Wednesday, December 4, 2013

What do moms really want for Christmas?

I have been polling the women in my classes and the most common responses are 'help' and 'rest'.  Here are a few ideas:

Healthy Food Made Easy
More time than money: homemade freezer meals, pre-portioned nuts with dried fruit, container full of fresh cut veggies and some yummy dip.
More money than time: Gift certificate to healthy meal delivery service like Licious Living, an in-home meal prep service like Nourish Mom or a meal prep storefront like Supper Central

Safe & Loving Childcare
More time than money: Make a sincere offer to babysit. Have your calendar handy.  
More money than time: Gift certificate for a babysitter connection service like Lullaby League or a nanny service like Nannies on Call

A Helping Hand
More time than money: Ask them for a list of errands and get them done.  Wash and vacuum their car.  Offer to clean their kitchen.
More money than time: Gift certificate for a concierge service like Urban Rush or Modern Life Management or a house cleaning service.

The Gift of Fitness
Fit 4 Two gift certificates are a great way to support new moms.  Our classes are safe, effective, functional and fun.  They are also a great place to connect with other moms.  Contact your local Fit 4 Two franchisee to purchase. 

From the Heart
Write the mom in your life a letter.  Tell her what you appreciate, admire, like and love about her.  Be specific.  Make sure she knows you think she is an amazing mother. 

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Is Exercise Medicine for Pregnant Women?

The American College of Sports Medicine Seems to think so

Canada's leading researcher on exercise during pregnancy recently joined forces with two American researchers to publish, "Integrating Exercise is Medicine® into the Care of Pregnant Women" in the July/August 2013 issue of the American College of Sports Medicine Journal.  Dr. Mottola, from The University of Western Ontario, is a proponent of the many benefits of an active pregnancy.  

Integrating Exercise is Medicine ® is an American initiative that encourages adults to achieve a minimum of 150 minutes a week of moderate intensity physical activity. This recommendation includes pregnant women.

There are many benefits to an active pregnancy.  This article highlights a few:
  • Women who enter pregnancy meeting the recommended levels of physical activity are more likely to continue exercise throughout pregnancy.
  • Women who exercise during pregnancy are more likely to resume exercise in the postpartum period.
  • Regular exercise during pregnancy is associated with a lower risk of gestational diabetes and hypertensive disorders of pregnancy.
  • Lower rates of obesity and excessive maternal weight gain during pregnancy.
  • Improved long-term health of women.

The authors of this article argue that pregnancy is the ideal time to begin integrating exercise as medicine.   Why?

Unlike non-pregnant patients, pregnant women see their healthcare providers an average of 11 times over the course of an uncomplicated 40 week pregnancy.  This gives healthcare providers more time to assess levels of physical activity and counsel the patient on appropriate exercise choices.  It also gives healthcare providers the opportunity to follow up throughout a woman's pregnancy journey.

The journal describes two studies in Finland where exercise intervention was integrated into prenatal healthcare visits.  Both studies reported a significant increase in the frequency and duration of moderate-intensity exercise sessions among the pregnant women who received on-going exercise counseling.  In both studies the physicians reported finding it feasible to include exercise intervention as part of the prenatal healthcare visits.

In conclusion, the American College of Sports Medicine, along with the authors of the journal article, recommend training healthcare providers to effectively integrate exercise counseling into the prenatal healthcare model. They also encourage ongoing research in this area in order to find best practice and optional outcomes measures.  

You can read the full journal article here.

Did your doctor or midwife talk to you about exercise when you were pregnant?