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Pregnancy – Stretch Marks

“Our skin is designed to be flexible. Well-nourished, healthy skin has the ability to snap back like a rubber band. However, when it isn’t in optimal condition, rapid stretching can result in tearing at the dermis layer” – Harmala Francois.

This topic is perhaps a bit on the sensitive side for most pregnant women. It is part of the pregnancy and we just have to accept it (or act to prevent/minimise it). Some women are lucky and don’t get any, some are less and no matter what they do, they still get them. At the end it comes down to your skin type.

Perhaps I am one of the lucky ones, but I didn’t want to take the chance. Being self-conscious of my body image I always took good care of my skin. I did a little research what is available on the market and what is THE best product to avoid or minimize pregnancy stretch marks. I came across Bio-Oil. Amazing product and a must have item for any pregnant woman! I started using it from early stage of 2nd trimester. I massage bump, breast and hip area with Bio-Oil twice a day.
I have to say now 11 days until due date I do not have any stretch marks. My skin is super soft, even and looks healthy. I even got rid of my old stretch marks (drastic weight loss about 12 years ago).

Bio-Oil is a bit expensive compared to other products, so look around for offers. I bought my at Costco (Wholesaler) for an incredible price. 2x 200ml for about £20. You don’t need much, little goes a long way and I only apply on certain areas. Plus the smell I find is calming and relaxing.

Of course no matter how much and what body lotions, cremes, oils etc you put on, those alone don’t do the whole job. Perhaps for some….. So next two important “strategies” I use is hydration and adequate intake of zinc.

Hydration – as we know is important no matter if you are pregnant or not. Water is what keeping us alive (and of course the fuel aka food). It also keeps skin elastic and moist from inside. I drink roughly 3L of water a day, plus loads of fresh vegetables and fruits. I start my day with big glass of water (sometimes with lemon or lime). This not only kicks my metabolism but also helps my to re-hydrate after a night sleep. Plus sets good habit for the rest of the day.

Zinc – now you are probably wonder why zinc? Zinc is an essential mineral and is found in every cell of our bodies. Zinc has many functions in the body and one of them is it ability to promote skin health (it is used as an ingredient in many skin products). Good sources of zinc: egg yolk, pumpkin seed, mushrooms, meat, fish and legumes.

Irina

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Posted by on 10 April, 2014 in Health & Wellbeing, Pregnancy

 

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Energy versus temperature and running performance

Something we have been reading about this year, and are now keenly observing in our own performance is the relationship between the body’s temperature and its performance in running.

As we all know, the human body is a marvelous piece of [nature’s] engineering, and it is very good at maintaining a fairly constant temperature through a range of environmental conditions. The body has to gain or lose heat in order to do this (controlled by the hypothalamus in the brain). Our core temperature remains quite constant through this regulation, but the skin and underlying tissues are subject more to environmental changes.

As we exercise, we produce heat and a surprising fact we found is that a huge amount of the energy we use during exercise is actually in regulating (or losing) that heat! The body simply can’t keep up with the rate of heat creation in its effort to stabilise the temperature, be that heat created from our increased metabolism, muscle movements or external factors such as hot weather.

It is quite a complex subject so I won’t attempt to explain it in full here… Anyone interested in learning more would do well to read this article on runtheplanet.com though as it goes into great detail about this subject!

Through our own experimentation we have found the following tips to be very helpful and have shown us a markedly noticeable difference in energy levels when training and competing. Some of this is pretty obvious stuff of course, but we are surprised at the number of runners we see out there in the hot weather still slogging away wearing their long sleeves and tights!

  • Plan your runs at the cooler times of day (early morning or in the evening)
  • Wear as little as is decent!
  • Hydrate hydrate hydrate
  • Replace lost salts after your run (and hydrate some more!)
  • Acclimatize the body to the temperature if you must run in the heat, start slowly and build up to pace
  • For really long runs take some good quality energy gels/sweets which will help replace salts and carbs on the go. (Needless to say you should have water with you as well!)
  • Weigh yourself before and after your runs to understand how much water you lose. Then replace it before your next workout!

Some times it is hard to get the balance of clothing correct. I always tend to over-dress as it feels windy or chilly, but then halfway through my run I wish I was in just a vest and shorts! It takes a bit of getting used to your own body, especially as you improve and get fitter, but its worth keeping in mind that your body will perform better (and recover quicker) if it can more easily regulate heat loss…

Enjoy the summer! 🙂

Paul.

 
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Posted by on 4 July, 2013 in Health & Wellbeing, Recovery, Running

 

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Home-made fizzy drink – A healthier option

With the spring in the air, longer and warmer (ish) days, I do make sure we are both well hydrated for our active lifestyle. We don’t buy any fizzy, flavored drinks. Those are full of sugar, artificial sugars and other ingredients which are not good for your body and mind.

We make our own flavoured fizzy (or still) drinks. It is so simple. Actually it doesn’t get simplier than this.

Take a big jug, a few slices of lemon/lime/orange, a handful of frozen berries, add either sparkling or still water. You can also add few extra ice cubes if you like a big cooler. Leave for 20-30 min so the flavours and colours come out of fruits. Done!

You can also use cucumber and add few herbs like mint, basil or parsley for more savory flavour.

Enjoy!

Irina. 🙂

Home-made drink

 

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