Category Archives: Exercise & travel

Exercise, dreaded by many, appreciated by all. It can often be difficult to build up the motivation in order to throw yourself into a workout – however most find that once they have got over that no-motivation hurdle they have more stamina than they realised.

If motivation doesn’t come easily to you, then there are some things that you can do to get yourself and your body in the mood for exercise…

  1. Setting Goals
    One of the simplest ways to motivate yourself is by setting yourself realistic goals.
    By setting goals you then have something to work towards, which will drive your commitment to working out. Your goals can be as simple as increasing your general fitness levels, increasing strength in specific areas such as arms and legs, losing fat or toning/sculpting your abs – whatever it may be, once you have something you want to get from working out, you are more likely to want to work out on a regular basis.
  2. Find yourself a ‘gym buddy’
    Working out alone can often be a little bit daunting, so why not find a friend to come with you? Having a gym buddy isn’t only good for the company, but you can help each other out by sharing tips and exercises, supporting each other when working with weights and encouraging each other to reach your goals.
  3. Eat good food
    The food you put into your body has a huge impact on your motivation and making a few tweaks to your diet could be the difference between sitting on the sofa watching the soaps and getting a high intensity gym session. Fast food and takeaways tend to make you feel sluggish, whereas if you fuel yourself with fruit, vegetables and carbohydrate rich foods, you will have much more energy to put into a workout.
  4. Work with a personal trainer
    Booking in a session with a personal trainer puts you accountable for someone else’s time, and knowing you have somewhere to be at a specific time is likely to get you out of the house. Working with a personal trainer can be really helpful, they can help you pick out the right exercises to meet your goals and correct any mistakes you may be making during your workout. If the idea of paying for someone to help you work out doesn’t appeal to you, then you could even take up an online training course and become your own personal trainer!
  5. Have a plan
    We are all guilty of turning up to the gym not knowing what we want to work on that day, which more often than not results in standing around looking clueless and desperately typing ‘leg exercises’ into Google. Putting together a workout plan will solve all of your problems. Before you go to the gym, think about which muscle group you want to work on and put together a workout routine that focuses on that particular muscle group. Going into the gym with a plan will not only improve your motivation, it will also rid you of any of that pre-workout anxiety!
  6. Tailor your workout around your mood
    If you’ve had a long day at work which has left you feeling tired and quite demotivated, the last you want to do is an intense, high energy workout and there is nothing wrong with that, but instead of skipping a workout and regretting it the next day, you can easily plan your session around how you are feeling. If you are feeling tired, you can focus on stretching, foam rolling and some flexibility moves, or if you are feeling a bit more energetic, you can focus on cardio and weight training. No matter the intensity of your workout, doing something is always better than nothing.
  1. Listen to music
    Listening to music can help you to zone out and forget about your surroundings, encouraging you to focus on only yourself and stop looking out for what other people are doing. Listening to upbeat music will help you keep rhythm and make that tiresome workout a little more bearable.
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Physical inactivity

41% of the adult population in England are insufficiently active (HSE 2012: 35% men, 46% women)

Obesity trends

Diabetes

Walking and cycling:

  • can provide the same health benefits as sports or other exercise
  • can increase cardiorespiratory fitness
  • to work is as effective as a training programme and can fulfil the recommendations for physical activity.
  • and it’s good for the local economy

Car commuters in Adelaide, Australia gained more weight over a 4 year study than non-car commuters.  The effect was particularly pronounced when comparing those who had sufficient leisure time

  • Switching from car to active travel or public transport: Body Mass Index fell by 0.32kg/m2 (95% Confidence Interval 0.05-0.60)
  • Switching from car to active travel: Body Mass Index fell by 0.45kg/m2 (95% Confidence Interval 0.11-0.78)
  • Switching from active travel or public transport to car: Body Mass Index rose by 0.34kg/m2 (95% Confidence Interval 0.05-0.64)

The benefits of walking and cycling include:

  • Activity
  • Age-independent
  • Affordable
  • Access
  • Air quality
  • Flexible
  • Mental health
  • Less sick leave
  • Longevity

Health impacts of Air Pollution include:

  • Asthma
  • Other respiratory disease
  • Heart attacks
  • Stroke
  • Lung cancer
  • Obesity
  • Neuro-developmental disorders
  • Neuro-degenerative diseases

There are 40,000 deaths per year in UK from air pollution and costs in the  UK exceeds £20 billion a year. More vulnerable populations disproportionately in poorer communities, the old, the young and those with existing circulatory or respiratory disease.  Poorer communities are disproportionately exposed to air pollution.

Transport should be about shifting people or freight, not cars or lorries.

  • Motor vehicles are the only increasing source of air pollutant emissions in the UK
  • Transport benefits accrue more to car users
  • Harms from motor vehicles accrue more to poorer, more deprived communities

The policy response should be to reduce car use and spatial planning that does not assume or encourage car use

  • ↑ Active travel – ↑ physical activity
  • ↓ Emissions of pollutants
  • Serious injuries
  • Transport inequalities

Save our cyclists

The media – and doctors – notice injured cyclists. They don’t recognise the dangers of not cycling.

 

Fatalities by mode - younger

Fatalities by travel mode

Fatalities per billion km by mode and sex,aged 17-69

The actual risk for cycling (Figures for England 2010-2):

Risk of death for males (20.8 per billion kilometres)

  • 1 per 48,000,000 kilometres cycled
  • Individual risk: one fatality every 32,000 years (assuming typical cyclist rides about 1,500km pa)

Risk of death for females (16.9 per billionn kilometres)

  • 1 per 59,000,000 kilometres cycled
  • Individual risk: one fatality every 39,000 years

The Transport Planning Heirarchy

active travel

A default national speed limit of 20 mph on residential streets would make a lot of difference to fatalities:

  • Reduces risk of collision
  • Reduces injury/fatality consequences if collision occurs
  • Reduces fear of traffic
  • Makes streets more pleasant places for social use, including children’s play
  • Encourages walking & cycling

Fatality risk related to speed

So far

Local Authorities covering 13.5 million people in UK have implemented it locally

National legislation is:

  • Much cheaper
  • Changes the accepted norm more quickly – affecting drivers’ behaviour
  • Smoother driving, reduces pollution
  • Improves police enforcement
  • Adds less than a minute to most journeys
Crossing the road

Increase crossing times on signalised crossings

Walking speed

Walking speed by age

Walking speed by age: Most older pedestrians are unable to cross the road in time

HSE 2005 timed walk data showed road crossings are set too quickly for more than 3 in 4 older people and  children, parents, those in wheelchairs or with other impairments, with luggage, etc.

Expenditure on transport and active travel

We should invest in active travel.

Public Health England:

“Health-promoting transport systems are pro-business and support economic prosperity …enable optimal travel to work with less congestion, collisions, pollution, and.. support a healthier workforce.”

  • Set a legal minimum % of national & local transport budgets to be spent on active travel (eg 5%? 10%?)
  • Better quality pedestrian environment
  • More, better cycling infrastructure (especially junctions)

Invest in Public Transport instead of subsidising car travel

  • Building roads
  • Costs to society from car use (externalities)
  • Benefits (social & economic) of public transport
  • Easier & cheaper to travel by public transport
  • Average cost vs marginal cost for car use
  • Reverse the Beeching cuts to reinstate local rail services
  • Bus regulation to enable joined-up thinking and journeys that work
  • Faster replacement to Euro VI standards
  • Retrofitting existing buses & coaches

Funded by

  • Not building /widening major new roads
  • Road charging (polluter pays) &/or taxation on fuel, reflecting costs to society (NOT scrapping fuel duty rises for cars!)

Faculty of Public Health. Local action to mitigate the health impacts of cars.

5 Priorities for national government:

  1. Default 20mph speed limit nationally for residential streets
  2. Better crossing facilities – more crossings, more time
  3. Invest in active travel
  4. Invest in public transport
  5. Enforcement of existing laws & rules

This was presented at our conference Public Health Priorities for Labour

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There can be no doubt that swimming does wonders for your body. Whether you are looking to lose weight, build muscle, improve your fitness, tone up, or all of these things, a few hours in the pool every week will make it easy to achieve your goals.

Swimming

Additionally, Alex Kemsley, managing director of Compass Pools and president of the Swimming Teacher’s Association recommends it not only for its huge range of advantages for physical health listed above but also for its relaxation and mental health benefits. So let’s take a look at seven of the key ways that it can completely revolutionise your health.

  1. Weight loss

Of course one of the most common reasons for exercise is to keep fit and to lose weight – and it can’t be denied that this is a fantastic way to do this. Some people assume that swimming is more for fun than it is for burning calories, but this couldn’t be further from the case. Half an hour of light recreational swimming could burn as many as 220 calories. If you take it a little more seriously, this could be increased to as many as 550 calories through a high intensity 30 minutes of swimming.

  1. A full-body workout

Another common misconception of swimming is that it only works certain muscle groups – in fact, spending time in the pool constitutes a true full-body workout. Of course it is clearly working out your arms and your legs, but it also strengths your core. And it’s worth pointing out that you can switch between a range of swimming strokes to develop different muscles. While breaststroke is a great way to work on your pectoral and latissimus dorsi muscles, you can change to backstroke for your core abdominals and obliques.

  1. Virtually no injuries

Unlike many high intensity sports, swimming is a low-impact sport that is non weight-bearing so it is quite difficult to injure yourself while you swim. Excessive swimming training and poor technique can lead to shoulder or knee issues but injuries that are extremely common in other sports such as muscle strains and twisted ankles are almost impossible.

  1. A boost to your mental health

It is well known that doing any kind of cardiovascular exercise is good for your brain and your mental health. Any form of exercise triggers the brain to release endorphins, the chemicals produced by our bodies that are often referred to as the ‘happy hormones’. But swimming is especially good for us, as it promotes something known as hippocampal neurogenesis which is the growth of new brain cells in the same area of the brain that atrophies under stress. Not to mention the fact that this gives us time with our own thoughts to relax and let go of stress.

  1. Cardiovascular fitness

One of the key reasons that people take up swimming is because it is one of the most effective forms of exercise to improve your cardiovascular fitness. Even just a couple of hours of swimming a week will make you much fitter. It is a sustained aerobic form of endurance exercise that raises your heart rate while causing minimal stress to your body.

Swimming regularly halves your risk of cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure and diabetes, so this is really is a sport that is excellent for you on the inside.

  1. It can help you sleep

There is even some research to suggest that swimming regularly can help you sleep better at night. One study that looked into adults with insomnia revealed that those participants that engaged in forms of aerobic exercise, such as swimming, reported a boost in the quality of their sleep. If you are interested in getting a better night’s sleep, give swimming a try.

  1. It’s good for asthmatics

It’s also worth pointing out that this is one of the best forms of exercise for asthmatics. The symptoms of asthma can be highly debilitating and make it difficult for sufferers to play sports regularly but swimming actually provides excellent conditions for asthmatics to exercise. Pools typically have warm, humid air which is easier for sufferers to breathe, and the fact that it is an indoor sport means that they are fewer allergens in the air which can trigger attacks.

Swimming

 

 

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If you have family or friends who are wheelchair users, then you understand the importance of your home and car being adapted to accommodate their needs. Vehicle and buildings that are not welcoming for wheelchair users and those how have mobility problems can really negatively impact on their everyday lives. It is important that you are able to make the necessary changes needed to ensure that those with disabilities feel comfortable both in their own cards and in other people’s cars too. While making the necessary changes to transform your car into a wheelchair accessible vehicle for those most in need you will find that the investment is very much worthwhile in the long run.

Hand controls

Should someone find it difficult to use standard car pedals for acceleration or braking, it is possible to introduce hand controls in the form of a push/pull device. This allows you to control the speed of your car with your hands. There are various hand controls available out there and they tend to offer the same sort of service across multiple car models.

Electronic accelerators

Those with limited mobility in their legs could find it beneficial to have different electronic accelerators installed to assist them with speed control of an automobile. From a trigger accelerator where you can pull with your finger to accelerate or push away to activate the break to a ghost ring accelerator that is fitted behind the steering wheel and allows you to control the speed with side to side finger movements, there is an option out there for everyone.

Steering aids

Another modification that could come in handy for those looking to make their car more accessible for wheelchair users is a steering aid. This helps if you have difficulty holding onto or turning the steering wheel and offers multiple ways in which you can gain a better control of the car.

Remote controls

Remote control devices are ideal if you are looking to make activating certain car controls that much more easy. From indicators to headlights and so on, remote controls will make operating a car that much more easy. These can also incorporate to accommodate the steering wheel too so that all steering and car operations can be done at once.

Those who use wheelchairs should be able to rely on a method of transportation that accommodates them easily. Cars and vans that offer enough space for wheelchairs have changed greatly in recent years and new features have been introduced that offer maximum comfort and ease of access for those who need it most. Keep an eye out for vehicles that are tested to high standards should you choose to buy a vehicle that already comes pre-altered for wheelchair users. From those that offer lightweight ramps to those that have maximum interior accommodation for wheelchairs to be strapped into place while the automobile is in motion, there are numerous expert companies out there that will be able to help you find the best solution for your needs.

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Cycling is one of the most relaxing exercises, which is extremely good for your health and at the same time relaxing as well. Cycling can keep you fit, healthy and always on your toes. It can help to keep heart diseases, diabetes and all kinds of muscle pains under control as well. If you feel that you need to try out some physical exercise that is good for health and at the same time energetic as well, then you can buy a bicycle and start cycling, you can find some great buyers guide at Bikes on Point. A bicycle is one of the best exercises as it combines minimum physical stress and can give maximum output as well. There are various benefits of cycling that you can try out.

Researches have also shown that cycling to work on a regular basis can help you stay fit and healthy. It can make your travel time less, enjoyable and at the same time good for your heart.

Helps in cardiovascular diseases

Cycling helps your heart to work well. It helps your heart to pump blood and thus helps in the smooth flow of blood to your heart and back. Since your cardiovascular system gets fit, the chances of diseases are also reduced.

Helps in building up of muscles

Cycling helps in building up muscles. Cycling involves continuous pedalling and balancing on the bike and that is what helps to strengthen the muscles of your hips, calves, buttocks, and thighs. Cycling is a low profile exercise that not only helps to keep your muscles strong, but also helps in keeping your mind fresh and active. The sensitive cartilages in the body are also well conserved. Cycling is also great for people who are usually prone to muscle pains and muscular strains of the hips, knees, thighs and calf muscles.

Helps in burning fat

The most stubborn fats are those stored in your belly and abdomen. This is the place, which works the least, and thus the fat accumulates more in this region. Cycling helps to burn fat as well as the excess calories. It helps to control your weight and prevents you from gaining those few extra pounds.

Helps in improving your coordination skills

Cycling is an exercise that requires coordination of your hands, legs and balancing power as well. Your brain helps to coordinate with your body and thus helps to improve your coordination skills

Cycling keeps you mentally strong and refreshed

Cycling keeps you strong and refreshed. It helps to strengthen your immune system and makes you less prone to diseases like heart problems, diabetic ailments, and carcinogens as well. It also helps your mind to be free from all the apprehensions and the worries of life. It keeps you at bay from depression like mental problems. Cycling helps to boost a positive mind-set.

These are the various health benefits of cycling that you can avail if you cycle on a regular basis. However, when you are cycling ensure to wear proper precautionary accessories like helmets, knee gears and elbow gears so that you do not get hurt if you fall off while cycling from the bicycle.

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When it comes to travelling abroad there are a number of things that you will need to take into consideration. Firstly, you’re going to want to ensure that you have all of your boarding passes, hotel information, check-in details, any information about transfers that you may need and all of the information that you might need to keep handy to ensure that your holiday goes as smoothly as possible. Nevertheless, if you’re a citizen of the EU and you’re travelling to a European country, then you’re going to want to make sure that you have a European Health Insurance Card with you at all times. However, some people tend to believe that if they have their EHIC card with them throughout their travels, they’re not going to need some form of travel insurance – which simply isn’t true. Here, we’re taking a look at why you need an EHIC card if you’re travelling to Europe and what you need in order to qualify.

Renewing Your EHIC

If you’re travelling abroad, then you’re going to want to make sure that you renew your EHIC card in order to ensure that it is still valid. A huge number of people will travel to Europe without having an in-date EHIC, and also without travel insurance, which can lead to a huge build-up in costs of medical fees, if you’re unlucky enough to experience a medical emergency while you are abroad. Make sure that you check the expiry date on your card long before you travel, and have it renewed so you can be protected for any medical emergency care you might need.

EHIC vs. Travel Insurance

A major conundrum that has appeared over the years is whether or not a traveller needs both a European Health Insurance Card and travel insurance.  The simple answer is yes. This is because travel insurance will cover you for a lot more than what an EHIC will, both in terms of healthcare, and also in terms of the things that you might need when you’re travelling. For example, travel insurance will cover you for lost luggage, flight delays and private medical care, whereas an EHIC will only cover you for public medical healthcare. IN some cases, you may be in a medical emergency where you will need to be transported to the nearest healthcare facility – and this isn’t always going to be a public hospital or clinic. While an EHIC is extremely helpful to have in order for you to receive either free or reduced cost healthcare, depending on the country and their local healthcare rules and requirements, it is always best to couple this with travel insurance.

Who Qualifies For An EHIC?

In order to qualify, you must be a part of the social security system of an EU member state – which is not every country in Europe. Nevertheless, countries like Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland are also eligible to apply for an EHIC. The EHIC will only cover the individual traveller, and not any additional members like children – so it is important that your entire travelling party have their own, valid European Health Insurance Cards.

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This infographic will take you through the best places to go scuba diving, this list will take you through the best places to go scuba diving in central America, south pacific and Asia. Dive Master Insurance have explored the world finding the best places to go scuba diving. For all your scuba diving fanatics out there, who want to know all the first class places around the globe this infographic is perfect for you.

scuba diving

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Archery may be considered as a fun hobby by many but there is much more beyond that. The first bow and arrow were used as far as 5000 BC. It was conventionally used for hunting and nowadays is a popular sport, even featured in Olympics. Professional archers require a considerable amount of strength and focus making it an ideal activity to keep a person fit and healthy.

Here are some ways in which archery can benefit your health.

Improves hand-eye coordination

The primary benefit of archery is that it improves hand-eye coordination. Aiming and firing the arrow increases your focus as well. Coordination can be improved with more and more practice. The body must be held in a constant position while making aim and taking a shot, this improves balance. Over time the player gets better at gaining control of the body.

Strength building

All body components are used when practicing, especially arms, hands, chest, and shoulders. Tension on the muscle is maintained for many seconds before the string is been released. Repetitive activity results into muscle development.

Patience

Archery helps to build more patience. This sport requires immense patience because the game is not about speed but precision. Precision can take time and you should be patient enough to maximize accuracy.

Focus

Archers need to filter out all the distractions and focus primarily on their form releasing the bowstring consistently. Concentration also helps a person to cope up with the high-pressure situation which is helpful in daily life.

Improves confidence

Archery is a game where you can even compete against yourself. Similarly, it can be held against others as well. Results can be calculated to improve person’s form and boost an individual’s self-esteem and confidence.

Socialize

People of any age and any type can enjoy the sport. Archery is meant to be for everyone. It also teaches a person other benefits like teamwork. Furthermore, it is a good way to socialize. A person needs to have adequate socialization levels in order to sustain a healthy mental life. Archery is an ideal way.

Form of exercise

At competition level, participants walk a lot carrying heavy loads. This helps to burn approximately 280 calories per hour. It is the perfect form of exercise. So if you are concerned about your health then consider practicing archery.

Relaxing

Releasing an arrow and watching it hit the target can be extremely relieving. It can help you get rid of stress and make you feel relaxed. The act of focusing is a perfect package of relaxation.

Hand flexibility

Finger and hand strength increases in archery. Flexibility increases as well because they are fully in use while practicing.

Open to all

Archery can be done by disabled people. People with severe disabilities can use special equipment to enjoy the sport.

Conclusion

There are a lot more benefits associated with it. You can view source of the article to get a detailed idea of archery. Make sure you experience it once in your lifetime.

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One of the most alarming social issues prevailing in the world right now is obesity. More than 3 million people die annually as a result of being overweight. The statistics and surveys reflect some grave facts. 35% of the world’s adult were overweight and 11% of them fell under the category of obesity in 2008.

Relevant authorities have been focusing on the issues leading to obesity and trying to increase awareness amongst people of the hazards associated with obesity. Being overweight in itself feels inconvenient. It is just like carrying extra burden that you is very difficult to avoid once victimized by the disease. But losing weight is getting simpler with the provision of treatments through medical research. There are many guides like EPIX weight loss solutions which can be your savior. Nevertheless, here are 5 simple ways in which you can reduce your weight without any heroic effort:

  1. Set goals
    In order to achieve something, you need to set goals. Having a clear objective in mind will let you attain unprecedented progressions. When it comes to weight reduction, formula is the same. Prepare your self for success with short-term and long-term goals like changing your diet plan or lifestyle. Short-term goals are more achievable and sets a stepping stone for long-term goals. Keep a track of your weight regularly. You must know what your Body Mass Index(BMI) is. Gather all the relevant information regarding your weight and do the implementation but make sure every thing is realistic.
  2. Diet There is a huge misconception regarding weight and diet. Not eating anything at all will not reduce weight but make you unhealthy. Diet denial can be a serious mistake. Add healthy foods in your diet. Include fruits and vegetables into your breakfast, lunch and dinner. Dietitians suggest adding healthy food will really work in weight reduction. Keep a track of overall calories and you will get what you want.
  3. Lift weights Vigorous exercise is not necessary to lose weight but lifting weight 3-4 times a week would suffice. Just do a bit of warmup, lift weights and stretch. This will do the job. Trainers can provide you with expert advice regarding weight loss as well. Lifting weights help to burn calories and boosts you metabolism.
  4. Walk Lifting weights is not an option for you then go walk. Nothing can be better than walking while the weather is pleasant. It is one of the easiest way to remain fit and healthy. Dietitians say that with increasing technology, people are getting lazier. This laziness leads to obesity. Walking 30 minutes per day will help in weight reduction. You can even try other cardio-workouts like jogging, swimming and running.
  5. Activity As mentioned earlier, people are getting lazier. 93% of people having access to the facility goes online everyday. This has resulted into less activity not only making people overweight but also unhealthy. Keeping yourself active can assist you in weight reduction. Be social, get out of your sofa, put on your shoes and do something outdoor.
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There are a lot of ways to lose weight & maintain proper health. Normally, people would hit the gym and do the regular cardio exercises. They step on the treadmill and run for about 45 minutes or more. Others try lifting weights.

Whatever you choose is fine as long you are comfortable with it. On the other hand, if you wish to achieve your goals faster, high intensity interval training could be a great alternative. For most, it might be pretty much the same with the regular exercises that you are already doing. The only difference is that the exercises are more intense.

For instance, instead of running on the treadmill for an hour, you can cut it by half. The key is to try the maximum speed that you can for about a minute followed by a 1-minute break. Repeat the process until you have reached 30 minutes. You may also change the time interval. As long as you run at the fastest speed possible with only a few seconds of rests in between, it would be fine.

Why is it better?

The main reason why HIIT training schemes are better is that you don’t have to stay long in the gym. For people who are always on the go, this is good news. You will stay in great physical condition without wasting a lot of time. According to a study revealed by the American College of Sports Medicine, a moderate and longer workout can give you the same benefits as a shorter but a more intense exercise.

Another advantage is the speed in which you will achieve your fitness goals. High Intensity Interval Training may result to a smaller percentage of calories burnt, but it will happen over a shorter period of time. The reason is that it speeds up your metabolism. As a result, your body will keep burning calories even if you are already done with the exercises.

There is nothing wrong if you wish to stick with a more moderate cardio exercise where you spend longer time. It doesn’t guarantee better results though. Take note that just because you stay longer in the gym doesn’t mean you will be in a much better shape. According to a study revealed by Queensland University, those who have tried doing steady-state cardio 5 times a week for 12 weeks have only lost an average of 7 pounds. The worst part is that almost have of them lost less than 2 pounds.

Harder, but more effective

Most High Intensity Interval Training critics would say that the only down side of the technique is that they easily feel tired. They can barely catch their breath halfway through the exercise. It is perfectly normal. As the common fitness adage goes, “no pain, no gain.” Besides, once you are done with a 30-minute routine, you can call it a day.

It is important to remember though that if you are to try High Intensity Interval Trainingtechniques, you have to consult your doctor first. Not all types of bodies are accustomed to this method. If you suffer from certain heart or lung illnesses, this exercise is not recommended for you. A more moderate and gentle option would be better.

On the other hand, if you decide to go for HIIT, there are several exercise options available for you. The training can be done through runs, sprints or even swimming. Be consistent in doing these exercises for maximum results. Doing these exercises with other people may also help lessen the burden. Invite your friends to join you. Fitness classes are also available if you wish to be with other people who are also struggling like you.

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Not all classes target the same level of exercise, nor do they all target the same body parts. Some classes aim to strengthen your upper body, some work your glutes, while others give a whole body workout. Talk to the instructor and some of the students to make sure you are in a class that focuses on the areas you want to have worked.

Not everyone’s ability is the same. An exercise that is appropriate for one person may be too easy or too difficult for another person. There are many types of classes available with some having very little strenuous activities during the class. If you are just starting out, one of these might be the right fit. It is best to find a class that matches your health, ability, likes and dislikes. Some exercise programs are designed for everyone while others are specifically developed for advanced students. Ask what age each class targets, what level of ability participants should have, and if there is anyone the program is not appropriate for.

Size of the Class

Students are generally drawn to large classes thinking that the instructor must be great. Sometimes this is the case and sometimes not. The class size might be due to a particularly popular style of exercise being taught in that class, rather than the quality of the instructor. An important thing to note is that bigger classes mean less time and attention for you by the instructor. This can be a big issue especially if you do not know the exercises already, and it is a particularly difficult class. So given a choice, aim for smaller class sizes.

Choosing an Instructor

Your instructor will be your guide, guru, and drill sergeant, so this person needs to be both trained well and vibe with you. You should always ask about the instructor’s training. Instructors do not have to have any specific qualifications but having some are a plus. Now look at the instructor. Is this person fit? Is their physique one you would like? Watch one of the instructor’s classes to see how they how they run their classes. Are they friendly or overbearing? Are they focusing on individual students and providing them with advice specific to their situations and physiques or is there little interaction and just general comments being fired off? You need someone who will get to know you and push you in the ways you need.

First Aid and Safety first

Another important point is whether or not the instructor has a first aid qualification. The basic fitness qualifications do not have first aid as part of the course, so instructors need to do another course to get it. So check if the instructor for the class has a first aid certificate and that the facility has first aid equipment handy.

Always consider safety when doing exercises that challenge your physical abilities and stamina. Today there are extreme classes that aim to push you beyond your limits, so have a clear idea of what your limits are. Make sure that you join the level of class where you can participate fully. If you ever feel lightheaded or that you may have sustained an injury, stop immediately and alert the instructor.

Follow these instructions when looking for an exercise class and you will definitely end up with the right one to get you fit!

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In 2013, there were estimated to be over 500,000 physiotherapists working in the EU. That figure is thought to have increased since then, with physiotherapy continually expanding and becoming more advanced for a variety of different health problems.

Many people just assume the role of a physiotherapist is to help with sports injuries and back problems. Whilst this is true, physiotherapists are certainly not limited to just that. In fact, qualified physiotherapists are able to provide treatment for a huge variety of other conditions too, including an array of injury, disease or age-related issues. And, with some physiotherapists being able to prescribe essential medication without having to consult a doctor, it’s clear to see how much of a positive impact physiotherapists can have.

If you or someone you know thinks they may need the help of a physiotherapist and would like to know more, read on to discover what physiotherapy is, what it does, and how it can successfully alleviate painful symptoms and make people feel better on a long-term basis.

What actually is physiotherapy?

In its simplest terms, physiotherapy is the professional practice of providing treatment for physical problems and pain from a range of sources. These can include injuries, disease, and age-related ailments.

A physiotherapist’s main role is to not only alleviate painful symptoms that may have arisen, but to also restore the optimum functioning of the affected area and hopefully give their patient a long-term, lessened effect of their issue. Physiotherapists are not only present in hospitals and can be found in a variety of other places such as healthcare facilities, gyms, schools and even in some workplaces.

Due to the significant amount of different injuries and issues physiotherapists have to face, they often specialize in a number of areas. Physiotherapy is therefore split into three main areas of expertise:

  • Neurological – Treats disorders and pain associated with the nervous system. The most common injuries seen by physiotherapists in this area are brain and spinal cord injuries, Parkinson’s disease and MS (multiple sclerosis).
  • Musculoskeletal – Also known as orthopedic physiotherapy, this area treats the largest variety of conditions. These include arthritis, back pain, sprains, and an array of sports-related injuries.
  • Cardiothoracic – Treats disorders such as emphysema, asthma and bronchitis.

What do physiotherapists do?

In order to successfully complete their main job role, there are a variety of tasks and strategies that physiotherapists can take dependent on their patient’s specific circumstances.

In your initial appointment, the physiotherapist will fully assess your physical condition and make an appropriate diagnosis. A bespoke treatment plan will then be created to ensure you receive the best possible care for your specific injury or condition. In many cases, physiotherapists may have to retrain their patients to walk again with the assistance of walking frames or crutches.

It’s also the job of a physiotherapist to properly educate patients and their families on exactly what their treatment is providing, and how to lead a healthy lifestyle and prevent further injury or discomfort.

To find out even more about the specific roles and responsibilities of a qualified physiotherapist, take a look at Bodyworks Edinburgh for extra information.

physiotherapists

How can they help?

No matter what injury or condition you may be facing, a physiotherapist will always provide a tailored treatment plan that is specific to your circumstances. This is what makes the expertise of physiotherapists stand out against general doctors.

There are many types of therapies a physiotherapist can administer depending on their patient’s individual requirements. Some injuries may simply require an exercise program to strengthen muscles and regain posture, and some may need manual therapy that can include joint manipulation and resistance training.

However, some injuries and disorders may require long-term, consistent therapy to re-configure everyday repetitiveness. For example, back pain can often be caused by repetitive, manual activities in the workplace. So, in order for the pain to be permanently fixed and helped, the physiotherapist must establish which specific activity is responsible and give their patient a safe but effective alternative they can use instead.

Offering much more than just treatment for sports injuries, qualified physiotherapists boast a vast and specialist skill-set that can be applied to a huge array of disorders, injuries and painful ailments. And, since they can often be found in a wide variety of different locations from your local sports centre to your child’s school, getting in touch with a professional and seeking help couldn’t be easier if you’re suffering from any of the conditions discussed above.

Nicki Llewellyn is the founder of Bodyworks Edinburgh, a massage and physiotherapy clinic in Edinburgh, U.K. Founded in 2013, Nicki and his team set out to help clients improve muscular issues, sports performance and any injuries to bring them back to full health.

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