Tag Archives: Fitness

Should you have a baby over 40? Essentially Fit Radio Show

Essentially Fit RadioMarianne was recently interviewed by Wess Murray for his Essentially Fit radio show on the subject of “Should you have a baby over 40?”

During the 50 minute show they discussed a number of issues including:


  • Why you must take care of your joints during pregnancy.
  • Having a 2nd child later in life: what steps should you take?
  • Exercise after childbirth The pros and cons of having a baby after 40
  • How modern technology has made it possible to have children
  • How to have realistic expectations when losing weight after a baby

Click here to listen to the show

You can also download the show here from I Tunes

Common Pregnancy Pains. Did you know..?

shutterstock_82822033 Pregnant backMoms you are not alone!
Did you know “Fifty percent to 70% of pregnant women experience low back pain during pregnancy. In addition, 30% to 50% of pregnant women report low back pain severe enough to cause lost time from work. It’s more manageable, however, than most women (and their doctors) think”.

Did you know that physical therapy treatment is the best way to get rid of and to prevent back pain while pregnant?

Move Forward PT posted some great tips on how to avoid and treat pregnancy aches and pains:  Click Here


Wanna’ Get That Pre-Baby Body Back? Here are 5 Tips:

Woman Lifting DumbbellThis is a summary of a good article that I helped write for Move Forward PT. (see link below)

“While moderate weight gain is a common concern for women during and after pregnancy, there are many other factors to consider in the 4 to 6 weeks after childbirth. You may want to get back into pre-pregnancy shape immediately, but it is important to make a slow return to full activity.”

Here are some “tips on what you can do in the first 6 weeks after delivery to begin getting your body back into pre-pregnancy shape.”

  1. Get help with tasks. During the first 6 post-partum weeks DO NOT LIFT ANYTHING HEAVIER THEN YOUR BABY.
  2. Breathe. Your diaphragm works as a breathing muscle and is a major core muscle. Breathing exercises will help you to restore stability in your trunk and to regain tone in your core muscles, so you can achieve that flat tummy look.
  3. Focus on your core. After birth woman’s abdominal muscles are stretched out and can sometimes develop a separation, called diastasis recti.  During the first 6 weeks you can do some gentle Kegel and breathing exercises to get a jump start on your recovery. Avoid activities that put pressure on your abdomen such as getting out of bed by doing a sit up. A physical therapist can prescribe exercises to help “close the gap” between muscles.
  4. Strengthen abdominal and pelvic floor muscles.  Women can do gentle Kegel (pelvic floor) exercises immediately after childbirth, whether the birth was vaginal or by caesarian section. Strengthening the pelvic floor also can improve sexual satisfaction and help prevent incontinence.
  5. Every minute counts. Try to incorporate fitness into your everyday routines—such as taking a family walk around the neighborhood or doing your kegel and breathing exercises while you are nursing or feeding your baby. New moms should sleep whenever they have the opportunity.

Click here for the full article


Myth Buster on How to Prevent Heart Disease

ID-10024387By Marianne Ryan PT, OCS

An article in the online newspaper, Sott.net, has an interesting article about why eating a low fat diet will NOT decrease your risk of developing heart disease. In fact, low fat diets are the cause of cardiovascular disease!

Bet you didn’t know that.

Dr. Dwight Lundell, a heart surgeon with 25 years experience, busts the myth that heart disease is caused by high blood cholesterol. He goes on to explain that inflammation in the artery wall is the real cause of heart disease and how to prevent it.

Lundell explains why the mainstream American diet and obesity causes inflammation which leads to developing “heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes and finally, Alzheimer’s disease”. The two main culprits are:

  • Highly Processed Carbohydrates (sugar, flour and all the products made from them)
  • Excess consumption of Omega-6 Vegetable Oils like soybean, corn and sunflower that are found in many processed foods and used as preservatives.
    Click Here to read more.

Free Classes – Flatten Your “Post-Baby Tummy”

By Marianne Ryan PT, OCS,
Clinical Director MRPT Physical Therapy.

good mommy tummyWe are offering free classes to showcase our new post-baby exercise program for new moms.
The class will be taught 1 time per week for 8 weeks in our Physical Therapy Practice, we are conveniently located 1 block from Grand Central.

Participants must be willing to commit to attending all 8 classes and should be a few years Postpartum or less.

Our new series of classes start on Tuesday June 4 at 11am.

Please email at mrptny@aol.com or call us at 212-661-2933 if you are interested.
Our website address is www.mrptny.com

On The Radio…Women’s Health

Marianne Radio 1By Marianne Ryan PT, OCS
Clinical Director MRPT Physical Therapy

Earlier this week both Lila Abbate and I were guests on Karen Litzy’s weekly radio show “Healthy, Wealthy and Smart” on the Talking Alternatives network.

We spent about 1 hour discussing our “niche specializations” within Women’s Health Physical Therapy.

You can listen to the interview here 
I discussed physical therapy treatment for Prenatal / Postpartum issues and Lila told us how she uses physical therapy to treat GI / Bowel dysfunctions.

We both had a blast and enjoyed spreading the word on how physical therapists are the “go-to” medical professionals for musculoskeletal problems.
A recording of the show is also available on the Talking Alternatives website and is also available as a Podcast on iTunes.
Click here to listen to the broadcast. Or click here to get the iTunes Podcast


Want a Flat Tummy? Don’t Do Sit-Ups or Crunches (Part 2)

Core ex ball shutterstock_1110926[1]By Marianne Ryan PT, OCS
Clinical Director MRPT Physical Therapy                                 

It’s New Year’s resolution time, and you want a flat tummy. Do you want to learn safer exercises to flatten your tummy?

In a previous post, we’ve talked about why crunches and sit-ups are not such a good idea and how we need to be careful of exercises that cause downward pressure on our pelvic floor and lower abdominal muscles. Our core muscles are very important, and we need them to be strong to support our backs, help with stability throughout our bodies, as well as maintain normal bladder and bowel control.

So, how can we work out our abdominals safely?

The thing to keep in mind is that we have a few different groups of abdominal muscles. We are trying to avoid strongly activating the top group of muscles. This is the ‘six-pack’ group of muscles. It works when you cough and sneeze, and when you do sit-ups or crunches. It is also guilty of pushing our pelvic floor downwards, eventually causing it to fatigue, and losing it’s “trampoline like” support. Fatigued pelvic floor muscles can not support the internal organs, and will hang loosely like a hammock.

We discussed how your pelvic floor muscles act together with your lower abdominal muscles and how they are supposed to contract automatically at the same time. Instead of doing sit-ups, we are going to teach you how to activate your lower group of abdominal muscles. These deep muscles, called the Transverse Abdominus, wrap around the lower portion of our abdomen and act like a natural corset, attaching onto our spine.

How do we activate this deep set of muscles?

(Note: Please read disclaimer prior to performing exercises)


First, we have to find them with an exercise that will “activate” or turn on your core muscles.


  • Lie comfortably on your back on a firm surface. Keep your head relaxed. You may use a low pillow if you like.
  • Bend your knees and hips, keeping your feet flat on the ground, hip width apart.
  • Make sure you have the normal curve in your lower spine – try sliding your flat hand under your lower back to assure there is a small space.
  • Place your hands on the top part of your panty line, just inside your pelvic bones.
  • Now, perform a gentle pelvic floor contraction, as if you are trying to stop the flow of 1 or 2 drops of urine. At the same time feel your lower tummy move towards your spine. Keep breathing normally and quietly. Try to hold that contraction for 10 seconds.
  • Remember to be gentle! If your head has lifted, then the contraction is too strong – you don’t want to get those upper abdominal muscles working.

Got it? If you’re having trouble, try doing the same thing lying on your side. Let your tummy relax and bulge outwards, keep your hands on the top of your panty line, and feel your tummy gently draw in towards your spine as you perform a pelvic floor contraction.

Now, when you have the idea, work up to doing 10 of these in a row, with a 20 second rest in between each contraction.

When you can do 10 of these muscle activations in a row, you are ready to move on to something a little more difficult:

Blog Girl Leg Slide Back

  • Again, lying comfortably on your back with your legs straight.
  • First contract your deep abdominal muscles by doing the “pelvic-core starter” exercise (above). Place your hands on your panty line and feel your lower tummy drawing in towards your spine. Keep your hands there to monitor control, don’t let your pelvis wiggle.
  • Keeping that contraction, slowly slide one heel along the ground towards your buttock, until your knee is bent at a right angle and then slowly back down again.
  • Make sure you don’t wiggle your pelvis and maintain the normal curve in your lower back!
  • Repeat with the other leg.
  • Do this 10 times on each leg and work up to 3 sets of 10.

Well done! You are now well on your way to a strong core, the safe way!

Stay tuned for our next post, we will give you a few more exercises to try in part 3.

If you miss part one of this three part series click here to read it.

Note: Physical Therapy exercise pictures copyright VHI