Women's Health Australia December 2017

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
calmer in seconds

This time of year can be (in a word) hectic. Between after-work wines, pre- Christmas get-togethers (that actually start in November) and end-of-year deadlines, staying calm, centred and relatively stress-free can be trickier than navigating a lululemon warehouse sale. But according to leading mindfulness experts, just one small change – taking a few short minutes each day to stop, relax and (here’s the clincher) breathe deeply – could totally transform your health, wellbeing and happiness levels. According to best-selling author and wellness guru Dr Libby Weaver, the only thing scientifically proven to shift your body out of what she calls the “red zone” (think OTT stress and sky-high cortisol levels) and into the much more desirable “green zone” (where everything is working as it should) is a little something called parasympathetic…

4 min
ask women’s health

I HATE CARDIO. IS STRENGTH TRAINING ENOUGH FOR A HEALTHY HEART? The Big Question ANSWER Smashing your squat rack PB makes you come over all superhero, while trailing redfaced and panting at the back of your running group, well, less so. Good news: resistance training is ticker friendly, and in more ways than one. Muscle reps, particularly highintensity strength training (read: using heavy weights that leave you fatigued), increase your heart rate, thereby improving your aerobic fitness. “Lifting heavy weights vigorously can improve your heart-rate recovery, lower your blood pressure and enhance blood vessel and artery function,” says physiologist Dr Cassandra Forsythe. How to know when you’re training in the zone? Make sure your dumbbells are heavier than your shopping bags, avoid resting for more than a minute between sets and train for…

2 min
stretch is best

UPPER BACK Interlace both hands while reaching up to the sky. Gently lean over to the right while stretching into the left side of the back, then do the same with the opposite side. Next, interlace your hands behind your neck and begin moving your chest forwards while sending your elbows back towards one another. HAMSTRING Stand with your feet hip-distance apart. Reach both arms up to lengthen the body and upper back. Start to bend forwards at the hips while also reaching your arms forwards. At the same time, tilt the pelvis backwards and reach your fingers towards your shins, toes or the floor. CHEST/ SHOULDERS Lie facedown on your stomach and send your arms out to the side in a ‘T’. Keeping arms on the ground, gently roll over to the right-hand side…

1 min
home grown

Source: International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity EASY DOES IT Slow and steady does win the race. In a study published in Obesity, people who lost a consistent amount of weight each week maintained it better after one and two years than those whose weight fluctuated in the first six to 12 weeks of their trimdown program. “Settle on a plan you can maintain, even if that means consistently losing three-quarters of a pound [0.34kg] each week,” says researcher Dr Michael Lowe of Drexel University in the US. Got it. PLEASE EXPLAIN... Oleuropein COMPOUND FOUND IN OLIVES THAT MAY PLAY A ROLE IN CONTROLLING METABOLISM. ANOTHER MARTINI, PLEASE! Source: Virginia Tech…

1 min
sweet treats

Want to satisfy those cravings, without blowing the kilojoule budget this Christmas? Too easy! Sink into a bubble bath that smells like the very best bits of the festive season (Chrissy cookie, anyone?). Get your glow on with fruit-scented palettes. Or smash that choc hankering by tucking into a richly toned eye palette. Now that’s sweet! 20 THE PERCENTAGE MORE YOU CAN EARN IF YOU’RE SEEN AS WELL-GROOMED. NEAT NAILS CAN MAKE YOU APPEAR INSTANTLY POLISHED. TRY OPI NAIL ENVY NAIL STRENGTHENER, $34.95, WHICH TREATS AND HARDENS NAILS. GRAB IT IN A NEUTRAL TONE. BE CLEAR ON DAIRY New reason to embrace full-fat dairy: a study in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology found a link between drinking skim milk (but not full-fat) and acne. Researchers suggest it may have something to…

1 min
get ahead with avo

Forking out for the ‘add avocado’ lunch option could power you through that dull meeting later. In a study by Tufts University in the US, a group who ate an avo a day for six months showed improved attention, working memory and problem-solving skills. Why? Researchers credit a boost in lutein, an antioxidant found in the green stuff (see also: kale, eggs, corn) that stimulates brain function and improves cognition. Use your loaf It’s just not brunch unless you’re dipping toasted sourdough into a gooey egg yolk – but that’s not to say it’s making a crumb of difference to your digestive health. Given its fermented credentials, sourdough is said to boost healthy microbes in the gut and reduce blood sugar spikes. The catch? Researchers at Israel’s Weizmann Institute of Science discovered…