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POLYCYSTIC OVARIAN SYNDROME AND LONG-TERM GOOD HEALTH

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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UNDERSTANDING ABDOMINAL SEPARATION DURING PREGNANCY

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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CELEBRATING YOUR BODY, FITNESS AND GOOD HEALTH THROUGH THE AGES

It’s not all being past your prime and over the hill. Age can bring with it a newfound acceptance of your body, a celebration of what it has achieved – or survived, and a deeper appreciation of working out and what it can do for you.

A recent fitness tweet entitled ‘Reason to Exercise’, presumably aimed at motivating young women, included, be one of the hot girls, get the good looking guy and make other girls jealous. The great thing about getting older is you remember these sentiments, but no longer feel them. You chuckle at how ridiculous they are and even feel sympathy for your younger ‘sisters’ who still inhabit this fickle world.

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LATEST RESEARCH – BENEFITS OF RESISTANCE TRAINING IN PREGNANCY

These days it is generally accepted that ‘light to moderate intensity exercise’ is not only safe, but beneficial for most pregnant women. Benefits include a reduction in back pain, bloating, swelling and gestational diabetes and an improvement in sleep, weight control and mental wellbeing.

Despite this only 2 thirds of pregnant women participate in physical activity during their pregnancy. Of those that do stay active, 83% choose just walking. Some may add a little prenatal yoga or swimming. Only 10% of active pregnant women engage in any resistance training. Much of this is to do with fear – not knowing what the possible risks are to their baby. However, it is also probably due to the fact that they don’t know how good a little resistance training could be for their body and their unborn bub. Therefore they wouldn’t even think of trying it.

Read more: LATEST RESEARCH – BENEFITS OF RESISTANCE TRAINING IN PREGNANCY

GET FITTER AND STRONGER IN LESS TIME WITH CIRCUIT TRAINING

It is the number one excuse given for not exercising – “I just don’t have time”. Whether it is due to long work hours, family commitments, a busy social life, or all of the above, no one seems to feel like they have enough time in each day. If you, like everyone else are feeling time poor and as a result are neglecting your fitness, circuit training could be the answer.

Circuit training is picking several exercises and performing one set of each of the exercises in succession. Then repeating another set of each exercise until the chosen number of circuits have been completed.

Training in this way offers a time efficient workout as it involves moving from one exercise to the next without a break, instead of performing simple sets where you do one set, rest for a minute and repeat the same exercise up to 3 times (and rest 3 more times) before moving onto a different exercise. This literally halves your exercise time by removing idle gym time.

The exercises you include in the circuit affect how hard you work out. Choosing multi-joint movements like squats, will work you harder in a shorter amount of time, compared to exercises that only use one muscle group, such as bicep curls. In order to keep moving through the burn, you could follow an upper body exercise with a lower body exercise, then another upper body exercise followed by an abdominal exercise. This offers muscles recovery time without you actually taking time out of the workout to rest.

Read more: GET FITTER AND STRONGER IN LESS TIME WITH CIRCUIT TRAINING
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