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Anyone for tennis?

Posted on 29th June 2017 by

Wimbledon 2017With Wimbledon starting next week our attention turns to the tennis courts. Whilst you’re enjoying the obligatory Pimms, strawberrys and cream this year you may feel inspired to get on the court and try it out for yourself. In this blog we take a look at the health benefits of tennis, how it can help you get in shape this summer and importantly how to avoid injury.

Tennis is truly a full body work out; a single 1 hour game can burn as many as 600 calories and requires cardiovascular fitness, endurance, quick reaction speed, power and flexibility. The professional’s can serve a ball at over 130mph and will use both brain and brawn to defeat their opponent.

The good news is you don’t need to be super fit to get started, tennis is suitable for people of all ages and abilities so whether you’re a complete novice or a competitive club player it’s a great way of keeping in shape, developing tactical skills, as well as enjoying the social side of things off the court.

New to tennis?

If you’re new to tennis, start with a friendly game, aiming to keep the ball in play for as long as possible. This will help you learn hand-eye coordination skills and sharpen your reaction time. If you’re not used to regular exercise a doubles game means a little less running around and doesn’t require quite as much flexibility to reach the ball.

Tennis can be a great way to meet new people or get the kids more active over the summer holidays. Playing regularly can help to lower your resting heart rate and blood pressure, improve your metabolic function, reduce cholesterol and body fat, improve co-ordination and increase bone density. It can even help combat stress and anxiety.

Take a look at the following local opportunities to play tennis:

Hiltingbury Tennis Courts – Get yourself a key card for just £10. You can book courts or pop along for open access.

Eastleigh Park Sport – are running a range of tennis sessions this summer for 8 – 16 year olds for just £1 a session!

Find your nearest tennis court here, on the LTA website.

Tennis for kids gives 5 – 8 years olds an opportunity to learn the basics of tennis in a free 6 week course.

Avoid Injury

tennis racquet grip sizeTo avoid injury make sure you get the basics right first – if you have current injuries or health problems get them checked out by a physiotherapist or by your GP before you start playing.

Make sure you pick an appropriate beginners racquet with the correct grip size to avoid hand and wrist injuries. Your local sports shop should be able to help you with this but as a guide you should have a finger width of space between your thumb and fingers when gripping the racquet.

A dynamic warm up for 10 minutes before you play should include jogging, heel raises, lunges, trunk rotations and arm circles as a minimum. Make sure you stretch the major muscle groups after playing to avoid post-exercise muscle soreness.

Getting coaching on proper technique will ensure you don’t develop bad habits early on which could increase your risk of injury. It also means you learn all the skills you require to develop your game quickly.

As tennis is a relatively high impact sport make sure you alternate it with low impact exercise such as swimming or yoga to help improve muscle balance and flexibility.

Read More 

Tennis Elbow

Tennis Injuries

#GoHitIt

 

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Top tips for injured runners

Posted on 28th June 2017 by

Having an injury can be a frustrating time for a runner, particularly when you have an event looming. How do you maintain your fitness when you can’t run?

Here’s our top tips to keep your physical and mental health in tip top condition whilst you’re recovering.

  1. Can you still run at all without increasing your pain? For most people maintaining some level of running is going to be better for them than complete rest as it helps prevent deconditioning both of the muscles and of the cardiovascular system. This one will depend on your injury so its always best to seek professional advice from a physiotherapist. Try taking out hills and speed work, go back to short, gentle runs on flatter terrain – its going to be much better to keep up short frequent runs of 1-2 miles rather than nothing at all even if you’re used to doing 10miles+ as this will give you a starting point from which you can progress. The main exception to this is running on a suspected stress fracture – you will not be able to run through this pain and you WILL make it worse by continuing to run. As a guide consider your pain levels during the run, but also over the next 24 hours – if your pain eases quickly when you start running and doesn’t leave lingering pain or stiffness into the evening or next day you are generally fine to keep going at this level.

  2. Cross training such as cycling, swimming and deep water running are great ways to keep up your cardio fitness whilst not running at your usual intensity. Try to match this to your normal training schedule – for example if you would normally do 3 runs a week – perhaps a 1 hour slow run, a 30 minute tempo run and a 20 minute speed/interval session try to replicate both the time and the intensity of these sessions on a bike or in the water.

  3. Work on technique – video analysis can help to find the route cause of why you are injured and specific tailored running drills and strengthening exercises can help prevent this problem reoccurring in the future. This is also going to help improve your efficiency as a runner so when your injury is healed you’re likely to be better than ever! Think about investing in our Running Rehab service – where we will analyse your running and combine this with an in depth physical assessment to identify and target any potential troublesome areas that need some work or adjusting.

  4. Don’t neglect strength and conditioning – use the time off running to work on areas of weakness. For example if you always get achy calves at the end of a run try building strength with single leg heel raises. Or if you are getting knee pain you can often work the hip and core muscles really hard without irritating the knee. A physiotherapist will be able to assess which areas of weakness might have contributed to your injury and guide you through a specific individualised strength training programme that isn’t going to aggravate it.

  5. Beat stress! A lot of us use running as a tool to keep our mental health in check so not being able to run can lead to feeling of guilt, anxiety and depression. It’s important to find another outlet for stress – cycling, swimming, yoga and Pilates can be great alternatives. Remember not to be too hard on yourself, recovery is an important part of the training process. Take this time to restore your general wellbeing – eat healthily, drink plenty of water and make sure you are getting enough sleep – this is going to speed up your recovery.

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Running Rehab

Warming up for running

How to maximise your training time

 


How to warm up for running

Posted on 27th June 2017 by

Many runners will head straight home from the office, pulling on their running gear and hit the tarmac, going from a sedentary 8 hours or more sitting at the desk straight into their evening run without so much as a brisk walk to wake up the muscles first.

Warming up before running is essential not only to reduce risk of injury but also to help maximise our training session so that we can work harder, for longer.

A good warm up should aim to prepare the body for exercise; it needs to be dynamic, cardiovascular and involve some balance or control work.

Dynamic

This means loosening up the joints and waking up the muscles that we are going to be using in sport.

Aim to do 30 secs – 1 min of each exercise.

Examples

Heel raise exercise

Heel raises

Knee lift exercise

Knee Raises

Heel flick exercise

Heel Flicks

Hacky Sacks Exercise

Hacky Sacks

Standing active trunk rotation exercise

Trunk rotations

Cardiovascular

By gradually increasing our heart rate and breathing rate we are pumping more blood and therefore more oxygen to our muscles to fuel them for the aerobic demands of our sport.

Examples

  • Brisk walk 1-2mins
  • Jog 1-2 mins
  • 5 x 100m ‘pick-ups’ – short bursts of increasing pace with 60secs rest in between

Motor-control

Exercises that stimulate our balance receptors to help prevent ligament sprains. Aim to do 20 of each exercise on both legs.

Walking Lunge Exercise

Walking lunges

Side shuffles Exercise

Side shuffles

Note: Static stretching is not recommended prior to exercise as it reduces the force output of our muscles and delays the activity of our balance receptors – actually making injury risk higher and performance lower. However it’s great to do these static stretches after running to cool down and prevent muscle soreness the next day.

Read More

Running Rehab Service

Warming Up For Sport

Running Injuries – The basic Principles

How to maximise your training time

Top tips for injured runners

 

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Runners – How to maximise your training time!

Posted on 26th June 2017 by

A lot of runners get stuck into a rut of running the same route at the same pace week in, week out. Whilst this is a fine way of maintaining our current fitness level it is not going to be enough to help us run further or faster. Even just adding the miles at our habitual comfortable pace will only lead to modest improvements in our endurance.

To really get the most out of our training we need to add variety. This challenges both our muscles and our energy systems in new ways to increase the rate at which they adapt to our training. Not only that but it has the added psychological bonus of experimenting with new routes and new training regimes to help keep us motivated and reduce risk of injury.

If you’re short on time the great news is that you don’t need to spend hours pounding away on the tarmac to achieve significant changes in your speed and endurance – you’re likely to get more benefit from a 30 minute higher intensity interval session than from a 1.5 hour run, although they both have their place!

There are 4 main types of training every runner should have in their programme:

  • Long slow run (LSR)
  • Tempo run
  • Speed/hill/interval session
  • Cross training

Long slow run

The LSR should be your longest (and slowest!) run of the week, the one which you gradually add miles to. This steady state sub-maximal training helps to build capillary density and increases number of mitochondria in your muscle cells which are an important part of our aerobic energy system. By doing this we increase the endurance and efficiency of both our cardiovascular system and our muscles. It also primes our tendons and bones to increase their stiffness to cope with gradually increases distances.

Tempo run

Tempo pace is described as ‘comfortably hard’. It is the maximum pace that we can sustain for approximately 1 hour. You should not be able to talk in full sentences but also not gasping for air if you are working in tempo zone.

Training in the ‘tempo zone’ means you are working at or just below your lactate threshold i.e. the point where the bodies ability to remove lactate from the blood is overtaken by the amount of lactate being produced.

As lactate levels increase the body begins to feel fatigued. Therefore by training just below our threshold we gradually increase it – this means we delay the onset of fatigue, helping us run further and faster.

Tempo runs should start with a 10 min warm up then aim to run for 20 minutes at the fastest pace you could sustain for 1 hour. As this gets easier you can gradually increase the time in the tempo zone up to 60 minutes.

Speed/hill/interval session

There are thousands of different ways to do interval sessions. These are the work outs that are going to increase your overall speed and power. They need to be short but hard – if you aren’t out of breath at the end you didn’t do it right! Don’t try to add intervals to your long runs, you won’t be able to work maximally and so you won’t get the full benefit. These sessions should last about 30 minutes in total, allowing 5-10 minutes for warm up and some recovery time in the middle. The fitter you are the shorter the recovery periods you’ll need between intervals and the more sets you can add.

Here’s a few ideas:

Intervals

Begin with: 10 min warm up, run 1 min mod-hard effort: 1 min easy jogging x 5
Progress to: 10 min warm up, 1 min max effort with 90 secs recovery x 10

Hill training

Begin with: 10 min warm up, 3 x 30 secs moderate effort uphill, walking back down
Progress to: 5 x 1min hard effort uphill, jogging back down with 30-60secs rest in between sets
Start with smaller hills then progress to steeper ones!

Cross training

Cross training means doing something other than running! This allows ‘active rest’ – working different muscle groups to running which prevents muscle imbalance but also training our running muscles in different ways to allows greater strength adaptations without overloading the tendons and joints.

Low impact options are great so try swimming or cycling for cardio. Pilates helps to build up your core postural muscles, making you more efficient when you run, and resistance training using relatively light weights and high repetitions allows you to strengthen and tone muscles without gaining muscle mass.

If you’ve got a race coming up, like the Winchester Half Marathon, which is particularly hilly, mixing up your training is crucial.

Read More

Running Injuries – The Basic Principles

Running Rehab Service

 

 


New report shows health benefits of swimming

Posted on 22nd June 2017 by

A new report has just been published, that outlines the health benefits of swimming.

Based on significant evidence and research, the report summarises that:

“As one of the most popular modes of physical activity, swimming/aquatic exercise confers significant physical health benefits for both healthy individuals and those with disease. Furthermore, these health benefits extend across the entire life-course – from foetus through to the frail elderly.”

As physiotherapist, we often recommend swimming to our patients. Water is an excellent environment for exercising in, not only as a regular, low impact form of exercise but also if you’re recovering from an injury. The buoyancy of water helps promote freedom of movement, increasing joint mobility and easing pain and stiffness. You don’t have to go to a pool and swim lengths! We often give people exercises to do in the water, that they wouldn’t always be able to do on dry land. It is also a fantastic way of maintaining fitness if you aren’t able to take part in your normal high impact exercise (such as running) due to an injury. Swimming can be a way to maintain cardiovascular fitness and endurance, whilst your injury heals and progress is being made at gradually returning you to your normal exercise.

A recent example of a young patient we’ve had at goPhysio, where swimming has been excellent. An 11 year old keen footballer with Severs (heel pain related to growth), Unable to play or attend football training more than twice a week due to heel pain, this young boy was becoming increasingly frustrated, starting to gain weight and loose cardiovascular fitness. Part of the management of Severs is to modify activity and treatments are limited, with time and normal growth rate  being a key part of symptom reduction. So, he was advised to start swimming regularly and his progress has been amazing. He’s felt more positive, been able to maintain and improve fitness and has gradually increased his time on the pitch, without aggravating his pain. Swimming has paid a key part in helping his endurance, strength, muscle flexibility and psychological wellbeing.

The report summarises that  for musculoskeletal health “evidence suggests that aquatic exercise has positive effects for a wide range of musculoskeletal conditions, favourably influencing pain, function and, for some, quality of life. The nature of the aquatic environment is ideally suited to individuals with MSK problems, given the reduced compressive joint force secondary to buoyancy.”

Health Benefits of Swimming

Source: The health & wellbeing benefits of swimming. Commissioned by Swim England’s Swimming and Health Commission, chaired by Professor Ian Cumming, Produced June 2017

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Everybody’s Free To Wear Sunscreen

Posted on 21st June 2017 by

Anyone familiar with music from the 1990s must remember ‘Everybody’s Free To Wear Sunscreen’ – Baz Luhrmann’s adaptation of an article originally written by Mary Schmich for a column in the Chicago Tribune.

As I was driving earlier this morning, the song was playing on the radio. Almost a decade and a half since I first listened to the song, the words all seemed to be more poignant and have much more significance in my life. There was a particular line in the song that struck a chord with me (around 2 minutes 48 into the song):

“Enjoy your body. Use it every way you can. Don’t be afraid of it, or what other people think of it. It’s the greatest instrument you’ll ever own.”

Having recently been spending a lot of time working on what our core values are at goPhysio, this line really encompasses everything we are & everything we do.

Enjoy your body – we are here to help make sure you can enjoy the amazing things your body is engineered to do. Walk, run, jump, ski, sit & move, whatever it is we help to make sure you can do these things without pain or injury, in the best way physically possible.

Use it every way you can – make the most of your physical abilities by staying pain & injury free. Have the confidence to try new things and push your body to find your own limitations.

It is the greatest instrument you’ll ever own – the daily advances in technology really do blow me away. But stop & think just for a moment how amazing the human body is and what we rely on it to do for us day in, day out! I know it’s a bit of a cliche, but having heard that line, it really did make me think how precious & great the body is and how privileged we are every day to be able to help people take care of their most precious instrument! You can buy the latest iPod or computer, replace & update it, but we really do need to take care of our body and appreciate what it can and does do for us every day.

If you want a little trip down memory lane (or if you’ve never heard the song & words before) you can watch the video here on You Tube – enjoy!

p.s. Don’t forget your sunscreen!

The featured image was part of some work completed by Coventry University.

 

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International Yoga Day – 25% Off All Class Passes

Posted on 20th June 2017 by

Wednesday 21st June is International day of Yoga DayInternational Day of Yoga Chandlers Ford

To celebrate this, we are offering 25% off all class passes purchased on or before 25th June 2017. Just enter the Promo Code YOGA25 when you sign in or sign up to Studio Bookings.

Class Passes

Class passes can be used to attend not only yoga, but also our Active Backs classes to help people with back pain, Positive Steps exercise classes for 60+ and our Pregnancy Pilates classes.

Class passes are normally priced at:

£12.50 single class (1 month expiry)

£55 for a 5 class pass (2 month expiry)

£100 for a 10 class pass (3 month expiry)

Here’s a step by step guide to using our Studio Bookings site.

Yoga at goPhysio

We offer 3 great Yoga classes at our comfortable, air conditioned studio in Chandlers Ford.

Gentle Yoga – Tuesday’s 10 – 11am with Marianne

This class is intended for people with reduced mobility. Typically, we start with a short relaxation to prepare the body and eliminate tensions and fatigue, followed by a gentle warm up. Warm muscles allow smoother and easier moves. The body is then ready for moderately energetic sequences and postures. In the sessions Marianne tends to use props (blocks, belts, chairs), so postures can be adapted to each student, according to their individual body. The pace is slower than in a classic yoga class. The emphasis is on breath exercises, joint work and relaxation. Marianne also teaches at Yogalite.

Restorative Mat Yoga – Thursday’s 10 – 11am with Michelle

Suitable for all levels of fitness, working with seated, laying or kneeling positions on the floor. The postures are held for longer periods of time, with the use of props, to allow the body to release into the pose. This style of yoga is suitable for all and works with restoring the body back to equilibrium. Calming and rejuvenating to body, mind and soul.

Himalayan Hatha Yoga – Thursday’s 1.30 – 2.30pm with Michelle

Classes are a strong yet supportive style of yoga suitable for all levels from beginner to more experienced. Be open to challenging yourself and watch yourself grow in all directions, using the breath to recharge and revitalise your body and mind.

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Active Backs Classes

Positive Steps Classes

Pregnancy Pilates

Studio Bookings Sign Up

 


Beware of the Flip Flop!

Posted on 16th June 2017 by

Today, 16th June 2017, sees National Flip Flop Day! (Yes, that really is a national day!!) With the wonderful weather this week and set to be beautiful over the weekend, flip flops are are common footwear of voice!

Flip flops are great for chucking on to get from the car to the beach and walking around the pool. But this footwear is playing havoc with our feet!

In the summer months we see so many people coming into the clinic with foot and ankle problems such as achilles tendonitis and plantar fasciitis. In many of the people with knee, hip & back problems that come to see us, we also find that a sudden increase in wearing flip flops for long periods of time has played a part in their problem.

Flip flops provide no support for your feet, they are often made of very flexible rubber with little additional structure to hold your foot in place. This causes considerable stress to your feet as you rely on your toes to grip with every step and the additional stress placed on your plantar fascia, achilles tendon and other structures in your foot.

National Flip Flop DaySo, if you’re going for a longer walk or going to be on your feet all day, ditch the flip flop and wear something more supportive. If you’ve noticed you’re suddenly getting pain in your foot ankle or other part of your leg or back and have been wearing flip flops more now the sun is out, try reducing how much you wear them and see if this makes a difference.

#NationalFlipFlopDay


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Achilles teninopathies

Plantar Fasciitis

Custom Orthotics

 

 

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Men’s Health Week- Have you got a hazardous waist?

Posted on 13th June 2017 by

This week is Men’s Health Week 2017 – which runs from June 12-18 – the focus this year is about abdominal obesity – better known as ‘belly fat’. Men's Health Week 2017

Why? Because it’s the type of fat that’s bad for your health and men are more likely to have it.

Belly fat is a problem because it lurks not just beneath the surface but also gets down deep and surrounds your vital organs. Regardless of your overall weight, a large amount of belly fat increases your risk of:

  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes
  • Colorectal cancer
  • Sleep apnea
  • Premature death from any cause
  • High blood pressure

So, men need to get those tape measures out. If you have a waist measurement over 37 inches (94cm), you are at increased risk of diabetes, heart disease, cancer, stroke and erection problems. If it’s over 40 inches (102cm), you’re ar a considerably increased risk of all these. The measurement is not the same as your trouser size. Measure your stomach at the belly button.

MOVE MORE, EAT WELL, WATCH THE BOOZE.

Want to get serious about tackling your waist? We offer a range of gentle and carefully managed ways to exercise and get you moving more.

  • First and foremost, if you’ve picked up an injury or are in pain, the first thing you do is move less. This can have a substantial knock on effect on your activity levels and habit. So, if you’re in pain or have an injury that’s stopping you being active – whether it’s cycling, walking to work, playing golf, running or doing a few laps of the pool, get in touch or book your physio appointment so that we can help you sort out your injury.
  • Pilates is a fantastic way to get you moving well. Many of the exercises really focus on that core middle area and although they aren’t specifically designed to slim down your waist, many people report that this is an additional benefit.
  • If you’re over 60 and keen to exercise but wary of going to a gym or not sure what exercises are advised or appropriate, why not come along to our Positive Steps exercise classes. They are specially designed for the older generations, and will help give you the confidence to push your body a little.
  • If back pain is stopping you from exercising, why not try our Active Backs classes. Exercises sessions specifically tailored for people with back pain, they will help you learn what exercises will help with your back and again, help improve your confidence in exercising.

Men's Health Week 2017

 

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A Perfect Working Day?

Posted on 11th June 2017 by

 

I came across this image on a blog last week. Could this be a timetable for a perfect, healthy work day?

 

Ideal Day for Corporate Athletes

In a world where we re almost permanately ‘switched on’, with less clear definition between work and downtime, more disrupted sleep routines, more sitting and less activity – do we need to go back to basics and het some sort of structure and routine back in order to preserve our health?

Read more here.