One of the first things we teach during a consultation is how to engage the core muscles. This is a fundamental part of any core strengthening work and can be easily applied to everyday activities, enabling you to use these muscles as a foundation for movement and perform functional exercise throughout the day.
We are well and truly in germ season now and the winter bugs are spreading like wildfire. So, if you’re training for an event or have those last few inches to shed to it your target…what do you do? Keep your fingers crossed and ‘sweat it out’ or give yourself a break and come back stronger on the other side?
We all know by now that strength training is good, right? It’s great for boosting metabolism, maintaining a strong core and increasing bone density, amongst a vast multitude of other benefits.
We will always be strong advocates of weight training for these reasons but we do get some people coming through our door who started with all the right intentions and ended up doing more harm than good though lifting weights.
Here’s our short guide to reasons why your weights sessions could be damaging your back health. Avoid these the next time you hit the gym to make sure you’re getting the best from your workout and not compromising your back in the process.
As a nation, we now spend a day a week online.
At 70%, more of us than ever are using our smartphones to stay connected so it’s no surprise that there is a steep rise in the number of people suffering from neck, shoulder and upper back pain.
‘Text-neck’ is now a thing as we spend over 3 hours a day (and increasing) curled over our phones.
The average human head weighs 10-12 lbs. As your head tilts down, the gravitational pull on your head places additional pressure on your neck, up to a staggering 60 lbs at 60 degrees (or a small labrador to put it into perspective!)
I have had a few conversations recently with clients about the importance of resistance training. It often gets overlooked in favour of it’s sweatier counterpart, cardio, as that’s what we were always told to do to lose weight, right? In fact, you could be missing a trick by walking past the weights section as it turns out there’s much more to gain than bulging biceps…
We know that drinking water is good, right? It’s a no-brainer – we hear it all the time; ‘drink more water!’ ‘water is good for your health!’ ‘drink 8 glasses a day!’ But when we drill down, do you really know why it’s important to keep your fluid levels up, do we understand the impact of not being hydrated?
Let’s explore a bit deeper.
On the face of it, there are very little similarities between your teeth and your back, right? Other than the fact that - when healthy - they both support your basic human function, albeit in very different ways.
Now think about this; what happens when your teeth are NOT healthy? Pain, difficulty eating and costly dental treatment are all likely scenarios.
Similarly, if your back health is compromised, you may experience pain, time off work, having to stop doing the things you enjoy, and costly treatment fees…
With 49% of us suffering from back pain at some point in our lives, and a whopping 2.9 million days being lost due to work-related back disorders on 2014/15 (source), it’s time to take action against back pain at work and arm ourselves with the tools to prevent the onset of attacks.
With back pain related absences costing the UK economy £14bn a year (source) and a growing number of freelancers, self-employed people and other people not bring eligible for sick pay, the financial implications of back pain mean it’s not just our health which is suffering, our pockets are also feeling the pinch.
It’s not just manual workers feeling the strain either, with 50% of office workers experiencing some level of back pain. There are ways you can help prevent back pain in the office. Here are some tips on how to organise yourself, and your workstation to help prevent pain:
Sounds obvious, doesn’t it? “uh, put on your daps and leg it down the road”. Not so much. I remember when I started running about 7 years ago. I had not long had my second baby (new Mums: do your Kegels) and wanted something which I could do any time of the day and which wouldn’t waste me valuable time by having to travel to do it.
So out I trundled, calling “back in half an hour” behind me as I flounced out of the door. Now, if you’re new to running, or can remember when you were new to running, you’ll appreciate my crushing disappointment when, 2 minutes into my ‘run’ I was pretty much ready to drop.
So, you see, it’s not quite as simple as trotting off for a brisk 3 miles when you’ve never run before. But I did persevere and in the following 12 months completed both a 10k and half marathon. And if ‘Mrs-I-can-only-run-for-2-minutes’ can do it, anyone can. Here are my tips for anyone just starting out…