Tag Archive | Fitness

The Essentials in Women’s Health and Fitness

The Beth Chatto Gardens – (S)weeping into Pink!
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Image by antonychammond
One of the greats of British gardening, Beth Chatto OBE has entered the realm of national treasuredom. Plants-woman, designer, author, 10-time gold-medal winner at Chelsea, holder of the Royal Horticultural Society’s Victoria Medal of Honour and, of course, the owner of the celebrated Beth Chatto Gardens at Elmstead Market, near Colchester, in Essex – her horticultural skills seem boundless. With the concept of “right plant, right place” – in other words, put a plant in conditions close to its natural habitat and it will thrive without help – running as a thread throughout her career, she has inspired a generation of gardeners to take their lead from nature.

The garden has been the inspiration for many of her influential books, including The Dry Garden (1978), The Damp Garden (1992) and Beth Chatto’s Gravel Garden (2000). It was created on land that was previously part of a fruit farm, owned by her late husband, Andrew, 14 years her senior, whom she married in 1943. “We met during the war,” she says. “I was a schoolgirl of about 17, considering going to college.”

A scholarly man, who died in 1999 after suffering from emphysema for 25 years, Andrew devoted much of his life to research into plant habitats. Chatto says it was he who inspired her interest in gardening and refers to him frequently, modestly deferring to his superior knowledge. “He’s such an important influence in my life,” she says. “My parents were keen, but they had a conventional garden, using mostly cultivars.”

The couple lived initially in his parents’ in Colchester, but in the late 1950s moved to a modernist house they’d built on the edge of the farm – where Chatto still lives today. Even inside, the garden is a constant presence. Large windows frame views and vignettes of the planting on every side and invite a tapestry of textures, colours and shapes into the house.

Chatto credits her husband almost entirely for her success. “My two daughters were teenagers before I began to think about making a business,” she says. “Andrew had looked after us and given me the security and freedom to experiment.” Her husband’s failing health and the trials of running a fruit farm concentrated her mind on developing the garden commercially, though what we see today took time to emerge.

“For the first seven or eight years, much of the land was a wilderness,” she recalls. Yet there were assets, too, not least a rare natural water source in the drought-prone east of Essex, where rainfall can be as little as 20in a year. “There were a few fine 300-year-old oaks and a spring-fed ditch ran through the hollow.” Today, the ornamental gardens cover about five acres; a further 10 are occupied by the nursery, which opened in 1967, and working areas.

Finding water was not the only challenge. “There was land that was so dry, the native weeds curled up and died. That eventually became my gravel garden,” she says. This she created in 1991, on the site of a car park. Apart from watering in the young, drought-tolerant plants during the first year, she has never artificially irrigated it.

Chatto has a knack for turning problem areas into an asset, and there are several distinct areas in the garden, each requiring a different approach. The large water gardens are dominated by a series of ponds surrounded by bog plants and swathes of lush grass. A long, shady walk runs parallel to one of the boundaries. Here, shade-tolerant planting – including ferns, tiarella and pulmonaria – carpet the ground beneath oaks and other specimen trees added by Chatto. By contrast, the gravel area is a mass of sun-loving perennials, with asters, rudbeckias and sedums glowing through hazy grasses.

The garden may have started out to give pleasure to a family, but it has developed into a self-contained horticultural powerhouse, attracting visitors from all over the world – about 40,000 a year. “It’s like sowing an acorn, which is my symbol,” says Chatto. “I have an acorn and an oak tree on a weather vane, which was a wonderful present from my staff.” Incredibly, it is tended by only one full-time and four part-time gardeners and volunteers – many of whom are foreign students. Chatto remains resolutely hands-on and is keen to pass on the knowledge she has gained through experience.

Chatto uses grasses brilliantly, and was doing so long before it became fashionable. She creates seemingly effortless but thoroughly satisfying combinations. Therein lies her genius – there may be others out there with an equal understanding of plants, but nobody else has her eye. Shape, scale, proportion, texture, colour – all are balanced with the skill of a plate-spinner.

She also factors in horticultural considerations – how big a plant will get, how fast or slowly it will grow, what conditions it needs to thrive and how it is maintained. The result is a garden that works on every level – practical, horticultural and aesthetic – with layer upon layer of carefully placed plants, as enticing asmillefeuillepastry. It all seems entirely uncontrived, but, on closer inspection, one notices geometric lines and angles. The big picture is built up gradually, with small groupings of three or more plants forming a satisfying melange of verticals and horizontals, and fluffy and solid plants. “I need the trees and shrubs to form a background, to paint the sky and lead the eye upwards towards the clouds,” Chatto explains. “Then one adds the embroidery, which I enjoy so much.” Nothing is allowed to get out of hand, but stagnation is not an option, either. “A garden is not a picture hanging on a wall,” she says. “It changes not only from hour to hour, week to week or month to month, but from year to year.”

Chatto has certainly noticed the effects of climate change. Drought is nothing new in her part of the world, where (the past two years aside) there is sometimes no rain for up to 10 weeks in the summer. “The most interesting change is the lack of cold weather,” she says. “Only 10 years ago, we had icicles hanging down, and when the children were little, they used to skate. Now we hardly have enough ice to bear a duck.” From an article by Rachel de Thame

Please visit www.bethchatto.co.uk/ for further information about this inspirational gardener and garden.

Women have very complex health issues right from their teens including menstrual periods, pregnancy, and menopause. All these stages are part of a normal cycle in a woman’s life, but which can take a serious toll on her health at times. Let us explore together what are the main health hazards a woman faces and how to handle the same naturally.

Everyday Health Issues

The main issue a woman will face all her life is the hormonal imbalances, which inevitably leads to a number of other health related issues and hazards, such as during monthly periods you will experience moods swings, from irritability to extreme sadness and sometimes depression. The same or worse hormonal imbalances occur during pregnancy and menopause as well.

All these instances are perfectly normal in a woman life and you will simply not be able to put them away. Therefore, it is important you learn how to handle women’s health and fitness in order to deal with every single one of these instances.

First things first, you need to educate yourself about your body and why some hormonal imbalances take place, as well as how it effects you and your body. Once you understand why you are having all the unusual symptoms you will be able to find a cure or handle them differently.

The right women’s health and fitness approach is to ensure regular doctor’s visits. Doctor’s visits provide an update on what your health state is, and also information on how to handle different situations.

Helpful Tips

Spend time educating yourself and handling normal situations such as monthly menstrual-related mood swings, which also occur when you will be pregnant or when you have menopause. Therefore, getting yourself into a habit of recognizing this state of mind and finding solutions for it will improve your health and life style greatly.

There is specific women’s health and fitness centers, which can help you handle any given situations should you seek for help, which is indicated if you feel you need assistance. Women’s health and fitness programs will teach you to relax and approach the issue through different sources such as, meditation, exercise and even medication.

Women’s health and fitness rely greatly on activities, eating habits and surroundings. A little help during those hard times in your life will only be a helping hand and a stepping stone to a happier, healthier life. Approach a women’s health and fitness center today, personally or via e-mail and find our how you can make the best of your life every single day.

Eddie Lamb publishes an abundance of information on a range of topical subjects. This article The Essentials in Women’s Health and Fitness, is just one of a host of useful articles about Womens Health listed on our site map at Womens Health Prognosis.

Health and Fitness During Pregnancy

Surrogate Motherhood and the Politics of Reproduction
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Image by DES Daughter
Susan Markens takes on one of the hottest issues on the fertility front—surrogate motherhood—in a book that illuminates the culture wars that have erupted over new reproductive technologies in the United States. In an innovative analysis of legislative responses to surrogacy in the bellwether states of New York and California, Markens explores how discourses about gender, family, race, genetics, rights, and choice have shaped policies aimed at this issue. She examines the views of key players, including legislators, women’s organizations, religious groups, the media, and others. In a study that finds surprising ideological agreement among those with opposing views of surrogate motherhood, Markens challenges common assumptions about our responses to reproductive technologies and at the same time offers a fascinating picture of how reproductive politics shape social policy.

More information

AmazonRead Chapter 1

Related post

How it would help DES Daughters and Sons if Surrogacy was legalized in all States

Did you know that it is possible for a woman to be pregnant and not gain excess weight? There are simple means on how to make this happen. The woman needs to basically live a more positive health and fitness fit lifestyle and complement good foods with regular exercises.

It is a dream of every woman to be a mom. However, pregnancy is a difficult stage. Usually, the period is associated to excessive weight gain. Did you know that it’s possible for a pregnancy without pounds? Some think pregnancy naturally comes with added weight. Now is the time to think otherwise.

Pregnancy has always been regarded as an excuse to indulge. Normally, women tend to overeat when they are expecting. There can be changes in appetite, but it is always the case. Women think they can still gain weight anyhow. So why not just enjoy gaining added pounds? No wonder, pregnant women are usually overweight.

Pregnancy is a long nine months. Imagine how much food a woman can indulge in. Thus, women retain much weight after child labor. The problem is that it is harder to lose weight after pregnancy. You should rather avoid getting too overweight in pregnancy. This is to avoid having regrets in the end.

The concern should not always be figure and aesthetic wise, but should be more about health and fitness overall. Moreover, pregnant women should think about health above all. When you gain much weight, you compromise your overall fitness.

How can you prevent adding pounds during pregnancy? Self-control is the best way. You can always have a say on what and how much you eat. Eat nutritious foods for you and your baby. Foods like ice cream, chips and candies contribute to much weight gain. Unfortunately, they are also not nutritious. What you eat is shared to the baby. If you prefer to consume nutritious foods, nutrients are shared with the baby. Appropriate foods are usually not fat accumulating.

To stick to your figure and health, go for the better foods. Moreover, avoid junk foods and candies or sweets. They are not healthy, but are greatly fattening. Complement good food with regular exercise. Exercise routines eliminate excess fat deposits. They also improve blood circulation. Pregnant women who exercise are healthier. They can maintain ideal weight and figure. Moreover, their pregnancy will be much easier and comfortable.

You can easily have pregnancy without having to accumulate added excessive pounds. If you consume good food and exercise, you can do so. It is not that hard as you think. Pregnant women should still carry and maintain strong will in making it happen. If they aim not to gain much weight, they certainly could do so.

Health and fitness should not be compromised during pregnancy. While it is true that there is a greater urge to eat, there should be better self control imposed. After all, overindulgence could lead to excessive weight gain, which in turn could bring about a host of many other health issues and possible fatal diseases.

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Can A Woman Achieve Her Fitness Goals In A Health Club?

Health Care
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Image by Neil. Moralee
Health & Wellbeing

One of the saddest reasons some people give when giving up their dream of a new life in the Spice Island is health and wellbeing, the problem is the price, availability and quality of health care in their new country, you also need to consider the health care facilities; long term and respite care for all your family and just don’t bury your head in the sand! If you consider the worst case scenario and plan against it, chances are you will be prepared for everything and will survive.

If you’re reading this article, then we’re going to assume that you already know you need anaerobic exercise (resistance training) to be truly fit for life. You’re not the average woman. You’re concerned about fitness and you’re probably a member of a health club. More than likely, you hit the gym pretty hard at least three times each week, using all of the fitness equipment and working on your curves.

But are you achieving your weight loss goals? Are you the sexy woman you want to be? You know that maintaining your health and fitness is the surest path to being a beautiful woman, but are you happy with the progress you’ve made so far?

Maybe the problem is that you’ve been doing the wrong exercises the wrong way. As they say, knowledge is power, and if you’re going to achieve true lifetime fitness it’s important to understand exactly what type of resistance (weight) training is best for a woman, how many repetitions (reps) you should do, how many sets you should complete and how often you should exercise.

The purpose of this article is to help you understand that HOW you exercise is critical to your overall physical fitness. In other words, just being on a fitness program will not turn you into Wonder Woman. But being on the RIGHT fitness program will.

Some Women’s Fitness Definitions:

Resistance (weight) training is extremely important for women. Without it, you’ll never be the fitness girl you want to be. Before we continue with this discussion, it’s important for us to pause and define some resistance exercise terms:
1. Resistance Training: Exercise that utilizes progressive resistance movements to build strength.
2. Repetition: An individually completed exercise movement. Repetitions are usually done in multiples. Commonly referred to as a rep.
3. Set: A group of repetitions of an exercise movement done consecutively, without rest, until a given number (or momentary exhaustion) is reached.
4. 1RM: One Repetition Maximum. The maximum resistance with which a person can execute one repetition of an exercise movement.

Example: If you are doing dumbbell arm curls to work your biceps, you start with the dumbbells in each hand and your arms fully extended downward. Keeping your elbows locked at your side, you lift each dumbbell upward by contracting your biceps. When your biceps have lifted the dumbbells as high as they can, your hands will be up close to your chin. This is called the ‘top’ of the movement. To complete the repetition, lower the dumbbells slowly to the starting position. That’s one repetition of dumbbell curls. Resistance training is commonly done in sets of repetitions. In this example, perhaps you’d do three sets of ten repetitions so you would fully complete thirty dumbbell arm curls.

We know that women need to resistance train, and we also have some working knowledge of exactly what resistance training means. With that information fresh in our minds, let’s take a look at the reason why most women don’t train this way.

I Don’t Want To Look Like Arnold!

Many women fear that resistance training (or weight lifting) will make them ‘get big’ or appear bulky. Well, fear not! Engaging in resistance exercise will not make you big or bulky, ladies. Let’s take a look at why.

First and foremost, most women do not have enough testosterone in their system to get huge muscles. That’s the bottom line, and that’s the top reason why you will not ever get huge muscles no matter how much you resistance train. Just about the only way for a woman to get large muscles like a man is to alter her hormonal balance through the use of anabolic steroids that mimic the action of testosterone. If you’re not doing anabolic steroids, you have nothing to worry about.

Secondly, even if you wanted to get huge Arnold-like muscles it would be next to impossible. Right now, this very moment, I can guarantee you that there are millions of men trying to get huge muscles. Very few of them are successful, and men have all the testosterone.

The third reason why resistance training (weight lifting) will not give women big, huge muscles is that women rarely perform lifts that will give them large muscles. There are several different ways to weight train, and most people have no idea how to train to achieve their goals.

If your goal is to have lean, toned muscle without a lot of size, then you should be doing high repetitions with a relatively low amount of weight (resistance). You can lift this way all day long and you will not develop huge muscles. This approach to resistance training will accomplish two things: burn fat and tone muscle. That’s it.

If your goal is to increase muscle size, then you should be lifting relatively heavy weights (resistance) about 6-8 times per set. The weight selected should be about 80% of your 1RM. For example, if the most you could ever bench press once is 100 lbs. (your 1RM), then to gain size you would want to be bench pressing about 80 lbs. 6-8 times per set. Compare this to the training of someone who wants to burn fat and tone muscle. The person who wants to gain muscle size keeps the weight much higher and does fewer repetitions.

Finally, perhaps your goal is to gain extreme strength. An example of this would be a powerlifter. Resistance training to gain strength would require you to lift as much weight as possible, but only one time (one repetition). Obviously, this method will not burn as much fat. It will also not create HUGE muscles, but it will result in some muscle growth above and beyond what most women find appealing.

To summarize, there are three different ways to resistance train and the vast majority of women do not train in such a way that they will end up building huge Arnold-like muscles. Even if you wanted to build large muscles, it is extremely unlikely that you would be able to do so (unless you’re taking anabolic steroids!) because women simply don’t have the same body chemistry as men.

Okay, so let’s summarize the reasons why resistance training will not make women big or bulky:
1. Most women do not have enough testosterone in their system to get huge muscles.
2. Even if you wanted to get huge Arnold-like muscles it would be next to impossible because building huge muscles is not easy.
3. Women rarely perform lifts that will give them large muscles.

The bottom line is that for women to get big and bulky, they would need to very consciously TRY to get big and bulky. It would require a certain type of lifting, a tremendous amount of effort, a certain type of equipment and probably regular doses of steroids. So you see, there really is no danger that any of us will turn into Arnold or Rocky Balboa.

A Positive And Negative Fitness Workout:

There are two movements in any resistance training (weight lifting) exercise. These are called the concentric and the eccentric parts of the exercise, also commonly referred to as the ‘positive’ and ‘negative’.

The concentric (positive) part of the resistance training movement is defined as “Muscle action in which the muscle is shortening under its own power” (Source: Fitness, The Complete Guide; ISSA 2001). Examples would be pushing the bar away from you on a bench press, or lifting the bar towards your chin on a biceps curl.

The eccentric (negative) part of the resistance training movement is defined as “Muscle action in which the muscle resists while it is forced to lengthen” (Source: Fitness, The Complete Guide; ISSA 2001). Examples would be lowering the bar on a bench press, or lowering the bar away from your chin on a biceps curl.

The point to be made here is that the eccentric part of the resistance training movement is the component that will lead to extensive muscle growth. The eccentric (negative) is what actually causes the vast majority of the muscle growth in resistance training. The concentric (positive) tones the muscle.

Female Fitness Tips:

Armed with that background knowledge on the three different ways to resistance train and the two different movements in any resistance training activity, we’re ready to examine how a woman should approach her gym workout. You deserve the best weight loss program possible, and the goal is to help you get the most out of your gym membership.

For women to experience fast weight loss, they must engage in resistance training designed to accomplish that goal. You should be lifting relatively light weight and doing high repetitions. By high, we don’t mean 10-12 either. We’re talking about 60-75 repetitions total, completed in three sets of 20-25 reps per set. Higher repetitions with lower resistance will burn fat and tone muscle, but will not lead to extreme muscle growth.

Women should train often enough to achieve their weight loss goals, which generally means at least three times per week. However, many women want to get into the health club more often than that in order to accelerate their results. The only reason to resistance train less often than every day is concern about muscle damage that can occur with use of free weights or weight stacks. As we already discovered in our discussion of eccentric (negative) and concentric (positive) resistance training movements, it is possible to damage muscle tissue when using free weights or weight stacks.

So when it comes to training frequency, women who are using free weights or weight stacks should keep their resistance training to every other day at most. This will allow the muscle time to recover between workouts and minimize the risk of injury.

To summarize, women on a fitness quest should remember these health club tips:
1. Use relatively low weight, maybe 50% of your 1RM.
2. Do high repetitions. 20-25 reps per set should be about right.
3. Perform at least three sets of each resistance training exercise.
4. If you’re using free weights or weight stacks, train every other day at the most.

Following these suggestions will help you lose weight and tone up without any risk of turning into a muscle woman so huge your kids won’t recognize you.

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