Move More Month
Research has shown that regular physical activity reduces the incidence of infections and diseases, implying that the function of our immune system is enhanced by regular exercise. It can also help improve mood and reduce anxiety, especially in times of heightened stress, such as our current situation.
“Lack of activity destroys the good condition of every human being, while movement and methodical physical exercise save it and preserve it” - Plato
Cathal O’Kane, Sports Physiotherapist at Kingsbridge Physiotherapy & Sports Injury Clinic kindly offers his advice on the importance of physical activity especially during lockdown, the best exercises for when you are working from home and why you shouldn’t wait for an uncomfortable pain to get worse before seeking help.
Why is it so important to keep active on a daily basis and how are you affected if you don’t?
Regular physical activity has been proven to help prevent and manage diseases such as heart disease, stroke, diabetes and several cancers. It has also been shown to be effective in managing stress, maintaining a healthy weight and improving sleep. Interestingly in today’s climate some research has shown that meeting physical activity guidelines is associated with a reduced risk of severe COVID-19 symptoms.
From a physiotherapy perspective regular physical activity can improve muscle and bone health, reducing your chances of developing joint or back pain by up to 25%.
Unfortunately, 46% of the adult population in Northern Ireland are deemed to be physically inactive (British Heart Foundation, 2017) and at a much greater risk of developing these non-communicable diseases.
If you are working from home, what is the best way to keep good posture, and what simple desk exercises would you recommend?
Back pain is not caused by ‘poor posture’ (O’Sullivan PB, Caneiro J, O’Sullivan K, et al. 2019). This is a myth that experts have been trying to highlight for years. Science is constantly evolving but to date no one posture has been shown to be bad for you, including slouched sitting. In fact, being too conscious of our posture can actually lead to unhelpful protective behaviours and sometimes even pain.
If you are experiencing pain while sitting at your desk other factors such as stress or the length of time you have been sitting are more likely to be the issue. The key is to get away from your desk regularly and try to become more physically active. This can be difficult, particularly during busy periods, however you may find you have more energy and are more productive as a result.
It is recommended that we do up to 150 moderate intensity physical activity a week or 75 minutes vigorous intensity. Click here for further information
If you are struggling for time, some simple mobility exercises using a foam roller/towel may help. Watch our video below:
For anyone looking to start a new hobby such as running, what advice would you give?
GO FOR IT! The key is to choose something you enjoy doing e.g. running, hill walking, dancing, golf. If you have an interest in the activity you are more likely to be consistent over a longer period of time and obtain the benefits discussed above.
For your new hobby, such as running, to be successful and to prevent injury it is advisable to have a plan which gradually exposes you to the distance you wish to achieve. Programmes such as the Couch to 5k can be a nice way to get started and allow your body adapt to the new stress.
One area often overlooked by recreational runners is the importance of strength training. Strong muscles will absorb impact more effectively, ultimately preventing injury and making you a better runner.
If you are unsure feel free to book a free telephone triage with the clinic for some advice or book a consultation for more in depth assessment and programming.
For our regular runners, what injuries can occur and when should you seek help?
Running injuries are very common and can affect anyone, from the most elite runners, to the weekend warriors. Thankfully the benefits of running far outweigh the risks and I am always keen to get clients back to their sport as quickly as possible. The most common running injuries are those involving the hip, knee and ankle/foot e.g. achilles tendinopathy, calf muscle tear, runner’s knee.
As a general rule, if your training has been significantly effected by pain/injury at any stage or mild-moderately effected for > 2 weeks you should seek physiotherapy advice.
What are you 3 top tips for a healthy body and mind?
- Sleep - essential for physical and mental recovery.
- Do something you enjoy regularly.
- Try to meet the physical activity recommendations.
If you are experiencing a lingering uncomfortable pain, when should you seek help?
Pain does not always mean harm or structural damage however it is never too early to talk a professional even if it is just for some advice.
At Kingsbridge Physiotherapy and Sports Injury Clinic we are happy to discuss this with you before deciding whether you need to attend the clinic.
What is the set up currently for booking an appointment at Kingsbridge Physiotherapy Clinic?
To book an appointment at Kingsbridge Physiotherapy and Sports Injury Clinic:
Call 028 9066 7878
Visit our Online Booking Portal via kingsbridgeprivatehospital.com
All current health & safety guidelines are being followed to help keep you safe. Cleaning takes place in between appointments and PPE is worn at all times.
Kingsbridge Physiotherapy Clinic can also provide Telehealth video consultations. Face to face appointments are available if preferred or for urgent cases.
Located at Queens PEC