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National Stress Awareness Day: Can Exercise Help?

Posted on 2nd November 2018 by

National Stress Awareness Day is today and it aims to make people more aware of the impact stress National Stress Awareness Daycan have on your everyday life. It also aims to help people identify ways to deal with this stress and find a way to reduce it.

Research has shown that increased stress levels can lead to an increased risk of injury.

How do stress levels impact on injury risk?

  • Stress can increase muscular tension, which can then lead to aches and pain. Neck and back muscles are particularly prone to stress related tension.
  • Increased muscular tension can also lead to muscle strains or tears as the muscle is under a greater load and is less flexible than normal.
  • Stress levels may cause you to forget an important piece of equipment when working out, such as proper running shoes or corrective orthotic insoles. This places additional strain on your body, raising the risk of injury.
  • Stress on your time management might force you to exercise at different times, for example first thing in the morning when your muscles aren’t fully warmed up or last thing in the day when you are tired. It might also cause you to rush or not take as much care when you are exercising.
  • High stress levels can also reduce your body’s immunity levels, increasing the likelihood of a poor recovery from any minor injury.
  • You may also find that stress distracts you from the activity in front of you – whether that is exercising, working or even a simple task such as crossing the road or walking up stairs. This distraction could result in a sprained joint or pulled muscle.

Research has also suggested that stress can be reduced through regular exercise and movement.

How can exercise reduce my stress levels?

  • Exercise gives you something to focus on away from the cause of your stress.
    It helps to boost your mood by increasing self confidence, improving sleep quality and reducing anxiety.
  • Any form of exercise will help – even a short walk at lunch time or getting off the bus a stop early allows you to get some fresh air and takes your mind away from stressful thoughts.
  • A flexibility based exercise, such as Pilates or Yoga, will help to reduce muscle tension and can help ease aching related to this.
  • Scheduling some time specifically for exercising may also help as it will give your day structure and breaks up time spent sat in front of the computer!
  • If you exercise with friends, colleagues or family, the social element of this will again boost your mood and reduce stress levels.
  • Find a new sport or something fun to do – there are lots of different things out there to try!

Many people find a regular, professional sports or deep tissue massage can be a really great way to relieve the build up of stress and tension physically. It also gives you time to yourself to unwind.

Here are the top 10 steps to stress free living from International Stress Management Association UK.

National Stress Awareness Day

#NationalStressAwarenessDay


Speak Up and Speak Out About Stress

Posted on 1st November 2018 by

This week is National Stress Awareness Week, with Wednesday being National Stress Awareness Day. So here we take a look at what stress is really doing to our  National Stress Awareness Day bodies and how we can both recognise it and combat it.

What is stress?

Stress is anything which exerts pressure on us beyond our individual ability to cope. It has traditionally been thought of as a flight or fight response; increasing our alertness, muscle tone and heart rate to respond to a perceived threat. However modern-day stress can come in many forms such as workplace pressures, relationship issues, juggling family commitments or looking after a sick relative, which can all take their toll.

What happens when we are stressed?

When we are stressed our body releases chemicals such as cortisol and adrenaline. These hormones are imperative for our survival, however if their levels are sustained for a prolonged period they will start to impact on our physical health and affect many different organs in our body.

Symptoms of stress

Symptoms of stress can include:

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Irritability
  • Indecisiveness
  • Headaches
  • Insomnia
  • Chronic muscle pain
  • Over or under eating
  • Increased blood pressure
  • Reflux
  • Increased risk of diabetes, heart conditions and stroke
  • Increased susceptibility to colds and viruses

Can exercise help with stress?

Yes! Exercise helps lower our blood pressure, reduce the levels of stress hormones in our body, improve our mood, our muscle flexibility and tone, as well as distracting us from other stressors and helping us to get a good night’s sleep.

Great forms of stress-busting exercise include classes such as Pilates, tai chi and yoga, which focus on breathing and flexibility of the body. They also give us the opportunity to ‘check in’ with ourselves and become more aware of how we are feeling physically and mentally. Whilst this gives us some much needed me-time, classes can also be a great social opportunity which is perfect for boosting our mood!

The ISMA (international stress management association) has come up with 7 positive ways to influence stress

1. Change the thought – Change the outcome

This is the starting point, reprogramming your brain by replacing an unhelpful negative thought or belief with a new positive one. Use your imagination to visualise or ‘show’ your brain what you want. The power of the mind cannot be over-estimated!

2. Self-belief starts with you

This is an empowering way of taking more control in your life rather than relying on others to make you feel good. Do something fun or caring for yourself today!

3. Don’t just do what you did last year

Repeating what you always do will bring you the same outcome unless others change & this is not in your control. So if you didn’t like all that happened last year make plans & set new goals, do something different!

4. Deal with difficult decisions now, not later

“Never put off until tomorrow what you can do today” We all know this but positive action is required to make it happen. Prioritize & do the difficult tasks first in the day so you have a clear focus for the rest of the day making you less stressed & more productive!

5. Find reasons to say “yes”

“I would love to but….” here comes the negative reason why you can’t! It can be a really positive experience to just say yes, if it is possible & what you want, then try to find ways that will allow you the opportunity, maybe you need others to persuade you, take control & decide for yourself!

6. Renegotiate

Stuck with what you have always had & now want a change? Look at learning to develop & use your assertive skills, ask for what you want, discuss your changing needs, expectations with yourself & others to reach the deal that works for you!

7. Flip it!

There are always two sides to every situation, sometimes more. Take time to look at all your options, don’t just assume, maybe ask others & make informed choices based on facts!

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Love Your Bones – World Osteoporosis Day

Posted on 20th October 2018 by

Today is World Osteoporosis Day.World Osteoporosis day

Osteoporosis is a condition that weakens the bones, causing them to become less dense and therefore more fragile and easily broken.

We will naturally lose some bone density as we age but in some people this occurs more rapidly and is then known as osteoporosis or osteopenia (a milder form). This affects more than 3 million people in the UK and its thought 1 in 2 women and 1 in 5 men over the age of 50 will break a bone due to osteoporosis.

You may be at higher risk of osteoporosis if:

  • You have low body weight or history of anorexia
  • You had an early menopause or hysterectomy
  • You don’t get enough vitamin D and calcium in your diet
  • You smoke or drink over the recommended limit of alcohol a week
  • You’ve had long course of steroid based medication or cancer treatment

Most people don’t know they have osteoporosis until they break a bone but it can be diagnosed by a DEXA scan which looks at your bone density.

If you have osteoporosis your GP may prescribe medications such as alendronic acid which helps slow the breakdown of bone, or calcium and vitamin D supplements which help build new bone. Eating a healthy well-balanced diet and avoid smoking and alcohol are also likely to be beneficial.

Regular weight-bearing and resistance exercises have been shown to help stimulate our bones to grow stronger. The most suitable type of exercise will depend on how much bone density you have already lost, for example younger people with reasonable bone density but several risk factors would benefit from higher impact training such as running, circuit training, tennis and football.

However, if you already have been diagnosed with osteoporosis start with lower impact exercises such as walking, Pilates, tai chi, gentle dance classes and lifting light weights to build your bones up more gradually.

Our Positive Steps classes are a perfect place to start, aimed at the over 60’s we combine seated and standing resistance exercises with balance and flexibility work. With 2 levels of class, small numbers and a fun and relaxed atmosphere you’ll be feeling the benefits straight away.

If you are unsure what’s the best type of exercise for you consult your GP or come along and see one of our Physiotherapists.

World Osteoporosis Day

Osteoporosis Fracture Risk

 

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Never Too Late! How to maintain strength as you age.

Posted on 26th September 2018 by

For many people, retirement marks a time of new beginnings.Never Too Late

More time with the grandkids, new hobbies, greater opportunities to travel. But it can also be a time for finding new ways to maintain or build your strength while discovering talents you never knew you had. This is important because at present, too few people are doing as much exercise as they should each week – particularly to strengthen their muscles and bones.

Finding something that you love to do is the perfect way to help you remain active and strong as you age – while having fun at the same time.

Many of us overlook everyday opportunities to strengthen our muscles.

These can be as simple as:

  • Carrying the shopping
  • Scrubbing clean the car
  • Digging in the garden.

Try to incorporate those into your daily routine to feel the benefits. But as with any activity, our bodies adapt quickly. So always make sure you are making it that bit harder – carrying the shopping a little further, for example. Small amounts can add up to a big difference over time to keep you stronger for longer.

How much should I be doing?

Studies show we lose 3-5% of muscle every year from the age of30ifwedonottake steps to maintain it.

Losing that strength puts us at greater risk of falls and other ill-health so it is vitally important to make countering the decline a priority in your life.

The official guidelines call for everyone to do activities that strengthen your muscles and bones twice a week.

Meeting that target will help you not only prevent falls, but improve your mood, help your sleeping patterns and bring benefits for your overall health and wellbeing.

It’s never too late to be what you might always have been. There are so many activities out there that you may have wanted to do in the past but never got around to and retirement is a great opportunity to put that right.

Activities found to have the most benefit for muscle and bone strengthening include:

  • Ball games
  • Racket sports
  • Dance
  • Nordic walking
  • Resistance training.

At goPhysio, we run a class specifically designed for older people, so you can exercise safely and with the right guidance and supervision to give you the confidence you may need. Read more about our Active Ageing Classes here.

Also try to do the home-based exercises below twice a week to supplement those activities.

But if none of those float your boat, there are plenty more to choose from – for instance, how about playing the drums? Or Pilates?

Whatever you do, just make sure it has a strength component.

Ask your physio for suggestions or visit the BBC’s Get Inspired website.

Tips for starting a new activity:

  • Find something you enjoy so that you’ll keep going
  • Set goals for yourself – big or small – to keep you motivated
  • Pace yourself – start slowly and gradually build up
  • It’s ok to ache but if pain persists, ease back and go slower

Need more motivation and support? Why not come and see a member pf our team to help you realise your potential and put a plan in action.

Lean Muscle Mass Exercises

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Active Ageing Exercise Classes at goPhysio

Pilates at goPhysio

 


National Fitness Day 2018

Posted on 25th September 2018 by

This year’s National Fitness Day is on Wednesday 26th September and promises to continue to National Fitness Day 2018encourage the nation to celebrate the fun of fitness and physical activity across the UK.

As part of National Fitness Day, UK Active will be running a social media campaign – #Fitness2Me

#Fitness2Me aims to celebrate what fitness means to people, promoting that keeping physically active means something different to us all.

UK Active want to make #Fitness2Me the biggest movement in breaking down the barriers that stop people being active, showing that fitness is for everyone!

They hope that by encouraging people from all walks of life, activity levels, and interests to share what fitness means to them, it will inspire others to live healthier and happier lives through being active.

So if it is getting fit, getting happy, playing with grandkids, or connecting with pets, whatever it means to you we want to hear about it!

  • Simply grab a piece of paper and scribble down what Fitness Means 2 You
  • Then take a photo or capture a 60 second video to share with us on social media
  • Don’t forget to add #Fitness2Me and #FitnessDay and tag us via @FitnessDayUK

A major issue that people face when trying to increase activity levels, is overcoming perceived or actual barriers.

Here are some suggestions for overcoming barriers to physical activity.

Suggestions for Overcoming Physical Activity Barriers
Lack of time Identify available time slots. Monitor your daily activities for one week. Identify at least three 30-minute time slots you could use for physical activity.
Add physical activity to your daily routine. For example, walk or ride your bike to work or shopping, organise school activities around physical activity, walk the dog, exercise while you watch TV, park farther away from your destination, etc.
Select activities requiring minimal time, such as walking, jogging, or stairclimbing.
Social influence Explain your interest in physical activity to friends and family. Ask them to support your efforts.
Invite friends and family members to exercise with you. Plan social activities involving exercise, like family walks or walk to a coffee shop with a friend.
Develop new friendships with physically active people. Join a group, such as a walking club.
Lack of energy Schedule physical activity for times in the day or week when you feel most energetic naturally.
Convince yourself that if you give it a chance, physical activity will increase your energy level; then, try it.
Lack of motivation Plan ahead. Make physical activity a regular part of your daily or weekly schedule and write it on your calendar.
Invite a friend to exercise with you on a regular basis and write it on both your calendars.
Join an exercise group or class.
Fear of injury Learn how to warm up and cool down to prevent injury.
Learn how to exercise appropriately considering your age, fitness level, skill level, and health status.
Make sure you get any injuries checked out, so you have confidence to exercise without fear. 
Lack of skill Select activities requiring no new skills, such as walking, climbing stairs, or jogging.
Take a class to develop new skills.
Lack of resources Select activities that require minimal facilities or equipment, such as walking, jogging, skipping, or free online classes.
Identify inexpensive, convenient resources available in your community Park Run, Eastleigh Borough Council Activities, Health walks etc. 
Weather conditions Develop a set of regular activities that are always available regardless of weather (indoor cycling, free online classes, indoor swimming,  stair climbing, skipping, dancing, yoga, etc.)
Travel Put a skipping rope in your suitcase and skip.
Walk the halls and climb the stairs in hotels.
Stay in places with swimming pools or exercise facilities.
Join a nationwide gym.
Visit the local shopping centre and walk for half an hour or more.
Bring your mp3 player your favorite aerobic exercise music.
Family obligations Trade babysitting time with a friend, neighbour, or family member who also has small children.
Exercise with the kids-go for a walk together, play tag or other running games, do an aerobic dance or exercise video for kids (there are several online) and exercise together. You can spend time together and still get your exercise.
True skipping, ride a stationary bicycle, or use other home gymnasium equipment while the kids are busy playing or sleeping.
Try to exercise when the kids are not around (e.g., during school hours or their nap time).
Retirement years Look upon your retirement as an opportunity to become more active instead of less. Spend more time gardening, walking the dog, and playing with your grandchildren. Children with short legs and grandparents with slower gaits are often great walking partners.
Learn a new skill you’ve always been interested in, such as ballroom dancing, line dancing, or swimming.
Now that you have the time, make regular physical activity a part of every day. Go for a walk every morning or every evening before dinner. Treat yourself to an exercycle and ride every day while reading a favorite book or magazine.

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Good Luck for the Winchester Half Marathon

Posted on 20th September 2018 by

It’s so great to have so many fantastic running events in our local area. This weekend is the much anticipated Winchester Half. We have lots of patients, friends and family taking place in this local Hampshire event.

And who can guess what the main topic of discussion is in anticipation of this event?…….HILLS!

But don’t let that taint your excitement. Hill’s can be great and here’s a little reminder of some of the benefits of hills, courtesy of Rock Creek Runner.


benefits of hill running

So, when you’re taking on those hilly challenges on Sunday, keep these benefits in mind!

Best of luck to everyone taking part in the Winchester Half Marathon event, we look forward to hearing your marathon stories next week. And if you want to be prepared and book in your recovery massage for next week, don’t forget you can do this online 24/7. So if those hills have taken their toll on Sunday evening, you can book there and then!

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World Physical Therapy Day 2018

Posted on 8th September 2018 by

World Physical Therapy Day takes place every year on 8th September. The day is an opportunity for Physiotherapists (physical therapists) from all over the world to raise awareness about the crucial contribution the profession makes to keeping people well, mobile and independent.

Get Active. Stay Active. Talk to one of our Physiotherapists today.

The campaign message of World Physical Therapy Day 2018 is “Physical therapy and mental health”, demonstrating the role that physical therapy and physical activity has in mental health.

The campaign is focused around the following key messages:

  • Exercise as an evidence-based treatment for depression.
  • The role of physical therapists working with patients who may have mental health issues.
  • The benefits of physical activity in protecting against the emergence of depression.
  • How better outcomes are experienced when exercise is delivered by a qualified healthcare professional, such as a physiotherapist.
  • How people with mental health issues are more at risk of having poor physical health.

Here are some great infographics that summarise how mental health can be improved with exercise and the crucial role physiotherapists can have in supporting this.

World Physio Day 2018

World Physio Day mental health

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The Common Sense Guide to Exercise & Movement

Posted on 24th August 2018 by

The benefits of exercising, moving more and being active are undeniable. We must hear and see articles, posts and headlines about this on a daily basis. But sometimes it can all seem a bit daunting – what’s best to do, how often, why, is it enough, is it too much….???? So many questions! It’s sometimes so overwhelming that it seems easier not to do anything.

So, when we saw this great Common Sense Guide to Exercise & Movement from Cor-Kinetic, it was too good not to share with you. 20 fantastic, simple and easy to follow tips to help guide you to being more active!


Common Sense Movement Exercise Guidelines

If you need any help, guidance or support in your health & wellbeing journey, you can access our wide range of specialist services. These include:

Physiotherapy or Sports Therapy to help you recover from an injury to make sure you can exercise or be as active as you want to be!

Rehabilitation to work on getting you back to your pre-injury condition.

Pilates classes to build your strength, stability and body condition.

Active Ageing Classes, specially designed to help older people gain confidence in exercising in a safe, supported environment.

Please do get in touch to find out more!


National Parks Week

Posted on 25th July 2018 by

This week is National Parks Week – an annual National Park family festival championing all that is unique and special about National Parks. This year’s festival takes National Parks Week place Sunday 22 to Sunday 29 July and celebrates the countless opportunities to get outside and discover the length and breadth of the UK’s 15 National Parks.

How lucky are we to have one of these treasures right on our doorstep with The New Forest!

And what great timing, being the summer holidays and having such glorious summer weather!

Getting out in the great outdoors is so good for us in so many ways! 

  • Time to disconnect from technology and connect with nature. The kids may moan and groan about being dragged away from ‘Fortnite’ initially, but it’s often worth the extra effort and persuasion! Get back to basics – climb a tree, find sticks, feel that sunshine on your face!
  • Walking, climbing, exploring – all fantastic ways to get some physical activity into the day. Getting out in the fresh air will help you feel more energised, wake up those muscles & joints and get your heart and lungs pumping if you get your stride on!
  • Bringing families together – time to chat and a low cost holiday activity, why not organise a family walk & picnic (find a nice shady spot!). A spot of rounders or cricket always goes down well too.

Don’t forget, in this unprecedented stretch of hot weather we’ve been having to follow the recommended advice about staying safe in this heat.

  • Drink plenty of water as sugary, alcoholic and caffeinated drinks can make you more dehydrated
  • Try to keep out of the sun between 11am to 3pm
  • Take care and follow local safety advice, if you are going into the water to cool down
  • Walk in the shade, apply sunscreen and wear a hat, if you have to go out in the heat
  • Avoid physical exertion in the hottest parts of the day
  • Wear light, loose fitting cotton clothes
  • Make sure you take water with you, if you are travelling

Read More

Taking time to be mindful

Active 10 – 10 Steps to An Active You

#NationalParksWeek #DiscoverNationalParks #LoveActivity


 

 

 


Taking time to be mindful

Posted on 27th June 2018 by

We often seem to live our lives at a million miles per hour and sometimes let our days fly by, almost unconscious of what we are doing or have done. Mindfulness has become ever increasingly popular, with our awareness of the importance of our mental health and wellbeing on the rise. 

So, what is mindfulness and how can you incorporate it into your busy schedule?

Mindfulness can be defined in different ways. Ultimately, it’s the ability to focus on the present moment whilst accepting ones’s feeling, thoughts and how your body feels. Alternatively defined as;

“Bringing one’s complete attention to the present experience on a moment-to-moment basis’’

(Marlatt & Kristeller, 1999).

Mindfulness and meditation can have many positive affects on the body including:

  • Higher brain functioning with boosts to the working memory
  • Lowered blood pressure 
  • Lowered anxiety levels
  • Increased attention and focus
  • Reduction in stress

So how can we put this into practice to get all the great benefits mentioned above?

Here’s a few practical ideas:

  • At breakfast: stop watching the clock, smell your food, take note of the colour, the texture the taste. 
  • Brushing your teeth:  the taste of the toothpaste, the sensation of the brush on your teeth, the texture under your feet as you stand there. 
  • Walking: put your phone or device away. What can you hear? What can you smell? How does the sunshine feel on your skin?
  • Meditation: use an app to get you started with mindfulness, we recommend Headspace or Calm, which have guided meditation and can only take ten minutes of your day. 
  • Pilates: take some time out and join a pilates class, connecting your mind and body. Yoga is also great for this.
  • Go for a walk in nature: Walking its great for taking some time out and being mindful.It helps you connect with the season and stimulates all your senses.

Take time to be mindful

by Francesca Wicker, Sports Therapist