Dr. James F Clapp III (M.D) found through a study of 500 pregnant women that those who exercised delivered a healthier baby with a stronger fetal heart rate. Even more compelling is the fact that of the women who exercised, time spent in labor was shortened by about a third, with 65% of the women delivering in four hours or less. I’m a perfect example of this, my labor lasted just 2 hours 15 mins.
There are so many rumours out there, some started or perpetuated by popular pregnancy books, others the result of old wives’ tales or outdated advice, building confusion in the minds of many women about what they can and can’t do,”

Can you guess which one of these is the true statement?

1. Lifting weights while pregnant is dangerous for the fetus.
2. If you didn’t exercise before you were pregnant, it’s not safe to start now.
3. Exercising while pregnant pulls nutrients from your baby.
4. You have to keep your heart rate at or below 140 beats per minute.
5. Basketball is an unsafe activity while pregnant.
6. Doing sit ups while pregnant will squish the baby.
7. Running while pregnant is unsafe for the baby.
8. Any sign of trouble like spotting or pain means I should stop exercising and not do it any
more during my pregnancy.

If you’re not sure, or you’re making a wild guess, then you definitely need to read on!

1. Lifting weights while pregnant is dangerous for the fetus.

MYTH : It’s totally safe to lift weights while pregnant. Make sure you’re not holding your breath, don’t exert yourself to fatigue. Whether you are new to weight training or weight training is already part of your exercise routine, as long as the form & technique is perfect there’s no reason to stop, although you will need to avoid training at higher intensity. Strengthening helps coping with common discomforts of pregnancy like back pain and sacroiliac dysfunction. I had NONE!, thanks to my training routine.

2. If you didn’t exercise before you were pregnant, it’s not safe to start now.

MYTH : If you never excised before, pregnancy is not the time to become the exercise bunny but that doesn’t mean you have to spend nine months sitting on the couch. Something as simple as taking a daily walk, going for a swim, taking up very low intensity strength training can do wonders for your pregnancy, and make you feel better as well. It can also help you combat the fatigue of pregnancy and help you sleep better at night. Ten to fifteen minutes a day is a great beginning, then gradually progress.

3. Exercising while pregnant pulls nutrients from your baby.

MYTH : The reality is that your baby takes what it needs from your body. So if anything, you’ll have a dip in your own nutrient stores, but your baby’s stores will be fine. The way to avoid any problems for youis to keep blood sugar levels balanced by eating smaller, more frequent meals. Babies of mommies who exercise during pregnancy are born leaner, but organ size and head circumference are normal. So don’t be afraid to exercise during pregnancy.

4. You have to keep your heart rate at or below 140 beats per minute.

MYTH : There is no one “target” heart rate that’s right for every pregnant woman. People are still stuck on this heart rate issue, and it was never based on anything concrete. What’s moderate for you might seem easy, or impossibly hard for someone else, so listen to your own body! What most pregnancy exercise experts now rely on as a guide is RPE, or rate of perceived exertion.
This is a scale that determines how hard you are working based on how you feel when you are working, you should be able to carry on a conversation, but not be able to sing.

5. Basketball is an unsafe activity while pregnant.

TRUE : It’s a contact sport, so there’s a risk of a blow to your belly. Other risky activites include those with risk of falling and hurting the belly, like skiing, waterskiing, and horseback riding, or going scuba diving, because of the water pressure effects on your body.

6. Doing abdominal exercises while pregnant will squish the baby.

MYTH : Your baby is pretty secure in there, you don’t have to worry about bending at the waist. Not only is it OK, it’s actually recommended! Abdominal workouts can provide many benefits. Some modifications may be necessary with your growing size but it definitely doesn’t warrant stopping them. Your abdominals and your entire core, including your pelvic floor should be strengthened throughout pregnancy, and doing so will help not only during pregnancy, but also aid in labor and delivery and recovery. I didn’t suffer from Diastasis recti (splitting of abdominal muscle – rectus abdominis from linea alba) and my baby was out in just two pushes.
Moreover, it’s going to help with posture problems which will also benefit you after baby is born.

7. Running while pregnant is unsafe for the baby.

MYTH : As long as you and your pregnancy are healthy, and you feel OK, it’s safe to run right up until you go into labor. “The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) has said that if you were running prior to pregnancy, you can continue during pregnancy, as long as you feel OK”.
If it does start to feel “odd”, listen to your body and don’t do it. Pregnancy is not the time to break any performance records. Also realize that as your pregnancy progresses, you’re going to be able to do a little less with each trimester. So don’t compete with your pre-pregnancy running achievements, or even with what you could accomplish in a previous trimester.

8. Any sign of trouble like spotting or pain means I should stop exercising and not do it any more during my pregnancy.

MYTH.While signs of pain, spotting, lightheadedness, nausea or dizziness are all reasons to stop exercising immediately, it doesn’t necessarily mean you will have to give it up forever.
What it means is talk to you doctor. Tell her exactly what you felt and what you were doing when you felt it, how long it lasted, and the severity. And then ask for her advice as to whether or not you should continue with an exercise program.
ACOG lists these warning signs to stop exercising and contact a doctor: vaginal bleeding, fluid leaking from the vagina, decreased fetal movement, uterine contractions, muscle weakness, calf swelling or pain, headache, chest pain, increased shortness of breath, dizziness, or feeling faint.
There are so many awesome benefits of pre-natal exercise – treat yourself and your baby right by staying active and exercising during pregnancy. You’ll be happy you did!
Always train under supervision of a Prenatal Exercise Instructor.
Dr Mansi R Ashta
Physiotherapist & Fitness Consultant
Child Birth Educator (CBE)
Prenatal & Postpartum Exercise Instructor

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As EKA opens doors to its state of the art tennis courts, here are a few reasons why tennis is the best sport for all fitness fanatics

1. Get those muscular legs –

unlike monotonous gym workouts, tennis is a great opportunity for a full body workout in a fun and fresh environment.

2. A happier life –

tennis not only helps keep you fit but also stimulates your mind like no other game. The best tennis players are confident strong, healthy and stress free.

3. Makes a great date –

aren’t you bored of the routine candle lit dinners? Spice up your relationship this season with a kick of adrenaline. Engage in a sporty evening filled with lots of flirtatious fun and fitness.

4. Keeps your heart healthy –

playing tennis is like making a thousand mini sprints. It helps increase your heart rate and promotes high energy levels preventing the body from the risk of several heart diseases.

5. Make a new friend –

did you know tennis is one of the most social sports? Whether you are an amateur or a professional it is always fun playing with a friend and socializing before and after the game. Run by the court every evening and make your very own tennis buddy to burn off the daily calories with.

6. Girls, here’s another opportunity to pull off a hot new outfit –

ever see Maria Sharapova and wonder when you will get to wear those trendy tennis skirts? Work on that muscular toned body in those gorgeous outfits while playing a tennis match this season.

7. The best stress buster –

had a frustrating day at work? So mad that you want to punch someone? Hit the ball as hard as you can on the court that evening and vent out all the anger.

8. Improves bone health –

tennis is not only good for the muscles but also great for the bones. As one ages bone mass decreases and sports like tennis help build strong bones and precautions for such damages.

9. It’s played in every continent –

no need to worry about missing out on your work out regime whist on a holiday. Most resorts, small or big, all have their own tennis courts for tourists to use.

10. It’s a sport you can play your whole life –

ever look at an old uncle and wonder how he’s still so fit? You never know, he may be a tennis player. Unlike other sports, tennis is a game playable and enjoyable at all ages. It’s a habit that will last you a lifetime.
Don’t forget to check out our recently inaugurated tennis courts at EKA! Click for Facebook Images

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7 Best Sports to Play in Summers and Why

7 Best Sports to Play in Summers and Why

Summers can be soul sapping, what with every year setting new records for highest temperatures recorded. It is easy to be in the confines of your air conditioned bedroom, whiling away hours on YouTube. Summers don’t necessarily have to mean not going out and playing though. You just have to be a little more careful when picking sports to play. Here are 7 sports that are ideal for summertime.

1. Cricket

It was invented by the British as a pastime during picnics. While modern day cricket is a lot more athletic, the sport itself does not involve a lot of constant running, unlike football or basketball. Cricket is the perfect outdoor sport in the scorching summer heat. Just keep a bottle of cold water handy.
Did you know: Iftikar Ali Khan Pataudi, Saif Ali Khan’s grandfather, played test cricket for India as well as England. He is the only cricketer to have done so.

2. Squash

If you are looking for an adrenaline rush without getting burnt, head for a game of Squash. The indoor sport requires a lot of running and brute strength. It is the perfect alternative to sweating it out in the gym.
Did you know: Ritwik Bhattacharya is India’s best known squash player. He was the first Indian squash player to compete in Commonwealth Games.

3. Table Tennis

Talking of indoor sports, table tennis is another option you have. While it may not be as strenuous as squash, when played properly, it can definitely get you sweating.
Did you know: India has never won a medal in table tennis at the Olympics.

4. Swimming

Summers are the perfect time to go swimming. You may be tempted to squander away leisurely in the cool confines of the pool. But you should use the opportunity to get some workout in this sapping heat. Challenge a friend to lap time or just beat your own. Swimming is a great full body workout. Make sure you have swimming goggles and cap before you dive in.
Did you know: Women were barred from competing in Olympic swimming till 1912. Also, Shivani Kataria, who participated in Rio Games in 2016, became the first Indian swimmer to compete in Olympics after more than a decade.

5. Skating

If you are averse to water and have not really warmed up to the idea of cricket, skating can be a good alternative. There are indoor skating rinks, and the sport is good for optimizing your motor skills.

6. Rock climbing

You don’t have to go near a rock in the scorching sun. There are indoor places that simulate the sport of rock climbing. The sport is good as a full-body workout and is strenuous enough to be tolerable in this heat.

7. Street football on a rainy day

Too tired of the heat to even venture out for an indoor game? Wait for the heaven gods to rain, get your gang together, and splash it out on the streets, ninja style. Football on a rainy day in summers can be almost therapeutic. And the best thing about street football, at least in India: there are no rules. The game is played dirty!

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5 Reasons Why Swimming is a Great Exercise For You

5 Reasons Why Swimming is a Great Exercise For You

Finding your perfect workout can be daunting. Lifting weights can be too monotonous, running can feel like a chore, and not everybody is cut out for kick-boxing. If you are still looking for your perfect workout regimen, especially in the scorching heat of summers, here are 5 reasons why you should give swimming a try.

1. Water has therapeutic qualities

Water-based activity is good for your mental health. It can alleviate symptoms of depression and it is beneficial for people with fybromyalgia. Even if you don’t have mental health issues, water can have a calming effect. Swimming can have meditative properties, helping you move away from your daily clutter.

2. It is a low-key, high-impact workout

Running and other kinds of exercises puts some amount of stress on your joints. Swimming, on the other hand, is conducive for people with arthritis, since it does not put undue pressure on your joints. Thus, even though it gives you a good cardio workout, swimming is a relatively less strenuous exercise.

3. It is a full-body workout

Swimming isn’t just good for your cardiovascular health. It has strength-training benefits too. Water gives you some amount of resistance, which is enough to tone up those muscles. Swimming is especially good for your back and leg muscles.

4. It can increase your lung capacity

Water is more dense than air, which means when you are swimming, your lungs have to work harder in order to supply your body enough oxygen. The extra work that your lungs have to do helps improve your lung capacity. In fact, swimming is beneficial for people with symptoms of asthma too.

5. It lessens risk of diabetes

Swimming is an aerobic exercise, which helps you burn calories. Regular aerobic exercise improves blood sugar control, which in turn lowers the risk of diabetes. If you have a history of diabetes in your family, you might want to consider swimming as your exercise regimen seriously.

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