Image and Lifestyle

Fashion, Style, and Professional Impression in Hong Kong

4 Deserts Race Sahara – One month to go!

Hello Friends,

It has been a busy few weeks preparing for the upcoming 250 kilometer 4 Deserts race across part of the Egyptian Sahara (http://www.4deserts.com/).  Little thought went into to the challenge ahead when I quickly paid the US$3,000+ registration fee… I simply felt drawn toward the excitement of discovering such a vastly different destination on foot.  Weeks later, I began to wonder whether this was a bit of craziness I had gotten myself into, considering I haven’t even attempted a basic marathon.  Fortunately, Racing The Planet, which organizes the event, has a pretty amazing team of people who have invited me on 3 different outings/events in August alone to prepare for the adventure, meet the like-minded enthusiasts, and mentally prepare myself.

Speaking of preparation, I have spent a small fortune on gear!  Who knew you could buy a sleeping bag that scrunched down to nothing and weighs just 1 lb?  How about Injinji socks – neat little things that individually cover each toe like a foot glove to prevent blisters.  Or, dehydrated meals?  I had never known they existed one month ago… and now I know the brands, freezing methods, taste differences, caloric values, etc.  Simply preparing for this race has become an experience and opened my eyes to an entirely new lifestyle available to me – to us all.

Honestly, I feel inspired already just from the people I’ve met and their positive energy for living cleaner, healthier, more fulfilled lifestyles.  They have a different look in their eyes – perhaps from the places they traveled and the challenges from past races?  A discovery of some kind?  Whatever it is, I want it… and I have one more month of training and preparation before my fight arrives in Cairo until I find it.  I’m on my way!

Filed under: 4 Deserts, Fitness - Motivation, Racing, Racing The Planet, Ultra Marathon, , , ,

Interview with Dr. Raymond Chan, Medical Director of Fit Health Physiotherapy Centre

Interview with Dr. Raymond Chan, Medical Director of Fit Health Physiotherapy Centre

Doctor Raymond Chan is the Medical Director of Fit Health Physiotherapy Centre in Causeway Bay.  The Centre specializes in physiotherapy for injury management and rehabilitation, personal training services, and a variety of classes for prenatal women and couples.

Do you offer workshops and/or classes for women and couples expecting a baby?

Dr. Chan: We offer workshop on breathing exercises and massage therapy.  This is a one-and-a-half hour workshop for couples to take during which the mother would learn the breathing techniques, her partner would also learn how to give clues to the breathing.  The partner will also learn the massage techniques for relieving common problems in pregnancy, such as neck and back pain, legs cramp etc.

What health services does your clinic provide for prenatal women?

  • Dr. Chan: We offer Pre-Natal physiotherapy for pregnant women with neck and back ache, legs pain, etc.  Our treatment will emphasize manual therapy, so that expectant mothers can be treated without the risk of side effects from medication.

Do you have classes for postnatal women as well?

  • Dr. Chan: Yes, we offer treatment for post-natal urinary incontinence.  This is done by female physiotherapist, using pelvic floor muscle exercises, biofeedback, and electrotherapy to stimulate the pelvic floor muscles.  We also have classes for baby massage techniques for any member of the family to join.

Do you offer OB/GYN services at your clinic?

  • Dr. Chan: We offer Musculo-Skeletal, Sports medicine, and Physiotherapy service at our clinic.  We are not specialists in Obs & Gynae.  We would like to keep our roles separate, and co-operate with Hong Kong Obs & Gynae doctors, rather than be their competitor.

How does your clinic differ from the Hong Kong hospitals who offer antenatal classes?

  • Dr. Chan: We are conveniently located in Causeway Bay, right above MTR exit.  Our pre- and post-natal exercise classes are available every day.  There is no joining fee or membership fee – you simply pay for the classes you take, and there is no restriction on which day you take it. (unlike some places, which only offer classes e.g. every Wednesday evenings, and you pay for each month, if you miss a class then you miss it)  Also our exercise classes are all led by registered physiotherapists with additional qualifications in fitness training.  The class size is kept small to maximum 10 so that the teacher can give individual attention.

Our pre- and post-natal classes are function orientated: pre-natal exercise class will focus on relieving the discomforts and preventing health problems, and breathing control to prepare for giving birth.  Our post-natal exercise will focus on “tuning” the muscles weakened during child-bearing and giving birth, and functional strength for taking care of babies; unlike many other places where they emphasize post-natal exercise as post-natal “slimming”

As a medical doctor, what recommendations do you have for pregnant women who want to begin an exercise routine or continue exercising?

  • Dr. Chan: I would recommend pregnant women to stay active throughout pregnancy.  If you are not used to exercise, the best time to start is after the first trimester – when then fetus is more stable and not yet too big.  The aim of exercise should be to maintain reasonable cardio and muscular fitness, rather than for peak sports performance.  It is always a good idea consult your medical doctor regarding any concerns and make sure you are medically fit to exercise before you begin.

Dr. Raymond Chan

FitHealth

SPORTS MEDICINE · PHYSIOTHERAPY ·  FITNESS

Rm 1401, Causeway Bay Plaza 1, 489 Hennessy Road, Causeway Bay

Tel: 3904 3388

Fax: 3904 3389

www.fithealth.com.hk

http://hk.myblog.yahoo.com/fit-health

Filed under: Baby Care, Classes, Dads-to-be, Education, Exercise, Expectant Parents, Health pregnancy, Healthy Eating, maternity, pregnant, Prenatal Health, Prenatal tools, , , , , ,

Dressing Your Bump: Maternity Style Solutions

Perfecting the art of dressing your bump in style is the first step to becoming a Yummy-Mummy.  Read below for the essential maternity clothing style tips:

  • Keep your sense of personal style.  A nine month pregnancy is not a small amount of time, so choose outfits that reflect your style rather than simply buying something because it fits.  Many of your favorite designers offer maternity collections and most large brands ship internationally.
  • Create a capsule wardrobe of 10 pieces which all work together.  Purchase basics in 2-3 neutral colors (black, brown, cream, tan, grey, olive, khaki, white, beige, navy) with accessories and layering pieces in 2 accent colors (bright red, soft pink, royal blue, lavender, etc)  with 1 or 2 patterned pieces (pattern should have at least one of the neutral colors and one accent).  Accessories should be neutral or in one of your accent colors.  This ensures everything easily mixes and matches for comfort layering and a put-together look.
  • Pay attention to the pattern.   Printed dresses worn alone and printed long tops paired with plain leggings/jeans are easy and stylish choices for Moms-to-be because they require fewer accessories and are easy to mix and match.  The right print will de-emphasize large hips and thighs.  Look for dresses with relatively smaller prints on the hips and thighs, and large pattern on the bust or upper torso.  The idea is to keep the eyes moving over your less favorite areas and more focused on your face or body parts you like.  As always, vertical stripes are generally slimming, and wide horizontal stripes should be avoided.
  • Try the celebrity maternity style by opting for non-maternity empire-waist dresses, stretchy skirts and jersey tops.  It is über stylish to dress in non-maternity tops and dresses if the fit is accommodating for your bump.
  • Style essentials: long maxi dresses, wrap dresses, maternity jeans, and a few figure-hugging maternity tops are key elements for your new wardrobe.
  • Ballet flats, wedge heels, and pretty flat sandals are beautiful alternatives to running shoes and flip flops –> but bring along your super comfortable shoes in the car or handbag in-case feet swell to uncomfortable proportions.
  • Pedicures, manicures, facials, blow-outs, spray tans, and lots of beauty sleep will have you looking polished and glowing.  When the hair and skin is perfect, you can just throw on a man’s white button down and look hot – so when all else fails, book a wash and blow-dry at your salon and you’ll be golden.

Share your own advice at the bottom if there are tricks and lessons you’ve learned along the way.

Filed under: Dressing Style Tips, Expectant Parents, Fall Fashion 2010, maternity, Pregnancy, pregnant, Prenatal tools, Shopping Advice, Uncategorized, , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Maternity Clothing – Essential Shopping Elements

Before considering which maternity style to go for throughout pregnancy, first consider these critical elements for when and how to shop for maternity clothing.

Maternity clothing – essential elements:

  • Shop maternity sales for high quality, understated basics as soon as you find out you’re expecting.  You’ll be wearing for the same temperature and season in your last trimester when you need them the most.
  • Avoid purchasing all of your maternity clothing at once – your style may evolve as your body continues to grow and change.
  • The Perfect Fit:  wear clothes which hug your bump and show your new curves rather than wearing over-sized clothing.
  • Choosing the right fabric is essential to maternity style and comfort.  Avoid woven materials which are non-stretchy and synthetic… opting instead for stretchy, soft, breathable fabrics.  Higher quality maternity clothing will hold shape and look fabulous, yet stretch with you as you grow.
  • Maternity jeans are essential.  Shop your favorite designers for their maternity styles and prepare in advance by purchasing during your first trimester… often helpful for a quick growth spurt and that morning when nothing seems to fit.
  • Wear your pre-pregnancy jeans into your third and fourth months with a “belly button”, Bella Band, or ask a tailor to insert elastic panels into each side of the waist-band.
  • Incorporate true maternity pieces into your wardrobe at the beginning of your second trimester so you get your money’s worth from the clothing.
  • Quality over quantity every time.  You’ll look better, feel more comfortable, and the clothes will be durable for repeated washing and … maybe repeated pregnancies if they are timeless classics!

Please add a comment if you have additional tips for all the Mums-to-be out there who have maternity clothing on the brain.  Stay tuned – maternity style advice is the next post!

Filed under: BabyBump, Dressing Style Tips, Expectant Parents, maternity, Pregnancy, pregnant, Shopping Advice, Uncategorized, , , , , , , , , , ,

Maternity Clothes in Hong Kong

Looking fabulous while preggers is easier when you know where to shop.  Below you’ll find my top picks of Hong Kong’s maternity clothing specialists and popular retailers who ship internationally to Hong Kong.

Where to buy maternity clothes in Hong Kong:

  • Bumps to Babes
  • Formes
  • Fragile Maternity
  • Jolie Maman
  • H&M
  • Linea Negra
  • Marks & Spencer
  • Mother Court
  • Nine Months
  • Sono Vaso
  • Twiggy Maternity Wear
  • Zara

The following retailers ship internationally:

  • A Pea in the Pod
  • Destination Maternity
  • Due Maternity
  • The Gap
  • Motherhood Maternity
  • Sierra Lane

If you have additional suggestions or comment for Hong Kong maternity shopping, please post the comment below or email me at jennie@imageandlifestyle.com

Have a great day!

Filed under: Expectant Parents, Fall Fashion 2010, Hong Kong, Pregnancy, pregnant, Prenatal tools, Shopping Advice, , , , , , ,

Fitness Studio Photographs – Be.

Photographs of “Be” fitness studio, approximately 1,000 sq. feet, located in-between Clear Water Bay and Sai Kung.

This private studio is complete with a washroom, garden patio, air conditioning, and new fitness/pilates equipment.  The location has plenty of off-street parking in a scenic mountain environment.

Filed under: Exercise, , , , , ,

International and Asian Races and Adventures

Hello Friend,

It’s time to consider entering a local or international event, race, or challenge.  These positive activities are perfect for meeting new people, getting inspired and fit, and discovering new areas.  Options are endless but include a walk for cancer awareness, a 5K run, a triathlon, climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro, hiking the Appalachian Trail, or even a Muddy Buddy race (pictured above my awesome BFF Emily in her recent Muddy Buddy race).   Check out different races and activities available in your area, or consider joining a competition in another country or state.  Below with links to websites with details of exciting competitions all around the world and in Asia:

Asia Races

Other International Races

Good luck on your next race!

Filed under: Exercise, Fitness - Motivation, Health, Losing Weight, Racing, Stress, , , , , , , , ,

Workout Music to Motivate – 3

Hello Fitness Lovers,
Move your bod with these 10 songs that flow with a workout perfectly from the minute you press play.  Crank it up and sweat it out!  Even if you just dance around in your socks in front of your mirror at home   🙂  To start us off right, a bit of Ton Loc  – Let’s do it!

  1. Wild Thing – Tone-Loc
  2. On to the Next One – (feat. Swizz Beatz) Jay-Z
  3. Booty Bounce Bopper – The Pack
  4. I Like It (feat. Pitbull) – Enrique Iglesias
  5. OMG (feat. will.i.am) – Usher
  6. Remedy – Little Boots
  7. Dance In the Dark – Lady GaGa
  8. I Like It – (feat. Dolla Will) Too $hort
  9. Work  – (feat. Missy Elliott) Ciara
  10. Erotic  – Keyshia Cole

Filed under: Fitness - Motivation, Losing Weight, music, , , , , , , ,