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How to emotionally cope and move forward from wheelchair disability?

Are you a person with disability? Or do you have someone you love or somebody you know that has a disability? Yes or no, your response to this question depends on your situation, right? but disability is an unknown that may strike you personally or affect you in anyway there is. Disability may also happen as you aged, as they all say, “Disability will affect the lives of everyone at some point in their life”.

Then what do you do as a disabled person? What do we do – if perhaps we’re the affected family, or what if our partner has a disability, or what can we do as a community at large?

Coping with disability can be really hard, but there are ways to manage and accept the situation. The following are tips that I experienced myself as person with disability at a very young age. I hope this will be of help to you.

1.  Grieving and acceptance – young people with disabilities like kids and adolescents will have difficult in understanding the roller coaster of emotion that will beset them as they grow into adulthood. Those who became disabled as an adult, may have more intense feelings of grief. Try to recognize that you are experiencing the stages of grieving process. Be aware of the emotions, be honest about what feelings and try to find people whom you can express yourself and support you with what you’re going through. The 5 stages of grieving are:

  • Denial – this is the very first emotion that will attack us; “this should not be happening to me” will haunt the mind of a person in pain.
  • Anger – why me? Someone has to be blamed, is it God? or the parents/love ones? or your own self that caused the disability?
  • Bargaining – are you asking for a miracle? of healing, as you make promises to the Divine that you will be good.
  • Depression – self pity and frustration are strong feelings that will play a huge part as you strive to move forward with your life.
  • Acceptance – this can be in a form of resignation at first, but if you will open yourself to emotional healing, acceptance will truly come.

Get help and believe that you will survive and heal, even if you cannot see that at this very moment. A disabled person may end up on wheelchair for his entire life, but that does not mean he cannot enjoy life. If you are looking for a good wheelchair, we will be discussing later in this article how you can choose the best lightweight wheel chair in UK.

Disabled woman on a wheelchair2.  Be kind to yourself. When people tend to treat you badly, and in return you were not nice to them, don’t feel bad and beat yourself. It’s normal to be affected by annoying people. If possible, avoid them or if not, stay polite and respectful because by doing so you made them look like the obvious “obnoxious” people that they are.

3.  Seek assistance from family members, caring friends and local community. And seek resources from government and non government organizations. Also try to learn to accept help graciously.

4.  Think and act on what can be done. Take control of your life and remember the saying, “I have a Disability yes that’s true, but all that really means is I may have to take a slightly different path than you”.

5.  Reach out to other community or groups of disabled people specially those with the same condition as you, because they can relate and understand better your struggle and frustrations than anyone.

6.  Get a hobby that will channel your ill feelings and thoughts to something creative and will help you feel good at yourself.

7.  Choose and strive to make the best of your situation. Focus on things that you can still do or still has the capability to manage properly, like for example your studies or career, relationship and family – or life in general. You can do it, there are ways and resources to achieve your goals.

You and I have disability, but do we have to stop living? We have to become stronger people, and move on. Helping others through something we have experienced is a wonderful way to facilitate our healing and bring good out of our situation. Don’t let your disability disabled your power to live a better life.

Have you already accepted your disability? When one door closes, many others are opened. Have you explored these opened doors? How far have you move on? I would love to hear your story too.

Choosing the right wheel chair in 2017

There are many kinds of manual wheelchairs available in the market today, including Ultra lightweight chairs, tilting wheelchairs, standing wheelchairs, heavy-duty wheelchairs, children’s wheelchairs and specialty chairs. You will need sufficient strength and movement in your arms to use a self-propelled wheelchair. The weight of the wheelchair is obviously important if you are intending to transport it by car and it can also effect how difficult the chair is to push. The Lightweight Manual Wheelchair is an immense upgrade, over a heavy wheelchair that can cause your condition to worsen and may also lead to further physical problems. Manual Wheelchairs are quite easy to push, have unlimited range, are simpler to maneuver and transport, and usually cost much less than power wheelchairs. Manual wheelchair UK

  • If you aren’t able to manage this, you would be more suited to an attendant-propelled wheelchair, designed to be pushed from behind by another person.
  • The lighter the frame the easier it will be to lift and therefore to put in to the car.
  • In the last decade wheelchairs that are lightweight and foldable have become the norm in industry.
  • These are typically all wheelchairs that are propelled with the help of an electric motor, it has a joystick / remote control that is used to control the directions and speed of the chair and does not need anyone to push it.There are also other form of powered mobility devices like the scooter.Wheelchairs or scooters come with four or three wheels and sometimes up to 6 wheels.
  • It’s worth noting that most self-propelled wheelchairs will also have push-handles for times when extra help may be needed.
  • It will also be easier to push the occupant as there will be less weight and the chair will be more manoeuverable.

Weight of the wheelchair
Ranging from 29-34 lbs., our series of lightweight wheelchairs covers a wide range of conditional needs and lifestyle options that may cater to you. If you are not strong enough or capable to propel the chair yourself, then you may opt for a transit chair. If propelling your wheelchair yourself is going to be an issue for you, we offer several alternatives. Whatever the weight of the user, the lighter the chair, the easier it will be for the person pushing it.

How will you use the power wheelchair, indoors, outdoors, or both? These are denoted by the smaller diameter wheels at the rear of the chair. Attendant-propelled manual wheelchairs feature smaller rear wheels to make pushing and manoeuvring the chair easier for the attendant. Whilst lightest is normally best, the cost of lightweight wheelchairs increases sharply. Will you need to transport the wheelchair? (If so, how often and in what type of vehicle?)What weight capacity will you need, standard or heavy-duty?

Self propelled vs Attendant propelled wheelchair
The smaller diameter rear wheels often make the chair more manoeuvrable, and make the chair easier to load into the boot of a car. For added assistance, the addition of a power pack turns your manual wheelchair into an electric wheelchair. Transport chairs are light-weight and have a collapsible frame and fold-down back to fit in a car trunk, or behind the seat. What seating style will you find most comfortable, captain’s, solid pan, or rehab? Your mobility needs will determine the type of wheelchair being recommended for you by either a physiotherapist or occupational therapist or in the case of recovery from surgery, your doctor.

Power Wheelchair 2017These wheelchairs require a companion to push from behind, and are perfect to use on trip to the store, or doctor’s visit. Which legrest and armrest style might best meet your needs? If you need the wheelchair for occasional use, solely for travel to and from destinations, solely at school or work, only for use in an exercise program, or for social, sports and recreational purposes.you may consider a standard manual wheelchair on a rental basis. Light Weight wheelchairs are ideal for more frequent use or when users require special options. All wheelchairs come with a 1½” fabric or vinyl seat.

Manual vs electric wheelchair
Frame weights fall under 35 lbs; stock features include foldable frames, desk or full length armrests and removable swingaway footrests. To make you chair comfortable, or if you sit in your wheelchair more then 2 hours daily, we recommend you invest in a cushion. The lighter the wheel chair, the easier it is for a user to push uphill and the easier it is for a companion to lift up stairs or place in a car trunk. There are 3 types of cushions Comfort cushions: Foam or gel cushions, for comfort Positioning cushions: Contoured cushions allowing the user correct posture Preventative cushions: gel or air cushions helping the user prevent bed sores Choose a weight according to your personal needs and budget, while bearing in mind the advantage of a lighter weight wheel chair.

Batteries are one of the most important parts of a powered wheelchair. Some power chairs perform superbly outdoors, but are too bulky for indoor use. Travel electric wheelchairs feature a minimal seat by nature of the wheelchair’s compact size. Standard electric wheelchairs are those that don’t fall into the travel/folding category or into the heavy duty category but more of a mid or full size category. It is the main power source and needs to be chosen carefully.

Other power wheelchairs are compact enough to fit into the trunk of a large car, but are low on performance. A travel seat typically has a padded base, low-cut padded back, with flip-up armrests. These are generally a bit faster and more versatile, they aren’t really known to have extremely high weight capacities but certain models can go a long way like The P312 which is made by Merits Health that has a travel range of up to 18 miles. You will want to consider the maintenance requirements for the battery and if you will be capable of keeping up with maintaining the battery. Other electric wheelchairs can easily navigate indoors, but are unsuitable for heavy outdoor use.

The seat is contoured to help keep you in place, with a folding backrest for transportability, and the padded cover is usually removable for cleaning. If you feel that you can’t meet the requirement you can choose a battery that that does not require maintenance in order to work at its fullest capability. The main advantage of an electric wheelchair over the manual counterpart is that it requires very little effort to use and to control on the part of the user. For legrests, a foot platform is used, flipping up out of the way for transfers.

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laptop-posture

How to improve your posture

Improving posture sounds hard. I understand! You want to improve your posture, but don’t want to spend your whole day doing it. You see yourself in pictures (or in the mirror for that matter) and you think “I wish I had better posture, but what can I do?” Learning how to improve posture does not have to be difficult, but it will take a little effort on your part. You just don’t want to spend weeks or months spinning your wheels and wondering why you don’t look any better.

How To Improve Posture By Remembering

This Is Nearly Impossible!

The first thing I decided when I became determined to improve my posture was that I would just remember to sit up and stand up straight throughout the day. I set a reminder on my phone, on my computer, sticky notes… geez, it was like I was nagging myself!

After a few days, the reminders got a little easier to ignore. I still figured out that holding myself up all day (I work at a computer like most people), was exhausting I was still spending a majority of my day with less than perfect posture. I knew this strategy just wasn’t going to be what worked for me long term.

How To Improve Posture With Supports

This Is Where Things Started Getting Expensive…
Next I reasoned that the best way to improve posture meant that I needed more “support” if I was going to be successful. I changed my pillow on my bed to one of the wavy kinds, I bought a little lumbar pillow for my ride into work, and added some support to my office chair.

I have to say that for the first week, I thought I had done it! I thought, “Yes! I’m getting better posture!” My back felt great and felt supported in all the right places. The next week, I still felt pretty good, but just not as good. It was like the effect was wearing off. It was too early for the pillow to have gone flat, so I didn’t get it.

How To Improve Posture With A Brace

Not Attractive, But I Was Desperate!
My next step was that I believed that I needed to get more aggressive with the supports. Maybe a pillow just wasn’t enough. If I had an around the clock, always on best posture corrector brace, my posture was sure to improve.

You’ve probably seen the before and after pictures. In the “before” pic, the person has posture much like mine was. In the after pic, the posture is perfect! That’s what I wanted!

The effect of the brace was noticeable immediately. My shoulders were, in fact, pulled back and in the right place. I could tell I looked better, and I sure felt better… again, for about a week.

One day, I go to take a shower, take off the brace and I can see that my posture is no better, possibly worse. What I realized at that moment is that my muscles were getting weaker.

Wearing a posture brace is a lot like wearing a cast on a broken arm. Have you seen someone right after they take off a cast? Their arm is smaller, not bigger. They got weaker, not stronger. I looked it up. It’s called muscle atrophy, and it’s what happens when your muscles aren’t being used. Yikes!

How To Improve Posture With Exercise

But Not Just Any ‘Ol Exercise…
Once it clicked for me that there was no real way to improve posture “with no work on my part,” I just wanted to know how to do the least amount of work possible. I’m not big on going to the gym all the time.

When I do go, I wasn’t totally positive that everyone there knew what they were doing anyway. There were lots of people with bad posture there, and they work out all the time! So getting my muscles stronger was going to be necessary to improve my posture, and exercise is the only way to do that.

Which exercises to do? I went through a lot of programs (and there’s good ones out there), but finally settled in with Posture-Exercise.com. I wanted the information now and wanted to be able to watch it immediately and get the help I needed.

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SmartphonesAndKids

Smartphone Addiction in Teens And Children

When mobile phones were first launched, they were only use for making calls and sending SMS. But today mobile phones have become smartphones and they have changed our primary concept of a cell phone. They are no longer used for just making calls and sending text messages. Today’s smartphones include a high end camera, GPS navigator, music player and even our own library in hand. With smartphones you can remain connected with your loved ones through social media and internet.

Smartphone Addiction And Teen Health

But these smartphones have their own harms and health risk. One research found that the typical smartphone user check their smartphone 150 times during the wake day. 18 of those times are to simply check the mobile phone’s clock or phone’s battery. 60 percent of teens admit to texting during the class. In a recent study conducted by University of Derby concluded that “Smartphones are psychologically addictive, encourage narcissistic tendencies and should come with a health warning.”
PhoneAdditcion
Nomophobia (no-mobile-phobia) is defined as the fear of being out of cell phone contact. Becoming addicted to your phone has become such a real condition that experts have given it a name: “Nomophobia” (no-mobile-phone-phobia). It’s not limited to the hardcore Wall Street types with their “crackberries” though; it’s more widespread than we realized. Have you thought about how long you can go without checking your cell phone? How about your children and their smartphones?. The anxiety and stress over missing out on a text or Facebook update can take such a toll on peoples’

Smartphone addiction can also be very damaging to our educational standards and exacerbate inequality. Department for Education has revealed a stark increase in the number of children beginning primary school struggling with speech. And children who find it difficult to communicate during their early years are often more likely to struggle at school. This addiction to smartphones is often fueled by “Internet Use Disorder”. The American Psychiatric Association defines this condition as a preoccupation with the Internet and the person suffers withdrawal symptoms when it is removed. It has all the earmarks of a traditional addiction which includes requiring more and more exposure to get the same euphoric feelings and many teens use this addiction as a coping mechanism to alleviate depression.

Smartphones can damage your eyes

Experts have warned, that gazing to smartphones for long hours can cause permanent problem to your eyes. Rates of myopia – otherwise known as short-sightedness – have increased due to high usage of smartphones. Teens in particular are risking their eyesight by spending an average two hours gazing at their phones each day. Research has also shown that the blue-violet light emitted by smartphones could have a toxic effect on the backs of the eyes, leading to macular degeneration and even blindness.

Opticians say that, although “good” blue light (blue-turquoise) is needed to help regulate biological clocks, it is also thought that extensive exposure to blue violet light can disrupting sleep patterns and affect moods. “It’s the combination of not blinking enough and bringing the device closer than you normally look at objects – it strains your eyes.”

How To Stop Smartphone addiction in Your Child

Below are some things you can do to help your child with smartphone addiction:

  • Create special no-phone zones: Disallow smartphone use in certain rooms such as the kitchen, bedroom or dining room. Set special times for smartphone usage
  • Prepare yourself: This will be a struggle. If your teen is, in fact, a smartphone addict, he or she will do everything to avoid these rules. Set special times — perhaps for two hours after school — when kids can use their smartphones, access social media, play games and chat.
  • Try to use his playing with the phone for your own benefit. For example: If he’s playing “Talking Tom,” agree with the kid that if the cat says, “Let’s eat dinner,” he must go eating. If you are familiar with this app, you understand that it’s quite easy to do… This way, you both have fun and also gain a kid eating dinner. But, beware not turning it into habit.
  • The best way to deal with the issue of children addicted to cell phones, is to not give them one in the first place.
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shoulder pain after laparoscopic surgery

Shoulder Pain After Laparoscopic Surgery

Surgery is not without pain and down time so it is not surprising that people experience shoulder pain after laparoscopic surgery. Surgery is surgery, whether it is done on the operating table with your organs exposed, or done on the operating table with a few cuts on your gut. It still requires the skills of a surgeon, a scalpel and anesthesia.

Laparoscopic surgery is a modern surgical technique where incisions are made in the abdomen to perform operations on the body. It is also known as band-aid surgery or keyhole surgery and is as minimally invasive as possible. This kind of surgery requires a TV monitor for magnification and to guide the surgeons during the operation. There are two kinds of laparoscope used in surgery: a telescopic rod lens system that has a video camera, and a digital laparoscope where there is a charge-couple device attached at the end. There is also a fiber optic cable that is connected to a light source to light up the operating field. The abdomen is blown up like a balloon with carbon dioxide to elevate the abdominal wall so the surgeons can operate.

What Causes Shoulder Pain After Laparoscopic Surgery?

One of the downsides of this type of surgery is that not all of the carbon dioxide gas is removed. Because gas rises up, it can travel through the diaphragm and can exert pressure on the phrenic nerve, the nerve that connects the abdomen, the diaphragm and the cervical spine in the 3rd, 4th and 5th positions. This pressure can cause pain on the patient’s shoulders. One of the side effects of laparoscopic appendectomy is pain on the right shoulder. Shoulder pain after laparoscopic surgery, like gastric bypass surgery is also common.

How Do You Treat Shoulder Pain After Laparoscopic Surgery?

Treating shoulder pain after laparoscopic surgery is easy and manageable. Some doctors prescribe pain killers to treat shoulder pain after laparoscopic surgery. Other physicians recommend the patient to take fluids like peppermint tea or ginger ale to lessen shoulder pain after laparoscopic surgery. If the pain is bearable, the patient can wait it out because it disappears within a few days. Advantages of this type of surgery include less bleeding, smaller incision sites, and shorter hospital stay. Although you might experience shoulder pain after laparoscopic surgery, this is a quite common side effect which can disappear in a matter of days, so you might want to consider this one.

Anesthesia is used during a laparoscopic procedure, where the abdomen is inflated with carbon dioxide gas to allow the surgeon to visualize the reproductive organs. Patients may experience a sore throat and/or shoulder pain along with incision pain.

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surgery

Does Laparoscopic Surgery Means End Of Open Surgery

It’s only about two decades since the laparoscopic surgery was introduced with a cholecystectomy by the French surgeon called Philippe Mouret and since then by far the majority of the cholecystectomies are done laparoscopically compare to open surgery. In India laparoscopic surgery has been slower than many other countries in the west to adopt these minimal invasive surgery. Though now there are many best laparoscopic surgeon in Mumbai and other metropolitan cities of India. The range of operations using laparoscopy has now extended to a great deal, from simple surgical procedures such as herniorrhaphy and ovarian cystectomy to complex surgical operations including radical prostatectomy, nephrectomy, and adrenalectomy. Does the advancement and popularity of laparoscopic surgery means end to open surgery?.

Advantages of Laparoscopic surgery for patients

With respect to patients, laparoscopy is far more option as only small incisions are made compare to larger incisions done in open surgery. Smaller incision mean less pain, less blood loss and less discomfort. Patients recovers much faster and usually discharges from the hospital the next day. There is also fewer unwanted effects from analgesia because analgesia is required in small quantity. These advantages help to decrease the recovery period, and also lessening the risks of bone loss, muscle atrophy and urinary retention associated with lengthy bed rest and inactivity. Other advantages include early mobilization and finally patients prefer small scars to large ones, and laparoscopic surgery is likely to generate less postoperative anxiety related to self-image.

Laparoscopic surgery for Surgeons

In laparoscopic surgery, there is less direct contact between the patient and the laparoscopic surgeon and as a result there is far less risk of infection to surgeons and also vice versa. Though many surgeons do not like the separation between them and the patients as it hampers surgical judgment. Moreover, there are other perceptual difficulties. After the trocar is inserted, the trocar site serves as both a fulcrum and a steadying point. A small movement at the proximal end gives a large movement at the distal end.

In laparoscopic surgery images from 3-D structures are transmitted via the laparoscope onto a 2-D monitors, making it difficult for surgeons to judge depth and reducing the perceptual cues for identification of anatomical structures. Other difficulty in doing surgical operation is that the visual field is smaller than with open surgery, and the necessity to work with screen images demands special mental as well as physical skills. In laparoscopic dissection the limited range of motion from 4 to 6 degrees of freedom can hamper the ability to freely use medical instruments and structures. The necessity to use non-ergonomic instrument positions disrupts the surgeon’s hand-eye coordination, and the working positions of surgeon and assistant can be many time awkward.

In certain respects, open surgery is far better option than laparoscopic surgery. Surgical procedures performed laparoscopically are comparatively slower, especially when the setting-up time is included. Laparoscopic nephrectomy, for example, takes about three or four hours whereas open nephrectomy takes only about two hours. In case of emergency where immediate operation is to be performed, laparoscopic surgery will often be ruled out by the set-up time, the need to get access quickly and the likelihood that blood will obscure the visual field. Many laparoscopic surgical procedures demand a particular operational conformation; nevertheless, laparoscopic appendicectomy and duodenal ulcer closure are now standard procedures in many hospitals. Diagnostic laparoscopy has also helped substantially in management of the acute abdomen; and laparoscopic surgery has been found safe and effective in haemodynamically stable patients with abdominal trauma.

Conclusion

So does laparoscopic surgery means end of open surgery? Answer is No. The skills of open surgery will remain indispensable. But as the laparoscopic surgery have many advantages in the future many more operations would be performed laparoscopically.

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Make-your-meals-look-more-attractive[1]

Tips for Health Food Plans

  • The major nutritional problems of Indians are caused primarily by dietary excess and imbalance.
  • A good nutritional plan is one that consists of a variety of foods from the food guide pyramid.
  • The consumption of antioxidant vitamins, especially in fruits and vegetables, is associated with a reduction in the risk of heart disease and cancer.
  • Adequate folate consumption is thought to lower the concentration of homocysteine, an amino acid that is associated with an increased risk of heart disease.
  • Phytochemicals are plant chemicals other than carbohydrates, fat, protein, minerals, or vitamins that exist naturally in foods and play an important role in preventing many diseases.
  • The recommended diet for Indians calls for an emphasis on complex carbohydrates as the major source of energy.
  • The greatest shortcoming of the Indian diet is the over consumption of fat, especially saturated fat.
  • The amount of saturated, mono unsaturated, and polyunsaturated fat in foods varies considerably. Most foods contain a mixture of these fats.
  • The process of hydrogenation increases the saturated fat content of polyunsaturated and mono unsaturated fats and yields a fat found in nature in small amounts called trans fatty acids.
  • A diet high in starch is likely to be lower in fat (especially saturated fat and cholesterol), lower in calories, and higher in fiber.
  • Fiber benefits the body by adding bulk to the contents of the intestines, thus increasing the transit of food through the body, which reduces the chance of developing colon cancer, and lowering blood cholesterol levels.
  • Consumption of fruits and cruciferous vegetables is associated with a decreased risk of cancer.
  • Sugar and salt are consumed in the united states in excessive amounts. They are usually hidden in common products to which they have been added for processing of food.
  • A food has a high index of nutritional quality (nutrient density) when it has a high ratio of nutrients to calories.
  • Food labels provide helpful information on those nutrients associated with the common chronic health problems of Indians, as well as required nutrients.
  • The criticisms of fast food eating are the same as those of the rest of the american diet: too much protein, fat, calories, sodium, and sugar and not enough complex carbohydrates and fiber.
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stretching-exercise

Stretching Exercise to get a Healthy Body

Muscles must contract for movement to occur. The contracting muscles are called agonists and are the prime movers. For an agonist to contract, shorten, and produce movement, a reciprocal lengthening of its antagonists must occur. For example, when the biceps muscle of the upper arm contracts, its opposite, the triceps muscle, must relax and lengthen. In this case the biceps is the agonist and the triceps is the antagonist. The triceps becomes the agonist for movements that require it to contract, in which case the biceps becomes the antagonist. Understanding these concepts is necessary to understand stretching techniques.Ballistic stretching uses dynamic movements to stretch muscles. Each time a muscle is stretched in this manner, the myotatic reflex (stretch reflex) located in that muscle is also stretched. It responds by sending a volley of signals to the central nervous system that order the muscle to contract, thus resisting the stretch. This is not only counterproductive-the muscle is forced to pull against itself-but can lead to injury because the elastic limits of the muscle may be exceeded. Ballistic stretching is not recommended for flexibility development.

Stretching-Exercise-for-WomenStatic stretching involves slowly moving to desired positions that are held for 15 to 30 seconds and are then slowly released. This method of stretching does not activate the stretch reflex (automatic or reflexive contraction of a muscle being stretched), so the muscle is essentially stretched without opposition. These positions should produce a feeling of mild discomfort but not pain. Static stretching results in little or no muscle soreness, has a low incidence of injury, and requires little energy.

These guidelines should be followed for safe and effective stretching –

  • Warm-up for a few minutes before stretching by walking, slow jogging, and light calisthenics.
  • Stretch to the point of discomfort.
  • Do not stretch to the point of pain.
  • Hold each stretch for 15 to 30 seconds.
  • Move slowly from position to position.
  • Perform each stretch at least twice.
  • Stretch after the workout; this may actually produce the greatest benefit because the muscles are warm and more amenable to stretching.
  • Perform stretching exercises daily if possible.
  • Proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation (PNF) is another effective and acceptable stretching technique. It is more complex than most methods of stretching, but it is the most effective. By combining slow passive movements (the force for passive movement is supplied by a partner) with maximal voluntary isometric contractions, you can bypass the myotatic reflex stimulation that accompanies changes in muscle and tendon length.
  • All variations of PNF stretching require a partner and some combination of passive stretching and isometric contractions. Two of the common PNF methods, contract-relax (CR) and slow-reversal-hold-relax (SRHR) are presented. For comparison, both figures exemplify stretching the hamstring group (muscles in the back of the thigh). The hamstrings are the antagonist muscle group, and the quadriceps muscles (muscles in the front of the thigh) are the agonists. For example, the CR method is performed as follows.
  • A partner gently pushes the upraised leg in the direction of arrow A. This movement passively stretches the antagonist (hamstrings).
  • The subject follows this with a 6-second sub-maximal contraction of the agonist (quadriceps).
  • This is followed by another passive stretch of the hamstrings.

This is repeated twice with a few seconds of rest between sequences.

  • The SRHR method is performed in the following manner:
  • A partner gently pushes the upraised leg in the direction of arrow A.
  • The subject then performs a 6-second maximal voluntary isometric contraction (MVIC) of the antagonists (hamstrings) against resistance supplied by the partner.
  • The subject follows this with a 6-second sub-maximal contraction of the agonists (quadriceps).
  • This is followed by another passive stretch of the hamstrings.
  • This sequence is repeated twice with a few seconds of rest between exercises.

Although PNF appears to be the most effective stretching method for enhancing flexibility, it has some limitations. It requires a partner, it produces more pain and muscle stiffness, it requires more time, and the risk of injury is increased, particularly when novices use this technique.

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healthy-kid

Measuring Body Fat

The only direct means to measure the fat content of the human body is by chemical analysis of cadavers. The information obtained from cadaver studies has been used to develop indirect methods for estimating fat content. Because these estimates are indirect, they contain some degree of measurement error and should be interpreted accordingly. These indirect methods are commonly used in exercise physiology laboratories and fitness and wellness centers.

Methods For Measuring Body-Weight Status

Height/Weight Tables

Optimal body weight is not necessarily reflective of optimal body composition. This was illustrated by a comparison of young and middle-aged men who were within 5% of their ideal weight as determined by height, weight, and frame-size charts. Although both groups were within the ideal range, the middle­ aged subjects had twice the amount of fat as the young subjects. Height/weight tables and scales are not indicators of body composition, nor are they reliable reference points to use for weight management.

Height/weight tables do not actually measure body composition. They simply act as a standard for total body weight based on height, body-frame site, and gender without regard to the composition of weight. These tables are therefore poor criteria for the establishment of weight-loss recommendations. The height/weight tables’ other limitations include the following:

  • Body-frame sizes were never measured for the thousands of insurance policy holders on whom the charts were developed.
  • The current tables are more liberal than the former tables with regard to the range of weight to height.
  • The tables do not reflect the general population. The subjects were predominantly white, middle class adults aged 25 to 59 who were able to afford private insurance.
  • The major limitation of the height/weight tables was that no allowances were made for cigarette smoking. Cigarette smokers are lighter in body weight than nonsmokers but have a shorter life expectancy. When some leaner than average people in this analysis died sooner than expected, it was not because of leanness but because many of them were cigarette smokers. The developers of the tables erroneously concluded that leanness was a detriment to longevity. As a result they increased the desirable range of weight to height, unwittingly contributing to the perception that mild to moderate overweight is not harmful to health or longevity.
  • Another serious limitation concerns muscularity. Those who are muscular may be heavier than the recommendations for their height. People in this category should not follow the height/weight tables because they are not at risk. Muscularity is not a risk for premature death but obesity is. Conversely, sedentary people may be in the desirable weight range for height but carrying a higher than average percentage of fat. The height/ weight tables provide a false sense of security for these people because over fat rather than overweight is the risk.

The case against using height/weight tables to determine one’s weight status or as a basis for making judgments about the need to lose weight is so compelling that your authors have decided not to present any of these tables in this text. Instead you are encouraged to select from one or more of the techniques that follow.

Body Mass Index

body imageAnother method for measuring body-weight status is by body mass index (BMI). Body mass index is the ratio of body weight in kilograms (kg) to height in meters squared. There are several body mass index protocols, all of which emanate from height/weight measurements. These protocols represent an attempt to adjust body weight to derive a height-free measure of obesity. Although BMI does not provide an estimate of percent body fat, it is more useful than the height/weight tables. BMI uses height/weight data, but it is more relevant and can be used to compare population groups. It also correlates fairly well with percent fat derived from hydrostatic (underwater) weighing. Also several investigations have indicated that the risks to health associated with obesity begin at BMI’s of 25 to 30 kg/m2 . There is a consistently high relationship between a high BMI and hypertension, elevated total serum cholesterol, depressed high density lipoprotein cholesterol, high serum triglycerides, and glucose intolerance.

There are two major limitations to using BMI measurements –

(1) The technique is misleading for individuals with greater than average muscle mass because it measures overweight rather than overfat.

(2) The results are difficult for the general public to interpret. Also the average person does not know how to apply BMI values to weight loss.

The first limitation is easily surmounted. People with large amounts of muscle tissue should be directed to use a technique such as skin fold measurements or underwater weighing to measure their body composition.

BMI is easily calculated. However, care should be taken in assessing weight and height. The following are minimal guidelines for determining body weight –

  • Weigh yourself on a beam scale (physician’s scale) that has been calibrated to zero.
  • Weigh in the morning, after voiding and before eating, while wearing light clothing and no shoes.
  • Make sure you are not dehydrated.
  • The following guidelines apply to the assessment of height
  • Create a ruler by marking a flat wall in 1/4-inch increments starting at 4′6″ up from the floor. The wall should have no baseboard and the floor should have no carpeting.
  • Subjects should stand erect, without shoes, and with their heels, buttocks, shoulders, and head against the wall.
  • Place a right-angle object, such as a framing square, a short piece of 2 X 4, or a clipboard, on edge against the wall and on top of the subject’s head. This should provide a straight edge from head to wall.
  • Read the rule for height to the nearest 1/4 inch.

To calculate the BMI find your height in the left column move across to your weight in the same row. The number at the top of this column is your BMI. For example, a man who is 71 inches tall and weighs 200 pounds has a BMI of 28 kg/m 2 . How much weight would he need to lose if he wanted to achieve a BMI of 24 kg/m 2 ? He can each calculate this from the table. Find the column his desired BMI of 24 kg/m 2 and drop down in table to the row with his height (71 inches). He should weigh 172 pounds to achieve a BMI of 24 kg/m 2. Then subtract his desired weight (172 pound from his current weight (200 pounds). He needs to lose 28 pounds to reach his goal. Now you should. turn to to calculate your BMI and your desired body weight.

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