Fitness Q&A: Chores can pay health dividends

Fitness expert, Namita Jain answers readers’ questions on fitness. Get your doubts cleared and see them featured on our FAQ page every Thursday.

This week’s answers:

I am in my second trimester. My ankles get swollen nowadays. Please suggest some exercises.
Saurabhi

· Stay off your feet for long periods. Prop your feet up on a stool. Take a brisk 5 minute walks to rev your circulation.
· Choose comfort over fashion. Choose accommodating footwear and avoid tight fitting clothes
· Massage your feet, legs, arms and hands. Soak your feet in a tub
· Drink lots of fluids. The more water you drink the less you retain.
· Keep Moving – exercise will actually help keep the swelling down. Walking, swimming or water aerobics are even better because the water pressure pushes tissue fluid back into your veins, from where it goes into your kidney to be excreted.

What exercise to follow to help reduce sciatica?
Prabhakar_n

Sciatica is nerve compression, and there is no exercise that can alleviate sciatica. Please consult your physician for recommendations.

Is it ok to follow up weights with cardio daily?
Goshal

Yes

I am 24 yrs old, 5 feet 6 and wt is 63 kg. But I have a bad double chin. Is there any exercise for this?
Tanu

To lose fat from any area (even your chin) you must exercise regularly – walk 1 hour daily, and eat low-fat healthy foods. If you lose weight, you will find that excess fat from your double chin will reduce as well.

After my disc prolapse some years ago, I have a feeling of losing my balance while walking at times. How do I improve balance?
Shuba

How is your back now? You need to check if you can do balance exercises with your doctor (such as standing on one leg or certain yoga poses).

Hi Namita, can you share some simple tips for housewives to stay fit?

Reshmi

Take the stairs
Take the stairs rather than the elevator. With practice you will be able to do this without getting out of breath.

Get moving
Get-up and walk around the room every one-hour of sitting. Remember to do this when you are watching the television or at the office to avoid stiffness and improve blood circulation.

Take deep breaths when you are stressed

When you are stressed take a few deep breaths. Deep, slow breathing results in a stronger and more efficient working of the heart and lungs.

Suck in those abdominals

Remember to keep your abs tucked in at all times. This will help strengthen the muscles and maintain better posture.

Make housework fun!

Realize that all physical activity counts and is good for you. Dust and vacuum to your favourite tunes and throw in a dance step or two along the way. Even chores like gardening or walking the dog can pay you health dividends.

Namita is a Clinical Exercise Specialist and Lifestyle & Weight Management Consultant. She is currently attached to Bombay Hospital as their clinical and wellness specialist.

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