Monthly Archives: January 2014

What is abdominal separation?

Diastasis Recti

Abdominal separation, also known as diastasis recti occurs during pregnancy when the rectus abdominus (the two tummy muscles that run down the centre of the body) separate to make room for the growing uterus. Diastasis/ separation usually occurs around the belly button and can move upwards or downwards, diastasis is defined by at least a two finger gap between the right and left rectus abdominus (see diagram above). Diastasis can be limited by optimising pelvic and spinal alignment, strengthening deep core muscles with suitable exercises (pilates) and avoiding creating excessive intra abdominal pressure using thoracic breathing. Not everyone will experience diastasis, it will depend on previous exercise, size of baby, number of pregnancies and posture. Diastasis can also occur during labour due to increases in intra abdominal pressure. Diastasis can be rectified after pregnancy with appropriate exercise.

Technology – a help or hindrance in training

The last blog I wrote was about getting excited using all of our new keep fit gear we would have received over christmas! Today I thought I would focus on just one thing you might have received, the GPS watch.
These things are great, both myself and my wife love them and take them on most training sessions. One thing I have noticed though is that they can control a training session a little too much. I can think of plenty of times when I have set out on a tempo or speed session and been feeling really quick until I glance at my Garmin and see that my pace isn’t what I was expecting. Immediately my mindset changed and what was looking like a good session then turned into a downward spiral of despair as I tried, and failed, to get quicker! That said it has also saved me from many a session where I have been struggling and then realised I’m actually running a lot quicker than I thought!
My point is this, what did we do before we used these new tech? We listened to our body. Sometime I like to head out to run or cycle without the Garmin and just get back to enjoying the feeling. Remember when you used to head out for a run or a ride without one? It felt good didn’t it, just listening to the sound of your own breathing or being aware of how your muscles were feeling.
Whats more taking your GPS out with you means that the whole session is focused on a measurable factor, by nature you’re going to want to get better every time you head out. Miss a few targets and soon you are going to be fighting to reach your goals, not enjoying the pathway to them. At the end of the day that is what exercise is all about, enjoying ourselves!
So next time you head out try leaving yours at home and get back to just enjoying what your doing!

Transitioning to new kit

Im writing this on the first Monday of the year, the day when most of us drag ourselves kicking and screaming back to work! Today is also the day when most of us decide to kick start our fitness related new years resolutions. For some reason the fitness based resolutions always seem to be bumped back a few days don’t they!
This blog was actually inspired by someone I know who received a new pair of running trainers and couldn’t wait to get going in them! I am sure that a lot more of you will have received fitness type presents from under the Christmas tree so I wanted to talk about the best way to introduce them to your training! The important thing to remember is that whatever you’ve received is alien to you and your body! Even if you are the fittest person on earth if you start using new equipment or try a new type of training your body will find it hard! Therefore just like if you were starting a new type of training you should introduce your new fitness toys gradually to your training.
Like my friend who got a new pair of trainers, the worst thing you can do is chuck out your old ones no matter how lovely and shinny your new ones look! Your body will need time to adapt to them, the best thing to do is slowly make the transition from old to new. Try using them on just one run a week at first and keep the milage low, then slowly increase the time in the new trainers until you can finally chuck the old ones! If you fail to do this you will without fail develop niggles and injuries that will have you cursing your new pride and joy!
This can be applied to anything! Even new clothes! I remember getting a pair of compression running leggings and, although feeling great at the time, they had a slight affect on my running gait without my knowing. I ran for weeks in the winter winds slowly developing a little niggle in a muscle! We all make mistakes!
Hopefully this has got a few of you thinking about your new toys and will help you all enjoy them a little bit more!
David Booth

Food and mood – the mind and body connection

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People’s mood can be affected by what they eat. Low blood sugar levels will leave you feeling lethargic and craving sugary foods, which after consumption will elevate blood sugar levels initially before causing an energy slump and low mood, then turning into a vicious circle as you reach for the sugary food again to give you that lift you felt the first time.

Low levels of vitamins B12 and B6 have been shown to contribute to mental issues such as depression and schizophrenia, people with these conditions again tend to gravitate towards sugary high carbohydrate foods which increase levels of serotonin, the feel good hormone, causing that vicious circle once more.

In times of stress and tiredness people turn to caffeine as a pick me up which can also have an adverse affect on the mind leaving you feeling more anxious, jittery and more stressed, again creating that vicious circle as you reach for more caffeine.

To help maintain abetter state of mind eating lots of protein, oily fish, complex carbohydrates and foods rich in vitamins B1, B2, B3, B6, B12 and C will help control blood sugar levels and hormones which lead to dips in mood.

Why run?

 

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Why not? Its the most natural form of physical activity known to man, we were born to run, its how we evolved. Back when we were hunter gathers running was part of life, part of survival. Everybody is built to run, some are built for long distance, some are built for short distance, some fast, some slow but everybody is capable.

Running improves your cardiovascular system, improving the function of your heart and lungs, your circulatory system and your respiratory system. Lets face it everyone wants to feel healthier, breathe easier and look better. Running is also great for reliving stress and anxiety, running has been found to reverse the negative effects of stress on the brain by promoting the production of neurohormones like norepinephrine that are associated with improved cognitive function, elevated mood and learning.

Try it, you will fall in love with it.

If you need training help check out our running programmes for all distances on the shop page and type jan14 into discount box for 50% off normal price.

@Varietyfitness
Fitness professional, Pilates and Yoga studio owner, sports therapist and nutritionist. Love anything fitness related #Pilates #yoga #Macclesfield