Heartburn or GERD can Kill

Heartburn is a common annoyance. The busy lifestyle, quick meals, fatty or spicy foods all contribute to the occasional need of a chewable pain reliever. The acceptance of heartburn as an inconvenient, but natural, part of the daily grind can blind you to the warning that a severe heartburn symptom can bring.

Heartburn as a Disorder

Heartburn can be a symptom as well as a disorder. Simple heartburn or GERD can be controlled and dealt with. However, heartburn can signal the presence of a much more serious problem. If it’s heartburn, you will have a burning sensation in the chest usually after eating. There may be a spread of the burning to the throat, sometimes accompanied by a bad taste, difficulty in swallowing, belching, coughing, hoarseness and/or wheezing.

It can become worse by lying down or bending over or by eating. Relief can come from an antacid. While the more severe heartburn symptoms may be mistaken for a heart attack, simple heartburn is usually not made worse by exercise. If there is any concern that the pain may signal a heart attack, get help quickly.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Ballet Barre Basics

By Sarah Wilkiamson

1. Know the six positions:

First - keeping heels together, turn the feet outwards so that the toes point to the side.

Second - this is the same as first position except there is a 12in gap between the feet.

Third - feet should be as in first position, but the arch of one foot should rest against the heel of the other foot.

Fourth Position: Same as third position but your feet are between six inches and a foot apart.

Fifth Position: Same as fourth position but your heel is on top of the big toe.

Six - seldom used but where the toes of both feet are pointed forwards.

2. Do Plies exercise. Beginner level will do plies in the first two positions (first, second). Intermediate and advanced will do plies in every position except the third and sixth.

3. Tendu steps begin in 5th position. Extend the foot forward, push to the side, and then back before completing the step where you started in fifth.

4. Position yourself on the barre. Either with your left hand or facing forward. Beginner level dancers usually face the barre and intermediate and advanced dancers begin with their left hand placed on the barre.

Barre Leg Exercises:

1. Stand up straight with your feet in fifth position. Either face the barre or stand at a right angle to it depending on your ballet skill level.

2. Lift one leg forward or to the side, keep your leg straight and as elevated as you can. Point your foot when it leaves the floor. Both knees have to be straight. Never lift your buttocks or hips to get your leg elevated. Always turn out, do not turn your leg in.

3. Keeping your leg in place, let go of the barre. This exercise will increase your strength. Remember to stand straight.

4. Maintain your technique and posture by returning to the standing position in which you first started the exercise.

Ballet Tips:

1. It takes years of training to become a ballet dancer. Don't get discouraged. Keep up the practice and you will improve.

2. Ballet shoes are often purchased when you enroll in ballet school or a specialized dance store.

3. While ballet requires most of your body to keep its lines, toes and fingers are allowed more movement. Show energy by using them to interpret the music and engage the audience.

4. Costumes can be expensive. If you don't have money for a new one try to find a second hand costume in a consignment store. Alternatively have a family member make one for you, or if no-one sews, engage the services of a seamstress - make sure you leave plenty of time for this however as you may have to reserve her services several weeks in advance.

5. Pointe work isn't for everyone. The body needs to be strong enough to support your weight. The years of strengthening exercises will help with this but it could be that your body isn't yet able to do this. If not, then continue with your exercises but take part in ballet work that doesn't need you to be up en pointe such as modern ballet or jazz ballet. All forms of ballet will give your body flexibility that will help you as you get older.

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