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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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4 Rules for Exercising when you’re stiff, sore or injured: Rule No 1

It’s always so hard to tell people that they can’t do a particular activity because of their pain, problem or injury…

 

And most of us health professionals, who understand the huge benefits to staying active and mobile are very hesitant to say ‘stop’ exercising altogether!

 

Keeping active is of great benefit to your body’s healing systems– in reducing inflammation, reducing your pain perception, reducing your risk of your symptoms or the injury becoming chronic (i.e. long term) and maintaining your cardiovascular health.

 

In most cases, there’s usually a safe way of modifying what you can do, so you can stay as active as possible!

 

You just need to keep in mind some boundaries I give my patients so they can exercise with confidence that they’re doing more good than harm.

 

These parameters help you monitor how any exercise is affecting the injured area, the other parts of your body and your body’s response and reaction systems.

 

In this post I’m going to share the first thing to consider when exercising while you’ve got soreness, even pain, stiffness or an injury.

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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!

Burning Fat while you Sit at your Desk- Is it Possible?

If you want to combat pain & strain at your desk, improve your posture and flexibility, boost your health (including burning fat) and productivity… listen up!

 

This piece of info can revolutionise your workday and only takes a few minutes

 

And if you read to the end, I’ll share with you the most effective techniques I use with my clients to improve strength and endurance in your ‘good posture’ muscles to reduce pain and improve posture.

 

Now, Drumroll please…

 

Here’s the quickest, most effective and research-proven way to improve your health at your desk…

 

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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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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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This Simple Tip can Fix your Rounded Shoulders

Have you noticed you’ve got rounded shoulders? 

Or concerned you might develop rounded shoulders?🤔

 

Let’s face it, most of us who sit at a computer or desk a lot, even with best intentions, spend a little time slumped, with rounded shoulders…😟

 

Is that harmful, you ask?

 

Well, having rounded shoulders puts heaps more load on your neck, shoulders and upper back…

 

That puts you in a poor posture that increases your risk of pain, stiffness, headaches, injury, limited breathing.. I could go on. Ahhh!😫

 

I’ve got a little tried and tested tip that helps my clients put their shoulders in a much better position to reverse that rounded-ness.. YAY!

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Work on a laptop often? Here’s 2 Things you MUST KNOW

Working on a laptop is particularly grueling and here’s why..

The screen is attached to your keyboard 😧

Well doh, I hear you say, isn’t that the whole point?

To make your workstation portable?

Well yes, but ergonomically speaking, this is totally setting you up for failure… unless you take two CRITICAL STEPS.

I’ll explain why…

When you use your laptop’s inbuilt keyboard and mouse, you’re inevitably looking down at your screen.

You might already know that looking down at your screen ruins your neck, shoulders, upper back? It also sets you up for postural disaster!😳

But if you raise your screen to take the strain off your neck and back, your arms and wrists end up in a terrible position for typing. 😨

Yikes!

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Wanna Know the #1 PRINCIPLE you MUST FOLLOW to improve your Health and Safety at work?

Guess what?
 
It’s ‘World Health and Safety Day at Work’ this Saturday. 🎉🎉
 
OK, so we’re not all ‘Health and Safety’ officers or wearing ‘Hi Vis’ gear at work…
 
But we ALL need to some responsibility for our own health and wellness during (and outside of) work hours..
 
… For our own benefit 🙂
 
Whether you spend your day sitting at a desk
OR are on your feet all day
OR drive a lot
OR do lots of manual labour
OR repetitive tasks
OR a combination of all the above
… there’s risk involved in all occupations!
 
If we sit all day, our metabolism slows and we get stiff and sore (and risk Chronic disease).
 
IF we stand all day our circulation can get sluggish, our veins distended and back and legs tire under the load.
 
If we bend and twist a lot, the torsion through our spine and hips is hard to cope with. This often results in injury…
 
You see my point?
 
There’s no one occupation that is ‘Risk free’ and guarantees our body won’t suffer.
 
Yes, ‘health and safety’ at work is all about minimising risk of injury.
It’s also about maximising our physical and mental wellbeing!
 
That’s where you come in…
 

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If Sitting is the ‘New Smoking’, are you at RISK?

The stats are appalling… we are dying a slow death due to the increasing number of hours we spend sitting each day. 😳

 

The average Aussie sits on average more than 9hours a day (and rising), oblivious to the damage it’s doing to their health… if you add up all the time you sit at work, in the car, on the couch of an evening, is that you?

 

The increased risk of Heart and lung disease, diabetes, kidney disease, mental health disorders, cancer and even death is ridiculously higher in adults who sit more than 7 hours a day, some studies report up to 94% higher!

 

Not to mention the physical toll on your posture: an increased ‘hunch’ in your upper back (thoracic kyphosis) is associated with a far poorer quality of life as you age.

 

But I exercise regularly??!! I hear you protest… well, even if you DO exercise the recommended 30 minutes each day, it doesn’t offset the serious side effects of sitting all day.

 

You see, recent studies (in particular some by Professor Alan Hedge of Cambridge University) have shown that after JUST ONE HOUR of sitting our metabolism slows down so much that we start depositing fat!  YIKES! 😩

 

There’s ONE SIMPLE SOLUTION… are you dying to know?

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