20 REASONS TO EXERCISE
When your physiotherapist suggests some exercise would be good for you, have you ever stopped to think why?
Consider no longer, listed below are the many benefits gained by some regular exercise
1. Reduces your risk of getting heart disease
2. Increases circulating levels of ‘good’ cholesterol
3. Improves the likelihood of survival of a myocardial infarction (heart attack)
4. Helps reduce the risk of osteoporosis
5. Reduces medical and health care expenses
6. Increases muscle strength
7. Reduces the risk of developing colon cancer
8. Helps relieve constipation
9. Helps preserve lean body tissue (especially important in older people)
10. Improves mental cognition in older people
11. Improves balance and coordination
12. Helps retard bone loss as you age
13. Helps older people maintain an independent lifestyle
14. Helps to boost creativity
15. Improves your decision making abilities
16. Reduces the risk of developing prostate and breast cancers
17. Helps to increase the tissue responses to insulin, for better control of blood sugar in diabetes
18. Helps you to more effectively manage stress & anxiety
19. Helps alleviate depression
20. Improves the function of your immune system

So get up and get active! It doesn’t have to be hard, walking is great. Try get to the stage where you are a bit puffed but can still hold a conversation, and if you can do more than that, that’s fantastic. If you are unsure as to how to start, or what to do, your physiotherapist can help advise you.Active-People_1

The summer holiday season has started. Whether it is backyard cricket, beach rugby or just getting up and down decorating your house, accidents can happen. If you have sustained a soft tissue injury, we recommend you use the RICE method – Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation to aid your recovery:

 

  • Rest is a key component to the body’s healing process, without it the injured area could become inflamed, more painful, or you could risk further injury
  • Ice reduces inflammation and pain. To protect your skin we recommend that the ice be placed within a towel before wrapping around the injured area
  • Compression helps reduce swelling and pain
  • Elevation also helps reduce swelling by reducing blood flow to the affected area

 

Once you have followed RICE, as above, please give us a call and find out how physiotherapy can help you.

How’s your get up and go these days? If you are on your hands and knees in the garden – is getting up again a struggle?

The ability to go from hands and knees to standing upright is a vital indicator of leg strength and balance. If you fall and aren’t hurt then it needn’t be a major disaster. Imagine however, falling in an open space, or out in public, and not being close enough to something to ‘heave’ up. This can turn an annoying fall into a traumatic event.

If you do notice that getting up from the ground is getting harder then it’s time to change that – right now!

Simply practising the move can be enough to improve your strength and balance.

How to:

  • If you feel confident doing so, then try getting onto your hands and knees then back up again – and doing this several times in a row (physios love the number 10 so aim for this).
  • This is best done next to a sturdy chair or couch.
  • To take it a step further, actually lie on the ground and then come all the way to standing.

If this sounds a bit daunting then even one or two sessions with a physiotherapist will help. They can help you decide if you’re ready to practice all the way from the ground or whether you should build up to this with some less challenging exercises first.

Nobody likes to think about falling but remember you have the power to keep a fall from becoming a major trauma… if you act now!

“You don’t stop playing because you grow old, you grow old because you stop playing, so keep moving and have fun!”
 To feel good emotionally and physically we need to move. But there are some factors that restrict movement, leading to a number health problems. The media has put a lot of attention recently on movement (or lack of movement) related issues, including; New Zealand’s growing obesity issue, an ever increasing need for elective surgeries, and even the negative health impact of prolonged sitting periods. Physiotherapists specialise in keeping you moving, especially when conditions make it difficult. So this year for World Physiotherapy Day, we are encouraging people to move in any way they can, in a bid to combat inactivity and the issues it brings.

Arthritis

If you have arthritis, the thought of starting an exercise program while experiencing pain, stiffness and fatigue can be extremely daunting.

It can be easy to get discouraged, particularly of your arthritis is sever. However, exercise is a vital part of an effective self-management plan. Studies show regular and appropriate physical activity helps improve pain tolerance, mood and quality of life for people with arthritis.

Exercises can help you:

  • reduce joint pain and stiffness
  • increase flexibility and range of movement
  • build stronger and healthier muscles, bones and cartilage
  • reduce the risk of dangerous falls
  • improve your posture
Your physiotherapist can guide you through exercises which are appropriate to you and help you to manage your arthritis related symptoms.

Exercise is the best Medicine

“Physical inactivity can kill you. And World Health [Organisation] data in 2010 indicated that more people died from physical inactivity than from smoking”, saysGreg Anson, head of the Department of Sport and Exercise Science at the University of Auckland. “Physical activity is an essential part of living well.”

As well as advocating for exercise as a way of preventing illness, Greg Anson and his colleagues are strong believers in the recuperative powers of exercise. “Clinical exercise physiology provides an intervention for rehabilitation, and also the opportunity to study the pattern of recovery following injury.”

Clinical exercise physiologists at the Health and Performance Clinic at the University of Auckland use personalised exercise prescriptions to help people recovering from medical conditions ranging heart attacks and strokes to diabetes, metabolic syndrome, as well as muscular conditions and people recovering from surgery.

The clinic has about 50 cardiac patients and a further 70 with medical issues ranging from diabetes to cancer.

Nigel Bass standing next to the weights machines in the gym.Nigel Bass is a retired cardiologist who used to refer cardiac patients to the Health and Performance Clinic for exercise rehabilitation, and has been using the clinic himself to aid recovery from a bad back.

Photo: RNZ / Alison Ballance

Last year Linda Boyens discovered a lump in her breast, and a diagnosis of breast cancer led to a left mastectomy, followed by chemotherapy and radiation treatment. As part of her recovery she’s been taking part in prescribed exercise treatment at the Health and Performance Clinic. “I’ve been absolutely delighted with it, having been a gym bunny and always thought about a healthy lifestyle,” says Linda. “What I wanted … was to get my flexibility back, and obviously recovering from the wound. And also to get me back into a really great space.”

Another of the clinic’s clients is Nigel Bass, a retired cardiologist. In his professional capacity at Auckland Hospital he often referred his patients to the cardiac rehabilitation programme that was the predecessor of the current Health and Performance Clinic. Last year Nigel was admitted to hospital with severe back pain that left him using strong pain medication and crutches. Almost at the end of his 12-week course at the clinic Nigel says he is feeling much better.

As well as offering rehabilitation for people like Linda and Nigel, the clinic is also a training and research facility for students studying for a Master’s degree in exercise physiology. It has just become the first exercise physiology clinic outside the United States to become accredited to CAAHEP, the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs.

Brighid McCaffrey (left) completed a Masters degree and now works as a clinical exercise physiologist in the Health and Performance Clinic, for which Stacey Reading is Director. Gym equipment includes stationary bikes and weight machines. Brighid McCaffrey (left) completed a Masters degree and now works as a clinical exercise physiologist in the Health and Performance Clinic, for which Stacey Reading is Director. Gym equipment includes stationary bikes and weight machines.

Photo: RNZ / Alison Ballance

Stacey Reading is programme director of the Health and Performance Clinic, and he says the research carried out at the clinic aims to “better utilise exercise to help people improve their functional capacity once they’re affected by something like heart disease or a stroke.”

Stacey says that “discovering new best practises and the best way to apply that exercise to help people is the focus of most of our research here.”

Jim Stinear, director for the post-graduate programme in clinical exercise physiology at the University of Auckland, says he believes that “our programme has struck a nice balance between rich clinical training environment but still adhering to what our university takes a great deal of pride in, which is its research. I’m always reminding students of ‘how will this inform our clinical practise’.”

The University of Auckland Clinics’ Health and Performance Clinic is a specialised teaching clinic, one of six that are collectively known as theUniversity of Auckland clinics.

Reduce your risk of falls with your Physio

Falls are a significant cause of injury for all age groups. People who have experienced a serious fall can worry so much about falling again that they restrict their activity. They gradually do less activity, which can actually increase their risk of falling. Leg muscle weakness and impaired balance contribute most to falls. This becomes a vicious cycle.

Activities common to older people such as gardening and walking do not usually help increase muscle strength on their own. Your physiotherapist can provide you with exercise programmes that improves your strength and balance hence reduce the number of falls.

Reduce your risk of falls with your Physio:

Falls are a significant cause of injury for all age groups. People who have experienced a serious fall can worry so much about falling again that they restrict their activity. They gradually do less activity, which can actually increase their risk of falling. Leg muscle weakness and impaired balance contribute most to falls. This becomes a vicious cycle.

Activities common to older people such as gardening and walking do not usually help increase muscle strength on their own. Your physiotherapist can provide you with exercise programmes that improves your strength and balance hence reduce the number of falls.

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Reduce your risk of falls with your Physio: Falls are a significant cause of injury for all age groups. People who have experienced a serious fall can worry so much about falling again that they restrict their activity. They gradually do less activity, which can actually increase their risk of falling. Leg muscle weakness and impaired […]

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