New Lily

Nine Ways to a Leaner You

I was looking at a magazine lately and I had to put it down after a while because of the totally unrealistic figures of most of the women in it. I kept imagining my daughters flipping through it, and I was increasingly discouraged at the image it portrayed of skinny frail women “looking good”. Instead of thin or skinny, I think “lean” is a better ideal for women. This is because it can pertain to all body types; it simply means strong; but carrying less fat. Whether we are built “bigger” or “smaller”, we can all be lean because it has more to do with muscle mass than weight.

How do we become leaner? Here are nine ways…what would you add? [Read more…]

Three Things Women Can do for Exercise Induced Incontinence

We are starting to hear more people talk about issues related to the pelvic floor, and this is a really good thing. Pregnancy, childbirth, episiotomy, fibroids, chronic coughing, menopause, weight gain or inactivity all can contribute to decreased tone, strength, and flexibility of the pelvic floor. When this happens we can experience symptoms of urinary or stool incontinence or other problems related to pelvic organs such as sagging or prolapse, low back pain, painful intercourse, etc. Since the most common is urinary incontinence, most women can relate to the experience of leaking urine, whether during pregnancy, postpartum, or as they get older. And for many, exercising is where it rears it’s ugly head.
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Sleep and Athletic Performance

Sleep is an elusive thing for me. I jokingly say I have been sleep deprived for twenty-two years, but I think it’s actually true. Now I’m just wondering what the physical effect has actually been. I wonder about this for more than just myself. As a mother to many kids who have all participated in athletics and have busy schedules, I question whether any of them are really getting the amount of sleep they need to perform at their best, both mentally and physically.

I have always been interested in the subject of sleep (I’ve written about it on 9 Kid Fitness) and how it affects performance, etc., but I stopped reading about it because it just left me depressed and, frankly a little exhausted. But recently I am back on the bandwagon and I am taking more serious efforts to get more sleep. I realize with a two-year old and three teenagers who keep later hours than me, this is almost an impossible task. However, I am determined-somehow – to get more sleep. [Read more…]

Hot Sweaty Mamas!

Having just finished the book, Hot Sweaty Mamas: Five Secrets to Life as a Fit Mom by Kara Thom and Laurie Kocanda, I am struck by something. As a twin, I have had the fortune in life to have another person who thinks just like I do. This sounds like a trite statement, but it is a profound thing. My twin sister doesn’t even have to say anything, I just know how she feels and what she means when she says something, and she feels the same way about me. I believe it is a gift; a “twin thing”, and I really didn’t think I would ever experience it outside of this “twin language”. This book has proved me wrong. [Read more…]

Let’s Not be Shy About Exercise-Induced Urinary Incontinence

runnerOk, lets get real. Urinary incontinence is very common in female runners (and those doing other forms of exercise). Researchers have found that as many as 30 percent of female runners have experienced incontinence while running. I happen to believe the number is a lot higher, it’s just not something most of us like to talk about. In fact, for women in general (not just those who exercise), it has been said that 1/3 have issues of incontinence as they age, and some sources say as much as 60% of women deal with the issue of incontinence. With statistics like this, why aren’t we talking about it? We should be. [Read more…]

A Few More Exercises For the Pelvic Floor and the Core

womanI have written about the pelvic floor on this website before. As I research and talk to professionals about this topic, I am amazed at the importance of this complex group of muscles, especially for women. Most of us know about Kegel exercises, and are hopefully already doing them regularly. I know I need to be even more consistent about doing them! However, there are many other exercises that can be done before or even during other core exercises that target the pelvic area as well. The following are some that strengthen the pelvic floor and the core, and can be done in just a few minutes while you are working out, or even right before bed: Core/pelvic floor exercises.

Do We Need to Exercise More as We Get Older?

exerciseA recent study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association shows women need 60 minutes a day of moderate exercise to prevent weight gain as they age if they consume a normal diet. This is an increase in exercise time from the current guidelines of 30 minutes five days a week of moderate to intense activity. I don’t know about you, but this seems like a lot! That’s seven days a week! But it really isn’t the whole story. [Read more…]

Be Careful Running in the Heat if You Are Pregnant

pregnant womanI was on a local running trail last night with a few of my cross country runners and we ran by a pregnant woman pushing a baby jogger. She caught my eye, not just because of her bump, but also because she was wearing black exercise tights…and it was 98 degrees! She was running at a slow pace, and was smiling, so I’m sure she was fine, but my alarm bells were ringing. As I have confessed before on this website, I am a hypocrite when it comes to seeing pregant women running. Although I ran through each of my nine pregnancies, except my first (I started getting cramps at six months and so stopped running), I still wanted to scream at that woman to stop running and get out of the heat! [Read more…]

Posture, Posture, Posture!

standing straight If I was in real estate, my mantra would be “location, location, location”. In the field of fitness, it needs to be “posture, posture, posture”. As someone who does not naturally have good posture, I am amazed, and a little worried in fact, about the implications of bad posture. Not only does posture effect fitness performance, it can also be a precursor to injury if it is not properly aligned.

Bad posture is really an alignment problem. Dr Rothbart, author of Forever Free from Chronic Pain, uses the analogy of a car to explain the posture issue. He says that when the suspension of a car is unevenly distributed across surfaces of the tires, some parts receive more weight than other parts. This causes the tires to wear unevenly. The thread is worn down until performance is affected. In the same way, when we have bad posture, our body’s weight is unevenly distributed across the joint surfaces of our ankles,knees, hips, back, neck and jaw. Some of these joints receive more weight than others, causing them to wear unevenly. Ultimately this affects efficiency and performance, and can even eventually cause chronic pain. [Read more…]

Injuries…No Fun!

injuryI am presently dealing with a strange shoulder injury. I say strange because it sort of came out of nowhere. I began to feel it a few months back but not necessarily after a workout or anything. It hurt when I would reach back to say, buckle my seatbelt or something. It didn’t hurt all the time, either. Some weeks would be pain-free and others I would feel it all the time. It didn’t become consistent until about four weeks ago…right before I started to ramp up my push-ups. Of course, the push-ups didn’t help matters! [Read more…]