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Men’s Health: Why exercise matters this Movember | Blog | Maroubra Road Physiotherapy

It’s that time of year again. When men all over the world begin to sport fluffy facial hair on their upper lips. Movember sees the nation’s men band together to raise funds and awareness of men’s health. It’s a big topic and sadly one that isn’t discussed enough in circles of blokes.

The statistics about men and health are pretty worrying. Which is all the more reason why Movember is really important. 

Men’s health in Australia: A snapshot

  • Men have a higher mortality rate from most leading causes of death.
  • 70% of Australian men are overweight or obese.
  • Men visit the doctor less frequently and have shorter visits, compared to women.
  • One in seven Australian men experiences depression or anxiety (or both) in any given year.
  • Suicide is the leading cause of death for men. They are four times more likely to take their own lives compared to women.
  • Six out of every eight suicides in Australia are men.
  • The number of men who die as a result of suicide in Australia is almost double the national road toll.

Despite this bleak picture, there are ways that men can proactively take control of their mental and physical health. And also for the women in their lives to support them to do this. Research shows that exercise is a powerful way to prevent and manage mental health challenges.

Why exercise is vital for men’s health

Exercise is one of the most effective ways that men can reduce and manage the symptoms of many chronic health problems such as depression, anxiety, obesity, cardiovascular disease and diabetes.

Despite the benefits of exercise for mental and physical health, men in Australia simply aren’t moving enough. Around 51% of Australian men don’t get the recommended amount of physical activity.

Physical benefits

  • Regular exercise increases men’s cardiovascular fitness, strength, bone density, muscle mass and the mobility of joints and muscles.
  • It also improves energy levels and the ability to concentrate on complex tasks.
  • It positively impacts blood pressure and helps to regulate glucose levels.

Emotional benefits

  • Exercise releases ‘feel-good’ endorphins in the brain. It acts as a mood booster, can help alleviate the symptoms of depression and anxiety as well as improve your quality of sleep.
  • Regular exercise can help with improving self-esteem and confidence.

Social benefits

  • Regular physical activity when done with other people helps men to develop friendships and to network with others, and communicate more about any challenges they are facing.

Exercise helps with many health conditions

  • Back health: Regular exercise can help to keep the back strong, through the regular movement, stability, posture and pelvic control.
  • Cardiovascular disease: Lowers the risk of heart disease and CVD by lowering blood pressure, improving heart health, aerobic capacity and endurance.
  • Mental health: If men play regular team sports, it helps them to develop social networks and social confidence. The endorphin release of exercise promotes feelings of well-being and reduces the amount of stress hormones released in the body, thereby helping with anxiety.
  • Diabetes: Helps to regulate blood sugar levels and improve insulin efficiency.
  • Erectile dysfunction: One recent study in the Journal of Sexual Medicine found that exercise has a protective effect on sexual function for men under the age of 40. Men who have active lifestyles are likely to have better erectile function than men who don’t regularly work out.
  • Obesity: Helps to regulate weight, increase cardiovascular fitness and muscle mass.
  • Arthritic conditions: Regular exercise promotes musculoskeletal resilience, joint mobility, range of movement, and strengthens connective tissue and muscle around joints.

How much exercise is optimal?

The Department of Health has recommendations for how much exercise men should get every week.

  • 150 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical exercise each week. For example running, walking, cycling, gardening, group sports activities.
  • At least two muscle strengthening sessions. For example body weight exercises, circuit training in the park or in the gym or in groups.

This equates to around 5 x 30 minute exercise sessions per week. This exercise prescription might sound overwhelming. However remember that the working day provides a lot of opportunities to get moving more, in Movember and all of the time.

Variations on this will occur depending on an individual’s fitness, age, and the existence of other health conditions. It’s always a good idea to get advice and guidance from a physiotherapist if you have any concerns about the exercise programme you have started, to ensure that you are taking the right preventative measures against sports injuries. Speak with the helpful and professional team at Maroubra Road Physiotherapy today on 02 9314 3888 or book an appointment online.

Tips to get moving this Movember

Here are some ways that men can inject more exercise into every day.

  • Grab a mate for a cycle or a run together. Exercising when others are relying on you to show up, increases the likelihood that you will stick to it.
  • Take the stairs instead of using the lifts. This is essentially a stair-master in your own office building.
  • Park the car further from your workplace and walk each day.
  • Go and grab a coffee outside of the office with a colleague and then have a ‘walking meeting’ instead of a normal sit-down meeting.
  • Get off the bus or train a few stops earlier during the morning or evening commute and walk from there.
  • Choose to walk to do errands during lunch hour instead of driving around.
  • Offer to do in-office errands in order to get away from your desk during part of the day. You will also get brownie points for being so helpful to team-mates.

Source:  https://www.menshealthweek.org.au/events/resources/male-health-infographics

One research study by the Black Dog Institute found that just 1 hour of exercise each week is shown to have a positive impact on a person’s mental health. So get moving this Movember!

Maroubra Road Physiotherapy would love to see men prioritising their health and finding the time to move more, not only in Movember but in 2020 and beyond! If you would like our advice on how to improve your fitness and regular exercise habits, get in touch with us today for an appointment via our online booking form or call 02 9314 3888.

References

Exercise and Sports Science Australia (2018) Why Exercise Matters this Movember

Emory University (2012) Exercise may protect against erectile dysfunction. The Conversation

Exercise and Sports Science Australia (2018) Why exercise is important for men’s health

Exercise and Sports Science Australia (2018) How exercise keeps men alive, longer

The Black Dog Institute & UNSW (2017) One hour of exercise per week can prevent depression

Exciting News! Introducing our New Class: Strong and Supported 

  • Do you suffer from arthritic knees or hips?
  • Did you know that exercise therapy can reduce your knee pain and help minimise the need for surgery?

We have created a new Physiotherapy class using the latest research in osteoarthritis.

The class will run twice a week for 6 weeks to help patients manage their arthritic symptoms through education and exercise, in a safe, small group environment.

When? Flexible times are available – Please reply to this email or ring the practice to request a time!

Where? Maroubra Road Physiotherapy, 16 Maroubra Road.

Cost? As a special opening offer for the month of November 2019 you can try your first class for $10 to see if this class is for you 🙂 All other Classes: $25 per session (check your health fund for cover)

Be quick as we expect the classes to fill up fast. This offer is limited to availability

Who? Anyone is welcome, but spots are limited!! Contact us now at (02) 9314 3888 to reserve your spot

How to avoid injury when training for the Sydney Marathon

Whether you’re a seasoned marathon runner or a first-timer, embarking on the Sydney marathon is an exciting, daunting and admirable adventure. In this blog post, you will learn about how to avoid common injuries from long-distance running as well as how to spot warning signs that something is wrong. 

Top tips for avoiding injury during marathon training 

  • Always warm up and cool down properly. You can follow our helpful hints on warm-ups and warm-downs in our previous blog post. 
  • You should start at a slower pace when running and gradually build up your running intensity and distance over time. 
  • Make sure you stay hydrated during your run. 
  • Avoid doing too much, too early in your training. You should attempt a graduated training program that includes periods of 24-48 hours of rest between running sessions. 
  • Mix-up your runs with other forms of exercise, such as strengthening and core-focused exercises (Pilates and Yoga), along with swimming and cross-training. 

Signs that something is not quite right 

Constant pain: If you’re experiencing constant and unrelenting pain, then it’s time to seek professional advice from a physiotherapist. 

Body stiffness: If you have ever woken up the day after a run and found yourself feeling as stiff as a board, this is a sign you’re not adequately warming up or warming down. This can be improved with proper warm-ups and warm-downs. 

Excessive fatigue: This may be a sign you don’t have enough recovery time between training sessions. An exercise physiologist, personal trainer or physiotherapist will be able to advise you on the optimum timings and intensity that is right for you. 

Do’s and Don’ts of Personal Safety

Noise cancellation headphones that block out all noise can be hazardous for personal safety. So if you do enjoy running with headphones on, stay extra alert on the roads.

If you run during the night time, you should stick to well-lit paths. It’s also a good idea to run with a friend and also to wear high-vis clothing, to make sure you are visible to cars, bikes and other people. 

When running during the heat of the summer, it’s a good idea to wear a hat and sunscreen to protect against sun damage.

Common marathon training injuries 

Whether you’re a novice or a seasoned runner, you may be familiar with the saying – Make Pain Your Friend. It’s the opposite in reality though, you don’t need to suffer to be a runner. 

Knee injuries 

Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome (PFPS): Pain right behind the kneecap is common for long-distance runners. It’s also known as patellofemoral pain syndrome or “runner’s knee”. As you take a leap forward and impact with the ground, you experience pain. 

Meniscus injuries: The menisci are two wedge-shaped cartilage pads that act as shock-absorbers for the knees. Strong quadricep muscles help absorb the forces around the knee when you strike the ground, thus decreasing the forces running places through the joint. Good core and gluteal muscle strength also help with lower limb control when running and thereby also assisting in reducing the forces through the joint.

You can help prevent meniscal injuries by wearing appropriate footwear, cross-training and strength training.  Also, adequate hydration and dietary considerations need to come into play. If you need advice, contact the friendly team at Maroubra Road Physiotherapy.

Lateral hip pain 

When you feel a dull ache on the outside of your hip, either during a run or afterwards, there may be a couple of likely causes. 

Iliotibial band syndrome: This is the thick fascial band that runs down the outside of the thigh. If you’re wearing old worn shoes, running on a slope,  or have weak buttock muscles (hip abductor muscles), this may irritate your iliotibial band and cause injury. 

Bursitis: This is a build-up of inflammation , caused by friction in the fluid filled sacs between your tendons and bones. Pain may appear during or after a run. For a personalised assessment of your condition, you should see a physiotherapist. Although in the meantime you should ease back on your training and apply ice to the area, following a run. 

 

Foot injuries 

Plantar Fasciitis: The plantar fascia is the thick connective tissue which supports the arch on the bottom of the foot. Plantar fasciitis causes pain in the bottom of the heel.  This is caused by overuse, poor biomechanics, improper running shoes or increasing training intensity too quickly. Your physiotherapist will be able to advise you regarding appropriate treatment, possible orthotic support, or refer you to a podiatrist. 

Stress Fracture: A stress fracture is a crack in the bone caused by repetitive stress or force, often from overuse. A stress-fracture may be difficult to diagnose, even with an X-ray. Stress fractures will require time off from running. At least for six weeks in order to recover. The good news is, once it’s healed, the pain generally won’t return.  It is important to address the cause of the stress fracture, to prevent this injury from occurring again.

The friendly and experienced team at Maroubra Road Physiotherapy will enable you to improve the mechanics of your body. We will also provide you with a tailored strengthening program and give you running advice which will help you to confidently hit your strides for the Sydney Marathon.

 

Strengthening exercises are key 

A recent study in the American Journal of Sports Medicine found that runners with patellofemoral pain syndrome had significant improvements to their pain and knee function, after they employed an eight week hip and core strengthening program.

Maroubra Road Physiotherapy will be able to pinpoint any issues with your training and help with pain and preventing and treating injuries along the way.

We can provide a range of solutions which may include taping, massage, strengthening exercises and stretching work. Remember that whether you end up coming first or last on the day of the marathon – you’re still a champion and deserve a round of applause! 

If you would like to book an appointment with one of our experienced physiotherapists, please make an online booking or give us a call on 02 9314 3888.

References 

ESSA: Exercise and Sports Science Australia  (2019) Running the Distance

WebMD (2019) Common Running Injuries Prevention and Treatment 

Sports Medicine Australia (2019) Running Fact Sheet University of Wisconsin (2010) A Proximal Strengthening Program Improves Pain, Function, and Biomechanics in Women With Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome. Dr Earl, Jennifer et. al. 

Tips for staying active and healthy this winter

Exercise during winter can sometimes feel like a chore. It may be easier to reach out of your doona and hit the snooze button on your phone, right?

However, the benefits you can gain from hauling your sorry self into regular exercise during winter far outweigh the downsides. Exercise improves muscle mass and decreases body fat. Also, a flood of endorphins elevate your mood and give you a feeling of well-being. This has flow-on effects in how you perform in your workplace, your home life and in daily activities.

Listen to your body

Winter often brings with it an increased vulnerability to a cold or flu. If you are feeling ‘under the weather’ with aches, body pains and a fever, it’s best to visit your GP. Or alternately to cease your regular exercise until you feel better.

How to stay motivated

Although people tend to associate winter with increased weight gain, one US study found otherwise. Research showed that there was only a small correlation between reduced physical activity, colder weather and weight gain. Although that’s no reason to start eating unhealthily or to cease exercise. Keeping the right balance is what will keep you healthy, fit and happy during the short days and long nights.  

 

1. Stay hydrated

The air during winter can be dry, cold and harsh. Although because it’s cold we often won’t feel as thirsty as we would in hot weather. Dehydration can affect the functionality and lubrication of muscles and joints, making you more susceptible to injury. So always remember to keep drinking plenty of water during winter. We recommend approximately eight glasses per day.   

 

2. Workout with friends

It’s easier to get out of bed for a jog or to attend netball when you know you have friends counting on your participation.  

 

3. Plan and prepare

As the old saying goes: ‘failing to plan is planning to fail’. It’s much easier to stay motivated to exercise when you have your running shoes, yoga mat or workout gear ready for you in the morning. Also consider moving your regular outdoor workout to the early evening after work, when the cold isn’t as intense compared to the early morning.

 

4. Set achievable goals

Instead of saying: ‘I want to enter into an Iron Man Competition by summer’. Or, ‘I want to lose 20 kilos by the summer’, keep your goals for exercise realistic, specific and measurable. A better goal could be: ‘I want to take the dog for a 40 minute walk every other day’. Or, ‘I want to take the stairs up to my office every morning’. Then set a recurring calendar item on your phone to remind yourself.

 

5. Choose the right exercise for you

The kind of exercise that’s right for you will be a combination of several factors. It will involve an activity you enjoy, along with an exercise that’s within your current physical capabilities. This is the magical recipe that will keep you interested in the long term. If you absolutely love dancing, but you feel obligated to continue jogging in order to stay fit, then you have it back to front! Make it easier by doing physical activities that you genuinely enjoy.

 

6. Seek professional guidance

The team at Maroubra Road Physiotherapy will be able to advise you on the best form of exercise to match your current fitness levels, lifestyle, health and physical capabilities.

 

How to warm up properly before exercise

A warm-up is essential before any workout. However it’s even more critical when exercising outdoors in winter.  If you decide to brave the cold, ensure that you give your body extra time to warm up and get your heart and lungs pumping. Warm-ups are vital because they reduce the risk of injury and prepare your body for higher intensity exercise. A warm-up will progress in intensity and should last about ten minutes in duration.

Your warm-up should be specific to each sport and training session because different muscle groups need to be activated. For example a warm up prior to cardio training will be slightly different to a warm-up before a weights session.

 

Warm-up for a cardio session

  • A one kilometer walk.
  • Hip openers, leg swings, A-march, B-march, walking lunges, squats.  
  • Single leg hops, bounding, run throughs.

Warm-up for a weights session

  • For a lower limb focused weights or strengthening session, you should focus on your lower body for your warm up. Include weighted squats and lunges, air squats, glute bridges, skipping and leg swings (forwards and backwards).
  • For a weights or strengthening session that is focused on the upper body, you should warm up these muscles. Start with shoulder presses, rows and bench pressing. Then try out arm swings (forwards and backwards), theraband activation of rotator cuff muscles, and theraband rows.

For more information on warming-up effectively, speak with one of the friendly expert team at Maroubra Road Physiotherapy.

How to stay consistent with your training during winter

According to experts from Mississippi State University, you have three ways you can stay warm over the winter. You can either modify your food intake, your activity level or your clothing.

Experts from Exercise and Sports Science Australia take a broad view of what constitutes as exercise. Their tips for successfully maintaining training and exercise regimen during winter are simply summed up in two words – move more!

 

Move more

People who maintain healthy exercise habits during winter are those who are always doing something. They could be walking up six flights of stairs instead of taking the lift. They could be taking the dog for a walk in the evenings. Or having a lunch time walking meeting. If you take every opportunity to move your body during winter, it will reward you with increased flexibility, fitness and strength. The important thing is to keep on moving every day for at least 30 minutes per day.

 

Commit yourself to an exercise class

Another way of staying consistent with your exercise during winter is to commit to a dedicated exercise class. Maroubra Road Physiotherapy have several classes a week that are run by experts in exercise physiology and physiotherapy. These classes will help you to gain or maintain your strength, conditioning and flexibility.

 

Balance and Conditioning classes

This progressive class is especially designed for people with balance issues due to general deconditioning from age or injury. The classes are taught by a physiotherapist who specialises in movement and rehabilitation.

 

When:           Select a time that suits you.

Tuesday 2.30 pm

Friday 11.00 am

Cost:              Check with your health fund if you may be eligible for cover.

$25 per session.

 

New patients. $80 for an initial 30 minute screening to evaluate your current fitness level, goals and any pre-existing medical conditions. This also includes one free trial class.

Who:              Anyone is welcome, however spots are limited. Please register your interest by calling 02 9314 3888.

Where:          Maroubra Road Physiotherapy. Shop 4-5, 16 Maroubra Road, Maroubra, 2035.

Core Strengthening Classes

Whether you are suffering from pain or wanting to prevent injury – this class will engage your core and create body awareness and progressively build strength required for optimal function.

When:           Select a time that suits you.

Tuesday 3.15 pm

Wednesday 6.00 pm  

Friday 11.45 am

Cost:              Check with your health fund if you may be eligible for cover.

$25 per session.

New patients. $80 for an initial 30 minute screening to evaluate your current fitness level, goals and any pre-existing medical conditions. This also includes one free trial class.

Who:              Anyone is welcome, however spots are limited. Please register your interest by calling 02 9314 3888.

Where:          Maroubra Road Physiotherapy. Shop 4-5, 16 Maroubra Road, Maroubra, 2035.

 

Maroubra Road Physiotherapy treat people at all stages of their lives and for all kinds of reasons with our caring, experienced and professional team. Book an appointment today on (02) 9314 3888

 

References

 

The Conversation, (2019) It’s cold! An exercise physiologist explains how to keep your body feeling warm. Dr John Eric Smith. Assistant Professor, Exercise Physiology. Mississippi State University

NHS (2018) A Guide to Exercising During Winter

University of Massachusetts Medical School (2006) Seasonal variation in food intake, physical activity, and body weight in a predominantly overweight population. Y Ma et. al.

Exercise and Sports Science Australia (2018) 15 Exercise Habits You Need

Happy Mother’s Day! Tips for mums to stay pain-free

Happy mother’s day! Tips for mums to stay pain-free

Mother’s Day is coming up and that means a lot of cake, cups of tea in bed and other delights. Hopefully, you can get the morning off on this special day! For all mums, the journey of motherhood can sometimes be daunting. There is a lot of information to consume about how to care for your baby as they turn into a child, a teen and eventually an adult. But what about caring for all of those niggling aches and pains that you experience ? This Mother’s Day, honour and cherish yourself with these helpful hints and tips for avoiding common ‘mum’ pains in the body.

Where is the pain coming from?

Pain can either be localised to a specific area of the body or referred from another part of the body. Pain in the abdominal region or pelvis are quite common in the weeks after childbirth, but also at other times during motherhood.  

Strengthening weakened pelvic floor muscles

The pelvic floor muscles extend like an elastic band or a hammock between your hip bones and spine and encompass ligaments and nerves. Essentially they keep your abdominal organs in place. Giving birth can often weaken pelvic floor muscles. Although women of all ages and stages of life can have a weakened pelvic floor.  This can also be caused by hormonal changes during menopause and gaining weight.

But it’s not all doom and gloom! There are many therapeutic treatments out there to help strengthen your pelvic floor. Common interventions include manual therapy, massage or a therapeutic exercise prescription such as clinical Pilate’s classes. The friendly and highly experienced team at Maroubra Road Physiotherapy will be able to help you to reduce pain and restore function to body.

What are Kegel Exercises?

Kegel exercises are also known as pelvic floor exercises. They were invented back in the 1940’s by a gynaecologist named Dr Kegel. Women of all ages are encouraged to try Kegel exercises. The exercises are great for recovering from childbirth, as well as for dealing with hormonal changes to the body during menopause.

A Kegel exercise to try

The great thing about Kegel exercises or pelvic floor exercises is that you can do them almost anywhere and nobody will even know!

Exercise: cat cow squeeze

Step 1:

Kneel on your hands and knees on the ground. As you would for a cat-cow position in yoga.

Step 2:

Close your eyes, imagine what muscles you would tighten to stop yourself from passing urine.   

Step 3:

Now that you can feel your pelvic floor muscles working, tighten them and hold for three to five seconds. By doing this, you should feel your pelvic floor muscles ‘lift up’ inside you and feel a definite ‘let go’ as the muscles relax.

If you can hold longer (but no more than a maximum of eight seconds), then do so. Repeat up to ten times or until you feel your pelvic floor muscles fatigue. Rest for a few seconds in between each squeeze.

In order to keep your pelvic girdle strong and to prevent pelvic pain it’s recommended to exercise your pelvic floor regularly. If you do have questions about your pelvic floor muscles, or pelvic pain you should make an appointment to see Maroubra Road Physio’s team of physiotherapists. Our friendly and highly experienced team offer assistance with ante-natal and post-natal physiotherapy.   

Post-partum back pain

Back pain during pregnancy is a common occurrence. Generally though, you should be experiencing less and less pain in the months following delivery, as your body heals itself. If you have persistent back pain, you may need to seek help from a physiotherapist.  

Gentle exercise

When you have gotten the OK from your physiotherapist you can gradually start doing exercises to strengthen your back and abdominal muscles. Walking, gentle stretching and gentle yoga are often recommended. Just be sure to avoid extreme positions or overstretching. Listen closely to your body for any signs of pain or discomfort and stop immediately if you experience this.

Correct body posture post-partum

Adopting the correct body posture while breast-feeding or feeding your baby with a bottle will help with back pain. Ensure that you use plenty of pillows to support your back. Adopt a position where you sit up straight with your back erect and supported to avoid straining your back. Try out different positions when breastfeeding. If you have tense or sore shoulders or upper back, a side-lying position for breastfeeding might be the most comfortable for you.

Remember that when picking up a baby or any other heavy object, you should bend from the knees in a crouching position rather than bend from the waist or hips. The latter method puts a lot of pressure on your spine and leads to pain.  

Sacroiliac and lumbosacral pain

The biological necessity for rapid growth during pregnancy causes a lot of changes to your body as a mum.

These changes include fluid retention, weight gain, changes to your centre of gravity, ligament laxity and overstretching your postural muscles. Sacroiliac and lumbosacral problems are experienced by many women in months after delivery. But if the problems persist for 12-18 months after giving birth then you can try some physiotherapy and self-care solutions to resolve this.

Causes of sacroiliac and lumbosacral pain

The release of a hormone called relaxin during pregnancy causes the ligaments in your pelvis to loosen. This means your body is more easily able to accommodate the growth of the baby. Although it does lead to instability of the pelvic joints, also known as the sacroiliac joints. The weight gain that naturally occurs during pregnancy also places an additional load onto the pelvic joints and lower back making them more susceptible to injury.

Pain is often felt in the buttocks near the tail-bone and lower back. Pain can also radiate to the front of the pelvis, hips and thighs.

One or both legs may feel weak and you may feel less able to bear weight.  When walking, turning in bed, bending forwards to pick up your baby or attempting to breastfeed you may be experiencing pain.

Self-help for sacroiliac pain

Here are some easy at-home tips for preventing sacroiliac pain:

  • Avoid being in positions where your body weight is unevenly distributed between each leg.
  • Change your position in bed by first sitting up right, then turning around.
  • Sit down when you put on your socks or shoes.
  • If walking is particularly painful, try using a pelvic support belt until the pain subsides.
  • Try contracting the muscles in your abdomen prior to exerting yourself through movement.

Physiotherapy treatments for sacroiliac and lumbosacral pain

The team at Maroubra Road Physiotherapy will employ a range of treatments and provide advice on many ways the pain can be alleviated. You may receive education on movement patterns and positions to avoid.   Often the gentle mobilisation of stiff joints in the hip, back and pelvis, which may be contributing to this pain, may help. Soft tissue release techniques will help to relieve pain in the strained muscles.

Don’t forget to take care of yourself  

Here’s a good excuse to get some alone time in the first few months. A soak in a warm bathtub will really ease muscle aches and pain, improve your mood and energy levels. Remember that it’s Mother’s Day coming up. That means you’re allowed to schedule in some much needed ‘me’ time. From everyone at Maroubra Road Physiotherapy, we hope you have a great Mother’s Day and a great year ahead.

If you enjoyed this article, please share it with a woman you love, whether it’s your own mum, a friend or someone else. And if you would like to know more about overcoming musculoskeletal pain, then give the friendly and professional team at Maroubra Road Physiotherapy a call on (02) 9314 3888.

References

Department of Health, Australian Government (2017) Physiotherapy advice after childbirth.

The Conversation (2019) Are Kegel Exercises Actually Good For You? Melissa Kang, University of Technology, Sydney.

Regional Anaesthesia and Pain Medicine (1997) Myofascial pain syndrome and trigger-point management Dr Stephanie Han et. al.

South Australian Government (2018) Pelvic Floor Exercises After Giving Birth

The Royal Women’s Hospital, Melbourne. Pelvic Floor Exercises.

Cochrane Database System Review (2015) “Interventions for preventing and treating low-back and pelvic pain during pregnancy. Liddle S.D., and Pennick V.

BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders (2016) “Predictors and consequences of long-term pregnancy-related pelvic girdle pain: a longitudinal follow-up study” Elden H., Gutke A., Kjellby-Wendt G., et al.

Valentine’s Day Date Ideas: Sweat Together & Stay Together

Valentine’s Day Date Ideas: Sweat Together & Stay together

Regular exercise is one of the most beneficial things that any couple can do together. It’s a fun and healthy way of bonding, and creating great memories. Working out together also wards off many chronic diseases and disorders, such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease, depression, anxiety and obesity.

Loads of research backs up the notion that couples who sweat together, stay together. One study from Indiana University found that married couples who joined a health club together have only a 6.3% drop-out rate, compared to couples who worked out separately. The latter group had a 43% drop-out rate over the course of a year.

Mutual health goals help you to build stronger bonds with your partner. With this in mind, here are some great athletic Valentine’s Day date ideas.  

A hiking adventure

Australia has hundreds of beautiful national parks with well-provisioned walking trails and gorgeous scenery. Walking or hiking trails range from easy to advanced. So this is a good form of exercise that most people of all fitness levels and ages can enjoy.  So grab your compass, decent hiking shoes, a picnic and your significant other and go exploring.

A romantic cycling trip

Australia has over 16,000 mapped cycling routes throughout our vast country. Whether you want to go for a city cycle or take a trip of a lifetime to Ayers Rock or Tasmania, Australia is a cyclist’s paradise and offers a fun Valentine’s Day date option. Don’t forget to bring water, food and plenty of sunscreen. An outback tour by bike is best reserved for experienced cyclists because of the complete isolation of the desert.

An indoor rock climbing challenge

City-dwelling couples with less time for a Valentine’s Day date should consider indoor rock-climbing. It’s not weather dependent and the facilities are all over the place in major cities. Also it’s a great way to improve your cardiovascular fitness and strength, while also requiring input from your partner. While one of you climbs, the other one belays the ropes.

A swimming, sauna and spa visit

Treat yourself to a bit of luxury and pampering together by visiting a day spa or health centre. Enjoy a swim together in the pool followed by a sauna, spa treatment and a massage. It’s guaranteed to make you both feel loved, cherished and relaxed afterwards.

Kayaking along the coast

Australia has over 35,000 kilometres of coastline. With so much beach to choose from, you can easily find a place outside of major cities where you can enjoy a kayak together on a deserted romantic beach.  A double kayak is a great way to improve your cardiovascular strength and upper body strength, while also enjoying the wild beauty of the Australian coast.

Warming up and warming down to prevent injury

The expression ‘No pain, no gain’ is really silly when it comes to exercise! To prevent injury, you should listen for the warning signs in your body. Pain is your body’s way of warning you that something is not right.

Common musculoskeletal injuries such as strains, sprains, joint injuries and back pain can be prevented with warm ups. These stretches should last approximately 10 minutes in duration. Warm ups are important because they:  

  • Slowly boost your heart rate and breathing rate.
  • Increase the blood flow to working muscles.
  • Warm up your muscles and improve their elasticity, preparing your body for exercise.

After your workout, a cool down stretch is also important. This could be static stretches (static holding of positions for 10-30 seconds) or dynamic stretches (moving the body through a full range of motion). Both kinds of cool down stretches help you to maintain your flexibility in your muscles, tendons and joints.

If you have forgotten about warm ups and cool down exercises and sustained an injury, it may be time for you to visit the experienced team at Maroubra Road Physiotherapy.

Don’t go from zero to hero

If you or your partner are starting from zero exercise and plan on jumping straight into a very athletic Valentine’s date, you should first consider any pre-existing health conditions or injuries you may have.

The friendly team at Maroubra Road Physiotherapy will be able to provide you with an assessment of your musculoskeletal condition.  We will also be able to provide you with expert advice on what kind of Valentine’s date would be most suitable for the both of you.

If either one of you are experiencing pain, it’s a good idea to book an assessment by Maroubra Road Physiotherapy before your athletic Valentine’s Day date.

References

Psychology Today (2014) The Reasons Why Couples Who Sweat Together Stay Together  

Exercise and Sports Science Australia (2017) Exercise Right: Top 5 Active Date Ideas for Valentine’s Day

Department of Kinesiology, Indiana University (1995). Twelve month adherence of adults who joined a fitness program with a spouse vs without a spouse.

Health Education Research (2008) The role of collective efficacy in exercise adherence: a qualitative study of spousal support and type 2 diabetes management.

PLoS One (2013) Energy Expenditure during Sexual Activity in Young Healthy Couples.

Four Smart New Year’s Resolutions for your health that will actually work in 2019!

Four Smart New Year’s Resolutions for your health that will actually work in 2019!

Could we please have a show of hands if you’ve ever promised yourself that in the new year, you would magically transform into sparkling new human being?

It’s very reassuring to know that we all make these promises to ourselves! Don’t worry, you’re not alone in that!

This ultimate guide from Maroubra Road Physiotherapy will show you how to bootstrap yourself in 2019 with pragmatic goal-setting. You will learn how to realistically stay the course towards a new and improved you and not become disheartened along the way.

A word first about goals

If you want to take on a big change to your health in 2019, then it’s best to attempt this in bite-sized pieces. This reduces the likelihood that you’ll break your commitment or feel demotivated if the goal is too lofty and seems unreachable along the way. A good way to think about health goals is to make them SMART.

S – specific, significant, stretching

M – measurable, meaningful, motivational

A – agreed upon, attainable, achievable, acceptable, action-oriented

R – realistic, relevant, reasonable, rewarding, results-oriented

T – time-based, time-bound, timely, tangible, trackable

Here are some common new year’s resolutions and then a SMART alternative goal that is going to be far more effective, to get you where you need to be…

Faulty: “In 2019 I’m going to eat healthier”

SMART: “I’m going to replace 2 take-away meals per week with 2 home-cooked and vegetarian meals every week”

If you focus on changing your entire diet, you will literally bite off more than you chew. Instead of telling yourself you need to eat healthier in 2019, you should focus on making the goal concrete, measurable and realistic.

By doing away with an ‘I can’t eat that’ restrictive mindset, you won’t feel guilty each time you want unhealthy food. This kind of restrictive mindset might lead you into an unhealthy food binge. Instead, by having a concrete goal of adding healthy food to your overall diet, you will be able to monitor how close you get to achieving this every week. When you do, you can pat yourself on the back!  

So how do you define healthy food? That’s a rather complex question. But it’s a good idea to steer clear of heavily processed foods with additives and preservatives in them. Instead opt for organic wholefoods or unprocessed foods like lean meats, organic dairy, vegetables and fruit. For quick and portable snacks, replace chocolate and chips with fruit and nuts. These are real fuel for the body that will keep you fuller for longer. For more detailed information on nutrition, read the Guide to Discretionary Food and Drink Choices by the Australian Government’s Eat for Health program.

Faulty: “I’m going to look really muscly/really skinny in 2019”

SMART: “I’m going to exercise for 30 minutes every other day”

This kind of faulty new year’s resolution fails to take into consideration that exercise is a constant daily commitment towards overall health. If you make exercise a daily habit, combined with a balanced diet, you will get results.

The problem with this faulty resolution is that you may hit the gym initially with gusto and determination. This overzealous exercise may lead to a strain, sprain or sporting injury, because you’re being too extreme with your workout.

A smarter approach to exercise would be to commit to a manageable and realistic amount of exercise every second day. This may be a lunchtime walk around the block during work hours, kicking around the football with the kids in the backyard in the evening, or walking the dog.

When we are realistic and have an easily achievable goal, this becomes less of a chore and more of a pleasure. Eventually this turns into a healthy habit that totally changes your life.

As a bonus, with this approach you may look into the mirror one day and see a hot version of yourself staring back, just not instantaneously.

Faulty: “I’m going to lose 10 kilos in a month”

SMART: “I’m going to eat five healthy meals per week and exercise for 30 minutes every other day”

While we can control our own behaviours towards eating healthier foods and exercising more, we can’t fully control how much weight we will lose. Looking at the scales and seeing the scales tip in the wrong direction may make you feel bad and discouraged. Instead of worrying about what the scales say, focus on what you need to do to make it happen.

This might mean committing to going to the gym every other day to do a workout. It might mean fitting in more vegetables and lean protein into your diet, rather than getting take-away foods. Measurable and practical goals are far easier to achieve.

Faulty: “I’m going to quit my job because of the physical pain I’m in at work”

SMART: “I’m going to get an ergonomic assessment of my work space and desk. And I’m going to do stretches at my desk every working day”

Before making any dramatic decisions, like quitting your job, it’s always a good idea to work out the core reason why you’re having pain during working hours. Whether you have an active or sedentary job, the way you’re moving and the way you interact with objects in your workplace affects how you feel. A desk that isn’t calibrated to your height will result in back, neck and eye strain over time. For people who work in a warehouse or other industries, a poor technique with lifting items in a warehouse will result in problems with their lower back.

The great news is that you don’t need to take drastic action to resolve that kind of pain. With a personalised treatment approach to workplace related conditions, the friendly team at Maroubra Road Physiotherapy can help you to resolve this issue with our therapeutic approaches and techniques. This will help you to return to work quickly and prevent further injury.

Would you like some help with making some realistic SMART goals for your fitness, health and injury recovery? Book a consultation with the team at Maroubra Road Physiotherapy today and get a customised approach to sports injury recovery.

Six tips for avoiding injuries during the silly season

 

During Christmas, a cocktail of stress, excitement and tiredness can take hold. In this environment, accidents can easily happen. However with some careful planning, many accidents can be avoided. In this guide by Maroubra Road Physiotherapy, our expert physiotherapy team will talk you through some smart solutions for the silly season.

1. Give gifts that encourage physical activity

 

According to the 2018 Active Kids Australia Healthy Report Card, only 13% of children (aged 15-17 years old); along with 23-64% of primary school aged children did an hour of muscle and bone strengthening activities each day.

 

This is concerning because it shows that kids are more excited by stationary, gaming and computer-based activities. No surprises there! To remedy this, we recommend buying sports-related gifts this Christmas and involving the whole family in fun backyard sports challenges.  This can often be a fun way to inspire the kids.

2. Kids need adequate protective gear for sports  

 

There’s nothing wrong with letting your children loose for a bit of rough and tumble play. Although it’s important to mitigate against accident risks too. If you bought your child a bike, skateboard, or a pair of rollerblades for Christmas, then It’s always a good idea to invest in a helmet, along with protective knee and elbow pads to protect them on their roving adventures.

3. Taking a break from sport over Christmas

 

If you regularly play sport and stop training over the Christmas break, your body will lose strength and muscle condition. This may result in a higher risk of sports-related injuries when you return to training.

 

It would not be wise to go straight into your regular boxing, weight-lifting, cardio or running program after the Christmas break. Your unprepared body may have other ideas and may protest in the form of a sprain, strain or sporting injury.

 

Instead of allowing your body to lose muscle condition and strength over Christmas, you could substitute the gym with going for daily walks or swimming in the ocean. When you return to your workout program after Christmas, you could try a gradually tapered training program that increases in intensity over a number of weeks to avoid injury and get you back to your original fitness levels.

 

Also, don’t forget about warming up and cooling down with each workout to prevent injury as well. For more advice on sports injuries, speak with the team at Maroubra Road Physiotherapy.

 

4. Be mindful of your alcohol consumption

 

Alcohol is usually the chief mischief-maker and reason for many people’s Boxing Day regrets.

 

One 2018 study by Monash University in Melbourne analysed eight hospital Emergency Rooms across Australia and New Zealand. The study screened nearly 8,500 patients seen over a seven day period in December 2014.  Of these, 801 presentations in the ER (or 9.5%) were identified as being alcohol-related. These people went a bit overboard on the partying and as a result their decision-making, motor coordination and cognitive ability was impaired, resulting in accidents and injuries.

 

5. Avoid Kitchen calamities

 

Boiling water, sharp knives and heavy objects can make your kitchen a hazardous place during the Christmas period. It’s always a good idea to keep the kids out of the kitchen and to avoid having alcohol yourself until you’ve finished with cooking. Also it’s wise to clean up spills as they occur to avoid slips and falls.

6. Don’t ignore pain

 

According to the Australian Pain Management Association, If you have problems with chronic pain, then Christmas can sometimes be a rather intense and demanding time. You might be expected to pitch in with tasks like shopping, cooking or preparing meals.

 

Remember to ask your family members and friends for help with these daily tasks. Also,  you should ask for their understanding if you’re experiencing pain. Remember to do your stretching exercises. Often these gentle movements will lessen the pain. For a detailed and personalised stretching program that will help you with chronic pain, you can speak with us  at Maroubra Road Physiotherapy.

Over the years we have seen many different Christmas related injuries at Maroubra Road Physiotherapy, from drunken falls down the stairs, to daring dad’s trying out their kid’s skateboards and falling off. If you would like some advice on managing pain or injury during Christmas, please give us a call today on (02) 9314 3888.

Introducing Balance & Conditioning Classes

In May 2018, Maroubra Road Physiotherapy are starting a dynamic balance program focused on strength, power, and high level balance for those of you who want to improve your overall function.

About the Program:

The program is for any age level and is designed to progressively develop the components needed for control of movement. The benefits of good balance are not only to avoid falls, but more importantly to improve hip and pelvic control when most of your weight is on one leg (such as during walking, running or climbing stairs). The “use it or lose it” principal applies well to balance and research has shown that high level balance training is effective.

Professional Guidance and Support:

Our classes will be taught by one of our physiotherapists – Sharon Penner – who has worked extensively in active rehabilitation and sports conditioning. To get the best results out of the program we have incorporated a 30 minute private assessment to look at previous/existing injuries and current fitness levels. This exercise program can be claimed through most health funds. See below for further details:

When will the classes be held? 

Tuesday 2:30pm or Friday 11am

for 5 weeks starting May 8, 2018

How much will it cost?

  • $180 for the full program which covers:
    • $80 for a private 30 minute screening assessment where we consider your current fitness level, goals and pre-existing conditions PLUS one free trial class
    • $100 for the 4 remaining sessions

The classes may be eligible for private health insurance rebate. Please check with your private health insurance provider to see if your fund can cover the cost

Where will the classes be?

Maroubra Road Physiotherapy

Shop 4-5, 16 Maroubra Road, Maroubra, NSW 2035

www.maroubraroadphysio.com.au 

Who should attend?

Anyone is welcome and spots are limited!! Contact us now at

(02) 9314 3888 for more information and to register your interest

Stress – A Few Simple Tips to Help You Live a Healthier Life

Stress – A Few Simple Tips to Help You Live a Healthier Life

Life can often be overwhelming, demanding, and downright chaotic – and that’s just the good days!

Sometimes big events like moving house, starting a new job or an illness cause a major disruption in our lives. Other times it can be a multitude of little stresses that can make us feel anxious and dazed.  Little stresses such as your boss asking you to finish three reports by noon, your 6-year-old screaming for the newest fidget spinner, or dealing with a niggling back ache for days can accumulate and disrupt our mental and physical flow. So it’s important to try find ways to manage life’s stresses.

Here are a few ideas to get you started!

Relaxation techniques:

  • Take a deep breath through your nose (Count to 3), hold 1 second, and gently exhale through your mouth. Repeat 5 times. There are some great mobile apps such as Smiling Mind, Headspace & Calm, which can help you get into a great routine.

Eating a healthy and well balanced diet:

  • Small dietary changes can make a big impact on your body composition and mood!

Spend time with family and friends:

  • Research shows that quality time with friends and family help increase serotonin levels (happy hormones) and decrease cortisol (your stress hormone).

Meditation:

  • Take 5 minutes everyday to find a peaceful, private and quiet area. Practice focusing on your breathing and zone out any outside disturbances!

Maintaining a consistent sleep schedule:

  • We often have hundreds of different tasks we need to accomplish by the end of the day and take sleep for granted.
  • Research shows adults need a full 7-8 hours of sleep to function optimally!

Regular Exercise routine:

  • A regular and consistent exercise routine is one of the best ways to de-stress. Even a 20 – 30 minute walk everyday can be a great way to get started. Or read our blog on how to get started here

Incorporating a few of these steps into our daily lives can have a profoundly positive effect on our overall health and wellbeing! Let’s get started today!