New Year fitness - where to start?

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Its that time of year where we are all back to busy schedules at work or school and Christmas suddenly feel like ages ago. After the festive period of over-indulging January always sparks that ‘New Year - New Me’ attitude with a fitness frenzy. January fitness new years resolutions tend never to last so today I want to share with you The Physio & Sports Injury Clinic’s tips to consider when starting fitness & still be going strong 12 months later.

  1. Don’t make irrational decisions!

    There is real pressure from the media (particularly social media) to get back in shape in January but that unfortunately leads to people making quick irrational-based decisions about their health, diet  & fitness. Firstly if you decide you want to start a new fitness regime then that’s great. That should be encouraged, however that gratification we all get sets off load of endorphins in the brain (that happy feeling) and before long you’ve signed up to something in reality you shouldn’t have!!

  2. Plan, Plan, Plan! 

    There is a saying that goes: If it doesn’t work on paper it certainly won’t work in reality. I think this is too true about everything in life. Do some proper research first to decide what you want to do & where you’d like to start some fitness. I wrote about this in a previous blog all about exercise planning (read it here) and I go on about this with all my patients here at The Physio & Sports Injury Clinic. You wouldn’t build a house without a plan so why start an exercise journey without 1 too! Its hard for people to see this, early on when starting a fitness journey but its the one comment that experienced sports people always say in hindsight:

    ‘I wish I had known this when I first started out’

  3. Get friends and family to help?

    Why go it alone when you can exercise with the physical &/or psychological support of other people! 1 big reason for a lack of exercise uptake generally in the UK is a lack of confidence (or the fear of doing something wrong or stupid). Having a support network of friends/family to help you plan or to do the activity with you will make a huge impact on your engagement/dedication long term.

  4. Spend your money wisely

    Fitness shouldn’t cost the earth. At the end of the day I want you to stick at it not spend loads then give up (the quick fix). Hopefully its something that will become part of your life. Basically you don’t need £200 trainers to start running - just get going & invest as you improve.

    There are millions of offers for fitness at this time of year. The best area that you can invest in though is YOURSELF - invest in building up a better knowledge about health & fitness & don’t just rely on google to tell you as you go along. This can be done through a PT/coach or consult a Sports Physio!

    When ready then invest in somewhere to train that’s auitable for your schedule e.g. home equipment or get a gym membership.

  5. Surround yourself with like-minded people, not moaners!

    There is always resentment from regular gym goers come January when they see new people signing up in the New Year saying things like: ‘They’ll be gone be February’. This maybe sort of true - they may?

    BUT WHY… Confident exercisers may actually be one of the causes of the January boom & bust. What would be great would be for more regular gym members lost the chips on their shoulders and didn’t have egos as weird as their diet plans then maybe more people would actually want to exercise together and be more healthy as a nation. Just a thought?

    [So if you are reading this as a regular gym-goer I set you this January challenge - if you see someone new in a fitness environment. Make the effort to be friendly, be nice and support them if they are struggling!]

So there are my 5 things to combat that boom and bust with New Year Fitness.

Thanks for reading.

Oliver.

If you are struggling where to begin and would like further help from us and you live in Rhos on sea, colwyn bay or Llandudno, then get in touch below.

Gift Vouchers now available

Gift Vouchers

*FRESH OFF THE PRESS* we are pleased to launch our brand new Physio & Sports Injury Clinic Gift Vouchers. If you are struggling to find the perfect gift for friends or family, then we have just the thing for you!

We think there is no better gift in life than the Gift of Health, so what better way to show someone you care by getting then a Physio & Sports Injury Clinic Gift Voucher today.

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Our vouchers are available for any of our clinic services:

We have 2 types of gift voucher: our Online e-Gift vouchers (that get emailed direct to your recipient) or a Printed & gift-wrapped voucher that can be bought in-house at the physio clinic reception.

So whether you want to treat someone sporty to a physio MOT or gait analysis or to surprise someone you know who’s got tight neck & shoulders with an amazing Sports Massage, then our Gift Vouchers are the perfect thing.

If you are unsure and what to speak with us first before ordering then please call us.

Tel. 01492 545 291

www.thephysionorthwales.co.uk

Top-Tips to Stay In Shape This Winter.

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We are slowly approaching that time of year again where the weather is now getting colder, there’s less daylight hours to do anything after work and a lot of sports are winding down for the winter as everyone thinks about ❄️CHRISTMAS❄️

Whilst most people will be enjoying the thought of putting their feet up, anybody who’s serious about sport will know that if you have anything planned for the Spring time then training should ideally begin December to give you enough time to build up training gradually. The off-season is where you can make some of your biggest improvements/adjustments (with a little help from us!) So here are my top-tips to stay in shape over the coming few months. 

  1. Put a plan in place - Winter is the perfect time to set a new goal for the new year ahead. So set some time aside to plan what you want to achieve in the next 12 months (lose weight, get stronger, keep in good shape or maybe run a half marathon). Once you have picked your goal, be realistic and set out enough time to achieve it. Schedule your training in a diary so you know what days you’ll be training & what days are rest days. I also recommend tracking your workout content too so you can look back at how well you’ve done.

  2. Take your training indoors? - the weather my not be as perfect to train outdoors as much, but that’s no reason to stop training completely. Its a lot easier to maintain fitness rather than start it up again in the Spring. In the interim you could try: swimming, the gym or a new exercise class (e.g. like HITT, strength & conditioning or pilates), & we have all 3 are available at the Le Sport gym where were based.

  3. Book a Physio MOT? - There’s no better way to know how your body is performing than a full body MOT from a Physiotherapist. A physio will check over your body, your joint movement, flexibility & lastly strength so you can walk away with a plan on what to be focusing on to prevent injury.

    Runners in particular may want to try our HD video gait analysis to correct any niggles or help improve efficiency? Winter is the best time to do this as you can’t meddle with someone’s gait style or footwear in peak season. If you or someone you know would like to try this…? Then why not buy them an e-Gift voucher from us.

  4. Sports Massage? - If you haven’t had 1, Go and get yourself booked in for 1 straight away. (Book in here). I don’t know anyone who hasn’t benefitted from our amazing Sports Massages here at the Physio & Sports Injury Clinic.

    So when’s best to have one…? The answer is whenever you feel its needed. The winter off-season is ideal and then periodically during training every month or 2 and lastly after any big race/event. I do have to say though that Sports Massage is not the magic bullet to ‘fix’ all injuries, but it sure dam feels good afterwards! So if Massage is your thing then get scheduling some sessions into your training plan. Get sessions booked in ahead of schedule to get the dates/times you want as towards big events we always book up.

  5. Take your time - there is a rule in Health, if you rush things the more likely you’ll injure yourself. I see this on a daily basis at The Physio & Sports Injury Clinic where people present with overuse injuries. Runners or cross-fitters are my usual suspects who haven’t done enough training before an event. So the week before said event they typically do far too much. Overall take your time & enjoy your workouts.

    If in any doubt speak to a professional (physio, coach or PT) who understands both you and your goal. 

    Thanks for reading.

    Oliver.

To Stretch or Not to Stretch - that is the question??

I’m sure if you’re reading his blog you’ll want to know the answer to this question. It’s something I’m asked in the Physio & Sports Injury Clinic on a daily basis. Therefore I’ve written this blog to hopefully try & give you my thoughts on ‘stretching’.  

Firstly there are 2 types of stretching - static and dynamic:

  • Static is what most people think of when we say ‘stretch’ & basically means you’re holding a muscle still under tension for a period of time.

  • Dynamic on the other hand is the opposite, where continuous body movement provides a muscle stretch for you (e.g. leg swings back and forth to dynamically stretch the hamstrings).

Which is best?

There’s no right or wrong answer here as we are all built differently & all have different goals we want to achieve. There is medical research for & against both types of stretching so it depends what paper you read & want to cherry-pick!! 

The general consensus though is to favour more dynamic style of stretches prior to doing physical activity (depending on what the activity is). The main aim though is to WARM-UP! That means getting the blood flowing and you aren’t going to do that holding a static stretch for 30secs!! 

Post-activity then static stretching is still encouraged (longer held/20-30secs) and can feel nice after a heavy workout.

Why could pre-activity static stretching harm performance?

Well researchers have thought for a while that static stretches (pre-activity) may reduce body strength, power & performance in elite athletes. However, this loss is only reported to be between 1-5%!! That doesn’t seem a lot to you & me but for an athlete where the margins are tiny, any advantage is important. 

Does stretching prevent injury?

No, contrary to belief, the research evidence is inconclusive to say that stretching alone prevents injury. There are many people out there who exercise & never warm up/cool down with stretches and are fine & never get injured. I’m not advocating never stretching but it just shows there is no 1 size fits all.

The 1 thing I see is everyone worrying about stretches and not focusing on strengthening/loading the body properly in preparation for activity. So strengthen more than stretch!! 

So should I bother stretching?

Of course you can. Hopefully this blog hasn’t put you off from stretching. It’s still a great recovery tool to use pre/post physical activity and for some really helps both physically & psychologically to feel better. 

Long term having some flexibility is vital to stop feeling stiff and sore as we all get older and is why Yoga is very much in fashion. So overall don’t stop stretching, it can still be a part of your recovery just don’t forget to strengthen the body to make it resilient to all stress and strain first!

 

Thanks for reading.  

Oliver.  

 

If you would like more advice or to arrange an appointment with us at the Physio & Sports Injury Clinic in Rhos on Sea, then click the link below.