatly consider for the expecting woman is new bras. During pregnancy, breasts enlarge and prove to be quite uncomfortable for a great deal of pregnant women. Getting bigger bras, aptly named maternity bras, can do just the trick in eliminating that stuffy, and pushed feeling in the chest.
Another thing to put into the cart is a good selection of looser, more comfy shirts. These types of shirts are important to let a woman’s body breathe out the exhaustion and stress.
Similarly important is the right maternity footwear. The kind of shoes that provide comfort and balance for moms, which aids them in their mobility and other activities. Those high heels are definitely out of the question for the time being.
Overall, pregnancy doesn’t always equate to a woman losing her style. This has been proven by numerous moms out there walking with glamour on their side instead of the seemingly daunting labors of pregnancy. With the right concoction of comfort and style, moms around the world can be as dazzling as they want.
Pregnancy Vitamins & Supplements
During pregnancy, mommies cannot afford to have their immune systems down. This is why overall health improvement should be taken into great consideration.
Mothers can orally take multivitamins and minerals to help boost immunity against common bacterial and viral infections. This is an imperative step in pregnancy because sickness can be twice as hard to endure while having a child. Since all of the nutrients of a child come from the mother, it is especially important to support and boost the immune system with the right amount of vitamins. There are vitamins that cater to the needs of pregnant women to help them back up their health.
Also, moms are encouraged to buy medicines that can help them be more comfortable during their term. For instance, when the mom experiences itches, rashes and red bumps on their skin, a proper medicated moisturizer should be used to help relieve the skin. On another note, if a woman frequently has acidity problems, she could buy antacids to address the discomfort.
Another effective way to support her overall health is by providing a clean, stress-free environment. Setting up a place to minimize clutter and arranging furniture in a way to lessen the disorder can make a significant contribution to her health. Purchasing best air purifier for allergies also draws the fine line between an allergen-proof environment and allergy-prone one.
Providing various methods to support maternity health is important. Besides, a mother should consider every bit of help in these exceedingly harsh and physically demanding times.
Pregnancy comes packed with a brand new approach of stressing a person.
The mental pressure of stress can come at any time during pregnancy, and often in the most inconvenient situations. There are things that a woman can do, or purchase, to bring back the joys and comforts of life during pregnancy.
One of the trending materials used to support moms around the world is actually quite a simple. Pregnancy pillows seem like a small, irrelevant item, yet it plays a major role on a tired and weary mother when it comes to sleeping time. This is because as pregnancy develops, there is a noticeable change in the size of a mother’s midsection. This brings out a whole new set of challenges, one of which is sleeping comfortably. This is where pregnancy pillows give a huge benefit.
Women around the world are actually finding it hard to position themselves during sleep. The reason is that bearing a child presents major discomforts for the body, which includes sleeping posture and sleeping soundly. With this pillow designed for the use of mothers and their growing tummy, sleeping is much easier since the back and the front parts of the body are well supported.
Another suit of armor for pregnant woman is a maternity belt. The amount of load weighing down on a mother makes her prone to have various problems in her lower back. Maternity belts or belly bands give support to the stress-laden backs of a lot, if not all, moms. This can spell the difference between a stress-free day or another day of aches and pains.
On a lighter note, stress relief for women can come from just cuddling up with a book or a magazine and reading off a gloomy Thursday morning. This simple way of relaxation can boost her mood and condition her psyche because it takes her mind off to another place, inducing a sense of creativity and imagination. Listening to music can also spell a huge difference in providing stress relief.
Having an integrated sense of comfort and fashion can boost a mommy’s morale and mental health because it reminds her that she can still be glamorous and comfortable in such a demanding time.
Similarly, overall health should be taken seriously during pregnancy. This is why purchasing products that will help boost health can make a huge difference, like multivitamins, food supplements, and essential minerals.
Lastly, stress relief is as important as the aforementioned elements. Things like maternity pillows and maternity belts can help eliminate both physical and mental pain for these already stress-laden moms.
Being pregnant is a battle of the mind and the body. It is a tale of survival spanning 9 long months that shows the resiliency and true inner strength of a woman. With these three essentials, pregnancy doesn’t have to be so hard.
New life is a gift treasured by everyone. There is pure joy to be seen in every smile of parents when they see their newborn baby. But before witnessing and welcoming a child into this world, there are lots of sacrifices and earnest efforts given before, during, and right after delivering a baby. Thanks to all the women who carry all hardships and endures every ounce of pain in order to become a bearer of a new human being.
Saying that being pregnant entails a very hard role is an understatement. Just imagine, a 9-month period of carrying a baby inside you seems to be a heavy burden already. How much more if you add up all side effects of being pregnant? There’s physical pain, emotional disturbance, necessities to cover and a whole lot more just to bring a new person to life.
In order to fully understand the life of an expectant woman, below are several information that everyone needs to know, especially for all soon-to-be parents.
There Are Several Stages of Pregnancy
Pregnancy usually lasts for about 40 weeks, starting from the first day of a woman’s last normal period. To fully grasp the phase, the weeks are grouped into three trimesters.
The first trimester (week 1 to 12) already shows a lot of changes due to the effects of hormonal changes in the body. Even symptoms are already present in the early weeks. Changes may include extreme exhaustion, tender and swollen breasts, constipation, morning sickness or the distressed stomach with or without throwing up. Also, there’s the usual mood swings, headache, heartburn, and weight gain or loss.
As a pregnant woman, you have to watch carefully for the things you do to cope with the changes during the first trimester. Your daily routine might need to change – going to bed earlier than before, eating small meals more frequent and many others. Though for some women, the discomfort brought about by being pregnant isn’t much of a big deal.
Studies show that most women find the second trimester (week 13 to week 28) easier than the previous one. In this stage, you may observe that symptoms such as fatigue and nausea are fading away, but changes in the body are starting to show up. Your abdomen begins to get bigger as the baby starts to grow as well inside you. You may also feel the sudden movements of your baby too!
As pregnancy continues, you may still feel body aches particularly at your abdomen, back and thighs. There is also a darkening of skin around your nipples and a noticeable line on the skin running from your belly button down to your pubic hairline. Sometimes called as the mask of pregnancy, patches of darker skin usually seen around your cheeks, nose, forehead or upper lip soon shows up.
You may also experience itchiness on your palms, abdomen, and soles of your feet, but beware if you are also experiencing loss of appetite, vomiting, jaundice or nausea at the same time. Such signs can be associated to a serious problem of the liver.
There is also another condition called preeclampsia wherein in you notice sudden or extreme swelling of your ankles, fingers and face or gaining weight in a very rapid rate. Consult your doctor right away if you experience these symptoms.
The third and last trimester (week 29 to week 40) is also similar to the second one since some of the anxieties you had before are still present. At the same time, a lot of women also experience shortness of breath and are observed to frequently the bathroom. This occurrence happens because of the pressure on your organs given by the baby as the he or she gets larger and larger.
There are also other bodily changes you may notice which include hemorrhoids, heartburn, sticking out of belly button and having trouble in falling asleep. There may also be a leak of a watery pre-milk called colostrum from the breasts as it gets tender. Your baby may also start to “drop” down to your abdomen in response to the delivery getting sooner.
Take note that contractions you feel can either be signs of the real labor or just the false ones. As your due date gets closer, you will experience a process called effacing wherein your cervix happens to become softer and thinner. Do not panic because this condition is a natural process to help the birth canal to open up during labor.
Post Pregnancy Changes
You sure are very busy carrying your baby inside you, coping up with all the necessities you need during the delivery. At the same time, you’re thrilled in preparing all the things that your newborn child will be needing soon – starting from his or her mini clothes, her extremely decorated crib, all the way to her well lit nursery room. Not to mention the whole house air purifier installed and a bunch of story books and baby-friendly toys strewn around in practically all rooms of the house.
But have you also thought of what comes right after bringing your baby out of your womb? Here are some surprising and important things you need to consider for the next chapter of your life as a mother.
According to Dr. Michele Hakakha, M.D., FACOG, an OB/GYN in Beverly Hills, California, and also the author of Expecting 411: Clear Answers & Smart Advice for Your Pregnancy, most women will feel her full body shaking right after delivery. This is a normal occurrence which is associated with the immediate hormonal shifts that occur after the delivery. It might also be a reaction to an endorphin release or the anesthesia wearing off. No worries because this trembling will go away in a matter of minutes or a few hours at most.
If you’ve heard that episiotomies aren’t usually made by doctors, the truth is that you might still need some stitches even if your doctor haven’t done any incision. This is very common especially for the first time mothers. On the bright side, if you have chosen for an epidural, there’s a good chance that you won’t feel the incision or tear. However, if you had your childbirth without hospital care, your midwife will numb the affected area at first, and this will surely hurt, Dr. Hakakha revealed.
For sure you’ve been briefed about the importance of breastmilk for babies right after delivery to start a nursing relationship in that instant. Don’t be shocked if your baby doesn’t like breastfeeding right away because according to Dr. Hakakha, most babies usually don’t want to eat after delivery, for about 15 to 30 minutes. So during this time, it is important to have a skin to skin contact with your baby as this initiates a significant mother and baby bonding.
According to Yvonne Bohn, MD, and coauthor of The Mommy Docs’ Ultimate Guide to Pregnancy and Birth, “After delivery, the uterus has to shrink from the size of a large watermelon down to the size of a cantaloupe.” Wait for the assistance of your doctor or midwife to massage your uterus to help it shrink. Your nurse will also help out by pressing your belly and massaging it every 15 minutes for the first two hours after childbirth. Oxytocin also helps you in this process by causing uterine contractions. Bohn also said that this process can be very painful especially if you haven’t had an epidural.
Don’t be shocked to know that within the first 10 minutes, “you will lose more blood than would fill a pint-sized container of ice cream — and in some cases more.” It is normal to experience this huge amounts of bleeding as well as a gush that can occur while breastfeeding. This will continue at a declining rate for about four to six weeks after your delivery.
Another surprising fact is that the birth canal can triple in size, especially during a very long labor time. “This is an alarming event” said Dr. Hakakha, who also noted that this is much more probable for first-time mothers compared to those who experienced childbirth before. In this case, ice packs are needed to help numb the area and to minimize the swelling.
Lastly, it is important for you to have your well-earned rest. As a matter of fact, you actually have to stay in bed for 12 to 24 hours because the spinal or epidural makes your legs too weak to even make some few steps, Bohn explained. At the end of the day, try to seek for assistance from your loved ones in order for you to take the utmost care of your newly born child.
Have you ever experienced a sudden feeling of dizziness, light-headedness, or spinning?
Has there been a time when you stood up and then objects started to swing around or your vision went black? That at that moment, you try to grab a chair or a table as you feel your body is about to give in and fall?
It’s common to associate these scenarios with fatigue. Sometimes you think that this circumstance is just a by-product of an ordinary headache or your pregnancy. In some cases, you just conclude that what happened is due to a sudden spike in your blood pressure, or, you think you need to eat something.
Eventually, you decide to resolve the pain by taking over-the-counter medicines for an ordinary headache or a quick fix for your hypertension.
In other words, you end up addressing your situation based on your own personal diagnosis. It’s like giving your sick Corgi probiotics for dogs with diarrhea to cure the poor creatures wheezing and coughing. More often than not, you are wrong.
These experiences may be results of fatigue, headache or even hypertension. Or, it could be something more.
Your case might be a manifestation of vertigo.
What Is Vertigo? What Does Vertigo Feel Like?
Vertigo is a specific type of dizziness. When you have vertigo, you feel that the objects around you are moving, even when they aren’t. This distinct visual incident is the associated experience of almost everyone who has vertigo.
You could also start to feel nausea which may result to vomiting due to the “moving” sensation you experience. You might also start sweating as walking becomes more difficult than normal. Since your environment seems to be spinning around you, finding the right footing for you is like walking on water – you just don’t know where to place your feet.
If the nauseating feeling is not enough of a physiological journey for you, vertigo can run for a varying periods of time. It is possible for you to experience vertigo for a few minutes, or it could go on for days! Obviously, the longer it goes, the more time for you to go back to getting through your normal day.
What Causes Vertigo?
You have to know that there are two classifications of vertigo: peripheral and central vertigo.
In peripheral vertigo, your inner ears, or vestibular system, are affected. If you can still remember your lessons in your science classes, you would know that your ears have tiny passages. These tiny passages are called semicircular canals.
Within these passages, there are tiny organs that enable your ear to send messages to the brain. One type of your message your brain receives from the ear is the fact that you are in a vertical position. Through this kind of communication, you are able to maintain your balance, thus, you can stand properly due to equilibrium.
If something interrupts the smooth communication between your brain and inner ears, vertigo kicks in, and starts giving you problems. An example of a brain-ear communication hurdle is having an infection. When infection hits your ear canal, it can result in inflammation. Your vestibular nerves swell and this can cause a disturbance with the communication process. As a result, you experience vertigo.
Under the peripheral vertigo, there are two causes. The first one is Meniere’s disease. This kind of vertigo is a result of inflammation due to a viral infection or immune disorder.
The second cause of peripheral vertigo is Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo or commonly known as BPPV. If you have this kind of vertigo, it means that tiny calcium particles have penetrated the canals of your inner ear. According to researchers, women and older people are more prone to BPPV. Most cases of BPPV are the results of a head injury, ear surgery, long bed rests and reduced flood flow in your brain.
While peripheral vertigo is caused by a complication in the inner ear, the central vertigo is an anomaly in your central nervous system.
With central vertigo, you might end up experiencing slurred speech and double vision. There are specific areas in the central nervous system that trigger this type of vertigo. This occurs most likely due to problems in your brainstem and cerebellum.
Under the central vertigo, the causes of the vertigo are more serious and may require drastic measures. The most common and more familiar cause of this kind of vertigo is migraines. Other causes include a stroke, transient ischemic attack and brain tumors. You can also acquire vertigo if there is a growth of an acoustic nerve in your brain.
- Forgetting things is part of getting older. The same is true with vertigo.
It does not follow that old people will eventually have vertigo. Age has nothing to do with how you keep your body’s balance. Your ears do not lose its ability to keep your balance as you get older. Thus, as long as you take care of yourself and keep yourself well-checked, you are good.
- If you are afraid of heights, then you have vertigo.
People may have based this myth on the fact that things seem spinning around when you have vertigo. With this uncomfortable sensation, people ended up believing that vertigo is the same as fear of heights because you feel like things are moving around when you feel the fear. Remember, vertigo can happen anytime regardless of where you are standing on.
- Hospitals are the only place where you can get help with your vertigo.
This assumption is definitely not true. You can find cure to your vertigo at home. You can start with drinking a lot of water. Acupuncture and herbal medicines can also remedy your vertigo problem. One of the best ways to address vertigo is daily intake of vitamin D supplement. However, you have to take note that you cannot self-diagnose yourself. You can only do these home remedies if your doctor has already diagnosed you with vertigo and you under his or her medical supervision.
- There is no difference between lightheadedness and vertigo.
It is possible that you can experience these two things at the same time. However, they are entirely different. Light headedness means you feel like you are about to pass out. You may still feel dizzy due to the “moving” sensation of your surrounding. With vertigo, objects seem spinning or swaying around you even though the things are not actually moving. You have to be particular on differentiating these two conditions so that you know the right way to address them.
- Vertigo will not leave on its own accord.
This assumption is not correct. There are cases where vertigo will just fade away even without taking any medications. Then again, it is always better to seek the help of your doctor.
- Ears are not entirely related to vertigo.
As mentioned above, vertigo has something to do with the ears. You have to remember that your ears are also responsible with keeping your balance. Your ears are not simply for hearing. It is a fact that simple swelling of your vestibular nerve may interrupt how your inner ears send messages to your brain. If this happens, then you can lose your balance.