Category Archives: Ambassadors

From Office to Trail – Brooks Anyday

I don’t know about you, but I am always in a hurry after work to hit the road, trail or track. Even more so now when daylight savings has ended and we are limited with the amount of daylight left to guide the way. So I really hate wasting precious sunlight getting changed once the clock hits 5!

anydayblackfront_clipped_rev_1.jpegI don’t usually like wearing my sports bra to work. But the Anyday bra by Brooks is the perfect everyday bra to serve the purpose of work to workout.

A great soft fit with light padding, giving a nice shape- it looks like a normal bra but it will give you a higher level of support, combining encapsulation and compression.

The bra is quite low cut, and you have the option of wearing the straps in traditional or cross back. This enables a wide range of outfit choices.

This bra does not come in a size 8, but I found that it was a small fit and hence I was able to fit well into a 10.

Overall a great compromise between different functions.

 

Kellie Marceau Photography

2016 Australian Trail Champion, Kellie Emmerson is a She Science Ambassador and serial ultra-marathon podium finisher.  Kellie professionally works as an Occupational Therapist, Running Coach and Body Pump Instructor. You can follow Kellie on facebook and on Instagram @kelemmo. 

 

 

 

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Thoracic Pain & Large Breasts : How to manage the discomfort

 

The thoracic spine is the section of spine between your cervical spine (neck) and lumbar spine (lower back). Each vertebrae of the thoracic spine has a rib connected on either side and the upper ribs connect to the sternum at the front of your body.

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Due to the attachment of the rib cage to the thoracic spine there is limited movement through the upper back region. Consequently we can often get stiff and sore in the upper back. Sometimes stiffness in the thoracic spine and in the joints between the thoracic vertebrae and ribs can refer pain to other areas such as your sides, front of torso and arms.

Position of the breast on the chest wall:

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Muscles of the chest wall:

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Muscles of the upper back:

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Some factors can increase the risk of getting stiffness and/or pain in the upper back.

Examples include:

  • Poor standing posture
  • Poor sitting posture
  • Lots of time spent sitting
  • Engaging in lots of anterior focused activities and exercises
  • Having a large bust

The weight of a large bust puts increased force on the chest wall and can, amongst other things:

  • Tighten the pectoreal muscles
  • Pull the shoulders forward (which can also lead to various shoulder injuries)
  • Round the top of the thoracic spine (kyphosis)

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Some ways to prevent and treat pain and/or stiffness in the upper back:

  • Massage of the chest and shoulders
  • Physiotherapy (which may include mobilisation of the thoracic spine)
  • Spikey ball/tennis ball/cricket ball self-release of pec muscles blog pic jblog pic k
  • Stretches- focused on opening the chest and loosening the thoracic spine
  • Upper back strengthening exercises

  • Improving posture
  • Using a lumbar roll for support when sitting
  • Decreasing time spent sitting or interspersing sitting with regular standing/walking/stretching
  • Modifying activities to decrease load on front of body
  • Getting properly fitted for a good-quality brablog pic u
  • Wearing a good quality, fitted sports bra for exercise

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If you are experiencing ongoing upper back or chest pain and these steps do not help please consult a medical professional.

 

By Lauren Starr, Physiotherapist

Hi, my name is Lauren Starr and I’m a 28 year old physiotherapist. I’ve been working in a busy physiotherapy clinic in Melbourne’s South East for three years now and I love it! As well as assessing and treating people in rooms, I also take clinical pilates, hydrotherapy and yoga classes.

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Outside of work I spend most of my time running. I have been focussing on athletics recently, but I also compete in trail and road events.

I am lucky enough to have a partner and dog who also love running so we go on lots of running adventures together in our campervan.

In my downtime I enjoy spending time with family and friends, reading and baking.

 

Regaining Core Strength After Pregnancy

 

By Libby Nuttall, Personal Trainer and She Science Ambassador

So you’ve had your baby, congratulations! Now it’s time to smash a few ab workouts and flatten that mummy tummy, right?! Wrong. On so many levels, wrong.

Pregnancy puts huge strain on your core and pelvic floor and now is the time for rehabilitation, not waist training, ab workouts, or thrashing our bodies at the gym.

Let’s talk a little bit about the core, because there’s lots of misconceptions. Picture a cylinder. The core is like a cylinder, with the diaphragm at the top, pelvic floor at the bottom, the muscles surrounding your spine known as the multifudus, and your deep abdominal muscles, known as your transverse abdominis. Your glutes are a really important piece of the puzzle as well.

What’s not so important right now are your outer abdominals, you know, your six pack muscles. Unlike your transverse abdominis, they have little impact on your general health or strength. So forget about crunches for a while.

So why does pregnancy put pressure on this region? Well imagine a hammock. Now imagine bouncing a bowling ball on the hammock. That’s what pregnancy is like for your pelvic floor. The extra weight and size puts pressure on all of the internal organs, changing the centre of gravity and the muscles we use to walk, stand and move. The stretching of all these muscles during pregnancy leaves them weakened and at risk of injury.

After childbirth is a crucial time for rehabilitation, and looking after your body in this phase will stand you in good stead for future pregnancies and general health and wellbeing, including minimising aches and pains, preventing pelvic organ prolapse or hernia and healing diastisis recti.

Diastisis Recti

The first thing we should identify is whether we have experienced abdominal separation, and how severe it is. Many women experience diastisis recti, so it’s nothing you should worry about and shouldn’t cause you any pain. It’s important to know which exercises to avoid, to help heal the separation or cause further damage. Undiagnosed ab separation can lead to hernia, posture issues, low back pain and incontinence issues.

lib picYou can determine whether you are affected by visiting a physiotherapist or performing this simple test on yourself (I would always recommend a physio after birth anyway!)

Once this is done, it’s time to start thinking about the best ways to regain core strength, and let me tell you right now, it ain’t situps.

In the first few of months after pregnancy we want to avoid exercises which put too much pressure on the outer abdominals such as situps, double leg raises and crunches. It’s also time to back away from the front loading exercises such as planks and push ups.

It seems like you’re not allowed to do anything, right? Don’t worry, this is a short phase in the scheme of things and there is still plenty you can do to regain core strength without those particular exercises. Trust me, your body will thank you down the track.

Here are my top tips for post partum core work. Remember to always focus on controlled, smooth movements, continuous breathing and good posture.

  1. Breathing and engaging exercises. Start your post partum workouts by learning to re-engage your pelvic floor and core. Identify whether you can, in fact, feel your core and floor being turned on and off. Deep breathing exercises are also key in the early stages. Simply lie down and allow your stomach to expand and contract as much as possible while taking deep breaths.
  1. Basic floor work. There’s several ways to activate your core simply by lying down. Before each of these, actively engage your core and continue to breathe normally.

Single leg heel slides – With knees bent and heels close to hips, slide one leg out to straight and return, swap legs

Single leg extensions – With knees bent and heels close to hips, raise one foot upwards and return, swap legs

Pelvic tilt – lying down and place feet up on a chair or fitball. Engage your core and tilt your pelvic back by pressing your lower back into the floor. Hold for five seconds then repeat 10 times.

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  1. Plank variations. As we talked about above, front loading exercises are best avoided in the early days, but there are still other options for you. Reverse plank and side plank are great. Over a series of weeks and months, progress at your own pace toward regular plank by starting leaning against a wall, then lower onto a chair or fitball. Next, move on to plank on your knees, then do short bursts on your toes.libpic2
  1. Resistance bands – When you’re ready to add some resistance to your training, resistance bands are a fantastic place to start. They provide a low-impact core workout that you can work up to in the post partum phase, just make sure you’ve really mastered points one and two first. There’s dozens of exercises to do with resistance bands, from rows, to posture work and dedicated core work. The bands allow you to work at an appropriate resistance level and gently regain core strength.

By Libby Nuttall, Miracle Months 

libby nuttalLibby is a women’s personal trainer in the Macedon Ranges. When she’s not hanging with her two sons, husband and Weimaraner (a.k.a; the boys), she is running high intensity fitness classes, volunteering as the president of the local playgroup, or working on her range of pre and post natal wellness programs, Miracle Months. Libby had her second son in December 2015 and is loving sharing the journey back to fitness and strength post baby with her social media following. This year she is looking forward to competing in a number of runs and obstacle races. Follow Libby via Miracle Months facebookinstagram. www.miraclemonths.com

Breast Feeding + Exercise

By Libby Nuttall

 

There are so many questions running through your mind as a new mum, many of those about breastfeeding. For something so natural, it can actually be pretty hard to get the hang of! Exercise is not only safe, but recommended while breastfeeding. Studies show exercise does not have any long term affect on milk supply or nutrient content.

The benefits of exercise to a breastfeeding mother include enhanced mental health, improved fitness and more energy to cope with the demands of a baby, so now is the time to get active!

Many mums want to get back into their exercise soon after baby has been born, but are nervous about the process. Will my supply be affected? What if I start leaking? How can I tame my “ladies”? It’s all about making it work for you. Here’s my top tips for getting back into it.

DON’T RUSH!

Don’t rush back into high intensity exercise, allow your body to ease back into everything. Some women do find that increasing the intensity too quickly can affect their breastmilk supply, while others say it has no impact whatsoever.

You need to discover what works for you, but easing into exercise is advisable for everyone, even if you exercised right through your pregnancy. If you find noticeable changes in your milk or baby when introducing exercise, cut back and return gradually.

LOOK AFTER NUMERO UNO!

As a new mum, you may be sleep deprived and lethargic. You are also using more energy each day just by breastfeeding. Don’t forget, your supply can be affected by your lethargy, so don’t push it. It’s crucial that you are providing your body with the nourishment it needs, that is, good quality food, sleep and water, so you have the energy to exercise as well as produce milk.

In the early months, I find two to three days of exercise followed by a rest day is a good way to maintain and refill those energy stores.

SUPPORT THOSE MUMMAS!

Invest in a really supportive bra. Whether it be a breastfeeding bra or not, it needs to support your breasts so you can run with ease. Many women say their biggest challenge to overcome when it comes to exercise after baby is figuring out how to manage their breasts, so it’s invaluable to invest well and most of all, make sure it is correctly fitted.

One of my 'breast feeding appropriate' facvourites, the Juno!

One of my ‘breast feeding appropriate’ facvourites, the Juno!

MONITOR BABY’S RESPONSE

There is evidence to suggest that lactic acid can build up in the milk supply during high intensity exercise. Once again, this can be different for all women, so just monitor your baby’s response when feeding. If she doesn’t mind, then continue. If you find bub struggles to feed after a workout, avoid feeding for 90 minutes, when your milk should return to normal.

And remember to change out of your sweaty clothes straight after a workout to avoid infection of the milk ducts.

PRE FEED!

Try to feed your baby before you do exercise. This will not only mean your baby isn’t subjected to a sweaty, salty nipple, but will mean you’re not as full while you’re working out. It can also alleviate any concerns about lactic acid build up.

Before you leave for the run, insert fresh nursing pads into your bra to prevent a mid-run leak!

 

By Libby Nuttall, Miracle Months 

 

libby nuttalLibby is a pre and post natal personal trainer in the Macedon Ranges. When she’s not hanging with her two sons, husband and Weimaraner (a.k.a; the boys), she is running high intensity fitness classes, volunteering as the president of the local playgroup, or working on her new range of pre and post natal wellness programs, Miracle Months. Libby had her second son in December 2015 and is loving sharing the journey back to fitness and strength post baby with her social media following. This year she is looking forward to competing in a number of runs and obstacle races. Follow Libby via Miracle Months facebookinstagram.

 

Moving Comfort Juno for new Mum’s

By Libby Nuttal, founder of Miracle Months

 

After the birth of my first son in 2013, I couldn’t wait to get back into training and was eager to pound the pavement. But alas! Those lovely little B cup beauties had grown to the size of a grapefruit!

Layered up with a random variety of sports crops and feeding bras, I began my journey back to fitness; sometimes not-so-delicately pulling them up to feed my son on my run! Not only was I uncomfortable and unsupported, I felt like I couldn’t do the sorts of training I wanted to.

Enter the Moving Comfort Juno.

Breast feeding Sports BraSecond time around I would make no such mistakes. The Juno has the high coverage and support needed for high intensity exercise as well as running, but has the added functionality and ease of feeding on the go.

Despite feeling like you’re wrestling an alligator to get it on, once over your head it feels like a suit of armour, giving you the confidence to run, jump, ride your way to fitness. There’s no way those bad boys will stop you now!

Rather than a clip mechanism to help feed, the straps are adjustable at the front, making it super easy to feed out in public, no alligator-wrestling required. The front adjusting straps also mean you can pull them a little tighter when you’re more empty after a feed, so you’re always fully supported no matter what size.

Why would you need a bra you can feed in? I often take my sons on my walks, runs or workouts in the park, when a crying baby means a quick pit-stop. Or sometimes my workouts go a little longer than expected and I come back to a hungry bub who wants a feed then and there.

As mums we take the chance to workout whenever and wherever we can. Gone are the days of hitting the gym whenever we please or dashing out for a run anytime of the day. So it’s good to know there is a bra, in a range of fabulous colours, that can support me whenever I can squeeze in my workouts.

I recommend visiting She Science to be properly fitted for the Juno, you need just the right fit to give the ladies the support they need 😉

By Libby Nuttal

libby nuttalLibby is a pre and post natal personal trainer in the Macedon Ranges. When she’s not hanging with her two sons, husband and Weimaraner (a.k.a; the boys), she is running high intensity fitness classes, volunteering as the president of the local playgroup, or working on her new range of pre and post natal wellness programs, Miracle Months. Libby had her second son in December 2015 and is loving sharing the journey back to fitness and strength post baby with her social media following. This year she is looking forward to competing in a number of runs and obstacle races. Follow Libby via Miracle Months facebook & instagram.

A guide to returning to training after a break

By Catherine Allison,  Triathlete, Oseopath + She Science Ambassador

 

Catherine Allison, Triathlete + Osteopath

Catherine Allison, Triathlete

As I write “February” on my client notes I can’t help but wonder where on earth did January go? While I’m not one for making New Years Resolutions I do know a number of people who have recently admitted they have decided to re start 2016 in February – and I’m full of support! It is so easy to get caught up in the holiday spirit and when the reality of life sets back in you realise it’s been almost a full month since you worked normal hours and completed your exercise regime like clockwork. So how do you get back into exercise again after an extended break? Here are a few tips to make sure you don’t have to re make your resolution again in March 😉

 

 

  1. Start small – don’t expect to be able to take up where you left off in December 2015. It doesn’t take long for fitness to drop and for our motivation to workout to go with it. Don’t set unrealistic workouts for your first few weeks back or you will end up feeling depressed when they don’t go to plan. Start with 5-10minutes a day; Exercise without your beloved Garmin or Heart Rate monitor; but most importantly just enjoy being out there again.
  1. Set a goal – summer in Melbourne is one of the best times to find a fitness goal as there is an event on most weekends. It doesn’t need to be a big goal or a race you want to win: simply having a date set for your return is enough to kick start the motivation.
  1. Find a fitness buddy – It is very easy to snooze the alarm if there is no one holding you accountable. Chances are your friends are in the same boat as you after the holiday period and simply having someone to meet is motivation enough to get out of bed. And lets me honest, there is nothing more enjoyable than taking a friend (or furry) friend for a well deserved post workout coffee.
  1. Mark it in your diary – A wise man once said “if you fail to plan, you plan to fail”. If you write down in advance on paper (or in your phone) the exercise you plan to complete with a time frame, you are more likely to stick to your routine. Deciding its time to exercise isn’t enough – set some short term goals for each week and enjoy ticking them off as you go.
  1. Make it enjoyable – exercise should be fun and not a chore. For exercise programs to work they need to be something you enjoy or, even better, look forward to completing. Choosing “running” because you heard it’s good for fat burning isn’t going to cut it in a few months when it gets colder and you lose motivation. Find something that makes you tick and stick to it. Life is supposed to be fun.
  1. Dress for it – with the post Christmas Sales lingering it is the perfect time to reward yourself as you tick off each goal. So if you need the extra motivation why not find some new exercise gear to make you feel excited about getting out and about again!  You are far more likely to go out and exercise if you have some new threads and don’t pull on your 3 year old baggy T-shirt from the bottom of the drawer.
  1. Don’t be hard on yourself – coming back from a break for exercise is tough, even for an elite athlete. It is easy to be critical of yourself and to feel despondent when you realise you aren’t where you were a few months ago. Remember that conditioning takes time – there is no quick fix: each day you increase your program you are one step closer to your goal and feeling how you did at your peak.

Remember that the things you do today will show in the weeks to come – sadly we cannot snap our fingers and be back to full fitness or goal weight, so in the meantime, slow down and enjoy the process. Take time to remember why it is you enjoy exercising, make some new friends to keep you company, set some goals in place for the year, and reward the small changes you make along the way. And within no time at all you will be back to your routine and feeling fabulous.

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Catherine is a fierce competitor in the Australian Triathlon community. Her distance of choice is the Ironman 70.3, but you’ll find her on Sprint and Olympic distance courses too. When she isn’t working on her 16 hours of training a week Catherine works with athletes of all levels clinically as an Osteopath. In 2015 Catherine was named the Victorian Female Athelte of the Year by Triathlon Australia. She has her aims set high for another huge year in 2016. Follow her progress via her instagram or review her clinic details here.

Trials and tribulations of cycling across Australia

 By Kerryn Harvey, She Science Ambassador & founder of START foundation 

Just a few short weeks ago I completed what I consider to be the cycling adventure of a lifetime.  Ride For The Royal Adelaide Hospital was a 3,600km, 5-week ride, from Perth to Melbourne raising funds for a critical care research project at the hospital.

Following 18 months of planning, a team of passionate and enthusiastic cyclists and support crew left Perth on a wet, April day, and began our journey East.  All of us were filled with a combination of trepidation and excitement, unsure of what challenges lay ahead.  We had all trained hard in the lead up, but had we done enough?

On paper I had selected the days that looked to be most challenging, either by their length, or the terrain we were covering.  In reality, the most challenging days came along mostly unexpected.  The weather was usually the catalyst that affected how well the day went.  On our longest day of 225km from Southern Cross (WA) to Kalgoorlie (WA), we were lucky enough to have a roaring tailwind and fine conditions, arriving at our destination 2 hours ahead of schedule.  For many of the riders it was the longest they had ever ridden in a day and they were over the moon at their achievement and how great they felt.  We were on a high!

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One of the most challenging days was on the Nullabor, a 181km slight downhill ride, from Madura Roadhouse to Eucla Roadhouse.  On paper it looked like a long, gentle roll.  We left Madura before the sun rose and instantly felt the fresh air in our faces.  Not long after the sun came up, the wind picked up and became a strong westerly, blowing hard relentlessly the whole day.  Despite working together as a team into the headwind, our speed was extremely slow, and the day seemed to drag on and on.  The last 40km we desperately tried to make it in before sunset but were beaten and finished off the ride well after it was dark.  I was physically shattered from the day and so thankful we had a rest day the following day as I definitely had no interest in getting on a bike!

Each day had its highs and lows and each day brought our team closer together.  We became like a travelling family, working together seamlessly to help everyone arrive safely at our new destination each night.  I soon realized I was living with a group of like-minded, driven individuals.  We were striving toward a common goal on a number of levels.  Firstly it was about achieving our riding goal of traversing across the country under our own steam.  Secondly it was about fundraising and raising awareness of Royal Adelaide Hospital.

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Everyone on the ride, especially me, had an emotional attachment to Royal Adelaide Hospital and was committed to our fundraising goal.  This was because the Royal Adelaide Hospital had saved my life 2 ½ years ago after contracting a flesh-eating bacteria.  Fundraising for the hospital was my way of saying thanks for saving my life.  The emotion boiled over when we arrived in Adelaide on our bikes in early May and landed at the front gates of the hospital.  Staff, dignitaries, and our families welcomed us, and we presented a $40,000 cheque to the hospital.  I had tried desperately to keep myself together on the bike on this day but the closer we came to arriving the more overwhelmed I felt, and I rode the last few km’s with tears streaming down my face.

Arriving home to Melbourne a week or so later, at the end of our journey was equally overwhelming, especially after a week of riding in cold, wet conditions from Adelaide.  We had made it!  An incredible journey made possible by some incredible people – family, friends, sponsors, and everyone who donated.

All the cyclists, volunteers, and myself recognize we have experienced something unique and amazing.  For me it ticked so many boxes, the cycling challenge, the camaraderie in the team, the friendships, being in the great outdoors, seeing parts of Australia by bike, and giving something back to the Royal Adelaide Hospital.

We all agreed we wanted to do another major cycling event again.  Now I am resting up, my mind is ticking…………watch this space.

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A woman that has overcomed significant adversity in Life, Kerryn continues to inspire us with what she achieves. In the past years Kerryn has gone from learning to tackle life as an amputee to winning the ITU Para-Triathlon World qualifying event, founding the START foundation and finishing her qualifications to be a Personal Trainer. Kerryn’s committment to empowering people with disabilities to achieve their sporting dreams is inspiring. Follow Kerryn via @startfoundation_aus

 

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