|Looking And Feeling Good In Spite Of Lupus |
by Irene Lim, President, Lupus Association (Singapore) HGM 2013 / 21st ICG
Year 2000 was a watershed year for me. I was diagnosed with SLE that year. Ironically, I started the year resolving to work harder and to earn more money. Unfortunately, increased workload translated into increased stress. I began to suffer severe migraines almost daily...more
|Exercise for MUMs and Singles|
Do you exercise regularly or is it just an excuse to get together with your friends. Based on my experience, unless women have a specific, exercise regime in place, they normally do stop exercising after they have children. I would say more than half would stop.
This is the myth of the olden golden days. “The women were healthier, they lived fuller richer lives”
The reality was that most of them died early. Those who were left, were the healthier ones. Often they lost their teeth early, were hunched and osteoporotic. So we tended to look at the healthier remaining ones and came to erroneous conclusions.
Look at Goldie Hawn, Michelle Peffier and the original “Barbie Doll” Jane Fonda who started the fitness craze. They look so sexy and alluring in their fifties and sixties. You remember any of your grandmother’s looking like sex symbols? Women now run marathons and take up weights in their fifties and sixties. In the olden days “a richer fuller life was if you could walk up the stairs and cook”. My ex-wife is in her sixties, looks fifteen to twenty years younger. She goes on mountain hikes and regular outdoor camps, does Tai Chi and Yoga. How many of your grandmothers in their 60’s did that?
The facts are that household chores do not necessarily translate to health benefits.
The only way to oxygenate our system now is to deliberately exercise. With exercise, I do not refer to just slow yoga movements or some calisthenics in front of the television although they serve a purpose as well. I refer to vigorous exercise such as jogging, running, playing tennis, biking and swimming which leads to an accelerated heartbeat and perspiration. Vigorous exercise and the oxygen this brings into the system is essential for the proper functioning of all the organs, especially the all important lymphatic system. In natural childbirth classes, there are usually classes taught for the mothers- to-be. However walking, jogging, swimming and mild calisthenics are the best forms of exercise even during pregnancy. There are three major components to useful exercise that are listed below.
Flexibility – Yoga, Tai Chi, Pilate
So if you ask the following series of questions:
“How can a busy working mom / stay-home mom incorporate exercise into their daily routines? How to exercise when they do not even have time for themselves?
“How can stay-home moms, who may have no one else to turn to in terms of child care and are literally on their own at all times exercise?”.
Then the answer is they can’t. This is because the problem has been defined in such a way that no solution seems possible.
Another erroneous belief is that “Wouldn't an additional exercise routine drain the mother, who has to do household chores, even more?”
The reality is that if you have exercised before , you will know that exercising makes you more energetic. This is why professionals like policeman and fireman often train hard to be fit and ready for their demanding jobs.
What happens to women who stop exercising for a few years and then take up again where they left off? ie. when the children start going to school? Is that a problem?
Definitely negative impact. They would have lost the years where they could have enjoyed a higher quality life. Fortunately within months of training they may be able to go back to decent levels of fitness.
Can you overdo exercise ? Can it become a disadvantage and not a boon? Most definitely. Over-exercising often for psychological reasons can also be an issue. Often when someone is seriously addicted to exercising (12 to 15 hours per week), they experience psychological problems when not exercising. I recently had a mother to be who came in who can developed significant pain syndrome by over-exercising during her pregnancy and overstretching the cartilage at her groin.
Apart from exercise, working mom or stay-home mom should consider the following issues when looking after their health:
While it is important that you eat enough during pregnancy, you should not waste your apetite, health or money by eating too many empty calories. During the World War II famines in Holland and in Leningrad the arte of birth defects increased by up to threefold and the birth weight of babies was much lower. One more recent study found that among women who could afford to eat whatever they wanted to eat,those whose diet during pregnancy was nutritionally poor were twice as likely to have an unhealthy, deformed, premature or stillborn baby as those who had a good diet.
It may be that a mild deficiency of a particular nutrient could lead to inefficiency of the enzyme systems responsible for breaking down environmental toxins in your body. A healthy diet strengthens your body's resistance. If your unborn baby is a boy he will need five times as much zinc as a girl would have done. Problems in young babies caused by a zinc deficiency in the mother's diet (such as skin problems,diarrhoea and poor sleep) are therefore more common in boys than in girls.
The diet adopted can either be the Macrobiotic Diet in which case you can source out an expert in Macrobiotic cooking or it can be the Naturopathic Diet. The Naturopathic diet consists of grains, seeds and nuts, vegatables and fruits. The Naturopathic diet is more of a raw diet, while the Macrobiotic is more of a cooked one. All seeds and grains are beneficial and you can improve the benefits by eating those that are predominantly grown in your environment. Sprouting increases the nutritive value of seeds and grains especially their vitamin content.
Grains and seeds are the best sources of such trace elements and important minerals as magnesium, manganese, iron, zinc, copper, molybdenum, selenium, chromium, fluorine, silicon, potassium and phosphorus all of which are needed for the mother and the growing fetus.
There are certain food items that must be cooked before they are eaten. These are spinach, asparagus, cauliflower, cabbage and other vegetables of the cabbage family and soy beans especially if consumed in large amounts. This is because they contain too many harmful substances that are destroyed by cooking. Similarly beans in their uncooked state have enzyme inhibitors that block your body's utilisation of protein.
Generally you should eat 70% percent water rich foods (fresh fruits and vegetables) and the rest can be starches or proteins. Never eat large amounts of meat protein with starches. The reason being that starches are digested in the mouth and small intestine while meat proteins are digested in the stomach. Furthermore starches need a primarily alkaline medium to be digested in (ie as in the mouth and small intestine) while meat proteins need an acidic medium. Combine your vegetables with starches (vegetables and bread/rice) or vegetables with meat protein. Starches should come from brown rice, buckwheat, millet, barley and maybe wheat (although quite a few have allergies to wheat). Stick to whole meal bread or rye bread. Avoid the normal rubbishy white bread even if they claim to have fortified it with many things. Remember if they have fortified it,its because in the manufacturing process they have stripped all essential nutrients from them. If you must eat meat, stick to fish and chicken. Save red meat products for once a month. Pork is probably the worst meat to eat because it is very hard to digest. Eat your fruits half an hour before your meal. This is because fruit is digested primarily in the small intestine. Those considering the Macrobiotic diet or ChangMing diet may disregard the rule about raw, life foods. However you must follow the diet strictly. If you plan to cheat, then its better to maintain eat more raw foods.
Pure air is becoming harder and harder to come by. This is especial true when for us since we live in a city. Quite often, the air inn cities is badly polluted with dangerous chemicals such as lead, mercury, carbon monoxide, cadmium etc. Optimum health cannot be achieved if you are breathing such air. You owe it to yourself if you want to be healthy to get as much as possible away from polluted areas to cleaner country areas.