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Returning to Physical Activity after COVID-19

Posted on 10th January 2021 by

The British Medical Journal (BMJ) has just published their latest research findings with advice about returning to physical activity after COVID-19.

The BMJ have produced very clear guidance for health professionals to use when advising how to safely return to physical activity.

Before embarking on any physical activity, you should be symptom free for 7 days.

If you suffered from any of the following issues during your COVID-19 illness, you should be referred to a local specialist COVID-19 rehab service and/or have further specialist support.

  • Required hospital treatment.
  • Had cardiac symptoms during your illness. These include chest pain, palpitations, severe breathlessness and/or episodes of fainting.
  • Suffered with psychological symptoms.
  • Other symptoms, such as respiratory, digestive or rheumatological, are enduring.

Once you’ve been symptom free for 7 days and as long as you don’t need referral to a specialist COVID-19 rehab service, you should take a phased approach to returning to physical activity.

Each phase should last at least 7 days, and you should use the Borg Rating of Perceived Exertion (RPE) to guide you.

These are the recommended phases:

Phase 1: Preparation for return to exercise

  • Breathing exercises
  • Flexibility, stretching & balance exercises
  • Gentle walking

Phase 2: Low intensity activity

  • Walking
  • Light household & gardening tasks
  • Low intensity exercise such as light Yoga

Phase 3: Moderate intensity activity

  • Gradual build up of strengthening and aerobic activity with interval training and rest days

Phase 4: Build on moderate intensity activity

  • Build strengthening and aerobic activity, add functional and co-ordination skills
  • Reduce intervals for training/rest

Phase 5: Return to baseline activity levels

Be realistic with your expectations and build up gradually. It may take at least 5 or 6 weeks to build back up to your pre-COVID activity levels.

How can goPhysio help?

Our team of sports & rehabilitation therapists are expertly placed to help you return to physical activity if you’ve had COVID-19. With our 1-2-1 rehab service, you can benefit from regular 1-2-1 practical sessions to help you return to your activity levels. You can read more details here.

This service is perfect for you if:

  • You’re feeling anxious or worried about returning to activity and you may want 1-2-1 guidance and support.
  • You are not sure what you should be doing or when or how to push yourself.
  • You don’t have access to equipment or facilities, as our Strong Room is fully equipped.
  • You want a programme created for you that will help you gradually return to sort or activity, in a safe way.
  • You’d like an assessment of where you are and a plan to return you to where you want to be.

If you have any concerns or difficulties, please contact your GP or 111 service.


Better Health for 2021

Posted on 6th January 2021 by

Public Health England have just launched a brand new campaign, towards better health. They want to help feeling better and getting healthier simple.

Small and simple changes today could be your first step towards a healthier you. And it’s never been so important to invest in your health. Whether you want to lose weight, quit smoking, get active or boost your mood, take the first step today. Visit the Better Health website for free advice and support. Let’s do this!

Physical activity

Why should I get active?

Being active is good for your mind and body. Every minute of activity counts – and the more you do, the more you’ll benefit.

Exercise can:

  • improve your sleep
  • clear your mind
  • boost your energy
  • help with back or joint pain

Exercise can also reduce your risk of developing heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, dementia, Alzheimer’s disease and some cancers.

Simple tips to move more

  1. Get into a good habit
    Set a reminder (you could use the alarm or timer on your phone) to get up and move every 30 minutes during the day. Try stretching during TV ad breaks or pacing around the kitchen while the kettle’s boiling. Walk around when you’re on the phone instead of sitting still. Or maybe start the day with a 10 minute yoga or stretching routine.
  2. Leave for lunch
    Go get some fresh air and take the chance to unwind at the same time.
  3. Your own stand-up routine
    Try standing when you can instead of sitting – even short periods will add up and improve your strength.
  4. Take up a hobby
    Active hobbies like gardening or DIY can be great for your mind as well as your body.
  5. Track your progress
    Hitting your daily target will feel great! Using tracking apps can help, but even just a checklist on a piece of paper will do or create a group chat with friends or family to all check in on each other.
  6. It’s better together
    Do something active with friends and family – why not grab a coffee and take a walk around the park?
  7. Go from strength to strength
    Strength-building activities – like carrying heavy shopping bags, Pilates, home workouts or yoga – keep muscles, joints and bones strong. Aim to do this at least twice a week.
  8. Reward yourself
    Set yourself activity goals and rewards. You could go for a long walk then treat yourself to an episode of your favourite TV show!
  9. Find something you enjoy
    Try one of our offers below to find something that’s right for you, or check your local leisure centre for classes and activities.

Make a start today – it’s never too late!

Click here for ideas and lot’s of free resources!

How can goPhysio help you?

Our team of experts can help you in so many ways?

  • If you have an ongoing, recurrent or longstanding condition, such as arthritis, back pain or you’re waiting for surgery, you may not be sure what exercise or activity you can do. We can complete a thorough assessment, chat through your goals and what you’d like achieve, and help advise and empower you with a plan you’re confident in.
  • If an injury or pain is stopping you, don’t let it! There is often a very quick and simple solution with the right plan. We have a range of services to get to the root of your problem and help you recover so you can get on with life!
  • We offer a 1-2-1 exercise based rehab service, which is a little like Clinical PT. A great way to highlight weaknesses and actual or potential problems and have a supervised program to tackle these issues. Read more here.
  • Pilates is a wonderful form of exercise, suitable for all ages and levels of fitness. We’re currently offering a range of online classes, both live and on demand. Read more here.

#BetterHealth


Back to the Gym!

Posted on 3rd December 2020 by

With gyms, classes and leisure centres re-open, 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!



Why ‘Lean Muscle Mass’ Is So Important

Posted on 1st October 2020 by

As it’s International Day For Older People, it’s a good chance to focus on what helps people stay fit, healthy and active into the later years. We all know that it’s important to eat well, stay active, avoid too much alcohol, not smoke and to try and maintain a good body weight.

However, although there’s a big focus on body weight, what doesn’t get much attention is how much lean muscle mass you have or should have.

What is lean muscle mass?

Lean Muscle Mass Lean muscle mass is the amount of muscle that makes up your body composition. So you could have 2 people who look fairly similar from the outside or weigh the same, however, if you analysed the muscle mass of both people, one could have a much larger muscle mass and one a lower muscle mass underneath the skin.

Take a look at the images on the left. In the middle picture is the cross section of the leg of a sedentary 74 year old. You will see their thigh bone in the centre, surrounded by their quadriceps muscles (thigh muscles) and then the outer layer is fatty tissue. In the bottom picture, you can see that a 70 year old triathlete has in contrast a huge proportion of muscle mass (almost similar to that of the 40 year old in the top picture) and minimal fatty tissue.

Why does it matter? 

The amount of lean muscle mass that you have contributes to your overall lean body mass. Lean body mass is very important. It’s not just about looking great or being stronger, sufficient amounts of lean body mass are actually critical for building a healthy life over the long-term.

  • Lean body mass is associated with your Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR), the amount of calories you burn at rest. The greater amount of Lean Body Mass you have, the greater your BMR will be. This means that people with greater amounts of Lean Body Mass will have a greater energy expenditure while doing nothing, helping to avoid calorie imbalances, and ultimately, obesity.
  • If you become ill or are stressed, your body’s nutritional demands increase as your immune system gets to work. An essential part of your immune system working well is protein. All this protein can’t come from food alone, so your immune system also relies on your protein reserves or your lean body mass. So, in short if you have a better lean body mass your body will find it easier to fight illness, infection or stress.
  • Having a good lean body or muscle mass more specifically, helps protect against bones becoming weaker or thinner. Osteoporosis and frailty in later life put older people at great risk as they lead to falls and fractures. What is beneficial about optimising muscle mass is that you can increase bone strength and density.

In the medical field, loss of muscle mass is known as Sarcopenia. This is defined as the age-related loss of skeletal muscle mass and is a well-established factor associated with decreases in muscle strength and impaired mobility. The potential consequences of sarcopenia are frailty, physical disability, loss of independence and the depression that can accompany this; and the reduced ability to cope with major illnesses.

Subsequently, preventing the loss of or building lean muscle mass is a really crucial part of looking after your body.

What can I do to improve lean body mass?

The earlier you can start developing or optimising your lean muscle mass the better, because as you age, it gets harder to improve muscle mass. However, the good news is, it’s never too late to start!

Diet

Diet plays a huge part. It’s outside the scope of this blog to explore the dietary factors, but if you want to look into this further, this website is a great resource and also has a database of professionals.

Movement & exercise!

There’s no easy way to improve lean body or muscle mass, it needs investment. Although cardio exercise like running, walking or swimming are great for improving and maintaining the health of your heart, lungs and circulation, to improve lean muscle mass you have to include specific types of exercise or activity to your routine. The best thing to do is some form of resistance training, so using light weights to exercise your muscle and build up strength and lean muscle mass. You can also do things like cycling, Pilates or yoga. Everyday activities like gardening, housework, shopping and childcare can also be pretty strenuous and will help too.

If you’re a little older and are worried about hitting the gym or starting exercises on your own, maybe think about seeing one of our Rehab Therapists for some individual guidance and support to help you get stronger and feel confident with exercising. 

You can read more about Rehabilitation here



National Fitness Day 2020

Posted on 22nd September 2020 by

This year’s National Fitness Day on 22nd  September 2020, is a chance to highlight the role physical activity plays across the UK, helping us raise awareness of its importance in helping us lead healthier and active lifestyles.

Having been faced with the challenges and threat of a global pandemic for over 6 months now, investing in health and fitness has never been so important. 

The definition of  fitness is:

The condition of being physically fit and healthy. (With the definition of fit being in good health, especially because of regular physical exercise.)

Fitness means so many things to so many different people. What does it mean to you? 

  • Playing with my grandchildren. 
  • Being able to walk the dog every day. 
  • Lessening the feeling of ageing. 
  • Having fun and being sociable. 
  • A way to help keep me feeling sane. 
  • Being able to run for the bus.
  • Getting a personal best on a deadlift at the gym. 
  • Paddle boarding at the weekend in the sunshine. 
  • Mowing the lawn and keeping on top of the weeding. 

These are just some but the message is – it doesn’t have to be running a marathon, it doesn’t have to mean going to the gym 5 days a week! 


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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World Physiotherapy Day 2020

Posted on 7th September 2020 by

World Physiotherapy Day is held every year on 8 September, the day the World Confederation for Physical Therapy was founded in 1951. It is a day when physiotherapists can promote the profession to:

  • Showcase the significant role the profession makes to the health and wellbeing of the global population
  • Raise the profile of the profession
  • Campaign on behalf of the profession and its patients to governments and policy makers

The day marks the unity and solidarity of the physiotherapy community around the world. It is an opportunity to recognise the work that physiotherapists do for their patients and community!

The focus for this year’s World Physiotherapy Day is rehabilitation after COVID-19 and the role of physiotherapists in the treatment and management of people affected by COVID-19.

The campaign is focused around the following key messages:

  1. Exercise can play an important part in a person’s recovery from COVID-19
  2. As the experts in movement, physiotherapists can guide people in how exercise can help recovery
  3. People who have had severe cases of COVID-19 will need rehabilitation and physiotherapy to recover from the effects of treatment for the disease
  4. Using telehealth can help people access support from a physiotherapist to help them manage the impact of COVID-19
  5. Telehealth can be as effective as conventional healthcare methods to improve physical function

Exercise

Exercise is an important part of your recovery from COVID-19, paced to match your needs. As experts in movement and exercise, physiotherapists can guide you in how exercise can help:

  • improve fitness
  • reduce breathlessness
  • increase muscle strength
  • improve balance and coordination
  • improve your thinking
  • reduce stress and improve mood
  • increase confidence
  • improve your energy

Whether or not you’ve had COVID-19, many people may be wary of re-starting exercise or don’t know where to start.

You may have had COVID-19 and are not yet feeling physically ready to exercise, you may have been shielding or isolating for the past few months or you may have lost all your confidence as a result of lockdown.

As Physio’s, we can really hold your hand and guide you back into exercise in a very careful and supportive way. With our training and knowledge, we have the unique combination of skills that allow us to integrate and consider not only the best way to achieve the health benefits of exercise, but also your recovery from illness, pain and injury.

Here at goPhysio, in addition to 1-2-1 Physiotherapy or Sports Therapy, we have created a dedicated rehabilitation space, known as The Strong Room, from where we can gently guide and support you in regaining strength and rebuilding exercise habits. Our 1-2-1 exercise rehabilitation service is totally tailored to you, your aims and goals. We also offer both mat and Reformer Pilates, either 1-2-1 or small classes.

Telehealth

The COVID-19 pandemic caused a huge shift in how physiotherapists worked. Lockdown meant we were unable to see people in person (face to face), but pain and injuries didn’t stop and people still needed our help. So, we were able to embrace technology and offer support through online channels (aka Telehealth, Virtual, online, eHealth……..)

What is telehealth?

Telehealth or eHealth is the use of electronic communications to share medical information to improve a person’s health.

We are still offering the option of online physiotherapy and also Pilates at goPhysio, however, most people that we are booking in or need our help, are desperate to have the personal contact and benefits of face to face or in person appointments. Whilst Telehealth has experienced a huge surge and is undoubtedly here to stay, it has it’s limitations. Read more about our thoughts on this on a recent blog here.

Did you know?

Post Viral fatigue syndrome Up to 10% of people recovering from COVID-19 may develop post viral fatigue syndrome (PVFS). If you feel you are not improving, or if activity is making you feel much worse, speak to your physiotherapist or healthcare practitioner and ask them to assess you for PVFS. The rehabilitation of people with PVFS requires different management strategies.

Some resources and further information

An exercise plan to help your COVID-19 recovery

Your recovery after severe illness with COVID-19

Accessing rehabilitation with telehealth

#worldptday



September: New Starts, New Normal

Posted on 1st September 2020 by

New normal goPhysio

As we welcome September 2020, this month signifies a brand new beginning for many people. September always feels like a bit of a fresh start, but perhaps this year, a much more significant one than those before.

Although we are still living with the global pandemic that has impacted everyone’s lives in so many different ways, it seems we are all accepting and adapting to this ‘new normal’ and finding ways to manage our lives in a different way.

As we start this new month, here’s a few ideas and resources to help ease you in.

Be kind to yourself

Lockdown provided an opportunity to press pause on our lives in a way. You may have started new habits (positive ones, or not so positive!), re-evaluated your priorities or experienced significant life changing events with your health, work or family.

As you have the opportunity for some extra time or ‘head space’, maybe for the first time in months, take some time to reflect. Don’t be tempted to feel that pressure to be at full speed straight away.

Be kind to yourself and if you have the time and resources, think about what you can do to invest in yourself too. Re-connect with friends, take a walk alone, practice some mindfulness, or do some exercise.

Why not treat yourself to a massage, a time to really switch off and ease any stress and tension that may have built up within your body.

Thinking of trying something new and investing in your body? Our Pilates classes are a great way to strengthen, tone and stretch your body and a wonderful way of taking time out for you. We’ve created a COVID-Safe environment, so you can exercise with confidence.

Getting back to the gym & exercise

With the kids finally getting back to school, new routines on the horizon and confidence building, there’s finally time for exercise again. Since we re-opened in May, we have seen so many people who’ve returned suddenly to exercise with full gusto! The result of this is a surge in injuries. So, do take it slowly, don’t do too much, too often, too soon. Read more advice about getting back to the gym and exercise here.

Back to the gym

Working from home

A lot of people are continuing to work from home and this is likely to become commonplace for many. Arrangements for working from home, may at first, have been seen as a temporary measure. But as this now becomes longer term reality, your desk, computer and work station set up becomes more and more important.

  1. Read our guide to working from home, for some top tips and advice.
  2. Arrange for an online video consultation with one of our team, where we can take a look at your set up ‘virtually’ and discuss any concerns or issues you may have and help find a solution.
goPhysio Guide To Working from home

Wherever you find yourself for the remainder of this year, we are here for you. With our years of experience, dedication and the highest quality care, we can help you get back to what you love.

Read more

Optimising your physical and mental health

Take time to focus on your breathing

Post COVID Recovery


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.


Being Active at Home – A Guide for Older Adults

Posted on 31st May 2020 by

A new booklet, co-funded and developed by Sport England and Public Health England (PHE), has just been launched! It aims to help older adults keep up their activity levels while isolating due to coronavirus (Covid-19).

This is part of the Sport England Join the Movement campaign designed to provide inspiration and trusted information to the public about how to get active in and around the home during the coronavirus pandemic.

Being active is good for our physical and mental wellbeing. This is why we should all try to move regularly, including exercises to help stay strong and steady. This particularly applies to those of us who have health conditions or are older. Due to coronavirus we are all spending more time within our home, so it is important that we find ways to build activity into our day, every day.

Over the next few weeks, you may have health and social care appointments cancelled or delayed. If you are waiting for treatment, being active is one of the best things you can do to look after your health, as part of a healthy lifestyle. Being active at a level that feels comfortable is unlikely to make your health worse; in fact it can help to manage many health conditions.

Most of us are spending much more time within our home. This can be frustrating and upsetting, and it can be harder to be active when you can’t do your normal daily activities. This guide will help you to find ways to build activity into your day. If the exercise suggested doesn’t work for you, feel free to adapt them based on what you can do.

There’s some fantastic, simple strengthening and balance exercises.

As well as lot’s of general health and wellbeing advice.

If you’re struggling with your activities, we can help with providing an online video appointment or telephone support. So, do get in touch. You can call us on 023 8025 3317.