Sunday, January 18, 2009

Newborn Exercise Basics

To begin implementing regular exercise with your newborn, you'll want to capture his interest first. Start by simply putting your new little person on a blanket to watch you exercise. Let your baby see you doing exercises, enjoying them, and looking and feeling great. Children of exercising parents grow up accepting the exercise habit as both natural and necessary, which is the first step on the road to an active and healthy lifestyle. Keep reading for suggestions on integrating physical activity into your newborn's routine.Why is it some children seem to develop at a faster rate than their peers? These children may have only one special advantage over others -- parents who actively care about their growth, both physical and intellectual. Sadly, though, many parents who are very concerned about mental development give little thought to exercising their babies.By the time babies reach the age of one month (or they recover their full birth weight), they need and enjoy movement -- and not just the moving they do on their own. At this stage of life, babies need their parents' encouragement to move. As the baby gets older, movement and exercise help him maintain balance, develop strength, and use new muscles. Exercise at any early age also establishes a habit of activity that carries over into adulthood.
What You Can Do
The first step toward promoting physical activity in your child is to be active yourself! A child's attitude toward exercise is definitely shaped by that of the parents. Active children generally have active parents who encourage their children to exercise. On the opposite side of the coin, inactive youngsters frequently have sedentary parents who do not promote physical activity.Try not to put your child in a playpen or crib unless it is nap time. When he is awake, give him every possible opportunity to crawl around on the floor and explore. If the child must be in a crib or playpen, supply objects -- rings that go on a spool, blocks, nesting boxes, toys with dials -- that stimulate manipulatory skills.You can start exercising your child when he is about one month old or has regained his birth weight. While any time is appropriate for an exercise session, bath time or the evening is probably the best. The session can be long or short depending on your child's response. Keep the length of the session consistent, and hold it at the same time every day. The idea is to fit exercise into the daily routine of both parent and child.If you perform the exercises in the same place every day, the child becomes familiar with the feel of the floor, the bed, or the towel. Consequently, when placed in that position, he shows readiness by kicking, cooing, twisting, and smiling.Dress the child in loose-fitting diapers, a swimsuit, other loose-fitting outfits, or -- if you and the baby don't mind -- let him exercise bare bottomed. The room temperature should be comfortable.If you turn on some music, you give the child a chance to make a pleasurable association between sound and exercise.Most important of all, make sure you exercise with the child!
As the infant grows older, the whole family should join in the fun. It has been said our overurbanized, mechanized society is driving each member of the family his or her separate way. A mother's or father's job may require them to travel extensively; children may be in a nursery school or a child care center; the mother who is not employed frequently devotes time to community or social activities. Consequently, the family has less time together to communicate, less time to touch, less time to share.
All too often, individual family members are involved in exercise programs that reduce their time together even more. Perhaps Dad plays golf, while Mom goes to a health club. These efforts toward fitness are often inadequate, and the absence of family members makes the family suffer. An opportunity for real family togetherness is wasted.
Learning together, touching, talking, and sharing improve human relations. Creating a family gymnastics program and enjoying it on a regular basis is a terrific way to enjoy time together as well as to keep in shape. After all, you owe it to your toddler, who, having enjoyed the diaper fitness program, expects to learn new skills.
Set time aside in the evening for play.Turn off the television and allow 30 minutes of gymnastics, tumbling-type activities, or family wrestling.

Friday, January 16, 2009

6 Embarrassing Pregnancy Symptoms

The unofficial new-mommy archives are overflowing with tales of pregnancy symptoms no one ever expected:
The pregnant obstetrician who threw up while examining a patient.
The pregnant graphic designer who insisted her husband developed a horrific and nauseating body odor the minute she became pregnant.
The pregnant administrative assistant who not only fell asleep at her desk, but also snored so loudly her boss heard it from his office -- across the hall.
And that's just the tip of the belly-berg. Experts say many of the unexpected blind alleys of pregnancy can take you by complete surprise.

Women think they are prepared, but no matter how much you read or talk to your doctor, somehow no one ever seems to prepare you for the quirky 'side effects' of pregnancy -- those weird and embarrassing events that can not only take you by surprise, but can sometimes even scare and worry you," says Stacy Quarty, author of Frankly Pregnant: A Candid Week-by-Week Guide to the Unexpected Joys, Raging Hormones and Common Experiences of Pregnancy
Quarty, also director of the Frankly Pregnant web site, says one of the reasons she wrote the book was not only to better understand her own "strange and embarrassing" pregnancy symptoms, but to let women know they are not alone.
"When you're pregnant you'll hear every scary labor story ever told, but no one will tell you about 'cheeseburger crotch' or a gas attack that can shake a room. You think you're the only one," says Quarty.
To help you know what you can really expect when you're expecting, WebMD asked Quarty and two top obstetricians to explore six of the most common "unspeakable" side effects of pregnancy -- and give you the tips and advice you need to handle what comes your way!
1. The Pregnancy Gas-O-Meter
If you're constantly trying to figure new ways to back out of a room, or you're certain your co-workers no longer believe there are plastic utensils burning in the office microwave, then you already know the embarrassment of passing enough gas to power a small compact car.
"When it comes to pregnancy side effects, excess gas is at the top of the list, certainly in the first trimester," says obstetrician Laura Riley, MD, a high-risk pregnancy obstetrician at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston.
Riley says problems stem from high levels of the pregnancy hormone progesterone, which slows down motility in the stomach, allowing more gas to build, and consequently causing you to expel it -- or to belch loudly when you least expect it.
The solution: Pay close attention to your diet. Riley says cutting out foods like beans or broccoli, as well as carbonated beverages including fizzy water or juice, can make a big difference. So can eating smaller, more frequent meals.
Riley says over-the-counter gas remedies rarely help. "It's not a good idea to take any medication you don't really need during pregnancy," she says. If, however, your belching brings on a bout of heartburn, Riley recommends Tums or any calcium carbonate product
2. Vomit Is Not a Food Group
The stories of "morning sickness" in early pregnancy are legendary. But what many women don't expect is how quickly they can go from feeling queasy to tossing their cookies -- sometimes in the most embarrassing situations.
"Nausea is pretty much a part of every pregnancy. But there are things you can do to keep it from escalating to the point where you are actually vomiting on someone," says Kathryn Macaulay, MD, assistant professor of obstetrics and gynecology at the University of California, San Diego Medical Center. One suggestion is to change the time of day you take your prenatal vitamins.
"Try taking them at night, and always take them with food -- this can definitely help with morning nausea," she says. If it doesn't, she says talk to your doctor about switching to a low-iron formula since that's one component that frequently contributes to nausea.
Additionally, try wearing an anti-seasickness band on your wrist. Designed to press on an acupressure nerve related to nausea, Macauley says it can also help morning sickness and reduce the risk of sudden vomiting. You can also try sucking on lemon- or ginger-flavored hard candy, or chipped ice, which has a similar antinausea effect.
3. When Pee Ruins Your Socks and Your Shoes
It's not just rumor, it's really true. Pregnancy and incontinence go hand in hand.
"I can remember during my first pregnancy I went for a walk, something made me sneeze -- and I felt this gush of urine. I tried to get home as quickly as I could, but another sneeze brought a second gush and, well, it wasn't long before I felt the warm trickle of pee down my leg, heading straight into my socks and shoes. I felt like I was 7 years old again," says Quarty.
The problem, says Macaulay, is your growing uterus pressing on your bladder, making it hard to hold even a small amount of fluid. While drinking less during the day can help if you're out and about, Macaulay says that also means having to drink more fluids in the evening -- which not only means up-all-night trips to the bathroom, but also the possibility of wetting the bed.
A better solution: Get going on those Kegel exercises -- muscle-toning movements that help increase urinary control. "Don't wait until after pregnancy -- do them now," says Macaulay. In the meantime, try wearing a sanitary napkin or incontinence pad for the times when sneezing takes you by surprise.
4. The Cheeseburger Crotch
While it may not be embarrassing in the public sense, it can certainly be a private source of chagrin. We're talking about pregnancy vaginal and vulvar problems, including discharge, an increase in odors, itching, and even a swelling of the vulva that Quarty and her pals nicknamed "cheeseburger crotch."
"My friend Grace and I named it that because it looks like you’re stuffing a cheeseburger in your panties," jokes Quarty.
Macaulay says once again pregnancy hormones and baby's increasing weight are to blame. Thankfully, there are things you can do.
She says wearing panty liners and changing them often will help keep your "v-zone" clean and dry, which in turn can dramatically cut down on odors, itching, and general discomfort.
"I don't recommend using an intimate deodorant or other scented products. Many women get vulvar burning and itching, which could cause other problems," says Macaulay.
Also remember that pregnancy hormones boost the olfactory sense, so Macaulay says don't be surprised if no one smells the body odors you insist are just horrific.
"What smells really, really bad to a pregnant woman may not even be noticeable to someone else," says Macaulay.
As to your "cheeseburger crotch," experts say it's a result of increased fluids and blood, which cause swelling in this area -- and it's normal. That said, Riley cautions that if your swollen vulva is also bright red or blue/purple in color you might have vulvar varicosities -- or varicose veins in the vulvar region. If so, staying off your feet as much as possible is important, as well as wearing an elastic under-belly support belt sold in many pregnancy lingerie departments. Make sure to discuss it with your doctor.
5. The Pregnancy Memory Bank Is Overdrawn
You pick up the phone to call a client -- and can't remember whom you're calling. You walk into the grocery store determined to pick up ... what? You can't remember. These are just two examples of "mommy brain," the absentminded forgetfulness that seems to plague most pregnant women, usually beginning in the second trimester.
While many lay the blame on all those raging pregnancy hormones, Macaulay says it's more likely mom's raging schedule is responsible for the foggy thinking.
"When you are trying to manage all your normal obligations on top of all your pregnancy symptoms, and your worries about the baby, yourself, your future, and maybe the color of the nursery, your mind just spazzes out from time to time," says Macaulay.
And while Riley admits it can be embarrassing, she says you can keep things under control by realizing you can't do everything at once. "Just recognizing that it's normal -- and that nothing is wrong -- removes some of the stress, which in turn can help your memory," she says.
6. World Federation of Pregnant Wrestlers
Whoever coined the term "never mess with a pregnant woman" knew what they were talking about. Indeed, Quarty says, pregnancy hormones can turn even the most timid woman into a force to be reckoned with!
"Not only can road rage take on a new intensity, but getting into an argument seems like a desirable challenge, especially to win at all costs, no matter who the opponent is," says Quarty.
Riley says pregnancy hormones can increase not only anger and aggressiveness, but also melancholia, causing some women to feel weepy over the slightest emotional event.
That said, she also cautions that reactions should be transitory -- and if they're not, something else might be going on.
Says Riley: "If you get to the point where you're always angry, or sullen, or crying for a good part of the day -- and you can't talk yourself out of it -- then you should speak to your doctor. Sometimes pregnancy brings out certain emotional problems, and it may be more than just hormones at work."

Get Rid of Double Chin

The face look of a woman can be improved by different makeup preparations, cosmetics and surgical operations. A modern woman could get rid of eye wrinkles by means of lifting. The lines around lips could be removed by an injection. Another injection would make the lips thicker. An expensive cream would make the forehead smooth. Contact lens, makeup, pilling, hairstyle – all this could make the face really beautiful. Only double chin is something that cannot be lifted surgically or cosmetically. Neck and chin normally betray the real age of the woman. But there is a natural method of getting rid of double chin and making the neck more beautiful, which is free, but effective. This method is facial exercise.
Exercises for Double Chin
Everyone can correct the form and size of their chin by doing facial exercises. The secret of these exercises is that they strengthen the muscles, lift the skin and reduce under-chin fat. When you do these exercises regularly, that is once or twice daily, you can feel the first results after two weeks. And here are the exercises:
Sit down straight. Tilt your head back. Pull down the neck skin with your hand collarbone-high and keep holding so while you are exercising. Then pull your lower jaw forward and press your lips together. Hold in this position for 2 seconds. Then release for another two seconds and repeat again. Make 30 repetitions daily. You will feel the neck muscles and skin stretching. One doing this exercise looks like a fish in an aquarium.
Lie on your back with straight legs and hands on the floor near your thighs. Press your chin to your chest and hold in this position for 2 seconds. Then slowly tilt your head back, then again slowly press your chin to you chest. Make 25 repetitions.
Lie on your back with straight legs and hands on the floor near your thighs. Lift your head up, so that your chin is the highest point of the head, hold it for 2 seconds, then slowly release and lay your head down. Make 30 repetitions. You should feel your neck skin stretch.

Breathing Rules during Exercising
While you are doing these exercises make sure, that the rhythm of your breath is the same as the rhythm of your motions. For example, breathe in, as you lift your head and breathe out, as you lay your head down.

Get Your Ideal Puffy Cheeks

Hanging skin, forming that hang-dog look, is very aging. The following exercises, if done regularly, will assist in lifting and firming the cheeks, and will promote an anti-aging and ageless look.
Cheek exercise 1
Sit upright with lips closed but relaxed. Pucker and pout your lips using your cheek muscles. (Use your fingers to make sure that you are using your cheek muscles). Keep your lips puckered for a count of 10 and then relax. Repeat 10 times.
Cheek exercise 2
With your lips closed, smile a relaxed smile, and then suck your cheeks toward and on to your teeth. Hold this position for 10 counts and then relax. Repeat 10 times.
Cheek exercise 3
Look into a mirror while doing this exercise. Pucker your top lip, turning the corners of your lips upwards and move your cheek muscles toward your eyes. You should at this stage get your top lip to touch your nose. Keep this position for 10 counts and then relax. Repeat the exercise 10 times.
Cheek exercise 4
Look in the mirror while doing this exercise. Smile as widely as possible (while keeping your lips closed and mouth corners turned up). Try to get the corners of your mouth to touch your ears. Next, wrinkle your nose and see your cheek muscles move upwards and feel these muscles work. Keep this position for a count of 5 and then relax. Repeat 10 times.
Cheek exercise 5
Keep your teeth and lips closed and blow air under your top lip and keep it there for 10 counts, then move the trapped air to your left cheek for 10 counts, then your right cheek for 10, then your lower lip and hold for 10. Relax. Repeat 5 times.

Exercise to get sexier lips

Face exercises are of great benefit to all people - women and men of all ages, helping to create a great, smooth, youthful, ageless face and skin. On this page, we will discuss face exercises dealing with the lips and cheeks. You will find, on using these face exercises regularly, that they will help to prevent and improve wrinkled lined lips and lined sagging cheeks.
Lips exercise 1
Sit upright and purse your lips together. Lift your pursed lips to your nose, as far as possible and keep them there for a count of 5. Relax and repeat 5 times.
Lips exercise 2
Pucker your lips slightly and in this puckered position try, with your mouth muscles, to bring the corners of your mouth together as close as possible. Keep the lips in this position for a count of 5. Relax and then repeat 5 times.
Lips exercise 3
Sit upright, keeping your lips and teeth together. Smile as broadly as possible, without opening your lips, keep the broad smile for a count of 5 and when relaxing, pucker your lips into a pointed kiss. Keep the lips in the "kiss" position for a count of 5 and then relax. Repeat the whole exercise 10 times.
Lips exercise 4
Move your lips into a puckered kiss and while relaxing the kiss, keep your lips closed and curl your lips into your mouth across your teeth. Hold this position for a count of 10 and repeat the exercise 5 times.
Lips Execise 5
Sit relaxed, with your lips slightly open and then pucker your lips outwards. While your lips are in this outward position, try and touch your nose with your top puckered lip. Hold this position for 10 counts and then relax. Repeat 5 times.

The Secret Of Eye Exercises for better vision

How long have you been sitting by your computer today? And yesterday? And the day before? How often do you work by your pc? Every day? Answer these questions and you will see, how often and for how long you strain your eyes and risk your eye health. The more you are sitting there, the more stressed your eyes become. Sometimes you experience headaches, eyestrain or even blurred vision, right? We all are humans and we all have to earn money, even if we have to sit by the monitor all day long. And yes, we all need some rest after work. Doesn’t matter, if this rest is also spent by the screen. But, please, don’t worry. I’m not here to say, you do something wrong. I would like to help you. How? I want to share with you some eye exercises, which will let your eyes have a little rest.
Why Eye Exercises Are Important for Healthy Eyes
Many eye problems occur because of the loss of tone in the eye muscles. The symptom of this is, for example, when one experiences slow refocusing when looking from the screen to distance objects. It means, that the eyesight has become weaker. Another problem is the tension itself. While you are looking at the screen, you are straining your eyes a lot, youb may feel your eyes irritated and dry, occasional doubling of vision or even changes in color perception. If it is happening often and for long periods of time, finally you may get a general feeling of tension and anxiety, your work may become less efficient. Both eye and general tension can be effectively reduced by eye exercises. Eye exercises also help prevent nearsightedness and other eye diseases. Try them, they are very simple, you can do them even at work. Relax your eyes, give them rest they deserve.

Eye Exercise 1
First of all, sit down in a comfortable position. Cover your eyes with the palms of your hands. Don’t press the eyeballs. Try to relax and watch the darkness for 30 seconds. Breathe quietly and deeply all the time.
Eye Exercise 2
Sitting in the same position, look up and hold so for 5 seconds. Then release. Now look down hold so for 5 seconds. Then, again, release. Make 5 repetitions.
Eye Exercise 3
Now look right, hold for 5 seconds and release. Then look left, hold for 5 seconds and relax your eyes. Make 5 repetitions.
Eye Exercise 4
If you have enough time, you can do the exercises very similar to the previous two: look up left and down right, and then up right and down left with the same periodicity. It will only help more.
Eye Exercise 5
Close your eyes as tightly as you can, hold so for 5 second and release. Then open your eye as widely as you can, hold for 5 seconds and relax. Make 5 repetitions.
Eye Exercise 6
Rotate your eyeballs 5 circles to the left and relax your eyes. Then rotate them 5 circles to the right and also relax.
Eye Exercise 7
Look at the tip of your nose. Don’t be afraid, cross your eyes! Hold for 3 seconds and relax. Then look up at the ceiling without moving your head, hold for 3 seconds and relax your eyes. Repeat 5 times.
Eye Exercise 8
Find any object which is near you, for instance, the “escape” button and focus on it for 2 seconds. Then focus far away through the window for 2 seconds. Repeat 10 times.
Eye Exercise 9
Standing in one corner of the room (or sitting where you are), scan the objects in the room with your eyes. Focus on the table, then on the clocks, lights, doors and so on. Do this for one minute.

Some Useful Tips for Your Eyes’ Health
While you are doing these eye exercises, take a few seconds to blink your eyes before you start doing the next exercise.Wash your face and eyes with cold water from time to time.Your eyes will also like a gentle massage of the eyelids and the surrounding areas.Make sure you consume enough vitamin A, which is good for the eyes health.Try to sleep enough.

Pregnancy Factors

A pregnant woman needs to increase her calorie intake by 300 calories a day to gain the proper amount of weight during pregnancy.You should consume at least 2100-2400 calories per day. A pregnant woman needs 75-80 grams of protein a day. Liver should be avoided in pregnancy due to reports that liver may contain levels of Vitamin A that may be toxic to you baby. Seafood is an excellent source of protein, however you must make sure that it is fresh and not high in iodine. Calcium intake should be 1200 mg per day and can be obtained from dairy products. If you cannot tolerate dairy products, your doctor may recommend a calcium supplement. You should divide your calories so that an evening snack becomes a regular part of your daily nutrition. You should have two servings of foods that contain Vitamin C.You will consume enough natural fats if you follow the diet recommendations.Trim excess fat from foods.Use lean meats and steam, bake or broil meats.Use olive oil rather than vegetable oils.Use low-fat dairy products, but avoid skimmed milk.The majority of your calories should be carbohydrates.Avoid empty calories such as cakes, cookies, potato chips, soft drinks, sweetened juices and candy.I ask patients to avoid artificial sweeteners even though no harmful affects have been attributed to them.It is also important to drink at least eight 8 ounce glasses of water a day.

A healthy pregnancy weight gain is 25-35 pounds. This is all accounted for by the pregnancy and the changes in Mom as a result of the pregnancy (SEE TABLE). The usual weight gain distribution is 5-7 pounds the first thirteen weeks, 10-14 pounds the second thirteen weeks, and 10-14 pounds the last 13-14 weeks.If you are not gaining enough weight, your doctor may add calories to your diet.


With some modification, your regular exercise program can be continued during pregnancy. Your heart rate should not exceed 140 beats per minute. You should exercise for thirty minutes, three times a week. Because your oxygen consumption increases during pregnancy, the intensity of the exercise should be modified. You must make sure that you are adequately hydrated at all times. You should stop exercising when you become tired. DO NOT PUSH YOURSELF TO YOUR PRE-PREGNANCY LIMITS. You should always precede and end each work-out with a warm-up and cool-down period of at least five minutes each.
Deep flexion and extension should be avoided. Due to hormone changes, the joints become lax during pregnancy and you may hurt yourself. You may continue weight training, however decrease your weights and limit the strain on your joints. Avoid exercises that involve deep knee bends and 'bearing down'. Jumping, jarring and bouncy movements should be avoided.
Competitive sports, such as singles tennis may need to be curtailed. But other activities, such as running, can be done until the end of pregnancy. I have had three marathon runners continue until labor !
Do not do exercises on you back after the fourth month. Full, strenuous activity should not continue for more than fifteen minutes at a time. As you progress through the months of pregnancy, your doctor should help you to modify your exercise regimen.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

10 Tips to Improve Your Speaking Voice

One of the most important components of public speaking is the sound of your voice. It influences the impact of your message, and might even make or break the success of your speech. Fortunately, for many people, good voice quality can be learned.
Instructions :
Breathe from your diaphragm - Practice long and controlled exhales. When you speak, use breath to punctuate your point. For example, take a breath at the end of each phrase whether you need to or not. Use that opportunity to pause and let the listeners absorb what you say.
Use pitch - Lower pitches generally are more soothing to hear. However, modulating your pitch for emphasis will keep your listeners engaged. Develop your pitch by practicing humming.
Moderate your volume - Find out if you speak too loudly or too softly. When you begin speaking, ask your audience how your volume is (each situation is different). Try to stay at the appropriate volume throughout your speech.
Moderate your pace - This one is also closely related to breath. If you speak too quickly, people can’t keep up. If you speak too slowly, people will lose interest. Record your speech to determine if you need to change your pace. Get feedback from others.
Articulate - Try exaggerating your lip movement to reduce mumbling. Practice articulating tongue twisters and extending and exaggerating vowel sounds. Become an expert at articulating tongue twisters as quickly and crisply as possible. Focus on the ones you find difficult.
Practice - your speech in advance and determine where you want to pause for a breath. For more emphasis, pause for more than one breath. Mark your breathing points in your notes.
Loosen up - before you begin. Look side to side. Roll your head in half-circles and roll your shoulders back. Shift your rib cage from side to side. Yawn. Stretch. Touch your toes while completely relaxing your upper body, then slowly stand up, one vertebra at a time, raising your head last. Repeat as needed.
Posture - Stand up straight and tall to allow full lung capacity and airflow.
Record your voice repeatedly using different ways of speaking. Determine which one is most pleasing.
Practice breath control - Take a deep breath, and while you exhale, count to 10 (or recite the months or days of the week). Try gradually increasing your volume as you count, using your abdominal muscles—not your throat—for volume. Don’t let your larynx tense up.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Finger & Wrist Stretch Exercise

Benefits:Loosens stiff fingers, hands and wrists. Completed daily for a few months, hands will become more flexible.

1. Starting with the right hand gently extend the fingers back one by one.

2. Then take them all back at the same time . This helps to stretch open your palm. Repeat several times.

3. Take your thumb back towards your wrist. Then bring it forwards, stretching gently and firmly. Never force it.

4. Finish by making a fist and slowly opening it, stretching your fingers and thumb out as far as you can

5. Put your palms together, fingers pointing upwards, as if you were praying. Stretch your fingers and press palms together strongly. Keep the base of your palms pressing together, as you gradually lower your hands until your lower arms are horizontal.

6. Then take your hands down still further, fingers and upper palms together. You should feel the stretch on the insides of your fingers and wrists. Hold for a few seconds, then repeat.

The Top 10 Reasons to Postpone Sex

Most of us beyond a certain age can think of at least one good, promising relationship we had that became irredeemable because of having sex too soon. I hear these stories frequently as an EQ and Dating Coach. Here are the top ten reasons to postpone physical intimacy.

1. STDs
Practice safe sex!

2. People regard sex differently.It can mean committment, or recreation, or nothing at all, or the best cure there is for the pain of another breakup - it varies. you will save yourself some grief if you get to know the other person well enough to find out what meaningthe act has for them.

3. Regardless of what you think (intellectually), sex has powerful consequences and implications.

4.Sex puts your feelings 'on speed,' magnifying and distorting them."Reproduction" is a powerful drive from the reptilian brain which is interested in survival, and sends us the strongest messages we have to deal with. When encountering situations of sex (or threat), our brains pump out chemicals designed to stop us from thinking. Is that really where you want tobe with someone you hardly know? At the crucial stage of getting to know someone, you won't be clear-headed enough to make good decisions.

5. Sex releases bonding chemicals. Do you want brain chemicals deciding to whom you become bonded? Stop, look and listen and you can save yourself the very real agony of breaking up with someone unsuitable that you've become attached to because of the sex.

6. Sex releases a stream of feel-good chemicals, particularly good for diffusing anxiety and negative states (including depression). In some residential drug rehab programs, for instance, participants are separated by gender because program directors have found that otherwise they'll just "fall inlove," the feel-good chemicals take over, and rehab ends. In other words, it can be a show-stopper. A little 'anxiety' is not a bad idea when you're getting to know a stranger, and contemplating a life partner. It's a time when you should be thinking as well as feeling, and a time when there is work to be done.

7. Sex narrows options. It can define the relationship prematurely, not letting in unfold naturally. It can become a substitute for the other forms of communication a developing relationship needs to sustain it. And, worst-case scenario, do you need the pressure of a pregnancy impinging on an important life decision? (Practice safe sex!) Some of the unhappiest people I know are those who felt they didn't have a free choice in marrying the person they married.

8. Anticipation is a sort of tension, but it's delicious. Don't deprive one another of that. You'll appreciate something more if you have to wait for it. That's human nature.

9. Engaging in sex too early implies a lack of restraint and lack of respect. It is human nature to conclude from an early jump into the sack that the other person has no restraint and won't be faithful, and also to doubt your own ability to hold to your standards where this person is concerned, i.e., they'll'make you write bad checks.' This is part of what's meant by putting pressure on the relationship. Those conclusions may or may not be true, but why complicate an already complex issue?

10. Having sex too soon truncates an important period of fantasy and dreaming. This is particularly important for men, who are said to "fall in love in the spaces." Men need the challenge and the work. Women ... need to remember that most men decide immediately whether the woman is marriage-material or not, and if he considers you the latter, he'll still have sexbefore he exits.