Women's Health Australia June 2021

Women’s Health Australia's mission is to help Aussie women feel happier and healthier (every single day!) with the ideal mix of fitness, food, nutrition, mindfulness, wellness, fitspo fashion and beauty, plus so much more.

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in this issue

2 min
the magic of milestones

There’s something about a big, milestone birthday that naturally makes you stop and take stock. As women, we so often measure success – and what’s truly important – by these invisible yardsticks, as we blow out yet another set of candles on life’s birthday cake. At 20, I’d just finished powering through a journalism degree (having shifted from Sydney to Bathurst in Central Western NSW at the age of 17 to follow my passion for media) and lobbed back into Sydney in search of a foot in the magazine industry door. Not a fan of doing things by halves (understatement), on the eve of my 30s, I got engaged, got married and jumped onto the propery ladder, all in the space of six months. Yep, hectic. Then at 40, after…

3 min
ask women’s health

THE BIG QUESTION How gross is it to wear yesterday’s unwashed workout gear? Answer Unless your last workout was 30 minutes in corpse pose, it’s not the best idea. “Working out causes our body to produce more sweat and moisture than usual, which can then become trapped in gym clothing,” says cosmetic doctor Dr Shirin Lakhani. And when you throw on that pair of leggings for another session? “The bacteria and particles of dirt that are clinging to your clothes rub on to your skin and trigger the inflammatory response that causes acne and folliculitis,” Lakhani explains. Playing fast and loose with hygiene isn’t great for your crotch area either. “The build-up of sweat in the groin from re-wearing old workout clothes can alter the natural pH level of the vagina,…

1 min
my weight loss efforts are affecting my sleep. what gives?

This is a sign you may need to rethink your approach, says nutritionist and weight loss consultant Kim Pearson. “If you suddenly reduce your daily [kilojoule] intake too drastically, your blood-sugar level is likely to plummet at night. To stop it from dropping to dangerously low levels, your body releases the stress hormone cortisol, and that’s what jolts you awake.” To put this problem to bed, you need to wake up to your diet’s deficiencies. Pearson suggests planning your evening meal with slow energy release in mind, ensuring that, alongside protein, you’re getting enough healthy fats and fibre. Up your intake of the latter and you’ll promote the release of the sleep hormone melatonin. If the diet you’re following is overly restrictive, it’s worth having a serious rethink, adds Pearson.…

1 min
on our radar

GREENER SHOPPING Planet lovers, might we intro you to new sustainable brand Little Pepino? Pick up the likes of reusable baking mats and bamboo kitchen utensils – and when you’re finished, send it back to the team for recycling or composting. littlepepino.com BAKED OATS Your favourite brekkie is taking over TikTok, with users sharing recipes with all sorts of flavours, from carrot cake to cinnamon bun. Yum. Search – you guessed it – #bakedoats if you want to mix up your morning menu. JIGSAW PUZZLES Surprise plot twist: sales of this nostalgic pastime have boomed recently thanks to the comforting escapism puzzles can offer. And we couldn’t be happier about it. Now, if we could only find that last piece… FRESH BEVVIES Gluten free, vegan and made in Byron Bay, Sunly Seltzer’s hard seltzers (aka, sparkling water…

1 min
can exercise really reduce time in labour?

A 2018 clinical trial by the Technical University of Madrid suggests this theory has legs. Scientists found that total labour time was reduced in a group of healthy women who did moderate aerobic exercise three times a week during pregnancy, compared with a control group who did none. “Regular aerobic exercise before and during pregnancy can have a positive effect on labour and birth, including shortening the overall duration,” explains obstetrician and gynaecologist Dr Ellie Rayner. “Your cardiac output increases significantly during labour, making it an intense workout for the body – so exercise during pregnancy can make these changes less of a shock to your system. She also points to evidence that indicates an ability to be mobile (likely from exercise) during labour, particularly with changing positions, has a…

2 min

Battle of the Flexes Get your strong on now for future gains: turns out resistance training delivers similar benefits to men and women over 50. When University of NSW researchers reviewed 30 studies, they found no sex differences in how much this style of workout improved participants’ relative muscle size or upper body strength. Given that resistance exercises also benefit balance, bone density and more, it’s worth a top spot on your training to-do list. 4 BEING ABLE TO CLIMB THIS MANY FLIGHTS OF STAIRS (OR 60 STAIRS IN TOTAL) IN LESS THAN A MINUTE INDICATES GOOD HEART HEALTH. GO ON, TEST YOURSELF. SOURCE: EUROPEAN SOCIETY OF CARDIOLOGY HAVE A BALL Doing the same abs moves can feel staler than an old protein bar. Liven things up with a mini exercise ball: “Tuck it behind…