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    11 Best New Running Shoes That’ll Inspire Your Next PB

    We know what you’re thinking: another pair of running shoes? Sure, running shoe releases claiming to make you (almost) as fast as Caster Semenya drop what feels like every day, but hear this: getting the best new running shoe for your needs only means a better workout.
    Not only that, but running shoes are meant to be replaced regularly (around every 650km – 800km), to protect the health of your feet. We’ve scoped around to bring you the newest running shoe drops in 2022 (so far), along with how they’ll support your next PB.

    If You Want To Hit The Road
    Puma Eternity Nitro
    If you need stability, Puma’s runGUIDE tech keeps your foot in check and centred as you hit the ground. It’ll still feel lightweight, though, with a midsole that cushions your feet without feeling like a cement brick.
    Puma Eternity NitroR 3200Buy It
    New Balance Fresh Foam 1080 v11
    This shoe looks so good and comes in so many colourways, you’d be forgiven for wanting to wear it on a night out. The Ultra Heel tech gives you that support for long slogs, but the sizing option gets bonus points: you can select the shoe size and a desired width, for those of us with wide – or especially narrow – feet.
    New Balance Fresh Foam 1080 v11R 3099 Buy It
    adidas Solarglide 5
    Ever the #sustainablebae, adidas made this shoe in collaboration with Parley For The Oceans to recycle ocean plastic for 50% of the shoe. You still get that trademark BOOST tech that returns energy from the strike back to your foot, and it just looks hella cool.
    adidas Solarglide 5R 2499Buy It
    Asics GlideRide
    Asics’ trademark FLYTEFOAM™ tech, along with GEL™, protects your foot from fatigue by delivering great cushioning, so you keep going for longer. Notice the way this shoe is curved? That’s specifically to reduce excess ankle movement, lower strain on the calf and keep you moving forward.

    READ MORE: This Is Exactly How You Can Join The FREE adidas Runners Club RN 

    If You Want To Hit The Treadmill
    Under Armour HOVR™ Sonic 5
    These beauties will make every run better and better, thanks to its Connected Footwear tech that syncs with the UA MapMyRun app. Get real-time feedback as you run, plus they’re flexible and breathable.
    Under Armour HOVR™ Sonic 5R 2499Buy It
    Hoka Kawana
    The Kawana is named after the Sunshine Coast’s famous beach break in Oz, and just like that flexible surfer lifestyle, this shoe is specifically designed to take you from a run to the gym floor (Sweat1000 addicts, we’re looking at you!). A wide base supports your foot for lateral movements while responsive cushioning has your back on repetitive strikes.

    Asics METARACER™ Tokyo
    If you’re a treadmill runner who loves a good speed session, try the lightweight Metaracer™ Tokyo. The chunky GUIDESOLE™ is not only a lewk but allows for that toe-spring jump you need when going super fast. A carbon fibre plate inside the shoe propels your forward, in case you’re racing the cute person on the treadmill next to you.
    Asics MetaRacer TokyoR 3500Buy It
    READ MORE: So Many Of Us Get Knee Pain Running – Here Are 5 Possible Causes + What to Do About Them

    If You Want To Hit The Trail
    Hoka Tecton X
    Hoorah for major footwear tech that remains lightweight, especially when you’re praying to the deities that your ankles don’t roll on yet another unexpected loose rock. Hoka’s first trail running shoe has grippy outsole (be gone, dodgy pebbles!) and über cushy responsive foam base to keep you comforted in the great outdoors.

    Nike Pegasus Trail 3 GORE-TEX
    The same beloved Pegasus shoe, but with extra bells and whistles (tough traction and improved midfoot construction) to keep you stable on rough terrain. This one is great for neutral runners, and we gotta say – we love a waterproof shoe!
    Nike Pegasus Trail 3 GORE-TEXR 2999,95Buy It
    READ MORE: The Ultimate Training Guide For Your Gut
    K-Way Apex Trail
    A recycled mesh upper and insole gets a serious vote of confidence, plus the insole tech is orthopaedic-focused to support your rough-and-tumbles on the mountain. At such a great price, it’s also the perfect entry-level shoe for those of us dipping our toes into trail running.

    Hi-Tec GEO-Trail Pro
    Are you a constant toe-scuffer? This running shoe takes this into account by reinforcing the forefoot. It’s also kitted out with a shock-absorbing rebound layer (great for downhill sprints), EVA foam for speedy ascents., and a secure lacing system so you’re not sacrificing valuable PB time on flyaway string.
    Hi-Tec GEO-Trail ProR 1299Buy It

    READ MORE ON: Fitness Advice Fitness Gear Running Running Tips Trail Running More

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    Quick HIIT Warm Up: Blast More KJs By Doing These 3 Moves First

    Lots of jumps and twists with little rest can torch kilojoules and rev your metabolism. But they can also lead to sloppy fitness form, says corrective exercise specialist Michael Rosengart. Combined with extra pressure on your joints from the explosive moves, this leads to a spike in joint instability, as well as all-caps pain – knee pain (from cartilage damage), torn ligaments, shoulder pain (due to a tear or impingement) and chronic lower-back problems.
    READ MORE: 5 Benefits Of HIIT That Will Have You Literally Jumping For Joy During Your Next Workout
    Offset all that impact with this prep sesh from Rosengart before every class. By focusing on the joints that take the most hits, you can bang out more reps with less strain and at a faster pace, he says. Win-win.
    1. Wall Foot Stretch
    Why: This move helps activate the muscles and stimulates bloodflow, leading to a better workout and legs with a can-do attitude.
    How to: Stand near a wall with the toes of one foot a few centimetres up the wall and your heel on the floor. Step towards the wall, keeping your foot flexed, to stretch your ankle and calf. Hold for 30 seconds, then repeat on the other side.
    2. Squat Hold
    Why: Squats employ your back, core, butt and of course, quads. Prep them before hand with a weights-free hold to alert them to the impending action.
    How to: Stand with feet hip-width apart. Push your hips down and back until your thighs are parallel to the floor. Hold for 10 to 30 seconds, then reverse the movement to return to start. Do three to five reps.
    READ MORE: Try This 25-Minute Total-Body HIIT Workout And Torch Calories Fast
    3. Single-Leg Deadlift
    Why: On one leg, your sense of balance is challenged, along with your core.
    How to: Stand with one knee bent and lift your other foot off the floor. With a flat back, hinge at your hips and lower your torso as you lift your raised leg in the air. Reverse to return to start; do five reps. Repeat on the other side.
    Want more? These are the 10 best bodyweight abs exercises of all time. Plus: everything you need to know about the viral 12-3-30 treadmill workout on TikTok.
    This article originally appeared on

    READ MORE ON: Fitness Fitness Advice More

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    5 Absolutely Insane Body Benefits Of A Spin Class

    Indoor cycling has changed the exercise game as it boomed into a fitness culture worldwide. Indoor high-intensity spinning classes that promised a meditative experience exploded all over the U.S., with people swearing by the benefits of a spin class extending past body gains.
    Young or old, fit or not, the benefits of a 40-minute spin class promise to burn that fat, prevent unwanted injury and tone those muscles all in one. Writer Grethe Swart put it to the test by taking five 40-min classes per week, and the results are pretty astonishing…
    1. Say Goodbye to 500 calories (2 000kJ) in 40 minutes
    Not everyone enjoys running for hours on a treadmill in the hope of shedding that guilty weight. According to Spinning Instructor News, the average individual is likely to burn up to 500 calories (or 2 000kJ) during a 40-minute spinning class! (That’s roughly four cupcakes that are ditched for good). Translation: going to spin class regularly can help burn calories to lose weight.
    2. Lower risk of injury and embarrassment
    Training on a stationary bicycle ensures a low-impact workout that’s far easier on your joints and reduces the risk of injury. Bonus: apart from avoiding embarrassment (after tumbling off the treadmill a la Taylor Swift), you’ll also look super-professional and in control of your workout (All hail stationary equipment!).
    READ MORE: This Is Exactly How You Can Join The FREE adidas Runners Club RN
    3. Less thinking, more fun!
    Gone are the angst-riddled nights of planning your workouts… and never sticking to them – there’s that guilt again. Not only does a 40-minute spin class save you time, but it also allows you to free your mind and transport your body to a peaceful place, without having to look at a piece of paper and lose count of those reps. Your sole task? Listening to the voice of the instructor, who serves both as a therapist and personal trainer – another two-for-one win! Everyday obstacles can now be tackled effectively after a powerful 40-minute workout that doubles as a stress release.
    READ MORE: Quick HIIT Warm Up: Blast More KJs By Doing These 3 Moves First
    4. All-in-one exercise
    Spin classes are usually divided into four types of exercises: speed, endurance, power and combination, which are scheduled throughout the week on different days and at different times. This allows you to integrate all the important aspects of training into your weekly fitness regime without having to switch equipment or ask the regulars for help (all the time). For best results: mix it up! This way, boredom can’t touch your fun workout.
    READ MORE: Why A Boxing Workout Is A Quick Route To A Shredded Body
    5. Firmer everything!
    Once committing to the spinning regime, your entire body will slowly but surely start to firm up. A spin class is an ace low-impact high-intensity interval training (HIIT) class,  meaning you’ll fry fat by cycling, melt away the kilojoules and build muscles – all at the same time! According to, a 40-minute indoor spinning class class targets the large muscle groups (calves, hamstrings and thighs) in your legs to shape up fast, whilst strengthening the abdominal muscles, necessary to maintain your upper body rhythm.
    If 40 measly minutes come with this many advantages, then spinning is winning! Great minds ride a bike #JustSayin’

    READ MORE ON: Fitness Fitness Advice Spinning More

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    Why A Boxing Workout Is A Quick Route To A Shredded Body

    We’ve seen many a Rocky montage: the boxer, down on his luck, needs a win in the upcoming fight. Cue inspirational music and skipping sequences, early morning runs, sweat pelting on the floor. We get it: training to get fit in the ring is hard work. But so is actual boxing. 
    Anyone who’s ever had just one minute at the bag will tell you: one minute feels like a century when you’re punching. But why is that? Why is merely swinging your arms at a bag such a tough workout? Of course, a tough workout that gets your heart beating as fast as a boxing workout will create a shredded body. Here’s exactly why the sport is such a great shortcut to Shred Town. 

    You’re Constantly Moving 
    And not just in the way you’d be moving when you’re playing soccer, or even in a CrossFit WOD. The boxing movement involves 2-3 minutes of movement, with micro-breaks in-between, mimicking a round in a bout. One study notes that boxing leaves your heart rate at its maximum threshold, between 160 – 200 beats per minute. 
    But the movement largely involves your arms constantly swinging in a controlled way, while your feet are pivoting, stepping and jumping quickly. The result? Recruitment of all major muscles, including your arms. It’s cardio-meets-balance, a fat-burning recipe for success.  

    Punching Is A Special Fat-Burner 
    In traditional exercise, most movements involving the upper body include one-directional, controlled movement. Boxing throws this out the window with a combination of punches, each requiring dynamic support from other muscles, including your lats, abs (obvs), obliques and butt. Plus, research shows that no amount of bench presses can prepare you to deliver a more powerful punch. 

    READ MORE: These 4 Insane Body Benefits Of Boxing Are The Reason Models Rate It

    Kickboxing Adds Even More Heft 
    Your lower body is already involved in boxing. With the addition of kicks that require power to move the bag, prepare to add quads, glute and calf stretches into your post-workout routine. You’ll experience an even higher heart rate and feel winded faster. 

    READ MORE: Everything You Need To Know About The Viral 12-3-30 Treadmill Workout On TikTok

    You’ll Probably Come Back For More 
    One Australian study found that in two groups of participants, one which took part in walking and the other who did boxing, the latter group attended more sessions and had a lower drop-out rate than the walking group. That’s likely got something to do with the varied nature of boxing workout. Plus, it’s fun. 

    READ MORE: A Trainer Explains What Cardio Actually Is And What Workouts Rev Your Heart Enough To Count

    Science Says It’s Great 
    Another study  in the Journal of Physical Education and Sport found that boxing more efficiently develops physical fitness than traditional exercises where participants engaged in sports like basketball, volleyball or running. The boxing group were able to better perform physical tests like 30m sprints, push-ups and standing broad jumps. 
    Wanna give it a go? Virgin Active now has three boxing-focused classes that you can access in-person or online. Get in on the action here.  

    READ MORE ON: Boxing Fitness Fitness Advice More

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    Why Your Post-Workout Meal Is Just As Important As Your Workout, According to a Nutritionist and PT

    That post-workout meal that you choose actually has a much larger effect on how your muscles recover – thank you might think. And choosing the right post-sweat snack can help reduce that pain from Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness that you feel as you climb out of bed the next morning.
    But how exactly does that work? And how do you actually choose a meal that might make those muscle aches and pains subside? Well, we have the answers, so you finally know how and what you should be fuelling up on after your sweat sesh.
    But first, we need to school you on the science of muscle recovery. And here to teach you, is Candice De Mendonca, a South African sports nutritionist and personal trainer.
    READ MORE: Calories Vs Nutrients: What You Need To Know About Losing Weight
    What *is* recovery?
    Recovery is a metabolic process that ideally wants to return the body to homeostasis. This is achieved post-training, and post-workout is where anabolic growth happens in our bodies. When you’re in anabolic state, you’re building muscle mass. And when you exercise, you’re in a catabolic state which is when you’re breaking down both fat and muscle.
    So you can see why gym bros rush home to down their protein powders after their leg day; they are trying to optimise the amount of anabolic growth, or muscle building that happens. Because when you understand these processes and your overall metabolism, you may be able to manipulate your body weight.
    That’s also why recovery and rest is so vital to helping you achieve your goals. “Too little rest and your body becomes catabolic, breaking down muscle tissue,” sports therapist Barry Sigrist previously told Women’s Health. But there are many other elements to recovery, too.
    READ MORE: What Is Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (aka DOMS) & How Should You Treat It?
    “Recovery is multi-faceted with much-needed elements of rest, refuelling through nutrition, rehydration, regeneration (repair), resynthesis, reduction of inflammation and restoration,” says De Mendonca. “This ideally equals homeostasis in our bodies.”
    But right now we’re focusing on something that often gets overlooked; how to get that post-workout nutrition spot on. 
    How does nutrition play a role in muscle recovery?
    It’s all about macronutrients. Macronutrients are the nutrients that your body uses large amounts of. There are three types of macronutirents; proteins, carbohydrates and fats.
    “It is imperative that our bodies get these nutrients in for energy and to maintain our body’s structure and metabolic systems,” says Candice. “This is why we mustn’t cut out any macronutrients. Moderation and balance are key.”
    If you’re more of a visual person, this is what Candice means:

    READ MORE: How Much Water You Should Be Drinking Daily, According To A Nutritionist
    So which macronutrients matter most after you’ve done a workout?
    “When it comes to recovery post-workout, protein and carbohydrates work in our bodies like a lock and key system,” says Candice. 
    The protein provides the muscles with what they need to repair, regenerate and grow by means of protein synthesis (that’s the metabolic process in which amino acids enter the muscle to bind to skeletal muscle proteins). And carbohydrates provide your muscles with what they need to refuel and store by replacing electrolytes and storing glycogen in your muscles and liver.
    In a 2007 paper from the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition, researchers found that ingesting carbohydrates with protein following exercise increases growth hormone levels  to a greater extent than when compared to ingesting protein alone. The researchers stated that this led to a more favourable anabolic environment. for growth and recovery. So that’s why digging into a single chicken breast post-workout might not be the best idea, carbs are your friend here.
    But what about the third macronutrient; fats? Well, there is no scientific evidence that proves fats help right before you exercise or straight after. That’s because fats take too long to digest and break down to provide quick fuel and quick recovery. 
    How long after your workout should you eat?
    When you exercise, blood is quickly transported to the necessary muscle groups you are using to supply energy and nutrients.
    This is actually where the infamous “pump” comes from and this pump will last about two hours, making it an ideal time frame to get a post-workout meal in, advises Candice. Or, you know, to get that perfect post-workout mirror selfie in. 
    So, for 30 minutes to two hours after your workout, you want to try and get in a protein and carbohydrate only.
    READ MORE: 26 Easy Recipes for Protein Pancakes
    What is the perfect recovery ratio to look for in a post-workout meal?
    There is no cut and paste to nutrition. However, there are general rules of thumb you can follow, especially if you don’t have access to a dietician or sports nutritionist. And you can apply this logic to your post-workout nutrition.
    The physiologically perfect recovery ratio is 3:1 (carbs to protein). 
    “Everyone is different and there is no cut and paste to eating. Your vehicle and fuel requirements are different to mine,” explains Candice. “The ratio range one can use can safely be between 2:1 and 4:1 depending on your physical activity, intensity, duration and goals.”
    “For example, a runner would use a 2:1 ratio but a rugby player would use a 4:1 ratio.”
    “A post-workout meal with protein and carbs will enhance glycogen storage and muscle protein synthesis. Consuming a ratio of 3:1 (carbs to protein) is a pragmatic way to achieve this.”
    How can you put this into practice?
    “Plan your nutrition because that is already 80% of the battle won, 15% is your physical activity and 5% is your genetics;” says Candice. “You can exercise till you are quite blue in the face but if you’re not eating right your results will be minimal and not optimal.”
    Luckily, there is a very tasty way to get the nutrients you need after you’ve closed your workout ring at gym. Research has shown that drinking low-fat chocolate milk after a workout aids in post-workout recovery and muscle protein synthesis.
    We know, right? Chocolate milk!
    One great option is First Choice High Protein Recovery Milk. It has a ratio of 2:1 with 22g of protein and 22g carbohydrates with added grams from sucrose and lactose bringing the total carbs to 41.3g.
    Plus, major soccer clubs like Cape Town City Football Club and Amazulu use it as part of their nutrition and condition plans. And they recently won best new product in the Non-Alcoholic Beverages category of the 2020/21 FOOD REVIEW/Symrise New Product Competition. So you know it’s legit.
    READ MORE: How To Adapt Your Fitness and Nutrition For Every Age
    But what does our sports nutritionist and personal trainer say? “HPR makes it extremely easy, rewarding, and delicious to get protein in. Especially post-workout, it’s premixed, no mess, no fuss, and extremely delicious,” says Candice.
    Some other snacks from Candice that you could try are: 1 banana and 2 boiled eggs (12g protein: 31g carbs), 2 slices wholegrain toast and 1.5 tablespoons peanut butter (12g protein: 32g carbs) or 120g quinoa and 60g chicken (17g protein: 55g carbs).

    READ MORE ON: Fitness Fitness Advice Nutrition Nutrition Advice More

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    9 Things a Celeb PT Wants You to Be Aware Of, If You Had a Baby Recently

    If exercise was a big part of your life before welcoming a little one into the world, then, in the months after giving birth, you might start to wonder about how to approach getting back into movement–if that feels right for you.
    Not every new mum will feel that a return to exercise is the best thing for them right now, and that is totally okay. Whether you had a vaginal birth or a C-section; or straightforward birth or a traumatic one, will all come into play. Listen to your body and speak to your midwife or doctor if there is anything you are not sure about.
    If so, however, it’s true that the world of postpartum workouts can be seriously overwhelming. Advice, often conflicting, can be found in every corner.
    It’s for this reason that WH has called upon Hollie Grant, founder of The Pilates PT Method and The Bump Plan, for some inside intel. As a mum, she has first-hand experience of slowly and gently returning to movement after birth, and has trained the likes of Jourdan Dunn and Ella Mills (a.k.a. Deliciously Ella).
    Here’s exactly what she wants women who have just had a baby to know.
    1. Gentle recovery can begin early
    According to the UK’s Standard NHS procedure, women should wait until their 6-week postnatal check before considering exercise, but Grant says this doesn’t necessarily mean you should be on bed-rest until then. (If you had a C-section or a difficult delivery, of course, recovery may take longer–check in with your midwife or doctor about this.)
    To caveat, she’s absolutely not suggesting you get yourself to the gym the day after giving birth, rather that the immediate post-labour timeframe can be crucial for super gentle recovery, as long as you feel ready.
    ‘Anyone who has attended a 6-week check-up knows that it’s more about your baby than it is about the birth parent, and often exercise isn’t even discussed,’ she tells us. But, interestingly, she affirms that ‘There is so much you can, and should, do in those first few weeks post-labour.’
    She pinpoints the following:

    READ MORE: Moms Applaud Meghan Markle For Showing What Women Actually Look Like After Giving Birth
    2. Focus on rehab, not weight loss
    It pains us to say it, but ‘snap-back culture’ is real, and Grant’s also passionate about getting rid. ‘There is so much pressure to lose weight after having a baby, and even well-meaning family and friends might mention it, too. I really urge you to focus on rehab, rather than weight loss. Aim for a strong, functional body, that can deal with the demands of anything parenting throws your way.
    ‘Placing the focus on how your body performs, rather than looks, will help keep any toxic diet noise at bay, and allow you a more positive outlook on your new body.’
    You’ve just grown a human inside of you for nine whole months – be proud and give both your body and mind the break they deserve.
    3. Making peace with changes to your body is vital
    In the same vein, whether it’s weight loss, aesthetics, fitness, strength or otherwise, your body will never be the same. That’s most definitely not a negative thing. Rather, it’s that recognising that your body has changed for life, and accepting, that will bring you a huge sense of peace.

    ‘It’s not a popular message, but we’re always postnatal,’ Grant adds. ‘I had my daughter three years ago, have taught over 1,000 live classes since then, am a postnatal expert, and still don’t have the body I had before. I never will. But neither do I need to. Every single aspect of my life has changed since, so why on earth do I expect my body not to have to?
    ‘I am, however, the strongest I have been in a long time, and I appreciate what my body has done for me. I have other markers of success for my body now.’
    Think about the amazing process your body has just been through, for starters.
    READ MORE: This Brave New Mom Shares Her Lockdown Birth Story
    4. Comparison is never helpful
    Pitting yourself against other new parents is, literally, pointless. We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: we’re all different. No woman will have the same birth as another, so there’s absolutely no use in making yourself feel some kind of way if they just so happen to be recovering sooner, for example.
    ‘One parent may have had an active pregnancy, a smooth vaginal birth, and lots of support at home. Another parent might have had a high-risk pregnancy, a traumatic birth, and little to no support at home,’ Grant explains.
    ‘These differences mean that you will never be at the same stage as anyone else. If Tracy from NCT is back to running 5k a week at 6 weeks postnatal, and you don’t even know where your trainers are at after 12, don’t feel bad.’
    As ever, you do you.
    5. Stop holding your breath
    Fact: the way you breathe scientifically changes during pregnancy. It’s for this reason that you might feel out of breath more easily, and it’s also why you need to pay even more attention to proper breathing.
    ‘By the time we give birth, our uterus is very high up by our diaphragm and our breath is much shallower,’ Grant says. ‘This can mean we feel quite breathless, have a more rapid breathing rate, don’t make much use of the whole of our lungs, and can feel quite alert or anxious. We can try to re-establish good breathing technique as soon as we’ve given birth.’
    Practice slow, deep breaths for 5-10 mins per day to reap these rewards:

    Core stimulation (including the pelvic floor)
    Reduced likelihood of subconsciously holding your breath while exercising (which could increase risk of prolapse)
    A calmer nervous system (efficient breathing stimulates the Vagus nerve and the ‘rest and digest’ system)

    In, and out.
    6. Go at your own pace
    An obvious one, but it’s vital you learn to walk, before attempting to run. ‘After you’ve had a baby, your body has changed in so many ways,’ says Grant. ‘It can take weeks (if not, months) to get back to some sort of “normal”.’
    ‘In the first couple of months, I ask clients to imagine they’re rebuilding the structure of a house. We want to get the scaffolding in place before we start messing about with the tough stuff inside. Bump Plan members do this through deep core engagement, breathwork, pelvic floor activation, and awareness of how their bodies work. Spend time building up the foundations, and you won’t risk a setback further down the line.’
    Don’t rush it, basically.
    READ MORE: This Mom’s Photos Reveal The Truth About ‘Bouncing Back’ After Giving Birth
    7. Take care of your pelvic floor
    There’s no two ways about it: your pelvic floor needs work post-birth. This is something Grant swears by for her clients. ‘Whether you had a caesarean or a vaginal birth, your pelvic floor needs some love. It not only controls the passage of urine, faeces, and wind, but it’s also responsible for enjoyment of sex, and literally supporting your internal organs.
    ‘Birthing people are understandably more at risk of prolapse (where the pelvic organs drop down into the vagina), but a functional pelvic floor can really help reduce the risk of a prolapse, and help you exercise safely with a prolapse. It can also help prevent the cliché “sneezing and weeing” that so many parents suffer with (and that has been normalised far too much).
    ‘Pelvic floor exercises should include both holds (holding up to 8 seconds, 10 times), and rapid pulses (aiming for 10 quick flicks). These should be performed daily, in different positions, and paying attention to “relax” the pelvic floor after each hold and pulse too (a tight pelvic floor is not good news).’
    You heard the woman.
    8. Know that moderate exercise is unlikely to impact milk supply
    Ask any new breastfeeding mum and chances are they’ll have concerns that too much exercise = lower milk supply, but Grant’s got good news: ‘There is no evidence to suggest that exercising at a “moderate intensity” affects your milk supply.’
    She adds, however, that there is some existing evidence suggesting exercising to maximum exhaustion may affect the quality of milk, but this research was from a very small sample size and doesn’t accurately represent breastfeeding parents.
    ‘The mental and physical health benefits of exercise far outweigh any possible risk of changes to your milk,’ she affirms. ‘If you are breastfeeding, ensure you stay hydrated, wear a supportive sports bra, and try to feed before exercise for more comfort.’ Easy.
    9. Be conscious of Diastasis Rectus Abdominis
    If you’re reading this, you’re probably already aware of DRA, but just in case a few of you aren’t, a quick re-cap. ‘Diastasis Rectus Abdominis is a widening and thinning of the linea alba (the connective tissue between your abdominal muscles) and is a perfectly functional part of pregnancy and allows our bumps to grow,’ says Grant. In other words, it’s when your abdominal muscles, essentially, separate.
    ‘In around two-thirds of women, DRA sorts itself out postnatally by 8-10 weeks,’ Grant explains. ‘That said, for around a third of women it won’t, and we don’t always know why.’
    There is something that can be done, too. ‘Avoiding core work however is not the answer,’ says Grant. ‘For DRA to change, and potentially heal, we need loading of the core. It’s not wise to avoid core work entirely, but if you do have DRA, it’s important you learn how to exercise with it.
    ‘A strong core is so important as a parent, and a little understanding of DRA, or using a programme that is designed for those with DRA, will be incredibly helpful.’

    READ MORE ON: Fitness Advice More

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    The 8 Best Groin Stretches For Anyone Who Sits All Day Long

    When it comes to propelling your body in multiple directions, all while keeping your torso strong and stable, consider your groin a superstar. And no surprise here: It’s pretty complex, consisting of three fairly large muscle groups – the abdominal, iliopsoas, and adductors. With so many muscles involved, the area also desperately needs some superstar groin stretches to go with.
    Here’s a quick breakdown on each area that, together, make up the groin:

    Your adductors work together to adduct (or move toward the midline of the body) the thigh while keeping your lower extremities and pelvis stabilised.
    The abdominal muscles help stabilise your spine.
    The iliopsoas, on either side of your hips, help stabilise and flex your hips and stabilise your lower back.

    READ MORE: 7 Best Lower Back Stretches To Ease Aches And Pain
    Since your groin works at its peak when you’re running, walking, bending forward, twisting – literally moving in any direction – too much sedentary time can cause it to tighten up quick, according to Annie Mulgrew, founding instructor for CITYROW and certified personal trainer. She notes that since the groin is so crucial in moving your legs and stabilising your pelvis and spine, it’s super-important the area is both limber and strong.
    “If you’ve been immobile, or sitting, for an extended period of time, it’s best to stretch [the groin] in a dynamic way similar to a yoga flow, moving fluidly from stretch to stretch to increase the heat in the area and minimise stiffness,” she explains.
    How To Stretch The Groin Area
    Mulgrew adds that you can separate stretching into two different categories: dynamic and static. “Dynamic stretching is a great way to prepare for a workout,” she says. (Try this dynamic stretching routine.)
    “Static stretching, on the other hand, focuses on holding stretches and positions for a period of time. These are great to do post-exercise.” One 2016 study found that roughly 60 seconds of static stretching was associated with a reduced risk of injury and an increased range of motion, aiding in overall athletic performance.
    But when should you not stretch your groin? “If you’re recovering from an injury, especially in the groin area, consult your doctor or physical therapist before doing any concentrated movements [in that area],” Mulgrew says. “That said, the best way to prevent the injury in the first place is to keep the body in motion.”
    The 8 Best Groin Stretches
    Here, Mulgrew shares eight of the best groin stretches to do after a workout. Hold each stretch for 10 deep breaths, or 45 seconds.
    Frog Squat
    How to: Stand facing forward with feet slightly wider than hip-width apart, toes pointed outward. With your arms stretching straight to the floor in front of you, sink into a squat. As you’re sinking, use your arms to gently press your inner thighs outward. While your aim should be to touch the ground, ensure your heels stay flat on the floor (so if you can’t quite reach the floor, that’s okay!). Don’t forget to switch sides.
    Frog Squat With Arm Raise
    How to: Moving directly from the first stretch, place your left hand on the floor, continuing to gently push your inner thigh outward, as you reach your right hand directly up to the ceiling, fingers pointed upward. With every breath, twist your torso slightly further, reaching as high as you can. Your left heel should raise slightly. Don’t forget to switch sides.
    READ MORE: 10 Yoga Stretches That’ll Ease Lower Back Pain And Open Up Tight Hips
    Wide-Stance Sumo Squat
    How to: Rise to a standing position, allowing your legs to lengthen and rest for roughly 10 seconds. From there, widen your feet roughly two inches to either side, continuing to point the toes outward. Place either hand on top of your knee as you sink into a squat, thighs parallel to the floor. Inhale deeply as you twist your right shoulder downwards. Continue to inhale and exhale, and with each breath, attempt to twist your torso forth. Don’t forget to switch sides.
    Cossack Squat
    How to: If needed, rise again to a standing position to allow the legs to rest for roughly 10 seconds. Return to a wide-squat stance position, but this time, point the toes directly forward. Inhale, then exhale as you push your weight to the right, placing your hands directly above your knee to support your upper body. Keep the left leg completely straight, both feet planted firmly on the ground. Don’t forget to switch sides.
    Wide-Leg Forward Fold
    How to: Move to a seated position, extending both legs out to either side of you (as far as is comfortable). Feet should be flexed with the toes pointed upwards. Keeping your back straight, hinge at the hips as you lean forward, extending your arms out straight, fingers slightly splayed. Reach as far as is comfortable, attempting to reach further with each exhale.
    READ MORE: The 14 Yoga Stretches To Do Daily If You Want To Become More Flexible
    Wide-Leg Side Bend
    How to: Remain in a seated position, legs still extended outwards. Move the left foot inward, pressing the bottom of the foot to the inner portion of the thigh. Bend the torso to the right as you reach the right hand to the right knee, calf, or foot (whichever location is most comfortable). At the same time, either extend your left arm upwards, fingers pointed toward the ceiling, or bend the left elbow, reaching the left hand behind the head. Don’t forget to switch sides.
    Runner’s Lunge
    How to: Get on all fours, facing the front of your mat. Plant your fingertips or palms firmly into the ground as you extend your left leg behind you, keeping your knee rested or lifted slightly. Press your left heel toward the back of the room. Bring your right foot forward so it’s in line with your right hand. Keep your head upwards. Inhale and exhale, driving your hips further into the ground with each breath. Don’t forget to switch sides.
    How to: Move to a seated position. Bring the bottoms of both feet together, with heels as close or far away from your groin as is comfortable. Bring your hands to the outsides of either feet to stabilise you as you breathe in and out, gently allowing your knees to drop with each breath.
    *This article was originally published on Women’s Health US

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    Pelvic Floor Exercises: What Are They & How, When And Why Do You Need Them

    Pelvic floor exercises are a bit like flossing – you know you should do them, but making them a part of your regular routine seems near-on impossible. You’re not alone. Most women don’t give pelvic floor exercises a second thought until they need to – mostly after childbirth – but as we all know, prevention is better than cure.
    There are so many benefits to pelvic floor exercises (better sex, don’t ya know?), and we’re not just talking about kegels. Read on for everything you need to know about pelvic floor exercises – from what they are, to how often to do them.
    READ MORE: 8 Pelvic Floor Exercises That Are Better Than Kegels
    What are pelvic floor exercises?
    Pelvic floor exercises are, simply put, moves that strengthen your pelvic floor. Stephanie Taylor, founder of pelvic floor health company Kegel8 and supporter of #pelvicroar, a physiotherapy-led campaign hoping to break taboos surrounding pelvic floor health issues, explains that your pelvic floor is formed of hammock-like muscles and ligaments that stretch from front to back to support your pelvic organs (bladder, vagina and bowel).
    ‘Think of it as a piece of steak,’ says Taylor. ‘You want yours to be like a fillet: thick and juicy. A weak pelvic floor is the equivalent of a flattened minute steak.’
    Helen Keeble, a clinical specialist in pelvic health and co-founder of Umi Health, adds that most ‘lower body exercises‘ qualify as pelvic floor exercises as they benefit the pelvic floor (more on this to come), but affirms that, ‘If you want your pelvic floor to be stronger, you need to do daily isolated pelvic floor squeezes – i.e. kegels.’
    So, pelvic floor exercises and kegel exercises are essentially the same thing. But pelvic floor exercises can also refer to exercises that incorporate other parts of the body, which will dial up the strength of your pelvic floor. Read on for specific examples of general pelvic floor exercises to complement your kegels.

    But first: What are kegel exercises?
    Kegel exercises involve tensing and relaxing the pelvic floor muscles in isolation, without moving the rest of the body, for a few seconds at a time. Keeble (that’s Keeble, not kegel) breaks the process into five easy steps further down.
    READ MORE: Why A Tight Pelvic Floor Isn’t The Same As A Strong One
    And how do I perform them?
    Do your kegels right with Keeble’s five-step guide.

    Begin lying down comfortably and take deep breaths.
    Imagine you are trying to stop wind, so tighten and lift the anus, then let it go again. Do this activation in between breaths, with the sequence: breathe in, breathe out, squeeze, let go. The movement is subtle.
    Once this feels easy, build up to holding the squeeze for ten seconds at a time.
    When holding, remember to breathe normally, don’t hold it.
    Once you’ve nailed this, progress into doing the move while sitting, then standing.

    Can you fix a prolapse with pelvic floor exercises?
    First things first, Keeble explains what a prolapse actually is. ‘It’s when the pelvic organs – the bladder, bowels or uterus – is sitting a bit lower and/or for longer than it usually would.
    ‘For most women with a prolapse, a few simple changes to their daily habits will resolve the symptoms.’ These include:

    Eliminating strain on the toilet
    Not holding tummy muscles in
    Using a pessary

    And, case in point, performing pelvic floor exercises ‘correctly and with diaphragmatic breathing’. You should aim to put all of these lifestyle changes into place in conjunction with one another, so, to answer your question, yes, pelvic floor exercises can help to fix a prolapse – if practiced alongside other lifestyle habits.
    READ MORE: Kegel Balls Are Basically Little Weights For Your Vagina
    Do pelvic floor exercises work?
    Yes, yes and yes, providing that you practice them consistently. Keeble backs us up, adding, ‘So much so that they are the first line of recommended treatment for pelvic floor dysfunction in the NICE (National Institute of Clinical Excellence) national guidelines.’
    Contrary to popular belief, it’s not only your sex life that will rocket, either.
    ‘If your pelvic floor is weak, it won’t be getting as much blood flow or oxygen,’ Taylor says.
    In contrast, a strong pelvic floor can mean:

    Milder menstrual cramps
    Better core strength
    Better posture
    Better sexual function
    Reduce lower back pain
    Heightened self-esteem
    Improvement of urinary incontinence and leaking

    ‘Kegel exercises have up to a 90% success rate in treating stress incontinence,’ says Taylor. ‘Remember, leaking is never normal.’
    How to do pelvic floor exercises
    As we’ve mentioned, what we’re talking about when we say ‘pelvic floor exercises’ here are lower body moves that have big benefits for your pelvic floor. These can complement kegels (isolated pelvic floor squeezes).
    READ MORE: This 5-Move Pelvic Circuit Will Totally Change How Your Orgasm Feels
    Pelvic floor exercises for women
    ‘It’s really important for your overall pelvic health that your lower body muscles are strong and flexible,’ Keeble tells us. These are the best moves to incorporate into your routine alongside kegels and why, according to her.
    Sumo squats
    How? Stand with your feet slightly wider than hip-width apart, your toes pointed out at 45 degrees and your torso leaning slightly forward. Bend your knees and sink your hips down, stopping when your thighs are parallel to the floor. Drive through your heels back to starting position. That’s one rep.
    Why? ‘They’re great for your inner thigh muscles and flexibility, which benefits your pelvic floor.’
    Glute bridges
    How? Lie on your back on a mat, with your knees bent, and feet flat on the floor. Your feet should be hip-width apart. On an exhale, squeeze your glutes and push your heels into the floor to lift your hips up towards the ceiling. Pause for a moment at the top before slowly lowering back down (first shoulders, then lower back, then bum) to the mat. That’s one rep.
    Why? ‘Strong glutes support the pelvis which in turn, benefits the pelvic floor.’
    Tip: Add a block in between your knees and squeeze at the top to make your pelvic floor work harder.
    Lateral lunges
    How? Stand with your feet hip-width apart. Take a big step to the side with your left leg, then bend your left knee, push hips back and lower until your left knee is bent 90 degrees. This should take around two seconds. Push back to start. You can alternate, or complete all reps (10-12 should do it) on your left before moving on to your right. Exhale to reverse the movement and stand tall. That’s one rep.
    Why? ‘For inner thigh strength and flexibility, and working your glute muscles to support your pelvic floor.’
    How? Lie on your left side on the floor, with your hips and knees bent 45 degrees. Your right leg should be on top of your left leg, your heels together. Keeping your feet in contact with each other, raise your right knee as high as you can without moving your pelvis. Pause, then return to the starting position. That’s one rep.
    Why? ‘For hip rotator strength and flexibility, which support your pelvic floor.’
    Tip: Try to incorporate the movement involved in kegels (i.e. tensing your pelvic floor) as you do all of these moves.
    How to do pelvic floor exercises after giving birth
    Your pelvic floor needs even more attention after giving birth than it did before, and Keeble has outlined a handy timeline to follow.
    1-2 weeks postnatal
    ‘Regardless of delivery type, the best thing to do is regular deep breathing, kegels and pelvic tilts. The goal here is to reconnect these muscles to the brain – simple activations are key.’
    2+ weeks postnatal
    ‘Continue kegels and deep breathing, but add in some bodyweight moves such as squats, bridges, lunges, as well as light, slow walking.’
    4+ weeks postnatal
    ‘Continue kegels and deep breathing, along with low impact cardio such as static cycling or cross training, depending on what kind of birth you had and your energy and comfort levels.’
    6+ weeks postnatal
    ‘Continue kegels and deep breathing, and if all healing has gone to plan, consider introducing light weights. High impact exercise such as running and tennis isn’t usually advisable until you’ve passed the 3-month point.’
    She adds: ‘If in doubt, always consult a pelvic health physiotherapist. Acknowledge that each postnatal journey of recovery is different and move at your own pace. There’s no rush.’
    READ MORE: “I Tried Pelvic Floor Therapy After Having A Baby”
    How often should you do pelvic floor exercises?

    It’s a resounding answer from all experts: daily. ‘If you have symptoms of prolapse, or incontinence, then it’s recommended to do approximately 8-10 squeezes, three times a day,’ Keeble advises.
    ‘If you have no symptoms and want to try and keep it that way, do five short and five long squeezes while standing, daily.’
    *This article was originally published on Women’s Health UK

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