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Handbags and health problems

According to latest media reports, handbags are getting heavier with one out of ten weighting over twelve pounds.

Did you know that carrying a heavier handbag can cause changes to your posture and increase your risk of injury?

It may sound far-fetched but the more you stuff into your bag the greater the risk of injury. While your bag may initially seem light, a heavier bag challenges your muscles and can quickly cause fatigue. Back pain, muscle aches, and injury all increase when muscles tire.If you can’t streamline your bag then you need to work on your core strength to combat the heavier load.  Try the following exercises three times a week.

Side Plank

  • Beginners: 2 sets of 6 reps
  • Intermediate: 2 sets of 8 reps
  • Advanced: 2 sets of 10 reps

Begin in a plank position with arms straight, shoulders over hands.Transfer your weight to your right side, rotating your body and lifting your left arm into a side plank position with feet stacked on top of each other.Return to the start and repeat on the other side to complete one rep.
Safety guidelines: keep your body in a straight line from head to toe, not letting your hips drop.

Leg Twists

  • Beginners: 2 sets of 6 reps
  • Intermediate: 2 sets of 8 reps
  • Advanced: 2 sets of 10 reps

Begin lying on your back with a large cushion or pillow between your feet, your upper body propped up on your elbows.
Lift your legs to around 45 degrees, tightening your stomach – this is the starting position.Imagine your feet are at 3 and 9 on a clock face. Keeping your upper body still, rotate your legs anti-clockwise so they are at 12 and 6 on the clock.Repeat, moving in a clockwise direction to complete one rep. Each rotation should take 2 seconds, so 4 seconds per rep.
Safety guidelines: Keep your back flat, not arched or sagging towards the floor.

V Sit-Ups

  • Beginners: 2 sets of 10 reps
  • Intermediate: 2 sets of 12 reps
  • Advanced: 2 sets of 15 reps

Begin lying on your back with legs extended and fingertips resting gently against your temples. Raise your head a few inches then slowly sit-up, bringing your knees towards your elbows.Slowly lower your upper body and extend your legs, keeping your head and feet slightly off the ground.
Safety guidelines: keep one leg in contact with the ground, or both knees bent if you feel any pain in your lower back.

Plank leg lift

  • Beginner: 2 sets of 8
  • Intermediate: 2 sets of 10
  • Advanced: 2 sets of 12

Areas worked: Core, shoulders, bottom
Begin in a plank position, with shoulders over wrists, abdominals lifted, and ears, shoulders, hips and heels all in one long line.
Lift your left leg slightly, gently pointing the toe. Your left hip will rise slightly but focus on maintaining a stable position with the rest of your body.
Pause for a count of one, lower and repeat with the other leg – this counts as one rep.

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