Category Archives: Health and fitness

Back Pain

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One of the major problems in today’s society is chronic back pain.This can be strongly attributed to our sedentary lives. We seem to spend majority of our days on our backsides. Various reports from UK and USA have an average of 14hrs a day! Contributing to this is our sitting posture. You all know it, the slouched shoulders, curved lower spine. It is no wonder people are having such issues.

Another factor is lack of exercise, mainly weights. Stepping on the treadmill with your favourite mag for 15 minutes building up a light sweat is not going to cut it. Don’t get me wrong any exercise is better than none, however you must have a balanced weight program.

Weights are vitally important in your overall well being. Not only does it make your metabolism burn 1.5 x more than just cardio, it increases bone density and functionally makes life so much easier. Just think of carrying in the shopping, walking up flights of stairs. I am always amazed to see many people struggle with such easy day to day activities.

A balanced weight work out should included legs, chest and back. A balanced push – pull program will give you a whole body work out. The back is often over looked, I’m guessing because people do not look at it.

Including back exercises in your program improves your posture, help you stand more upright thus making you feel more confident and can get rid of that dreaded back fat that sometimes overhangs the bra. Aside from the aesthetics, weakness in your lower back ย can lead to your hips being out of alignment causing hamstring issues. Weak upper back can lead to roll shoulders, giving you a poor posture. This in turn functionally puts the shoulders out of their correct alignment, the shoulder girdle is the least stable joint in the body. Not having strong back (including shoulders) puts you at risk of injury. Simple activities like pulling heaving suitcases and then lifting a case onto the top of a car can be all that it takes.

Society seem to not realise that functionally a balanced weight program will not only benefit the activities of daily life but also make you healthier, stronger and less prone to a myriad of health issues later in life.

Talk to your PT and ask them for tips on keeping your back strong and keeping you aligned and standing tall.

Just keep moving!

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When my kids were young, one of their all time favourite movies was Finding Nemo. Like all those Disney Pixar movies, they have great life lessons. Marlin is down, he’s depressed and Dory sings “just keep swimming.” Never give up, just keep on going, you’ll eventually get there.

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The only one who can change your life is you. The only one who can reach your goal is you. With out doubt you need support. You need people who have your best interest at heart. I’ve said it before, I will say again. Cut loose those around you who sabotage your goals, your dreams. People who love you, want you to succeed.

What ever your goal, your dream, your aspirations….. Keep moving, keep working towards what you are wanting out of your life. Remember, you only get one life. Look after your body, mind and spirit.

Happy New Year”

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Happy New Year! So many people this time of year make New Years resolutions, some may stick to the promises they make. Others it gets put in the too hard basket. This is a real shame, the things that make us unhealthy, the things that people proclaim they’ll give up are the perfect prevention to a myriad of health problems.

Many moons ago when I was a nurse I looked after people who sadly through obesity and sedentary lives ended up with type II diabetes and peripheral vascular and neurovascular disease (they go hand in hand in later stages of the disease). As a young student nurse it was my job to prepare this one male patient for his up coming amputation of his lower left leg. Having listened in my lectures about patients might (and rightly so) be upset, angry about the loss of a limb, nothing prepared me for this man saying he could not wait for the blasted thing to be cut off. He was in agony and was happy to see it go.

Later in my nursing career I did a stint in palliative care. I looked after the most gorgeous man. He had been smoking since he was 13 years old. Now in end stage emphysema in his late 70’s he was paying a horrible price. I looked after George almost every shift for the last 3 months of life…… It was horrible to watch. I can not even imagine how his wife, children and grandchildren felt, let alone how George felt. George told me closer to the end that he felt like he was drowning in cement. He asked me never to take up smoking. It was his biggest regret.

This may sound morose but those two experiences have shaped how I feel about my health. When I am old, grey and wrinkly I want to be the kind of grandma who is travelling the world with my husband. Visiting my children and grandchildren, spoiling them only as Grandmas can.

I guess what I am saying is that, sticking to your 2013 NYE promise, may be tough for a while, you may break every now and then….. But stick to it. Baby steps for those habits that you are trying to change. It will be worth it in the future.

I sincerely hope that 2013 is a fantastic year for you all and that it brings love, happiness and fulfilment in your days.

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