Breathing Troubles – Asthma flare up

Way back in around 1996 I was diagnosed with asthma. It wasn’t terribly bad, I used daily steroids for a while and the blue salbutamol inhaler occasionally. My reference point for how bad asthma could be was very high – a girl I was at junior school with would be regularly hospitalised because of her asthma. The effect on me was minor issue in comparison, it barely bothered me. Over the last seven years I’ve been a regular runner, taken part in various races from 1.2 mile fell races through to marathons and 55km ultras. I can run pretty well, … Continue reading

No Cricket?

With the cricket season fast approaching, I’ve had a couple of cricketers come through the doors asking for advice on things from strained backs to rotator cuff (shoulder) issues. One came in as a “no-longer” cricketer having been told by his doctor that he should no longer play the sport because of elbow pain and the fact his arm was not getting full range of motion from his elbow. This guy came to see me for physiotherapy because of a completely unrelated incident- more of a back pain from small children getting bigger, and still wanting to be thrown in … Continue reading

Lifting for Mums

How much does a child weigh? Depends on the child… right? So how much should a mother be able to lift and hold in order to bring the child up? Can you quantify it? Should you? A minor bugbear of mine is the classes you see for women – yes, specifically women, which are based on “toning”. These classes tend to involve small weights… maybe up to about 5kg each. Not only this, but in women specific gyms (so I have been told) the weights tend to get to about 10kg, and not really any higher. Women who want to … Continue reading

Move Your Body

The UK government guidelines state we should all be keeping active, regardless of age. That means we should all be doing a minimum of 150 minutes of exercise each week. Now here’s the thing most people don’t appreciate – for that exercise to be of benefit it must get you HOT & SWEATY and OUT OF BREATH. Exercise to stay healthy is meant to challenge you, to put a little stress on your body so it is forced to adapt and get stronger and stay healthy with the ability to cope with your daily life. The INTENSITY of the exercise … Continue reading

Inevitable decline?!

Following on from this podcast I listened to recently (a BMJ interview with Scarlett McNally and Muir Gray, orthopedic surgeon and Public Health doctor, on Exercise in Old Age), I thought it might be nice to read the actual document it was based on, and maybe try to summarise it. Everyone can listen to the cast, but not a whole lot of people are going to pay £23 to read a 4 page document…but information access is a topic for another day. So – what did the analysis say? Well – the headline of the whole thing was this: Dramatic … Continue reading

Muscle VS Fat

Why do we get hung up on the number on the scales? Is it actually important? It is so easy to fixate on weight (and how much we’d like to lose) when the real issue is how much body fat we are carrying around. Are you confusing weight loss with fat loss? Which do you want to achieve? We’ve grown up using the bathroom scales as a measure of healthiness. It is hard to shift the habit of using such an easy and quantifiable number as a level of fitness, well being and, to a point, personal happiness. But this … Continue reading