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Being pregnant is a time of great joy for a woman and a couple, as they delight in the prospect of becoming new parents, plan for the birth of their child and look forward to this new adventure.
While this is certainly a cause for celebration, being pregnant can be physically uncomfortable at times, especially in the third trimester. A woman who’s expecting may experience sore muscles, back, feet and neck aches in addition to fatigue and morning sickness.
Most people would agree that a massage not only feels great but is an excellent source of stress relief, body and mind relaxation and a great way to take a break from daily obligations.
Pregnant women may find themselves worrying about the birthing process, especially if it will be their first time, the health of their unborn child and a myriad of other concerns regarding themselves and their baby. Luckily, prenatal massages can assist in providing some relief.
A prenatal massage helps to:
Even though it can be quite nice to get a massage during the first, second or third trimester, there are certain things mothers-to-be need to keep in mind to protect their baby. Even when administering a self-massage with a portable massager, it’s imperative that you keep the pregnancy in mind as it affects how the massage should be given.
Body position:The sitting position works well for prenatal massages, but it’s not a good idea for a pregnant woman to lie on her stomach, especially during the second and third trimesters. If you’re giving yourself a massage, sitting in a study chair is recommended; however, if your partner is using a personal massager on your upper or lower back, it’s best to lie on your side instead of face down, as this can actually cause pain in the mid-section and pelvic area.
Trigger points: Experiencing knots, or trigger points, is common among all people, so expectant mother are no exception. However, it’s important to bear in mind that the body is interconnected, so massaging one spot may, in fact affect another. For example, some pressure points in the wrists, ankles or feet might activate pelvic and/or uterus muscles, which could result in contractions. Therefore, it’s imperative to do some research first before beginning a prenatal self-massage or to only focus on light, gentle massage techniques.
Remember your whole body: While your back may be aching from carrying extra weight around your midsection, relieving muscle tension in other parts of the body can feel great as well. You may be walking differently as your belly expands, which could place new pressure on your feet. A foot massage will feel amazing, especially if you’re looking for plantar fasciitis relief. While you shouldn’t necessarily massage your stomach area, you can gently rub lotion over this part of the body, which can still feel nice and help with stretch mark relief. A hand or arm massage might also provide some relaxation as can a head and scalp massage.
Keep it light: Deep tissue massage and a lot of pressure are not suitable options for pregnant women. Instead, focus on a relaxation massage with gentle strokes and light pressure using the spheres on a Moji 360®. Massages don’t have to be intense to be beneficial.
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Is your daily routine negatively impacted by that relentless ache in your lower back? Can you feel it throbbing for attention as you read this? You’re not alone. According to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, around 80% of adults suffer from lower back pain at some point in their life.
Endurance athletes who take part in marathons, triathlons or century bike rides typically have fitness goals of strength and stamina. Your body needs to be strong enough to carry you long distances, and it needs to have the proper training in order to function for extended periods of time.
Before a race it’s crucial to plan a training program to prepare, and most of this will include running or cycling through intervals of faster and slower speeds, up and down hills and longer and shorter distances. It should also include cross training with strength exercises and core workouts such as Pilates for total body training.
Another factor that should be included in a pre-race program is athletic recovery and stretching. Whether you’re a new or seasoned endurance athlete, you’ll be putting your body through more intense challenges, which is sure to leave you with sore muscles from time to time, but it can also increase your risk of injury. To prevent getting hurt and having a setback, you need to take the proper precautions, which include stretching and massage.
A century bike ride will take you 100 miles, and it will certainly test your mental and physical prowess. This may seem like a lofty goal, but it’s certainly an achievable one that many endurance cyclists aspire to complete.
Being able to bike 100 miles requires serious commitment, dedication, planning and training. Once you decide to take part in a century ride, you need to starting working at least eight weeks beforehand to prepare your mind and body for the challenge ahead. Your training program should consist of long and short rides as well as intervals of different speeds, resistance levels, terrain and hills. It’s also a good idea to cross training with weight lifting to strengthen your muscles and exercises such as Pilates that provide stretching and improve posture.
Another key component is nutrition. Your body won’t be able to last long if it is not being fueled properly. Even slight dehydration can completely zap your energy levels and cause sore musclesand cramps. If this does happen, giving your muscles a massage can help. Additionally, eating the right amount of carbohydrates and fats is needed to fuel your muscles and provide you with the nutrients to keep you going mile after mile. You’ll certainly want to pack snacks to stop and eat during your ride to replenish fuel sources, curb hunger pangs and boost energy. Remember not to pack any foods that are too heavy or hard to transport. A muffin may sound delicious, but it can be messy to eat. Also, be sure not to try any new foods in case it affects your stomach negatively and you have to stop mid-race.
Here are some tasty, helpful snack options to pack for your century ride: