Keeping that New Year commitment to looking after yourself
The most beneficial thing you can do for yourself is engage in a daily movement routine. I say movement, because sometimes ‘exercise routine’ can conjure up thoughts of needing to ‘smash’ oneself by engaging in some sort of gruelling, physical activity where no pain, no gain is the mantra. This does have a place, but most people don’t need to do that to become mobile, happy and healthy.
Typically, if you are on ‘the comeback,’ or even starting from a pretty good base and looking to maintain, I always advised a regular mechanical check over to make sure all the moving parts are moving to their optimal. We look out for restricted areas that need to be released to allow you to return to activity and assess the functional capacity of the tissue to screen for injury risk and ultimately to prevent from injury in the first place.
If you have not regularly exercised in a while and you are starting back, remember slow and steady – build up! You have as much time as you need. There is no point going hard in January only to have to rest up in February and March….then struggle to get the motivation to start up again in April, which gets put off until May!
Along with appropriately warming up, cooling down, stretching and rolling, you can reduce your risk of injury, improve your recovery and performance by regularly attending a yoga class that is right for you and getting some regular massage treatment, especially in the early days…just like the professionals do.
Exercise that focuses on awareness and control of your movement, such as Clinical Pilates, is a necessary part of your regime along with adequate recovery and preparation. Clinical Pilates is one of the best movement regimes to help you understand and become aware of how you move, to re-learn movement that may be ‘out of sync’ and need improving and to strengthen your muscles and joints at angles just not achievable with ‘regular’ training.
It is important to move beyond ‘re-training’ and to work with someone like an Exercise Physiologist, to take what you have learnt about your movement through pilates and apply it to movement tasks of everyday living. It is important to start to replicate usual movement and challenge with load so that you become stronger to perform your ‘tasks of daily living’ – It’s like training for a sport. You break the game or activity into ‘drills’ and practice until your capacity to perform them improves and feels natural…….most people, with recurring or chronic pain, simply need to do something like this, but really, to do this properly, you need help and coaching from a group of experts. Preferably experts who work closely with each other and know who is the best person to be working with at any given time.
Finally through out, it is important to maintain nutrition. A great place to start is with hydration and electrolytes, where Water and Magnesium are the main ‘go to’s’. These will help to keep your energy up, reduce training soreness and maintain your muscle health and suppleness. A great deal of injury prevention and recovery can be achieved with diet and strategic supplementation.
Dr Giulian Di Venuto is principal Osteopath and Director of MOVE Osteopathy and is available for Osteopathic consultations at both Brisbane City and New Farm Clinic. Move Osteopathy also offers, Remedial Massage, Myotherapy and consultations with our Exercise Physiologists, personalised exercise programs in our own rehabilitations gyms and clinical pilates.
Health benefits of water
Water makes up about 60 precent of your body weight. Every system in your body depends on water. Lack of water can lead to dehydration, even mild dehydration can drain your energy and make you tired.
How much water do you need?
The Institute of Medicine determined that an adequate intake for men is roughly about 13 cups (3 litres) of total beverages a day, for women it is about 9 cups (2.2 litres) of total beverages a day.
Factors that influence water needs
You may need to modify your total fluid intake depending on
- Exercise or how active you are,
- Climate you live in, (hot, cold, altitude, humid, dry etc)
- Health status (fevers, vomiting, diarrhoea, heart, kidney or liver problems)
- Pregnant or breast-feeding.
Other sources of water
What you eat can provide a significant portion of your fluid needs (about 20 percent of total water intake for average person). Eg fruits and vegetables. Other drinks such as milk and juice are composed mostly of water, but beware of caffeinated and sugar loaded beverages
Osteopath Dr Sam Nevis
“It is easy to adapt to the dry heat in country Victoria (where I grew up); wear sunscreen, stay in the shade, exercise early or later on that day. I have been living in Brisbane for a little over a month now and I am learning ways to cope with Queensland’s humidity. Otherwise I have found myself hot, lethargic and ‘headachy’.
I enjoy being active before and after work and believe it is important to have a work – lifestyle balance that you enjoy. For me this consists of going to the gym, swimming and football training. For me to be consistent with this routine in a new climate, I have had to be proactive in keeping a high energy level and to avoid dehydration.
Early signs of dehydration include increased thirst, nausea, dry mouth, headache as well as darker yellow urine. This can then lead to light headedness, cramps and disorientation for moderate to severe signs that the body is dehydrated.
I have found that drinking water consistently during the day from first thing in the mornings, at lunchtime and evenings, before I feel the need to helps prevent the early signs of dehydration. Having a drink bottle sitting next to me on the desk reminds me to drink throughout the day.
I have learnt the more active I want to be the more water I need to drink.”
7 tips to keep you drinking enough water
- Set a specific goal for the day.
- Invest in a water bottle that you’ll actually use — and keep it close.
- use an app to track progress
- infuse your water with fruit or herbs
- put drinking water into daily routines that you already have. or set specific hours of the day when your bottle should be emptied and refilled
- using straws can make you drink more apparently!
- hydrate with water based foods – soups, juices smoothies but beware caffeinated and sugary drinks
Want to read more?
What happens when you increase your water intake?
Check out this article and photos of a woman who staretd drinking 3 litres of water a day and see the dramatic changes! read
Need to re-hydrate after exercise?
Did you miss our article we posted on the best fluid to rehydrate after exercise? You’ll be surprised! read
EAT WELL area of the blog i wanted to share with you one of my favourite healthy 3pm pick-me-up sweet treats. They are made with dried dates (mainly) which I know still have a natural sugar content …….. but it’s a whole lot better than the refined white stuff. This recipe for my sweet treat power balls is super easy and they cure the afternoon sweet cravings with a lot less guilt than a chocolate brownie. Try them……they taste REALLY yummy i promise! They are sugar free and no butter or eggs. No baking and made in 10 minutes with no mess. I guarantee they will give you more energy than any sweet biscuit or cake and fix the sweet craving Enjoy 🙂
2 cups of pitted Dates
1/2 cup of Gogi berries (or you could use cranberries or figs if you like)
4 cups boiling water
2 tbs cocoa powder
200gm (approx) almond meal (you could also use LSA, hazelnut meal or a mixture or any other ground nut mixture you like)
coconut or ground nuts for dusting
Directions: Soak the dried fruit for 15 – 30 minutes in the boiling water until it has softened. Drain off the excess water. (save a small amount incase your mixture is a bit dry and needs softening later. Put into a mix master and blitz until fruit is like a paste. Add the almond meal and cocoa powder and blitz until combined. It should be a consistency that you can roll into small sticky balls. (add some of the soaking liquid or more almond meal until the consistency is correct). Roll into small balls and roll them in the coconut or ground nuts. Store in the fridge.
Get Healthy Green Smoothie.
1 washed large leaf of sliverbeat (middle hard stalk removed)
1 washed large leaf of kale (middle hard stalk removed)
2 washed cos lettuce leaves
5 or so small baby spinach leaves
1 chopped up kiwi fruit (firm core removed)
1 cup of coconut water
a dash of apple juice…. or more if you like a bit of sweetness.
optional extras – a dash of spirulina powder, your fav protein powder or chia seeds.
Put it all in your jar or jug and give a good blitz with bamix until all the green bits are crushed up into a smoothie consistency. The smoothie should be drunk straight away and I always use organic fruit and veg if i can.
Hope you enjoy 🙂