How to deal with Morning Sickness. Top Ten tips.

Morning Sickness can actually happen at any time of the day with some mums to be feeling just minor nausea in the first trimester but other women going the whole nine months feeling and being sick. It effects between 70 and 85 percent of pregnant women (according to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists) and as a result of the whoosh of hormones entering your body. There is no set prescription for dealing with it, but exercise actually helps and it is a case of seeing what works for you food wise. Although exercise may be the furthest thought from your brain, it can actually make you feel better, which may sound strange but if you can force yourself to get out, exercise will then help you to relax, get the oxygen moving around your body and improve circulation.

The other thing is eating. Again this may sound awful if you are feeling nauseous but nutrition can play a critical role in getting over morning sickness. Acid in an empty stomach can trigger more queasiness. Having healthy, good quality snacks containing vitamins and nutrients can settle your stomach.

Top Ten tips for dealing with morning sickness.

 

  1. Exercise – try a prenatal exercise class which will motivate you to get there, get your circulation going and take your mind off the nausea and your body distracted, relaxed and the circulation going.
  2. Vitamin B keeps off queasiness – crackers, whole-grain toast, cereals, brown rice, porridge oats, wheat germ and sweet potatoes are good choices.
  3. Vitamin K also helps ward of nausea – foods containing this vitamin are spinach, broccoli, green beans, and salad.
  4. Keep hydrated throughout the day; drink half your body weight in ounces. For example, weight is 80lbs; you need 80 ounces of fluids per day. Equivalent to four and half of the 500ml small mineral water bottles. Your fluid intake doesn’t have to be totally water, you can try herbal teas (tea pigs are my favourite – they do a particularly good camomile, which is safe for pregnancy). Aim to drink 2 glasses of water when you wake up as this replenishes fluids lost during the night. Add 1 to 2 granules of natural sea salt (not table salt) to your water to aid absorption into the muscle cells. Drink more on days you are exercising or in hot weather.
  5. Eating plenty of soups, fruits and vegetables also adds to your water intake, so you can drink less.
  6. Avoid forcing down large meals; eat several small meals throughout the day every 3 hours even just a cracker, oatcake or slice of toast will
  7. Try to avoid too much tea or coffee. Caffeine and tannins (in tea) aggravate nausea.
  8. Peppermint, Camomile and Ginger teas are very soothing for nausea. My favourite are Teapigs range
  9. Fatty foods are difficult to digest and irritate the intestines in your stomach. Starchy foods as sweet potatoes, brown rice, and brown pasta are easier to digest.
  10. Ask someone else to cook (and put your feet up!). Foods smells can make you feel worse so it’s often a good idea to get out of the kitchen and let someone else take over!

    Bonus Tip! Get some fresh air just before eating – it’s really beneficial so you can go for a stroll to get your lunch if you’re at work.

 

If you go more than one day without being able to keep any food down or if the nausea does extend beyond thirteen weeks, I’d strongly recommend consulting your doctor.

Stretch to improve shoulder and upper back ache

The Overhead reach stretch is great if you are spending some periods of time feeding and you are feeling and looking like the hunchback of Notre Dame with continual or occasional shoulder and neck pain.

The move will also in turn improve your posture by drawing back your shoulders and upper back and releasing the tightness that develops in those muscles. Hold the position for more than 10 secs in order to improve the endurance of the muscles involved, continuing to breathe throughout.

The Overhead Reach Stretch

Start Position

  • Stand with your head, upper back and buttocks in contact with a wall and your feet 10cm from the skirting.

  • Place your hand behind the small of your back; you should just be able to get your fingers between your back and the wall.

  • Put your arms against the wall with your elbows at 90° and in line with your shoulders.

 

Action

  • Brace your abdominals (draw your naval inwards) and slide your arms up as far as you can while keeping your hands and elbows in contact with the wall.

  • Hold this position for 10 seconds and then lower slowly.

  • Try to reach a little further each time until your arms are almost overhead. Repeat 12 times.

 

 

How to start feeling the BeezKneez…Exclusive offer from the Massage Centre

I recently took a Massage with Fran Kehoe, the head therapist and owner of The Massage Centre, in Chiswick. It was the best, most relaxing experience. Not just your ‘regular’ massage, Fran had real insight into how I was feeling, the tension in my ‘mummy’ muscles and how to help out some of my aliments right. I went away after the session, feeling good and I slept like a log. No wonder that in a recent survey of new clients, 98% reported that their treatment at the Massage Centre had completely met their expectations and 50% stated that the treatment exceeded their expectations. What’s more is that they are convenient – just a minute’s walk from Turnham Green Station and are open 7 days with week (Mon-Fri 7am-10pm, Sat & Sun 8am-6pm).

Massage is a proven and effective way to relax, increase your energy and relieve your discomfort and tension both during pregnancy and after your baby is born! But you need to have the right massage therapist who has the experience and knows how to treat you on an individual basis. Fran and his male and female team at the Massage centre are highly talented and passionate pre and post natal massage therapists. They have helped many mums and mums to be, enjoy a better quality of life, enabling them to do those activities they enjoy, whilst looking and feeling healthier.

And to help you start feeling good now and to help take that time out you deserve, The Massage Centre in Chiswick are offering BeezKneez ladies a special introductory offer of £15 off your first one hour treatment before Friday 12th October. To take advantage of this offer please call us now on 020 8166 8958 (quote Beez Kneez). We look forward to hearing from you!

For more details on the Clinic please go to our website: www.tmc-chiswick.com

A Healthy Chocolate cake recipe…

I just love this recipe I found for Flour Free Chocolate and Beetroot Cake from Amber Rose, Love, Bake and Nourish.  For any Beetroot haters, I think it will convert you.  You cannot really taste the Beetroot but it makes this cake fabulously moist and adds the sweetness, without the sugar (which you don’t need for flat abs.)

choc-beetroot1-easy-living-28may13_pr_bt_330x330Chocolate and Beetroot Cake

  • 300g raw, unseasoned beetoot, with stalks cut off but not peeled
  • 4 large free-range eggs
  • 4 tablespoons honey
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon raw cocoa powder, plus extra for dusting
  • 1 teaspoon gluten-free baking powder (if you want your cake to be gluten-free)
  • Pinch of salt
  • 125g ground almonds
  • 125g dark chocolate (preferable Green & Black’s 70% cocoa solids), broken into small pieces
  • 4 tablespoons cold-pressed olive oil

How to make

  1. Turn oven to 180˚C. Grease and line a 22cm loose-bottomed cake tin.
  2. Boil your beetroot – either simmer in boiling water for an hour or for a quicker way, Steam. To steam – cut off stalks but do not peel. Steam for 30-45 minutes so that it is soft. Then peel or scrape off skin. then chop into smaller pieces.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, beat the beetroot, eggs, honey, vanilla extract, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt with an electric mixer. When these ingredients are thoroughly combined, fold in the ground almonds.
  4. Place a heatproof bowl on the top of a saucepan containing a little water. Make sure the bowl is big enough to cover the top of the pan but do not allow the bottom of the bowl to be in contact with the water. Put the chocolate pieces in the bowl and allow to melt over a low heat, then mix in the oil. Gently stir the chocolate and oil into the cake mixture until well combined.
  5. Pour the mixture into the prepared cake tin and bake  for 35 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Remove from the oven and leave the cake to cool in the tin.
  6. Once the cake is completely cool, dust with cocoa powder. Then slice and serve.

Why it’s the BeezKneez..

It uses: 
Olive oil, rather than butter. Olive Oil is like a food medicine. It helps lower bad cholesterol levels and is a great source of Vitamin E – great for helping fight heart disease and cancer.
Ground Almonds, rather than flour (great for gluten intolerences). Rich in protein (more than eggs) to help improve muscle tone and great for digestive upsets, skin and urinary infections (common in pregnancy).
Honey, rather than sugar. We use less of it than table sugar as it is sweeter, therefore there are less calories in this recipe. Honey doesn’t cause the rapid blood sugar spikes that table sugar does (leading to more sugar cravings!).  It contains antioxidants which help fight against cancer v table sugar which is empty calories. 

Plus there’s..
Dark Chocolate. Quality. A good source of flavinoids and anti-oxidants, not the milk chocolate which is full of fat.  It also gives you a sense of fullness and rarely has any sugar added to it.  You only need a small amount of dark chocolate to get the benefits. Go for 70% at least cocoa solids. Aim for 2 squares – enough to give you a ‘hit’. Moderatio

BeetrootPerfect if you feel fatigued. Much better than a bottle of pills! A powerful blood cleanser and tonic. It really helps boost immune resistance and is often used in treating anemia, iron deficiency.   Make sure to use and eat RAW beetroot as the properties are more powerful as the nutrients have not been depleted in the cooking process, like the vacumn packed beetroot. Also has a long history of use in the treatment of cancer. Some studies have shown specific anti-carcinogenic substances in beetroot.

Vicky Warr, is founder of TheBeezKneez, pregnancy and post natal group fitness and personal training specialists. www.beez-kneez.co.uk.  She hunts high and low for healthy recipes to give to her clients so they can eat smartly, healthily and not feel deprived. TheBeezKneez clients never need to diet!

 

 

No time to exercise? Top tips to get you in shape for the very busy mum

Today’s mum is a superhero! Being a mum, juggling chores, taking care of your other half, errands, admin and work can play havoc on any exercise programme and make finding time to get fit very tricky. So it gets left right at the bottom of the ‘to do’ list.

Yet it can be done! Vicky Warr gives her top tips to help  you save time and into shape  easily. Without a gym or a diet, stacks of time and without even realizing it.

The school or nursery run…as your morning workout.
Walking briskly to and from nursery or school instead of driving means you get a workout, fresh air and what some call ‘moving meditation’. The breathing and repetitive movement involved with walking or jogging promotes feelings of calm and tranquility and reduces stress. Being outdoors releases endorphins, natural hormones which promote a sense of feeling good. Plus by increasing your pace, you’ll burn more calories in less time.

Short bursts of strength exercise
You can do this in just 15 minutes a day, three times a week, using just your bodyweight in the comfort of your own home. Recent studies have shown that strength training boosts your metabolism by 10% and increases post exercise fat burning by 100%.

Push-ups, squats, lunges, step-ups (using your stairs), are all ‘multi-muscle’ exercises meaning you use more than one muscle group with one exercise. Using more muscles means toning up more muscles!

Whilst walking or jogging will burn calories and get you fit – exercises using your whole body and lots of different muscles gets you amazing results.

Look for little windows of opportunity.
When the baby naps, use that ten, twenty or thirty minute chance to do some quick exercises at home.
Little and often is actually better than inconsistent exercise of one hour or longer. This keeps your metabolism burning. Latest research shows quick interval training is far superior to slow, traditional cardio-vascular exercise. It results in burning more stomach fat and as your workouts are shorter, it’s over quicker!

Buddy up..
If you and your partner exercise, it sends out a great signal and example to your children. Here’s how both you and your other half can fit it in…

  • Try getting up early (before the baby wakes) for a run or swim or to do your exercise
  • Be active with your baby or child, running with a baby jogger is a great way of getting back into running. Make sure your only start running with them when they have neck control, usually after 6 months. They’re a bit more resilient by this age and may be eating solid foods.
  • Exercise with the baby – try baby presses, baby lunges and baby squats.

Organise ‘Fitness Friday’
Grab a willing friend who also has a little one. Friday could be your day when a friend comes over with their children or baby and you take it in turns to look after the children while the other one does some exercises for thirty minutes, then you swap.

Seek out a Mother and Baby fitness class
If you’ve just had a baby, you often want to get back into shape and get out of the door to meet other mums! There are some mums post natal fitness classes where you can take the baby, check out what’s going on in your local area. These classes are social, fun and motivating – they help lift the ‘baby blues’ and post natal depression and get you fit.

Chores to music
When you have to do the washing, cleaning and tidying up, put the music on, set the timer for fifteen minutes and get the whole family involved. Make it an activity – go up and down the stairs, dance around as you put toys away and as you have the timer on you’ll have to move quickly to get it done!

Do something you love..
Ask someone to look after your child and take some time out to do an activity you love. This is essential for any mum – dance, play a sport (netball is becoming increasingly popular activity), go hiking or take a swim. That way you won’t see exercise as a chore or punishing!

And finally here is one very good reason why you should try to make exercise non-negiotable!

Vicky Warr is founder of the Beez Kneez (www.beez-kneez.co.uk) specialising in pregnancy and post natal, mum and baby group fitness classes. Founder of Member of Wetrainmoms.com and Senior level YMCA-accredited personal fitness trainer.

Vicky consults for BBC Radio, Mothercare and Teapigs. She writes for  many national publications including the Gurgle Magazine, Daily Mail, Pregnancy and birth and bounty.com. She is also a mum to Luca and Poppy.

For details of prenatal and postnatal group fitness classes, visit: www.beez-kneez.co.uk

The Secrets to Flatter Abs Post Baby (a generic Personal Trainer will NOT know)

Vicky Warr, Specialist Pregnancy and Post Natal Master Fitness Trainer, gives her secret insight and dispels the myths on achieving a flatter tummy after babies.

help_20stomach2_0A female body goes through dramatic changes when you have had a baby, no matter when you had the baby. As the baby grew inside you, your abdominals stretched and weakened across the midline. After a natural birth, your pelvic floor would have had some loading and you may leak when you laugh or cough, jump or run. If you had a c-section you may have suffered adhesions, have some scar tissue and quite literally your abs will feel numb as the nervous system shuts down from communicating with the muscles.

The lower abdominals are a part that most women dislike and struggle to flatten. In a bid to try to lose the baby weight, shape up and tone up the stomach, many hit the gym and knock out the stomach crunches, planks and pound on the treadmill.

Recently I’ve been contacted by several women who are worried about the appearance of their tummies. They may have lost the weight but their tummy still looks ‘domed’, wrinkled or they have some sagging skin in the lower part. There are also a lot of women struggling with leaking of their pelvic floor during lifting, jogging or coughing and laughing. Some women I hear from have been working with Personal Trainers or attending buggy bootcamps or’ killing it’ in the gym. When I quizzed them as to the type of exercise they had been doing, it involved crunches, skipping, running around the park, the treadmill.

What you really shouldn’t be doing and why..

Stomach crunches can increase abdominal separation due to the forward flexion of the movement. Coupled with the tendancy to ‘dome’ or pooch out the stomach when doing them means you will have quite the reverse effect that you want!

Running too soon. Each time your foot makes contact with a hard surface or pavement, up to 7 times your body weight goes through your pelvis, joints and pelvic floor. Think about the fact that this part of your body has already taken a pounding with the baby (even with a c-section) and you are adding to the pressure. Be sure to strengthen your core and pelvic floor first before starting to run.

Personal Trainers and Gym instructors without the research, experience and through knowledge of the implications of pregnancy and childbirth prescribe their clients these kind of exercises, in an effort to get their clients to lose weight or tone up like many of their other clients who haven’t had a baby (or may be men). The extra loading of running and the forward flexion of crunches cause even more ‘intra abdominal pressure’ on an already weakened abdominal and pelvic floor structure. Basically, this pressure causes the ‘pooch’!

So, we have to take care of our abs again and coach them back from muscle amnesia.
Post Natal exercise should be mindful exercise, reconnecting, re-educating and taking a holistic approach to repairing the whole ‘core’ of the trunk – all the muscles that help flatten the tummy. The ‘whole core’ involves the lower abdominals, the pelvic floor, multifidus (lower back muscle), and the respiratory diaphragm.

It’s not only about the right kind of exercise for a women who has given birth but using the right technique and training your abs again to optimal fitness.

Through a combination of the following plus following a specific, quality post natal programme you’ll achieve flat abs again.

TheBeezKneez protocol is for contouring, restoring function and achieving ultimate flat abs is based on the following:

Checking every client’s abs. It’s called the ‘rec test’ and provides an indication of core weakness at the start, the extent of any abdominal separation and the strength of the soft connective tissue in between. We also show our clients how they can check this for themselves. I also check for bulging or doming of the abs and whether they are connecting and recruiting the deep abdominal muscles.

Breathing. The right kind of breathing is critical (especially as we do it all the time!) and is essential to pelvic floor health and flatter abs.. Pushing out the belly or belly breathing increases the downward pressure on the pelvic floor and abs. so you want to avoid that. I also coach ladies away from the shoulder shift and chest lift style of breathing, which starts to occur during pregnancy. Instead I show a style where you let go of the stomach and instead open the bottom of the ribs on the in-breath.

Posture. An instant way to discover, feel and flatten your abs is to address your posture. By standing tall and ‘zipping’ up pubic bone to navel whilst drawing your hip bones away from each other encourages a tightening in the lower abs.

Pelvic Floor! Not many do their pelvic floor exercises or realise that it is the most important muscle group of the body. You just can’t see it, so it gets ignored in the exercise process. Start with ‘lifting’ your pelvic floor muscles or tightening your back passage whilst lying down DAILY! Then progress to movement based pelvic floor exercises that are more functional and effective. I use core training balls and bands to encourage effective pelvic floor exercises.

Vicky Warr is founder of and specialist trainer at TheBeezKneez Pregnancy and Post Natal Group Fitness Programmes and Personal Training and Ambassador for the Foo Foo Fun Club in West London. She is also pregnancy fitness expert for Mothercare. The specific pre and post natal class programmes run in 6 week cycles with masterclasses, information can be found at www.beez-kneez.co.uk.

Tummy Exercise for Pregnancy and Post natal

Straight arm pull down

Place a resistance band around a bar or door handle (or other immovable object). Make sure the door is shut. Kneel facing the band with your knees hip-width apart.
Hold onto the band at each end with your arms slightly bent so that the band is aligned just below your chest.
There must be tension in the band so vary the hand distance to get tension.

 

 

Keep your head straight and lower back in a natural arch by drawing in your navel. Inhale and exhale deeply.
Pull the band down toward your hips in a wide, sweeping arc, so you hands and wrists are facing away from you.
Exhale as you pass the midpoint of the move.
Return to the starting position in a smooth, controlled motion, stopping once your arms are above your head.

TIP
Concentrate on drawing in your navel and lifting up your pelvic floor and ensure to breath throughout the move.

Lose baby fat for the holiday season

It goes without saying that most people’s fitness goal is to lose your baby fat and shape up (unless you are running a Marathon) especially as Summer is approaching, you want to get into your Swimsuit with confidence and you may have Weddings to go to.

The shocking news is the UK population is catching up with the world leader in obesity, the USA.  Nearly a quarter of adults now classed as clinically obese and we are being labelled as ‘Fat Britain’.  Thirteen million of the population have a BMI of over 30. The BMI is calculated by dividing weight in kilogrammes by height in metres squared.

For the most, the causes of accumulating too much fat are quite simply a combination of eating too much of the wrong types of food and not taking enough exercise.

Being active burns calories and being very active burns even more calories.

What is the best way to burn fat? There are two choices:

  • Steady Pace training – exercising continuously at one speed, such as a
    cycle ride or steady run or jog
  • Interval Training – this is where you vary between working at a high
    intensity and low intensity for 60 secs or so and repeat several times.

Which is most effective?

Of the two, interval training gets the best results. Plus it is more time efficient. It can improve fitness quickly, a great workout for busy people who don’t want to spend 2 hours in the gym. Intervals improve your basal metabolic rate (how many calories your body burns at rest or just to get perform usual daily activities) and therefore increase the total number of calories you burn on an on-going basis.

Losing fat – the science (simplified)

It takes 3,500 calories to burn one pound of fat.
It takes 3,500 calories to add one pound of fat (yeuch and it is a lot
easier!).
If you can increase your basal metabolic rate to burn 200-300 calories
day over one week you can burn 1,400-2,100 calories a week so over two weeks
you would lose one pound of fat. Add exercise to the equation and you can burn
an extra 200-300 calories a day to increase your fat lose by another one pound
over two weeks, or a pound a week.

Interval training which should feature in your exercise routine twice a
week.

Some sample interval training workouts for you.

Ensure you warm up with dynamic stretches and a light intensity version of the form of
cardio-vascular activity you will be doing in the main workout. Cool down afterward and do static stretches.

Your intervals will generally last for about 30-60 seconds and these versions are good to get started with.

Here are three sessions. Choose one and pick your type -  rowing (lower impact), stationary cycling (low impact) or run (advisable after 4-5 months post natal) or boxing (watch the video):

Tips to make intervals more fun!

  • Download your favourite tunes to your Ipod and crank up the volume
  • Do your intervals on the sandy beach on holidays in barefoot – a great workout and invigorating with the sea air
  • Involve a partner or friend and get competitive
  • Have your little one time you and act as ‘coach’ – they will love it!
  • Join an exercise class which incorporates these
  • Recuit a personal trainer you find encouraging and motivational

Find out your rate of perceived exertion

Pregnancy – going at a high intensity rate is not suitable in pregnancy. You can do intervals but your must keep to at a rate of exertion of 5-7, so you can still hold a conversation. Be sure to get your GP’s check to exercise.

 

 

 

 

Save your back and body tips

After I’d just had my son, Luca, I didn’t realise that having a baby meant not only carrying them around but all their accessories and baby equipment too! Car seat, changing mat, buggy and steralising equipment!

Then there was also the picking baby up off the floor, out of the bath and lifting from the moses basket or car seat.

A new mums role is constant lifting, bending, carrying, heavy duty physical work and places stresses and strains on an already tired and weakened body! Here are my tips for body mechanics whilst changing baby, lifting and carrying to protect your body and save your back…

 

Then there’s the added factor of your unstable pelvis thanks to the excessive amounts of hormones, relaxin and elastin to widen it to deliver your baby. These hormones cause the ligaments to become lax. Ligaments are strong bands of fibrous tissue that provide support to the bones and link one bone to another in and around joints. Looser ligaments mean less support to bones and muscles.

The unstable pelvis has a ‘domino’ effect as combined with the after effects of the relaxin it puts stress on the anterior cruciate ligaments (major ligament of the knee) to balance the body and causes instability at the knee joint.

So it is with no doubt that a New mum may experience lower back pain, hip issues and knee pain post pregnancy. Being careful how you lift and carry your baby can avoid injuries or straining any already weakened muscles.

Balancing your baby on your hip is the worse thing you can do! I see mums carry their babies like this all the time – it’s the biggest factor that can lead to lower back and hip pain. It’s time to adjust the way you move your body, paying attention to your body mechanics when carrying your baby (and paraphernalia!) and respecting your pelvis! Here are some tips for saving your body and relieving your pains…

Avoid
Balancing your baby on your hip

Instead
Stand in correct posture with your spine in neutral and the navel slightly drawn in. Hold the baby with one arm resting just under his bottom and the other hand on the back of his head, so his chin is just resting on your shoulder. Avoid leaning back.

Bending and lifting baby from the bath, cot or the floor

  • Draw navel to spine and bend your knees
  • Squat down, keeping body weight into the arch of your feet, using your lower leg muscles, thighs and gluts (bottom) to lower your down and pick baby up, bringing them in close to you.
  • Keep knees aligned with ankles (avoid pushing knees over toes)
  • Use your legs to stand back up

Bathing tips

  • Choose a baby bath that rests in the main bath. Best to fill this up in situ. Alternatively I bought a lightweight bath chair that I put in the bath first, then placed Luca in afterwards. This avoids you lifting and lowering a heavy weight of water.
  • Kneel alongside the bath to bath baby or on a small stool with towel under your knees so that you are not stooping over the bath.

Changing Baby

  • Change baby on your bed and kneel next to the bed with a cushion under your knees to protect your knees
  • Place the equipment in front of you or to the side to prevent twisting behind you
  • Place the changing mat on a surface or table that is at a height just above your waist to avoid stooping

Carrying Baby

  • Instead of carrying the baby for a length of time, use a baby sling or carrier positioned high to avoid leaning backwards.
  • These are a great way to balance the weight of the baby and prevent shoulder and lower back ache. Babies also love being close to you and hearing your heart rate as it mimics when they were inside you.
  • It’s also great if you need to wander around the house and get some jobs done.
  • Choose one that has a back-saving design and can be adjusted as the baby gets bigger.
  • Practice good posture as you walk with the sling – maintaining the neutral spine position

Feeding Baby (in day)

  • Avoid at all costs the hunchback of Notre Dame syndrome when you bottle or breast feed. Your shoulders will ache and it will place strain on your neck muscles.
  • Place a cushion between the small of your lower back and the back of an upright chair. Avoid any low or far back sofas or chairs where you would slump.
  • Place your feet on a pile of magazines or books or small footstool to raise your knees so they are level with hips
  • Have a pillow or cushion on your lap to raise your baby and bring him closer to you

Feeding baby (at night when you are half asleep and not thinking about how you sit!)

  • Sit upright as you can, and place the pillow or cushion behind your lower back
  • Draw your shoulders down and back
  • Breath in, feeling your stomach swell slightly as it fills with air
  • Breath out and draw your navel to spine
  • Try to look down just occasionally to check on baby feeding and then look up and forwards (this means that you don’t strain your neck by continuously hanging the head down).

Overcoming a Nagging Pain in the Arch.. Plantar Fasciitis

I had this once when I started to increase my running. It can be really sore and a right pain (pardon the pun!).

Plantar Fasciitis is an inflammation of the strong fibrous bands that run along the bottom of your foot. It helps maintain the arch and holds the foot rigid as you walk.

Along with the muscles and bones this connective tissue, the plantar fascia, forms the arch of the foot. You will usually feel plantar fasciitis pain in your arch and heel as shown in the diagram to the right. When first arising standing you may experience heel pain which is the fibre stretching at the plantar fascial enthesis when the foot is bearing the body’s weight. After walking around the pain can ease. When applying thumb pressure the pain is worse at the heel bone.

Sometimes known as Heel Spur Syndrome, plantar fasciitis is one of the injuries most commonly experienced by young runners, post partum women, golfers, athletes and also those who stand for long periods of time on hard surfaces with poorly fitting or supportive footwear or pumps. There is also high incidences in people that are overweight in their 40s-60s and in 20% of cases, pain can occur for over a year if it is untreated..

The vast majority of people with this pain may

also have feet that over-pronate.

If you have flat feet or high arches, take extra care as you are more at risk. Tight archilles tendons put more risk on the fascia, so make sure you stretch both of them and your calves.

EFFECTIVE TREATMENT:

Try one or more of the following methods to help improve the condition:

  • An ice massage the area for 10-15 minutes. Fill a paper cup with water and freeze it. Peel off the paper, place the ice under the foot and roll your foot over it, from the heel to the ball and back.
  • Taping your foot before jogging or running can help relieve the discomfort. Follow this by stretching the calf muscle, to within limits of pain, which is very effective.
  • One stretching method is to use your toes to pull a towel, piece of paper, or marble off the floor.
  • Place a golf ball under the base of your big toe and roll the foot forwards over the ball to the base of your second toe, and repeat. Do the same motion starting from each toe, exerting enough pressure to experience a little tenderness.
  • Sit on the floor with one knee bent and the same ankle flexed towards you. Pull the toes towards the ankles. Hold for a count of 10, and repeat nine more times.
  • Wear proper supportive shoes. Running or athletic trainers with excellent support, no or minimal heel, and well-cushioned soles. You can also include padded or gel inserts
  • Use felt, gel, viscoelastic, or synthetic heel pads that spread and are shock absorbing as the heel lands on the ground. This eases pressure on the ligament structure of the plantar fascia that supports the longitudinal arch of the foot.
  • Aim to lose weight – bone, joint, muscle or nerve pain tends to worsen with more weight the body has to bear.

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