Monday, 25 October 2010

Pilates, sciatica and "health walk"

Disclaimer:  the information given here  is NOT a substitute for any advice given to you by your physician. Always consult your physician or health care provider before beginning exercise program.

It is recommended that everyone should be physically active for 30 minutes a day on at least five days a week.  A "health walk" and exercises such as Pilates  are  a good way of keeping physically active.  Only 37% of men and 24% of women meet the recommended time on physical activity.

The short definition of a health walk is:

"a purposeful, brisk walk undertaken on a regular basis" *  However, although many people want to walk they can't because they are either unfit or suffer physical conditions.  Some of the  physical conditions can be sciatica, which is a pain all the way  down a leg. 

In technical terms, sciatica is a symptom not a diagnosis.  This term is commonly used to describe symptoms  when the pain radiates downwards from the buttock over the posterior or lateral side of the leg. Commonly it is assumed to be caused by compression of a nerve but this is not always the case.   To determine the problem it's important to have  a CT or an MRI scan. These scans will show clearly and quickly if there is any problem in the spinal cord.  Some times the problem is due to a bulging disc (slip disc). 

Staying active in mot cases is beneficial and may help.  Pilates can be the ideal exercise for those who suffering from sciatica. Not all the Pilates exercises would be suitable but exercises that involve pelvic tilts, knee lifts and to the chest, hip rotation, extending opposite arm and leg may help.  One of my clients whose pain due to sciatica was sever so much that she could not walk, after four sessions said "People used to tell me "you must walk". I didn't walk because I was in pain. Since coming here I'm able to walk, it's like a miracle" .

Pilates not only will help to eliminate  or reduce pains that prevent walking but also will improve posture.  Unfortunately there are a lot people who do walk a lot however their postures need attention.

A walk without pain it's not only enjoyable but will give mental health benefits, increase "good" cholesterol, help manage weight, improve sleep.  A brisk walk will also improve heart and lung functions and reduce blood pressure.

Monday, 11 October 2010

Autumn leaves

Glorious autumn! Today I was  walking on the tapestry of orange, red, yellow and green leaves that nature drop at our feet.  It's not only walking on that tapestry that it's enjoyable.  I also enjoy the way the leaves fall, some descent as in a dance, some are in a hurry to touch the floor,  others prefer to linger around for a while and go as far as possible. Whilst walking I realise that what nature doesn't drop at our feet are the great variety of nutritious leaves such as spinach, kale or cabbages.

And cabbages aren't just autumn leaves.  they are all year round leaves though some are imported to the U K.  By the way it amazed me once that at a French market exhibition in the NW3 London area, in  summer,  they brought cabbages!!!.  I imagine they were very keen that people should eat cabbages as they are such a source of nutrients. 

One cup of cabbage (150 grms) contains very low calories but is rich in vitamin K  which allow your blood to clot normally,  protects bones from fracture, prevents calcification of your arteries and  postmenopausal bone loss,  high content of vitamin C good content of magnesium, vitamins B1 & B2.

Cabbage not only is low in calories but  can reduce the risk of developing colon cancer, due to its high content in fibres and chemicals. Fibre  helps the intestines to stay healthy by increasing our transit movements. Cabbage also contains chemicals that inhibit tumour growth and protect cells against free radicals.  It is suggested that cabbage should be included in meals two to three times a week.

Variety of cabbages:
The  green cabbage or spring greens however nowadays  they are  all year round.  Important to look for small, tender "perky"  leaves, when you break them they should sound crunchy or squeaky.

Savoy beautiful with wrinkly outer leaves, full of flavour.

White round cabbage. Rather smooth leaves.

Pointed cabbage leaves  tight and green.  Best in April through June.

Preparing cabbage:

Choose very fresh and young cabbage. It's not a good sign if the outer  leaves have been removed,  this means the cabbage is not fresh.

It's better to break the cabbage leaves.  By cutting them with a knife it looses its vitamins, especially vitamin C.

When cooking cabbage the reason  it smells it is due to its high content of minerals and nutrients.   Cabbage should be steamed for as little as possible  or better sauté. 

Soften an onion in walnut oil, add a crushed garlic clove and a handful of chopped walnuts, add shredded (by hand) cabbage, put the lid on and let it cook slowly until the cabbage is tender.

Plain steam cabbage can be added to any pasta, and even lasagne.  In this way the amount of pasta can be reduced, improving at the same the nutrient content of the dish.  Plain can cabbage can also be added to stewed dishes.

Adding cabbage regularly in your meal will give good nutrients, vitamins and lipids. 

Saturday, 2 October 2010

Healthy and Nutty - Eat nuts. Enjoy all the nut..rients of the season, Exercise, no need to go nuts on this.

Disclaimer:  The following is given as general information it's not intended as medical advice.  Allways consult with your doctor or nutritionist first.

The nut season is in full now.  There are reach pickings on the trees and athough I climb on trees, luckily there are plenty of nuts on the ground so let the squirrels and birds to get the ones on the high branches and I just collect from the leafy ground.

Although today the morning was sunny I couldn't make it to the heath to compete with birds and squirrels  I decide to start blogging and write about nuts.  From my own experience in my life style: regular Pilates exercises and including nuts in my daily meals not only I am in  a better shape but feel I have healthier bones and  excellent digestion (remember you are what you digest, not what you eat!) maybe a good help in slowing the aging process, many don't believe my not age, they think I'm much younger.

There has been a lot of reports on research of the benefits of eating nuts. Also it has been reported widely that the Food and Drug Administration -FDA approved the claim of the  "benefits for better healthy heart"  for almonds, hazelnuts, peanuts, pecans, some pine nuts, pistachios and walnuts due to their content of less than 4g of saturated fats per 50g.

To mention a few:
In a study carried out by the Iowa Women's Healthy found that women who ate nuts  four times a week were 40% less likely to die of heart disease. In 2002, the Physician's Health Study found that men who consumed nuts 2 or more times per week had reduced risks of sudden cardiac death.

The food and Drug Administration The FDA reported the

Other good report:

Well time to go and crash some almonds, walnuts and hazelnuts mixed with lovely damson jam.  (I had some dental surgery so...)

Almonds for reducing memory loss and lowering cholesterol

Hazelnuts for  antiaging reducung memory loss

Walnuts reducing memory loss, hence their shape.

In general the amount of a tea cup size of various nuts will be a good way of getting much needed nutrients in our daily food intake.  One important thing nuts should be unsalted.

Ample evidence demonstrates that nuts, as a group, reduce tlie risk of