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Keep Moving Everyday!

“Those who think they have no time for exercise will sooner or later have to find time for illness.” ~Edward Stanley

Robin Coghlan has not set their biography yet

Simple But Powerful Benefits Of Exercise

running-exercise-300If you have kept an eye on the general news in the past couple of years I am almost certain you would have come across more than one promotion for the benefits of exercise. When a worthy topic surfaces it usually spreads fast across our modern and diverse media channels. The benefits of exercise came into the limelight again in a strong way in response to rising awareness of a worrying obesity pandemic.

Related article: Why Exercise Is So Important For Your Health

Risks of not exercising

One of the key messages has been the risk of our increasingly sedentary lifestyles as a result of prolonged periods sitting at office desks or behind the wheel of our cars. Remaining in the sitting position for long periods of time has the more obvious and negative influence on body posture while the not so obvious risks are worsening blood sugar and blood cholesterol levels, heart disease, type 2 diabetes and even risk from some types of cancer.

Inactivity plays a role in almost every chronic disease there is.

… as quoted in a previous article.

Some of the benefits of exercise

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Why Runners Should Also Consider Doing Pilates

runner-tying-shoe-laceWhy do some people run and others do Pilates? Such choices are due to personal preferences of course but the fundamental motivation behind either choice is likely to be about improving and or maintaining one’s health and fitness.

So which choice, running or Pilates, is the best exercise for achieving improvements in health and fitness?

Approaching such a question from an equal standpoint - assuming a common level of current health and fitness exists, I would suggest that neither could claim to be the best exercise because each offer different degrees of fitness benefit. Also, neither offer the complete function for ‘ideal’ fitness. However if I had to choose between one or the other, all else being equal, I would choose Pilates as my single exercise routine.

How I get to this personal conclusion is partly supported by understanding a more complete definition of ‘fitness’. To be fit in the most optimal sense requires a suitable balance between cardiovascular health, strength and flexibility.

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Minimise Golf Injuries With Pilates

Pilates seems to be the ideal exercise system for golfers even though your average Pilates class focus is non-golf specific. Pilates is good for you because it is a system focused on total-body conditioning with an emphasis on core strength. Your core is more than simply your stomach muscles but rather all of the important stabilisers throughout your torso from pelvis to upper back. A strong and flexible core is an essential requirement for minimising injury risks in golf.

If you are already managing minor injuries or strains as a result of your golf practise then you will want to join a Pilates class that is led by an expert in musculoskeletal injuries and rehabilitation. The benefits of Pilates led by a Physiotherapist are numerous especially for people less confident with their physical ability due to injury or pain.

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New 2014 Pilates Courses Underway

Our new Pilates term began last week with our 8-week course classes running every day. This week sees the start of our 7-week courses and we would like to wish a warm welcome to the many new members joining our Beginner-level courses.

This term we scheduled an additional 2 beginner classes to try and accommodate the interest we received in our classes in previous terms. It has been wonderful to see both new classes fill up and adding to a busy Pilates term for the Beginner, Improver and Advanced level courses.

Last year we launched our new website, online schedule and booking system which includes an online payment facility. These improvements allow our members to receive notification as soon as we publish new course dates and secure their places by booking immediately online.

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How To Achieve Your Fitness Goals

woman exercising her fitness goalsLosing weight and getting fit are some of the most popular fitness goals for new year transformation. They are also the most commonly broken, according to TIMES magazine, with research suggesting that at the 12 month milestone we can expect a mere 8% adherence rate.

Interestingly, further research indicates that it is not a lack of motivation that prevents us achieving our fitness goals but rather counter-motivations that get in our way - such as placing priority on work and or social engagements before our keep-fit routine.

An interesting article written by Dan Shaw over on the-sport-in-mind blog explores the ingredients of an achievable fitness goal as well as how to maintain your new found fitness in the long term. The general concepts he discusses, taken from the field of sports psychology, do seem to make clear and good sense.

The power of our habits

Dan stresses the importance and the power of our habits - "We are creatures of habit!" Apparently, 40% of our daily actions are formed of habitual routine rather than decisive action. Therefore to create new and long lasting behavioural change we must aim to create supporting habits and be prepared for the inevitable 'old-habit' relapses.

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Pilates Classes Dublin - New Term Start 17th February 2014

about-pilatesWe have just published our latest Pilates course schedule.

In previous terms we have not been able to accommodate all the interest in our courses. As promised, we have reviewed our schedule and have managed to squeeze in another two beginner-level classes.

We will always be restricted by the number of classes we can run each week for two reasons

  1. Our instructors are full-time Chartered Physiotherapists
  2. Limited availability of the studio because we also use it as a downstairs consultation room

We have also combined the advanced-beginner and improver level to be able to offer you a smoother progression path. When you reach a suitable level of proficiency in your Pilates practise and would clearly benefit from moving up to a more advanced level you will then be invited by your instructor to progress to the 'improver' level.

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Why Make A New Year Resolution?

It is estimated that over half of us will make New Year Resolutions for 2014 but most of us will apparently fail to maintain them, many being dropped within the first few weeks of January. So why bother?

New Year ResolutionsWell, the New Year is a grand time to set some goals and intentions for your future. Moving from one year to the next feels like a significant transition, a fresh start - it's the 1st day of the 1st month of a new year. This milestone is the ideal point in time to ignite your intentions - New Year Resolutions are usually about creating new, more beneficial habits that offer the potential to change our lives for the better and changing a habit requires a point where we stop the old and begin the new. Most of us don't work on New Year's day and is a day out of our ordinary cycle which already gets us started for successfully implementing change in our lives.

I think it is useful however to consider why so many people don't see their New Year Resolutions become a long term reality. There are surely many reasons for this and everyone is different of course but some really sound advice that rings true to me that I would like to share here is the following:

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Why Can Christmas Be So Stressful?

xmas-piesPeaceful family gatherings and indulgent festive feasts is how I like to think of Christmas time. But there is the less harmonious side of Christmas too - the drunken office parties and the over-crowded shopping experience of gift buying.

Our social complexities mean that many of us find some or all aspects of Christmas rather stressful. Maybe the sense of obligation to attend the work Christmas party or the battling of the crowds at the shopping malls is the source of your anxiety. Large crowds, especially the seemingly intense crowds of Christmas consumers, really do spark the fight or flight response in me.

'Social Anxiety' is defined as the persistent fear of or anxiety about one or more social or performance situations that is out of proportion to the actual threat posed by the situation. For example, the fear of not attending the office Christmas party for fear of what others may think of you.

Okay, I admit the threat posed by an unusually large crowd at the local Blackrock shopping centre is probably minimal in reality but is enough to send me on a hasty retreat back to my desk and amazon.com

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Myth - Overweight And Healthy

In a previous article I wrote about the concept of metabolically healthy obesity - where some overweight or obese individuals somehow appear to avoid the dangerous metabolic changes associated with weight-gain.

More recent news published on the BBC website disputes this idea suggesting this concept is a myth. Based on findings of a study involving more than 60'000 people suggests that even if an obese person has normal levels of cholesterol, blood pressure and blood sugar there may be other underlying risk factors which worsen over time, with particular risk of heart disease.

Regardless of which side of this story you believe the universally accepted benefits of regular exercise applies to everyone. Being more physically active can be challenging for overweight people. Carrying excess weight can cause other risk factors such as joint damage and postural imbalances which may result in many other undesirable problems.

Exercise does not have to be overly intense and in fact it is strongly recommended not to be, especially for overweight individuals - favouring gentle, low intensity activity repeated on a regular basis for best long term health benefits.

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Housework, Posture, Drugs & Pilates

Do you consider the daily housework chores to count towards your weekly exercise tally? Many people apparently do too but it appears the risk is high for overestimating the activity level achieved from the daily vacuuming or cleaning, so indicates one report.

A study following 4000 people revealed 43% believed they met or exceeded the NHS guidelines on exercise needs each week, counting short 10min bursts of housework as moderate to vigorous activity. The study suggests that those who counted housework towards their weekly exercise commitment were not in as good shape or fit as those who did other types of exercise.

So, maybe housework isn't a good enough replacement of a walk around the park or an hour in the Pilates studio.

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PhysioPilates ~ healthy moving since 2011
Mount Merrion Physiotherapy
105 Trees Rd, Mount Merrion, Co Dublin. Tel. 01 283 4303