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Chartered Physiotherapy and Clinical Pilates

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health and fitness

Exercises you can do at your desk!

Following my post about the benefits of Pilates, heres some useful exercises you can do at your desk!

Note: With all sitting exercises you must be sitting up tall on your sit bones. Keep your core engaged (almost feel like you are pulling your belly button in towards your spine) and shoulders relaxed and down.

desk-exercises-1

Dumb waiter

Sit with your elbows bent at 90 degrees. Keep them tucked into your waist while you open out your forearms and keep your back straight. Keep pressing your shoulders down while you repeatedly open and close your forearms.

Spine twist

Hold your hands on the back of your head. Keep elbows out to the side. Hips facing forward. Inhale through the nose and as you exhale through the mouth twist though the mid-point in your back to one side. Inhale and on exhale come back to center repeat on the other side. Do as many as you want but make sure you keep an even count.

desk-exercises-2

Spine stretch forward

Sitting nice and tall, resting your hands on your lap. Breath in through your nose as you exhale tuck your chin to your chest and start rolling down through from the top of you back, only to half way down your back. Breath in and then on the exhale use your abdominals to pull your torso back up to sitting tall. Rolling through your spine bone by bone.

Lateral/side bend

Sitting up nice and tall, arms by your side as you breath out reach your right arm down one side of your chair with out leaning forward or backwards. Repeat on the other side.

desk-exercises-3

Hip opener/Hip flexors

Cross one leg over the other (ankle on the knee) and bend forward over your legs with a flat back.

Single Leg raises

Sitting nice and tall with feet flat on the floor, extend one leg at a time focusing on activating the quadricep muscles and then slowly lower down. Alternate each leg.

Why not try a Pilates Class?

We offer a wide range of Pilates and Yoga Classes at our Hemel Hempstead Clinic, with our experienced and qualified instructors.

pippaPippa
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Blog Post by Pippa
FCO Gym Manager & Personal Trainer
Emma James Physio

 

Pilates – gain a balanced body and mind

Pilates practice can help you gain a balanced body and mind. … A balanced body is one in which each part of the body works with one another to create and maintain a stable person. A balanced body is one that is mentally, emotionally, and physically stable.
The beauty of Pilates is that anyone, at any age can get started. Through the controlled and progressive movements, you can totally reshape your body.

Improved posture

By strengthening your core and improving your alignment of your spine.
Desk jobs encourage bad posture which can lead to kyphosis (rounding of the upper back) by working on muscular imbalances this can be reversed. Most Pilate moves help with scapula, shoulder and spine stability.

Improve flexibility

flexibilityWith longer hours of sitting we get tight hip flexors and generally stiff. Pilates encourages you to lengthen and expand your muscles.

Strengthen core

All Pilate moves require you to hold your core. Core muscles are not just your abdominals but the deep muscles running from the bottom of your head to your pelvis. They help support the trunk. Having a strong core will help support your back, which will help with pain and injury prevention.

Improve your balance

As you get older your balance becomes worse over time, this can then cause falls and injury. Pilates exercises require a more holistic approach and require activation and coordination of several muscle groups at the same time, which in turn improves your balance reducing the risk of falls.

Mental Health

pilates-classes

In Pilates you are told to regulate your breathing. Breathing is one of Joseph Pilates key principals. Pilates breathing directs your focus inward for the duration of the class, focusing on the present, feeling the muscles work and reconnecting with your body.

Exercising even if low impact helps produce endorphins in the body, which are also known as the happy hormones. It is natural drug to help boost your mood.

 

Pilates Classes

We offer a wide range of Pilates and Yoga Classes at our Hemel Hempstead Clinic, with our experienced and qualified instructors.

Look out for my next pilates post coming soon!
pippaPippa
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Blog Post by Pippa
FCO Gym Manager & Personal Trainer
Emma James Physio

 

Benefits of working with a Personal Trainer

There are many reasons why having a Personal Trainer (PT) can benefit you, people of all ages and abilities. See better results by living a happier more active lifestyle.

A Personal Trainer will help build a unique training plan for each individual, which can easily be adapted and adjusted. Exercises can be regressed or progressed depending on the level of fitness, injury, results driven, time and if having an ‘off day’.

Top 5 Benefits

1. Faster and Better results

person-training-1Having a Personal Trainer will make sure you stick to your programme and push you to your limits during a workout session. Often when you work out solo you can become distracted and don’t push yourself as much. Time is always an excuse as not to work out but having a PT can adjust programs so they are just as affective no matter what the length of time you have available.
By pushing your boundaries, you will see faster results, this could be weight loss, toning up, cardio/fitness level or strength.

2. Fat loss and Muscle Gain
This is not everyone’s main goal but for 80% off people hitting the gym it is. Having a Personal Trainer, they know the right exercise each individual should be doing to achieve their goals. A mixture of weight training to gain muscles and become stronger and cardio to get fitter and leaner

3. Reduce chance of injury
A Personal Trainer will teach proper form and technique, which will prevent injury. Injuries can easily occur from not warming up properly or doing exercises incorrectly.

4. Establish a lifestyle habit and routine
A Personal Trainer can help motivate and encourage to create new habits. Once a routine is established it is easier to stick to, making it part of your lifestyle will make it easier to achieve results. Exercise and diet are all about consistency if you want to see those results.

5. They fit into your schedule
We all have busy lives and lots going on the beauty of a Personal Trainer is that they will adapt their time to fit in with you. So if you need an early morning or late evening workout a PT will be there.

person-training-outside6. Flexibility on Location
Many do not like working out in a gym as it can be crowded and over whelming. A Personal Trainer can change the location of any workout from either the gym, a home work out or even outside.

7. They can help with specific goals – an Event
As well helping set realistic goals a Personal Trainer can help set a training plan and train for specific event whether this be a run, triathlon, swim or a sporting event etc. With events you need to reach a certain level of fitness to be able to compete and stay injury free.

8. Mentor / Mental Health
Exercise realises endorphins which are ‘happy hormones’ they can help make you feel good physically and mentally. A Personal Trainer can help motivate you when you are suffering from mental health issues, they can help keep you on course to release the greatest number of endorphins. This in turn helps with a person’s overall wellbeing. A PT cares about how stressed you are, they will listen to you, they want to give you the best results which can be impacted on how you are feeling.

If this sounds interesting and you need that extra push why not call or email Emma James Physio to find out more….
reception@ejphysio.co.uk
01442 870686pippa

Pippa
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Blog Post by Pippa
FCO Gym Manager & Personal Trainer
Emma James Physio

 

Megaboost IV – Vitamin Infusion

IMG_7131A month or so ago I was feeling frazzled.. Rushing about attempting to balance work, kids and home life had left me catching cold after cold, constantly drained, irritable and generally frazzled.

Emma James suggested I try a megaboost vitamin infusion at Champneys. Now, to be honest, the lure of being alone in a room in peace for 45 minutes relaxing on a bed (you can sit if you prefer) for 45 minutes had me signed up! Let alone the benefits of such a vitamin infusion; top restore hydration, replenish vital vitamins and minerals, boost the immune system and deliver a (much needed) energy boost.

The qualified Nurse administering the infusion was lovely and informative and took me through a range of checks, including a health questionnaire and blood pressure measurement. Once I had the all clear, we were all set to go. Inserting the needle into my arm was no more than a sharp scratch- like having blood taken. Then I just relaxed for the time it took for the infusion to be administered and that was it, infusion done.

The benefit of a vitamin infusion over oral vitamins is that the abdomen (where up to 50% of the benefit of the ingested vitamin can be lost) is bypassed so the benefits are greater.

I left Champneys with a spring in my step looking forward to the benefits of the vitamin infusion and signed up for my next one in a few months time. Give it a go!

More information can also be found on our website.

lisa

Lisa
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Blog post by Lisa
Senior Physiotherapist
Emma James Physio

The importance of rest and recovery when training

This should be the easy part of our training but it tends to be the most neglected part. Rest is just as important as the actual training itself.

In order to see an improvement in performance, our body needs to be exposed to stresses, the body then needs time to adapt to the stresses and this is the period of recovery. Rest and recovery are vital in the prevention of injuries.

7 Important guidelines to consider after training which will improve recovery:

stretching-rest-and-recovery

1. Cool Down and Stretch
After exercise it is important to cool down to bring your body temperature back down and also to stretch the muscles that you have worked.

2. Replace fluids
It is important to replace your fluids after training as you lose a lot of salts whist training.

3. Nutrition
It is important to make sure you eat properly after training because this will boost your recovery.

4. Rest
It is essential to put your feet up and rest!!

5. Massage or self-massage
I would recommend a regular massage when you are in training however another option is to use a foam roller or tiger tail and do it yourself.

6. Sleep
Sleep is essential for recovery. When we are sleeping our bodies produce a growth hormone which plays an important part in our tissue growth and muscle repair.

7. Listen to your body
Most importantly!!! If you are tired your body is telling you to rest, so do it.

kerry-gym-manager
More Information:
Personal Training
Massage
Sports Massage
Nutrition
Happy Training & Resting Buddies!
Kerry
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Blog Post by Kerry
Group Gym Manager & Personal Trainer

Stretching – why is it so important?

It’s the one thing we should all do before and after exercise but the one phase everyone tends to skip… I think maybe because it’s boring, we are always pushed for time and it’s not perceived as being that important.

Stretching is so important at the start of a work out, as it gives your muscles the opportunity to warm up and become more elastic, which means you will be able to perform better when you start your main set or workout.

Stretching will help prevent injury as cold muscles are more likely to be torn or strained. It is always best to start your work out with 5 minutes of cardio of your choice then dynamic stretching – stretching while moving as it will help increase blood flow and muscle temperature.

At the end of the workout your muscles will be warm and maybe sore depending on what you have been doing.

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There are many reasons why you should stretch after exercising:

  • It will help maintain elasticity within the muscles, improve strength and keep them healthy. This is so important to keep the flexibility up as it will help in turn with joint movement which will have an impact on your overall performance of working out and everyday life activities.
  • When your muscles are warm and you hold a stretch for longer, 45 seconds it will improve the elasticity of that muscle making you more flexible.
  • Decrease the risk of injury
  • Enable your muscles to work more effectively
  • Help keep a healthy body and mind. Stretching can also be really relaxing and help your mind switch off, decreasing stress.
  • It helps relieve the stress on muscles after a hard work out, your muscles can often get tight and stiff, stretching will slow down the process of aches and pains.
  • It can help improve your posture, stretching your lower back, shoulders and chest will help keep your body in better alignment.
  • Reduces lower back, better flexibility in your hamstrings, hip flexors and other muscles around your pelvis helps relieve stress on the lower lumber. This is especially good for those who have desk jobs.

pippaHappy Stretching!

Pippa
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Blog Post by Pippa
FCO Gym Manager & Personal Trainer
Emma James Physio

Don’t be scared of eating good fats…..

Good fat is found in foods like:

  • Seeds
  • Avocados
  • Seafood
  • Oils
  • Meat
  • Fish
  • Nuts

Why you ask?

  1. Good fat helps you from overeating because it tells your brain to stop eating
  2. Fat slows the rate at which sugar hits your bloodstream, and this allows your blood sugar levels to remain steady
  3. Most importantly, keeping your hunger and cravings at bay

More information & health advice:

kerry-gym-managerHappy, healthy eating Buddies!
Kerry
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Kerry
Personal Trainer & Group Gym Manager

Women over 40 getting into triathlons

Swim Bike Run, the three phases which make up a triathlon. Did you know the fastest growing segment of triathlons is people aged over 40 participating?

Why should you do one?

New challenge, keep fit, be competitive, enjoyment, get your body moving, lose weight, activate your mind, variation on workouts, learn something new!! There are so many different reasons to do a triathlon. Whatever the reason it is, it’s personal to you.
Triathlons have become a fast-growing popular sport, with more events popping up all over the country. Many of these events are held at iconic venues such as Eaton Dorney, Blenheim Palace, Woburn house, Windsor, London Excel and many more. It doesn’t matter what age you are or what ability you possess, everyone gets to compete at the same place.

As you get you older your body starts changing, bone and muscle mass starts to decrease. We store fat more easily and every woman goes through menopause eventually. These years are vital for women to change up eating habits and exercise regime in order to stay healthy, fit and strong. Regular exercise like training for a triathlon can help counterbalance these aging processes.

Aches and pains increase as you get older. This can be due to lack of flexibility and lack of motion. Doing triathlons will help massively increase flexibility and joint movement/motion. So when it comes to triathlon, the flexibility training aspect and the movement of swimming, biking, and running can significantly help reduce some of those aches and pains.

Starting off training can be daunting but there is no time like the present. You need to start from the bottom and work your way up like a pyramid. Start by going for walks, do body weight exercises, swimming gently, getting on the exercise bike. As you become fitter and stronger you can gradually increase your duration, pace and time of training. By having three phases to work at, makes training far more interesting which can help maintain a healthy mind and body.

There are lot of clubs on hand, which will accept all abilities; check out: https://www.britishtriathlon.org/

A great first-time triathlon which is just for women is the Women’s Only Shock Absorber Triathlon which is held at Eaton Dorney. There are several distances you can part take in and they are all segmented out into age category.

If you need any help putting a training programme together, tips on nutrition, a Personal Training session to help strengthen your body for the different phases or even a running, swimming or cycling buddy please call the office to get booked in!!

pippa

Blog Post by Pippa
FCO Gym Manager & Personal Trainer
Emma James Physio

Are you getting enough exercise?

Hiya,

Are you reaching the recommended amount of exercise each week to stay healthy?

NHS guidleines recommend adults ages 19- 64 should try to be active daily and should achive the following a week to stay healthy:

  • PHOTO-2018-10-16-12-08-11At least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity such as cycling or brisk walking every week and
  • Strength exercises on 2 or more days a week that work all the major muscles (legs, hips, back, abdomen, chest, shoulders and arms)

    Or:

  • 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity such as running or a game of singles tennis every week and
  • strength exercises on 2 or more days a week that work all the major muscles (legs, hips, back, abdomen, chest, shoulders and arms)

20170525-IMG_0515At Emma James Physio we have expert personal trainers who can create tailor made exercise programmes for you incorporating strengthening and aerobic (cardio) exercise either 1:1 with the trainer or with a buddy or in a small group.

We also run spin classes and legs, bums & tums with our in-house top Personal Trainer/ spin instructor extraordinaire Kerry McCann.

More Information:

lisa

 

Blog Post by Lisa
Senior Physiotherapist
Emma James Physio

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