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Back to the Gym!

Posted on 23rd July 2020 by

With gyms, classes and leisure centres re-opening on Saturday, it’s a but of an injury ticking time bomb!

Even if you’ve been doing regular exercise during lockdown, your body will definitely need some time to re-adjust to exercising again with a new regime.

Our 6 top tips:

  1. Build up gradually – most injuries occur after doing too much, too often, too soon. So however tempting it might seems, ease back into exercising. Don’t go and book a class or go the the gym every day next week. Your body will well and truly be in for a shock and on a. more serious note, you are putting yourself at risk of getting an injury.
  2. Have realistic expectations – it’s going to feel harder to start with. Even if you’ve been doing Zoom classes, running regularly or daily PE with Joe Wicks, you’re going to be in a different environment, with different equipment and doing something you haven’t done for months. Don’t expect too much or set yourself unrealistic expectations bu thinking you’ll get straight back into your pre-COVID routine.
  3. Start with shorter sessions / reduced frequency – think about your pre-COVD workout and give yourself a good few weeks to build up to it. Think about doing shorter sessions to start off with or twice a week the first week, then three times and build up from there. This will give your body time to adapt to what you’re asking of it which will significantly reduce the risk of injury.
  4. Start with lower weights – if you lift weights, start off with lower weights and build it up over the coming weeks. Going straight in to your usual level of weights without time to adapt will increase your risk of injury.
  5. Mix it up – try different types of exercise, mix up resistance and cardio in the gym, try a new class and build in something more gentle like yoga, Pilates or a stretch class. Use a foam roller on rest days or treat yourself to a post massage. Don’t be tempted to go to the gym and exercise the same part of your body repeatedly.
  6. Soreness vs Pain – some soreness in your muscles is to be expected when you get back to exercise, it’s nothing to worry about and should ease after a few days. If you get persistent pain in any area or in a joint and it doesn’t ease within a week to 10 days, it may be you’ve injured yourself and would benefit from coming to see one of our Physios’ or Sports Therapists. Getting a quick diagnosis and treatment plan will help give you the best chance of getting back again quickly without having to rest for weeks on end and being dragged into a cycle of injury.

As a guide, depending on how much or how little you’ve done in terms of exercise during lockdown, you should expect it to take 2 – 6 weeks to get back to to your pre-COVID level of exercise. If you’ve had Coronavirus, it may take longer and you’ll have to be a bit kinder to yourself, lower your expectations and really listen to your body. You can read more about this here.

Patience is really key here. We know how much you’re all looking forward to getting back to the gym and classes but just imagine getting back for 2 weeks and then having to stop again because of an injury, How frustrating would that be?!

So, by being sensible and not diving straight in at 110%, you’ll be giving yourself the best chance of enjoying being back exercising, for the long term.

Happy exercising!



Staycation? Make your journey pain free.

Posted on 23rd July 2020 by

As the summer season is upon us and with a surge in people planning a staycation this year, many will find themselves with long car journeys ahead. However, hours spent in the car in 1 position, coupled with the stress and anxiety of traffic jams, can leave us getting out the car feeling 10 years older!

We can’t do much about the traffic (sorry!) but getting your car set up well and following a few simple tips can make the journey much more pleasant, leaving you pain-free to enjoy the festivities.

Car Set Up 

The degree of adjustment available to you in your car will depend on it’s make, model and year but most modern vehicles will have an array of buttons and levers to play with.

  • Start with seat height – make sure you’ve got maximum vision of the road over the steering wheel but not so high your heads touching the roof!
  • Move the seat forward so that you can fully depress the clutch and accelerator without overstretching the legs.
  • Adjust the seat tilt so that your thighs are supported but you don’t feel pressure behind the knees.
  • Adjust the backrest so that you have contact right from the lower back up to shoulder height – try to make sure you are quite upright so that you don’t end up slouched in the seat with your neck craning forwards.
  • Adjust the steering wheel height so that your arms are in a relaxed position.
  • Adjust the head rest so that its level with the back of the head.

You may need to re-adjust your position as you move other things so play around with it until you feel comfortable and supported. It’s worth spending 5-10minutes doing this before a long journey to prevent hours of pain at the other end! Don’t forget to re-adjust your mirrors to suit once you are happy with your set up.

Here’s a great little guide with some handy tips on how you can set up your car in the best way!

Drive Clear Of Pain

Lumbar support

Lumbar roll

If your car doesn’t have adequate lumbar support consider purchasing an addition lumbar roll to support your lower back. Place this in the small of your back, just above your pelvis. You can also use a rolled up hand towel for this. We stock a range of lumbar supports at the clinic and can advise which style or shape is best for you.

Driving time

Make sure you stop at least every 2 hours – more frequently if you already suffer with neck or back problems.

When you stop, make sure you get out of your car and walk around for a few minutes. Stretch out your neck, roll your shoulders and gently rotate your trunk from side to side. Reach up above your head, enjoying a full body stitch and take some really big breaths in and out to expand your lungs and rib cage and get the oxygen into your system!

Whilst driving, you can use natural pauses such as red traffic lights to gently stretch out the neck or tilt the pelvis back and forth to relieve any tension that might be building up.

Listen 

There is so many choices of things to listen to now when we’re tackling long journeys, that can certainly help keep us relaxed and less stressed. Whether it’s a podcast or a favourite playlist, having something to listen to can really help pass the time and keep stress levels reduced.

When you arrive

Stretch when you get out the car, try to move around for a while or go for a walk rather than swapping the car seat straight for the sofa. But try to avoid any heavy lifting or strenuous exercise immediately after getting out the car until you’ve loosened up a bit.

Above all, stay safe!


Studio Re-Opening: Your Questions Answered

Posted on 22nd July 2020 by

With our studio re-opening on 27th July, we’ve had a number of questions for the finer details and to clarify a few things. As always, we’re more than happy to answer any questions you may have, so here we go!

How do I get back to my original class when you can finally open “as normal”?  

To be honest, we don’t know when ‘as normal’ will be. We can only work with what guidance is currently in place. That means we have a new ‘normal’ timetable in place. We can only accommodate 4 people per class currently and have scope to expand our timetable depending on demand. Those who sign up to a new class will be securing their place in that class. We hope that in time, we will be able to expand class sizes and therefore accommodate more people.

Can my membership still be on hold if I don’t want to do any classes whatsoever until it is back “to normal”?

Yes, of course! We will happily keep your membership on hold until you’re ready. You can still access Pilates in a number of ways, including pre-recorded online classes and 1-2-1 sessions in the clinic.

When people have booked and at last minute they cancel, will you be able to offer to someone else on a waiting list?

Ay present, we are unable to offer our usual ‘make up’ class system, accommodate changes in classes and hold waiting lists. This is because we are supporting class ‘bubbles’ to minimise contact between lot’s of different people and we don’t have the scope to offer lot’s of additional spaces for ‘make up’ classes.

Can I still continue with the online Pilates classes?

Yes, the online pre-recorded Pilates will be continuing. You can sign up for this here. If you want to stop your online Pilates subscription, just sign in to your account and cancel your subscription.

If I come back to the studio, what happens to my online subscription?

Studio classes and the online subscription are handled separately. Some people may want to continue to access the online classes, if so you don’t need to do anything, your online subscription will continue. If, however, you’d like to cancel your online subscription now the studio is open, you’ll need to do this through your online account.

My usual class isn’t on the new timetable

Unfortunately, in the current climate, it has not been possible for us to re-start the previous timetable. We have had changes in staffing schedules and hours, are phasing staff back in from furlough and given that we have to reduce class times and numbers, it just wasn’t possible to continue the old timetable.

We have made sure that we have created a timetable with a good and varied selection of classes, levels and Instructors throughout the week, to offer everyone a choice.

You can take a look at the latest timetable here.

What if I sign up to a Monday and there is a bank holiday?

In this case, we will allow you to make up your class at another time on the timetable, or will put on an extra class for your class at another time that week.

If I want to join Reformer Pilates do I need an induction?

With Reformer Pilates, you’ll need to do a few 1-2-1 sessions before you join a class. This ensures you are familiar with the Reformer bed and equipment, confident moving about on it and are happy with some basic exercises. These 1-2-1 sessions will really help you get the most from the classes. Read more about Reformer Pilates here.

Why do I have to wear a face covering?

We have decided to have both our Instructors and class attendees wearing face masks / coverings. This is because we want to be able to walk round the class to give you guidance and verbal instructions to adjust your position and get the most from your Pilates exercises. This means we can’t keep a distance of 2m from everyone, in which case, it is advised to wear a face covering. This protects both the Instructor and all the class attendees. We aren’t able to offer hands on adjustment in a group situation.

We will be constantly reviewing and adjusting how we are working, so if you have any feedback at all, please do let us know.


Studio Re-Opening News

Posted on 18th July 2020 by

We are delighted that we can finally re-open our studio and re-start our wonderful, Pilates classes, albeit in a slightly different way (but hey, think we’re all used to constant change by now!).

The good news is, you’ll be meeting the same great instructors in the same place, so not all change!

We’ve carefully scrutinised and analysed all of the official and expert guidance and advice and have put in place some key changes to ensure you can safely re-start classes. Here’s a bit more information about the new class set up.

Class Sizes

The good news is, there is a maximum of only 4 people per class, so you’ll receive lot’s of support and guidance!

New Timetable

In order to comply with the latest guidance, we have to limit the number of people in the studio. We also have to allow extra time between classes, for cleaning, ventilation and to manage the flow of people. We have therefore launched a new class timetable. The timetable will be revised regularly and new classes added as soon as we reach capacity. Should any classes not be popular, we reserve the right to review the timings and change the timetable based on demand.

Class Timings

All classes will now be 45 minutes to help ensure we can run them all smoothly and offer enough sessions. Classes will start and finish on time and we ask that you don’t hang about after the class (sorry, we know you all enjoy this but we have to limit numbers in the building).

Class Bubbles

For now, we won’t be offering our usual ‘make up’ system if you can’t attend your regular class. We need to help limit contact between individuals, so you will need to sign up to a regular, weekly class and won’t be able to swap classes.

Membership & Payment

We have had to review our prices and given that we’ve had to reduce our class capacity by almost two thirds, we’ve had to increase the monthly Pilates membership slightly. It equates to just over £1 a class increase. The new prices for Pilates are:

  • 1 mat class a week monthly membership £60 / month
  • 2 mat classes a week monthly membership £115 / month
  • 1 Reformer class a week monthly membership £100 / month
  • Reformer / Mat combo (1 of each class a week) £150 / month

We are currently unable to offer PAYG Pilates as we have to carefully manage numbers and ‘bubbles’, so can’t have lot’s of different people coming to different classes every week.

What to bring to the studio?

We ask that you bring as little as possible to the studio. You’ll need to wear socks (ideally with grips) and bring a face covering with you.

During the Classes

Our Instructors will still be on hand to guide and help you with the exercises. They will be taking a ‘hands off’ approach, so will be prompting you verbally to help you get the most from the exercises.

If weather (and noise) permits, we will be keeping the windows open during the classes. So, depending on the weather you may want to add (or remove) a layer of clothing or bring an extra layer!

We ask that you stay within your own area during the class and don’t move around the studio.

Coronavirus Screening

Before anyone comes to the clinic, you’ll be asked to complete an online Coronavirus screening questionnaire.

When you arrive at the clinic, we will take your temperature with a distanced forehead thermometer. Anyone with a high temperature will not be able to join in the class.

We ask that if you or anyone in your household has symptoms of Coronavirus, that you follow the latest isolation guidance.

Enhanced Cleaning

At the end of every class, we will ask you to wipe down your own area with the products supplied. The studio will be thoroughly cleaned on a regular basis.

Reformer Pilates

If you are coming to Reformer Pilates, you will be asked to wear gloves whilst on the machines. We can supply disposable gloves or you can purchase full finger ‘grip’ gloves to bring with you. These are great or you can find something similar in sports shops.

What to expect: Step by Step

  1. Do not arrive any earlier than 10 minutes before your class is scheduled to start.
  2. When you arrive, you will be let into the clinic by our reception team, who will take your temperature. Please wear a face covering and use the hand gel.
  3. Please make your way straight up to the studio.
  4. Each participant will have a dedicated area in the studio. Please ensure you stay within this area. There will be a box for you to put in anything you bring with you.
  5. Ensure you are wearing socks, ideally Pilates socks with grips / non-slip.
  6. During the class, your Instructor will be able to walk round and prompt and help you with the exercises verbally, but they won’t be able to be ‘hands on’.
  7. At the end of the class, we ask that you wipe down the mat, blocks and any other equipment you’ve used with the cleaning products supplied.
  8. Use the hand gel on leaving the studio.
  9. Make your way out of the clinic promptly, using the exit at the bottom of the stairs.

We know how much you all value the ‘social’ aspect of the classes and catching up with people and chatting every week. However, we have to strictly limit the number of people and time spent in the clinic, so we’d really appreciate your support with this by leaving classes promptly.

FAQs

Take a look here, where we answer some of your most frequently asked questions.

Thank you!

This is just a starting point for us. We very much hope that in time we can relax how we operate, expand the timetable and be more flexible by re-introducing PAYG Pilates and make up classes. We hope you can understand that we are operating under very stringent guidance which is in the best interest of our team and the community, so any decisions are based on this. We’ve been providing Pilates classes to the local people of Chandlers Ford since 2011 and want to ensure we can continue to offer these highly valued classes for a long time to come!

We appreciate your compliance with the new ways, your understanding and continued support.

The goPhysio Pilates Team



Post COVID Recovery

Posted on 3rd July 2020 by

We’re staring to see (albeit online only if appropriate), a number of people who have had and are recovering from Coronavirus.

It certainly seems to have a really significant impact on people longer term, even those who may have had milder symptoms. We’ve put together some useful tips and advice, to help you be realistic about and optimise your recovery.

Why is rehabilitation important?

While you are recovering, focusing on taking some time for your recovery and rehabilitation is really important. Rehabilitation will improve your exercise tolerance, muscle strength and help manage any breathlessness and fatigue.

You should focus on breathing, functional and physical exercises. Here at goPhysio, we can help guide you on the best types of exercises either through our online service or face to face, if it’s appropriate. We will help to put together a rehabilitation programme that is tailored exactly to you and where you are and where you want to be.

Making sure you’re suitably hydrated and nourished play a really important role in your body’s response to and recovery from the COVID-19 virus. Eating well (together with the exercises) will help to rebuild your muscle strength and function.

REHABILITATION: The action of restoring someone to health or normal life through training and therapy.

What can I do to help myself?

Making sure you resume some ‘normality’ and routine is a great way to boost your recovery. Here’s a few tips:

  • Get up at a normal hour
  • Try and restart a regular morning routine e.g. wash, brush teeth, get dressed
  • Sit in a chair for meals
  • Follow advice on eating and drinking well
  • Think about keeping an exercise and activity diary

Why do I feel breathless?

Breathlessness is a very common symptom in some people with COVID-19. The lungs can become inflamed and the effort of breathing can increase. You may be breathing quicker and shallower, however it is important to try and stay calm. Anxiety can increase your heart rate and make your breathing rate increase further. This should improve over time. You can try some breathing control exercises to help.

Breathing control – something to help you relax

  1. Get in a comfortable position
  2. Close your eyes and bring your attention to your breathing
  3. Breathe in and out through your nose (or mouth if you are unable to do this)
  4. Try to breathe in for the count of one, and out for count of two, working towards a longer breath out than in, to slow your breathing rate down
  5. Notice areas of tension in the body and try to release this with each breath out
  6. Gradually try to make your breaths slower and deeper

You can try various positions if you[re feeling breathless, that you may find help ease the breathlessness. Try:

  1. Lying on your side, propped up with pillows with your knees bent a little
  2. Sit upright and lean forwards over a table onto some pillow and relax
  3. Stand and lean onto a windowsill or forwards onto a wall

Mobility & Exercise

Moving little and often will help with your breathing and get your muscles working again, easing stiffness, achey joints and improve your strength and flexibility. All of this will help you get back to doing the things you’ve missed. There are different levels of mobility you should slowly work towards.

  1. Sitting on the edge of your bed
  2. Standing up from sitting
  3. Getting out of your bed and sitting in a chair
  4. Walk within a small space
  5. Walk around your home
  6. Walk around your garden
  7. Climb stairs or steps
  8. Getting outside

Exercises

It is really important to do some regular exercises that will help with:

  • Building up your muscle strength
  • Improving your muscle flexibility
  • Working on exercise stamina and endurance
  • Regaining balance
  • Improving functional activities

Exercise Diary: you may find using an exercise diary helpful. You can track your exercises and score how hard you are working using the Rating of Perceived Exertion Scale (RPE Chart).

As you progress, you can increase the number of repetitions of exercises you are doing and increase the number of exercise sessions each day. Exercises should feel ‘light’ to between ‘somewhat hard’ and ‘hard’ (RPE 3 – 5), and your breathing should allow you to maintain uninterrupted conversation throughout.

“Little and often” is the best approach.

Managing Fatigue

You may notice that your energy levels are low and and that doing simple daily activities suddenly feel like you’re doing a marathon. Fatigue is a common symptom of COVID-19. Although rest is important in recovery, unlike normal tiredness it does not improve with rest alone.

Feelings of fatigue can be made worse if you’re still experiencing episodes of breathlessness, muscle de-conditioning from having spent long periods inactive and in bed and also from stress that you may be feeling after a period of illness.

What can I do about fatigue? Fatigue can make managing your usual daily tasks more difficult. All daily tasks require the body to use energy through moving and thinking. Fatigue management can help you to understand how to make the most of your body’s available energy. This can help you to find ways to balance your physical, social and emotional needs when your energy levels are reduced.

Rating your fatigue from 1-10 will help you identify patterns of fatigue. You can discuss this with your Occupational Therapist who will support you to identify strategies to manage your fatigue.

Completing a fatigue diary and rating your fatigue before and after an activity (e.g. having a wash and dressing) can help you to understand how different activities can affect your energy levels.

How to use a fatigue diary

  • Start at the beginning of each day
  • Write down each activity including rest period you havetaken in each three hour interval
  • Use a scale of 0 – 10 (0 = no fatigue, 10 = extreme fatigue) to score how you felt at the end of this three hour period
  • Record any other factors you feel are relevant e.g. stressful events, skipping meals, over-exertion
  • Use the diary to track your progress and work out any patterns and record how you’re progressing

If you need any support or help, we are here for you. Our range of skills and services, with both online and face to face options, provides a host of ways to support your recovery.

The best place to start would be on online or face to face assessment with one of our Physio’s so we can establish where you are in your recovery journey, find out what your goals are and put together a realistic and gradual way for you to achieve this.

Our support can include a specific and progressive exercise programme, which we can monitor and develop as you recover, ways to help any areas of pain, discomfort, stiffness or tension, advice on pacing and returning to work, hobbies and sport, whatever it is you’d like to do.

Just call us on 023 8025 3317 to find out more and boost your recovery.


Mental & Physical Health

Posted on 3rd July 2020 by

Never has it been so important to look after ourselves both physically and mentally.

Here is a fab infographic we came across, highlighting some great ways to boost your mental health.

  1. Mental and physical health ate both so important. The 2 can not be separated, they are so closely linked and although we may be more aware of our physical health, it is just as important to look after our mental and emotional health too.
  2. MOVE! Movement in itself is medicine, for both the body and mind. If it came in a magical pill format, it really wold be a wonder drug! Don’t worry if you’re not doing a daily online exercise video; a walk, a cycle, a play in the garden, a stretching session, gardening, DIY or just not sitting all day is good!
  3. Mindfulness doesn’t mean you have to sit and mediate. Just being aware of your surroundings, how you’re feeling and what you’re doing and making that connection to be aware is all that’s needed.
  4. Lot’s of people have used this opportunity to take up a new skill. Whether it’s sewing, volunteering, piano, gardening or home schooling! Mastering something new, however small, can really give you a boost! Anything you’d like to try but never had the chance?
  5. Give your life some meaning. Review your goals, where you want to be, what you want to be doing. What’s really important to you? Take some time to reflect and find ways, no matter how small, to bring some meaning into your life.

If you need some help supporting the physical side of your health, we’re here to help with a range of services. The emotional and mental benefits from the support we provide go hand in hand with the physical care.