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Lessons from Life Lessons Festival

Posted on 17th February 2020 by

This weekend, I was lucky enough to be able to spend 2 days at the inaugural thought-led wellbeing event, Life Lessons, in London.

A jam packed weekend, there was a line up of world class speakers planned, grappling with topics such as philosophy, society, the mind, self-care, sustainability, psychology, nutrition and more.

goPhysio’s services centre around physical health, however, what’s becoming more and more evident and thankfully, more and more recognised, is that crucial connection between the mind and the body that can not be overlooked.

So, I thought I’d share some of the key messages from the weekend.

Saturday kicked off with Alain De Botton, from The School of Life, exploring emotional health. In fact, this happened to be my favourite lecture of the weekend, so a good one to start with. The School of Life is a global organisation helping people live more fulfilled lives. The key messages from Alan were:

  • We have become intolerant of anything other than perfection. The world has become radically unbalanced towards perfectionism. It’s what we expect, when actually we can be good enough, we don’t have to be perfect. An understanding and acceptance of this for both ourselves and others, would really be transformational.
  • We are all ‘weird’! There is no ‘normal’, we’re just different types of weird!!
  • There is no longer any time for deep thinking. We used to sit on the bus or in the car, daydream in the shower or during a walk. These times of deep thinking allowed our brains to process things and thoughts. But now we are in an era of information overload. We are constantly consuming, be it podcasts, TV, audiobooks, social media, 24 hour news, radio, the internet or books. Our minds don’t have any time to process anything!
  • This information overload stops us from ‘thinking’ in the day. A potential result of this is that at night, when our mind finally gets a break from information, the minds starts to go into thinking overdrive and can really disrupt our sleep (sound familiar?!).
  • We would all benefit from connecting with nature more. This connection, experiencing and acknowledging how ‘small’ humans are relative to the world, can really help to centre us.

Next up, was ‘Everything is figureoutable’ by Marie Forleo. She shared her 3 rules:

  1. All your problems and dreams are figureoutable
  2. If they aren’t figureoutable, it’s not a problem or a dream, it’s a fact of life, or
  3. You may just not care enough to figure it out. If so, find something else.

Her message was all about having self-belief, in that you have to believe you have what it takes to make things happen.

According to Maria, you are 42% more likely to achieve a goal if you write it down. So, if there’s something you are really serious about acheiving something, why not give it a go.


I am already a fan of Dr Rangan Chatterjee, so was delighted to hear him speak to Helen Russell and Mungi Ngomane. They discussed some fascinating ways in which different cultures and parts of the world achieve happiness!

These included Ubuntu, the art of human connection. The philosophy of “I am only because you are” and acknowledging that everyone impacts on your life seems extremely powerful. We seem to have all become too individualised. They also discussed the Japanese terms; Wabisabi, a view centred on the acceptance of transience and imperfection and Ikigi, a reason for being, encompassing joy, a sense of purpose and meaning and a feeling of well-being.

The key takeaway message was that we need to live well to be well. It’s almost come full circle, in that we are starting to get back to basics again and realising that these are the important things for wellbeing – eating well, sleeping well, exercising, connecting, talking, relaxing, reducing time on technology and getting into nature.


To finish off day 1, the very hilarious Romesh Ranganathan, was joined by a panel of very honest and open men, to discuss mental health. In light of the day’s news, of another unnecessary and early tragic loss of life of someone in the media, the discussion was very apt. Their messages all followed the same themes:

  1. Talk & listen more – we have to be having conversations and connecting with people
  2. Ask people of they’re OK and watch out for others
  3. You never know what people are going through or how they are really feeling, so have this in your mind

Day 2 started with an honest and frank discussion entitled “Wonderwomen at Work”. As the title suggested, this was all about the role, challenges and culture surrounding women at work. My favourite message in this talk was not to worry whether people actually like you. Just like you don’t necessarily like everyone, everyone won’t like you. But be nice, kind and likeable, and that’s all you can do!


The Brain Power talk was a much more scientifically focused session, which covered the impact of alcohol and smart drugs on brain power and steps we can take to boost brain power and future proof our brain function as we age.

So, what can we do to future-proof our brain?

  • Exercise
  • Eat a well balanced diet
  • Sleep well
  • Practice positive affirmations (a few talks mentioned this)
  • Meditate, learn a new skill or do something regularly that requires concentration

Not rocket science is it?! The things we should be doing to love well and improve our chances of living a long and happy life, are all pretty much the same! Chartered Psychologist Kimberley Wilson has a new book out soon (see the cover below for the details) and it sounds fascinating.


Anyone who has kids must have heard of Philipa Perry and her book that’s packed full of wisdom. She certainly lived up to expectations in person. She just talks sense! Her key messages when you’re dealing with your children (although I’m sure they could equally apply to communicating and interacting with anyone):

  1. Connection NOT Correction – find the mood of the person you’re interacting with, don’t deal with the facts. Try and connect with them.
  2. Provide boundaries & love. Teach emotional intelligence by demonstrating it and sharing your feelings.

Her book is an absolute must read!


The weekend was also peppered with yoga & barre classes, guided meditation and drop in sessions and discussions covering a huge range of topics, from overcoming anxiety to connecting your mind and body through exercise.

It really was a fascinating and inspiring weekend, with many takeaways that will undoubtedly be woven into not only my personal life but also what we provide here at goPhysio – so watch this space!

I’ll certainly be looking out for this event again.



#Lifelessonsfestival


Health matters: physical activity – prevention and management of long-term conditions, new guidance published

Posted on 29th January 2020 by

Public Health England has just launched a new publication Health matters: physical activity – prevention and management of long-term conditions

There are undeniably SO many benefits of being more active. These include:

  1. Reducing the risk of many long-term conditions
  2. Helping manage existing conditions
  3. Ensuring good musculoskeletal health
  4. Developing and maintaining physical and mental function and independence
  5. Supporting social inclusion
  6. 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:

  1. 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.
  2. Cardiovascular activity – A combination of moderate, vigorous and very vigorous intensity activity is recommended.
  3. 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.

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.

#LoveActivity



Physical Activity For Adults – New Guidelines

Posted on 9th September 2019 by

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.

Physical Activity Adults goPhysio

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
  • Managing stress
  • 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:

  1. Be active; either 150 minutes of moderate intensity or 75 minutes of vigorous intensity a week
  2. Minimise sedentary time (in other words, don’t sit around so much!)
  3. 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!
  4. 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!

If you’re later in your life, our Positive Steps exercise classes are a great way for you to work on the all important strength & balance activities in a fun, friendly and supportive environment. They are run every Tuesday and Wednesday morning, just £12.50 a class. Try your first class for free to find out what it’s like! We also offer clinical Pilates classes, exercise based rehab and workshops, such as our monthly foam roller workshop.

Interested in finding out more? Give us a call on 023 8025 3317, we love to chat and find out how we can help you!



On Your Feet Britain 2019

Posted on 1st March 2019 by

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.

Sign up today at:

onyourfeet.org.uk

@getGBstanding

facebook.com/getbritainstanding

You can read mote about active working here:

Active Working Tips – Drink more water

Active Working Tips – Dress to impress

Active Working Tips – Easy desk exercises

Looking after yourself when working from home

UK Businesses are failing the health needs of their office staff



Body Worlds – Body Amazing

Posted on 9th January 2019 by

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!

Body Worlds London

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.

Albert Einstein

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.

Abraham Lincoln
Body Worlds Nervous System
The Nervous System (can you spot the Sciatic nerve?)
The exhibition ended with this fantastic TED Talk from survivor of the Hudson River plane crash in 2009. 3 Things I Learned While My Plane Crashed. Well worth a watch.


For more information and tickets to the London exhibition, take a look here.


Dry January

Posted on 31st December 2018 by

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. dry january 2019

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.

Save money

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.

Lose weight

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.

Stay healthy

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!

SaveSave


National Bed Month

Posted on 1st March 2018 by

This month reminds us of how important a good nights’ sleep really is and how it benefits our health, as it’s National Bed Month! 

So what’s so important about sleep?!

 Sleep and the Brain

  • Sleep enhances your learning and problem-solving skills and helps you pay attention, make decisions and be creative.
  • Sleep deficiency can make it difficult to control your emotions and behaviour or cope with change. It has also been linked to depression and risk-taking behaviour.
  • Sleep is involved in the healing and repair of your heart and blood vessels. Without it, there is an increased risk of heart/kidney disease, high blood pressure, diabetes and stroke.
  • Deep sleep triggers the release of hormones that promote healthy growth and development. This hormone also boosts muscle mass and helps repair cells.

Sleep and Athletic Performance

  • Sleep deprivation negatively effects athletic performance, especially in submaximal, prolonged exercise.
  • Compromised sleep can influence learning, memory, cognition, pain perception, immunity and inflammation.
  • Changes in glucose metabolism and neuroendocrine function as a result of chronic, partial sleep deprivation can result in alterations in carbohydrate metabolism, appetite, food intake and protein synthesis.

Sleep and Weight Loss

  • Sleep is crucial in retaining energy and stamina throughout the day.
  • There are two key hormones released when you sleep; ghrelin and leptin.
  • Ghrelin enhances your appetite and leptin suppresses it. A lack of sleep disturbs this natural hormonal balance and can lead to weight gain (or a lack of weight loss).
  • Growth hormone, released in abundance when we sleep, is responsible for facilitating muscle growth and increasing your metabolism which means energy is burned more efficiently and can lead to weight loss.
  • Adequate sleep lowers the level of cortisol (the stress hormone) in your body. Higher cortisol = lower metabolism. More sleep = less cortisol, better weight loss.

Morning Mobility Routine

Laying horizontally for an extended period of time can cause your joints and muscles to feel achy or stiff in the morning. Getting into a morning routine will increase your range of motion, decrease stiffness associated pain and boost the longevity of your global joint health.

  1. After a warm shower, take each major joint through its full, pain-free range of motion.
  2. Gently stretch those achy muscles.
  3. Use a foam roller or tiggerpoint ball to target the areas that need some extra attention.
  4. Perform daily to assist in retaining your range of motion.

6 Tips for a Better Kip

  1. Bedroom – clean, peaceful & welcoming. Achieve complete darkness with blackout blinds. Ideal temperature 16-18° Avoid televisions, computers and any distractions if you can’t nod off. Limit the bedroom for sleep only, it shouldn’t be used for work, watching TV, eating, even talking on the phone.
  2. Bed – comfortable! If you regularly wake up with aches and pains, it may be time to change your mattress. You should consider changing your bed after 7 years.
  3. Lifestyle – today’s typically fast-paced and chaotic lifestyle provides non-stop stimulation from the moment we wake up. Reduce the intensity of artificial light, maintain a regular bed time routine, avoid alcohol/caffeine before bed, switch off your tech, and empty your bladder before sleeping.
  4. Stress & worry – scientific evidence has shown a direct link between anxiety and rhythm of sleep. An alert mind produces beta waves, preventing sleep. To relax, breathe in deeply for 4 seconds and then breathe out slowly. Repeat until you feel your heart rate slowing.
  5. Diet – you are what you eat! Food and drink can have a drastic effect on your sleep. Choose milk, cherries, chicken and rice. Avoid fatty meat, curry and alcohol after 6pm.
  6. Exercise – promote sleep by working out effectively. Don’t work out too aggressively, this will be counterproductive by increasing your alertness. Yoga is renowned for its relaxation and sleep benefits.

Read more about the 4 pillars of a healthy life and ‘being well’ on a previous blog.

Why sleeps the magic elixir for runners.

 


Top Tips From The Team: Health & Wellbeing Apps

Posted on 7th March 2017 by

Top Tips Health Apps

There are some fantastic health and wellbeing apps out there. Here we’re sharing some tried and tested Apple apps that we are loving here at goPhysio.

All of these apps have been designed to help support and encourage a healthy, positive lifestyle.

1. ESCAPE-Pain: Enabling management of arthritic pain

ESCAPE-pain is an innovative, award-winning rehabilitation programme for people with long standing knee and hip joint pain. This programme is delivered in the NHS in some areas and approved by NICE – the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence.

This app was developed in conjunction with physiotherapists from the Health Innovation Network in London to bring the ESCAPE-Pain programme to more people.

During 12 sessions, over 6 weeks the app will provide:

  • Engaging animations giving simple advice and information that help you learn what is good and bad for you, so that you can help yourself cope better with the effects of joint pain.
  • Short, quality HD videos show you how to perform simple exercises, removing the guesswork of whether you are doing the exercises correctly, and help you become more active.
  • Plot your progress to see how you are improving.

2. Headspace

This is a really well known app, but definitely deserves a mention. It is well known that meditation can help improve your focus, exercise mindful awareness, relieve anxiety and reduce stress.

The aim of Headspace is ‘Meditation made simple’. It provides guided meditations suitable for all levels.

Whether you just want to take some time out for yourself, if you’re suffering with pain and want to try some alternative coping mechanisms, or want to address issues sleeping – meditation can be very powerful.

3. Blinkist

I’ve mentioned this app before. If you like self improvement or motivational books but don’t always get the time to read, this app is perfect.

Blinkist distills the key insights of 1,500+ bestselling nonfiction books into powerful 15-minute reads or listens. Boost your knowledge and gain new perspectives to become a better, smarter you.

This app will help you:

  • Sharpen your professional skills with the best business books in your field.
  • Explore your many-sided self with the most impactful self-improvement titles.
  • Discover new perspectives on the world with bestsellers on economics, science, history & culture.
  • Stay on top of the latest trends and ideas in your professional field.

4. Moment

We use our hand held devices so much nowadays. The full extent on the impact of such heavy device use is still unknown. Besides the obvious neck, shoulder, hand and wrist problems that are developing due to long term device us, there are huge potential social and psychological impacts. (Have a read of this book if you’re interested in finding out more.)

So, do you really know how long you’ve used your device for in a day? What else could you spend that precious time doing? I’m sure the true amount of time spent on devices may shock some people.

Moment is an iOS app that automatically tracks how much you use your iPhone and iPad each day. If you’re using your phone too much, you can set daily limits on yourself and be notified when you go over. You can even force yourself off your device when you’re over your limit.

This is a fantastic app to bring some transparency to device us, particularly great for younger members of the family.

5. Stand Up! The work break timer

We’ve all heard the media and research suggests that sitting for long periods of time isn’t great for us. If you’re a desk based worker or sit for long periods of time, it’s recommended to stand up and move about regularly and vary your working positions. However, it’s not always easy to do this when you’re engrossed in a task.

Stand Up! is a fun, flexible work break timer app. It’s also great for RSI or work related upper limb sufferers, or anyone that needs to take regular breaks.

6. NHS 24 MSK Help

This fairly simplistic app gives advice on common muscle, back & joint problems. Although it only provides simple information, it is a great starting point if you’ve suffered an injury or are in pain and looking for some general advice.