My Blog

Is it true that "movement is medicine" ?

Monday, 3rd June 2019

People say they haven't got to time to exercise .. but I wonder if they realise living life like that means that they're going to have to make time for illness.  They say they haven't got time but as Stephen Covey said they really haven't got time not too !   

Lots of interesting studies in this article proving that exercising and activity correlate to easing and curing many chronic diseases.  For people with certain conditions it may not help but for the majority of us it does ... 

Motion is lotion. 

Click here to read the full article.

Beat Blue Monday

Monday, 20th January 2020

Morning Everyone! If like me you want to beat that #bluemonday morning feeling, maybe try this ...

When we do something that relies heavily on willpower, then its highly likely we really don't want to do it at all (be honest). Whether that's to do with our work or something to do with our health or fitness regime, it doesn't matter, the feelings are the same, not great. But, I know full well there are some things we just have to do today, like turn up for work. So, instead of being blue about it why not try thinking about the "why" you're doing it and what you want to get from it? Flip the blue to yellow and think "How can I benefit today?" Maybe its from your colleagues, learning something new or simply (importantly) getting paid. And if its fitness-related, think about how do you feel when you're moving and how you feel after you have moved. Listen to your body. If you don't enjoy whatever it is you're doing, try something different, you might enjoy more. Be kind(er) to yourself, life will start to look a bit sunnier. Remember, how we feel is based on what we think and do. What do you think? 

Arthritis Pain? 

Thursday, 22nd January 2020

If you (or anyone you know for that matter) has become less active due to arthritis, then you know just how debilitating and painful the condition can be. Doctors are still not sure what causes it but it results in some (or a lot of) inflammation and stiffness  in the affected joint. Soft tissues become unhappy, and the space in the joint becomes less than needed. As the joint gets more uncomfortable sufferers stop exercising but it becomes a downward spiral, more pain and stiffness less desire to move it for fear of creating more pain. But honestly speaking, doing nothing is the very worst thing you can do.

Why? Because a joint is only as strong and happy as the (healthy) muscles around it. And they stay healthy through being used with our muscles strong and long enough to hold our bones in the right place, but importantly, as we move that movement fires up the bodies own lubrication system. For any arthritis sufferers stretching and strengthening their muscles really helps. For instance, if you're suffering it in your knee, stretching out your calves, hamstrings and quads (back and front of your upper leg) and strengthening those quads are invaluable and work magic to reducing that pain and moving more freely. But how you do it is key and this is where yoga and mindful practices are especially good.

A Yoga practice is all about bringing balance back in to our body. It helps us to gently open our joints taking them through a full range of movement (moving our bodies as nature intended), which in turn helps oil our joints, whilst switching on our relaxation response helping us relax not only our muscles but also our minds. Relaxing releases tension from our bodies thus reducing pain. 

Yoga's exercises (asana's) are brilliant for this because they simply take our bodies through a fuller range of movement restoring that all important space whilst revving up our bodies own lubrication system to keep our joints nice and supple. But the slow and mindful way and use of props ensures that its done in a kind way, for a deeply therapeutic effect.

The research* in the link below shows that for sufferers a few sessions of yoga a week safely improved physical activity and improved physical and psychological health, along with improving the quality of life for the participants. Not only for the 8wks of the programme but for a whole 9months after their programme of yoga had ended ... I'd say thats a good return.

Motion really is lotion. Though of course if you've any concerns perhaps first consult your GP before taking up any new activity (and never exercise through a sharp pain).

If you have any experience of yoga/exercise and arthritis or joint pain I'd love to hear from you.

Keep well.