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Exercising when you’re Stiff, Sore, Unsure or Injured: Rule No 4

If we wait til we’re feeling 100% to get started doing any sort of exercise- whether it’s a few exercises at home, a workout in the gym or any kind of cardio activity- that day may never come!

 

So, over the past few weeks we’ve been looking at ways we can keep ouselves in ‘ship shape’, moving towards our health and fitness goals, even if we’re feeling really stiff & sore, unsire or injured…

Or all of the above!

 

The good news is that over the past 20+ years, I’ve led thousands of people through this process and I’ve been sharing my 4 top tips, or ‘Rules’ to help you work out:

What you should and shouldn’t do, how far you should push and what to do next.

Those we covered in ‘Rules 1, 2 and 3’.

 

If you haven’t read them or watched the videos that dive into the specifics, make sure you catchup on the most important stuff you need to know (below)

Rule 1 Don’t Push into Pain (or at least not much more pain)

Rule 2 Stop just Short of Fatigue

Rule 3  Taking note of How you Feel After Exercising

 

We’re onto our last Rule today, so without further ado…

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Exercising if you’re a bit Stiff, Sore, Injured or Unsure: Rule 3

We all know we need to exercise…

Most of us even like how much better we feel after we’ve exercised.

Yet, we are often in a place where we’re struggling with some sort of niggle, maybe even recovering from an injury or illness.

And let’s face it, for most of us that’s all the excuse we need to slack off and opt out!

The past few weeks I’ve been talking about how much better it is for our healing process if we actually do take the time and make the effort to move…

It really helps move us forwards and out of the downhill spiral into further pain, stiffness, debilitation and ill-health that comes when we don’t keep ourselves exercising.

And it doesn’t have to take much time or even be overly intense.

If you’ve been following me for more than a few minutes you’ll know I’m all about keeping it real!

There’s no use overwhelming ourselves and aiming for the skies with exercise and changing habits, only to end up disappointed in ourselves and our efforts, then paralysed and doing nothing.

A little bit, done well and done often is usually your best bet!

So, if you have some doubts about how much exercise you should do, how far to push and how to know when to stop, make sure you read parts 1 and 2 of this series…

Better still, I explain about putting limits around your exercise in Rule 1 video here and knowing the signs to look out for about when to stop in Rule 2’s Video here

And today, in Rule 3 I want to alert you to the next factor you need to consider when you’re starting out, or returning to exercising and are not yet 100%…

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Exercising when you’re stiff, sore or injured: Rule No 2

This month I’m sharing my guidelines with you about Exercising when you’re sore, stiff or have an existing condition or injury…

For many of us, that might feel like a lot of the time?

A lot of people have aches and pains or a long term condition that make them unsure about how to move, what to safely do and how much to do.

Are you among them?

Or maybe you have an ‘acute’ (i.e. recent) injury that’s put you out of action for a bit.

In both cases, rest assured that the more you can keep your body moving, the better your long term outcomes will be!

You just need to some guidance as to what type of activity and how much will be best for you.

Last week I shared the first part in my series that outlines 4 Rules to bear in mind for Exercising when you’re Stiff, Sore or Injured.

And this week I’ll share Rule no 2…

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Inspire Workers to Better Health & Productivity at work- register for the FREE Challenge!

October is ‘Safe work month’, which provides a great opportunity to inspire and engage workers towards feeling and performing their best while at work.

Physiotherapist Kym Siddons (a.k.a the ‘Workstation Wellness Physio’) wants to help employers and their employees celebrate with a free ‘Workstation Workout 5-day challenge.’

The aim of the challenge is for workers to experience some of the quick, easy and effective steps they can take throughout their workday to create a powerful, positive impact on improving their health and wellbeing!

A recent study published by the Global Wellness Institute (2016) showed that workers are becoming increasingly unwell. Over half the workers studied were overweight or obese and 76% reported ‘struggling’ or even ‘suffering’ in their physical wellbeing. In addition to that one quarter felt actively disengaged in their workplace and nearly 40% suffered from excess pressure on the job.

That said, small initiatives can make a huge difference. For example, research by Prof Alan Hedge has also shown that just a couple of minutes of movement, done regularly throughout the workday, can break the cycle of poor metabolism that otherwise results in obesity and chronic illness from sitting.

Other studies have also demonstrated the positive benefits of specific exercises, posture correction, breathing techniques and educating workers in self-care strategies…

The resulting improvements in mental health, productivity, staff engagement and retention, absenteeism and injury rates are astounding.

You can register your business here

You can Register here if you’re an individual worker

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Hands up if you’d LOVE more time to Exercise!

Spring is here and there’s no better time to dust off your walking shoes and increase your daily activity!

Plus, if you register for ‘Steptember’ and aim for 10,000 steps each day of the month from 4th September, you’ll be raising money to support children with cerebral palsy

After all, it is recommended adults take at least 10,000 steps per day to maintain good health… and the average office worker only manages about 3000.

I’d love to have more time to exercise, you say, but I’m just so busy!

Well, I’ve got some good news for you!

Recent research has shown that just 2 minutes of movement, every half hour while you’re sitting, is the best way to boost your metabolism to reduce your risk of chronic disease from sitting.

Yay! So if you commit to moving your body for just 2 minutes regularly throughout your working day, you can drastically improve your health.

Is that a good enough reason to get moving?

It doesn’t have to be limited to walking. Every bit of body movement counts as ‘steps’ towards better health.

Plus, you don’t have to set aside a half an hour block for exercise every day (though that’s still fantastic, if you can make the time)…

You can just schedule in a quick couple of minutes here and there (ideally every half hour) to get your body moving and your step count up!

So, here’s some practical ways to get more ‘steps’ in your day this ‘Step-tember’

  • Engage a colleague or your team to join in the challenge to increase your steps. It’s amazing how a bit of ‘healthy competition’ will motivate you!
  • Stand up from your desk every half hour and do some calf raises, up and down onto your toes. Aim to do more repetitions each time. Stretch your calves out in-between.
  • Every time you go to sit down, do some extra ‘chair squats’ first. Position yourself so the backs of your knees are just in front of your chair with feet hip width apart. Bend your hips and knees while aiming your buttocks towards the back of the chair but don’t quite sit down. Go as far as you can comfortably go, then come up again. Repeat 5-10 times or to comfort.
  • Stand up and ‘walk while you talk’ on the phone. If you need to be at your desk, do some mini calf raises, squats or lunges while you’re talking and scribbling.
  • Arrange walking meetings or meeting around standing stations, so you can move rather than sit still.
  • Make use of standing stations or sit- stand desks. Aim to stand for about 15 minutes (or as long as is comfortable for you) every hour or so. You’ll be surprised just how much more your step count increases when you’re standing, even if you’re keyboarding.
  • Getting up to use the copier, printer, go to the bathroom or grab a drink goes without saying… but what if you make an attempt NOT to send in-house emails? Instead go for a walk and visit the staff member to directly interact!
  • Be strict with yourself about taking a break from your desk for lunch- even if it’s a quick one! Getting up, and outside if you can, is not only a great way to get more walking into your day, but reaps a multitude of benefits for your productivity and mental health.
  • Most of us know we should take the stairs rather than the lift where possible. Why not challenge yourself this ‘Steptember’ to really make an effort and develop start the healthy habit of ‘stair climbing’

Enjoy challenging yourself to increasing your step count this September and, most importantly, reaping the rewards of better health!

If you’d like my 5 Steps to beat Pain & Strain at your desk (plus improve your posture & Burn fat) in 2 mins, enter your details and I’ll send it straight to you!

Kick your Bad Posture Habits- How to ‘Centre Yourself’ to quit painful positions!

All too often I see people in the clinic complaining of stiffness and soreness in their upper back, neck and shoulders. 😥

I always ask about how their pain started, their work setup, and assess their muscles and joints (among other things). It wasn’t until I started doing workplace assessments that I realised an important piece of the puzzle was missing!

When I got to see people in their work environment something stood out…
the poor posture habits they had at their desk!

Most people don’t realise, until they’re challenged about it, that they inadvertently fall into weird and not-so wonderful positions when they’re concentrating on their work. 😳

I should know- I’m guilty too! 😬

If I’m concentrating on work (not my posture) I can find myself leaning on my left forearm while I’m using my mouse in my right hand.

How about you? What do you tend to do out of habit when you sit?

And it’s not just while we’re working…

What about while we’re driving (elbow up on the window sill anyone?)
And when we’re on our smartphone or tablet, leaning off to one side while we scroll/ text with the other (mmm, that could be me leaning on my elbow at the table)?

We all need to give ourselves a little pep-talk

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Top Tip to take Strain off your Neck, Shoulders and Upper Back

Having the weight of your head forwards relative to your shoulders puts so much strain on your neck, upper back and shoulders.

 

Often called ‘Forward Head Posture’ or ‘Poke Chin Posture’ this position alone is responsible to a large proportion of problems I see in people who sit at a desk.

 

But you might be totally unaware that you’re doing it!😳

 

It’s one thing we’re all probably guilty of throughout our day, but the side-effects can be devastating…

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Does your Office Chair Need a ‘Checkup’?

It’s nearly the end of the financial year in Australia… So many of us are keen to maximise our tax deductions!

 

If you’re been feeling a bit uncomfortable in your office chair and wondering if it’s right for you, this is the perfect time to give your chair at work a ‘checkup’ and see if you’re due a new one!

 

Many people ask me about what they should look for in a good, ‘ergonomic’ office chair..

So this week I’ll take you through Part 1 of your ‘Office Chair Checkup’

 

The first question you’ll need to ask is whether it’s height adjustable?🤔

 

Now, if you tend to sit on a dining chair or waiting room type chair, you might want to work towards finding something a bit more suitable..

 

Your body will thank you!

 

So, I’m afraid it’s a ‘Fail’ straight up if your chair can’t go up and down to suit you and your desk height.😨

 

In that case, hunt around your house or office to see if there’s a height adjustable office-type chair you can use OR head here to my shop page to checkout the one that ticks all the boxes for adjustable, ergonomically friendly chairs, that suits most people and is best value for money…

And order with FREE SHIPPING before the end of the financial year!🎉

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So… How are you, REALLY?

Tuesday just gone was ‘Wear White to Work Day’, to show our support for those suffering mental illness and their families.

I’m certainly not an expert in mental health, but I’ve sure been touched by mental illness and the toll it takes on it’s victims and their loved ones.

Chances are that you have been too.

Statistics show that 1 in 5 of us will experience some sort of mental ill-health throughout the year.

That’s a whole lots of people and a whole lot of sadness.😞

You’d be surprised how good many people become at pushing on, putting on a brave face, and not giving away much of the despair, isolation and fragility they’re feeling.

Sometimes those people are just tired or burnt out.
Sometimes they’re just having a bad day.
But sometimes they’re just hanging on, while we are quite unaware.

Maybe you’ve even been in that place..​​

It’s no co-incidence that many times a ‘physio session’ end up being more a ‘counselling session’..
​and it’s mainly because I am in the fortunate position to spend real quality time with those people.

I’m just listening to their worries and fears without judgement.

And yes, I’m qualified to give advice to navigate through their injury or point them in the right direction for further medical attention…

BUT it’s the ‘taking time and listening’ that matters.

Now mental ill-health is a complex issue, but the GOOD NEWS is…

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Is your Satchel, Carrybag or Handbag Ruining your Posture?

To answer the question, Is my carry bag ruining my posture?

Short answer, yes..

Carrying the wrong bag and carrying it poorly places heaps of strain on your shoulders, back and neck..😫

BUT, you can take steps to reduce the load your bag puts on your posture.🎉
 

How much your bag- backpack, satchel or handbag- affects your posture is determined by these things..
 
1)    The type of Bag
 
2)    How heavy it is
 
3)    The way you carry it
 
4)    Your postural strength and endurance
 
So, let’s look at these factors  and see which ones you can improve on..


1)    What type of bag do you tend to carry?

A Laptop bag?💼
A Handbag?👜
A Backpack?🎒
A gym bag?💪
 
It’s probably a ‘no-brainer’, but bags that allow you to carry your load fairly symmetrically win every time.
 
So backpacks are great- and there’s some pretty cool ones out there is you hunt around..
 
The best ones have a waist strap that allows you to distribute some weight to your hips and pelvis. That’s especially important is you have a heavy backpack, are carrying it long distances or have a sore, weak spine. 🎒

.. but maybe not ‘the look’ you’re after?

The next best option is a ‘satchel type’ bag that allows you to spread the load from one shoulder, across the chest, and the weight hand on the opposite side… more about how to carry it well later 💼
 
If you have a casual carry bag (like a gym bag), make sure it has a longer ‘over the shoulder’ handle, so you can carry it like the satchel rather than both handles. 
If not, ditch it!
 
Lastly, the Handbag. Well, ladies, we do have a tendency to fall in love with a gorgeous handbag! 👜
 
Truth is, is you wanna do your posture a favour, keep your handbag as small as you can. 
NOT choose the oversize option that allows you to fit the kitchen sink- unless it’s just for the beach!

 

2)    How heavy it is

You knew it was coming! 

Yep, it’s time to give your carry bag a spring clean 😃
 

The last time I did this, I found an industrial sized tape measure in the bottom that weighed a tonne! No wonder I was feeling weighed down L
 
So make sure you only have in it what you absolutely need so you’re not putting unnecessary strain on your body.

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