For people living with long term health conditions, it can be difficult to know whether exercise will help or exacerbate symptoms and the anxiety and confusion around this can prevent them from exercising at all. The truth is, there are very few conditions that exercise is unable to help with, although amendments may need to be made to make sure exercise is safe and effective for each individual and their medical history. Many people may avoid exercise or physical activity in order to prevent short term pain or discomfort or simply through anxiety, however this often makes matters worse. This blog discusses a common long term health condition, arthritis, and how exercise can help to manage it.
Walking is free, can be done anywhere and anytime and can be a highly effective form of exercise when it comes to building fitness and reaching or maintaining a healthy weight. It’s especially great for anyone who feels more formal exercise settings aren’t for them or maybe wants to build up a bit of fitness or confidence before trying anything more. Whether you’re already walking regularly or just looking to start, this blog aims to cover some top tips you need to know to get the most out of this unbeatable form of exercise.
We all know what to do if we cut our finger, get a mild headache or any other minor physical ailment and we know the importance of getting treatment before a problem potentially becomes more serious. How many of us are treating our mental health the same way though? Just like with our physical health, minor issues can arise at any time or we may simply feel ourselves sliding down the spectrum of optimum mental health. We often recognise physical symptoms of feeling a bit ‘under the weather’ such as sleep disturbances, changes in our appetite, aches and pains, a reduced immune system or generally feeling a bit run down and realise the importance of remedying these before they lead to further issues. It’s important that we also learn to recognise changes in our mental health and emotional wellbeing and have a plan in place to manage them in the same way.
Whilst weight loss is undoubtedly one of the most common health and fitness goals, it is sometimes wrongly viewed as the key determinant of progress when trying to improve our exercise and nutrition habits. One of the most common questions personal trainers gets asked by people who have recently embarked on a new plan is ‘why haven’t I lost much weight?’ There are many possible reasons for this, including the fact that we all lose weight at different rates, you may be building muscle and you could be getting weighed at different times of the day or week and/or using different scales. These are just a few explanations, but the majority (if not all) of the personal trainers I know would urge their clients to explore other ways of measuring progress rather than the often soul-destroying focus of chasing a certain number on the scales. Embarking on a new healthy living plan should leave you feeling energised, proud and encouraged. If the scale is having the opposite effect, consider giving it a break for a while and focusing on other ways of measuring progress such as those below…
Regardless of how active we are, most of us are aware that there are guidelines as to how much physical activity we SHOULD be doing to support our optimum health, wellbeing and healthy weight maintenance. What we may not be aware of, however, is that guidelines change at different ages and stages of life. As young people, we are often educated at school on how to keep healthy and are required to take part in regular PE lessons and exercise. As adults we may have become more interested in certain sports and have found what we enjoy or we may exercise to protect ourselves from certain health conditions and weight gain. What happens to our physical activity levels as we enter our later years though? Many people find that their bodies can’t quite do the things they used to, or at least not with such ease. It’s true that there are certain physical and cognitive changes linked with the ageing process and that exercise can help to manage these, so what SHOULD we be doing to support healthy, active ageing?
Whilst the word ‘injury’ covers a wide range of issues, this blog is primarily aimed at everyday aches, pains, strains and sprains. For more serious injuries such as broken bones, wounds and anything else you should seek medical advice which I’m not qualified to give in this blog post! For those everyday niggles though, read on…
Training when you feel well is one thing, but when it comes to feeling under the weather for whatever reason, many of us avoid exercise through fear of potentially ‘making things worse’. On the flip side, others try to continue their exercise programme as if nothing is wrong – so who’s right?! Whilst exercise is known to help a wide range of conditions, it’s important to arm yourself with some knowledge regarding when to train and when to rest to make sure you stay as healthy as possible and recover quickly when you’re not feeling your best.
The idea of getting fitter or leading a more healthy lifestyle can often feel overwhelming and leave us not knowing where to start. The feeling that we have to make huge changes or set life-changing goals can be so intimidating that we end up doing nothing. It really is true that getting started is the hardest part of any task and so by starting with some simple, easily achievable mini-goals you can build momentum and confidence in yourself whilst getting started on your journey to a fitter, healthier, happier you. Try out some of the ideas below – you could try one a day for a month or choose a couple a week. Set a target that feels manageable for you and let’s get started.
Here in the UK this week we’ve been enjoying a rare period of beautiful, warm, sunny weather. Knowing we have to make the most out of it while it lasts, many of us have spent as much time as possible outside getting any hint of a tan we can or at least soaking up some vitamin D and fresh air. Hopefully we’ve been aware of the health implications of the sun for our skin and made sure to keep topped up on suncream, but have you considered other ways that the temperature affects your health needs? One of the main areas to cover here is hydration and this blog aims to answer all your questions about this crucial topic for health and wellbeing at all times, not just in the height of summer (however long that may last?!)
A whole blog on breathing?! Seems a bit excessive for something we do naturally all day, everyday, right?! Wrong! Breathing is the foundation of our very existence and is inextricably linked to both our physical and mental health. Physical activities such as walking, lifting and cleaning have a clear effect on our breathing as do psychological states such as stress and relaxation. By learning how to control our breath we can help to manage our physical and psychological states to best support us.