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Top 10 Bike Maintenance Tips

Posted on 16th June 2016 by


A bike is a great investment and with the right tlc, can last many years. The Bike Week website has ike Week 2016written their top 10 bike maintenance tips, easy to do, not too laborious but could go a long way in extending the life of your cycle. Here’s their tips:

1. Keep it clean
If there is one thing you can do to prolong the life of your bike, it is keeping it clean. Tedious, but true. No fancy cleaning kit required – a bucket of soapy water, a sponge and an old toothbrush is all you need, though a proper degreaser will help break down the oil and grit in the chain and gear sprockets.

2. Keep your tyres inflated properly
Poorly inflated tyres are prone to punctures. Forget flimsy hand pumps – you need a standing track pump with a pressure gauge to do the job. Nice bike shops will let you borrow theirs. Look on the side of your tyre for a number followed by the letters PSI. That tells you how much air to put in.

3. Check your brake pads
Worn brake pads equal rubbish brakes. You can tell they are worn if you can hardly see the grooves any more. Fitting new brake pads is a very cheap and easy fix and any number of websites can show you how. You just need a set of Allen keys and some patience.

4. Silence squeaky brakes
Screeching brakes are often dirty brakes, or at least dirty wheel rims. Clean and dry both properly and 50% of the time, you’ve solved the problem. If that doesn’t work, they might need adjusting.

5. Tighten saggy brakes
Britain’s Biggest Bike Fix. If your brakes have become sluggish and lacklustre – i.e. if you squeeze the brake lever and it moves more than halfway towards the handlebars – you need to tighten them up. The easiest way to do this is twiddle the barrel adjuster by the brake lever. If that doesn’t do the trick, you’ll need to get your Allen keys out and free the brake cable by opening the brake nut, pulling it taut and closing the nut again. Again, let the internet be your teacher.

6. Get a professional service
Once a year should be fine, ideally at the start of spring if you’ve been brave enough to cycle though winter. There is no shame in getting the pros in. Think of it as your bicycle MOT. Or why not bring your bike to your local Bike Week and have a Dr Bike check up?

7. Lubrication, lubrication, lubrication
Buy some bike-specific lubricant and use it sparingly on any parts of your bike where metal touches metal. There is no point oiling your chain unless you have cleaned it properly first – you’ll make matters worse.

8. Check if your wheel is “true”
Turn your bike upside down and spin your wheels. Do they wobble a little from side to side? If so, they need “truing”. This is a quick fix, but not one for an amateur, as you need special equipment. A bike shop will do this for a small fee.

9. Get your saddle perfect
If you are prone to SBS (sore bum syndrome), experiment a little with your saddle, raising or tilting it slightly to suit your riding style. If you get sore knees while cycling, you might have your saddle too low. When you pedal, your legs should be almost straight on the downwards revolution.

10. Buy some latex gloves
Bike oil is a nightmare to get out from under your nails. If it’s too late for that, scrub your hands with washing up liquid and sugar, only adding water right at the end.

Teaching Your Child to Ride A Bike in 30 Minutes

Posted on 13th June 2016 by

Learning to ride a bike is a huge childhood milestone. By the time we were on our third child, we’d nailed it! But teaching our first and second were quite a challenge at times. Given that this week is Bike Week, I thought I’d share my own tips and this great little video, which certainly echoes my positive experience teaching my third child to ride a bike.

My Top Tips

  • Get them on a balance bike as soon as they’re ready – they’ll learn how to balance and stay upright on 2 wheels, without having to think about pedals.
  • Encourage them to use the balance bike little and often, short bursts going from A to B are great. They’ll pick it up in no time.
  • Don’t use stabilisers, the positioning of the bike isn’t the same as without, which is confusing with little ones when you try and get rid of them.
  • Get a lightweight bike that’s proportioned to the child. I absolutely rave about Isla Bikes and have also heard good things about Frog bikes.
  • Lead by example, start family bike rides early (with baby in a bike seat) and cycling will just become a normal part of their life.
  • Choose flat, smooth surfaces to first try with a pedal bike. St James Park in Shirley has a great looping path, as does Southampton Common. But there are many options in the area.

From my experience, it literally took less than 10 minutes to go from a balance bike to a pedal cycle with my third when she was about 4 and she’d been on a balance bike since she was 2. It was such a simple, natural transition and a pleasure and joy to watch!

Cycling is a great family activity, and one that you can get even the youngest family members involved in from quite early on. While I’m on the subject of family cycling, I thought I’d also share my child bike seat recommendation. Again, you’ve learnt by the third time round! We found the Weeride bike seat, which sits between the handle bars and cyclist (rather than behind the cyclist), to be amazing. When they’re stuck at the back, the bike often feels heavy and unbalanced and you have no interaction with them. Using the Weeride, the bike feels so much more stable and you can involve them in your cycle and chat to them as you go. They can also see what’s going on really well. We used this right up until our 3rd child was about 4 and it was a great experience.



Why Is Clinical Pilates different to other Pilates Classes?

Posted on 12th June 2016 by

Pilates classes are a big part of what we offer here at goPhysio in Chandlers Ford. However, the Pilates classes we run at goPhysio are a little different to others you may experience in the area. Our Pilates is in essence ‘Clinical Pilates’.

Clinical Pilates is different to a traditional class you may attend at the gym or local hall.

Physio Pilates Chandlers FordClinical (or Rehabilitation) Pilates has been specifically developed for use by clinically trained professionals, so physiotherapists or Sports Therapists.  All of our instructors are either Charted Physiotherapists or Graduate Sports Therapists and are trained by the Australian Physiotherapy and Pilates Institute (APPI), which is the world leader in clinical Pilates.

Clinical Pilates exercises work to target the deep postural muscles of the tummy and spine. They also help improve spinal mobility, increase flexibility of the key trunk and leg muscle groups and improve body and postural awareness. The classes help increase awareness of your body and improve your movement quality and control. This type of Pilates is particularly suitable for you if you suffer with back or neck pain or have suffered a specific injury or have a long standing condition such as arthritis. It is also a great way of preventing injuries or preparing for sport.

People who come along to our Pilates classes tend to fall into one of 5 categories:

  1. They’ve had an injury and have been seeing us for Physiotherapy. Once they are nearing recovery, they start with Pilates to both continue their recovery and help improve their physical ability to stop the injury coming back.
  2. They have been advised to start Pilates by another health care practitioner (e.g. Consultant or GP) and want to join a Physio led class to make sure they have the right support in the class and adequately experienced Instructor.
  3. They’ve suffered with back or neck pain (or other injuries) on and off for years and have heard Pilates is great to stop it re-occurring.
  4. They’ve been to another Pilates class elsewhere but felt that the class size was too big and they weren’t getting enough attention or support from the instructor. We even have people who’ve picked up an injury at other classes from doing Pilates incorrectly.
  5. They’ve just heard wonderful things about Pilates and want to experience the benefits too in a friendly, supportive environment!

As our instructors are also Physiotherapist or Graduate Sports Therapists, you have ‘on hand’ expertise ready to share their knowledge and advice at every class. They have such an extensive knowledge of the human body and also injury, so can tailor each class to the individual needs and make sure you really get the most out of it for you. The classes only ever have a maximum of 11 participants, so you are always under the watchful eye to make sure you’re doing the exercises correctly and be progressed when needed.

There is a real skill in getting the Pilates exercises right and this needs concentration, guidance and attention.

Take a look at our class timetable to see the classes we run at goPhysio.

Questions we’re often asked about our classes

How many people come to the Pilates classes? The numbers for each class are strictly limited to a maximum of 11. This is to ensure that we maintain a high quality class, with the instructor being able to give sufficient attention & support to each individual.

How do I book onto a Pilates class? If you want to join our classes you can give us a call at the clinic on 02380253317 or email us. We’ll help find the most suitable class for you, we’ll can chat through the booking process and organise payment for the class. Alternatively, If you are currently attending goPhysio, chat to your Physio or our Reception team, who can organise for you to attend a class.

How much do the classes cost? We run our classes on a really easy, membership basis. So you pay a monthly fee for a regular weekly class. You can take a look at our class membership system here.

Why do I need a 1-2-1 before I start Pilates? We do advocate that if you haven’t seen us at goPhysio before you have a 30 minute 1-to-1 pilates session, before joining a class. This will enable our Pilates Instructor to help you to get 110% out of your Pilates! This is normal procedure for anyone starting a Clinical Pilates course and are free to those looking to join our classes.

Pilates Classes Chandlers Ford

Get involved in Bike Week 2016 with Southampton Sky Ride

Posted on 9th June 2016 by

Bike Week 2016

Bike week 2016 kicks off this Saturday. Bike Week is an annual opportunity to promote cycling, and show how cycling can easily be part of everyday life by encouraging ‘everyday cycling for everyone’. Demonstrating the social, health and environmental benefits of cycling, the week aims to get people to give cycling a go all over the UK, whether this be for fun, as a means of getting around to work or school, the local shops or just to visit friends.

This year’s Bike Week has a special focus and will encourage people to use their bikes to cycle to work. Incorporating cycling into your daily commute has many benefits. Could it be time for you to get back on 2 wheels?

Here in Southampton, the Southampton Sky Ride is a great opportunity to start off Bike Week. It’s happening at 11am on Sunday 12th June and if you’ve never tried it before, it’s a brilliant event for the whole family, whatever your cycling ability. In fact Sky Ride runs social and guided rides locally throughout the year. Again, whatever your level of cycling, you can find something that will inspire and guide you on your cycling journey. The benefits of cycling to work

What’s Physiotherapy got to do with a dripping tap?!

Posted on 2nd June 2016 by


Dripping tap and overuse injuriesI recently read a very interesting analogy about physiotherapy for overuse injuries and & a dripping tap! I thought it was an interesting way to look at physio and made real sense.

If you’ve got a dripping tap, you’ve got a couple of options.

Firstly you may put a bucket under the drip to collect the water or you can keep mopping it up. This is a great short term solution. The damage is contained and it doesn’t cost too much. But this isn’t great longer term. You’re just managing the problem without a long term solution. Like an injury, this is treating the symptoms of the problem.

But, as well as mopping up the leak, what you really need to do is find out why the tap is leaking and get it fixed, finding the cause of the problem and tackling it. Without doing this, you’ll be forever ‘mopping up’ and it will get pretty expensive with wasted water bills.

Overuse injuries can be looked at in a similar way. Pain is the dripping tap. You can take painkillers, you can rest – but this isn’t really tackling the problem of why you developed the injury in the first place. If all you’re doing is mopping up, you’re not actually fixing the leak. With overuse injuries, you need someone to look holistically at whats happening, identify the cause and offer solutions to rectify it and stop it happening again.

Overuse injuries occur because you’re doing something regularly and you body can’t cope with it, the demands you’re physically placing on your body are exceeding your body’s threshold to cope. So, if you’re suffering with an ongoing or long term overuse injury – do you want to be forever mopping up or do you want to get to the bottom of it and get it fixed? If you want a solution then give us a call. We get to the root of your problem, help relieve your symptoms but also address what’s really happening.

Drive Less, Live More

Posted on 23rd November 2015 by

drive less live more

It’s Road Safety Week this week and this years message is

‘Drive less and live more’

Need to go the shop for a few bits for the tea? Do you really need the car or would it be as quick to walk? You’ll probably spend most of your journey looking for a parking space when you do eventually reach your destination.

Leaving the car at home for a day will only help improve the environment by reducing on toxins released from motor vehicles.

By taking the train or the bus to work, we can all make our roads safer. It would mean less traffic, speeding up the daily commute which I think we would all agree is a major benefit.

Walking and cycling also gives the extra benefit of stretching our legs and getting some regular exercise. Even a short walk from the bus-stop to our place of work is sufficient to raise the heart rate and improve circulation. This way we can build exercise into our daily routine without feeling the need to find more time in our already busy days to undertake formal exercise, like going to the gym.

So let’s try leaving the car at home for short journeys and walking or cycling instead. You might even feel better for it!

Road Safety Week

Posted on 18th November 2015 by

The message this year is to drive less and live more.

Need to go the shop for a few bits for the tea. Do you really need the car or would it be as quick to walk? You’ll probably spend most of your journey looking for a parking space when you do eventually reach your destination.

Leaving the car at home for a day will only help improve the environment by reducing on toxins released from motor vehicles.

By taking the train or the bus to work, we can all make our roads safer. It would mean less traffic, speeding up the daily commute which I think we would all agree is a major benefit.

Walking and cycling also gives the extra benefit of stretching our legs and getting some regular exercise. Even a short walk from the bus-stop to our place of work is sufficient to raise the heart rate and improve circulation. This way we can build exercise into our daily routine without feeling the need to find more time in our already busy days to undertake formal exercise, like going to the gym.

So let’s try leaving the car at home for short journeys and walking or cycling instead. You might even feel better for it!

Exercising During Pregnancy

Posted on 25th June 2014 by

Many women are nervous about exercising during pregnancy and stop all activities once they discover they are expecting.

Whilst high impact and contact sports aren’t advisable during this time, there are many forms of exercise that you can do.

The general advice is that if you’re already regular exercise when you get pregnant, you can keep up this form of exercise – but don’t take up anything new!

There are many benefits to exercising during pregnancy, including:

  • Maintained Cardio-Vascular fitness
  • Helping with a more positive pregnancy experience
  • May help prevent gestational diabetes
  • Preparation for labour
  • Improved circulation – reduces fluid retention
  • Assists in post natal recovery
  • Maintains muscle length and flexibility
  • Maintains healthy weight
  • Increased body awareness and control – reducing risk of injury
  • Increase levels of energy and feeling of well-being

One form of exercise which is great to take part in whilst you are pregnant is Pilates. Pilates provides a safe, low impact and fun way to maintain your fitness levels and keep active for almost everyone who is pregnant.

The benefits of Pilates during pregnancy include:

  • A safe, low impact form of exercise
  • Conditioning & toning of your pelvic floor muscles
  • Improved postural awareness and control
  • Improved spinal and pelvic stability
  • Maintains fitness levels throughout pregnancy
  • Prepares your body for new tasks (toning and strengthening your arms & legs ready for carrying your baby and all that extra equipment around!)
  • Relaxation
  • Reduces pain associated with pregnancy such as low back pain, SPD, pelvic girdle pain
  • Social opportunity – meet like minded, local mums to be!

The benefits of Pilates after you’ve had your baby include:

  • Assists with weight loss and toning
  • Increases fitness levels
  • Helps maintain bone density
  • Social opportunity – meet local new mums
  • Can help prevent post-natal depression
  • Speeds recovery from delivery
  • Builds muscle strength and tone

Check out more information about our Pregnancy Pilates Classes at goPhysio in Chandlers Ford.

We also offer a post natal check up service, called goMummy – read more about it here!

Ante Natal Pilates Chandlers Ford Post natal Pilates Chandlers Ford


Increasing Your Activity With Technology

Posted on 16th May 2014 by

Following on from our last blog – The Magic 10,000 steps – I thought it would be useful to write a Activity Trackers goPhysiolittle piece about how to actually monitor your daily activity.

The most simple way of monitoring how many steps you take a day (and therefore how active you are) is a pedometer. You can pick up a basic pedometer for under £5 (as cheap as 65p) and the function is to count how many steps you are taking by measuring the motion of your hips. Reliability will vary – but these devices will certainly give an indication of your step number.

As with everything now, technology has progressed significantly and there has been a surge in the last couple of years of ‘Activity Monitors’.

Did you know by the way, that there are now more mobile connective devices on the planet than people – scary!

The main ones currently on the market include the Jawbone Up, FitBit, Nike Fuelband, Garmin VivoFit to name a few.

Research has indicated that even the most basic devices can help increase activity levels.

I have owned a FitBit for some time now and I can honestly say it was a significant turning point for me in increasing my general activity levels and changing my lifestyle.

Basically, what the FitBit (and other activity bands) do, is similar to a glorified pedometer. But it goes way beyond that. They can also measure:

  • Sleep patterns
  • Calories
  • Distance
  • Heart rate
  • Activity intensity

Each brand of device measures a different combination of measurements and they can also be integrated with other apps such as My Fitness Pal or Garmin Connect. So, if you’re looking to buy an activity monitor, it’s worth doing some research into what factors are most important to you.

This sort of thing suits me – I like a challenge, I like numbers (and measurements!) & I like to have a goal. So I found the FitBit really motivated me.

More recently, I purchased a Garmin VivioFit (not that I was unhappy with my FitBit, but a kind friend of mine works at Garmin!). So, what follows is my personal experience of using these 2 devices.


I have the FitBit Flex.

The Pros

  • Syncing is easy, basically open the app on my iPhone, make sure the FitBit is nearby and it syncs.
  • I love the ‘Active Minutes’ figure. You can read more about this here, but basically it measure how many minutes a day you are ‘very active’ – a good tool to measure against the recommended 30 minutes/day.
  • You can set alarms. The wristband buzzes gently, a nice way to be woken up or reminded of something. These are set on your app or web based dashboard.
  • The buzz it gives you when you reach your goal.
  • The scales – measure & track your weight and % body fat and sync automatically.
  • The dashboard & app are really easy to use and interpret.

The Cons

  • My wrist band has broken once (although FitBit did send a free replacement). I have heard of others breaking too.
  • Having to charge it up – it doesn’t take long but is annoying having to take it off not charge.
  • Minimal band information. You only get illuminated dots on the band, so need to check your app for further info. There is due to be a FitBit Force released which will display more info on the wrist band, but no UK date as yet as far as I’m aware.

The Garmin VivoFit

The Pros

  • You can see the time, steps, calories etc. all on a clear digital display on the wristband.
  • You don’t have to charge it – it comes with a 1 year battery apparently.
  • It adjusts your goals according to your activity – always pushing you a bit!
  • You can sync it automatically with a Garmin heart rate monitor.

The Cons

  • Syncing takes a little longer and isn’t automatic – you have to press a button on the device.
  • Straps aren’t interchangeable, i.e. you buy the device in 1 colour and ca’t change the strap.
  • It doesn’t monitor ‘very active minutes’.
  • No compatible scales/body fat monitor that I’m aware of.

Both have bits I really like and also not so keen on (but nothing’s perfect!). For now, I’m veering towards the Garmin, mainly due to the display and not having to charge the battery!

You can read full reviews of the many activity trackers online – there’s loads of them, here’s just a few I found, The Wire Cutter, PC Mag – although it’s work noting a few of these were written prior to the release of the Garmin VivoFit.

There’s no doubt that such devices are in their infancy, who know’s what we’ll be wearing or writing about in a year’s time. They’re no longer purely the domain of ‘techy’s’, wearable technology is set to become a part of everyone life!

Written by Fiona, goPhysio’s Non-Clinical Director (all views are her own)