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Wellness & Nutrition

Exercise protects respiratory health

To minimise the transmission of COVID-19, social distancing, and meticulous hand washing hygiene are two preventative measures that are being encouraged by Governments and health authorities world-wide. But we can be empowered to do more to proactively protect our respiratory health during this pandemic, and the great news is that it has nothing to do with restrictions and everything to do with getting off the couch and/or stepping away from the desk.

We know that exercise is important for our health and wellbeing, and it is promoted for its protective benefits in the prevention and treatment of illness and disease for good reason. Recent medical research strongly supports the possibility that regular endurance exercise may prevent, or at least reduce, the severity of acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), which can be one of the serious respiratory-related symptoms of COVID-19.

Through endurance exercise, skeletal muscle naturally produces a protective enzyme known as ‘extracellular superoxide dismutase’ (EcSOD). This potent antioxidant is redistributed to vital tissues, particularly the lungs. This enhanced EcSOD activity increases the first line of defence against oxidative damage in the lung tissue. By reducing oxidative stress in the lungs, EcSOD reduces the risk and severity of acute lung injury and ARDS. Thus, it is suggested that regular endurance exercise may be an effective therapeutic intervention for the prevention and treatment of numerous oxidative stress-related diseases, including some of the respiratory symptoms of COVID-19.

The great news is that endurance exercise can be as simple as a long walk, run, ride or swim.

Let this be the green light of encouragement to get out and get moving. Not only will it help clear the mind, increase endorphins, give you a change of scenery – and often perspective – but it will aid in the protection of your respiratory health. This is a great self-care activity you can do, starting today. If you would like support in your exercise journey, our caring health and movement professionals at The Body Refinery are here to help. We have a range of options available to you, including online classes, 1-on-1 exercise physiology sessions, 1-on-1 physio-led clinical rehabilitation sessions, and small group clinical rehab classes that are taken by a physiotherapist. Call, email or book online today.

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Written by Sarah Holloway, Myotherapist and Pilates Instructor 

The important 4th Trimester

4th trimester

With so much pressure on women to be back to normal after the birth of their baby, we are seeing an increase in the number of post-partum issues occurring in women. These include prolapse, incontinence and pain.

Having a baby via either vaginal delivery or c section should be treated more like major surgery instead of something we bounce back from in six weeks. This is not to say that women should not be exercising, but rather considering the tissue changes that occur in pregnancy and having a specific plan to return to the activities they wish to do.

Women are commonly told to do what they want after the birth of their child and feel the pressure to get their pre-baby body and fitness back immediately.  Currently, there are no clear guidelines or rules in place to help protect against damaging the pelvic floor returning to exercise. At The Body Refinery, we recommend a post-partum consultation with one of our women’s health physiotherapists to help you design a plan to return to exercise.

4th trimester

Here are some general tips that should also be considered when recovering from pregnancy and birth and returning to exercise

1: Rest

Let your body recover!  You have been growing a baby for 40 weeks, which has involved tissues stretching and organs moving.  Increased weight and the effect of relaxin have weakened your joints in your body. You have either laboured or had surgery.  Rest and sleep are the best things for you to recover. Treat the first 6-12 weeks as a recovery period- a fourth trimester. Sleep is more important than ironing or running or getting your pre-baby body back.

2: Nutrition and Hydration

If you’re breastfeeding, your body needs a few extra calories and you need extra nutrients. Ask your health care professional if you need to take any supplements such as iron or calcium. A good GP, women’s health physio and dietician combination are important.  Take care you yourself to be able to give the most to your new baby.  Hydration is essential for all new mums.  It helps with milk production but also helps with muscle a fascia recovery.  Good hydration also helps with sleep.

  1. Be Realistic

After all, your body has been through expecting to return to your pre-baby fitness levels and body shape in less than 9 months is unrealistic.  It took 9 months to change and it is likely to take 9 months to change back. After having a check-up with a women’s health physio to ensure all the bit are where they should start slow.  Set aside 30 mins a day for exercise. This may be a gentle walk initially just pushing the pram or some exercises that your physio gives you. Ask you physio to help you map out an exercise routine that will work around the care of your baby.

 

When you have a new baby to care for, you should take precautions to avoid being out-of-action due to injury.  Some new mums may be ready to return to their pre-pregnancy exercise routine sooner than others, and some new mums may need to avoid certain exercises for several months.  It’s important to remember that your body has experienced significant changes and that every mum’s pregnancy and birth experiences are unique to them, which is why it’s important to seek professional guidance during the 4th-trimester recovery phase.

Our physiotherapy appointments are in private rooms.  To book an appointment with one of our experienced Women’s Health Physiotherapists, call our friendly admin team on 3358 3915.

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Book today to experience the benefits of a personalised post-partum exercises plan through our App or on 07 3358 3915.

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Benefits of prenatal massage

pregnancy massage The Body Refinery New Farm Brisbane

Prenatal Massage is a combination of relaxation and remedial massage that is adapted to suit the many physical changes that can occur during pregnancy. Our Remedial Massage Therapists can effectively reduce your pain and discomfort and restore function to your muscles, nerves, fascia and other connective tissues.

What happens when you have a massage while pregnant here at The Body Refinery?

 

Benefits of prenatal massage can include:

  • Relax
  • Loosen muscle tightness
  • Reduced back pain
  • Reduced joint pain
  • Reduce muscle tension & headaches
  • Improved circulation – helps reduce edema/helps improve lymphatic flow flushing out toxins from your body and reduce swelling in ankles/feet & hands
  • Improved oxygenation of soft tissue and muscles
  • Better sleep
  • Massage can reduce stress hormones & anxiety
  • Decreased symptoms of depression

pregnancy massage The Body Refinery New Farm Brisbane

Our therapists will use various degrees of appropriate hands-on pressure during your prenatal massage and dependant on your trimester. This variety will improve the condition and function of your muscles, and your body as a whole. You will immediately begin to feel the positive and powerful changes in your body. Toward the end of the third trimester, you may wish to have a tailored induction massage, where the treatment focuses on acupressure points in the body to help relax the body before labour.

At The Body Refinery, your massage is all about you. For your comfort, you can enjoy your massage:

  • Side-lying
  • Lying face up with right side supported
  • Lying face down using our specially designed supportive pregnancy pillow.

Don’t hesitate, treat yourself with a prenatal massage. Did you know, remedial massage is claimable through private health! Book your remedial massage today and focus on your health and mind-body connection. Create your profile or book now!

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