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The only constant is change

“an act or process through which something becomes different”

We live in interesting times. I discovered this quote is an adaption of a translated curse – “may you live in interesting times”. We would be lying if the collective events of the last month has not been difficult. In saying that we are mindful that we come from a perspective of privilege, just humbled by the collective trauma and grief around us. It has become very difficult at times to maintain a optimistic persona. As Naomi Osaka recently has said, “its ok to not be ok”.

As you likely know by now, our Namibian adventure was once again postponed due to Covid. We will be instead doing a blog on Addo Elephant National park, Mountain Zebra National Park and the Cederberg. We are so grateful to have had an exceptional Winter experience in the bush, amidst the collective national trauma and chaos. We can only pray that everyone is staying safe and your loved ones are too. It has been even more important for us to practice gratitude and maintain a healthy dose of perspective.

Change is inevitable, not only in the world around us but also in our bodies. This is typically a good thing – change is directed by forces in and around us to better adapt to our environment and sometimes our environment to us (although the latter is not as often a good thing). Embracing it is often very hard, most of us prefer the safety of consistency. We are all affected by the changes Covid has brought to our lives, with each wave we have had much of our lives upended. Let us continue to be resilient and adapt to each obstacle we face, both personally and as a community. This too shall pass.

“Be the change you want to see in the world” Mahatma Gandhi

Education Focus: Woman's Health: How our bodies adapt to change

In this blog I am going to touch on 2 life changing moments in the health or your body, Pregnancy and Menopause. These subjects are vast and very specific to your body, health and lifestyle. When embarking on any new program or routine during pregnancy or menopause you should seek the guidance of your Dr. I will discuss the basic benefits and risks of exercise in these 2 phases of life.

Pregnancy should be such a celebratory phase of life but often times it is stressful. Exercise can do so much good:

  • alleviate the pain and stress

  • boost energy

  • prevent bloating and swelling

  • gain muscle tone, strength and endurance

  • other health benefits are numerous and apply to all phases of life

There are risks too and getting the all clear is important, most especially if it is new exercise program. Concerns can relate to heart or lung diseases, pre-eclampsia or high blood pressure, cervical problems, bleeding or placenta problems.

Specific activities to avoid:

  • Scuba diving

  • Contact sport

  • Activities with a high fall risk or impact risk

  • High altitude

  • Hot yoga or hot pilates

  • High impact

Listen to your body. Your body is working harder already and if you experience any dizziness, cramping, headaches, shortness of breath or pain you must stop.

Menopause is not spoken about enough. It often signifies a stage of life where woman are most emotionally resilient and strong but can cause a whole lot of unwanted changes to your body. The hormonal changes and primarily the decrease in estrogen has long term consequences but many can be prevented with a healthy lifestyle including exercise. Seeking the advice of your doctor is central in the initial management of your symptoms and to ensure appropriate care.

Common symptoms include:

  • Sleep disturbances

  • Fatigue

  • Aches and pains

  • Genitourinary problems

  • Weakness of connective tissue supporting the pelvic viscera and pelvic floor weakness

  • Osteoporosis (loss of bone mass)

  • Sarcopenia (loss of muscle mass)

  • Cardiovascular disease

  • Etc.

Benefits of exercise are extensive:

  • Improved cardiovascular function with all associated benefits

  • Prevention of weight gain associated with hormone changes

  • Increase in bone and muscle mass with many associated benefits

  • Reduces pain - at all ages

  • Decrease stress and improve you mood

No mater what stage of life you are moving through it is never to late to start. Research says that 30mins of moderate exercise a day is all you need to offer substantial health benefits. Start small, take a walk everyday and build up from there. There is a variety of exercise options available today and it is so important you find what you enjoy as that will ensure consistency. Group training offers so many social benefits that will help boost your mental health too. Always remember that in a busy life you need to take care of you too!

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