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Chartered Physiotherapy and Clinical Pilates

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mental health

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

 

Exercise & Mental Health

India-wMy names India and I am a new Sports Therapist working at Emma James Physiotherapy. Today I will be talking about exercise and mental health, but more specifically how outdoor water sports may be exactly what you need to try!

The benefits of canoeing, kayaking and white water rafting on mental health have long been a reason why many people take up the sport. The ability to get out on the water for a relaxing paddle, or run river rapids after a stressful day, provides many people with an escape from every day life. Exercising on or near water and greenery has been shown to reduce depression and anger, as well as improve confidence. Water sports can also introduce variety into your life, there’s so many places you can paddle and soak up that vitamin D!

india-representing-englandFor the past 6 years I have been representing Great Britain in white water rafting. As an athlete juggling A-Levels and a 4-year degree, training allowed me to de-stress from a busy day of dissertation writing and clear my mind. There is nothing better than a sweaty lactic run on your lunch break to get the endorphins flowing before returning to the desk!

Can exercise help to relieve symptoms of depression and anxiety?

Recent studies have shown that exercise can treat mild to moderate depression as effectively as antidepressant medication. As one example, a recent study done by the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health found that running for 15 minutes a day or walking for an hour reduces the risk of major depression by 26%.

Exercise is a natural and effective anti-anxiety treatment. It relieves tension and stress, boosts physical and mental energy, and enhances well-being through the release of endorphins.

‘Teamwork makes the dream work’

I am a strong believer that exercising in groups can increase commitment to a fitness routine, enhance consistency, duration and motivate individuals to achieve their goals. As well as offering classes at our Hemel Hempstead Clinic, at the FCO, DFID and Hanslope Park we offer lunch time fitness classes, pushing you to your limits before heading back to work, so why don’t you come along and give it a try! You can form new social groups with people who have similar interests. Building new social groups is never a negative! More people to talk to, interact with and learn from whilst keeping fit at the same time… bonus!

‘You can achieve anything you set your mind to’

india-waylandI hope you liked my first post, Ill be writing again soon 🙂

India
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Blog Post by India
Sports Therapist at 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

 

Work related stress & how to manage it

Up to half a million people in the UK experience work-related stress every year, which often results in illness (Health and Safety Executive 2011).

The signs of stress can vary from one individual to the next (NHS Choices 2011). They may manifest physically as an illness, tiredness or lethargy or as symptoms such as sore, tight muscles or erratic sleep patterns. Mental stress can result in depression, mood swings, anger, frustration, confusion, paranoid behaviour, jealousy or withdrawal.
Treatments include medication such as anti-anxiety drugs, cognitive behavioural therapy, relaxation techniques (NHS Choices 2011), acupuncture and floatation therapy.

How acupuncture can help

Stress is a common complaint cited by acupuncture and these individuals present with a variety of symptoms. Can acupuncture help with stress and anxiety? Let’s look at the research…..

One small randomised controlled trial (RCT) suggested that acupuncture might be successful in treating the symptoms of chronic stress (Huang 2011). Another study which looked at healthy individuals subjected to stress testing found acupuncture at an acupuncture point used for stress was more effective than a ‘control’ point (Fassoulaki 2003). A study by Pavao (2011) found acupuncture might be effective in attenuating psychological distress, as well as increasing cellular immunity. acupunctureIn a small pilot study, the use of one particular acupuncture point led to marked reductions in stress (Chan 2002).

Acupuncture is proposed to have many effects, including stimulating the nervous system and causing the release of neurochemical messenger molecules. The resulting biochemical changes influence the body’s homeostatic (state of equilibrium) mechanisms, thus promoting physical and emotional well-being.

Floatation Therapy

In addition to acupuncture, another alternative treatment for stress and anxiety is floatation therapy. During a floatation session you effortlessly float in an Epsom-salt solution. The solution is heated and maintained at skin temperature (37°C) and the environment in the tank is controlled so that the air is also skin temperature.

floatation-therapy
This creates an environment similar to that of the Dead Sea (but nearer to home!) which lets you float effortlessly on the surface of the solution, enjoying a feeling of total  freedom & complete weightlessness!

Preliminary research has shown that floatation therapy may lower stress, anxiety and even depression by reducing how much sensory input the brain and nervous system receive (Feinstein, 2018).

At Emma James we have our own Floatation Tank. Please just call us if you would like any more information on how this, or acupuncture, could help you.

lisa

Lisa
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Blog post by Lisa
Senior Physiotherapist
MSc MACP MHCPC MCSP 

Emma James Physio

Looking after your mental health

MENTAL HEALTH AWARENESS WEEK 13- 19TH MAY 2019

Mental health in numbers….

1 in 6 adults will have experienced a common mental health disorder in the last week.
Severe mental health illnesss affects about half a million adults in England and these individuals will have a life expectancy of up to 20 years shorter than the general population. (Public Health England).

improving mental health with exercise

Pain can limit a person’s ability to exercise. The loss of exercise as part of a person’s mental wellbeing can be devastating- benefits of exercise include stress relief, positive affect on body image, improved mood, improved sleep and increased confidence.

Come and see our team of experts at Emma James Physio to help diagnose, treat and manage your pain, to get you back to exercising for your mental and physical wellbeing.

lisa

Lisa
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Blog post by Lisa
Senior Physiotherapist
Emma James Physio

 

How to keep your brain young – Just keep moving!

Hiya,

I found this informative article by Celia Dodd about the cognitive benefits of exercise. Researchers at the University of Canberra in Australia found that regular aerobic exercise dramatically improved cognitive abilities such as thinking, reading, learning and reasoning.

Muscle strengthening, meanwhile, had a significant impact on memory and the brain’s ability to plan and organise.

All this is an excellent reason to re-think the exercise you do, with research showing that even those who have done little exercise before the age of 60 can see cognitive benefits almost immediately.

Increasing your walking speed to brisk, carrying the shopping home rather than getting the car out, and digging the garden can make a huge difference.  Consider signing up to a regular exercise class (strength and conditioning, spinning, pilates) to increase the motivation to complete regular exercise and enjoyment exercising in a group.

You can read the full article here:
https://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-6178025/How-brain-young-just-moving-says-Celia-Dodd.html

Keen to try something new? check out details of all our Exercise Classes on our Website or you can ring Reception for more information.

lisa

Right… Im off to my Pilates Class! 🙂
Lisa
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Blog Post by Lisa
Senior Physiotherapist
Emma James Physio

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