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UNDERSTANDING ABDOMINAL SEPARATION DURING PREGNANCY

Written by RACHEL LIVINGSTONE

Many pregnant women worry about separation of their abdominal muscles during pregnancy, so it’s a good idea to understand what it is, why it occurs and how you can manage it.

DRAM stands for diastasis of the rectus abdominis muscles and refers to the separation of the linea alba, or connective tissue, that joins the 2 strips of the rectus abdominis muscles, down the centre of the abdomen.

DRAM has several contributing factors. One is existing abdominal weakness, hence the rationale behind strengthening the muscles of your abdomen prior to falling pregnant. Two is weight gain, providing yet another reason to aim to keep your gestational weight within a healthy range. Three is hormonal changes and the influence of this one varies between different women, just like the degree of morning sickness you experience, or the shape and size of your baby bump. Four is the pressure your growing baby is exerting on your abdominal wall, which can be less or more depending on the size of your bub, where it sits in utero and of course if you are carrying twins. Factors one and two you can manipulate to some extent, three and four are pretty much beyond your control.

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POLYCYSTIC OVARIAN SYNDROME AND LONG-TERM GOOD HEALTH

Written by RACHEL LIVINGSTONE

Polycystic ovarian syndrome is the most common endocrine disorder and affects an estimated 12-21% of women. Australian research suggests up to 70% of women with PCOS have not yet been diagnosed. The importance of this lies in the need to protect the long-term health of women with PCOS.

The exact causes of polycystic ovarian syndrome are not known, but are thought to be a combination of genetic and environmental factors. PCOS presents as a collection of symptoms – irregular or absent menstrual periods, infertility or reduced fertility, hirsutism (excess hair growth on the face, chest and abdomen), alopecia (scalp hair loss), acne, acanthosis nigricans (darkening of skin in body folds), obesity and increased risk of miscarriage.

Many women with PCOS will seek medical help for one or more of these symptoms, without knowing what condition they are associated with, or that they are in fact related to the same condition. As each symptom is often treated in isolation, the dots do not get connected, the real underlying cause is not discovered and PCOS is not diagnosed.

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FITNESS BALL CURL UPS – A FUN SWISS BALL ABDOMINAL EXERCISE

Written by RACHEL LIVINGSTONE

A fitness ball is a great tool for making your exercise routine just a little more varied and fun.

The most popular use of an exercise ball is to do ab crunches laying back over the ball. But there are many other ways to work your abdominals with the swiss ball. Try this exercise – fitness ball curl ups are a favourite at The Health Hub and check out Natalie putting her own signature on it in the video below.

Lie down on your back, holding the swiss ball over your head. Knees bent, feet off the ground.

Lift your shoulders in a ‘crunch’ bringing the ball forward – This works your upper abdominals giving you a strong torso and flatter tummy.

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TRX V UPS AND TIPS FOR MUMS WITH LITTLE ONES

Written by RACHEL LIVINGSTONE

Sometimes it’s hard to get a good workout when you are a busy mum with young kids. TRX V ups offer a time efficient core exercise – and your little one can join in.

Heidi, mum of 3 loves the TRX, especially when it comes to working her core. Heidi has always been an exerciser and still regularly goes to the gym and plays hockey. But time is short when you are juggling the needs of a partner, 3 kids, 2 dogs and a guinea pig. Her workouts need to be fast and effective. The TRX allows her to get a great workout in minimum time, with a few intense exercises done to ‘failure’.

One such as exercise is the TRX V up. Whilst highlighted as a core exercise, the TRX V up actually works your whole body, with particular focus on supporting your own body weight and activating the deeper muscles of the torso.

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MULTIPLE SCLEROSIS WON’T STOP THIS MAN DOING TRX SQUATS

Written by RACHEL LIVINGSTONE

You Tube is full of clips of amazingly athletic people performing feats of strength and agility with the TRX. The TRX is however also an incredibly useful tool not just for the general population, but for those who are fighting long-term, crippling illnesses, such as multiple sclerosis.

Hugh is 69 and was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis 5 years ago. Whilst it was no doubt present many years earlier, it was when he noticed changes in his movements that he sought medical advice, only to be given the unwelcome news.

Quite the athlete in his youth, Hugh continued to keep active into retirement with tennis, golf and regular gym visits. As the multiple sclerosis progressed he had to modify – but not give up his gym workouts. Over the years we have changed how he performs squats, an exercise he has always been proud to excel at – and in fact baits his wife Deb that she does not go low enough in her squats compared to him.

Read more: MULTIPLE SCLEROSIS WON’T STOP THIS MAN DOING TRX SQUATS
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