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.
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.
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!
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.
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?
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.
We are entering week 8 of lockdown, meaning week 8 of home schooling, kids not getting out with their friends, no formal social or sporting activities or hobbies.
How are you coping? Are the kids running you ragged? Has healthy eating and exercise gone out the window completely?
Fear not, we have a few handy ideas to kick start motivations once again!
It can be hard for our bodies and routines to adjust to such a change like the current global pandemic. It’s important, especially for younger members of the family, to introduce a new routine into daily life to keep stress levels low and energy levels high. You may be facing an increased number of stressors and tensions may be riding particularly high. In spite of this, it’s helpful for family units to come together to work through their problems. Try to be mindful of how others are feeling and to be more forgiving if they need to explode, cry or simply hide away.
When we’re feeling down, we often turn to sugary foods to help give us an energy boost. However, this can have a negative effect as the sugar rush may not last long and could potentially crash lower than we were before. Its good to look for energy in carbohydrates, especially complex carbs, such as sweet potato, wholegrain breads, lentils, parsnips or butternut squash. They have a slower release to help keep energy levels higher for longer.
One way to get younger family members eating the right foods is to include them in meal planning and preparation. They’ll have a sense of achievement and is a nice break from any home schooling also. Or, you could class it as a Food Tech class… two birds with one stone.
London Sport has an exhaustive list of ways to get kids up and active at home. Current Government advice is daily exercise to help the public get fresh air during lockdown, but we don’t always want to exercise. Their list gives you extensive areas of other ways to keep fit and healthy from the comfort of your own home; whether its alongside The Nations PE teacher, Joe Wicks, or Sport Englands campaign with Disney to create fun dance routines.
We’re often bombarded by negative messages or thoughts from tabloids and social media, so its important to look for ways to keep spirits high from all the technology we have at our disposal. Zoom quizzes have been very popular in recent weeks, and are a great way to catch up with friends of family. You can also find a whole host of online games and entertainment which loved ones can participate in with you across the internet. They’ll introduce enjoyment and pleasure back to this ‘new normal’ and give younger people another element to a daily routine.
But, lockdown isn’t always about looking after others before yourself. You still need to make time for you. Listen to a podcast, read a book, enjoy the sun; make time for yourself to relax and reflect on the current situation. Self care is so important in order to look after others. Some of the our favourite podcasts are:
When thinking about your current situation it’s helpful to:
Acknowledge and accept that this is how things are at the moment (this is your new ‘normal’ and you can’t push it away or make it disappear). Think about what’s in your control and what is outside of your control.
Find a way to allow yourself to feel all the things that this new normal brings up (it’s OK to feel cross, frustrated, sad, angry and any other associated emotion).
Find ways to do your best within the situation (are there any positives for example, are you getting to do anything which you wouldn’t normally be able to do?).
Stay in the moment rather than regretting the past or worrying about the future. We will be thinking more about this process in the next Step.
Hopefully, we’ll be able to find a sense of normality soon be connect with loved ones properly. There are of course, further online guides on how to cope during lockdown. Support wesbites such as Mind, Family Lives and Young Minds are charities that offer support, knowledge and advice so if you are struggling, please speak to someone.
May is National Walking Month. A month to promote and celebrate the joys, benefits and health effects of walking! Who’d have ever thought we needed to raise awareness of such a simple activity?! Yet, with our increasingly sedentary lifestyles and the impact of this on our nation’s health, the simple task of walking needs some extra support! This year, Walk This May, may have extra importance. For some, it’s one of the only activity they may get to do that provides a break from isolation and some time out and about. For others, the physical activity of walking is crucial for physical and mental health.
So, what’s the big deal with walking?
Not only is walking as a mode of transport great for our environment, walking is a great way to improve or maintain your overall health. Just 20-30 minutes walking a day can improve your cardiovascular fitness, strengthen bones, reduce excess body fat, and boost muscle power and endurance. It can also reduce your risk of developing conditions such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes, osteoporosis and some cancers. Unlike some other forms of exercise, walking is free and doesn’t require any special equipment or training.
Did you know, physical activity does not have to be vigorous or done for long periods in order to improve your health. A 2007 study of inactive women found that even a low level of exercise – around 75 minutes per week – improved fitness levels significantly, when compared to a non-exercising group.
What are the health benefits of walking?
Walking is a weight bearing exercise, as you are carrying your own body weight when you walk. There are lot’s of health benefits associated with walking more. Some of the benefits of walking include:
increased cardiovascular and pulmonary (heart and lung) fitness
reduced risk of heart disease and other cardiovascular diseases
helps manage and improve conditions such as high blood pressure, diabetes and high cholesterol
helps with joint and muscular pain or stiffness and long standing conditions such as osteoarthritis or osteoporosis
stronger bones and improved balance
increased muscle strength and endurance
reduced body fat
improved psychological and mental health
How much walking?
As a recommended guideline, to get the health benefits, you should try to walk for at least 20 – 30 minutes as briskly as you can on most days of the week. ‘Brisk’ means that you can still talk but not sing, and you may be puffing slightly.
The 30 minutes doesn’t have to be done all at one time, it can be broken up into smaller chunks, like 3 x 10 minute walks if this fits better with your lifestyle or you can’t manage 30 minutes in 1 go. Although, this may not be advisable in the current climate with our 1 activity a day restriction.
Building walking into your daily life is the most effective way to maintain activity levels. Take a look at the ‘Try 20’ Challenge below. There’s lot’s of ways and simple ideas for you to get 20 minutes of walking into your day.
Make walking part of your daily life
If you can build waling into your daily life, you are more likely to maintain it longer term. Some suggestions to build walking into your daily routine include:
Take the stairs instead of the lift (for at least part of the way).
Get off public transport one stop earlier and walk to work or home.
Walk (don’t drive) to the local shops.
Make walking part of your routine, maybe the same time every day scheduled into your diary.
Progress and challenge yourself
Over time, our bodies will tend to get used to physical activity. So if you’re starting to walk more and more, try to increase the intensity of your walking as your fitness levels improve. You can increase the intensity of your walks by:
walking up hills
walking with hand weights
increasing your walking speed gradually by including some quick walking
increasing the distance you walk quickly before returning to a moderate walking pace
walking for longer
Keep it interesting!
Like anything, if you enjoy doing it, you’ll be more likely to stick to it and make it part of your life. The same applies to walking. There are lot’s of ideas to keep your daily walk more interesting:
Pick different routes so you don’t get tired of seeing the same sights, explore places you’ve never ventured to before in your local area.
Walk at different times of the day. Fresh morning walks will be a very different experience to a dusk walk.
Put on a podcast or playlist to listen to whilst you walk.
There are undeniably SO many benefits of being more active. These include:
Reducing the risk of many long-term conditions
Helping manage existing conditions
Ensuring good musculoskeletal health
Developing and maintaining physical and mental function and independence
Supporting social inclusion
Helping maintain a healthy weight
One in 3 adults in England live with a long-term health condition, such as diabetes, arthritis, cancer or a neurological disorder. These people are twice as likely to be amongst the least physically active. However, evidence shows that regular physical activity can help prevent or manage many common conditions such as type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease and some cancers. It can also help with many of the symptoms of these long-term conditions and prevent further complications or problems developing.
What we love about the new publications, is the focus is becoming more about PHYSICAL ACTIVITY and not just exercise. Exercise is only one way of being physically active, so it’s great to see more attention being paid to this.
So, what constitutes PHYSICAL ACTIVITY?
Active living – so going about your daily life more actively! Getting out for a walk, sitting less, gardening or household chores, even going shopping can be fairly active (particularly when you compare it to internet shopping!!).
Active travelling – getting on your bike, walking, getting off the bus a stop earlier and thinking twice before hopping in the car – great for the planet too!
Active recreation – getting out to walk the dog, a social walk or cycle with friends, trying a new activity like climbing, bouldering or dry slop skiing!
Active Sport – Either informal, a game of rounders at the park, a kick around in the garden or a go on your kid’s trampoline. Or organised sport such as playing as part of a team, going to an exercise class or taking part in an event.
So, what should we be doing?
The guidelines state that for good physical and mental health, adults should aim to be physically active every day. Any activity is better than none, and more is better still.
There are 3 elements of the physical activity guidelines:
Strengthening activity – Muscle strength, bone health and the ability to balance are crucial to physical function. It is important that strengthening activities are important throughout your life for different reasons.
Cardiovascular activity – A combination of moderate, vigorous and very vigorous intensity activity is recommended.
Sedentary time – Adults should aim to minimise the amount of time spent being sedentary, and should break up long periods of inactivity with at least light physical activity.
With a bit of creativity, lateral thinking, small changes to your daily routines and habits, it is easy to increase the levels of physical activity in your life.
You simply can not argue with the potential benefits to your health and wellness. If activity were a ‘medicine’ it would be a miracle! So, how can you not find the time or a way?!
How can we help?
Increasing physical activity is woven into everything we do at goPhysio.
If you’re in pain or injured, one of the consequences is that you are unable to be as physically active as you’d like to be or should be. By helping reduce your pain and helping you recover from your injury fast, we’ll get you back to being active again! Our Physio or Sports Therapy team are on hand to quickly and accurately assess and diagnose your injury. We’ll put in place a realistic recovery plan. No GP referral is needed and we aim to offer appointments within 24 hours, so you don’t need to face any delays. Book your appointment online here.
If you’re approaching your latter years, we offer a specialised exercise class for those 60+, designed exactly to target the recommended guidelines above. Positive Steps runs on a Tuesday, Wednesday & Thursday from 11am – 12pm. Your first class is free, so just give us a call to book in a taster class.
We run a comprehensive exercise based rehab service. This is a great way to build and develop strength, recover from a new or recurrent injury and help prevent injuries by getting your body stronger. Read more about rehab here.
Pilates is a wonderful gentle way to exercise, that can be adapted for all ages and abilities. It works on strength, flexibility and balance and also gives some mental space and focus, with time to invest and focus on yourself. We run 20 classes a week in Chandlers Ford and offer flexible options for bookings. You can read all about our Pilates classes here.
Whatever you love to do, we’re here to help and support you in staying active and getting more active, so you can live an active, healthy, positive life, pain & injury free.
Invest in your future self this Self Care Week (18 – 24 November) by making small changes that can make a big difference.
Think Self Care for Life is about making improvements in your life to protect your physical health and mental wellbeing.
Follow these small steps to a healthier you:
Get active; advice is to exercise for at least twenty minutes a day, it’s ideal if you can incorporate this into your day by ditching the car and walking to work, or walking the dog, taking the stairs or even dancing around the kitchen table to your favourite songs! It doesn’t have to be going to a gym or exercise class!
Eat well. We all know that healthy eating is crucial to our health so we can start by swapping unhealthy snacks for healthy options such as nuts, seeds and fruit. Ask your pharmacist for advice on managing your weight.
Make positive changes! Take steps to stop those bad habits that don’t serve you well. This Self Care Week make a plan to stop smoking, reduce your alcohol intake and get active! Your pharmacist can help with lifestyle changes such as weight management and stop smoking services.
Rest. A good’s night’s sleep is as essential to our health and wellbeing as eating healthily and exercising so, make sure you get the recommended 7-8 hours a night!
Stop! These days we lead such busy lives that we sometimes forget to slow down and stop. Find time in your day to just quieten your mind. Mindfulness or yoga might be helpful.
‘’It’s never too early or too late to begin to make small, simple changes that will enhance and protect your health now and, in the future, and often, one small change will make a big difference to your wellbeing.
“For instance, choosing to become more active will not only improve your physical health, it will also boost your mood, particularly if you choose to exercise outdoors in the fresh air.”
Self Care Week is also about safely managing long term conditions and, understanding how to self-treat those common disturbances to normal good health, such as coughs, colds, sore throats, back pain etc.
When we see people at goPhysio, a huge part of our input is educating people about their injury and steps and changes they can make so that they are empowered to invest in themselves and have an active part to play in their recovery and future preventing of injury.
A new report from the Chief Medical Officers in the UK has just been published, on the amount and type of physical activity people should be doing to improve their health.
Make a start TODAY. It’s never too late.
Physical activity will help you by:
Benefitting your health
Improving your sleep
Maintaining a healthy weight
Improving your quality of life
Some is good, more is better.
Physical activity can help reduce the risk of type II diabetes, cardiovascular disease, falls, depression, joint and back pain and a number of cancers, including colon and breast cancer. So, why wouldn’t you choose to be more active?!
The new guidelines have 4 very simple & easy to follow principles:
Be active; either 150 minutes of moderate intensity or 75 minutes of vigorous intensity a week
Minimise sedentary time (in other words, don’t sit around so much!)
Build strength on at least 2 days a week. This doesn’t have to be power lifting at a gym, daily activities that make demands on you like carrying heavy shopping bags counts too!
As you get older,, include activities to help improve your balance 2 days a week.
Every minute counts.
How can we help you with meeting these guidelines?
At the core of what we do, we help you recover quickly from any pain or injury that might otherwise stop you from being so active. This is so important, the impact that having an injury can have on your physical activity levels over time can be really underestimated.
We also offer a huge range of activities that help you be active!
There’s no denying it, we’re sitting more and moving less and this is causing havoc on our health and wellbeing.
Things have to change, attitudes have to change, understanding has to change, workplace cultures have to change and lifestyles have to change.
That’s why, since it started, we’ve promoted and supported On Your Feet Britain and their #SitLess #Move More campaign.
Take a look and see whether you can get your workplace involved?
Awareness of the “Sitting Disease” has rocket up in recent years. Surely it’s time your workplace joined in our fun event to take James Brown at his word.
Join 2 million office workers #SitLess and #MoveMore by signing up your workplace to a free event and see a different aspect of your colleagues. Find out who is The Wiggler, The Wag- gler, The Mover or The Groover.
On 26th April 2019 we’re challenging the nation again to get On Your Feet. Take part in our fifth national day when 2 million workers across Britain will sit less & move more.
Instead of emailing the person oppo- site, do something revolutionary – walk over & talk face to face. It’s a good way to do business & it’ll do you good.
Ditch your usual lunch ‘al desko’ and take a stroll outside. You’ll get a spring in your step and feel better for it.
Make phone calls standing up. You’ll feel more confident and burn more calories than sitting.
Why not take it on as an office chal- lange & free yourself from the office chair for the day. Find fun & easy ideas online to take part.
“Our mission is straightforward: to provide essential supplies to people who can’t afford them, via partner charities across the UK. Beauty Banks isn’t a physical “bank” as such; instead we supply local organisations who may not have our contacts.”
Beauty Banks is a non-profit organisation set up by the brilliant Sali Hughes (beauty columnist & writer) and Jo Jones (a PR & beauty director). They focus on collecting basic toiletries and cosmetic products for people living in serious poverty who cannot afford the items we take for granted on a daily basis – things like toothpaste, shampoo and deodorant.
Here’s where you can help………. If you have unwanted and unused beauty gifts, toiletries or general hygiene products then please do get in touch and donate! If you don’t have anything spare, as an alternative to monetary donations, people have been adding items to their weekly shop to help those in need. All donations received will be delivered to a charity within Hampshire, supporting the local communities and will be gratefully received.
Beauty Banks accept sanitary products, disposable razors, shampoo, shaving foam, shower gel, combs, hair bands, face wipes, hand gel, sunscreen, baby lotion, soap, face wash, spot cream, deodorant, moisturiser, Band-Aids, conditioner, lacquer, lotion, lipstick, gift sets and anything in an unused hygienic condition.
goPhysio are delighted to be part of this amazing initiative and have become a local ‘beauty spot’. We are collecting your donations at our clinic – 11 Bournemouth Rd, Chandler’s Ford, Eastleigh SO53 3DA. Deliveries can be made to us directly during our opening hours.
Your help is invaluable so THANK YOU!
You can follow the organisation direct on social media – @thebeautybanks or contact Jessica Eades who is dealing with all Hampshire donations and logistics.
It’s not everyone’s idea of a New Year day outing, but if you’re a family of Physio’s & Personal Trainers, it fit’s the bill!
We love having a little day trip planned for New Year’s day. Having visited the Body World’s exhibition when it first came to the UK as a newly qualified Physio (many, many years ago), and seeing it had returned to London, we decided to make this our 1st event of 2019!
The philosophy behind Body Worlds is preventative healthcare. The Body Worlds exhibitions were conceived to educate the public about the inner workings of the human body and to show the effects of healthy and unhealthy lifestyles. The exhibitions are aimed to inspire visitors to become aware of the fragility of their bodies and to recognise the anatomical individual beauty inside each of us. And it certainly achieved this for us! With our group age ranging from 4 to 70, the exhibition kept us all engaged for a good few hours.
It was very interesting and made me aware of how much power you have over your body. It showed me that smoking can decrease your life by many years, as it makes your lungs black.
Annabelle, Aged 10
What were the highlights, messages & takeaways?
The human body is undeniably AMAZING! Seeing it stripped back (literally) to all it’s amazing components was fascinating.
Stress plays a huge part in health and wellbeing. We all realised that stress features highly in our lives now on a daily basis and the exhibition reminded us to take stock and slow down.
The effects of obesity on our health and seeing it in 3D, and how diet and exercise are so crucial, was frightening. You are what you eat has never had so much power!
The ITB is huge and there is definitely no way you can stretch it!
People are like bicycles. They can keep their balance only as long as they keep moving.
The Einstein quote really resonated – at goPhysio we’re all about movement! And life is all about being balanced. A healthy mind and body, supported by eating well, sleeping well, relaxing well and moving well, as we wrote about in a previous blog, are so important. None can be neglected and we are privileged to work with so many people and support them with their movement as a crucial part of this healthy jigsaw.
And in the end, it’s not the years in your life that count. It’s the life in your years.
Dry January is a public health campaign promoting abstinence from alcohol for the month of January, promoting a future where alcohol is a conscious choice, not a default.
After the excesses of the festive season, January brings a chance to turn over a new leaf and detox the body. Dry January is the perfect way to reset your relationship with alcohol. It only takes three weeks to break a habit, so this could be your route to happier, healthier drinking long-term.
Take a look at our top 5 benefits of giving up the booze to help keep you on track.
Last year 79% of people that completed Dry January reported that they had saved money. How much you save obviously depends on how much you drink now, but also factor in saved taxi fares and no more late night stops at the kebab shop and its surprising how quickly things add up. Instead of empty wallets and a fuzzy head try putting the money you would have spent on a night out towards something special; that new pair of shoes, trying a new activity or even putting it towards a holiday suddenly now seems much more valuable than a hangover.
Improve your energy levels
Whilst alcohol is a sedative this doesn’t necessarily mean it will help you sleep. In fact many people find the quality of their sleep is much poorer after drinking. This is because alcohol increases the levels of the stress hormone adrenaline in our body which quickens our heart rate and stimulates our body into alertness. If you add fizzy drinks as your mixers these often contain high levels of sugar and caffeine, making the problem worse. Last year 62% of people reported that their sleep and energy levels had both improved by quitting alcohol. Try swapping the alcohol for water, soda or orange juice and wake up fresh for some morning exercise to boost those energy levels further.
Alcoholic drinks tend to be made from sugars and starches making them high in calories without any nutritious benefit. A pint of beer or small glass of wine is equivalent to consuming a large slice of pizza (150-200 calories). Meanwhile our craving for greasy, fatty foods are likely to increase after alcohol due to the release of a protein in our body called Galanin. To make matters worse alcohol also slows our metabolism making it harder to burn fat. So it’s no surprise that 49% of people reported they lost weight during dry January last year.
Improve your mood
Regular drinking lowers the levels of Serotonin (the happy hormone!) in our brain, making us more susceptible to emotional ups and downs. Alcohol has been strongly linked to anxiety, depression and aggressive behaviour; it’s thought that 50% of violent crime can be attributed to alcohol. Giving up alcohol helps restore the delicate balance of chemicals in our brain, keeping us on an even keel so that we can make clear-headed decisions.
Alcohol is linked to more than 60 medical conditions including liver disease, heart disease, some cancers and depression. Not only this but it strongly contributes to obesity (see above), and can weaken our immune system. This means that we are more susceptible to winter colds and our capacity to heal is reduced. From a fitness point of view it alcohol consumption causes dehydration which will affect our muscle’s ability to be able to perform an activity and will also slow our reaction times, having a negative effect on nearly every sport. If we are injured alcohol will slow our recovery time as our body is using more energy to get rid of alcoholic toxins from the body and has less reserves to absorb important nutrients from our food nor to create the hormones and proteins necessary to build new muscle or repaired damaged tissue.
Feeling tempted? Why not give it a go this January!