Mums and Posture! Could your posture be causing you long term health problems?

Mums and postureAre you a new Mum?

Do you have back aches and pains, do you feel stiff with sore muscles and achy joints?

I have been though this and I have the solution!

I can help you reduce your aches and pains, improve your tummy tone, make you feel more confident, give you a stronger pelvic floor (so no accidents), better back strength and the right exercises for you !

Do you know one of the key factors is a better posture !!!

Why new mums need to correct their posture?

There’s no doubt that pregnant mums and mums with young babies carry heavy things from a baby, toddler to bags and car seats !

As we tend to our daily activities, posture is the last thing on our minds. Unfortunately, this can often lead to regular tasks – such as housework and social interaction – being performed in ways that are detrimental to our health and posture. Lifting badly is a common cause of back pain (remember to bend your knees and pull the item close to you).

While postural issues don’t always manifest themselves in a manner that allow us to easily recognise we have them, back pain can be a clear sign that you may need to have your posture assessed. We balance our baby on our hip, the phone against the ear, so no wonder our lower back and neck hurt!

Did you know approximately 70% of women will, at some time in their lives, report low back pain. And during pregnancy, while 50–80% of women have reported back pain, one-third of pregnant women claim this low back pain is a significant problem.

Common Posture Problems

Uneven hips
Activities such as twisting to lift children out of cars, and carrying of babies or young children on the hips, can cause your hips and shoulders to become uneven.

Forward Head Posture
As a woman’s body adapts to her changing weight and shape during pregnancy, the spine and pelvis realign to serve as a counter-balance, One of the issues that can arise from this is Forward Head Posture (FHP).

Dowager’s Hump (or increased kyphosis)
Dowager’s hump (or increased kyphosis) is another postural issue that can occur during pregnancy. It is a condition that increases the natural curve of the upper back.

Pelvis Forward
The increased weight from carrying a child can pull your pelvis forward, increasing the curve to your lower back (or increased lordosis).

In severe cases, long term bad posture can lead to Scoliosis, a condition that results in the spine twisting from left to right, instead of running in a straight line from top to bottom. Depending on the severity, scoliosis of the spine can have a detrimental impact on vital organs, such as your heart, liver and kidneys.

Correcting Posture

The good news is that postural issues can be corrected, and even, in some instances reversed.

A good pilates teacher, osteopath, chiropractor, Physio can assess your posture or send me a photo and I can give you specific exercises – hannah@farnhampilates.com

At Farnham Pilates we give exercises and stretches that, when done regularly, will help to strengthen your muscles and maintain improved posture. Farnham Pilates is an online resource for pilates videos, tips and information to help busy mums solve these common, painful problems.

You can Take Action

1. Assess your own posture in a mirror.

2. Make an appointment to see me – I can recommend daily exercises to improve and maintain your back and core strength.

3. Start a routine of gentle exercise – Pilates, yoga, walking – see link here for Farnham Pilates classes.

3. Commit 3 minutes a day to improving your posture-

My philosophy is to keep moving, stretch do exercises within your limits and find something you enjoy.

Just 3 minutes a day dedicated to exercises to improve your posture can make a tremendous impact on your long term health. People who regularly stretch and maintain a good range of motion are less likely to suffer the negative effects of immobility.

4. Look at your diet and nutrition – Reduce sugar it reduces inflammation that can cause the pain!!

Maintaining a healthy spine, can help you maintain a healthier life.

If you are not local to me or find it hard to commit to a regular exercise session why not take a look at my Yummy tummy Programme.  This programme gives you bite sized exercises which you can do anywhere.  It is a 6 week programme which will help create a flat strong tummy, strong core muscles, and strong pelvic floor which will help solve many of the issues mentioned above.  You get weekly emails and a Facebook support group to join so that you are given the best chance of succeeding  over the 6 weeks.  Click here to find out more or you can sign up below.

Yummy Tummy Programme

My favourite summer smoothies

Summer Smoothie Recipes

We’ve been enjoying some fabulous weather over the last few weeks and the warm weather can be a great time to look at your diet and fitness regime.  Smoothies can be a great way to up your nutritional intake which is very important if you are undertaking more exercise than usual.  They are also a great addition to a Summer detox. Here are a couple of my favourite Summer Smoothie recipes taken from Juice Tonic one of Soho’s hippest juice bars.

BODY FUEL JUICE

GOOD FOR –  This is an ‘Immune-system booster and a performance enchancer.’ It will help you to avoid a summer cold and generally help keep your immune system in tip top condition.

INGREDIENTS
Half a medium Beetroot
3 Medium Carrots
3 Oranges
1/2 Tsp. Acerola Cherry fruit powder

PERFECT SNACK JUICE

GOOD FOR –  This is a great one to have after a workout on a hot day.

INGREDIENTS
2 Pears
1 Large section of Pineapple
1Tsp. Chia Seeds
100ml fresh Coconut water

ENERGY BOOSTER JUICE

GOOD FOR – This smoothie helps the metabolism, balances your mood and gives you an energy boost.  Perfect for busy mums at this time of year as the kids start the long summer holidays.

INGREDIENTS
5 med Carrots
3 med Apples
1 inch of Ginger
1Tbsp. Lemon juice
1/2 Tsp. Maca

Not only do these recipes do you good, they taste fabulous too so enjoy!

For those of you looking to get a Yummy Tummy this summer do take a look at our Yummy Tummy Pilates programme which includes a 14 day detox to kickstart better eating habits.

 

Summer Detox – Getting the balance right

Summer DetoxA summer detox can be a great way to refresh your body ahead of a summer holiday or to help shift that last bit of weight if you have been following a fitness regime.  On my Yummy Tummy Programme we finish with a 14 day diet detox to help cleanse the body and reset some of our not so good eating habits.

However going straight into a detox can be a shock to the system, causing withdrawal symptoms such as headaches.  It can also fail if you don’t get the timing right.  In this blog I share some advice as to how you can make your detox successful by just putting in some preparation to get the balance right

1) Cut down before starting – If you start cutting back on caffeine and alcohol at least a few days before starting a detox then it won’t be such a shock to the body when you actually start properly.  Withdrawal effects such as headaches and irritability can be so severe if you just go “cold turkey” that many people will feel like stopping their detox before they have even really got started.  A little preparation beforehand can really help lessen these effects and lead to success. Increasing your water intake before hand will also get you used to drinking the amount of water needed on the detox.

2) Ensure you are in the right place mentally – If you are in a stressful place i.e. with work or family commitments then this may not be the best time to start a detox. So try and clear your mind a bit before getting started by perhaps making time to meditate or have a massage and choose a period of time where you can make some time for yourself to relax and do things that you enjoy.  This will make the detox process more manageable and enjoyable.

3) Are your hormones right? – If you are really effected by your hormones at certain times of the month then try and avoid these times to start a detox.

4) Clear your cupboards – get rid of the temptation of high fat or sugary snacks and make sure you have plenty of veg on hand and healthy snacks such as oatcakes and nuts.  If the temptation isn’t there you can’t be tempted, so don’t make things harder for yourself.

5) Get the family involved – I’m not suggesting that your children or anyone else should go on a detox but by talking to them about healthy eating and why you are cutting down on certain foods it can certainly help educate those around you.

6) Get support – if you can find others who are doing the same detox this can be a great help in succeeding.  With our Yummy Tummy programme we have a private Facebook group where we all support and encourage each other which can be really effective in seeing a detox through.

Do comment below if you have any questions about detoxing or have a look at our Yummy Tummy programme for more details.

 

3 fitness tips to lose weight and achieve a flatter happier tummy!

3 fitness tips to lose weight and achieve a flatter happier tummy! 

fitness tips to lose weight

There is so much advice out there as to how you can lose weight and get a “bikini body” that it can be hard to know what to believe.  This blog cuts through a lot of the conflicting advice to make getting your Yummy Tummy a lot more straightforward with just 3 easy tips.

Myth: You Need A Long Workout

Truth: Your body starts burning fat as soon as you start exercising. If you can’t exercise for the 30 minutes a day recommended for adults, a shorter, intense workout is better than no workout. Too much intense working out will wear you out, so start small and work your way up.

Tips: On those busy days, fit in a little exercise when you can.

  • Do jumping jacks for 2 minute intervals while studying.
  • Stretch while you read or study.
  • Challenge yourself to do 200 crunches and squats before you go to bed or right when you wake up.
  • Don’t make excuses not to do a little exercise! You can do it.
  • Aim for 2 strength-training workouts and 2-3 cardio workouts every week.

Myth: Snacking is always bad

Truth: Snacking really isn’t the problem. Actually, most nutritionists will recommend you eat 4-5 smaller meals each day instead of three big meals. The real culprit is what you choose as a snack, and how big your snack is. Another myth buster: snacking will not boost metabolism. Remember, when you’re snacking, you don’t eat to feel full, you’re eating to feel satisfied and to hold you over until you have a meal.

Tips:

  • Don’t eat from the bag of chips/pretzels/cereal/ etc.
  • Choose something fresh, like fruits and veggies.
  • Personal favourite: baby carrots and reduced-fat peanut butter. Weird, but awesome.
  • Use the hand rule: if you can’t hold it all in your hand, it is probably too big of a snack. Drink water with your snack.

Myth: Drinking water helps you lose weight.

Truth: Substituting  high-caloric and high-sugar drinks for water is better for you and will reduce the amount of added sugars in your diet, but the idea that drinking water helps you lose weight has no scientific basis. You might want to carry water with you and drink throughout the day, but water cannot replace food in your diet because you need those essential nutrients to function. Replacing food with water can make you feel worn-down, faint, and unenergetic because of those nutrients you’re lacking.

These 3 simple tips are definitely achievable in even the busiest of lives but if you feel you need a little help to get started or need ideas of manageable chunks of exercise to do every day, have a look at our Yummy Tummy Programme.  Designed for Mums of all ages with busy lives it can get you started on the way to your own Yummy Tummy in just 6 weeks.

How to check if you have a diastasis split

Diastasis Recti/Abdominal Separation Test

Are you a mum? Do you know what a diastasis / abdominal split is? It is when your tummy muscles have not joined back after having a baby and more than 1cm apart can cause you back problems and issues with trying to regain flat and strong abdominals. This does not just apply to new mums you can still have a split years later!
Please try this simple test to check –
1. Lie on your back with your knees bent, and the soles of your feet on the floor.
2. Place one hand behind your head, and the other hand on your abdomen, with your fingertips across your midline-parallel with your waistline- at the level of your belly button.
3. With your abdominal wall relaxed, gently press your fingertips into your abdomen.
4. Roll your upper body off the floor into a “crunch,” making sure that your ribcage moves closer to your pelvis.
5. Move your fingertips back and forth across your midline, feeling for the right and left sides of your rectus abdominis muscle. Test for separation at, above, and below your belly button.

Use Correct Form for an Accurate Assessment
Make sure that you don’t simply pull your head off the mat-a common mistake. To effectively contract your abs, you need to move your ribcage closer to you pelvis. If you don’t adequately activate your abdominal wall, you might assume that you have abdominal separation. But for most, as the rib cage moves closer to the pelvis and the contraction deepens, the width of the gap at your midline will decrease.
Don’t panic if you feel a “hole” in your belly in the first few postpartum weeks. Everyone’s connective tissue at the midline is lax after childbirth. As you recover, your midline will slowly regain its former density and elasticity, and the “hole” will become shallower, and if you do the right exercises, more narrow too.
Signs of Diastasis Recti/Abdominal Separation
• A gap of more than 2 1/2 finger-widths when the rectus abdominis is fully contracted.
• The gap does not shrink as you contract your abdominal wall.
• You can see a small mound protruding along the length of you midline.

If you are concerned Pilates and the New Yummy Tummy Rescue Programme can help you. Please contact me if you are need to join this programme.

Split diasasis recti and abdominal exercises

Did you know that weak split abdominals can contribute to a bad back