Tuesday, 31 January 2012

Are you sticking to your New Year’s resolutions?

More to the point, where did January go?!

We’re now 4 weeks into 2012, and some of us are going strong with those New Year’s promises to ourselves: eating healthily, staying off the demon drink and fitting those gym sessions in. However, the rest of us might just be in need of a wee bit of help – be it motivation, time-management skills or just a change of activity to something more interesting.

And because we’re so kind, our First Class Physiotherapists have had a brain-storming session to help you out!


It can’t have escaped many people’s notice that the west of Scotland has a poor health record, with almost 65% of Scots overweight or obese. People who are obese have a higher risk of high blood pressure, heart disease, arthritis, strokes and cancer – in other words, they are likely to die earlier than people who are not obese.

For those of us who like a diagram of sorts:
                                                                                    High blood pressure
↓ Exercise                                 Increase in weight         Type II Diabetes
Too much junk food  ▬►       and BMI =          ▬► Heart disease          ▬► Death
Too much alcohol                     obesity                        Arthritis

That’s very doom and gloom isn’t it?!

People who are obese have a one in 2 chance of developing diabetes mellitus. Now we’ve all heard of diabetes, but did you know that type II diabetes (diabetes mellitus), like obesity, is avoidable if you lead a healthy lifestyle? This means eating less fat, keeping your cholesterol at a healthy level and exercising regularly.

Hurray! Some good news at last.

There is a real life-saving reason you decided to cut down on alcohol/fish suppers this New Year/walk the dog every day for half an hour!!

Managing your time

Yes, yes, all very well and good. We should exercise more, but "I’m so busy at work (read: my boss is a nightmare), there are the kids to look after (and all their extra-curricular activities), I must visit my parents twice a week, the dog needs to go to the vet, it’s my brother’s birthday this week, the house needs cleaned…"

Regular exercise for an adult is doing something that makes you moderately breathless for 30 minutes, 5 days a week. You can split this into 10 minute sessions (in other words walking quickly, taking the stairs, playing tig with the kids, running for the bus, digging in the garden, swimming, cycling to work/the shops, roller skating (yes, some people still do this!), dancing to a few of your favourite tunes, vacuuming the curtains…)

So if you break down your day and think of the in-between-activities moments, like when you’re between places – from home to work for example – you can work in a little bit more physical activity by simply getting off the bus a stop earlier and walking, or taking the stairs every time instead of the lift. While you’re waiting to pick up little Chloe at the Brownies, why not go 10 minutes early and have a brisk walk round the block? That flop into the armchair will feel so much more satisfying if you’ve spent the last 15 minutes giving the house a quick vacuum.

Or maybe the next time a mate asks you to join them at 5-a-sides or Zumba, say yes?

But what if I find the gym boring?

You’re not alone. Not only can the gym make you feel bored and isolated, it can cost a small fortune to keep up that membership when you’re not taking full advantage.

Here are a few alternatives to pounding the treadmill…

Pole dancing: there are huge advantages to pole dancing, namely: it’s a cardiovascular work out (that covers at least 30 minutes), your upper body will become toned and strong (no more bingo wings!), your posture will improve and so will your confidence! (This one’s in
Washington St
, G3 http://www.twirlntonepoledance.co.uk/)

Hula-aerobics: a fantastic work out and a great way to tighten flabby waistlines, slim hips and improve your Elvis-pelvis dance moves

Skipping: not just for little girls and boxers, 10 minutes a day for a few weeks will have your upper body toned and your heart and lungs on full workout mode – a lot harder a workout than you used to think! But it’s fantastic fun, cheap, compact and do-able anywhere

Ultimate Frisbee: while we’re on the playground games, this will really get the blood pumping and it’s a great laugh too!

Tennis: not just a summer sport. We can all pick up a racket at the most basic level and join a local club, or just hire a court with a few friends. This counts for badminton too http://www.glasgow.gov.uk/en/YoungGlasgow/12to18/YoungScotCard/outdoorfunfacilities.htm

Running: or jogging, or even brisk walking, we’re not looking for the next Paula Radcliffe here. Find a buddy who lives nearby and can motivate you when you can’t be chuffed – and you’ll be able to give them a gee up in turn! That half hour will fly in with some banter along the way. Alternatively, it can be the perfect way to have 30 minutes to yourself (go on, everyone loves “me time).

All of these will boost your energy (sounds backwards but it’s true!), improve your health and help you sleep better which is a whoooooole other advantage that will make you feel fabulous for 2012.

And if all else has failed with the New Year’s resolutions you made in January, you can always start again in February!

Tuesday, 17 January 2012

What is Physiotherapy?

“Oh you guys make folk exercise don’t you?”
“It’s something to do with injuries, or old people…”
“Physios just do massage, don’t they?”

In the last 2 months, we’ve met a load of people through networking and we always seem to be asked the same question:

What IS Physiotherapy?

There are some very interesting opinions about what physiotherapy actually is, and while much of the above is true, we also do MUCH more!

If your back is sore after sitting at your desk all day, we can find the root of the problem, treat it and help you manage your symptoms to stop them returning.

See that old football injury you’ve been carrying around? “Chocolate ankles” is it? We can help you with an exercise program to strengthen up and maybe even return to playing, shock horror!

How many of us have vowed to lose weight and/or get fit or even stop smoking in 2012? How many of us vowed the same thing in 2011 (and 2010…) and didn’t quite get there? Well, with the advice and encouragement of a physiotherapist, plus a personalised program with exercise that YOU like to do and that fits in with your lifestyle, that better body could happen for you this year.

If you’ve been struggling with that chest infection for a couple of weeks too long now, a physiotherapist can help you clear your chest, and gain a more effective breathing pattern (and how to get a better night’s sleep without waking up coughing). And if winter brings on your asthma, we can help you cope with your symptoms.

Ok we’ve covered a lot so far, but there’s even more…

Have you taken up exercise but need some advice on how to handle those sore knees when you run? Or why that calf cramps up when the other doesn’t? We’ve got the knowledge to help you avoid the usual pitfalls and help you out when injury hits. Plus, we do a fantastic sports massage to help you loosen up after hitting the gym hard.

If you just need to relax after a long day’s work (or a hard weekend’s partying) we can give you one of those great massages to help you wind down and chill out.

The list goes on!

Got a question? Wonder if a physiotherapist could help you? Drop us a line (info@firstclassphysio.co.uk) or give us a call (0141 2372 721). You’ll find lots more information at www.firstclassphysio.co.uk