Jan 26, 2016

Health and Fitness - She’s pregnant and exercising!

I have heard of those super ladies who train when pregnant. I looked in owe at the pictures of the model Sarah Stage who had her packs showing at her 9th month of pregnancy. But I thought only models and professional athletes did it!

Everything still sounded so unreal when I first saw live, in front of me at the gym, a lady training with Jeff* during her pregnancy.  Looking as fresh as a university student, you could not tell she was pregnant without examining her from side and seeing her not-so-generous baby belly.  Healthy and all fresh. This is all I could think about when I first met her… oh, and she was REAL!

But was it safe to exercise during pregnancy?

Doctors, researchers and trainers all agree that unless the pregnant woman is suffering from a major/serious pregnancy related issue, exercising during pregnancy is 100% safe. By exercising we mean everything that does not include receiving punches on the belly area.  So put your boxing gloves aside pregnant ladies and start searching for your alternative physical activity!
Pro-tip #1: avoid all exercises that include body to body contact such as football, softball, volleyball, basketball or similar, as well as any exercise that might include falling violently such as horseback riding.

If you already train and are experiencing a normal/healthy pregnancy, everyone (doctors, researchers and trainers) agree that you can proceed with your regular routine for as long as you can, ideally up through the first week of the 9th month of pregnancy!   On a side note, trainers would not recommend the supine position (laying down) but woud definitely give you an alternative for all those exercises you need to do in lying position!
Pro-tip #2: monitor your heart rate not to exceed 140 beats a minute (except if you are originally an athlete then you can train normally under the supervision and monitoring of your trainer! - lucky you).

Now, if you do not train at the moment you get pregnant but used to train in the past, you can pick-up your old habits gradually and start training again.

Finally, if you are lazy and have never trained before, or if you are scared to engage into a new training activity at the time you find out you are pregnant, you can always start walking and swimming; those two exercises are considered 100% safe to almost all pregnancies, including a large part of complicated pregnancy cases (however, if you are facing a complicated pregnancy you should always share your activities with your doctors).

Now why do women exercise during pregnancy?

Other than for maintaining their line and limiting their weight gain, exercising during pregnancy is of several benefits. Exercising during pregnancy improves posture, reduces back pain, discomfort and fatigue. Also, exercising during pregnancy reduces the risk of gestational diabetes and facilitates natural delivery.

For the safest pregnancy training? It is important to listen to your body, follow its pace and train safely especially for all exercises that have high intensity on the core (abdomen area).  For the best and safest results, train with a Personal Trainer; I personally already pre-booked Jeff in case I get married and decide to have a baby one day!
Pro-tip #3: wear a lose exercising outfit and keep yourself hydrated and safe!

*You can contact Jeff through his website on www.jeffhannatraining.com  or on his email jeff@jeffhannatraining.com. Also, make sure to like his facebook page: Jeff Hanna Training, in addition to following his Instagram on: Jeffhanna88

Jan 19, 2016

Men, women – 8 basic rules of when he cares enough

Few years back, “He’s just not that into you” movie came out.  Up until that time, I used to listen to some of my guys friends when they gave their friends excuses for not contacting me back: You’re a beauty, you intimidate men - You have a strong personality Maya, it scares them away - They just came out of a bad experience and are scared to give a similar one a try… Excuses I embraced for years: I couldn’t have known better, my guy friends definitely knew what they were talking about!

Being a psychology freak, I had a thrust to understand men and wanted to always dig deeper into men and relationships.

And so, I decided to follow the movie steps and write my own list of 8 things to live by and that show interest and care:

8- Every relationship is new
When a person likes a new person, it should all start from scratch. It is true we all hold a package from our past but we also should be open to new experiences and new chances; no 2 guys are similar, no 2 girls are similar and even when put in the same situation, each would react differently.  Relax, don’t pre-judge, don’t compare and give it a chance!

7- Good girls are hard to find…
So when you find a good person, keep her.

6- No one is ever “too busy”
Ever wondered how your friend’s fiancé can pull out 2 jobs and still take her out for dinners, while the guy you just met doesn’t seem to have time for a 2 minutes phone call? Well… a friend of mine once told me: honey, all guys work. They also all go to bathroom/food/coffee breaks with the phones in their hands… Do the math sweethearts!

5- Compliments are never out-of-date
Simple, exaggerated or complicated, a compliment is never out-of-date and sometimes a simple word can replace a long conversation (in case he’s too busy with work, you know, he could have slipped a sweet word in the morning…)

4- A date is not a date until he picks you up
With or without a flower, do not call yourself dating until he takes you for a first tête-à-tête dinner.  Yes, those still exist in 2016. No, not only hopeless romantics do that.

3- There is no such thing as too early
Whether it is for a kiss, a week-end escapade, meeting the family or hanging-out with the friends; there is no such thing as too early when a relationship is well defined and the couple is harmonious. When you hide something it means you are not convinced with what you have (this does not apply to updating every social media status you got! Do not flood your Instagram and Facebook with pictures yet!)

2- Settle
I have heard enough of the long lists of desires and needs, and of not wanting to settle for less than what you think you deserve. Relax. Just settle. You’ll never get all those boxes ticked off your list anyway so when you like a guy hard enough, breathe in and out and just go for it! You might fall for him and your list of desires will change overnight, just like magic!

1- Say you care!
There is nothing more important in any relationship that stating your standing; whether it is obvious or not, remind the other person that you care.  Hearing the obvious reduces stress and increases trust and satisfaction.

Hey guys, the above applies to you too!

Jan 13, 2016

Every dollar counts - December 2015 initiative

When I was a little girl I donated money into piggy-banks of various associations at school; Various occasions throughout the year were the occasion for representatives to pass between our school desks and offer us, students, smiles in return of small donations our parents asked us to insert in those boxes.

Those donations helped me realize the difference small amounts made in the lives of those in need.
As years passed by ad after school days, there were no more piggy-banks passed around and I noticed my donations were being rare, just as the donations of those around me. We were working though! We were all working but we were all on a budget. We could all donate small amounts but were “ashamed” to give it to any association, after-all what would 5.000 lbp do?

5.000 lbp… it would do little… but that same around did big when it was put in a piggy bank years back.

The Piggy Bank!

This past Christmas I decided to re-launch the piggy bank initiative myself between my family, friends and colleagues and decided to dedicate this first initiative to the Children Cancer Center of Lebanon. 

As such, I carried around a piggy bank around with me for over a month (and I can assure you there was nothing harder than asking people I don't know or I barely know for money and trust!).

Almost everyone chipped in.

Donations varied between 1$ and 200$.

There is this one time I was at a restaurant with a friend wanting to donate, carrying the piggy-bank inside and leaving it on the table, one of the waiters asked what it was about and generously donated.

Children opened their piggy-bank to “help buy Panadol” for the kids in need.

And a total amount of 1,126,250 lbp was collected over the course of 40 days and transferred directly to the accounts of the Children Cancer Center of Lebanon hoping it will be beneficial to add a pinch of health to the lives of those little souls who deserve to have a fair chance to experience life, in full health.

To everyone who helped, no matter how big or small your donation was, thank you.  

Thank you for your trust, collaboration, encouragement and big smiles.

A la prochaine!